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Mainstream Christian theology's position held that Judaism had been supplanted, the Jewish covenant with the divine no longer valid, because of the incarnation of God as Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross.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

    I'm an Anglican priest, married to a faithful Jewish wife. We mutually agreed thet neither would convert for the sake of marriage. We also agreed that any child (we had one-a girl) would be raised as a Jew. I have benefited for over 40 years of my connection with Judaism, and find it to be a source of great help in practicing my faith and ministry. While I do, of course, believe that Jesus was God in the flesh, and there is a Trinity of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (the Spirit of God is mentioned in the 1st Chapter of Genesis, and the Son of God is mentioned in the Book of Daniel) it is a mystery beyond all human comprehension. Of course, there is ONE GOD and only One (Sh'ma Yisroel'...) and anyone who says that because of 'Jesus God no longer honors His Covenant with Israel is calling God a liar. For any Christain who thinks that, I suggest you read Romans 11:25. Israel is the true vine and we Gentiles are branches that were grafted in by the work of Christ. Faith and Reason will always be in conflict. In any case of irreconcilability, I choose Faith.

    June 25, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  2. Cloud-man

    Paul: God had to become a human in order to die a physical death because He cannot die in the spirit world. We also just died a physical death and our soul does not die because He made us eternal. How else could He do it but by becoming a temporary mortal? I know it is hard for our feeble human minds to understand this but that does not make it impossible for Him to accomplish it. He is ALL powerful!

    June 25, 2012 at 9:28 am |
  3. Cloud-man

    Paul; GOD is so powerful that He can continue to run all the Univereses while still comeing to this world as a small human yet with all His authority at hand. All he had to do was speak a command and it would be done. Unlike us, He has the power to be everywhere at the same time and in different forms without having to stop what He is doing: He was also running the Universe. The voice that was heard was that of the Father, He himself as the Almighty Spirit that is everywhere. Do you think that when he visited Adam and Eve, Abraham, Jacob, or Moses, that He had to stopped running the Univereses? He clearly said in John 14: 8-10 that He is also the Father.

    June 25, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  4. Cloud-man

    You are correct, there is no trinity! Hear ye oh Israel, thy God is One! Having said this, I clarify that God Almighty is a Spirit that is so huge that He is bigger by trillions of times than all the Universes commbined, and then some more. He is so huge and powerful that if he gathered His Spirit in one single place, everything would desintegrate and cease to exist: that includes angels and especially all physical materials in our Universe, because He would be like a gigantic ball of fire, energy, inaccisible light , where nothing can survive in His mighty presence. So He takes a microsm of Himself with all the power at His disposal, all His Character traits, and all His knowledge and wisdom, and appears as He needs to do so, though while still being God Almighty. In order for Him to fellowship with His created angels, he dwelt among them as the Angel of The Lord; in order for him to visit man He would take the form of a man, as when he visited Adam and Eve, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Mosses, Gideon, and many others (remember that they all knelt in His Presence, He was God). When man lost the Earth to the evil-one, who was cast out of Heaven, only a perfect human could recover Earth back and also die as a perfect unblemished Sacrificial Lamb for all humanity; though He was still God Almighty as mentioned above. Only God could accomplish this by being born as a human, living a perfect life, taking all man's sins upon Himself, suffering, and dieing a physical death to conquer the evil' strong hold on humanity, and death's grip on the souls. He is the promissed Jewish Messiah that fullfilled this down to the written letter. HE is God Almighty, Jehova, Aloheim, Adonai, The Angel of the Lord, Jesus Christ, God in the form of man - ONE GOD!

    June 24, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Paul

      Yeah so when he died, which by the way is impossible for God.

      Who ressurected him after being dead for three days??

      You are much mistaken, Jehovah is "one God", in this there is no dispute. The Jews have always been mono theist.But as Jesus being God, Jehovah, well that's another story. Unless you are going to align yourself with the other apostates of the 4th Century where this teaching started!

      Jesus correctly spoke of Jehovah as his father and God, whom he worshipped. When Jesus was baptised, who was it that spoke from heaven and "approved" his son. Or did Jesus (God) at his baptism, throw his voice from heaven to give an illusion, hardly worth considering.

      No I think the Bible has got it right, Jehovah calls Jesus his Son, as a dad I know what that means. He's not me but actually my son. Doesn't take too much figuring out. Unless you want to portray God as a Schizophrenic, all the best with that one. Let me now when you do and where you are and I will locate myself on the other sde of the planet.

      Phew, where do these guys come from??

      June 25, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • Paul

      Actually I think your name says it all, thanks "Cloud Man".

      June 25, 2012 at 7:15 am |
    • Paul

      Oh yeah! and who ran the Universe while God was busy for 9mths inside Mary?? Then grew up as a boy, learned the trade of carpentry, I guess you would need that if you were the creator. But hang on, he created before doing his trade, maybe he knew everything except how to build wheels and furniture hmmm, have to think about that, possibly Joseph knew more than God.
      No, sorry can't see it.

      And another thing, the account after Jesus (Jehovah) was found by his parents (as they had lost him for three days, imagine loosing God) in the Temple, the Bible says that Jesus remained subject to his parents. Now come on, God, Jehovah the Grand Creator of all the universe is subject to puny imperfect humans?? I don't think so.

      You must be joking, right!

      June 25, 2012 at 7:39 am |
    • Cloud_man

      No am am not joking about Yeshua being God Almighty in a physical human body tempoarily being under the confines of space and time; but God planned it that way. He planned to be born, live, and die for All of His created being. Yes He submitted Himself to earthly devout Jewish parents. He had to be just like any human and learn from scratch the sciptures and a life of dedication to God (Himself as the Almighty Spirit that is everywhere). Yes while He was inside Mary's womb, he was still running everything simultaneously as God in the all encompassing Spitual form. Read my other comments in the following pages.

      July 28, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
  5. Toma Joel

    Thus says The Lord concerning that which is obvious, a warning made plain, which shall go greatly unheeded by those with veiled heads: This is but the first of many things, which men in the churches have built up in their pride, that shall be struck!...

    For they build themselves up for show, a false goodness...

    Foolish servants, who forsake the poor and the needy,
    In favor of the praises of men...

    FALSE GLORY! Says The Lord in His jealousy.

    For their works are perverse in My sight, and their words contemptible. Therefore, because they have robbed Me, I will rob them. I will tear them in pieces, with every foundation collapsing... No wall shall be left standing... And they shall become as those, whom they have forsaken. And they shall no more preach from their finely-crafted pulpits, standing tall among all their expensive ornaments, broadcasting lies with all their purchased devices.

    I am The Lord!...

    I will not share My glory!...

    Neither shall they pollute My name, anymore!

    Behold, all these great churches of men,
    Who have accomplished great gain in the world,
    Shall become the offscouring among the nations...

    Says The Lord.

    http://www.TrumpetCallofGodonline.com

    June 24, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  6. briangottesman

    It says in the Old Testament Deuteronomy 13.6-8:
    13:6 If anyone secretly entices you–even if it is your brother, your father's son or your mother's son, or your own son or daughter, or the wife you embrace, or your most intimate friend–saying, "Let us go worship other gods," whom neither you nor your ancestors have known, 13:7 any of the gods of the peoples that are around you, whether near you or far away from you, from one end of the earth to the other, 13:8 you must not yield to or heed any such person.
    I’d like to use this passage as an argument against the Holy Trinity. The argument is that the Holy Trinity is technically another God since it does not have the same attributes as the Old Testament God. Attributed to http://amateurlyinsightful.blogspot.com/

    June 22, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • Joel Gold

      G-d throughout Tanakh makes us well aware of His "plurality". "The Lord said to My Lord; sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool". Psalm 110:1 "Let us make man in OUR image according to OUR likeness." Genesis 1:26 "Let us go down and confuse their language". Genesis 11:7 "Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven." Genesis 19:24 "You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness: Therefore G-d, Your G-d, has annointed You with the oil of gladness above Your fellows". Psalm 45:7 Yeshua is clearly the promised Messiah of Israel. The one who does not recieve G-d's forgivenss through the atonement of Jesus finds himself still in his own sins. This argument will not work for you on the day of judgment. Stop following men, and follow G-d.

      June 23, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • briangottesman

      Second, people talk about themselves in plural all the time. It does not mean that they are many, right?
      Third, taking that last statement into account the Jews did not think previously of their god as the holy trinity, nor was it ever stated in the bible. Show me where it has. You can't find it because it doesn't exist.
      Therefore, the Holy Trinity is technically another god than the one the Jews followed, and the Bible talked about

      July 3, 2012 at 2:15 am |
  7. kenrick Benjamin

    Not that Jesus is here and dwelling amongst us.

    June 21, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Paul

      You are much mistaken my friend.

      See Revelation Chap 6. The ride of the four horsemen started with the ride of the white horse, Jesus Christ as King of God's Kingdom. The others are riding as we speak along with Christ. Soon to be culminated in Jehovah's Great and fear inspiring day of Armaggedon.

      Christ will soon carry out his judgement on all religion who have misrepresented him and his God Jehovah. I appeal you to think of the things I have written before it is too late.

      Jesus Christ rules to the Glory of Jehovah God.

      June 24, 2012 at 6:47 am |
    • kenrick benjamin

      Paul- I believe in Jehovah and his son Jesus however I do not believe that Jesus has return and is incognito as you stated.

      June 25, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  8. Paul

    Kenrick Benjamin: have you seen him and if you have what make you believe he was Jesus.
    Just consider for one moment. Do you think there would be a need of a “sign” if everyone can see him? The scriptures clearly indicate he would come with the clouds, indicating invisibility, hence a need for a “sign”.
    How did Jesus arrive?
    Check these scriptures out, Daniel 7:13; Matthew 24:30; 26:64; Mark 13:26; 14;62; and Revelation 1:7. All these scriptures talk about “the son of man” coming “in the clouds”. The “son of man” is no doubt Jesus Christ as he referred to himself as such.
    Another clue is that when Jesus was resurrected to the heavens he was given a name above all other names and from that time on dwells in “unapproachable light” (1 Timothy 6:16) Then Timothy adds “whom not one of men has seen or can see.” So you see it is impossible for men to see Christ in his exulted position, hence another reason for a sign of his presence.
    I believe Jesus returned then due to all the signs being fulfilled. There can be no question that we are in the “last days”, Jesus likened his presence (pa-rou-si’as) to the days of Noah, Matthew 24:36-39. As they were in those days (Noah’s day) eating and drinking and taking no note. So during his presence, people in general will not observe his presence. Noah was a preacher and yet no one listened apart from his family, the others “took no note.” Sadly as a result they all drowned in the flood waters. So it will be today, although the preaching work is being done on a world wide scale as never before, people in general take no note. They fail to recognise Jesus presence and that he is already ruling in the heavens and soon going to bring this system to a destructive end. Thankfully many thousands are taking note and taking action and joining the millions in preaching about our ruling King Jesus Christ.

    June 21, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      Paul I don't know what Book you are reading but it clearly states in Matthew 24; Verse 30 that the son of Man would be visible coming in on the clouds of heaven. Like I mention that's your interpretation and it doesn't matches up with the Bible. The way in which I see it, is like Psalms 24; verse 1 and 2 states and is collobrated by the book of Genesis and Science that life start in the sea. that's the reason as to why God intervene with the affairs on Earth, until the day of christ return.

      June 21, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      I meant Collaborated, sorry I was pressed for time.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:21 am |
  9. Paul

    kenrick Benjamin:
    Jesus presence (Greek pa-rou-si’as) meaning “alongside”
    Matthew 24:3 It is interesting that Matthew used this term meaning ‘presence’ instead of ‘coming’ (Greek e’leu-sis). The difference being that ‘coming’ means prior to ones arrival, and ‘presence’ means along with one’s presence or arrival.
    So having an understanding of this helps us in knowing that the things Jesus listed would indicate his arrival and presence or ‘alongside’ him. This would mean during Christ’s presence there would be war, famine, pestilence, earth quakes in one place after another etc. This is in harmony with Psalms 110:1,2 where he is described as ruling in the ‘midst of his enemies’.
    Jesus did not indicate how long he would be present prior to Jehovah’s day or the final battle of Armageddon, but it was long enough for all the signs to be evident to everyone and a worldwide preaching (Matthew 24:14) to be done before the end came (Jehovah’s Day).
    Revelation 12 gives some interesting details about the Christ taking rulership. Vs 7 indicates that war broke out in heaven, Michael (Jesus heavenly name) and his angels battled with Satan and his angels. Vs 9 indicates Satan lost the war and as a result he was cast out from heaven. So Jesus first job as King was to cleanse the heavens and he confined Satan and his angels to the earth and he was very angry. For how long? Vs 12 says it is a short period of time. During this time Satan waged war against Jesus remaining ones on earth, who bear witness to Jesus and who observe his commands.
    We see evidence of this by the description in Matthew 24 and Luke 21 also 2 Tim 3:1–5.
    There are great prophesies in Daniel that pin point the arrival of Christ to be Oct 1914, if you would like some details on this I would love to share.

    June 20, 2012 at 6:16 am |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      Paul that's your interpretation, however as you say Jesus have returned since 1914, have you seen him and if you have what make you believe he was Jesus.

      June 20, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      Paul- Just one more question, how did Jesus Christ arrived.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  10. kindness

    I Follow Christ . I never wanted proof. I just had faith.

    HE WHO follows Me, walks not in darkness,” says the Lord (John 8:12). By these words
    of Christ we are advised to imitate His life and habits, if we wish to be truly enlightened and
    free from all blindness of heart. Let our chief effort, therefore, be to study the life of Jesus
    Christ.
    The teaching of Christ is more excellent than all the advice of the saints, and he who
    has His spirit will find in it a hidden manna. Now, there are many who hear the Gospel often
    but care little for it because they have not the spirit of Christ. Yet whoever wishes to understand
    fully the words of Christ must try to pattern his whole life on that of Christ.

    What good does it do to speak learnedly about the Trinity if, lacking humility, you
    displease the Trinity? Indeed it is not learning that makes a man holy and just, but a virtuous
    life makes him pleasing to God. I would rather feel contrition than know how to define it.
    For what would it profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all the
    philosophers if we live without grace and the love of God? Vanity of vanities and all is vanity,
    except to love God and serve Him alone.

    This is the greatest wisdom—to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the
    world. It is vanity, therefore, to seek and trust in riches that perish. It is vanity also to court
    honor and to be puffed up with pride. It is vanity to follow the lusts of the body and to desire
    things for which severe punishment later must come. It is vanity to wish for long life and
    to care little about a well-spent life. It is vanity to be concerned with the present only and
    not to make provision for things to come. It is vanity to love what passes quickly and not
    to look ahead where eternal joy abides.
    Often recall the proverb: “The eye is not satisfied with seeing nor the ear filled with
    hearing.”1 Try, moreover, to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring
    yourself to things invisible. For they who follow their own evil passions stain their consciences
    and lose the grace of God.

    See for yourself. You will be on a battlefield for christ

    June 18, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  11. Jon

    The church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints believe that there are three Gods in whom to worship ( God the Father, Jesus Christ, and The Holy Ghost). god the Father is Elohim, Jehovah is Jesus Christ, and The Holy Ghost is spirit. they are all three one in purpose and in complete unity of mind, doctrine, power, and glory.

    June 18, 2012 at 4:18 am |
    • Paul

      One simpleproblem with this Jon. Why is he called God's Son? If Jesus came to help us understand the Father, then why did he not explain the trinity?
      What he did explain was that he was "God's Son", do you not think using this phrase explains their relationship simply.
      I have a son and I know he is not me. I may send my son to represent me in a business dealing, but he is still not me. We may share the same personality traits, but he is still not me.
      When Jesus said he was God' s Son I know what he meant, if he meant anything else I'm sure he would of explained more clearly.

      In fact it was not Jeus that explained the trinity, as it was not until 400 years later it was accepted into Christianity. Along with many other pagan concepts too. All part of the apostasy that was prophecied.
      You need to check out your facts my friend.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:29 am |
  12. Paul

    kenrick Benjamin:
    I find it interesting that you are still waiting for the Messiah’s return. According to Bible prophecy he already has returned.
    One of Jesus first acts as King was to kick Satan out of heaven, which meant turmoil for mankind here on earth. Revelation 12:7-12 World conditions show that this happened in 1914. You may wish to check this out in Matthew 24 and Luke 21 where Jesus gave the signs of his presence as King. It was prophesied that he would rule in the midst of his enemies, as he is doing today. Psalms 110:1,2
    One of the other signs is that the “Good news of the Kingdom” would be preached worldwide before the end. True Christians have been doing this since well before 1914. Matthew 24:14
    This message is preached to all, Jew and Gentile. Far more difficult for Muslims as it is illegal in many Muslim countries to proselytize, in fact the death penalty.

    June 18, 2012 at 3:22 am |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      Paul I am not going to debate you on the scriptures, since you feel that Jesus Christ have returned to EARTH Glory be to you.

      June 18, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      Just one Question I Taught the Bible Stated That No one execpt Jehovah new the date and time of Christ return. Not even Christ.

      June 18, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      Paul- I have a little time to get into My interpretation. When Jesus died he descended into hell and freed all the righteous souls that were there because of Adam and Eve's sin, he then ascended into heaven where he cast out Satan and his crew out of heaven down to Earth, where he is to this day. Jesus has not return to Earth from Heaven as of yet. The things you mention are things that will take place before his return, as is written no one know the day or hour of his return, only the Father Jehovah. However as is also written the Earth's is the Lords because it was created By Jehovah with the Heavens as stated in Genesis.

      June 18, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Paul

      Thanks Kenrick, I will comment on this tomorrow. Bit busy today. I will endeavour to explain why Jesus return and Jehovah's Day are different in that we do know when Jesus returned but do not know the day or hour for Jehovah's Day, or Armaggedon.

      June 18, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      Ok Paul.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • Cloud-man

      Please note that Jesus' second coming has NOT YET OCCURRED. It will occur in two phases: first as an invisible visit and then as a visible visit. The next return will the invisible visit where He does NOT set foot on Earth, but seven more years later He does return visibly and ALL eyes shall see His return. That is when He comes back at the end the "great tribulation" period (and also at the end of the "marraige supper celebration" period), to establish His kingdom for a thousand years here on Earth, where He will rule the world from Israel, and from the New Jerusalem which He brought down from Heaven. Now let me digress: In the next invisible visit, only the souls of those believers who were "asleep" will see Him, along with those believers who were alive and they were transformed in a "twinkle of an eye" (1 Corinthians 15:52: "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."). We shall meet Him in the clouds - I reiterate, this will be the invisible return for His Church. We will meet Yeshua (Jesus) in the clouds and only the believers will see Him. Those "left behind" will not see him yet, for about another seven more years when He returns visibly along with His Bride, the Church. During these seven years (it also corresponds to the 70th week of Daniel's prophesy) the believers whom He gathered will be in the "marriage supper celebration" up in Heaven, while here on Earth the worse of times are occurring. (Revelations Chapters 19 thru 24)

      June 29, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  13. joseph

    The Jewish people today have the advantage of viewing the chronology of Christs life through a prism unfettered by the influence and threats (if anyone says they believe that Christ is the Messiah will be put out of the synagogue) of persuasive and powerful voices but purely through old testament scripture. Honestly search the scriptures for yourself and with an unbiased eye deduce whether there is anything the Messiah was prophesied to do that was not and is not being walked out by Christ.

    June 16, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  14. Antonio Cordero

    Christian & Jewish people are being liberated from their prejudices against each other, that is causing a deeper understanding of each other’s points of view, at the same time Islam has become more ostracized by its own reluctance to start a dialogue, that’s probably putting things in their right place, for Islam never intended to simply become a new movement within Judaism, Christianity did do it instead.
    Actually, the apostles’ first century Christianity was nothing but a new sect within Judaism with very close ties to the pharisaic school which later gave birth to present rabbinic Judaism. I believe, the rise of the struggle between Islam with its jihadist radicalism and the perverted sort of Christianity that had come out of Jesus “the way” Jewish movement melting into the Roman Empire, had a lot to do with Judaism being left out of the equation, ending up as a minority persecuted belief system.
    But, as a large part of Christianity has sorted out the obstacles toward looking at its true origins, recognizing Judaism as the original tree from where it all begun, thanking Jewish people for being the keepers of the Bible and representing the womb from where Messiah came out, Jews on their part, who usually know when time is ripe to make changes, have begun to respond slowly but positively by making new friends through their recognition of Yeshuah as real Jewish rabbi, the New Testament as a real Jewish book, and probably Christianity as a good version of Judaism that was only meant for gentiles .
    The argument on Bible prophesy which is yet to take place cannot distract us from the prophesy that is taking place right now, Israel is being restored now, Christians and Jews are being reconciled now, Jesus is being recognized now, The church of Jesus is changing for better and I seriously believe Judaism is doing it too, right now! Halleluiah!

    June 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  15. Paul

    Kenrick Benjamin:
    First of all the Greek for Congregations or Churches is ‘ecclesias’, meaning a group of worshippers.
    Muslims and Jews are only linked by birth, Muslims being more distant cousins. They are not linked spiritually as Jesus condemned the Jewish nation before his death and the leaders of the Jewish faith had him killed by the Romans. This was the final straw for the nation as a chosen people Matthew 21:42-44.
    Of course individuals Jews could accept Christ and join the new spiritual nation which was made up from Gentiles and Jews (first of all known as “The Way”, then came to be called Christians) who follow Jesus and his commands as Christians. (this term Christian, means follower of Christ) see Acts 9:2; 11:26.
    As those who are joined with Christ must all be united in worship of the only true God Jehovah. It is impossible to think that both Jews and Muslims would consider renouncing their present faith and worship Jehovah unitedly under Christ with and as Christians.
    With this in mind it seems very unlikely that John was talking to other denominations of differing beliefs.

    June 15, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      Paul- Don't think for Jesus, With Jesus anything is possible With regards to Jews and Muslim reconsidering or denounceing their faith. When he return it will put an end to all the confusion amongst the denominations.

      June 15, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      Paul- And we are right back where we Started.

      June 15, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  16. Paul

    Mark:
    According to Revelation the co rulers with the Messiah will number 144,000 and will rule over the earth and restore it to a paradise that we once had. That is why John said that these 144,000 were the “first fruits” of mankind that would be taken to heaven to rule with the messiah, which were given to Jehovah as a sacrifice, which was a small representation of all those who would be saved on earth.

    June 11, 2012 at 3:48 am |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      Paul not all Christian Faiths believe in the trinity however they do believe that Jesus is the son of God, true Islam don't believe that Jesus is the Messiah and so does Judaism however they are extricably linked.

      June 12, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • Paul

      The only Christian religion I know that does not accept the Trinity or that Jesus is God, are Jehovah's Witnesses.

      What aprt specifically in prophecy tells of the unification of three faiths?

      June 13, 2012 at 3:31 am |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      Revelation-Chapter 3 Christ's Letters to three Churches.

      June 13, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Paul

      I have had a look at this and all these congregations were all Christian Congregations established by the apostles. A cclue to this is that the writer John identifies those to whom the revelation was written to in Rev 1:9 he refers to them as his brothers. It was actually written to the seven congregations Rev 1:4.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:09 am |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      Paul not seven Congregations or Denomination but seven Churches, the letters are correction for the churches, we presume it to be Christian Churches because John is a brother in Christ however both Muslims and Jews are linked to Christ, like various denominations are linked to Christ with varing believes.

      June 14, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • kenrick Benjamin

      Paul you stated that you believe like the Jews yet you don't see the relations.

      June 14, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Cloud_man

      Paul Nothing in the Bible supports that the 44,000 will co-rule with the Messiah, in fact they are preachers here o9n Earth during the Great Tribulation, all are Jewish Believers in Yeshua, before Yeshua returns to reign.

      July 8, 2012 at 1:53 am |
  17. Paul

    Kenrick Benjamin:
    I wonder if you could explain through scripture with regard to unification of the 3 faiths?

    June 11, 2012 at 3:36 am |
    • kenrick Benjamin

      Paul as you and I both know that Islam believe in Jesus and his teachings, Christianity is about Jesus and his teachings and Judaism is the root of both, it was Judaism laws that Jesus fulfilled.

      June 11, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Paul

      Islam do not believe Jesus to be the Messiah, which poses a problem. Nearly all Christians do not see Jesus as God's son, but rather they believe in a trinity of God's. Jehovah, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as one God. Both these teachings are out of harmony with God's Word.
      I am a Christian and believe as the Jews believe that Jehovah is the All Mighty God, Jesus is his Son and the Holy Spirit is just that (not a person, but a force used by God).

      June 12, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • cloud-man

      There is nothing that supports that Islam will somehow be reconciled with Judaism or Christianity; however, many Islamist will eventually see the light of who "Yeshua" or Jesus is, by the visions that the Lord will provide to them to open their eyes and see that they are following a false religion that cannot come from God - they will be welcomed as believers in God's fold. But, Islam will become a bigger and bigger religion of the end times, because once the "church" is lifted-up, and since Islam is actually a political movement, it will flourish among those who reject the God of Judaism and Christianism. When the book of revelations speaks of those who don't reject Jesus in the end times, it says that they will be "beheaded"; And, that is the primary form of execution that Islam support. "And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. This is what Revelations 20:4 says: " And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshipped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years." (Revelation 20:4). Clearly the evil-one or in this case the "Beast" who is impersonating the Jewish Messiah - after the church has been lifted out - will seek worship of himself and there will those who will see the light and not worship him and will be willing even to be beheaded. That is the plain Bible truth!

      July 27, 2012 at 12:17 am |
  18. Kindness

    For you.
    A thought to consider without a typical ego response

    Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.

    The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.

    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners.

    We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
    It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .

    Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
    See the truth...
    do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from som other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancsend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .

    Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.

    Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
    You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it

    You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
    I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
    Its awsome and It's just between you and Jesus

    my testimony

    June 7, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • just sayin

      hit report abuse...spamming.....

      June 7, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Bill

      Dear Kindness,
      Please put down the bullhorn. I assure you this approach has been tried many times and doesn't work! Try to understand where the author is coming from before you pick up your bullhorn and start yelling at no one in particular.
      Sincerely,
      A fellow Christian

      June 9, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
  19. Peace

    Come unto Me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. .....Messiah Mathew 11:28

    May 25, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • Mark

      amen I love that verse. I also have found peace in Yeshua. I hope that many other Jewish people will open their hearts to Israel's Messiah.

      May 26, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • Paul

      How do you see Jerusalem fitting in with the coming of Jesus (english) Yeshua (Hebrew) as King? I ask this as it is torn with war and no longer the centre of the true religion, with regard to worshipping Jehovah (english), YHWH (Hebrew), as it is now the centre of the Muslim faith with the Dome of the Rock where the Temple that was rebuilt by Herod. Interestingly it only lasted 6 years and was then destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. Jerusalem surrendered to Muslim domination in 637 CE.
      Daniel linked the coming of the Messiah with the destruction of Jerusalem, see Daniel 9:24 – 27. This is the prophecy of the "seventy weeks". How do you understand this prophecy?

      May 30, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • Paul

      I thought Jesus said not to say the same things over and over again.

      Boring, try a real conversation you will find it liberating.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • Cloud_man

      Paul; There will be a huge earthquake after the church is lifted and right at the start of the 70th week of Daniel, and that earthquake will mostlikely destroy the Dome of the Rock. Then the world leader that comes to power, will solve the Israeli-Palestinian division (using economic and military power) by forging a treaty that both sides accept; and he builds both a new Jewhish Temple and a new Islamic Mosque, both end-to-end sharing the land. Three and a half years later he breaks the treaty with Israel and betrays the Jewish people. Terrible times come upon Israel as never before and the world experiences the worst of calamities, until Yeshua returns three and ahalf years later, just before the world destroys itself.

      July 29, 2012 at 12:24 am |
  20. Paul

    You could try answering the questions.

    Or are you just a recording??

    May 24, 2012 at 1:13 am |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      Paul the way in which I see this prophecy, is that Jesus will unite the 3 faiths ushering in a destruction of the old Jerusalem and the beginning of a righteous world.

      June 10, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • Mark

      Yes Paul, as far as prophecy goes I am am pan tribulationist. I believe it will all pan out in the end. lol What the Lord has for me is to share Israel's Messiah with the Jewish people. May the children of Israel find peace with G-d through faith in Yeshua/Jesus.

      June 10, 2012 at 8:57 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.