Answering Jewish Objections

BUSINESSMAN WATCHING THE QUESTION MARK - © Tom Wang | Dreamstime.comWe often receive questions from readers asking for help answering Jewish objections to Yeshua as the Messiah.  We have created a series of articles that answers each of those questions.  Many of the questions we receive stem from an Aish.com article entitled Why Jews Don't Believe in Jesus.  We answer those and other questions point for point.

Before we begin, we find it important to make three observations:

1) The mental exercise of answering a person's objections will not cause that person's heart to change.

In the story of Lazarus and the rich man, Abraham declares, "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead." (Luke 16:31)

The primary reason Jews reject Jesus as the Messiah is because (as a whole) G-d has blinded their eyes (Romans 11:7-8) and hardened their hearts for a season to allow the fullness of the gentiles to come into G-d's kingdom. (Romans 11:25)  This is part of G-d's sovereign plan of salvation and until G-d's timing is complete that national blindness and hardness will not change.


2) Salvation is G-d's work... not ours.

Believers are never given the responsibility of making converts or "getting people saved".  Our job is to testify as witnesses to the work G-d has performed in each of our lives (Acts 1:8) and to make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20) among those G-d has saved by His choice (John 15:16) and His power (Acts 2:47).  Please do not think you have any responsibility to "save the Jews".  G-d saved them once during the Exodus from Egypt (Exodus 14:30) and He is entirely able to save them again when the time is right.

 

3) Jewish believers in Messiah do NOT cease to be Jewish.

We passionately affirm that Jewish believers in Messiah remain Jewish.  We also affirm (as Messiah Himself did) that He did not come to "abolish the Law or the Prophets" and that G-d's Law, the Torah of Moses, is still in effect.  G-d declares that, as part of the New Covenant, He will write the Torah upon the hearts of those who believe.  (Jeremiah 31:31-33)

We exhort our Jewish brothers everywhere to walk in G-d's commandments... not to obtain salvation but because it is G-d's purpose for their lives:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

 

Now, on to the objections... and the answers.

 

The Claim: Jesus Did Not Fulfill the Messianic Prophecies

The Bible says that the Messiah will:

  • Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
  • Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).
  • 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)
  • 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).

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.

 

The Response

The Claim: Jesus Did Not Embody the Personal Qualifications of Messiah

  • Messiah as Prophet Jesus was not a prophet; he appeared on the scene approximately 350 years after prophecy had ended.
  • Descendent of David Jesus could not have possibly fulfilled the messianic requirement of being descended on his father's side from King David.
  • Torah Observance Jesus contradicts the Torah and states that its commandments are no longer applicable.

 

The Response

The Claim: Verses "Referring" to Jesus Are Mistranslated

  • Virgin Birth Isaiah 7:14 says that a "young woman" will give birth not a "virgin".
  • Suffering Servant The suffering servant in Isaiah 53 refers to Israel... not Jesus

 

The Response

The Claim: Jewish Belief is Based Solely on National Revelation

Judaism, unique among all of the world's major religions, does not rely on "claims of miracles" as the basis for its religion. In fact, the Bible says that God sometimes grants the power of "miracles" to charlatans, in order to test Jewish loyalty to the Torah (Deut. 13:4). Of the thousands of religions in human history, only Judaism bases its belief on national revelation ― i.e. God speaking to the entire nation. If God is going to start a religion, it makes sense He'll tell everyone, not just one person.

 

The Response

Additional Observations Regarding Aish.com's Article

Many of the questions we receive come from the Aish.com article entitled Why Jews Don't Believe in Jesus.

We have a few additional observations about the article.

The Claim: G-d Forbids Human Sacrifice

When the LORD your G-d shall cut off the nations from before you, when you go in to dispossess them, and you have dispossessed them, and dwell in their land;  take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after that they are destroyed from before you; and that you inquire not after their gods, saying: 'How used these nations to serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.' You shall not do so to the LORD your G-d; for every abomination to the LORD, which He hates, have they done to their gods; for even their sons and their daughters do they burn in the fire to their gods.  (Deuteronomy 12:29-31 JPS)

 

G-d forbids human sacrifice!

 

The Response

In regards to the Tabernacle/Temple service, this statement is 100% correct: G-d forbids humans to be used as burnt offerings. But the Tanakh does give us a clear example of humans surrendering their lives to evil men... and G-d blesses the entire nation of Israel as a result.

The Claim: Jesus Was Never Properly Anointed and Could Not Be Christ/Messiah/Anointed One

Jesus was never properly anointed!  He was smeared with ointment (Matthew 26:7-9, Mark 14:3-5, Luke 7:37).  To be the Christ/Messiah/Anointed One he had to be properly anointed.  To be properly anointed is the following - Exodus 30:22-25, Exodus 29:7, 1 Samuel 10:1, 1 Samuel 16:13, 1 Kings 1:34, 39, 45.

The Biblical accounts of the anointing of the first three kings of Israel – Saul, David, and Solomon – contain the following six unique elements of a template for the process of anointing royalty of Israel, one of whom will be a messiah.

1. A special preparation from pure olive oil was used as the oil of anointing.
2. Being sacred, the anointing oil was stored in the Temple.
3. A universally recognized prophet performed the ritual of anointing a king.
4. The prophets used the vial of oil, or the horn of oil, to anoint the new king, not merely a vial of oil or a horn of oil.
5. The oil of anointing was poured only on the head.
6. Anointing was tantamount to crowning a king (or appointing a high priest).

Jesus was never anointed in this way and so he cannot be A messiah much less THE messiah.

 

The Response

The Claim: Jesus Promoted Cannibalism Which Violates the Torah Making Him a False Prophet

So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.  He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink."  (John 6:53-55)

 

Jesus' own words condemn him as a false prophet who told others to violate the Torah.

 

The Response

There is no evidence that the disciples of Yeshua performed any type of cannibalism: ritual or actual.  It is also notable that those who wished to put Him to death never brought forth this charge against Him.  If Yeshua had indeed promoted cannibalism, it would have been an easy matter to dismiss Him as a false prophet, and yet none of His (highly educated and greatly motivated) opponents ever leveled this charge against Him.

This claim stems from a modern misunderstanding of Jewish literature and Jewish forms of discourse regarding Scripture.  For example...

This objection to Yeshua as the Messiah of Israel came to us from Chana Bracha Wilby Soto via Facebook.

 

The Claim: The Talmud Says Jesus Was an Idolater

Sanhedrin 107B of the Babylonian Talmud: "Jesus... stood up a brick to symbolize an idol and bowed down to it. Jesus performed magic and incited the people of Israel and led them astray."1

Quoting now from another Talmud passage about Jesus, Sanhedrin 43A: "On Passover Eve they hanged Jesus of Nazareth. He practiced sorcery, incited and led Israel astray...Was Jesus of Nazareth deserving of a search for an argument in his favor? He was an enticer and the Torah says, 'You shall not spare, nor shall you conceal him!"

"He (the rabbi) then went and raised by incantations the sinners of Israel. He asked them...What is your punishment? They replied: With boiling (in) hot excrement."

The Talmud decrees that Jesus is in hell, being boiled in feces, because he opposed the rabbis.

 

The Response

Footnotes

1. Source: The Babylonian Talmud, volume 21, Tractate Sanhedrin, Part VII, translated into English by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, copyright 1999 by the Israel Institute for Talmudic Publications; published by Random House in New York. [back]

The Claim: Jesus Was Not a "Kosher" Sacrifice

This claim comes from multiple sources and usually includes a mixture of the following.

G-d's Law:

  • Requires sacrifices to be offered in the Temple. Jesus was not sacrificed in the Temple but was crucified outside the city of Jerusalem.
  • Requires sacrifices for sin be offered by Levitical priests.  Jesus was not from the tribe of Levi.
  • Requires the blood of the sacrifice to be splashed on the altar. Jesus' blood was not splashed on the altar.
  • Requires sacrifices to be sheep, goats, bulls, cows, pigeons, or turtledoves.  Jesus was not one of these animals.
  • Requires animals that are to be sacrificed to be unblemished. Jesus was torn, bloodied, pierced and was not unblemished.
  • Requires the sacrifice to be as clean and as painless as possible for the animal. Jesus' death on the cross was not clean and painless.
  • Forbids human sacrifice for sin (or any other reason). Jesus offered himself up as a human sacrifice for sin.

 

These are the requirements that G-d Himself established in His Law so why would He break His own Word in requiring the bloody and horrific sacrifice of His own son?  He would not.  Such action would be contrary to His nature, His character, and His own Word.

 

The Response

The Claim: The Bible Teaches Men Die For Their Own Sin

The concept of one man dying in another person's place is not consistent with the Bible and the teachings of Judaism.

Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin. (Deuteronomy 24:16)

However, he did not put their children to death, but did as it is written in the law in the book of Moses, which the LORD commanded, saying, "Fathers shall not be put to death for sons, nor sons be put to death for fathers, but each shall be put to death for his own sin."  (2 Chronicles 25:4)

 

The Response

Torah Portion

עקב (Ekev)

 

 

or view this week's triennial cycle reading.

Today is

Yom Rivi'i, 20 Av, 5779

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

 

Learn more about this date in history.