Yes. But He also showed that God had established Israel for a message that transcended the Jewish people - it was universal for all. So the children of Abraham are a spiritual lineage, not merely physical.
- Jesus’ teachings are on a reform of Torah observance emphasizing compassion over legalism, inclusion over purity and critiquing hypocrisy and idolatry. But not abolishing Torah observance.
Yes to the first sentence. On the second, Jesus teaches and the core/root of the Torah which the natural moral law. Various practices He taught were given by God for a time. To build the people, bind them together, prove and discipline them. This was done through the centuries to preserve God’s message to Abraham and to await a spiritual growth and evolution (so to speak) in readiness for the teachings of Jesus to come into the world. The Catholic Church does preserve many of the same (feast days, fast days, sacred music, vestments, incense, candles, iconography as with the cherubim on the arc, liturgical prayer of the psalms – much more). The apostles prayed in the temple and synagogues and much of Catholic practice simply evolved from that.
- Jesus sees himself as a atoning sacrifice using parallels of the sacrificial system.
Yes, and with this the Temple sacrifices ended. The blood of animals no longer had atoning power once the blood of Jesus was offered (and is still offered perpetually in the Catholic sacrifice of the Mass).
The wider Christian church in contrast (some far worse than others) is throughly gentile and has abandoned the roots of Judaism. Protestantism in general teaches cheap grace or easy justification and looses the value of observing the law. I do believe we are saved (from hell after death) by God alone. But what of sanctification?
The Catholic Church is much stronger in this regard in taking seriously the call to moral and devotional obedience. They uplift saints as examples of a holy life, foster prayer centered rule of life and recognize the role of disciplines prayer as a service of the church to the world, they don’t dismiss sin and transgressions and sweep them under the rug.
So if any church were to fulfill Judiasm it would certainty not be the evangelicals nor the mainline Protestants.
I think you’re right here. Protestantism actually cut itself off from Christian and therefore Jewish roots and created a simplified version of the faith. Catholicism preserves the historical roots that Jesus taught – all of the first Christian churches were started by Jewish-Christian apostles and there was even controversies about how much of Torah observance was required. St. Peter had a divine revelation teaching about the lifting of prohibitions of certain foods. With Jesus, God ushered in a time of greater mercy, grace and freedom – after (what we might think of) as centuries of penitential life under the Torah ritual.
Another thing you all can help me with is clarifying what true “Judiasm” should be? It’s not the historical sacrificial system of the 2nd temple. That was corrupt and it’s gone anyways. It’s not the modern Rabbinical system of either Reform which maintains the customs but removes the authority of observance and it’s not Orthodox which follow the legal opinions of man (The Rabbis, the Talmud) as if they were God’s commands. Rabbinical Judaism of course reject Jesus but they have more progress towards his teachings on compassion but they aren’t there yet. Jesus would still have a lot to criticize.
I think we are called to Jesus’ Judiasm but that seems to have disappeared as an institution. Clearly we are called to follow the God of Israel though, so how do we follow that call?
I think you’ve offered a very significant problem here with excellent insights into the various factors. It really does work exactly as you pointed out.
Roy Schoeman salvationisfromthejews.com/ and the Association of Hebrew Catholics (they work together and independently) are two tremendous resources you can reach out to for more information. They have superb knowledge. The history of Jewish-convert Catholics is fascinating and filled with remarkable, saintly people who everybody really should know more about.
But as for true Judaism, the Catholic Faith has understood itself as the New Israel or the New Jerusalem. We are all Jews in a sense, and yet as St. Paul teaches, “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”