The Jewishness of Jesus

C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,004
edited February 20 in Biblical Studies

Many people don't or won't acknowledge that Jesus was a Jew. Or was He? What are some of the characteristics or Jewish practices Jesus manifested while on earth? What are the roots of Christianity? Without Judaism would Christianity exist? CM

Comments

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,720

    @C_M_ ... in order to answer your questions intelligibly, it would be necessary for you to define what is meant with "Jew", "Jewish practices" and "Judaism".

    For example, do you have current day meanings of these terms in mind? or perhaps meanings from other times? what would you regard to be the meaning in the context of the biblical times?

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,004

    @Wolfgang said:

    Thanks, Wolfgang for your response. I speak of how were Jews defined doing the time of Jesus from the day he was incarnated. This is what I have in mind. The Jewish practices, of the 33 1/3 years, Jesus (the dual-nature [God/man]) shares or rejected among the Jews while on earth. In short, I speak of the life, customs, culture, practices, languages, laws, understandings, beliefs, many of the expressions, allusions, etc., of the Jews. It covers from the time Jews were called or came into existence. For a better background to respond intelligently, see the books below. I hope you will find these helpful. CM

    Sources

    1. -- Schürer, Emil. A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ, Second Division. Vol. 3. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1890.
    2. -- Edersheim, Alfred. Sketches of Jewish Social Life in the Days of Christ. London: The Religious Tract Society, n.d.
    3. -- Flusser, David. Judaism and the Origins of Christianity. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, 1988.
    4. -- Edersheim, Alfred. The Temple, Its Ministry and Services as They Were at the Time of Jesus Christ. London: James Clarke & Co., 1959.
    5. -- Vincent, John, James Lee, and R. E. M. Bain. Earthly Footsteps of The Man of Galilee and the Journeys of His Apostles. New York, NY; St. Louis, MO: N. D. Thompson Publishing Co., 1894.
  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 463

    If Yeshua/Jesus wasn’t Jewish then he wasn’t the promised Mashiach/Messiah.

    In other words if Yeshua wasn’t Jewish then he could not be the Mashiach the Tanakh predicted would one day come. If he (Yeshua) was not a devout Jew he also could not have fulfilled the Torah or at least he could not honest claim to have fulfilled the Torah.

    If Jesus wasn’t Jewish he could still have been a godly man like Noah, but he could not have been the promised Messiah.

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,004

    Thanks, Mitch for the information.

    To further mine the OP, the questions below beg for answers. ("Inquiring mines" want to know:

    1. Is one born or becomes a Jew?
    2. To be a Jew is to be declared, pronounced, proclaimed, possession of a gift, lineage, or physical features?
    3. How does one distinguish between a Jew from Judaism?
    4. A Jew can become a Christian, but a Christian can't become a Jew. Any truth here?
    5. Can one convert to Judaism without becoming a Jew?
    6. A Jew (however defined) converted to Christianity is no longer a Jew?
    7. What constitutes a Jew (origin)?
    8. How true is it that the roots of Christianity emanates from the bowels of Judaism? Share facts and reasons.

    Some questions above may overlap, but all needs to be answered for the truth, better understanding and overall relations with the world societies. None of the questions are to insult, to belittle, or to embarrass. You may find some of the questions challenging your old stereo-types and basic knowledge. Step into the sunshine-of-truth and answer, openly, what have been asked secretly. What says ye? CM

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,720

    @C_M_ wrote

    Thanks, Wolfgang for your response. I speak of how were Jews defined doing the time of Jesus from the day he was incarnated. This is what I have in mind. The Jewish practices, of the 33 1/3 years, Jesus (the dual-nature [God/man]) shares or rejected among the Jews while on earth. In short, I speak of the life, customs, culture, practices, languages, laws, understandings, beliefs, many of the expressions, allusions, etc., of the Jews.

    This addresses a more general issue and principle for correct understanding and interpretation of the Biblical records. Not only in the case of the records in the NT scriptures (gospels, epistles, etc) is it important to read what is written in light of the then existing age, language, culture, manners and customs, etc ... this holds true for any part of Scripture.

    Thus, Jesus was born into and lived in the cultural and religious situation almost 2000 years ago in Palestine, he obviously used the language that was spoken at the time in that part of the world, he used illustrations in his speeches that related to and were taken from life's situations at the time and in that culture.

    As far as "Jew / Jewish" is concerned, much of life in those times was determined by people's adherence to OT teachings. Howbeit, once should recognize that the records in the gospels about Jesus' public ministry show that in various ways, he differed from the Jewish religious leadership and their groups (Pharisees, Sadducees) and found himself quite often in opposition to their versions of Jewish religion.

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,004

    Any more insights? CM

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 463

    Is one born or becomes a Jew?

    (a) If, we are speaking about the Messiah, then we are speaking of one who must be born Jewish or born into a Jewish family at least accourding to the Tanakh.

    (b) If, we are speaking about people in general then one can be both born of a Jewish mother and thus be Jewish, or one can convert to Judaism.

    How does one distinguish between a Jew from Judaism?

    Easy, a Jew is an individual, while Judaism refers a Religious systems, to ideologies, and/or to culture.

    A Jew can become a Christian, but a Christian can't become a Jew. Any truth here?

    An, ethnically, cultural, or religious Jewish individual can become a Messianic Jew, a Hebrew Christian, and so on. A Christian could give up his or her faith in Christian and convert to Orthodox Judaism, Conservative Judaism, Reform Judaism and the like.

    Can one convert to Judaism without becoming a Jew?

    No

    A Jew (however defined) converted to Christianity is no longer a Jew?

    A Jew who converts to Christianity is still a Jew ethnically and/or according to Halakha, but he/she probably can no longer belong to an Orthodox, Conservative, Reform Jewish organization. Such a person will be considered to be heterodox Jew.

    There are others however, who believe that a Jew who accepts Mashiach becomes a Messianic Jew or a Hebrew Christian. Such a Jew may continue to acknowledge his/her Jewish roots and the Jewish roots of Christianity or He/she may completely distance his/her self from his/her roots.



    How true is it that the roots of Christianity emanates from the bowels of Judaism? Share facts and reasons.

    If one takes the NT as being accurate then it is very true.

    The entire concept of the Mashiach is a Jewish one, and the Yeshua/Jesus and his disciples were all (or at least mostly) Jewish. Read the Gospels and then read the book of Acts careful to see a particular Jewish sect or branch of Judaism becomes a far more universal religion.



    Jewish Christians were the original members of the Jewish movement that later became Christianity.[1][2][3][4] In the earliest stage the community was made up of all those Jews who believed that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah.[3][4] As Christianity grew and developed, Jewish Christians became only one strand of the early Christian community, characterised by combining the confession of Jesus as Christ with continued observance of the Torah[1] and adherence to Jewish traditions such as Sabbath observance, Jewish calendar, Jewish laws and customs, circumcision, Kosher diet and synagogue attendance, and by a direct genetic relationship to the earliest followers of Jesus.[1][2][3][5]

    The term "Jewish Christian" appears in historical texts contrasting Christians of Jewish origin with Gentile Christians, both in discussion of the New Testament church[1][3][4][5][6][7] and the second and following centuries.[8] It is also a term used for Jews who converted to Christianity but kept their Jewish heritage and traditions.

    First century Jewish Christians were faithful religious Jews;[1][3][4] they differed from other contemporary Jews only in their acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah.[3][4][9] Those that taught that Gentile converts to Christianity ought to adopt more Jewish practices to be saved, however, were called "Judaizers".[10] Though the Apostle Peter was initially sympathetic, the Apostle Paul opposed the teaching at the Incident at Antioch (Gal. 2:11-21) and at the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:6-35).[10] Nevertheless, Judaizing continued to be encouraged for several centuries, particularly by Jewish Christians.[10]

    As Christianity grew throughout the Gentile world, Christians diverged from their Jewish and Jerusalem roots.[11][12] Jewish Christianity fell into decline during the Jewish–Roman wars (66-135)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_Christian


    The above represent a very rough and quick answer to the question. And, the above represent only opinion on the topic in question.

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,004


    Mitchell,

    Your concise response is most fruitful to my understanding. The sharing of additional resources are beneficial to all and most appreciative to this poster. Peace and blessings! CM

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,720
    edited February 23

    Some further thoughts concerning the matter of "Jewishness" of Jesus .... Scripture states that Jesus was born "under the (OT) Law" (cp Gal 4:4). Thus it is clear that Jesus lived under and fulfilled the OT Law.

    We should however also note that in various instances during his public ministry he encountered "Jewish religion" which obviously itself was in violation of the OT Law (cp his reproof of Pharisees and Sadducees). There were obviously observances of rules and regulations in effect which may have influenced society and particularly the religious life in Palestine at the time which Jesus did not approve nor observe.

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 463
    edited February 24

    The NT is clear that Yeshua/Jesus encountered 'some' of the Pharisees but he certainly could not have met all the various autonomous Pharisaical groups that existed both in Israel and across the Diaspora in faraway lands. So, while it is true he reproofed the particular Pharisees he met it is not clear to me that he reproofed Phariess as a whole.

    Of course, it is very possible that he reproofed the Sadducees as whole because they have weren't autonomous groups but were a centralized group in basically one specific place. And, it can be argued thatYeshua/ Jesus dealt with some of the Am ha'aretz.

    However, I believe it is important to keep in mind that Jewish religion was (and still is) a lot bigger than the various Pharisical groups and the Sadducees. In fact the NT silent concerning a number of other Jewish groups/sects that existed during Jesus earthly ministry. A notable example of this is the various groups of the Isiyim/איסיים, kana'imקנאים, and Theraputae/תיראפויטים that both, Philo and Joseph writing independently of each other make mention. Yet, that's not all there were numerous other groups/sects of Jews. like the siqari'im/ סיקריים , the Meristae, the Hellenists, and I could go on, but I hope you get the picture that during the 1st-century Jewish religion was not one monolithic unified group.

    Jesus does not appear to have disliked all of Jewish inovation in regards to religion. Take for example the synagogue. No where in the Hebrew Bible/OT is a synagogue ever once mentioned nor for that matter divinely authori

    zed. Yet according to Luke 4:16/15 it was Jesus tradition to be in attendance at a local synagogue. And, more interestingly Jesus appears to have been authorized to preform the Haftarah reading or chanting (to act as a chazzan or a Ba'al Keriah) and on it appears on other occasions to teach in the synagogue. Not, just anyone could get up and read before the public in a private synagogue and not everyone was allowed to teach. So, this leads me to believe that Jesus was both observantly Jewish according written and in some of contemporary practice and that people must have believed that Jesus indeed had a Jewish education that would allow him to read ancient Hebrew script, or Aramaic, or Greek if the scroll he read happen to be in Greek otherwise they would not have handed him a scroll in the first place.


    Grace and Peace

    Post edited by Mitchell on
  • ASN_032ASN_032 Posts: 26


    Hi @C_M_ ,

    As for your questions:

    1. Is one born or becomes a Jew? Both are possible
    2. To be a Jew is to be declared, pronounced, proclaimed, possession of a gift, lineage, or physical features? Only 2 options, by ancestry or by conversion.
    3. How does one distinguish between a Jew from Judaism? I didn't understand the question, please explain.
    4. A Jew can become a Christian, but a Christian can't become a Jew. Any truth here? No.
    5. Can one convert to Judaism without becoming a Jew? No.
    6. A Jew (however defined) converted to Christianity is no longer a Jew? Not by religion, but yes by ancestry.
    7. What constitutes a Jew (origin)? According to the Orthodox stream, the maternal ancestry, according to most (not all!) other streams a maternal ancestry and a paternal ancestry are just as good, there are a few sub-streams that claim that only the paternal ancestry matters.
    8. How true is it that the roots of Christianity emanates from the bowels of Judaism? Share facts and reasons. Partially, modern Christianity shares many Pagan traditions (winter celebration that is now celebrated as "Christmas", while Jesus'es birthday date was never mentioned in any version of the bible, Halloween has Pagan origins only, Easter is not based on Passover as it should have been, but on Pagan traditions, and so on) with "Christian" holidays that were never mentioned anywhere in the bible but all of Jesus'es teachings were based on the old testament, Jewish philosophy and his own Jewish heritage.

    Thanks,

    ASN_032

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