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Mainstream Christian theology's position held that Judaism had been supplanted, the Jewish covenant with the divine no longer valid, because of the incarnation of God as Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross.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

    Then the Germans would have killed him

    April 9, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • Kevan

      Sadly it has often been the case that christians and so called christian's have labeled the jews as Christ killers fueling their own hatred, While Jews have labeled christians as anti-semites. Jews have much to learn of the messianic passages of the old testament. And christians need to learn, understand and accept that we are all guilty of the death of Jesus. Sure the jewish leaders handed Jesus over to the Roman authorities, but the law told them that they were to kill anyone claiming to be God. Since Jesus did make that claim they were only following their own law. The Romans on the other hand, found no fault in Him, but killed Him anyways to satisfy the jewish leaders. Even today there is this misguided idea in christian reformed theology (replacement) that God is done with the jews and Israel which couldn't be further from the truth. God Himself brought jewish Israel back to the land of their fathers as the old testament foretold because He is not finished with them yet, and it is there that He will set His feet on the mount of olives and make a way of escape for the remaining jews while He puts all enemies under His feet.

      April 9, 2012 at 10:10 am |
  2. The R.O.T.P.

    so what.....

    April 9, 2012 at 7:17 am |
  3. inzion

    Jesus is Christian; Yehoshua was a Jew in Judea. The Judeo-Christian partnership can be great only by recognizing that an honest disagreement beats a dishonest agreement. There can be no status quo change unless Moses appears – none can speak for him in his absence. Its the nature of the best. Things are not wrong as they are, this is exactly how it was ordained. Do the math:

    "ABRAHAM SHALL BE THE FATHER OF M.A.N.Y. NATIONS"

    April 9, 2012 at 6:51 am |
  4. dabarolam

    How sad there is such confusion over the IESIUS, aka IESUS, and the actual Rabbi Yah'shua of the Greek writings. IESiUS aka IESION, was a son of ZEUS, whereas Yah'shua was the son of Yahweh. Jesus did away with the law, but Yah'shua upheld it. Jesus died on a Friday and raised on Sunday morning – a day and a half, but Yah'shua died on a Wednesday Passover was in the tomb three days AND three nights and was raised at sunset on Sabbath. In addition, the real Messiah was born under the jurisdiction of the Torah, and according to Torah, being hung on a tree (Acts 5:30, not a cross) meant that all the curses of the book would be placed on such a person, and that his name would be blotted out of the book of life (Deu 29:20). That means salvation can not be in the name of a man, any man, not even Messiah's prophetic human name (Zech 3:1-9; 6:11-13). Salvation in the name of a man(-deity) was the hallmark of the mystery religions, going back to the ancient Babylonian worship of Tammuz. The synchronicity of ancient religions in adapting to different audiences is well known.
    The Greek Jesus overlay onto the New Covenant writings does not make him messiah, but it does make him "another" savior according to 2 Corinthians 11:4. It should be no great surprise that malcontents perverted the truth when they were rejected by the Apostles (1John 2:19). In fact, that account can be seen in Acts 8:9-24, where Simon, the magician of Samaria, was rejected. Simon seemed to disappear, except when considering that the Hebrew PTR [peter] means "opener", and the church of Rome was established (opened) at the same time, nearly 2 years after the resurrection. Thus the magician of Samaria, who was already the head of a mystery religion, became Simon "Peter", the founder of Christianity. Indeed, Satan does deceive the world (Rev 12:9).
    For thousands of years before Messiah the name of salvation was YAHWEH. When Messiah returns the name is YAHWEH (OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS). Malachi states: "For I am YAHWEH, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." Which is why Messiah inherited the more excellent name at His resurrection (Heb 1:4). He is YahwehShua – Yahweh our Savior! HalleluYah!! kahalyahweh.net has some interesting articles, so check it out.

    April 9, 2012 at 6:51 am |
  5. awetmedic

    Another bible hits the streets, the Jew Testament.

    April 9, 2012 at 2:49 am |
  6. Fair&Balanced

    False Dichotomy,

    I wonder if your colleague, the published radiocarbon dating expert, thoroughly took into account the fire interaction on the Shroud of Turin, that has been proven to take place during the Medieval period. Common sense, (which many academics seem to lack), tells me that dating organic wood charcoal ain't the same as dating a woven cloth that had been damaged and then repaired, from a fire inside a man-made dwelling during the Middle Ages. Think about that, Professor.

    April 9, 2012 at 2:16 am |
    • False Dichotomy

      Sorry, I'm sure I lack the common sense to comprehend it.

      April 9, 2012 at 8:43 am |
  7. Fair&Balanced

    False Dichotomy,

    I know all about the carbon dating issues of past. By the way, a couple of those scientists who are still around that took part in those carbon datings you speak of, now believe in the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. They realize now the contaminations in the shroud from a fire, ect. Look, it's a big issue and requires plenty of time, if you want to set aside your bias and take a real honest detective-like approach towards the truth.

    April 8, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      My "bias" is that of one with a fairly detailed knowledge of radiocarbon dating – literally a professional level of understanding. One of the most popular Introduction to Archaeology textbooks in the US is written by one of my colleagues, and he includes a section on the shroud as an ideal example of radiometric dating.

      I've heard the arguments you refer to, and they really don't hold up. For one thing, fire does not affect radiocarbon dating one bit. In fact, the most common archaeological sample for dating is wood charcoal. If you suspect bias in this issue, I would start by looking at those who rationalize ignoring clear and straightforward lab results. I suspect the information you are getting is neither fair nor balanced.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:44 am |
  8. Fair&Balanced

    Whenever Jesus returns, I don't picture him wearing any hats or caps. Maybe a crown–and this time not of thorns!

    April 8, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
  9. Jeanne

    i am a Christian who loves the Savior. I believe he will return I also believe he will be wearing a Yarlmulke.

    April 8, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
  10. Muneef

    Read all the stories from the link provided;
    --–
    [All] praise is [due] to Allah , who has sent down upon His Servant the Book and has not made therein any deviance. 18:1

    [He has made it] straight, to warn of severe punishment from Him and to give good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a good reward 18:2

    In which they will remain forever 18:3

    And to warn those who say, " Allah has taken a son."18:4

    They have no knowledge of it, nor had their fathers. Grave is the word that comes out of their mouths; they speak not except a lie.18:5

    Then perhaps you would kill yourself through grief over them, [O Muhammad], if they do not believe in this message, [and] out of sorrow.18:6

    http://quran.com/18

    April 8, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  11. Fair&Balanced

    With all due respect, Mohammad never rose from the dead. No eyewitnesses accounts.

    April 8, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  12. Muneef

    Find out the truth of things by your self;

    Kindly read to the last to understand the difference of opinions we have among the Abrahimic followers;

    Islamic holy books

    Islam speaks of respecting all the previous scriptures in their original forms. Belief in all the revealed books is an article of faith in Islam and a Muslim must believe in all the scriptures to be a Muslim. The four books are the Tawrat, Zabur, Injil and Quran. The Torat was sent to Musa (Moses), the Zabur was sent to Dawood (David), the Injil was sent to Isa (Jesus) and the Qur'an was sent to Muhammad.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_holy_books
    --–
    What are the Tawrat, Zabur and Injil?

    http://www.injil.org/Kalimatullah/revelations.html
    ---

    In Islam's holy book, the Quran, Allah (God) denounces the concept of Trinity (Qur'an 4:171, 5:72-73, 112:1-4) as an over-reverence by Christians of God's Word, the prophet and messiah Jesus Christ son of the virgin Mary, while maintaining Jesus as one of the most important and respected prophets and Messengers of God, (2:136) primarily sent to prevent the Jews from changing the Torah, (61:6) and to refresh and reaffirm his original message as revealed to Moses and earlier New Testament prophets. The creation of Jesus is framed similar to the creation of Adam out of dust, but with Jesus' birth meaning his creation excludes male human intervention rather than creation completely without human participation (3:59). Belief in all of the aforementioned about Jesus as a prophet (5:78), as well as belief in the original gospel and Torah and belief in Jesus' virgin birth (3:45) are core criterion of being a Muslim and Quranic criterion for salvation in the hereafter along with belief in the Prophet Muhammad and all the prior prophets. In short God is seen as being both perfect and indivisible. He can therefore have no peer or equal. Jesus, being God's creation, can never be considered to be equal with God or a part of God. To do so is considered by Islam to be blasphemy. (112:3)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nontrinitarianism

    ---
    Read about ;
    Jesus in Islam
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_in_Islam

    April 8, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Jenna

      Muneef, I see that you are very passionate about your religion. I am passionate about Christ Jesus because He gives me life. Before I gave my life to Him I was depressed, suicidal, drug-addicted. He DIED for me. And the entire world. That's the thing about Jesus, He is a huge stumbling block for Muslims and Jews (and really, everyone else) because people see him as a "prophet" or a "rabbi" or a "good Jew". He, however, stated "I AM" and therefore equated Himself to God. After He said this, people tried to stone Him. Also, after the resurrection, when He appeared in the upper room and showed Himself to "doubting" Thomas, Thomas exclaimed, "MY LORD AND MY GOD!". In the book of John, it says "In the beginning, the word was with God, and the word WAS God." I have heard from a former Muslim (now a follower of Christ) that in the Quran, Jesus created birds. He said "I realized, who BUT God could create things?" Jesus is God. I pray and hope that you will accept Him, and His sacrifice for you, which is by GRACE- so that no one can boast- to have eternal life with the Almighty. :) If you are interested in reading the bible, biblegateway.com is an excellent site. God bless you!

      April 9, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • inzion

      Islam is not an original religion and the pre-Islamic Arab ethnic group is a new people which emerged after 600 BCE. The term ARAB was coined by the Greeks generically from the then term Arabia, when it conquered Persia. There is no record of an Arab name, king, war, country, cross-nation reference or monument even in King Solomon's time. There is no connection between Ishmael and Muslims other than they swiped this belief when Israel was seen as vanquished by Rome. That was too presumptive and a test unto the new Islamic people. They failed this test as they did when the Jews were returning from war torn Europe:

      THOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS
      THOU SHALL NOT STEAL
      THOU SHALL NOT COVER WHAT IS NOT YOURS
      THOU SHALL NOT LIE TO THE STRANGER

      April 9, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • Muneef

      Jenna.
      You have your idea how things went and we have our idea of how things went, I do not what to go into details with you about our doubts of the recordings which took place not by Jesus him self but by other who wrote after his death and produced translating from several dead and live languages in to the final language which obviously heavily disputed among Catolics and Christians among them selves as this lead explains it all;
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nontrinitarianism

      Any way I just thought to quote for you some verses of the Quran the Holy Book that had been written in a live language unchanged;
      -– 

      [And mention] when the angels said, "O Mary, indeed Allah gives you good tidings of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary – distinguished in this world and the Hereafter and among those brought near [to Allah ].3:45

      He will speak to the people in the cradle and in maturity and will be of the righteous."3:46

      She said, "My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?" [The angel] said, "Such is Allah ; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, 'Be,' and it is. 3:47

      And He will teach him writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel 3:48

      And [make him] a messenger to the Children of Israel, [who will say], 'Indeed I have come to you with a sign from your Lord in that I design for you from clay [that which is] like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird by permission of Allah . And I cure the blind and the leper, and I give life to the dead – by permission of Allah . And I inform you of what you eat and what you store in your houses. Indeed in that is a sign for you, if you are believers. 3:49

      And [I have come] confirming what was before me of the Torah and to make lawful for you some of what was forbidden to you. And I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear Allah and obey me. 3:50

      Indeed, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is the straight path." 3:51

      http://quran.com/3
      ---
      As you can read he was given all the permission to do miraculous wonders of things by GOD the Creator of all beings and universe...

      April 9, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Muneef

      Inzion.

      To understand where the word Arabs came from you have to read the story of Abraham (saw) when he brought his maid wife Hajer and Ismael as a baby infant to the Arabian Peninsular or to be precise to Mecca...

      Then when the story goes about the finding of a source of running Water there where Ismael and his mother settled... Then the story goes that some tribes came from Yemen and ask the permission of Ismael mother to settle in the area and make use their water source..then that Ismael learned these tribes language and got married from them.

      Any way history claims that Yemen was the source of all the Arab tribes that spread in the Arabian Peninsular up to the North of Africa... 

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adnan
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qahtanite
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghassanids

      As well history claims that the cause of Yemeni tribal migration was the destruction of the Ancient Marib Dam flooding to  beyond repairable to their lands and agriculture irrigation;

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marib_Dam
      ---

      April 9, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
  13. Mack

    Until the Jews apologize for killing the Lord Jesus Christ, they will not be permitted to "reclaim Jesus" – they will stay under God's wrath.

    Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? ....upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Matt 23:31-37.

    Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. Matt 27:33

    Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost. 1 Thess 2:14-17.

    April 8, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • radical rabbi

      It is this type of "Christian" antisemitism that makes Jewish people shy away from the truth of who Messiah is. I find it somewhat ironic that the use the Greek, not Hebrew name of Messiah was used. I know the Messiah of Israel, I have accepted Him as the promised One from the Father, and I follow Him in the same way that His early followers did. I did not have to apologize for being Jewish, my Messiah does not require it. However, it is obvious your religion does. I apologize for nothing.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • kimitzion

      Mack get your head straight. You are misapplying verses. Yeshua laid down His life willigly. He died saying forgive them. The Romans crucified Him and some research suggests the Romans were recruiting "locals" in those days so other than fellow Jews who detested the Roman tyrants other Middle Eastern peoples may well have been involved in arresting, torturing and crucifying Yeshua. His mother never called Him Jesus and neither should you. Neither did He do away with the Law. He stated that the Law was eternal. Today the 613 laws are summarized in the Ten Commandments which could be further summarized in the 1st Commandment. Please educate yourself!

      April 8, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • Stephen Ray Hale

      Mack...Jesus, HIMSELF, has given remedy for those Jews of that generation who killed Him. When the Jews were encouraged by some of the leaders to cry out to Pilate that the blood of Jesus be upon them and their children, Jesus, recalls another incident when the Jews blamed their plight with the accusation that they were brought out to the desert in order for their family and children to die...and God said that these very children will survive their parents who in so accusing God and Moses, will drop in the field before forty years are up...by invoking a rulling of ignorance in wrongful death, by telling God to forgive them (the ignorant among the mob) for they know not what they do...thus taking out the venem of the self curse. According to the Torah concerns about the city of refuge (Christ claiming Himself to be such) only those who saw the works of Jesus and still believed not (unpardonable sin), would be cursed in that forty year generation alone, NOT their children, and NOT those Jews still alive today. Their only sin would be to not flee to the city of refuge provided in this time (Jesus). Remember, according to the Torah, those guilty of merely man slaughter, not the intentional killing of a person, could flee to the city of refuge...but he had to FLEE before the avenger of blood could reach him else this man's blood would be on his own head when his laxity allowed the avenger to reach him. On the other hand the real murderers (like those who tried to get that curse put upon them and their children) would not and COULD not if they would, flee to the city of refuge because there was a trial which determined whether or not they were true murderers and the rule there was that in the mouth of two or three witness shall a man guilty of that which requires a death penalty be put to death. You could blaspheme God, you could blasphem the son, but the third count would bring on the unpardonable sin sentance. In other words, these people died before the forty year generation was up at the destruction of the temple. Their children are guiltless of any special curse due to the death of Christ. They have the same chance as the rest of us, and if we consider that we are close to the end, then consider that according to the Bible every third Jew today, is a potential brother in Christ, in that God promises that a third will become his special children to enter into the Millennium alive...check out Zechariah 12-13 and the latter end of Matthew 25, when during the last seven years after the rapture, Jesus rewards those gentiles who helped "the least of these my brethren" many times unawares.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • Jenna

      radicalrabbi – I PRAISE The Lord God Almighty that you've accepted the Messiah, that makes my heart so full of joy to read that. :)

      Mack- EVERY. ONE. needs to repent or they will face eternal separation. I know for a fact that there are slave-owners in my family history– does that mean I need to repent for this disgraceful practice my ancestors commited?? How does that make sense? I have my own sin that I have commited in my life, that I have needed to ask the Lord to forgive. We aren't accountable for anyone but ourselves. I pray that you will see that the Jews are GODS CHOSEN PEOPLE and He has NOT forgotten about them. He loves them dearly, as we can see throughout the ENTIRE bible, old and new testament. There are still prophecies that have yet to occur regarding Israel. Even as Jesus comes to gather His elect, there will be 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel that will see Him and accept Him.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • inzion

      "Until the Jews apologize for killing the Lord Jesus"

      Until Europeans and Christians repent for the two holocausts [70 CE; 1940's] they cannot stand up in an earthly or spiritual court. It is also a grave offence to state a lie when quoting a scripture you reverse. Jews did not kill Jesus, or did Jews speak Aramaic in the year 30. The heresy law of Nero was after 66 CE; Hebrew was the predominant lingua before this time. Rome – your ancestors, killed one million Jews who rejected Rome's heresy decree and stood up for Monotheism alone. But for the Jews, all of Europe would have been worshiping Jupiter and Zeus today.

      Please prove that Jews 'conspired' [they certainly never killed] Jesus? This is your obligation – else the verdict is reversed on to you.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • Muneef

      Never knew that GOD or as some say the Son of GOD could be killed...even if he wanted to...!?

      April 9, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
  14. Muneef

    Islamic holy books

    Islam speaks of respecting all the previous scriptures in their original forms. Belief in all the revealed books is an article of faith in Islam and a Muslim must believe in all the scriptures to be a Muslim. The four books are the Tawrat, Zabur, Injil and Quran. The Torat was sent to Musa (Moses), the Zabur was sent to Dawood (David), the Injil was sent to Isa (Jesus) and the Qur'an was sent to Muhammad.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_holy_books
    --–
    What are the Tawrat, Zabur and Injil?

    http://www.injil.org/Kalimatullah/revelations.html

    April 8, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • star and cross

      yeah, pfft, or you could always behead them.....

      April 9, 2012 at 4:34 am |
    • Linda Rivera

      Islam is the radical opposite of Judaism and Christianity! Our Wonderful, Glorious Creator, is Merciful not in mere words, but in acts and deeds of mercy! God's Laws are eternal. God does not give anyone a free pass to break His laws because of their religion! God commanded: YOU SHALL NOT MURDER. The following information is from the website:
      http://answering-islam.org/authors/durie/islamic_jesus.html

      ‘Isa (Jesus) in the Hadith

      ‘Isa the destroyer of Christianity

      The prophet ‘Isa will have an important role in the end times, establishing Islam and making war until he destroys all religions save Islam. He shall kill the Evil One (Dajjal), an apocalyptic anti-Christ figure.

      He will fight for the cause of Islam. He will break the cross, kill pigs, and abolish the poll-tax. Allah will destroy all religions except Islam. He (‘Isa) will destroy the Evil One and will live on the earth for forty years and then he will die’. (Sunan Abu Dawud, 37:4310) The Sahih Muslim has a variant of this tradition: ‘The son of Mary ... will soon descend among you as a just judge. He will ... abolish the poll-tax, and the wealth will pour forth to such an extent that no one will accept charitable gifts.’ (Sahih Muslim 287)

      What do these sayings mean? The cross is a symbol of Christianity. Breaking crosses means abolishing Christianity. Pigs are associated with Christians. Killing them is another way of speaking of the destruction of Christianity. Under Islamic law the poll-tax buys the protection of the lives and property of conquered ‘people of the Book’. (At-Taubah 9:29) The abolition of the poll-tax means jihad is restarted against Christians (and Jews) living under Islam, who should convert to Islam, or else be killed or enslaved. The abundance of wealth refers to booty flowing to the Muslims from this conquest. This is what the Muslim ‘Isa will do when he returns in the last days.

      Muslim jurists confirm these interpretations: consider, for example, the ruling of Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri (d. 1368).

      April 9, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Muneef

      Linda Rivera.

      All the true religions of GOD were called Islam meaning Submission and Monotheism to GOD...it was Abraham (saw) who first called for it rejecting Polytheism and the that is the mere meaning of the word Islam..!
      Jesus (saw) return will be to bring out the truth of the true religion to reunite it as one as should have been before it took different misleading directions from the original Abrahamic Islam.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  15. Fair&Balanceed

    Here's a suggestion...Go to the website shroud.com and look at all the evidence pointing to the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. Then look at all the other side that says the Shroud's a fake. I did and I have come to believe 100% that the shroud is the authentic burial cloth of Christ beyond a shadow of a doubt and by far the greatest most awesome archaeological artifact ever.

    April 8, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Sorry, F&B, the shroud has been definitively radiocarbon dated to AD 1260-1390. The samples were collected by a team of experts, including a Vatican Cardinal and Vatican scientific adviser and textile and physics experts. The samples were taken from original portions of the shroud that were not in close proximity to any patching or repairs, and were sent to 3 different radiocarbon labs in 3 different countries along with control samples of known age. The labs did not know which samples were which and all correctly dated the control samples and independently dated the shroud samples within two standard deviations of each others results.

      It would be fantastic if all archaeological materials could be dated that thoroughly. The shroud is Medieval in age.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
  16. Muneef

    Posts for Jem,Leo,PRISM1234 at page 28.

    April 8, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  17. Dan

    Overall this is a good thing. The hoopla about the Apostle Paul though is quite off the mark. What he wrote in the New Testament he got directly from the Old. Especially the book of Genesis. It prophesied the entire scenario of old verses new through the lives of the patriarchs. Paul saw this and simply pointed it out. This link is a very popular article that goes over that data.
    http://www.wordservice.org/Symbolisms%20in%20Genesis/bs1000.htm

    I also think this is good because as far as I know first century or New Testament " Judaism bears little resemblance to many modern manifestations. I think their is a bit of a conspiracy in that.

    April 8, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  18. Ahavah

    As a philosophy major with minors in both Judaic studies and linguistics, I happen to agree with modern trends in the scholarship surrounding Jesus of Nazareth that he was a good man who believed in social justice, and a good Jew. It's clear if you sit down and actually read the NT, Jesus taught his followers to obey God's written laws but to reject the Oral Law of the Pharisees as God's word (which it isn't) instead of just traditions communities chose to follow. Unlike the Sadducees of his day, he accepted the book of Daniel as a true prophecy – making him what in modern times we would call a Karaite, not an apostate Jew of any sort. Paul – the real Shaul of Tarsus – as it says clearly in the book of Acts took a Nazarite Vow to prove he was NOT teaching Torahlessness. His authentic writings can be shown to be diatribes not against God's written Torah but again, against the Oral Laws of the Pharisees – which he was trying to reform. Unfortunately, about half the books attributed to "Paul" were in fact (according to linguistic analysis) written in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th centuries pseudonymously by the early Roman Church – which was very much in favor of syncretizing their pagan practices into "christianity". Jesus' real apostles, especially in I John 3 (well, all of I John actually) make it clear that anyone who claims to know God but doesn't obey God's laws is lying. Sin is Torahlessness ("lawlessness" in many English translations") and those who continue to live in sin (that is, continue to disobey Torah) are not saved. God doesn't know them. It's very simple. Grace is not license for sin, the real Saul writes, and sin is the transgression of the Torah. Ergo, grace is not license for transgressing the Torah. That is the real teaching of Jesus and his followers – the same as the prophets before them, nothing new at all. It was mixing paganism and greek mystery religions into "christianity" that made it what it is today, not the teaching of Jesus, a mere Karaite, or his original disciples. Those are the facts. Many who have been indoctrinated by some "church" don't want to hear that, but truth exists regardless of anyone's opinion of it.

    April 8, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  19. NormB

    Good start. Now if they'd just stop their mindless devotion to liberal democrat socialists who have done nothing but murder them in the tens of millions, THAT would be a newsworthy item. Start with dropping support for The Obama.

    April 8, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  20. FLORICA

    Really? There are still people on earth, i mean adult people, believing in this greco roman myth of the son of a deity and a married virgin??? And they still believe this fiction has any link with judaism and Torah? HAHAHAHAHA They cannot be serious people! This is soooooo hilarious!! HAHAHAHAHAHA. This story is too ridiculos to be accepted by the jews, only pagans or muslims could accept this staf.

    April 8, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • DDM

      If there was a Jesus, he was indeed a Jew, and he did teach his Jewish disciples and Jewish followers many positive things. The teachings have spread to many others. That some people made up hocus-pocus things to glorify the story can be discarded by those not into magic.

      April 8, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • AngryJew

      and yet there are Jews who accept that thing called Khabbalah. I quote "The wisdom of Kabbalah is a scientific tool for studying the spiritual world. To explore our world, we use natural sciences such as physics, chemistry, and biology. But natural sciences study only the physical world we perceive with our five senses. To fully understand the world we live in, we need a research tool that can explore the hidden realm, that which our senses cannot perceive. This tool is the wisdom of Kabbalah."

      April 8, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • J

      I think that you will be very sad and unfortunate to learn that you are wrong...at your death.

      April 8, 2012 at 8:02 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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.