C Á P S U L A S 118
WHY THE JEWS DO NOT BELIEVE IN JESUS
One of the most common questions we receive at Aish.com is: “Why don’t Jews believe in Jesus?” Let’s understand why ― not in order to to disparage other religions, but rather to clarify the Jewish position.
Jews do not accept Jesus as the messiah because:
Jesus did not fulfill the messianic prophecies.
Jesus did not embody the personal qualifications of the Messiah.
Biblical verses “referring” to Jesus are mistranslations.
Jewish belief is based on national revelation.
But first, some background: What exactly is the Messiah?
The word “Messiah” is an English rendering of the Hebrew word “Mashiach”, which means “Anointed.” It usually refers to a person initiated into God’s service by being anointed with oil. (Exodus 29:7, I Kings 1:39, II Kings 9:3)
Since every King and High Priest was anointed with oil, each may be referred to as “an anointed one” (a Mashiach or a Messiah). For example: “Eternal forbid that I [David] should stretch out my hand against the Lord’s Messiah [Saul]…” (I Samuel 26:11. Cf. II Samuel 23:1, Isaiah 45:1, Psalms 20:6)
Where does the Jewish concept of Messiah come from? One of the central themes of Biblical prophecy is the promise of a future age of perfection characterized by universal peace and recognition of God. (Isaiah 2:1-4; Zephaniah 3:9; Hosea 2:20-22; Amos 9:13-15; Isaiah 32:15-18, 60:15-18; Micah 4:1-4; Zechariah 8:23, 14:9; Jeremiah 31:33-34)
Many of these prophetic passages speak of a descendant of King David who will rule Israel during the age of perfection. (Isaiah 11:1-9; Jeremiah 23:5-6, 30:7-10, 33:14-16; Ezekiel 34:11-31, 37:21-28; Hosea 3:4-5)
Since every King is a Messiah, by convention, we refer to this future anointed king as The Messiah. The above is the only description in the Bible of a Davidic descendant who is to come in the future. We will recognize the Messiah by seeing who the King of Israel is at the time of complete universal perfection.
- Jesus Did Not Fulfill the Messianic Prophecies
What is the Messiah supposed to accomplish? The Bible says that he will:
Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).
Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4)
Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: “God will be King over all the world ― on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One” (Zechariah 14:9).
If an individual fails to fulfill even one of these conditions, then he cannot be “The Messiah.”
Because no one has ever fulfilled the Bible’s description of this future King, Jews still await the coming of the Messiah. All past Messianic claimants, including Jesus of Nazareth, Bar Cochba and Shabbtai Tzvi have been rejected.
Christians counter that Jesus will fulfill these in the Second Coming, but Jewish sources show that the Messiah will fulfill the prophecies outright; in the Bible no concept of a second coming exists.
2) Jesus Did Not Embody the Personal Qualifications of Messiah
- Messiah as Prophet
The Messiah will become the greatest prophet in history, second only to Moses. (Targum – Isaiah 11:2; Maimonides – Yad Teshuva 9:2)
Prophecy can only exist in Israel when the land is inhabited by a majority of world Jewry, a situation which has not existed since 300 BCE. During the time of Ezra, when the majority of Jews refused to move from Babylon to Israel, prophecy ended upon the death of the last prophets ― Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.
Jesus was not a prophet; he appeared on the scene approximately 350 years after prophecy had ended.
- Descendent of David
According to Jewish sources, the Messiah will be born of human parents and possess normal physical attributes like other people. He will not be a demi-god, (1) nor will he possess supernatural qualities.
The Messiah must be descended on his father’s side from King David (see Genesis 49:10, Isaiah 11:1, Jeremiah 23:5, 33:17; Ezekiel 34:23-24). According to the Christian claim that Jesus was the product of a virgin birth, he had no father ― and thus could not have possibly fulfilled the messianic requirement of being descended on his father’s side from King David. (2)
- Torah Observance
The Messiah will lead the Jewish people to full Torah observance. The Torah states that all mitzvot remain binding forever, and anyone coming to change the Torah is immediately identified as a false prophet. (Deut. 13:1-4)
Throughout the New Testament, Jesus contradicts the Torah and states that its commandments are no longer applicable. For example, John 9:14 records that Jesus made a paste in violation of Shabbat, which caused the Pharisees to say (verse 16), “He does not observe Shabbat!”
3) Mistranslated Verses “Referring” to Jesus
Biblical verses can only be understood by studying the original Hebrew text ― which reveals many discrepancies in the Christian translation.
- Virgin Birth
The Christian idea of a virgin birth is derived from the verse in Isaiah 7:14 describing an “almá” as giving birth. The word “alma” has always meant a young woman, but Christian theologians came centuries later and translated it as “virgin.” This accords Jesus’ birth with the first century pagan idea of mortals being impregnated by gods.
- Suffering Servant
Christianity claims that Isaiah chapter 53 refers to Jesus, as the “suffering servant.”
In actuality, Isaiah 53 directly follows the theme of chapter 52, describing the exile and redemption of the Jewish people. The prophecies are written in the singular form because the Jews (“Israel”) are regarded as one unit. Throughout Jewish scripture, Israel is repeatedly called, in the singular, the “Servant of God” (see Isaiah 43:8). In fact, Isaiah states no less than 11 times in the chapters prior to 53 that the Servant of God is Israel. When read correctly, Isaiah 53 clearly [and ironically] refers to the Jewish people being “bruised, crushed and as sheep brought to slaughter” at the hands of the nations of the world. These descriptions are used throughout Jewish scripture to graphically describe the suffering of the Jewish people (see Psalm 44). Isaiah 53 concludes that when the Jewish people are redeemed, the nations will recognize and accept responsibility for the inordinate suffering and death of the Jews.
4) Jewish Belief is Based Solely on National Revelation
Throughout history, thousands of religions have been started by individuals, attempting to convince people that he or she is God’s true prophet. But personal revelation is an extremely weak basis for a religion because one can never know if it is indeed true. Since others did not hear God speak to this person, they have to take his word for it. Even if the individual claiming personal revelation performs miracles, there is still no verification that he is a genuine prophet. Miracles do not prove anything. All they show ― assuming they are genuine ― is that he has certain powers. It has nothing to do with his claim of prophecy.
Judaism, unique among all of the world’s major religions, does not rely on “claims of miracles” as the basis for its religion. In fact, the Bible says that God sometimes grants the power of “miracles” to charlatans, in order to test Jewish loyalty to the Torah (Deut. 13:4).
Of the thousands of religions in human history, only Judaism bases its belief on national revelation ― i.e. God speaking to the entire nation. If God is going to start a religion, it makes sense He’ll tell everyone, not just one person.
Maimonides states (Foundations of Torah, ch. 8):
The Jews did not believe in Moses, our teacher, because of the miracles he performed. Whenever anyone’s belief is based on seeing miracles, he has lingering doubts, because it is possible the miracles were performed through magic or sorcery. All of the miracles performed by Moses in the desert were because they were necessary, and not as proof of his prophecy.
What then was the basis of [Jewish] belief? The Revelation at Mount Sinai, which we saw with our own eyes and heard with our own ears, not dependent on the testimony of others… as it says, “Face to face, God spoke with you…” The Torah also states: “God did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us ― who are all here alive today.” (Deut. 5:3)
Judaism is not miracles. It is the personal eyewitness experience of every man, woman and child, standing at Mount Sinai 3,300 years ago.
Waiting for the Messiah
The world is in desperate need of Messianic redemption. And to the extent we are aware of the problems of society, is the extent we will yearn for redemption. As the Talmud says, one of the first questions asked of a Jew on Judgment Day is: “Did you yearn for the arrival of the Messiah?”
How can we hasten the coming of the Messiah? The best way is to love all humanity generously, to keep the Mitzvot of the Torah (as best we can), and to encourage others to do so as well.
Despite the gloom, the world does seem headed toward redemption. One apparent sign is that the Jewish people have returned to the Land of Israel and made it bloom again. Additionally, a major movement is afoot of young Jews returning to Torah tradition.
The Messiah can come any day, and it all depends on our actions. God is ready when we are. For as King David says: “Redemption will come today ― if you hearken to His voice.”
- Maimonides devotes much of the “Guide for the Perplexed” to the fundamental idea that God is incorporeal, meaning that He assumes no physical form. God is Eternal, above time. He is Infinite, beyond space. He cannot be born, and cannot die. Saying that God assumes human form makes God small, diminishing both His unity and His divinity. As the Torah says: “God is not a mortal” (Numbers 23:19).
- In response, it is claimed that Joseph adopted Jesus, and passed on his genealogy via adoption. There are two problems with this claim:
- a) There is no Biblical basis for the idea of a father passing on his tribal line by adoption. A priest who adopts a son from another tribe cannot make him a priest by adoption;
b) Joseph could never pass on by adoption that which he doesn’t have. Because Joseph descended from Jeconiah (Matthew 1:11) he fell under the curse of that king that none of his descendants could ever sit as king upon the throne of David. (Jeremiah 22:30; 36:30)
To answer this difficult problem, apologists claim that Jesus traces himself back to King David through his mother Mary, who allegedly descends from David, as shown in the third chapter of Luke. There are four basic problems with this claim:
- There is no evidence that Mary descends from David. The third chapter of Luke traces Joseph’s genealogy, not Mary’s.
b) Even if Mary can trace herself back to David, that doesn’t help Jesus, since tribal affiliation goes only through the father, not mother. Cf. Numbers 1:18; Ezra 2:59.
c) Even if family line could go through the mother, Mary was not from a legitimate Messianic family. According to the Bible, the Messiah must be a descendent of David through his son Solomon (II Samuel 7:14; I Chronicles 17:11-14, 22:9-10, 28:4-6). The third chapter of Luke is irrelevant to this discussion because it describes lineage of David’s son Nathan, not Solomon. (Luke 3:31)
d) Luke 3:27 lists Shealtiel and Zerubbabel in his genealogy. These two also appear in Matthew 1:12 as descendants of the cursed Jeconiah. If Mary descends from them, it would also disqualify her from being a Messianic progenitor.
- Finally, the Masshiach will be the King David, back to the life for our Creator and Sovereign
The Unthinkable Will Happen
Have you ever noticed how many things are happening in the world and yet it seems that nothing is, just the same old stuff. It’s odd how this can be perceived as the true state of the world. Of course, a person feels this way when not living in areas such as Iraq, Israel, or Darfur; or when the focus of the media is on politics rather than happening events worldwide.
I am increasingly concerned by a complacent mindset in the U.S. and how people just live each day as if it will always be the way it is. Yes, fuel is high. Yes, credit cards are spent to the max. Yes, life is hectic, but this is just the way it is. What a surprise people have coming and it is sooner than many realize.
What if tomorrow an unbelievable and incomprehensible event strikes America beyond anything yet experienced as a nation? Don’t think it can’t happen. Katrina and September 11, 2001, are reminders of just how easily something can happen out of no where.
Just as 9-11 and the war on Iraq was a turning point for America, so will the coming war in Iran be a major point of no return for the United States. This country cannot keep spending money it doesn’t have. There is a day of accountability coming, yet the mindset of the average American is totally oblivious to the reality of irresponsible spending by the government and its people. The average person is also oblivious to the extremely large number of non-Americans that are now inside our borders.
Tomorrow is another day, but it won’t be like the soon coming tomorrow’s that will disrupt the lives of everyone beyond comprehension. Of course the frame of mind when a whole society is complacent is one of a slumbering and sleeping giant; America is this without a doubt.
It is easy to get caught up in the everyday problems of life. I am sure that everyone reading this has next week basically planned, and well it should be, but just as 9-11 woke up a lazy and listless America for a few days, coming events will strike the nation plus a whole array of other events prophesied in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28.*
We must always be spiritually alert to the state of our lives and to events around us. When surrounded by complacency, this is the hardest thing to do. That is what this warning is for. It is to wake us up to draw closer to our ETERNAL SOVEREIGN CREATOR. It is time to take stock in what is happening. The SOVEREIGN will soon be making a WakeUp Call to the country and the rest of the nations of the Commonwealth of Greater Israel. I wonder how many people will hear His voice? This is a problem for all the nations of the Commonwealth of Greater Israel and it is a curse from our CREATOR for the immorality and sin in all of Israel.
Ezekiel 11:8-10. “You have feared the sword; and I will bring a sword upon you,” says ETERNAL your SOVEREIGN. “And I will bring you out of its midst, and deliver you into the hands of strangers, and execute judgments on you. You shall fall by the sword. I will judge you at the border of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the ETERNAL your SOVEREIGN.”
Well Brethren, I guess it’s still the same old thing–there is both good news and bad news. And there’s some wonderfully good news clear beyond human comprehension coming, but there’s some bad news still completely beyond comprehension that is coming first. And the SOVEREIGN has told us to prepare for it; and has shown us how He is going to protect us. But the UNTHINKABLE IS COMING!
With the quibbling about Iran getting an atomic bomb notice the nations who already have them: “United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, China, India, Israel, Pakistan, and North Korea–in order of the year they acquired them. In addition, under NATO nuclear weapons sharing, the United States has provided nuclear weapons to Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and Turkey. Furthermore, there are many other nations known to possess chemical or biological weapons.” (Wikipedia)
All nations are having monetary problems, even China’s currency cannot sustain their level of spending and lending. A family cannot continue to live on credit cards and borrowed money for very long. Even nations finally get to the point that they have to stop spending because they can no longer borrow money to continue spending, for example look at Greece and Spain. America is borrowing fifty-cents for every dollar it spends and that includes even paying the interest on the crushing amount we have already borrowed.
At some point the credit stops and then the spending stops and all civil services (including the military and police) come to a halt. This is true regardless of your political belief and position in life.
At some point all people will come to the conclusion that survival is the only issue that matters now. The other issues pale into total insignificance if we don’t do anything about our individual position with our CREATOR.
Above we saw the number of countries that have atomic weapons and most people don’t realize what just one hydrogen bomb will do. There is a great deal of talk about doomsday, but it seems that in television they’re afraid to show you the reality of it and what really will happen and it is going to happen!
In the first milliseconds after detonation, gamma radiation would kill everything within six miles. Just in milliseconds an electromagnetic pulse created by the nuclear blast would fuse all unprotected electrical circuitry within several hundred miles knocking out communication. A fire ball would consume everything within 280 square miles (one bomb in the center of a circle with a 9.44 mile radius). in 10 seconds, followed by a blast wave that would flatten remaining structures within four and one-half miles and severely damage other buildings dozens of miles away. If the device exploded above the ground, hundreds of tons of debris, now highly radioactive, would be thrown into the air, returning and settling for days afterward as fine, deadly ash.
The long-term effects are as devastating as the initial blast. If the device exploded on the ground, the surrounding area would be uninhabitable for decades. (Now imagine if that was New York City. This is only talking about one bomb on one city.) The high radiation would kill most, if not all, of the local bird population, allowing the exponential growth of radiation-resistant insects.
Radioactive particles would cause ‘beta burns’ and kill plant life. Radioactive fallout would be carried into water supplies and aquifers through streams and lakes, rendering drinking water unfit in many areas–many areas outside of the area of the city in which the bomb fell. Burn victims and the injured would find the hospitals obliterated in the blast or clogged with other victims.
In short, society as we know it today would be taxed to its limits by a single blast, and unable to function in the event of a minor nuclear attack. Now that is just one nuclear bomb. Just one nuclear bomb.
Now we need to realize what is prophesied and it is not going to be one city only, but many cities. And supposing that bombs like the description above, would hit New York, Boston, and Washington in the East; and hit Chicago, Houston Texas, and Kansas City in the mid west; and Denver, Los Angeles, and San Francisco in the west. Possibly in the Pacific northwest, well just say Portland because that would reach Seattle too. What would be left of the United States of America? The nation would be GONE!
However, keep in mind and always remember that the reason we are in the cauldron of bubbling sin and immorality is because we as a people (all Thirteen Tribes) have turned our back on our CREATOR SOVEREIGN and are not keeping His Laws and Commandments.
What is so hard only worshipping one SOVEREIGN rather than more than one? What is hard about not taking His Name in vain, or not using objects and images in our worship? What is so hard about keeping the Sabbath or honoring your Father and Mother? What is so hard about refraining from murder, adultery, or coveting things that belong to another?
We need to humble ourselves before our SOVEREIGN as King David humbled himself before ETERNAL and ETERNAL said David, “Was a man after His own heart.” Thus, to be close to ETERNAL, we need to fast and pray to Him as King David did in Psalm 51.
The purpose for drawing close to the Almighty is to solidify those whom ETERNAL is calling to be a part of the Remnant. The Remnant must be close to our SOVEREIGN, keep His Commandments as stated, and love Him with all our heart and mind and soul (Deuteronomy 6:4-10; Isaiah 56:1-7). Remember also, that there are no Scriptures that promise a hiding place on earth or in the clouds.
Then ETERNAL the SOVEREIGN of the cosmos will:
Zechariah 14:3-4 “…go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south.”
You cannot jerk a verse out of context and try to make it agree with the doctrines of men in the church in Rome or her protesting daughters. Read it in context of the whole chapter–it says what it means and it means what it says–like it or not, believe it or not. This is between you and your CREATOR.
Read the Hebrew Scriptures (Tanakh, Old Testament) for yourself. Do not depend on what any man or men say they mean. If our SOVEREIGN can create a cosmos then He can surely state what He means and mean what He states in one book of instructions on how to live.
Wake Up America! Wake Up Britain! Wake Up Judah! Wake Up Tribes of Israel! Both Houses of Israel MUST Wake Up!
It is much later than you think! Even now the ancient land of Judea and the nation of America are flirting with total disaster. Please pass this to a friend or acquaintance as is; because we must also warn our family, friends, and neighbors.