Judaism and Christian theology

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Introduction

I saw a interview with rabbi Yizchack Breitowitz,from Jerusalem that is most interesting as it explains the view about Jesus  by the Jews. It is a  old video from 2015 but i think it is still very valuable, at least for me. I added the transcript below to allow readers to read in more languages.

index

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the interview

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Transcript

The  early Christians did regard themselves as Jews. Jesus himself regarded himself as a Jew and many  Apostles in fact were Jews. They considered themselves Jewish. Peter himself differed with Paul. Peter took the position that followers of Jesus should practice circumcision, keep kosher and keep the Sabbath because they were Jewish. And of course, we have Hebrew Christians until this day. 

0:52 So the question is why can’t I be a religious Jew, believe in the Torah and still say that Jesus is the Messiah?

I would say that Judaism has three fundamental issues with the Christian theology.

1:09 Issue number one: God being infinite and non -material

which does not go to the Messianic aspect but to the divinity and trinity, the father, son and holy ghost. Our problem would be that God has never and will never assume a human form. Once you deal with the reification or the corporealization of the diety, you are violating a tenant of God being infinite and non -material. That of course goes to the divinity and was a later developemt in Christianity.

In terms of the Messianic vision . let’s say I don’t believe that Jesus is God or son of God but let him be the Messiah wich we do believe in. So I would say there are two points.

1:09 Point number one: the notion of a second coming

Point number 1 is that classical Jewish litterature does not accept the notion of a second coming. That is, once the Messiah reveals himself, he will a accomplish a designated mission of getting the Jews back to Israel rebuilding the Temple and hopefully establishing world peace.

Now Jesus was of course crucified. Jesus was murdered before he completed any of those things. Because of that , Christianity developed the idea of a Second coming that Jesus will come back and complete the mission.

Thy say, as far as normative Jewish theology is concerned, when the Messiah comes, he is going to get the job done. He is not going to die and then come back. That is point number one. 

2:35 Point number 2: certain commandments are no longer binding 
which is actually more important is, and I am not going into the debate of whether Jesus said or the Apostles or later people said. But the notion in the New testament that God abrogated his covenant with Israel and that God has replaced the Sinaitic revelation with Justification by Faith which is really Paul’s innovation. Paul created the idea that one get redemption not by works but by faith, Justification by Faith, that is a theological postulate which is absolutely inconsistent with the eternity of the Torah and the divinity of the Torah. Yeah, I understand that one could make the argument that it is not Jesus’s argument. In fact there are passages where he says “I am not going to abrogate a single letter of the Torah and yet, even within the Christian Bible ther are narratives in which he implies that certain commandments are no longer binding and certainly Paul took a position that none of the commandments are binding. That is a postulate that we can not accept because as Mamonide writes in his article of faith, even the Messiah will not abrogate or replace the Torah and that’s our problem with Christian Theology.

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Conclusion

I try to understand Jesus with a anthropological approach. Jesus was a jew and that is a fact, a jew that was circumsized afer 8 days.

Yizchack Breitowitz mention a very important saying of Jesus to be found in Matthew 5,17-20 

17 ‘Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them. 18 In truth I tell you, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, is to disappear from the Law until all its purpose is achieved. 19 Therefore, anyone who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the kingdom of Heaven; but the person who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of Heaven. 20 ‘For I tell you, if your uprightness does not surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of Heaven.”

Yizchack Breitowitz  says also “classical Jewish litterature does not accept the notion of a second coming. “

In john 12:33 i found this saying of a Multitude of probably Jews that confirm this: 

“We have heard out of the law that the Christ remains forever. How do you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up?’ Who is this Son of Man?”

jesus does not answer to this question according to John.  Jesus doesnt say he is the Christ. He seemingly to the second question that  the Son of Man is the light. ““Yet a little while the light is with you….“. Maybe Jesus has two roles on Earth. He came as the “Son of Man” and prophet (?) and he will come back as the Christ according to the Pentateuch at the Resurrection Day. 

But in John 4:25 we read_

“The woman (ed. at the Samaritan Woman at Javob’s well) said to him, “I know that Messiah comes,”  “When he has come, he will declare to us all things.”
04:26 Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who speaks to you.””

Jesus recognized he is the Messiah.

So what are “Son of Man”, “Elijah”, “Messiah” and “Christ” ?

According to Mark 08:27 Jesus asked the disciples ““Who do men say that I am? and to the disciples answered “John the Baptizer, and others say Elijah, but others: one of the prophets.” Jesus then asked “But who do you say that I am?”  and Peter answered, “You are the Christ.” And Jesus said after “that they hould tell no one about him. “. maybe he knew he  wasn’t the Christ but the Messiah.

i wonder if Jesus really asked this question or this is a question, the author of Mark added  to clarify Jesus role.

or is it likewww.theatlantic.com  says “It may be that Jesus went to his death not knowing quite who he was,”

Read more in www.theatlantic.com 

I got a lot of good info  listening to Yizchack Breitowitz. Another person I dont remember said that to understand you must read the old testament, probably the Penthateuch the Samarians follows. The Samarian that did not read the books of the Prophets, waited for the Christ according to John.

As Yitzchak mentioned Christian Jews in his interview, I came to look closer at jewsforjesus.org