Replacement Theology is as old as Christianity itself, considering that the etimology of the expression acquired its real meaning with the rise of Christianity.
Some people object to the focusing on Christianity for the reason why Replacement Theology originated, because the Jewish People was not the only ancient people with the original claim to be God’s chosen People.
It’s true that a few other ancient peoples upheld the same claim, but there was never one to rise with the claim that a people had been replaced by another as God’s chosen People.
Christianity became the first religious organization to rise with the claim that a change had occurred in the designs of God, which would define the rejection of the Jewish People, and resplacement with Christianity.
The classical NT document, which would give rise to this Christian policy is found in Galatians 4:21-31.
Paul would compare God’s Covenant with the Jewish People as Hagar, who was Sara’s slave girl, and the Jews as her son, who was rejected even to share with Isaac, the inheritance of Canaan. On
the other hand, he compares Christianity to Sara and Christians to her son Isaac.
To conclude, Paul appeals to cast out the slave girl together with her son for the obvious reason that Israel, the Jewish People, would never be an heir with the son of the one born free.
That’s the picture of Replacement Theology and not simply a people claiming Divine election. A group of Interfaith Scholars have classified Replacement Theology as a kind of Antisemitism.
St. Paul never taught replacement theology nor that the Jews have stumbled so far to never recover.
I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”? And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring! **
You fail to mention for some time at the beginning of the Church that it was all comprised of Jews, and those Jews took the Gospel message to the Gentiles. St. James letter is addressed to the “twelve tribes scattered among the nations…”.
It is all about being in the New Covenant of Grace by the sacrificial death and resurrection of Yeshua or clinging to an obsolete Old Covenant Law. Throughout the Church age, Jews have always been part of the Church.
As you know, in Israel and according to the feasts of Israel, there are three harvests throughout the year. In the New Covenant Church age, because of the death and resurrection of Yeshua, there were Jews harvested for God on the day Yeshua died on the cross(Matthew:27:52-53). That was three days from the feast of firstfruits, that Sunday Jesus was resurrected. There were Jews harvested for God at the feast of Shavuot at the Church recieving of the Holy Spirit, and there will be Jews harvested for God at the Fall festivals, when Yeshua returns to Israel in all his glory.
Those feasts were a shadow of what was to come in the fulfillment of Yeshua. And Jews are always part of the plan.
Ben, Criticizing Christians of any type is not going to change a simple mathematical fact ~ Jews need to have children, lots of them, to keep the faith alive. They don’t, at least not those in the West. That’s some “replacement” information, if not theology, that people can actually use, not just sit at the computer and attack total strangers about.
Be productive, go make babies. Looking for anti-Semitism where it doesn’t exist does no one any good.
I’ve seen a couple of your posts, and I would like to know what is your primary objection to Christianity? I believe you are Jewish, so I suspect it is that you don’t believe that Jesus was the Messiah. Is this the only issue, or are there others? Are you a religous Jew, or are you non-practicing? The reason I’m asking is that (with all due respect) your various postings demonstrate a deep seated disagreement with Christianity, but appear (IMHO) to not quite address what your objections are. I would be interested in discussing those objections, if you are interested.
**All right Steve, here we go: You have detected right that I don’t believe that Jesus was the Messiah for one reason only. Because I accept the Prophet Isaiah’s view that the Mesiah is Israel, the Jewish People.
But the above is not the main reason why I have been posting in this Forum. My main purpose is to fix the distorted image of the Faith of Jesus, which was Judaism, which Christians project to the world, as tlhey use a religious Jew by giving the impression, in the proccess, that there is room in Judaism for Hellenistic Mythology. If Jesus had been a Greek man, I would be here having this discussion.**
I have made two already. And I do advocate making babies. Since, lots of babies, as you suggest, only contributes to make us poor, I have decided to increase Judaism by doing what we have been assigned for, according to Isaiah 42:6, “Light unto the nations.” This way, I have brought nine souls into Judaism. Two biological children and nine spiritually begotten.
Might I suggest an excellent replacement theology. Let’s replace religion with common sense? Let’s replace ancient mythology with hope in reality and ourselves. Let’s replace our superstitions with logic and reason. Let’s stop thinking spiritual forces beyond our comprehension influence our actions, and take ownership for ourselves. If we’re afraid of death, then let’s hope in the only thing that can really prolong it … science. Let’s stop inventing reasons to hate other.
Hmmm … in that vein I am a strong advocate of replacement theology.
Moschiach Tutorial (based on classical Torah sources)
**Belief in the Era of Moschiach has accompanied the Jewish Nation since its earliest days. It is mentioned countless times in the Torah, in the writings of the prophets, and in the Mishnah and Talmud. **
Mainmonides includes this tenet in his “Thirteen Principles of Faith” which form the foundation of Jewish belief. Many congregations include these principles at the conclusion of their morning prayers and say: " I believe with complete faith in the coming of Moschiach and, although he may tarry, nonetheless I await his coming every day."
Waiting for Moschiach, anticipating his coming, is not simply a virtue but a religious obligation. Ramdam (Maimonides) thus rules that whoever does not believe in - and whoever does not await (eagerly look forward to) - the coming of Moschiach, in effect denies the whole Torah, all the prophets beginning with Moses. (Rambam, Hilchot Melachim II:I)
In view of this legal obligation to await Moschiach, therefore, one of the first questions an individual is asked on the Day of Divine Judgment is: “Did you look forward to salvation?” (Shabbat 31 a)
This tract relies in large part on the writings of Maimonides, perhaps the greatest single authority of Rabbinic Judaism. In his condification of Jewish law, Maimonidies emphasized the obligation for all Jews to believe in the Messiah:
The Messiah will arise and restore the kingdom of David to its former might. He will rebuild the sanctuary and gather the dispersed of Israel . . . But whoever does not believe in him or does not await his coming denies not only the rest of the prophets, but also the Torah and our teacher Moses.
This obligation is even one of his fundamental “Thirteen Principles” of the Jewish faith:
The twelth principle concerns the Days of the Messiah. It consists of believing and recognizing as true that he will come and not thinking that he will delay . . . And whoever is in doubt concerning him or belittles his glory, he has denied the Torah which explicitly promises his coming.
According to Maimonides this belief in the coming of the Messiah is the central duty of the Jew:
When a man believes in all these fundamental principles, and his faith is thus clarified, he is then part of that " Israel" whom we are to love, pity, and treat, as God commanded, with love and fellowship. Even if a Jew should commit every possible sin out of lust or mastery by his lower nature, he will be punished for his sins but will still have a share in the world to come. He is one of the “sinners in Israel.” **But if a man gives up any one of these fundamental principles, he has removed himself from the Jewish community. He is the atheist, a heretic, an unbeliever who “cuts among the plantings.” We are commanded to hate him and to destroy him. **
So according to Maimonides, you are no longer considered a Jew, but an unbeliever.
to be continued. . . By the way all the above information was quoted out of “Salvation is From the Jews” written by Roy Shoeman.
Roy Shoeman "grew up studying Judaism under the most prominent Rabbis in American Judaism. After receiving a B.S. from M.I.T., and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, he taught at Harvard. His unexpected conversion to Catholicism led to a dramatic refocus of his activities.
“Unfortunately, in recent times there has been an attempt in some quarters to rewrite the history of Judaism with the intention of showing that Judaism, including Judaism at the time of Christ, never focused on the coming of the Messiah. Some of this is inspired by the Modernist spirit, which has great difficulty in acknowledging the role of supernatural intervention in the affairs of mankind. However, it may also, in part, be motivated by a desire to deter Jews from considering the claims of Christianity. Explicit consideration of the Messianic expectations of Judaism leads to some dangerous questions. How did Jesus’ claims compare to the Jewish prophecies? When the Messiah comes, how will he be like Jesus, and how will he differ?. . . On the other hand, if Jews can be convinced that Judaism never expected the coming of a personal Messiah, then they need give scant consideration to the claims of Christianity. Thus, excising the notion of a personal Messiah from Judaism is a way of protecting it from missionary approaches.”
Those who would like to eliminate the expectation of a personal Messiah from Judaism must find an alternative way to deal with the many Messianic texts in Judaism. Some attempt to do so redefining the Messianic hope as a general hope for the betterment of society and recasting the Jewish nation as a whole as a sort of corporate Messiah that will bring about this social progress. Such was the approach of Moses Hess, an influential Jewish nationalist of the mid-nineteenth century who is credited with converting Karl Marx to socialism. Hess wrote:
Every Jew has the making of a Messiah in himself . . . Our religion has at its point of departure the enthusiasm of a race who from its appearance on the stage of history has foreseen the final purposes of mankind and which had the foreboding of a messianic time in which the spirit of humanity will be fulfilled, not only in this or that individual or only partially, but in the social institutions of all mankind.
This is a very common interpretation of Messianism in Judaism today. It, however, is contradicted by the evidence provided by 4000 years of Jewish writings."
On a side note … as a former Christian, I do believe the New Testament teaches replacement theology. It’s very clear … Christians are viewed as the elect (and in fact Paul’s language in Romans is quite striking in this regard, and Jews are even termed “vessels of wrath fitted for destruction” along with unbelievers more generally speaking).
That a group of interfaith scholars defines this as antisemitic I suppose is reasonable … since it’s not a kind revelation for Jews who insist Christ isn’t their Messiah. Christian antisemitism has deep roots. Going back to Christians scholars such as John Chrysostom Jews never had a very happy place among zealous Christians.
Obviously there has been an emerging group of Christians who don’t buy into this sort of replacement theology (and I think Catholics have come to reject it as well). The idea is that god keeps the Jewish people hardened toward Christ for the benefit of the gentiles. However, at some point in future history god will save the Jews, just as he will save the elect among the gentiles.
Great stuff … splitting seas, turning rivers into blood, destroying cities, turning sticks into snakes, raising men from death, and all the rest.
The reason I have hope is because mankind is slowly moving away from all this nonsense; and a new age of reason and enlightenment is emerging. For now though unfortunately your people will remain mired in fights over whose version of ancient mythology is more correct. All I can say is good luck … as for me I see for what it is! My only interest is helping to ensure in some little way religious zealotry and any sort of theocracy never reemerges in the West. It would be nice if it disappeared from the entire earth (particularly the muslim world); but I don’t see any realistic hope for that in the near term. I do remain hopeful that we can reestablish some sort of civil dialog with the muslim world, and our media and entertainment industries can permeate their society and slowly chip away at their religious insanity.
"Another is St. Paul in Romans 9:6-8: "For all are not Israelites that are of Israel, neither are all they that are the seed of Abraham, children; but “in Isaac shall thy seed be called.’ That is to say, not they that are the children of the flesh, are the children of God, but they, that are the children of the promise are accounted for the seed.”
The question is how these statements can be reconciled with God’s often repeated promises to the Jews, which seemed to be eternal and irrevocable in nature. As St. Paul states in Romans 11: 28-29: “but as regards election they [the Jews] are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.”
The apparent contradiction can be resolved when one makes a few careful distinctions. In the passage from Matthew, John the Baptist is not talking about lowering the Jews from their status, but of raising up others. In so doing, God would not be violating His promise; He would simply be sovereignly extending extraodinary graces to others, a right that Jesus emphasizes in an exactly apropos parable: “Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?” (Matthew 20: 15). Thus the threat of John the Baptist is not that God will remove the Jews from their position in God’s order, but that He might well raise others to the same level."
In case you don’t know, Judaism was very much a missionary faith until Christianity was adopted by the Emperor Constantine, and as Christianity acquired power of life and death, its first decree was to condemn to death any Jew who was was arrested prozelytizing. Since then the Jewish authorities forbade any missionary work done by Jews. Since today the Church has no longer that power, I feel free to speak.
Yes, but not an individual Messiah. The Messiah is collective. According to Isaiah, he is Israel, the Jewsish People.
Yes, Maimonides did believe with complete faith in the coming of the Messiah. Wherefrom? From the Diaspora back to Israel. That’s the Jewish People themselves returning to Israel, the Land of the Living.
Salvation for the Jews is to rise from the graves of the nations and return to the Land of the Living, which is Israel. (Ezek. 37:12)
Yes, you are right; but not an individual Messiah. According to Isaiah, the Messiah is Israel, the Jewish People.
The remnant of the dispersed of Israel has already been gathered. A form of the Kingdom of David has been restored. We have a Government in the Land of Israel. Regarding the Sanctuary it takes time, but we will build it.
Why do you have to keep repeating over and over again the same thing? To believe in the Messiah is indeed part of the Jewish Faith; but the collective Messiah. An individual Messiah does not make sense.
Now, this paragraph above lacks all human decency and commonsense.
And that makes sense. For example, if a Jew leaves Judaism to profess loyalty to another religion, it’s only obvious that he or she can no longer be considered a Jew. And this is true in all religions.
It means that Hosea was right when he said, “My People perish for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6)
If what I quoted lacked in human decency and common sense, then blame Maimonides. And no, the references which I posted do not refer to the Messiah as a collective, but has an individual (Maimonides was speaking thusly). I guess you are as Maimonides stated an unbeliever.