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Jews reclaim Jesus as one of their own
Some Jewish leaders are encouraging Jews to see Jesus as one of their own.
April 5th, 2012
02:36 PM ET

Jews reclaim Jesus as one of their own

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN) - The relationship between Jews and Jesus has traditionally been a complicated one, to say the least.

As his followers' message swept the ancient world, Jews who did not accept Jesus as the Messiah found themselves in the uncomfortable, and sometimes dangerous, position of being blamed for his death.

Mainstream Christian theology's position held that Judaism had been supplanted, the Jewish covenant with the divine no longer valid, because of the incarnation of God as Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross.

Jews, for their part, tended largely to ignore Jesus.

That's changing now.

In the past year, a spate of Jewish authors, from the popular to the rabbinic to the scholarly, have wrestled with what Jews should think about Jesus.

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And overwhelmingly, they are coming up with positive answers, urging their fellow Jews to learn about Jesus, understand him and claim him as one of their own.

"Jesus is a Jew. He spent his life talking to other Jews," said Amy-Jill Levine, co-editor of the recently released "Jewish Annotated New Testament."

"In reading the New Testament, I am often inspired, I am intrigued. I actually find myself becoming a better Jew because I become better informed about my own history," she said.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a media personality who recently launched a bid for a U.S. House seat, argues in his own new book, "Kosher Jesus," that "Jews have much to learn from Jesus - and from Christianity as a whole - without accepting Jesus' divinity. There are many reasons for accepting Jesus as a man of great wisdom, beautiful ethical teachings, and profound Jewish patriotism."

And Benyamin Cohen, an Orthodox Jew who spent a recent year going to church, admitted that he's jealous that Christians have Jesus.

"He's a tangible icon that everybody can latch on to. Judaism doesn't have a superhero like that," said Cohen, the author of the 2009 book "My Jesus Year."

 

"I'm not advocating for Moses dolls," he said, but he argued that "it's hard to believe in a God you can't see. I'm jealous of Christians in that regard, that they have this physical manifestation of the divine that they can pray to.

"There could be more devout Jews than me who don't need that, but to a young Jew living in the 21st century, I wish we had something more tangible," he said.

The flurry of recent Jewish books on Jesus - including this month's publication of "The Jewish Gospels: The Story of the Jewish Christ" by Daniel Boyarin - is part of a trend of Jews taking pride in Jesus, interfaith expert Edward Kessler said.

"In the 1970s and 1980s, Christian New Testament scholars rediscovered the Jewish Jesus. They reminded all New Testament students that Jesus was Jewish," said Kessler, the director of the Woolf Institute in Cambridge, England, which focuses on relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims.

A generation later, that scholarship has percolated into Jewish thought, he said, welcoming the trend: "It's not a threat to Jews and it's not a threat to Christians."

For Jews in particular, he said, "It's not so threatening as it was even 30 years ago. There is almost a pride that Jesus was a Jew rather than an embarrassment about it."

Boteach agrees, writing in "Kosher Jesus" that "Jews will gain much from re-embracing him as a hero."

"The truth is important," Boteach writes. "A patriot of our people has been lost. Worse still, he's been painted as the father of a long and murderous tradition of anti-Semitism."

Boteach aims to claim, or reclaim, Jesus as a political rebel against Rome and to exonerate the Jews of his death. But Boteach's book has attracted plenty of criticism, for instance for blaming the Apostle Paul for everything he doesn't like about Christianity, such as hailing Jesus as divine and cutting his ties to Judaism.

"Paul never met Jesus, and Jesus certainly never would have sanctioned Paul's actions and embellishments," Boteach argues about the apostle who wrote much of the New Testament. "Jesus ... would have been appalled at how his followers would later define him."

"Jews will never accept his divinity. Nor should they," Boteach writes, in one of many instances of presuming to know what Jesus really thought and meant. "The belief that any man is God is an abomination to Judaism, a position that Jesus himself would maintain."

He cherry-picks the Gospels to to suit his arguments, writes in casual modern idioms (calling Pontius Pilate a "sadistic mass murderer" and comparing him to Hitler), and gets wrong the most basic details of the Passion story, such as the amount of money Judas took to betray Jesus.

Other experts in the field label Boteach's book "sensationalistic," and call him a "popularizer," but Kessler sees "Kosher Jesus" as part of the trend of Judaizing Jesus. Cohen, the "My Jesus Year" author, offered some support for Boteach even as he expressed doubts about the book.

"I understand what Shmuley is trying to get at there," he said, but added: "I don't think anyone has the right to say 'This is the definition of Jesus,' especially a rabbi. He's not ours to claim."

Levine, who teaches New Testament and Jewish studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, also framed Jewish efforts to study Jesus in terms of mutual respect.

"Speaking personally as a Jew, if I want my neighbors to respect Judaism, which means knowing something about Jewish history, scripture and tradition, I owe my Christian neighbors the same courtesy. It's a matter of respect," she said.

She urged Jews to "become familiar with the material and make up their own mind as to how they understand Jesus."

Ironically, she added, Jews can understand their own history more thoroughly through studying the life of Jesus.

"The best source on the period for Jewish history other than (the first-century historian) Josephus is the New Testament," she said.

"It's one of those ironies of history that the only Pharisee writing in the Second Temple period from whom we have records is Paul of Tarsus," she said. " 'The Jewish Annotated New Testament' is designed in part to help Jews recover their own history."

But she also wants Christians to use it to understand Judaism more deeply, she said. While many Christian leaders acknowledge that Jesus was a Jew, she said, not many know much about what that means.

"Many Christian ministers and educators have no training in what early Judaism was like," she said. "Not to take seriously first-century Judaism seems to dismiss part of the message of the New Testament."

Cohen, the "My Jesus Year" author, found that Christians were very interested in Judaism during the 52 weeks he spent going from church to church.

"Many Christians look on Judaism as version 1.0 of their own religion. Because of that historical relationship, they're interested in a lot of the theology of Judaism," he said.

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For his part, Cohen learned much that surprised him. "I was shocked when I went to church and heard them give sermons about the Old Testament," he said. "I had no idea Christians read the Old Testament."

"One week, I went to church and the pastor gave exactly the same sermon my rabbi did the night before about Moses and the burning bush, and the pastor did it much better," he continued.

Cohen came away from his Jesus year with a clear understanding of what he believes.

"People ask me all the time if I believe in Jesus. Do I believe he exists? Sure. Do I believe he's your God? Sure, I have no problem with that," he said he tells Christians who ask.

"I understand Christians' love for Jesus and I respect that," he said. "If anything, I learned a lot from them and did become a more engaged Jew, a better Jew, and I appreciate my Judaism more because I hung out with Jesus."

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Jesus • Judaism

soundoff (2,641 Responses)
  1. thinquer

    To all the Jews who hesitate to embrace Jesus "because of his Divinity", good news! Jesus never claimed to be God, just Messiah promised by God. ( Please read John 14:28 and 1 Corinthians 11:3.) Jesus always subjected himself to the Father and never presumed to be the incarnation of the Father, G-d (YHWH, Jehovah). The "oneness" or "unity" that Jesus has with the Father is the same unity of purpose that Jesus has with his disciples (John 17:20,21). The doctrine of Jesus divinity did not develop until 300 yrs after his death during Constantine to blend the pagan and Christian elements of his realm, but it is an unscriptural doctrine. Hebrew scripture correctly states (and God does not change), " before Me there was no god formed, and after Me there continued to be none." (Isaiah 43:10)
    For further information, please call your local Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.

    April 5, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • just sayin

      Speaking of cults lol

      April 5, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Carrier

      You should be getting ready for your Jesus rejection party tonight at the local Kingdom Hall. Isn't it Memorial night tonight?

      You do realize by not drinking/eating you are rejecting Jesus right? Granted, I don't believe in Jesus being the son of God or anything but according to the Bible, you would be rejecting Jesus.

      April 5, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • thinquer

      Name calling an immature response when one feels underequipped to think.

      April 5, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Carrier

      I would also like you to explain how the number of Memorial emblem partakers continues to go up every year when there weren't supposed to be any annointed left. Oh, that's right. Another major change in doctrine to explain away the false prophecies.

      April 5, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • John the Guy

      What happened to you guys? Used to be you couldn't go for more than a few days without a Jehovian popping out of the weeds and trying to save a soul. You haven't been swayed by the " The Da Vinci Code" and realize that Mary was getting a bit on the side, you know other than God or Joeseph? I just noticed you all aren't around much anymore, not that I miss you, just saying.

      April 5, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Jason

      You are misinformed...Jesus was indeed both God and human. Scripture says the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, making the Holy Spirit the father and revealing the Holy Spirit and the Father are the same. Jesus had a human body but was God since he he had innocent blood that came from the Holy Spirit (the Father). (A child's blood line comes from it's father). His innocent blood fulfilled the requirement of the Jewish law that innocent blood had to be shed in sacrifice to obtain forgiveness for sins.

      April 5, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • marquette

      Jason, in the Jewish religion, the bloodline carries through the mother's line. Jesus was a Jew.

      April 5, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • halaniceguy

      he is not the Messiah

      April 5, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • ChuckB

      Amen. Or go to one of the following links: http://www.americanunitarian.org/AUCChristian.htm and/or http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/

      April 5, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • edwardo

      JW's... makes my flesh just crawl. That's a scarey cult !! They separate themselves from family's and friend's who reject their religion. A TRUE CULT !!

      April 5, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • B(iraq) Hussein Osama

      Not to mention the fact that Jesus keeps calling himself the SON OF MAN everytime he gets up to speak in public!!!! Hello? Why do you keep referring to yourself as SON OF MAN over and over again when you are supposed to be the SON OF GOD???

      too funny!

      April 6, 2012 at 4:01 am |
    • Dan

      Well here is one where he claimed divinity:
      56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM. 59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

      April 8, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Joe Rodgers

      thinkquer. you are absolutely right. Jesus did not pre-exist as a god, but he did pre-exist in Yahweh's mind as one who would become the Word of Yahweh after his special birth orchestrated by Yahweh and the power of his spirit. Jesus like others in history pre-existed in Yahweh's mind for roles in the future, i.e., the rebuilding of the temple even when it was still in existence, off hand I forget the name of the king, also, the two witnesses to yet come on the scene pre-exist in Yahweh's mind and their future role has been determined. So, in a sense, Jesus, a man did pre-exist in Yahweh's mind to speak only those things that his Father Yahweh gave him to speak. He was the Word of Yahweh. In the book of John, it is clear about who the Word of Yahweh is, was, and became. The lst verses start out saying, In the Beginning was the Word of Yahweh (not Jesus but Yahweh), the Word was with Yahweh, and the Word was Yahweh. But, Yahweh in times past spoke to humans through prophets or messengers (angels), but in these times, he spoke to humanity through Jesus, a begotten man, not one who was a god, but a man created by Yahweh, no differently in many respects as Yahweh created Adam. But Jesus was to the the spokesman for Yahweh, and to be so obedient, and lawabiding (Yahweh deemed him righteous thereby attributing to him no sin-he was deemed perfect) and thereby Yahweh used him as the human Messiah, the Redeemer, the Sacrificial Lamb that Yahweb provided humanity for a reconciliation, and a method of salvation through faith in Christ as his begotten son, a man, a human. Many references to Christ's current state indicate that he is a man in Heaven seated at the Father's right hand. Over and over he is referred to in the NT as a man, but one who have been given eternal life. I support your view, this is my understanding of Yahweh, the only true and Most High Elohim, above all gods. Also, when one reads Genesis, it plainly states that Yahweh created all things, reference to him doing so begin in Chapter 2, of Genesis. The first chapter is an introduction of the Planning Phase for the Creation done by Elohim (Yahweh, lesser gods, angels, Sons of God that he created) and who knows how long that planning phase took. But in Chapter 2, it clearly shows the real timeline of the Creation and by whom it was done. Clearly Jesus did not create the Universe and all in it, but it was created for him, by his Father in Heaven, Yahweh, and it was created for us also as the words of scripture plainly state that it was "through him that we will inherit it all." paraphrased. Joseph R. Himden Joelrodgers32@gmail.com

      April 8, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Joe Rodgers

      thinquer,, again I support your view. read mine down below. The spirit of Yahweh was with and in Jesus all during his existence, he was sinles because of being permeated with Yahweh's spirit, and deemed sinless and perfect by Yahweh who formed Jesus in Mary's womb with her ovum and the essense of spirit from himself, the same essence that we are given as a start when we accept Jesus as the only begotten son (spiritually and physically) a human, a man. The Father in Heaven provided a man as our Redeemer, as the one who would be our High Priest and brother. Wow. What an incredible, loving Father we have in Heaven. Joseph R. Himden, joelrodgers32@gmail.com

      April 8, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • bigcinphilly

      But Jesus clearly stated that He and his father were one... We can twirl the semantics, but in the end we know what he meant. People are clearly attempting to mislead those that are seeking answers. It doesn't really matter, as God himself is revealing his truth, and those that will be saved will come to the knowledge of who God is. If you don't believe that's your choice.

      April 9, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • bigcinphilly

      1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made:

      April 9, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • bigcinphilly

      56“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” 57So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” 58Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” 59Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.

      April 9, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
  2. Nice Jewish Boy

    I remember some of the guys I hung out with as a kid taunting Jewish kids as Christ killers, really stupid. I kept going to church long after I realized it was a bunch of BS because I loved being on the baseball team. That nice Jewish boy was done in, if you believe the story, by the Roman rulers of the time at the behest of public opinion; kind of strange don't you think. Unless you are from Texas, they still would like a public execution, just like the good old days.

    April 5, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • thinquer

      Read Tacitus, the secular historian of that time for verification that Jesus was in fact done in that way.

      April 5, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • just sayin

      thinquer

      Read Tacitus, the secular historian of that time for verification that Jesus was in fact done in that way.

      >
      Otay...well there you have it...he must be the son of a god and not a bas tard born from a wh ore. lol

      April 5, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Chewbacca

      Read Tacitus, the secular historian of that time for verification that Jesus was in fact done in that way.

      --------------

      Tacticus was born 4 years after Jesus' (supposed) death.

      Idiot.

      April 6, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  3. Chris

    "the Jewish covenant with the divine no longer valid," Wrong, It has been fulfilled. "Mainstream Christian theology's position held that Judaism had been supplanted," Wrong again, both the OT and NT hold great value. Your terminology is negative, misleading, and divisive.

    The vast majority of Christians greatly respect Judaism. In fact, we are taught to respect and love everyone. Its great that Jews want to look into the life of Jesus, my humble suggestion would be to not try to change what was written, but examine and learn from what is taught. Jesus loves you all. God Bless.

    April 5, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Martin

      it's all horse droppings

      April 5, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • olcranky

      actually it hasn't been fulfilled, the Christian bible contains many mistranslations used to support claims made in NT (ex Psalms 22:16 “For dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me; they pierced my hands and feet.” in which כארי is translated as pierced when the word means "like a lion") For Jews, the NT to only holds no religious value it's also been the source of much of the mistreatment of Jews, justified by the NT (thanks to Paul) – it's value to us is that it gives us and ability to understand Christians/Christianity (and the book of Matthew has some good advice).

      April 5, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Chris

      Manure is great fertilizer. : ) God Bless

      April 5, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • marquette

      I call name calling on Martin and Chris. That is the last bastion of an immature 8 year old who doubts his own ability the think and respond. Keep up gentlemen.

      April 5, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Joe Rodgers

      The so called "Jewish Covenant" was one actually made at first with Abraham, Issac then Jacob who was named Israel. That covenant still exists for the Israelites. It requires many things that were added, but are still in effect for them. Some of the added benefits were that they would occupy a great expanse of land around Jerusalem during the Millennium. Many Christians who are unacquainted with the Sacred Secret, also known as the Mystery that was revealed to Paul around 63 AD, have a different potential reward. However Christians who like the first Gentiles that Paul saw fit to add to "Israel" by grafting them in, they were to be recipients of the same Covenant as Israel. They observe still many of the Israelite laws, new moons, festivals, etc. They still believe in salvation partially through works, which is not the way anymore. Christ taught that same thing to the Jews during his ministry, but he made it to be understood that they could not receive salvation through works, as he gave examples of keeping the law, the new ways he said required more, even to look at a woman with lust in one's eyes was a sin, to call someone a brute, or stupid was a sin. He was showing that there was to be a different way, one of faith in a Messiah, a Savior, through the blood, death and resurrection of some who will do all the "works' on their behalf, and through faith in him as the One who did for them, sent by Yahweh, that salvation was to come that way. It was up to the disciples to give that message, as Christ came to annouce the Kingdom, to become the Lamb, the disciples later saw what it was he wanted when they received the spirit of Christ and Yahweh and was lead by that spirit, not a person, or a separate god, but the power, mind and might of Christ and Yahweh in them. That is how they are living their lives in us, through that spirit. Joseph R. Himden, joelrodgers32@gmail.com

      April 8, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
  4. Barry G.

    By the way the name Jesus is the English rendering of the name used for him in the Greek New Testament, which is Iausous, which is a rendering of the Hebrew name Joshua, which means “God is our Savior”.

    Yes, Jesus’ Hebrew name is Joshua. In other words Jesus' name is "God is our Savior".

    "And you shall call him Jesus, because he shall save his people from their sins"

    See: The Gospels of Luke and Matthew

    Incidentally every author of the New Testament was a Jew, with perhaps the exception of Luke, and he was probably a convert to Judaism, before he became a Christian.

    April 5, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  5. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    April 5, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • just sayin

      Except for the poor Korean bastages

      April 5, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Martin

      Theism is the lie. Atheism is reality, honesty, facts, science. Mothers don't kill their children and then say the atheist god said do it.

      April 5, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • politicallyinsurrect

      Theism is not healthy for adults and other rational-minded things.

      April 5, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are so full of crap and lies. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!""

      April 5, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things"

      Religion has killed more people in human history which is why it's dangerous for our society and needs to be condemned!

      April 5, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Chance

      @Martin

      Atheism is reality for some – God is the reality of Christians

      Atheism is a theory backed by science – Theology is a theory of Christians backed by science

      April 5, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Chance

      @YeahRight

      The sad truth is people in position of power have masked wars with religion but a true believer know God doesn't need help. A true believer doesn't look to carry out God's judgement; a believer tries to help his fellow man believer or not. If you look at the wars so called righteous there was always a bigger picture involved ie land, wealth, more control...

      Just because so called righteous people mess up it doesn't disprove God. The reason behind Jesus is because we all mess up, christian or not; just speaking morally we all mess up and anyone who claims to be perfect is wrong. Jesus is the only one who some believe lived a perfect life. Christians are to strive to be a reflection of Jesus, not make war.

      April 5, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  6. Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Carrier

    Who do Christians hate Jews for killing Jesus? According to your beliefs, Jesus had to die. I also don't get why Judas is painted as the bad guy. According to your beliefs, he had to do what he did.

    Reminds me of God causing Pharaoh's heart to be hardened so that he wouldn't send the Jews away... and then God got mad at him for not sending the Jews away. Maybe God just wanted the Egyptians to suffer? Nice God you got there.

    April 5, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  7. just sayin

    There is a great video on you tube of a dancing jesus, I will survive.

    April 5, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • just sayin

      Fraud alert

      April 5, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • just sayin

      Only fraud is my evil twin. lol

      April 5, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Jonah

      Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a media personality who recently launched a bid for a U.S. House seat, argues in his own new book, "Kosher Jesus," that "Jews have much to learn from Jesus – and from Christianity as a whole...

      To that we say, well said!

      April 5, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  8. chrism

    For what it is worth, my mom was born Jewish and at the age of 15 walked into a catholic church and felt a tremendous peace and converted on her own. As I grew up with Jewish friends who informed me I am at least open to be Jewish by my mom's birth, I consider myself Jewish. I did not attend any church or synagogue till I was 30. Then I had personal experiences myself that I ask no one else to accept. And no one reading this needs listen to my experiences since I am sure God is inside every person and you can well already know Him without my saying anything. Even so Jesus is God's Son. In fact the Bible is clear, the gentiles were saved because of the disobedience of the Jews. Yet after the time of the Gentiles, the Jews will be welcomed back. They are the natural branches to the tree of Life. Praise be to God. I find this article worthy in that fine, if you struggle with questions of divinity, at least accept Jesus with love. Why condemn someone who clearly sought to bring people closer to God? And indeed it is very clear in the new testament, Jesus came first to save the Jewish people. I believe this is in part why my mom and I both have been so blessed to feel His peace. God bless.

    April 5, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  9. CJ

    Read Zecharia Sitchin.

    April 5, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • jj

      Yes, that's what I'm saying!

      April 5, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  10. I thought

    Jews were the ones who killed Jesus (peace be upon him)

    April 5, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • CJ

      Jesus said (it is in the Gospels) that NO MAN would take his life, but that he went to his crucifixion willingly. Thus he himself exonerated the Jews. Read the material before you post, okay?

      April 5, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • just sayin

      Jesus killed himself via his delusions and mental illness.

      April 5, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • The Gospels

      Neither the Jews nor the Romans had that power.

      Jesus came to fulfill a divine purpose. His crucifixion and resurrection is part of God's plan to redeem mankind.

      April 5, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • just sayin

      Fraudulent just sayin post above

      April 5, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • just sayin

      The Gospels

      Neither the Jews nor the Romans had that power.

      Jesus came to fulfill a divine purpose. His crucifixion and resurrection is part of God's plan to redeem mankind.

      > yes based on words of men lol

      April 5, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • politicallyinsurrect

      According to Christian belief, God sent Jesus to Earth to die..so God killed Jesus, you idiot!

      April 5, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Neesha

      Instead of focusing on who murdered him, we need to focus on why he was killed. His purpose for coming to earth was to save all of mankinds sins, so the prophecy had to be fulfilled no matter who killed him. Jesus forgave the people who killed him prior to being cruxcified. He said, "Forgive them Father for they not know what they do."

      He would become a man (John 1:14) and die for our sins (Jn.12:24. Somewhere in the eons of eternity was decided that the Son would be sent to earth. He was sent from heaven to earth to fulfill a mission of the utmost importance, to take care of man’s debt of sin (He is the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev.13:8b.) He came to seek those who are lost (Mt.18:11; Lk. 9:56,19:10).

      April 6, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • just sayin

      Neesha

      Instead of focusing on who murdered him, we need to focus on why he was killed.
      >
      Delusions, insanity and suicidal lead to his death. Also other possible factors would be he was ga y and a pedo ph ile.

      April 6, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Aine57

      The Appian Way was lined with thousands of people crucified in the same way as Jesus. Crucifixion was a capital punishment reserved for those deemed guilty of sedition, not heresy. It was the dominant Roman Empire who killed Jesus and all these others, not the Jews.

      April 7, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • pes

      Romans crucified Jesus, but he really commited suicide, because in order to fulfill what was written he knew he needed to die, or so we are told. But really he was a revolutionary and wanted to over throw the romans at least until John the Baptist dies, the prophecy was and is for two, one from David and the other Levy. Jesus was from David, John fron Levy. And to add another fly to ointment, Jesus's brother Lessor James took over the church and liver for many years running it in Jereseulam, until he got thrown off the wall.

      April 22, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  11. Aristocles

    There were Jews who supported Jesus, and those who took him to be killed by the Romans after condemning him. The idea that Jesus is God was believed by some Jews, who became Christians. It's a mixed bag.

    April 5, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  12. Barry G.

    Of course Jesus was Jewish!

    Was there ever any doubt about that?

    Every prophecy from Genesis through prophetic books, such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel pointed to the day when the messiah would come and save the people, and he would come from the tribe of Judah.

    Even Moses said before he died that God would not abandon his people, but would raise up one like him.

    Then came Jesus, born in the City of David.

    Then came the cross.

    Then came the resurrection.

    April 5, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Al

      Jesus doesn't match the Jewish messianic expectations, and "cursed is he who hangs on a tree", right?

      April 5, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • miller

      J not born in city of david

      April 6, 2012 at 1:52 am |
  13. Federico Beyer

    Okaaay,now who wrote the article? Ohhh yeahhh......A jew. Largely slanted toward Jewish ideology. Nothing against jews but c'mon man....gimme a break!

    April 5, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Aine57

      Does this mean that you would not accept any work about Christianity authored by a Christian?

      April 7, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  14. politicallyinsurrect

    Jesus is much like Lenny Kravitz, in that they are both dark-skinned Jewish people. Not to mention I'm pretty sure Jesus would play the hell out of a guitar with all the wine, opium, and cannabis that was readily available at that time and place.

    April 5, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Carrier

      Woah, he coulda been like Hendrix... before Hendrix... woah.

      April 5, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  15. Brian

    This is kind of silly. Read what the Jews of Jesus' time believed about the messiah, then read the New Testament. Jesus was Jewish in the same way that Maritn Luther was Catholic (i.e., he really wasn't).

    April 5, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  16. Jesus is the Messiah

    An the crowds shouted c r u c i f y him! c r u c i f y him!

    April 5, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • just sayin

      So they spelled out crucify like cheerleaders? That would have been funny to see. I wonder if Jesus enjoyed the view while up there?

      April 5, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • just sayin

      Monty Python skit lol

      April 5, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • just sayin

      two more fraud alerts

      April 5, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • just sayin

      Ah there is my boring twin

      April 5, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • just sayin

      make that three fraud alerts

      April 5, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • miller

      all replies are idiotic...including mine

      April 6, 2012 at 1:57 am |
  17. joshuajmasters

    It's exciting to hear that members of the Jewish Community are exploring the teachings of Jesus, but I would also encourage Christians to embrace learning about Jesus in the context of him being a Jew. There are too many church's who view Christ as having overcome his Jewish roots to establish Christianity. Nothing could be further from the truth... understanding God's love for His chosen people, the promises He's made to the children of Abraham and Christ's fulfillment of those promises will unlock a new perspective on God's faithfulness.

    April 5, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Anonymous

      i would like to add to this and say that i would encourage christians to learn about judaism and to go to a jewish temple and experience it.

      April 5, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Aine57

      Such knowledge of Jesus as a Jew AND in the context of his own time, not ours, is essential to understanding the history in which he played a part. One does not have to be Christian or to accept his divinity to find this knowledge fascinating. Good ideas for human conduct are good ideas.

      April 7, 2012 at 11:16 am |
  18. searchinmyroots

    I would like to see another follow up article written about all of the ex-christians and meesianics who now embrace Judaism.

    Christians and messianics have helped tremendously bring Jews back to Juadism.

    Thank you.

    April 5, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  19. Jews for Jesus

    April 5, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Anonymous

      not quite sure what this has to do with this article?

      April 5, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Neesha

      Jewish people range from Asian, Middle-Eastern, White, African, Hispanic & Ethiopian. Not sure why people always portray him as being really fair-skinned when Judiasm is a religion.

      April 6, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  20. Sam Yaza

    If any of you actually believe that evil hate full destroy of families I will disown you....na I still love you guys but seriously Jesus new absolutely nothing about heaven he like his followers would say Matatron what? whats an Elohm? Jesus is a lair and I wouldn’t doubt him to be the king of lies seriously think about it worship me is every thing he talked about not to mention he was a b.astard and worked on the sabbath blanton violations of the law those who knowingly break the law disobey god him self he want people to worship him not the father

    look I wont clam that dude is any good you know what I think about him
    but come one JC has got to be Samael aka Orochi aka Marra. you know the serpent

    I mean come on do you really need me to convince you look at the last 2000 years of what his followers did

    April 5, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Classic

      You am talk good maker sense lot me of. Praobaly you ar comeantos prefosser riligius studying. Tahnk you fer take timne teech al dumys new nawlige. Hamara ding pop seep boo nop bit.

      April 5, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • canadian

      what his followers have done in the past 2000years is nothing compared to something like atheism in the past 100.

      April 5, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Anonymous

      lets list this. the crusades (all of them), the inquisition, halting the progress of science for power, hatred against others. and take in to consideration that its been two thousand years and yeah its a lot more than aethists, especially because most occations were based on hate

      April 5, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.