A question is a question when a person really wants to know an answer, right? Some people throw up questions like roadblocks and they probably won't like what's at the other end of these links. But if you are one of the people who are genuinely curious about how Jewish people can believe in Jesus, if you really want to get somewhere in your understanding of what he could mean to you and why, you can probably find answers to some of your questions here. We hope these links prove helpful. If you have another question that you do not see addressed, we would like to hear it and have an opportunity to send you a thoughtful answer.
Many contemporary Jews are ambivalent about the Jewish Scriptures, and unwilling to accept them as God’s communication to us. They find large portions of the "Old Testament" irrelevant, full of violence and ways of life that we’ve outgrown—such as animal sacrifice. Yet the Bible remains central to our identity as Jews so many will mine the prophets for their ethics and the Torah for a sense of tradition and history.
And though it's not often said, many contemporary Jews also have have mixed feelings about the “New Testament.” It's thought to be the Gentiles' book, even an anti-Semitic book. Yet those who read for themselves find Jesus’ teachings strangely compelling and very Jewish.
In this section we explore possible reasons to believe that the Bible (both Old and New Testament) really is God's communication to us. We'll also zoom in on the questions of how Jewish the New Testament is, and whether it is in fact anti-Semitic.
Maybe it was okay for Jews to believe in Jesus in the first century, some declare. But now we've had two thousand years of history behind us - and it isn't pretty. The Crusades, the Inquisition, the Holocaust - all was fanned by flames of Christian anti-Semitism, rooted right in the New Testament.
But that's just one reason Jews don't believe in Jesus, it's said. Everyone knows that you can't be Jewish and a Christian at the same time - it's an oxymoron! And Those Jews who do say they believe in Jesus are a marginal bunch - they have emotional problems or come from troubled backgrounds.
This section is for the armchair sociologists. We'll explore the phenomenon of Christian anti-Semitism, the kinds of Jews that believe in Jesus, and the question of whether Jewish believers in Jesus "misuse" Jewish symbols.
One thing is certain; after two thousand years, Jesus of Nazareth is still as controversial in the Jewish community as he was in the first century. Still, most hold to the traditional bottom line that whatever he was, he wasn't the expected Messiah.
Jews for Jesus begs to differ. We believe that Jesus was, and still is, who he claimed to be-the Messiah of Israel and of all nations. In this section, we present you with arguments for his Messiahship and respond to objections that you may have heard or raised. In this way, we join with those first-century Jews and Gentiles who found Jesus-in Hebrew, Y'shua-to be "the way, the truth, and the life."
Have you ever wondered what kind of a Jewish person would believe in Jesus? The answer is, all kinds. There are Jewish doctors, surfers, lawyers, artists, Holocaust survivors, musicians, tradesmen, engineers, college students, college drop-outs, scientists and Chaim Yankels (“average Joes”) who believe that Jesus is the Messiah. They all had reasons why they would never believe . . . but they were willing to examine those reasons and more importantly, they were willing to ask God to show them the truth. Maybe one of their journeys will resonate with you.
Some say that Jesus was a good teacher who never claimed to be the Messiah or the Son of God. They claim that Paul imported pagan ideas into the Jewish teaching of Jesus in order to appeal to the Gentiles and create a new religion. Paul, some say, was the real "inventor" of Christianity and a detractor of Judaism who taught that the Torah was of no value.
The theory enables Jewish people to embrace Jesus while rejecting Christianity, but does it hold up under inquiry? In this section, we take a look at the essential Jewishness of Paul and his writings, his ethics, and his love for his own people.
The (Jewish) writers of the New Testament asserted that the Old Testament spoke of a coming Messiah and quoted from it extensively to prove their point. Even Jesus himself - whom many Jewish people will declare to be a good rabbi and teacher - said to those who sat under his teaching, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself." (Luke 24:25-27)
Since the first century, the issue of "messianic prophecy" has been a hot-button topic. Does Isaiah 53 speak of Israel, or of a Messiah? Did Isaiah really talk about a virgin giving birth? Did King David describe someone who would be "pierced" in Psalm 22? Or did the Christians misunderstand what the Hebrew Bible said, or even worse - did they deliberately distort things, or arrange events so that Jesus appeared to fulfill the prophecies?
In this section, we take a look at these issues.
These are some typical responses we Jewish people have given to what Christians believe. They are verbal walls meant to separate Jews and Christians: you have your room, and I have mine.
If we each have our own spaces, it's time for a home makeover. The Christian doctrines of the Trinity, the Incarnation, atonement through the Messiah's self-sacrifice all turn out to be Jewish at root. In this section, we'll explore how and why.