Virtual Talmud

Virtual Talmud


Why Jews Needed Jesus

In the past few years there have emerged some very new and trailblazing studies on Jesus and his relationship to Judaism. Pope Bendict in his newly published book, “Jesus of Nazareth”, spent 18 pages addressing Jewish scholar Jacob Nuesner’s opposition to Jesus’ teachings and his interpretation of the Jewish tradition. The Pope’s words, like Neusner’s are written in the most respectful and thoughtful manner. Rabbi Waxman in his post goes further than Neusner arguing why Jews don’t need Jesus. The problem however, with Rabbi Waxman’s post is that he forgets just how much Jews in the first century did need Jesus. Yes, Neusner is correct that Jesus’ answer was wrong, but the rabbinic critique of Temple-based Judaism and Jesus’ critique of Judaism are both very similar and show how Judaism did, in some ways, need Jesus.


Both Christianity and rabbinic Judaism are outgrowths of a biblical world view that had ceased to make sense. Rabbinic Jews “heard” Jesus’ critique when they made interpersonal relationships the central aspect of religious life. There is a striking similarity between the way the Talmud argues that “Sinat Chinam” (gratuitous hatred) was the cause for the destruction of the Second Temple and the charges made by Jesus against Jewish leaders. Rabbinic Judaism moved away from the Bible’s theocentricism to a more anthropocenrtic worldview in turn mirroring much of Jesus’ challenge.
Judaism and Christianity are two very different systems of meaning. However, in order to understand one, the other is most certainly needed. Both emanate from the same roots.



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Dave

posted July 11, 2007 at 9:34 pm


Jews need Jesus
1/ As yet another subject to yak pointlessly about
2/ As a way of feeling superior to Christians (Yes I wrote ‘Christians’-another start of a pointless debate)
3/ Because it nice to know that if 1 billion people think someone was the ‘son of G-d’ its nice to know this guy was Jewish
4/ Yet another Jewish celebrity (unfortunately not in sports)
5/ My grandmother always said mamsers had to be smarter than everyone else-and she was usually right.
6/ Made ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ slightly more interesting.
7/ ‘Jews for Jesus’ helps ‘Jews for Judaism’s’ fundraising.
8/ ‘Messianic’ Jews rabbis make reform rabbis seem authoritative.
9/ Gives us allies when the Muslims try to kill us.
10/ “Always look on the bright side of life”. A good idea. Sometimes.



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ToniG

posted July 11, 2007 at 10:03 pm


How many non-Jew wrote the the story of Jesus?



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Scott R.

posted July 11, 2007 at 10:25 pm


All of them.



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Bob

posted July 12, 2007 at 5:45 am


To Dave,
Actually, it’s 2 billion Christians around the world; a little over 1 billion of us are Catholic. Maybe that’s what you were thinking of.



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Monica

posted July 12, 2007 at 1:13 pm


How many non-Jews wrote the story of Jesus? Only 1-Luke, who wrote both the “Gospel according to Luke”, and the “Acts of the Apostles”. ALL the other New Testament writers were Jewish. Sorry Scott R., but you are seriously mistaken.



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Scott R.

posted July 12, 2007 at 2:49 pm


Sorry Monica, but I am not.
As soon as anyone accepted JC as a god, they immediately became an apostate and ceased to be Jewish.
None of the writers of the “nt” were Jewish.



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Scott R.

posted July 12, 2007 at 2:53 pm


And how do we even know that any of the writers were born Jewish. “Nt” thought is so completely alien to the way of Jewish thinking. Only Paul says that he was a Jew, and since he was a known liar (“I became all things to all men”), why should we trust him.
The more they push their faith, the more we are forced to shred it.



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laura t mushkat

posted July 12, 2007 at 7:26 pm


What is the “Old Testament”-no such thing. There is only 1 Bible, for Jews, its first 5 books are also the Torah. Since Jews do not believe in anything having to do with the bible after it ends there is no “New Testament” just the Christian book of their bible as they see it. Christians think they see various refrence to Jesus in the Bible-we disagree.
Where Rabbi Stern learned what he said in the article must be his own ideas. Never heard anything like it.
Is there something on Beliefnet that tells us about his background?
If I find it I will let you know where to find it since this started evidently other posts that sound so strange to me, as subjects for soething called the Virtual Talmud.
Do our Christian posters even get what that refers to? Curious.
Laura



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laura t mushkat

posted July 12, 2007 at 7:57 pm


Help!
There used to be a place on the Virtual Talmud where they had pic and small background info on the Rabbi’s who blog here. Can not seem to get there,
Found various things out about Rabbi Stern on the Internet, so can you if interested. Interesting. Looking for what VT has on their site about him and other Rabbi bloggers.
Laura



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Joshua

posted July 12, 2007 at 8:52 pm


Okay, this is a bit ridiculous.
no matter how many times the Jews went and served other gods (read the Book of Judges), God NEVER disowned them. Not once. Therefore, Scott, the worst that you can say about the Jews who wrote the New Testament is that they are idolatrous Jews. You can’t take their heritage from them.



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Renee

posted July 12, 2007 at 9:04 pm


Hello… this is all very interesting. I am all for dialog and I love to find out what other people believe… (First though, the first post was absolutely brilliant. I especially loved # 10) So… anyway, I am not a Jew. I believe in Jesus as the Son of God. As a Christian (Catholic) I believe that Jesus showed us the love of God on the cross, and that forgiveness of any sin is possible, even that of killing God himself. I guess a Jewish person would see this as utter nonsense, but it is in my heart to believe and I also have not been able to be convinced otherwise. I think if we are going to dialog about our different faiths we shouldn’t be calling each other names like Saduccee or anti-semite, but approaching each other with mutual respect and with the knowledge that we seek out God in various ways, that we are all trying to know God as best we can, and that the different faiths are all valid ways to know God.



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zadick A

posted July 13, 2007 at 5:35 pm


Sorry Scott R but, Monica is right. All who wrote the “nt”,except Luke, were jews. A jew is a jew, even if he strays, make mistakes against Torah, says crazy stuff, or in shul three times a day, gives tzedaka,wears kippot, tefilin, etc.. Only HS could “gentilize” a jew. That’s why there is teshuvah. Halachically they were jews always. Kark Marx and Woody Allen are jews and their opinions on HS and His Torah are, arguebly,…yikes!…did they cease being jews? Would they, if alive in one case, have to “convert”?



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Candie

posted July 13, 2007 at 8:56 pm


If the writers of the New Testament ceased to be Jews, what can we say about modern Jewish writers? Most of today’s Judaism has nothing to do with Scripture-
where do you see where “good works” takes the place of sacrifice and Temple worship? (just one of many examples of oral tradition usurping the Tenach)



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rachel

posted July 14, 2007 at 10:11 pm


3 of The names attributed to the gospels are Jewish. However we don’t know who wrote them. Also the DaVinci code was on to something. There were many gospels written and the Nicean council decided which to place into the Xtian bible. The original Jewish followers had a Hebrew Mathew-long disappeared as did those original Xtians. They were led by the brother of Jesus named Yaakov(james) and observed Orhtodox Judaism and did not deify Jesus. It was only after the goyim took over that they melded greco roman religion onto the once Jewish sect.



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Abe Yonder

posted July 15, 2007 at 2:28 am


About the question of whether the writers of the new testament were Jewish or not…
Matthew and Mark were Galileans, Matthew a disciple of Jesus, and Mark a nephew of a disciple. They both copied the book of Luke; Luke was a Greek proselyte and uncircumcised. The gospel of St. John was written in 95 CE by a Greek heretic named Cerrenthus and is the only gospel that claims that Jesus was more than a man. Acts of the Apostles was also written by Luke, the Greek. The letters of Paul were written by Paul, proof of this is in the poor use of his Greek grammar. Paul, who was a Jew and a Pharisee, was raised in a Greek university town that had a large population of Orphic Christians, Paul became a proselyte to the Greek Christians and converted them to Jesus. The book of James was written by the brother of Jesus and does not mention Jesus at all except in the introduction. The books of Peter were written in the mid first century a hundred years after Peter and Paul were dead. The book to the Hebrews has an unknown author. The three small books of John and Revelation were very probably written by John, the beloved disciple and a fisherman of Gallilee about 100 CE. when he was very old.



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Chana

posted July 15, 2007 at 10:50 am


We Jews have never needed Jesus.
The Torah is complete in itself. The Tanakh – the Hebrew Scriptures known to Christians as the Old Testament has everything in it a Jew needs to know G-d, to serve G-d, to change our lives, to worship, to be Jewish. It is very arrogant of Jesus’ followers to deny that the Hebrew Scriptures do not have any power over the lives of Jews, or that our Scriptures are not able to teach us, form us, draw us near Him, help us to re-make ourselves, uplift us, inspire us, correct us, give us intimate contact with Our Father, our King.
Christians do not know our history, our writings, our commentaries. A lot of assumptions are made based on their study of their Testament they call the New Testament.
This so called Testament or scripture’s to whom they give absolute authority are not accurate in presentation of that time in Our History or even the time they are supposed to be written about.
What they believe it not that important unless it affects how they treat others. How they live and how they treat others is what counts in our lives and we believe in the “eyes of G-d” also.
Jews believe we will be ultimately judged by how we have lived our lives, NOT by whom we have “believed on”.
That is if there is an “ultimate judgment”. There are those among us who believe all souls where created at the time of creation and travel or are “recycled” into physical form to learn the lessons needed to make a final jump to eternity or Gan Eden.
Who is right – it does not matter. Much ado about religion is “ego-based” and much ado about nothing, is my opinion.
I want ALL people to be happy, to have health, to have peace, know peace, want peace and to experience a good live of spiritual growth, loving themselves, loving others and loving Our Creator whomever they suppose that Power may be. If Jesus’ and the teachings of his followers help anyone I say hooray!
As a Jew I personally think this Jesus person is more myth than actual, but the person is not that important it is the teachings incorporated into a life that bear fruit. There are a lot of the same teachings we Jews find in our Scriptures sprinkled through-out their scriptures, and also in Buddhist scriptures and in the Koran.
Truth is truth period – where ever you may find it and All Truth or Wisdom has one source and is spread among ALL of G-d’s creatures.
We are free to choose.
What is sad we sometimes in our choices do not give ourselves freedom to love, to accept, to forgive.
Thanks for reading my post – Shalom to All



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Chana

posted July 15, 2007 at 11:59 am


The Dalia Lama has said 2 things we “people of the Book” Jewish or Christian would do well to keep in mind:
“Anger or hatred is like a fisherman’s hook. It is very important for us to ensure that we are not caught by it”. And:
“Every morning when I look in the mirror, I say, “It is not about me”.
Apologetics can be a lot of fun, but so much of it is “preaching to the choir”!
Dear Christians use your time and energy to improve your own lives and trust G-d to improve ours, : ) G-d is able to do for His own what is necessary. REALLY!



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Renee

posted July 15, 2007 at 2:56 pm


Hi Chana, thanks for your post. I didn’t know that some people of Jewish faith believe that there is a kind of “recycling” going on throughout humanity. That’s very interesting. Jesus even said that John the Baptist was Elijah… but we Christians think that this means that he came with “the Spirit of Elijah” more than as a reincarnation of him. I know that we give the Old Testament as much authority as the new, but Jesus said that he came to “fulfill the Law” not to abolish it. So yes, as a Christian, I believe and the Church believes that the Jewish covenant is the original, direct covenant with G-D. (I hyphenated out of respect for you). Yet, as a Christian I also believe that Jesus established a new covenant with HIS (G-D’s) own blood this time around. (that doesn’t replace the Old, but fulfills it) If I didn’t believe that Jesus was in fact G-D himself, then this would be nonsense. I believe in what St Francis said, when it comes to evangelization (sorry if I spelled that wrong), “preach the gospel always, when necessary, use words.” More people should simply follow what Jesus preached and not talk about it and call people names who don’t share their beliefs… If more people simply followed the words and teachings of Jesus, which they say they believe, the world would be overcome with peace! Also, as for salvation and how we will be judged, Christians should look to the picture of the judgment in Revelation where Jesus separates the good -”sheep” and the evil- “goats” and says “what you did to the least of my people, that you did unto ME.” Meaning that we WILL be judged on how we treat people, and people of any faith, or none, will be judged in the same way, for God has written his Law on our hearts and no one is exempt from following it. Really there is too much to write about here on how Christians SHOULD believe in the salvation of ALL the world, even the little critters! But we don’t always truly understand the scriptures. Actually, Christians are the ones in need of deeper conversion and direction to their OWN beliefs. I mean, even St Paul says simply to be ready to give an account of your joy to any who might ask… he doesn’t say to hit people over the head with it. There are those who are given a gift to evangelize, but that always has to be used with ALL sensitivity to the person. Peace.



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Donny

posted July 15, 2007 at 5:14 pm


Mr. Scott R.,
“The more they push their faith, the more we are forced to shred it.”
Hmmm, where have I heard something like that “before?”
Wellllll, the “NT” of course.
My, my, there really is nothing new under the sun.
Now if you would please, how does the DNA/genetics “change” in an Israelite/Judahite/Jew, when they become an apostate of Judaism? (Which – by the way – is NOT something Moses implemented.)
Science if you would please? Bigotry does nothing for debate, but show your position as such.



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Chana

posted July 15, 2007 at 11:35 pm


Hi Renee, this is from Chana- I enjoyed reading your post and i can see where we share a common bond – that is very meaningful.
Thank you. I appreciate you and your sensitive sharing.
It would truly be wonderful if the world was overcome with peace!
Yes, the Chabad Orthodox believe souls are “recycled”. It is a branch of Orthodox Jews who are very loving and accepting of all people and do not try to force their beliefs on anyone.
They have a fire and passion for G-d and unlike some of the other Orthodox Jews welcome any Jew into their midst regardless of level of observance or lack thereof.
I have a half brother who is a Christian and he thinks the Chabadnics are the “pentecostals”(sp?) of Judaism!
Well, they certainly are the happiest and make the most noise. I love their services, their loving kindness and their zeal for Hashem.
“HaShem means “The Name” in a very reverent and respectful way and also shares a meaning referring to G-d’s mercy. Like “The Name of the Merciful One”.
Please remember, as you practice your beliefs, there are Jews who honor your faith even with the really obvious differences of dogma/beliefs. We will not want to go where you go but we will be thankful for you and see you as a righteous Gentile – and please overlook it if that sounds kind of religiously “snobbish”. Shalom dear heart!



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Hali

posted July 16, 2007 at 10:57 am


If Jesus’s disciples had only written down his teachings, rather than start a new religion after his crucifixion, would there be so much controversy surrounding him?



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Marlene Emmett

posted July 19, 2007 at 12:40 pm


Rachel: Yes, The film *the Da Vinci Code/Dan Brown’s book was on to
something* There is another book called *The Gnostic Gospels by
Elaine Pagels* that tells all about the Gospels that were written and
gotten rid of by the Council Of Nycia~There was the Gospel of Phillip,
The Gospel of Thomas,The Gospel of Mary,also the Gospels of Judas(which
has been found in Israel)which were deemed to be too controversial!
The Council got rid of these so that they could “Set the Chruch up
the way they wanted it~Woman are a major threat to them/still are”
I beleive in what the DaVinci Code had to say~ For all we do know
Jesus was married~Look at the film “The Last Temptation of Christ~
it shows that Jesus and Mary Magadelane had a relationship and that
she was with child* We will never really know but we can feel free to
question this in our minds and hearts!



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Renee

posted July 30, 2007 at 5:22 pm


Dear Chana, thank you for all that you said in response… I am most grateful and am happy to be thought of as a “righteous gentile!” That makes me smile! I guess people have moved on from this post, but I wanted to say, if you do check this out again, that “salvation comes from the Jews.” You always are and forever will be God’s chosen people… I can only be “grafted” into salvation, but you have it from the start! Think of that! It says somewhere that “in His name the Gentiles shall hope…” (Paraphrase) Shalom and thanks also for explaning more about Hashem and also about the Chabad Orthodox. Religion is really fascinating is it not? And then, its abuse can also cause the most horrific evils… But yipes I want to end on a positive note… God bless you! “Love God with all your heart, mind, and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself” The two greatest commandments!



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