WHat Jews Like about Christianity

I’ve recently read some posts in other threads regarding certain things about my religion that were very distrubing. I’m assuming (and not asking for confirmation) that most people here do not share those sentiments. So, rather than start swapping insults I thought I would post something that acknowledges the importance of Christanity, from a Jewish perspective.

  1. Jews are supposed to be a nation of priests but the difficulty of Judiasm makes the likelihood of the entire world ever converting to Judaism all but impossible. However, Christianity, a fruit born from the tree of Torah, has succeeded in spreading the ideals of ethical and moral behavior and civilization (embraced in what we call the Noahide Laws) to much of the world. In this regard, the rejection of Jesus was one of the greatest gifts we gave to the world. Had the early christian jews succeeded within the Jewish tradition, Christanity would likely have remained just another sect of judaism and would never have spread throughout the world the way it did.

One way I can look at this is through the reasoning of Franz Rosenzweig (188601929). In trying to answer why God would create Judaism and then Christanity from its roots, Rosenzweig accepted that “no one comes to the Father but by the Son.” But he reasoned that since Jews were already with the Father (by being Jews), they had no need for the Son. But the gentile, who was not with the Father by any inherited right, could come to God only through the way of Jesus. I think that in some respects, this reflects part of the reasoning behind Vatican II.

Then there is 9/11. Despite how some have interpeted my posts on Islam here, I have no love for radical Islam.
(cont. next post).

Long before 9/11 Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote about people who would “eliminate the Bible from the consciousness of the Western world.” He was thinking of secularists, not radicial muslims at the time. But since 9/11, it has become evident that Jews and Christians (and for that matter, moderate muslims), both face a threat real threats to their existence, by militant Islamists who hate both our religions.

As a result of all this, I think many Jews have come to understand that Israel has a very strong friend in the American Evangelical Christian communities.

May Israel also come to know its friends in the Catholic Church, for we are many.

so Valke are we talking about what Jews like about Christianity or what Israel likes;)

[quote=Valke2] However, Christianity, a fruit born from the tree of Torah, has succeeded in spreading the ideals of ethical and moral behavior and civilization (embraced in what we call the Noahide Laws) to much of the world. In this regard, the rejection of Jesus was one of the greatest gifts we gave to the world. Had the early christian jews succeeded within the Jewish tradition, Christanity would likely have remained just another sect of judaism and would never have spread throughout the world the way it did.

[/quote]

I really like “Christianity, a fruit born from the tree of Torah.”

In Christian Sacred Scriptures we have from St. Paul (Saul of Tarsus): “For I am not ashamed of the gospel. It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: for Jew first, and then Greek.” Romans 1:16.

I think that even if The Way became another acceptable sect of Judaism it still would have spread to the Gentiles. Because The Way did not require circumcision to become an adherent it’s collision course with Judaism was inevitable (IMO of course). The idea that the Jew rejecting Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Jewish Messiah is a good thing for the eventual world wide spread of Christianity I find to be rather iffy.

I have no doubt. Pope John Paul II was very much liked by many in Israel. And for good reason.

Take your pick.

Well, I was presupposing that it would require circumcision. THe abandonment of this requirment and others had a lot to do with Christanity becoming its own faith. If Gentiles were required to adopt the commandments, including circumcision, it would have been much more difficult for Christanity to spread beyond the Jewish people.

[quote=Valke2]Well, I was presupposing that it would require circumcision. THe abandonment of this requirment and others had a lot to do with Christanity becoming its own faith. If Gentiles were required to adopt the commandments, including circumcision, it would have been much more difficult for Christanity to spread beyond the Jewish people.
[/quote]

Ahhh but this is the rub, the crux, the tipping point. When Paul allowed people to join The Way without circumcision it was a huge deal, within the Christian community as well as the Jewish one. The first Christian council was held to put the matter to rest c. AD 50. Christianity wasn’t made in illicit religion by Rome until AD 64 and up until that time held, by Roman Law maybe not by popular Jewish thought, the favorable status of a licit religion as a sect of Judaism. Just from Christian Sacred Scriptures we see most Jews rejected Paul’s claims that Jesus was the promised Messiah. I don’t think Jewish history or commentary from that same time period would say other wise.

I know there was at that time and maybe still is a very wide birth for different thoughts within the Jewish community. But the issue of circumcision is not one up for debate, or so I gather.

No. I’d agree with you. I guess I’m trying to say that had the Jews not rejected Paul, I don’t think Paul would have pushed for allowing gentiles to “join” without adopting the commandments.

In Paul’s own words:

[quote=St. Paul]Now I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel preached by me is not of human origin. For I did not receive it from a human being, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ. For you heard of my former way of life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it, and progressed in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my race, since I was even more a zealot for my ancestral traditions. But when (God), who from my mother’s womb had set me apart and called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him to the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; rather, I went into Arabia and then returned to Damascus. Galatians 1:11-17
[/quote]

(emphasis added)

:slight_smile:

Great Post Valke.

God bless,
Jon

Thanks Valke2 those were interesting posts. It’s always interesting to get a different perspective on things like that. It was also a pleasant change of pace to read something that wasn’t trying to be controversial :slight_smile:

I think you make good observations and I think it points toward something that we all should probably get used too. Chrisitans and Jews are stuck with each other for lack of a better way of putting it. We are the two religions on this world that follow Faiths given to us by the Living God.

We’ve had a rough times and those are to mourned but I think we can all accept that we’re better off sticking with each other. We might be a disfunctional family but we’re a family nontheless :wink:

Hmm I do not buy this line of logic at all. Jesus in the gospels said I know my sheep and my sheep know me and that rejecting him was the same as rejecting the Father. How does this jibe in any way? If one accepts the Trinity than rejecting one member is akin to rejecting them all.

[SIGN]One way I can look at this is through the reasoning of Franz Rosenzweig (188601929). In trying to answer why God would create Judaism and then Christanity from its roots, Rosenzweig accepted that “no one comes to the Father but by the Son.” But he reasoned that since Jews were already with the Father (by being Jews), they had no need for the Son. But the gentile, who was not with the Father by any inherited right, could come to God only through the way of Jesus. I think that in some respects, this reflects part of the reasoning behind Vatican II.[/SIGN]

It’s hard to seperate the two. Jews, nationality and dispersed have an intertwined destiny. What’s good for Israel is good for Jews.

O-KAY! :rolleyes:

Re: MTK’s post:

God holds the Jews most dear for the sake of their Fathers; He does not repent of the gifts He makes or of the calls He issues-such is the witness of the Apostle.(11) In company with the Prophets and the same Apostle, the Church awaits that day, known to God alone, on which all peoples will address the Lord in a single voice and “serve him shoulder to shoulder”

“For the sake of their fathers” i.e., an inherited place with God.

Hi Valke,

I happen to be the son of a Jewish father and Catholic mother. I am also a Northeasterner. I grew up with all the Jewish holidays and am more culturally Jewish than anything. I am proud to be half Hebrew.

If you can, think of it this way, God’s chosen people is Israel, in the Hebrew Scriptures (Jeremiah to be precise) Hashem promises that He will be worshipped by people in all nations. That is gentiles would be partakers of the promise through faith. When Christ (Messiah) came fulfilling the scriptures promises, he was the suffering servant Isaiah foretold, he broke down the barriers and allowed Gentiles to be grafted in. The Christian mandate of spreading the good news was always “To the Jew first and then the Gentile” so by faith in the Jewish Messiah, gentiles became partakers in the Abrahamic Covenant. However, the scriptures also warn that just as foreigners would be welcome in, those who rejected God’s covenant could be cut off even though a natural part of the tree. This was Paul (Saul’s) biggest concern for his people, that they would embrace the Meshiach who was Yeshua. He also said that all of Israel will be saved, indicating a mass “conversion” or should we say fulfilling of the Jews in Meshiach.

If you were to engage the Hebrew scriptures, particulrly Isiaih and the Psalms and then read the Gospel of Matthew ( a very Jewish book) you may be persuaded that Jesus is Meshiach. I would only ask that you ask Hashem to enlighten your reading of His word if you choose to do this.

Either way, it is good to see a MOT here. Happy Hannukah.

Mel

So you think Jews don’t have a vested interest in their own people 60 years after 1/3 of them were wiped off the planet?

I am half Jewish and I can tell you I appreciate anyone supports Israel and thus supports Jews. Now that does not mean I think everyones motives are right, but like it or not Israel is the Jewish state, the Jewish homeland. You cannot easily seperate the interest of Jews from Israel was all I was saying. Your eyeroll was disrespectful and ignorant.

I can agree with the generalities but not the specifics. Jews and Christians have been arguing over the meaning of Isaiah and other prophets for millenia. I don’t think we’re going to resolve it here. As I’m on a Catholic Forum, it is understandable that you might think I’m on the fence regarding Jesus. But the truth is I’m firmly in the Jewish camp :).

Nice meeting you.

Merry Christmas.

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