Theology

“We believe in one God – you believe in three gods!”
“A man can’t become God – that’s idolatry!”
“Atonement for sin? That happens through repentance, charity, and fasting.”
“We Jews don’t need a middleman!”

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.

How can someone die for someone else’s sins?
June 30, 2011

Articles Whatever Happened to the Substitute Atonement of the Torah? by Louis Goldberg Is there any place in the Hebrew Scriptures or Jewish tradition for the idea that someone can die for the sins of another person? Atonement: Questions and answers by Karol Joseph Akedah by Rich Robinson The Akedah in Jewish tradition The kapparah […]

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Jews have the Shema; do Christians believe in three gods?

Articles Don’t Christians Believe in Three Gods? The Trinity: Questions and Answers by Karol Joseph An Angel You Ought to Know by Loren Jacobs Jewishness and the Trinity by Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum A Look at the Trinity From a Messianic Jewish Perspective by Richard Harvey Offsite Links The Trinity Testing the Trinitarian “Hypothesis”…in the Old […]

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The kapparah ceremony in Judaism
January 1, 2005

There is a ceremony in Judaism known as Kapparah, in which a rooster or hen is put to death on the eve of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, as a vicarious sacrifice for sin. Once widely observed, it is nearly obsolete in modern times. The atoning nature of the ceremony is described in the […]

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The Akedah in Jewish tradition

Jewish tradition has much to say about dying so that another might have forgiveness. This page focuses on Jewish traditions about the Akedah. The Hebrew word akedah” means “binding” and refers to the well-known story in Genesis 22, in which God commands Abraham to offer up his only son Isaac as a burnt offering. Abraham […]

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Is there any place in the Hebrew Scriptures or Jewish tradition for the idea that someone can die for the sins of another person?

One of the popular myths about Judaism is that there is no place in Jewish thought for the idea that someone can die for the sins of another person Yet both the Bible and Jewish tradition have much to say about dying so that another might have forgiveness. Biblical Passages In the Hebrew Bible, normally […]

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Don’t Christians Believe in Three Gods?

No! It’s a very common misrepresentation that while Jews believe in one God, Christians believe in three. The fact is that Christianity is as firmly monotheistic as Judaism. What Christians believe is that this one God exists, in a way finite man can never fully understand, in three persons or personalities. This belief is not […]

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Atonement: Questions and answers
Author: Karol Joseph

Note: Elaine the correspondent is fictional, but Karol Joseph is real and serves on the staff of Jews for Jesus. She can be reached

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The Trinity: Questions and Answers
January 1, 2000
Author: Karol Joseph

Note: Elaine the correspondent is fictional, but Karol Joseph is real and serves on the staff of Jews for Jesus. She can be reached by e-mail. Dear Karol, I wanted to write to you concerning an area that has been particularly troubling for me. The area has to do with The Trinity. I know you […]

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