Is Jesus same MashiH?

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cnorman18

Re: Is Jesus same MashiH?

Post #21

Post by cnorman18 »

bluethread wrote:
cnorman18 wrote:
Christians, as I keep saying, may believe whatever they like with no argument from me; but they may not dictate what Jews ought to believe, or even more outrageously what Jews actually do believe and are too benighted to understand.

Period, full stop.
Let me make one thing clear. I am not dictating that anyone believe anything. I am simply responding to an inquiry regarding what I believe. So, shall we agree that neither of us should be playing the victim card when someone does not share our views?
Don't assume that I'm only speaking to you, either. I have debated this issue many, many times, and there are Christians on this forum who can be depended upon to make the very arguments, and take the very pontifical position, which I was proactively countering in that statement. I'm just making my own position clear in advance; if you want to characterize that as "playing the victim," that's your perception, not mine.
Regarding the greater context, which Goat appears to believe covers some 13 chapters or so, I will need time to review that greater context.
Oh, I'd say the context covers the entire Tanakh as well as the entire corpus of Jewish learning, literature and tradition. If we Jews are to take the Christian teachings about the nature of the Messiah seriously, I would think that the first thing we would look for is that those teachings -- God incarnate, Resurrection, forgiveness of sins, salvation through belief alone, and so on -- should be clearly visible throughout our Scriptures and traditions and not confined to a few isolated verses which have to be interpreted in oddly idiosyncratic ways -- and which, not incidentally, also conflict with teachings that are very prominently spread throughout all our history and tradition -- e.g., that every man bears his own burden of sin and no one can bear it for him, that forgiveness is obtained only by repentance, prayer, and works of lovingkindness, and so on.

Belief in Jesus as the Christ does not only require Jews to accept that he was the Messiah according to our own traditions and teachings -- it requires us to discard some of the most central and essential teachings of Judaism in favor of an entirely different understanding of the nature of, and the relationships between and among, humans and God and the world

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Re: Is Jesus same MashiH?

Post #22

Post by bluethread »

cnorman18 wrote:
bluethread wrote: Let me make one thing clear. I am not dictating that anyone believe anything. I am simply responding to an inquiry regarding what I believe. So, shall we agree that neither of us should be playing the victim card when someone does not share our views?
Don't assume that I'm only speaking to you, either. I have debated this issue many, many times, and there are Christians on this forum who can be depended upon to make the very arguments, and take the very pontifical position, which I was proactively countering in that statement. I'm just making my own position clear in advance; if you want to characterize that as "playing the victim," that's your perception, not mine.
Well, then how am I supposed to respond to your reactions to my remarks?
Regarding the greater context, which Goat appears to believe covers some 13 chapters or so, I will need time to review that greater context.
Oh, I'd say the context covers the entire Tanakh as well as the entire corpus of Jewish learning, literature and tradition. If we Jews are to take the Christian teachings about the nature of the Messiah seriously, I would think that the first thing we would look for is that those teachings -- God incarnate, Resurrection, forgiveness of sins, salvation through belief alone, and so on -- should be clearly visible throughout our Scriptures and traditions and not confined to a few isolated verses which have to be interpreted in oddly idiosyncratic ways -- and which, not incidentally, also conflict with teachings that are very prominently spread throughout all our history and tradition -- e.g., that every man bears his own burden of sin and no one can bear it for him, that forgiveness is obtained only by repentance, prayer, and works of lovingkindness, and so on.

Belief in Jesus as the Christ does not only require Jews to accept that he was the Messiah according to our own traditions and teachings -- it requires us to discard some of the most central and essential teachings of Judaism in favor of an entirely different understanding of the nature of, and the relationships between and among, humans and God and the world
So, how do you suggest we approach the question? Should this thread be off limits to anyone who is not a certified rabbi?

cnorman18

Re: Is Jesus same MashiH?

Post #23

Post by cnorman18 »

bluethread wrote:
cnorman18 wrote:
bluethread wrote: Let me make one thing clear. I am not dictating that anyone believe anything. I am simply responding to an inquiry regarding what I believe. So, shall we agree that neither of us should be playing the victim card when someone does not share our views?
Don't assume that I'm only speaking to you, either. I have debated this issue many, many times, and there are Christians on this forum who can be depended upon to make the very arguments, and take the very pontifical position, which I was proactively countering in that statement. I'm just making my own position clear in advance; if you want to characterize that as "playing the victim," that's your perception, not mine.
Well, then how am I supposed to respond to your reactions to my remarks?
I don't see why that's a problem. I'm stating my position and trying to clarify the nature of Jewish beliefs about the Messiah. That's all. Did you have something else in mind?
Regarding the greater context, which Goat appears to believe covers some 13 chapters or so, I will need time to review that greater context.
Oh, I'd say the context covers the entire Tanakh as well as the entire corpus of Jewish learning, literature and tradition. If we Jews are to take the Christian teachings about the nature of the Messiah seriously, I would think that the first thing we would look for is that those teachings -- God incarnate, Resurrection, forgiveness of sins, salvation through belief alone, and so on -- should be clearly visible throughout our Scriptures and traditions and not confined to a few isolated verses which have to be interpreted in oddly idiosyncratic ways -- and which, not incidentally, also conflict with teachings that are very prominently spread throughout all our history and tradition -- e.g., that every man bears his own burden of sin and no one can bear it for him, that forgiveness is obtained only by repentance, prayer, and works of lovingkindness, and so on.

Belief in Jesus as the Christ does not only require Jews to accept that he was the Messiah according to our own traditions and teachings -- it requires us to discard some of the most central and essential teachings of Judaism in favor of an entirely different understanding of the nature of, and the relationships between and among, humans and God and the world.
So, how do you suggest we approach the question? Should this thread be off limits to anyone who is not a certified rabbi?
What ARE you talking about? What "question"?

If you think that the point of this thread is to try to convince Jews to accept that our Scripture show that Jesus was the Messiah, or to convince us to believe in Jesus as the Christ -- well, that effort is doomed to failure. As far as I'm concerned, we're just talking and comparing beliefs. I don't say that your beliefs about Jesus are false; I just say that they are not my own, and that they are not Jewish beliefs.

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Post #24

Post by Goat »

Moses Yoder wrote:If Jesus was resurected from the dead, how can He not be the Messiah? I understand, I can't prove He was. Just wondering if Jews then assume He was not resurected. I read some of CNormans post, but not the whole book. Maybe when I have more time I will. Part 2, I always assumed Jesus only fulfilled some of the prophecys of the Messiah the first time He was here. The rest are to be fulfilled in the future when He returns. Part 3, is it also assumed Jesus did not actually perform miracles, such as healing leprosy, etc. If He actually did those and then gave His apostles power to do the same, how can He not be the Messiah?
Well, where in the Jewish scriptures does it say that 'The messsiah will be resurrected from the dead'. Hint.. It doesn't. In Judaism, there is no assumption that someone will come back to finish it the second time around. That sounds like an ad hoc addition to explain why the requirements were not full filled.
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Post #25

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cnorman18 wrote:
Mithrae wrote:But having read through Cnorman's first post, I don't think I saw any biblical references to this 'messiah' he's talking about. Without subjecting themsleves to accusation of eisegesis, Christians may have no reference to 'messiah' besides Daniel 9 - but by that same standard, what 'messiah' references do Jews have?

To my mind it seems self-evident that 19th or 20th century Judaism no more represents 1st century Judaism than 19th or 20th century Christianity represents 1st or 2nd century Christianity. So we're reduced (sigh) to the level of looking at ancient writings rather than taking folks' word for it. Was the 'interpretation' and wishful thinking of 1st century Jews obviously superior to the 'interpretation' and wishful thinking of 1st century Christians?
For starters, you're laboring under a very common misconception; that the Tanakh holds the same sort of ultimate authority for Jews that the Christian Bible holds for Christians. It doesn't, and never did. Jewish teachings and practices cannot be derived from the Bible; the Bible, for Jews, is unintelligible without the assistance of the tradition of teaching, interpretation, and debate that we have maintained and revised for many centuries. Much of it can be found in the Talmud, but by no means all. That tradition of debate and revision continues to this day.

The same is true of Christians, of course, but only the Roman Catholic Church explicitly acknowledges the fact; there are TWO authorities in the RCC -- the Bible and Holy Mother Church. Protestants, too, have their own interpretations of Scripture which take precedence over other readings, but each sect generally just maintains that its particular reading is the only acceptable one. Sola Scriptura has always been an unsustainable claim; without some system or tradition of interpretation, the Bible is almost completely opaque.

Jewish thought about the Messiah has changed a very great deal since the first century; today, very many Jews no longer speak of a personal Messiah at all, but of a "Messianic Age." It is also a common belief that the Messiah will not be the agent who institutes a time of perfect peace and justice, but that that is OUR job, we humans (not just Jews), and that the Messiah will come only after that job is accomplished. There are other schools of thought as well, but none of them hold that Jesus was in any sense the Jewish Messiah.

For an excellent discussion and explanation of the rejection of Jesus in his own day, one might consult David Klinghoffer's excellent book, Why The Jews Rejected Jesus.[/i] For a more modern explanation, consult any good book on basic Judaism, such as Judaism for Dummies or Milton Steinberg's Basic Judaism.
Excellent points. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds to me like the Jewish Messiah concept is in many ways comparable to the Christians' hypostatic union; derived from scriptures, with a healthy dose of historical developments/tradition, but not explicitly named or clearly spelled out in those scriptures. Jesus' supposed nature as both God and man is very much an acknowledged and indeed non-negotiable aspect of many Christian sects, but because it's not clearly spelled out in any single bible passage we still have healthy debates cropping up on occasion about whether Jesus was (or claimed to be) God - and to my mind it's areas of ambiguity like that which make religion a subject of continual interest.

I'd be surprised if there were any sect of Judaism, Christianity or Islam which follows with anywhere near complete consistency from the earlier canons of scripture which is why, as you note, they've all been developing and changing across the millenia in response to changes in circumstances, culture and civilization. The world would no doubt be a happier place if members of those groups would embrace their shared heritage and commonalities rather than fixating on their differences. It's always puzzled me, for example, why Protestants don't laud Muhammad as something of a reformer against the degenerate Christianity of his day, his views not so different from the early Ebionites. Ironically the Roman Catholic Church has gone further in recognising Islam than most Protestants :lol:

Anyways, long story short I agree that Christians or Muslims trying to persuade Jews that Jesus was the Messiah is little more than an exercise in futility, especially when a large part of the effort relies on gospel stories which may have been crafted to fit their (often misunderstood) prophecies. But by the same token (and my initial reason for posting), sceptics or Jews trying to tell Christians that Jesus wasn't the Messiah because he didn't fulfill the prophecies would apparently be misunderstanding the fluid nature of the concept relative to scripture itself. In other words, seems to me that any claimed 'messianic prophecies' are an expression of cultural interpretation for Jews and Christians alike - there are no objective criteria.


Edit: btw, given the suspect nature of the birth stories and genealogies in Matthew and Luke, personally I'd say you're probably right that Jesus (or perhaps Mark) didn't believe the Messiah was a descendant of David.

cnorman18

Post #26

Post by cnorman18 »

Mithrae wrote:
cnorman18 wrote:
Mithrae wrote:But having read through Cnorman's first post, I don't think I saw any biblical references to this 'messiah' he's talking about. Without subjecting themsleves to accusation of eisegesis, Christians may have no reference to 'messiah' besides Daniel 9 - but by that same standard, what 'messiah' references do Jews have?

To my mind it seems self-evident that 19th or 20th century Judaism no more represents 1st century Judaism than 19th or 20th century Christianity represents 1st or 2nd century Christianity. So we're reduced (sigh) to the level of looking at ancient writings rather than taking folks' word for it. Was the 'interpretation' and wishful thinking of 1st century Jews obviously superior to the 'interpretation' and wishful thinking of 1st century Christians?
For starters, you're laboring under a very common misconception; that the Tanakh holds the same sort of ultimate authority for Jews that the Christian Bible holds for Christians. It doesn't, and never did. Jewish teachings and practices cannot be derived from the Bible; the Bible, for Jews, is unintelligible without the assistance of the tradition of teaching, interpretation, and debate that we have maintained and revised for many centuries. Much of it can be found in the Talmud, but by no means all. That tradition of debate and revision continues to this day.

The same is true of Christians, of course, but only the Roman Catholic Church explicitly acknowledges the fact; there are TWO authorities in the RCC -- the Bible and Holy Mother Church. Protestants, too, have their own interpretations of Scripture which take precedence over other readings, but each sect generally just maintains that its particular reading is the only acceptable one. Sola Scriptura has always been an unsustainable claim; without some system or tradition of interpretation, the Bible is almost completely opaque.

Jewish thought about the Messiah has changed a very great deal since the first century; today, very many Jews no longer speak of a personal Messiah at all, but of a "Messianic Age." It is also a common belief that the Messiah will not be the agent who institutes a time of perfect peace and justice, but that that is OUR job, we humans (not just Jews), and that the Messiah will come only after that job is accomplished. There are other schools of thought as well, but none of them hold that Jesus was in any sense the Jewish Messiah.

For an excellent discussion and explanation of the rejection of Jesus in his own day, one might consult David Klinghoffer's excellent book, Why The Jews Rejected Jesus.[/i] For a more modern explanation, consult any good book on basic Judaism, such as Judaism for Dummies or Milton Steinberg's Basic Judaism.
Excellent points. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds to me like the Jewish Messiah concept is in many ways comparable to the Christians' hypostatic union; derived from scriptures, with a healthy dose of historical developments/tradition, but not explicitly named or clearly spelled out in those scriptures. Jesus' supposed nature as both God and man is very much an acknowledged and indeed non-negotiable aspect of many Christian sects, but because it's not clearly spelled out in any single bible passage we still have healthy debates cropping up on occasion about whether Jesus was (or claimed to be) God - and to my mind it's areas of ambiguity like that which make religion a subject of continual interest.

I'd be surprised if there were any sect of Judaism, Christianity or Islam which follows with anywhere near complete consistency from the earlier canons of scripture which is why, as you note, they've all been developing and changing across the millenia in response to changes in circumstances, culture and civilization. The world would no doubt be a happier place if members of those groups would embrace their shared heritage and commonalities rather than fixating on their differences. It's always puzzled me, for example, why Protestants don't laud Muhammad as something of a reformer against the degenerate Christianity of his day, his views not so different from the early Ebionites. Ironically the Roman Catholic Church has gone further in recognising Islam than most Protestants :lol:

Anyways, long story short I agree that Christians or Muslims trying to persuade Jews that Jesus was the Messiah is little more than an exercise in futility, especially when a large part of the effort relies on gospel stories which may have been crafted to fit their (often misunderstood) prophecies. But by the same token (and my initial reason for posting), sceptics or Jews trying to tell Christians that Jesus wasn't the Messiah because he didn't fulfill the prophecies would apparently be misunderstanding the fluid nature of the concept relative to scripture itself. In other words, seems to me that any claimed 'messianic prophecies' are an expression of cultural interpretation for Jews and Christians alike - there are no objective criteria.
Well, since Jews, unlike either Christians or Muslims, don't claim to be the keepers of the One True Faith -- and since the Messiah-concept is all but irrelevant to Judaism today - I guess I'm OK with all that. I have no intention of telling Christians not to worship Jesus, or follow Jesus, or whatever it is they do. Like I keep saying, not my business. In that first post of mine to which I posted a link, I mentioned my own suspicion that Jesus was sent as a "Messiah" to the Gentiles. My own rabbi raised an eyebrow at hearing that, but admitted that he had no warrant to say that idea was wrong. Me, I don't claim to know.

I just know that Jesus wasn't the JEWISH Messiah. Beyond that, I have no reason to go.

I don't think the three faiths will ever merge, or anything like it -- they are far too different, with different basic premises, attitudes, and goals. It would be nice if we could drop the mutual hostility, though. From where I sit, we Jews have more often been the object of hostility than its bearers, but of course I admit to some bias in that regard.

Whatever. I think a good first step would be if Islam and Christianity stopped declaring other religions false. That doesn't mean accepting them as true; just leaving it up to God. I'm doubtful whether that's possible, either.

ETA: You're right. The fact is, it was rare even in Jesus's day for a Jew to know which tribe he was from, other than Levites and Kohanim. It's even rarer today. I'd add that I'm not all that sure that Jesus thought of himself as the Messiah anyway. I think it rather more likely that he was an early reformer, a "rabbi" (the term was not yet in general use among Jews) of the Pharasaic persuasion, opposed to the Temple hierarchy, who had a LOT of words put in his mouth after the fact.

But, of course, as a Jew, it doesn't matter much to me.

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Post #27

Post by Moses Yoder »

cnorman18 wrote:
Moses Yoder wrote:If Jesus was resurected from the dead, how can He not be the Messiah? I understand, I can't prove He was. Just wondering if Jews then assume He was not resurected. I read some of CNormans post, but not the whole book. Maybe when I have more time I will. Part 2, I always assumed Jesus only fulfilled some of the prophecys of the Messiah the first time He was here. The rest are to be fulfilled in the future when He returns. Part 3, is it also assumed Jesus did not actually perform miracles, such as healing leprosy, etc. If He actually did those and then gave His apostles power to do the same, how can He not be the Messiah?
There is nothing in Jewish tradition about the Messiah being raised from the dead.

There is nothing in Jewish tradition about the Messiah coming TWICE.

There is nothing in Jewish tradition about the Messiah being a healer or worker of miracles. Further, healers and wonderworkers were thick on the ground in Jesus's day, just as they are today.

On all these matters, cherrypicked Christian reinterpretations of Jewish scriptures are irrelevant.

The standard, for Jews, is the same now as it was then; when Messiah comes, the world will be filled with peace, justice and piety. It isn't. No one has any right to tell us Jews that that standard must change.
In nature, things tend to head toward chaos.
The Remarkable Birth of Planet Earth, by Henry Morris:

(p. 14) All processes manifest a tendency toward decay and disintegration, with a net increase in what is called the entropy, or state of randomness or disorder, of the system. This is called the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

(p. 19) There is a universal tendency for all systems to go from order to disorder, as stated in the Second Law, and this tendency can only be arrested and reversed under very special circumstances. We have already seen, in Chapter I, that disorder can never produce order through any kind of random process. There must be present some form of code or program, to direct the ordering process, and this code must contain at least as much "information" as is needed to provide this direction.
Furthermore, there must be present some kind of mechanism for converting the environmental energy into the energy required to produce the higher organization of the system involved. ...
Thus, any system that experiences even a temporary growth in order and complexity must not only be "open" to the sun's energy but must also contain a "program" to direct the growth and a "mechanism" to energize the growth.
Theory one; If we somehow evolved to a high level of morality, chances are we are now devolving, as stated by the second law of thermodynamics.

Theory two; If we were created , fewer people will believe in God as time passes. Therefore morals will devolve (see second law of thermodynamics.)

In neither case do we gravitate toward a peaceful world.

cnorman18

Post #28

Post by cnorman18 »

Moses Yoder wrote:
In nature, things tend to head toward chaos....
The Remarkable Birth of Planet Earth, by Henry Morris:

(p. 14) All processes manifest a tendency toward decay and disintegration, with a net increase in what is called the entropy, or state of randomness or disorder, of the system. This is called the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

(p. 19) There is a universal tendency for all systems to go from order to disorder, as stated in the Second Law, and this tendency can only be arrested and reversed under very special circumstances. We have already seen, in Chapter I, that disorder can never produce order through any kind of random process. There must be present some form of code or program, to direct the ordering process, and this code must contain at least as much "information" as is needed to provide this direction.
Furthermore, there must be present some kind of mechanism for converting the environmental energy into the energy required to produce the higher organization of the system involved. ...
Thus, any system that experiences even a temporary growth in order and complexity must not only be "open" to the sun's energy but must also contain a "program" to direct the growth and a "mechanism" to energize the growth.
Theory one; If we somehow evolved to a high level of morality, chances are we are now devolving, as stated by the second law of thermodynamics.

Theory two; If we were created , fewer people will believe in God as time passes. Therefore morals will devolve (see second law of thermodynamics.)

In neither case do we gravitate toward a peaceful world.
LOL!

What on Earth makes you think that the second law of thermodynamics applies to either MORALITY or BELIEF? Please give the page reference in any standard physics book... LOL!

This is the purest example of both non sequitur and nonsense that I've ever seen! Application of "If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with --" How does that go again?

Haven

Post #29

Post by Haven »

Moses Yoder wrote:Theory one; If we somehow evolved to a high level of morality, chances are we are now devolving, as stated by the second law of thermodynamics.

Theory two; If we were created , fewer people will believe in God as time passes. Therefore morals will devolve (see second law of thermodynamics.)
The second law of thermodynamics has nothing to do with morality, belief in god(s) or any other human ideals or mental constructs. The second law of thermodynamics deals only with the behavior of matter and energy in a closed system. It states that matter and energy tend toward entropy in a closed system.

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Re: Is Jesus same MashiH?

Post #30

Post by bluethread »

cnorman18 wrote:
bluethread wrote: So, how do you suggest we approach the question? Should this thread be off limits to anyone who is not a certified rabbi?
What ARE you talking about? What "question"?

If you think that the point of this thread is to try to convince Jews to accept that our Scripture show that Jesus was the Messiah, or to convince us to believe in Jesus as the Christ -- well, that effort is doomed to failure. As far as I'm concerned, we're just talking and comparing beliefs. I don't say that your beliefs about Jesus are false; I just say that they are not my own, and that they are not Jewish beliefs.

Old saying from my childhood: "Wanna fight? So join the Marines."
What question? Is Yeshua HaMeshiach, of course? Isn't that what this thread is about? I personally do not expect to convince anyone of anything. In spite of any opinions or experiences that one may have had with others, my interest is in examining the questions posed. If others are convinced or not is secondary at best.

So, are you simply refering to the beliefs I have experessed on this thread or is this another post that I am supposed to take as addressed to others and not just me? Sorry, in english "your beliefs" can be singular or plural.

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