Rosen, Moishe: Yeshua—the Jewish Way to Say Jesus. Chicago, Moody Press. 1982; 160 pp. paperback.
“Long ago, the Jewish Scriptures predicted the coming of One who would redeem the world from evil and usher in a new order of living. This book examines those prophecies to see whether Jesus fulfilled them. If He did not, we Jews should reject him—At the very least, we should be willing to examine the evidence to see if it’s so.”
So says Moishe Rosen, author of Yeshua, on the back cover of this newly published work. And examine the evidence he does. Yeshua is a systematic study, challenging to the informed student of Scripture, but clear and crisp enough for the novice to grasp.
Beginning with the meaning of the term “messiah,” the author looks through the kaleidoscope of Jewish history to trace the development of the Messianic ideal from simply an “anointed one” to a national hero who would restore Israel’s rightful place of honor in the world.
The author carefully contrasts the Biblical vision of what the Messiah would be like with popular conceptions, by examining passages which throughout history have been recognized as Messianic.
The Messianic promise is skillfully unfolded from its earliest appearance at the dawn of human history in the Garden of Eden, to God’s promise to King David of an everlasting descendant to sit upon his throne.
The author investigates different interpretations of each prophecy and allows the reader to draw his own conclusions.
Yeshua contains some seemingly irreconcilable paradoxes. When the Messianic ideal consisted of a reigning king coming in glory, Jesus struck a discordant note that emphasized suffering and sacrifice. While an ultimate and spectacular triumph is indeed part of the Messianic picture, light is shed on the path of scorn, derision, shame and death also experienced by the One who is called Messiah.
When faced with such paradoxes, the author meets them headon with clarity and conciseness. “An honest alternative is to confront all the data as objectively as possible.” While the author is undoubtedly convinced of Yeshua’s claim to be Messiah, one cannot help but sense his integrity as he examines the varied possibilities.
This book will compel you to examine the Scriptures to see for yourself if these things can indeed be true.
Rosen draws upon various passages of Scripture, Rabbinic writings, modern Jewish thought, historical evidence, even tapping the realm of human physiology to present his case for the Messiahship of Jesus. Yet there is intense sensitivity in this thoroughly researched piece of work. The book deals concisely and clearly with such difficult subjects as the death and resurrection of Jesus, and even the explosive issue: “who really killed Christ?”
Yeshua includes nine appendices which are as valuable as the text itself. These provide, from traditional Jewish and secular scholarly sources, hard evidence to substantiate the controversial claims of the book. Though easy to understand and written with the lay reader in mind, these nine sections will pose a challenge to even the most advanced student of Judaica and comparative religions.
The appendices investigate topics such as Rabbinic interpretations of Messianic prophecies, and the relationship of mikveh to baptism, with examples from Scripture and post-Biblical Judaism. The subject of conversion (turning to God) is discussed in light of the Jewish Scriptures.
Other appendices outline such various topics as God’s plan for the Gentiles, external evidence for the historical Jesus, a short history of early Jewish Christianity, and a comprehensive glossary of Hebrew and Ancient Near Eastern historical terminology.
A difficult textbook, out of the grasp of the common man? No! In this very personal work, the author shares his own struggles and insights, relating a bit of his own story when, as a young man in the midst of his Denver Jewish community, he became a believer in Yeshua.
Yeshua is a well-written, concise, compelling and stimulating treatment of a two-thousand-year-old question: who is Jesus of Nazareth? The book will challenge the reader to deal with the answer offered. No matter where one stands on the subject of Jesus, after reading Yeshua, one won’t be on the fence.