Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

Jews, a question regarding "Messianic Jews"?

Ok, back when Christians and Jews first separated, it was really important that the messiah be a person who conformed literally to the prophecies that Torah commentators had located, yes? But in this day and age, my understanding is that literalism is not in vogue amongst a portion of Jews, and some don't believe in a individual messiah either.

So the question is: if its ok not to believe in any messiah, is it so wrong to believe that the messiah already came and didn't literally conform to the prophecies while keeping to Jewish practices and identifying as a Jew?

(I'm not trying to be a trouble-maker here, or to excuse any dishonesty by evangelicals about conversion. This is a real question)

14 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    They are called Messianic Jews and its OK to call them that.

    A messianic Jew is a Jew that believes that Jesus is the Messiah. Christians and Messianic Jews believe that Jesus is the Messiah.

    The point of view of the anti Messianice Jews is best summed up by Mark JPAS when he said "it is acceptable to blend some degree of foreign spiritual elements with Judaism. The one exception is Christianity, which is perceived to be incompatible with any form of Jewishness. This is the double standard that is applied to Christianity even though Jesus is considered the Jewish Messiah in Christianity. Messianic Jews are looked at with even greater disdain.

    Why? its a cover for there own deviations from Judaism. Some Jews need to maintain a connection to Jewish family because they have deviated so much from traditional Judaism that many Orthodox question their Jewishness. They need find some way to distract attention because of there deviation from the Torah. This is done by pointing their finger at others to direct attention away from their own actions. You can't give yourself a title and expect that it makes you something. This is the argument that has been used against Jews that decide that Jesus is the Messiah. We are told that the mere belief of a different nature of God immediately invalidated a Jews Jewishness. At the same time Jews that become atheists, pantheists or stop practicing any element of their religion we are told are still Jews.

    They say that you can believe in anything but Jesus. Jews call conversion "joining the tribe". Things that would never fly in Orthodox or for that matter Messianic Judaism can be found in the Reform and Reconstructionist movements. A good example of this is a previous question asked here. The person asking worshiped the God Ferris but did not believe in him or the Jewish God. The focus of the question was" ...would you PERSONALLY feel comfortable welcoming me not just as a fellow congregant at your Synagogue, but as a member of the Tribe?" (so he was clearly asking about converting to Judaism).

    The response was "Reform Judaism covers a wide swath of beliefs and practices and I am sure you will be wholly accepted. ... I personally would accept you whole heartily as a fellow Jew."

    So some Jews will accept all kinds of deviations from the Torah but not belief in "Jesus". Let's not forget the Reform movement wanted to change the sabbath to Sunday to be more like Christianity.

    Most Messianic Jews are Torah observant yet you can become an atheist, stop practicing their faith, become a Buddhist, join a Unitarian Church and still be a Jew in the eyes of Reform/Reconstructionist Jews. Most Orthodox when asked about other Jews will say they don't know what non Orthodox Jews are. The same applies to the other sects.

    Speaking of sects Jews will tell you there are no sects but its not true. Rabbinical Jews follow an understanding of their faith that was established 1,900 years ago. They have their own canon of Scripture. There are also non Rabbinical Jews such as the Ethiopian Jews that follows the pattern of the Christian Old Testament and they have many additional books that they consider to be scripture. A group called the Karaites is the opposite of the Ethiopian and only believe in the 5 Books of Moses.

    Rabbinical Jews call Karaites "a sect of Judaism". You can goggle it and see for yourself. Don't let anyone tell you that there are no sects in Judaism.

    They say the the teachings of Jesus are very different from Judaism. They also claim that Jesus taught nothing new from the rabbis before him. Then they we tell you that there were no rabbis until a hundred years after the time of Jesus. Its all about winning the argument to them not about what's true.

    The problem is not differences but similarities. You should know ALL the writers of the Christian Bible were Jews but one. Much of our Scriptures are shared. The vast majority of early believers in Jesus were Jews. So when you hear the exact opposite you need to keep that in mind. A Jew can believe in Jesus and still be a Jew.

    • ...Show all comments
    • A O5 years agoReport

      Idolatry is not acceptable in Judaism and that's what worshipping Jesus is as he did not fulfill messianic prophecies. Claiming to be a Jesus loving Jew is just wrong.

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    answer: I've starred for my Jewish contacts. As I understand it (and I may be wrong) - Messianic Jews believe that Jesus is the messiah and that he was divine. That's in contradiction to the Jewish religion. That makes them Christians. Jesus didn't fulfill the prophecies. He was supposedly of divine origin - the messiah won't be. G-d cannot become human. Jesus is presented as a human sacrifice, taking on the sins of everyone - that's against Jewish teachings. The Messiah will be human and fulfill all the prophecies in one life time - no second coming. There is no original sin to be saved from. No threat of hell. See how Christianity is incompatible with Judaism? You can't be Christian and Jewish at the same time. And there is no Jewish bible. That's a Christian term. There is the Tanakh, not the Old Testament and no New Testament in Judaism. # # # If someone doesn't believe Jesus was divine, then he was just a prophet and not the messiah. He didn't fulfill the prophecies. Christians justify worshipping him because they claim he'll return and fulfill the ones he didn't. If he was a prophet, he won't be back. That means he couldn't be the messiah - divine or not. He didn't fulfill the prophecies. If someone believes Jesus was a prophet only, they'd more likely be a Muslim. Jews don't believe he was a prophet either. If they think of him at all it's usually as a teacher. # # # Then I have a question: does your Jewish bible have the New Testament?

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  • 1 decade ago

    I think the first problem here is that you are assuming that the prophecies of the messiah that the Jews have had since biblical times are the same as the prophecies that Christians claim to 'prove' that Jesus is the messiah . The trouble is that these are actually two entirely different sets of prophecies - 23 in the case of Jews and over 300, I'm told, in the case of Christians - and none of them are the same as the Jewish ones, and most of them we don't hold to be prophecies of any sort, anyway.

    The second diffculty with your question is what seems to be an assumption that the messiah concept is central to Judaism. It isn't. We're not "Christianity but still waiting for the messiah". We are a totally different religion, a totally different SORT of religion. In our religion, just for a start, we absolutely do not accept the idea of there being any other aspect to G-d - G-d is one, that's central. The messiah, should he ever come, will be an ordinary human. And, since our messiah would usher in an age of peace, we really can't accept that someone who did no such thing, for whom divinity is claimed in most branches of Christianity and a non-ordinary-human status by the few who don't. And anyone who does and who sees this as key to anything is simply right outside Jewish belief.

    I hope I'm managing to identify the key issues here - if I've misunderstood anything in your question, please do come back at me.

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  • Kevin7
    Lv 7
    5 years ago

    Messianic Jews are Christians thy are not Jews

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  • DS M
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    ***Ok, back when Christians and Jews first separated***

    You say that as if there is a Temple complete with priests and sacrifices fully operational today.

    You say the above as if Rabbis are just prophets with a different name.

    None of these are true. So how can you ignore the conversion of Jews to something other than scriptural or Messianic Judaism? Why give them a free pass?

    Can you define Jew or Judaism so it includes all Jews? Most of those who are answering have been asked this question but don't come us with a definition of what Judaism is. Instead, they attempt the impossible by trying to define what something is by saying what it is not.

    Judaism 101 says:

    ***It is important to note that being a Jew has nothing to do with what you believe or what you do...a person born to a Jewish mother who is an atheist and never practices the Jewish religion is still a Jew, even in the eyes of the ultra-Orthodox.***

    *** if its ok not to believe in any messiah....***

    It is hard to imagine Atheist Jews are concerned about the Messiah as they certainly are

    NOT concerned about

    1. God

    2. Jewish scripture

    3. God's Law (different from Jewish law)

    4. Celebrating the Passover as one who is delivered from slavery by God and Ex 12 requires.

    So yes, its ok not to believe in any messiah. ***It is important to note that being a Jew has nothing to do with what you believe or what you do.***

    ***is it so wrong to believe that the messiah already came***

    Read this article:

    5 Years After Death, Messiah Question Divides Lubavitchers

    Washington Post/June 20, 1999

    By Liz Leyden

    ***After Schneerson's death the signs of messianism appeared slowly in his synagogue at 770 Eastern Parkway. Banners stretched a message across the walls: "Long live the Rebbe, King Moshiach. Forever and ever." The same words were embroidered on yarmulkes worn by some little boys. Schneerson's red chair remained in place as if he were still there.

    At recent Sabbath services, an older woman along the front row of the women's section smiled and pointed to the chair. "He is Moshiach," she said, using the Hebrew word for messiah. "We can't see him with our eyes, but that doesn't mean he's not here. He is." Midway through the night, songs broke up the prayers and the mood shifted from pensive to joyous as the people sang: "Long live the Rebbe, King Moshiach! Forever and ever!" Hundreds of men surged into the center of the room, dancing in a circle so full it barely could move.

    Rabbi Shmuel Spritzer, 52, was in the crowd. One of five men who publish Beis Moshiach, a weekly messianic magazine begun in 1994, Spritzer knows some people think he is "not normal" for his belief, but he is not fazed. In time, he said, "everyone will see the truth that the Rebbe is Moshiach."

    "We're preparing the world to greet Moshiach," Spritzer said. "Religion in general is a fanatical thing. In the Jewish religion we twirl a rooster over our heads the day before Yom Kippur. There's a lot of strange things we do, but we do them because God told us to."***

    Again, you would have to define which Messiah before you could say it was "wrong". Had world peace been a part of a universal list, the Rebbe would not be considered. Obviously, there is no defined list of what the Messiah is or is not to do.

    Kismet says: ***What is the Messiah supposed to accomplish? The Bible says that he will:

    A. Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).

    B. Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).

    C. Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore." (Isaiah 2:4)

    D. Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: "God will be King over all the world -- on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One" (Zechariah 14:9).

    If an individual fails to fulfill even one of these conditions, then he cannot be "The Messiah."**

    Please note the Rebbe followers don't use this list so again, it isn't as universal as some would have you believe.

    Also note the difference between the response to the Rebbe's followers and Yeshua's followers. Yeshua's followers received the Spirit of God and are called apostate. Rebbe's followers are said to be wrong in everyway but aren't called apostate.

    ***is it so wrong to believe that the messiah already came and didn't literally conform to the prophecies ***

    Yes, it is the Spirit of God that makes it wrong to believe that the messiah has already come.

    Otherwise, ***It is important to note that being a Jew has nothing to do with what you believe or what you do.***

    Hope this helps

    • DS M lies about what Jews believe as you will easily see for yourself if you go to the references he provides. Cherry picking quotes to misrepresent what they say is called quote mining. What you'll see will show you how deep his bigotry against Jews is to spend so much time disrupting Y/A

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  • 1 decade ago

    the religions never 'separated', christianity has only a cursory relationship to judaism. its theology is completely different from jewish theology and is, in fact, based on greek salvation mystery cults.

    if it were important for the messiah to conform to the prophecies, then jesus would be an entirely different character. jews identify 23 messianic prophecies, none of which jesus fulfilled. the hundreds of prophecies that christians claim to have been fulfilled are actually based on mistranslations and misinterpretatios of the tanakh.

    there have been scores of claimants to the role of messiah, and every one of them failed to fulfill prophecies, is recorded in history, and at one time had a jewish following. jesus is not recorded in history and there's no evidence that he ever had a jewish following. objective analysis of his story can only lead to the conclusion that he's fictional, especially given all the mistakes about judaism in it.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    "Messianic Jews" are also ignoring Christian history not just insulting Jews by stealing their name. The Catholic and Orthodox Churches were started by the Apostles of Jesus Christ who were Jews and did recognize Jesus as Messiah. The new religion that "Messianic Jews" Invented has no historical basis and is a relatively new creation.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The requirements for the Jewish Messiah are not ambiguous, and Jesus quite unambiguously did not fulfill them. Alternative interpretations of passages of the Tanakh are always made with consideration given to pre-existing bodies of commentary, a careful eye to the cultural and historical mindset of the writer, and the linguistic details of the text. To believe that the Messianic requirements don't necessarily need to litterally be fulfilled by one individual is one thing; to torque the Messianic requirements so that we can superimpose them on someone who clearly did not fulfill them or did the exact opposite of them is quite another. If we were to completely warp our ancient texts to account for his Messiah-hood, we could quite reasonably be expected to do the same for Muhammed, Gandhi, and many others.

    But it goes beyond that. You can believe in a false Messiah and not be an apostate. You can believe that there is no litteral Messiah and not be apostate. In Judaism, a Messiah is human, and not worshipped. There are even a small fraction of Jews who are waiting on the return of a revered human to fulfill the Messianic requirements---they are not apostates. You cannot worship a false god and not be an apostate, however. This has been true since the earliest days of Judaism, and continues to be true today. And, that is where Judaism and Christianity part ways. According to Judaism: G-d cannot be man, G-d does not impregnate women, human sacrifice is streng verboten, one person does not die for the sins of others, there is no need for a Christian concept of 'salvation', exc. To believe otherwise is as heretical to Judaism as the belief that man does not need salvation is to Christianity.


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  • kismet
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    According to Orthodox (traditional) Judaism, it is definitely wrong not to believe in the coming of the Messiah.

    In his commentary on the Mishneh (tractate Sanhedrin, chapter 10), Maimonides formulates his 13 principles of faith. They summarized what he viewed as the required beliefs of Judaism with regards to:

    The existence of God

    God's unity

    God's spirituality and incorporeality

    God's eternity

    God alone should be the object of worship

    Revelation through God's prophets

    The preeminence of Moses among the prophets

    God's law given on Mount Sinai

    The immutability of the Torah as God's Law

    God's foreknowledge of human actions

    Reward of good and retribution of evil

    The coming of the Jewish Messiah

    The resurrection of the dead

    Is it wrong for a Jew to believe in Jesus as the messiah?

    Yes it is, for a number of reasons:

    1) Jesus did not fulfill the messianic prophecies.

    2) Jesus did not embody the personal qualifications of the Messiah.

    3) Biblical verses "referring" to Jesus are mistranslations.

    4) Jewish belief is based on national revelation.

    But first, some background: What exactly is the Messiah?

    The word "Messiah" is an English rendering of the Hebrew word "Mashiach", which means "Anointed." It usually refers to a person initiated into God's service by being anointed with oil. (Exodus 29:7, I Kings 1:39, II Kings 9:3)

    Since every King and High Priest was anointed with oil, each may be referred to as "an anointed one" (a Mashiach or a Messiah). For example: "God forbid that I [David] should stretch out my hand against the Lord's Messiah [Saul]..." (I Samuel 26:11. Cf. II Samuel 23:1, Isaiah 45:1, Psalms 20:6)

    Where does the Jewish concept of Messiah come from? One of the central themes of Biblical prophecy is the promise of a future age of perfection characterized by universal peace and recognition of God. (Isaiah 2:1-4; Zephaniah 3:9; Hosea 2:20-22; Amos 9:13-15; Isaiah 32:15-18, 60:15-18; Micah 4:1-4; Zechariah 8:23, 14:9; Jeremiah 31:33-34)

    Many of these prophetic passages speak of a descendant of King David who will rule Israel during the age of perfection. (Isaiah 11:1-9; Jeremiah 23:5-6, 30:7-10, 33:14-16; Ezekiel 34:11-31, 37:21-28; Hosea 3:4-5)

    Since every King is a Messiah, by convention, we refer to this future anointed king as The Messiah. The above is the only description in the Bible of a Davidic descendant who is to come in the future. We will recognize the Messiah by seeing who the King of Israel is at the time of complete universal perfection.


    What is the Messiah supposed to accomplish? The Bible says that he will:

    A. Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).

    B. Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).

    C. Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore." (Isaiah 2:4)

    D. Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: "God will be King over all the world -- on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One" (Zechariah 14:9).

    If an individual fails to fulfill even one of these conditions, then he cannot be "The Messiah."

    Because no one has ever fulfilled the Bible's description of this future King, Jews still await the coming of the Messiah. All past Messianic claimants, including Jesus of Nazareth, Bar Cochba and Shabbtai Tzvi have been rejected.

    Christians counter that Jesus will fulfill these in the Second Coming, but Jewish sources show that the Messiah will fulfill the prophecies outright; in the Bible no concept of a second coming exists.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    From my understanding, if the Messiah had come "Jews," would be an irrelevant label due to the world peace and unity. By claiming a messiah has come and gone, and there is no unity, one has taken a central piece of theology and revised it.

    Basically, it is equivalent to me [a Non-Christian] saying Jesus has come and gone, and we are in the New Earth [as described by Christianity] and that because I beleive that way I am a "Compelted Christian."

    As I understand it, I could be wrong.

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