10 Facts Messianic Jews for Jesus Don’t Want Jews to Know
What is this cult and are they any different from ordinary Christians?
In Israel, the Messianic Jewish Christian sect numbers some 10,000 people, and its headquarters are located in Jaffa, but they are also active in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Carmiel and Yad Shemoneh.
The sect has about 200,000 people in the United States and calls itself Jews for Jesus, despite that many of the group are gentiles. The sect is part of the Evangelical Christian movement which does not differentiate between gentiles and Jews, and is not Jewish despite its misleading name.
One who knows exactly what "Jews for Jesus" believe in, keeps their distance from this eccentric sect and will pay no attention to it. The only ones who will fall victim into this Christian missions’ net are those who are ignorant of their claims. These Christian missionaries utilize their ignorance to falsely claim that "the rabbis hid" from the Jews important information about Jesus and the Bible.
They will try to create an picture of menacing and lying rabbis reminiscent of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, while presenting themselves as individuals faithful to the literal meaning of the Bible. They will talk mainly about the prophecies of the Bible, and later will present Jesus as a historical figure whose name was distorted by rabbis from his original name "Yeshua" (meaning “he will bring salvation”) to "Yeshu" (whose letters are an acronym of the contemptuous phrase: “may he and his memory be blotted out”).
The missionaries publish newsletters and ads with their slogan "Yeshu = Yeshua = salvation." They argue that the rabbis have been hiding the truth about Jesus and hiding the prophecies of the Bible from the masses for thousands of years, in order to deprive Jews of the truths of the Bible. According to the missionaries, it is sufficient to read the Bible literally to see clear evidence that Jesus is the messiah. (The only trouble is, all those "Elders of Zion" crooks and villains who have been hiding the Old Testament prophecies about Jesus, have been passing down the Biblical writings for thousands of years in their entirety, and somehow forgot to delete those prophecies that in the Christian view clearly verify Christianity...).
It is easy to understand that all the power of this Christian sect lies in the atmosphere of secrecy that they convey to their followers: the claim that there is a hidden truth in the Bible that many do not know, which the rabbis have been hiding for thousands of years from their followers.
If this monstrous, ancient lie about Jewish sages were not enough, the Jewish apostates to this form of Christianity even present themselves as observant Jews who eat kosher and affix a mezuzah on their front door, and sometimes even wear tefillin too, as part of their effort to disguise their apostasy from the Torah. Messianic Jews will not tell you that they are not against assimilating with gentiles and intermarriage.
Jews for Jesus / Messianic Jews often hide their Christian identity, as well as their principles of belief. They will talk mainly about the Bible, about prophecies and the Torah commandments, and they will only reveal their true beliefs to those who are deepening their commitment to the sect.
Missionaries for Jesus do not want you to know that great and prominent rabbis have documented their historical religious disputes with Christians, and not only they never covered up the Christians’ claims, but they dealt with all of them in books published hundreds of years ago. Among them you will find the famous dispute of Rabbi Yosef Albo (Disputation at Tortosa), and the Ramban’s dispute, in which the Jewish sages relate to all the claims of the Christians concerning the Trinity and prophecy. One who reads their arguments, can easily deal with the claims of any missionary.
Ironically, the sect that repeatedly claims that “the rabbis are hiding the truth from us", are doing this themselves, by concealing from their listeners the truth about their own sect and its bizarre beliefs. As the sages say: "One who disqualifies, shows he has the same blemish."
In our opinion, just knowing the facts about this sect and its principles of belief, are enough to protect one from falling in its net.
First fact: Messianic Jews believe that Yeshu / Yeshua was the Creator Himself, and not just a prophet with a Divine mission.
This fact would immediately distance from the sect every rational Jew, and therefore, this is also the first fact that Jews for Jesus will try to hide when they present their faith.
Messianic Jews do not believe that Yeshu / Yeshua was only a prophet like other prophets, but believe that he is the Creator who created the entire universe and took the Israelites out of Egypt. Later he impregnated a virgin named Mary, entered her womb and was born as a baby, and then grew up into a flesh and blood man as if he was a dybbuk that entered a body. He was also crucified and died at the end of his life at the hands of people ... one cringes even to hear this, but this is what all Messianic Jews / Jews for Jesus believe. Whoever does not believe that Yeshu / Yeshua was a god in a crucified human body, denies the Messianic Jews’ first principle of faith, and can in no way be accepted as a Messianic Jew / Jew for Jesus.
In stark contrast, the first article of Judaism is that G-d is one and the only one and has no human trappings, while the main article of faith of the Messianic Jews is that Yeshu is a god in a human body.
(I considered whether to place this paragraph at the top of all the following sections, because of the possibility that after reading something so surreal, I'm not sure how many readers will bother continuing to read the 9 following sections on Messianic Jews!)
Needless to say, this strange belief of Yeshu being a god, also contradicts the prophecy that the Messiah will be a direct descendant of King David ("the Messiah, the son of David"). Whereas the Christian New Testament explicitly says that the mother of Jesus was a virgin who conceived from the holy spirit "and not due to any kind of relationship with her husband”, Jesus therefore wasn’t a "son of David" even according to the Christian view (the Jews of his time also knew that Jesus was born outside of wedlock and they viewed him as a bastard, as stipulated by Jewish law. They certainly didn’t believe for a moment the bizarre explanation that his married mother conceived by a god who then turned into a fetus in her womb).
Irrespective of the Bible prophecies, it is very difficult to imagine a rational Jew who would believe in an eternal and infinite G-d that created the entire universe, who suddenly decided to conceive Himself in the body of a woman, live as a flesh and blood man and be crucified by humans. This claim, which goes back to ancient pagan civilizations, borders on insanity even before we discuss the truth of their holy writings or other scriptures.
Fact two: Messianic Jews believe that G-d is not one, but three.
The most fundamental article of faith in Judaism is that G-d is one and the only one: "Hear O Israel, the L-rd our G-d the L-rd is One" (Deuteronomy 6:4) This is pure monotheism which brought Jews to reject all the gentile beliefs based on a proliferation of idols. The belief in one G-d has defined our very Jewishness since we became a people, and united us in all periods and times. In every generation there were many Jewish martyrs who sacrificed their lives for their belief in Judaism, many of whom died on the altar of Christianity, the Inquisition and the Crusades.
Unlike us, Christians never believed in a G-d that is absolutely one. According to their belief, the Creator of the entire universe is three gods, which they call the "Holy Trinity". Trinity is the name given to a group of gods that includes "the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit" — three gods that together are one. According to their faith, "Father" is the Creator of the universe, his "son" is Jesus, while the "Holy Spirit" is the idol that impregnated the Virgin Mary and put the god Jesus in her womb (the Holy Spirit is a kind of god-mother in the whole story). The Christians pray to Jesus, bless the public in the name of the Father, and also direct their prayers to the Holy Spirit.
If you try to talk about the divine belief in the Trinity with Messianic Jews, they will immediately respond with a “deep” philosophy about how one triangle has three sides, or that water has a number of features, and will try to argue that although there are three gods, together they form one G-d, so it’s OK. They also try to argue that the word "one" in the Bible can also be interpreted as three, and will seek clues in the Biblical verses for this pagan belief. Strangely, no Jew in the Bible knew of its existence until it emerged in the New Testament.
Needless to say, according to the tenets of Judaism, all Jews must allow themselves to be killed over belief in G-d’s absolute unity, and not under any circumstances believe in a Christian trinity divided into a father, mother and son. It is interesting to note that because of their faith in the Trinity, Jewish legal decisors like the Maimonides viewed the Christians as idol worshippers from whom it was forbidden to benefit from their wine.
This strange belief that G-d is three came from the Catholic Church, who viewed Jesus as a god and not a human. Messianic Jews believe in this Catholic faith, and refer to themselves as "Jews" only as a maneuver to attract Jews. I can not imagine a rational Jew who is familiar with the Torah and who is able to believe this pagan belief.
Fact three: Messianic Jews / Jews for Jesus, are merely Christians masquerading as Jews
Messianic Jews "for Jesus" will argue to you that they speak Hebrew, keep the “tradition” by observing the laws of Shabbat, mezuzah and holidays, and that makes them Jews. What they do not tell you is that, apart from their faith in Jesus and Christian writings, their fulfillment of Jewish commandments is arbitrary and they are not not obligated to fulfill the commandments or Jewish holidays.
Messianic Jews deny that they are obligated to keep all the commandments in the Torah (Shabbat, tefillin, circumcision) and even the prohibition against assimilating among the nations. Every "traditional" custom kept by Messianic Jews in Israel is done in order to put on a veneer as if they are traditional Jews, and thereby entice other Jews to join them. Messianic Jews have no problem letting non-Jews join their group without conversion, or to marry non-Jews despite the explicit prohibition in the Torah: "Do not intermarry with them. Don’t give your daughter to his son, and don’t take his daughter for your son" (Deuteronomy 7:3). Messianic Jews do not believe in the necessity to convert non-Jews, they do not differentiate between Jew and gentile, and they do not require fulfillment of the commandments.
Messianic Jews therefore have no problem with Jews that do not celebrate the Jewish holidays, do not put up a mezuzah in their home, do not circumcise their son, or who marry non-Jews. Messianic Jews have no Jewish or legal or ethnical ties connecting them to the Jewish people. If so, the question immediately arises: from where has this sect emerged whose banner bears the word "Jews"?
The Messianic Jewish sect was created in the 1960s in the United States. It was another sect which appeared in the spectrum of evangelical Christianity.
Never did it happen in history that a Jewish sect believed in Jesus for centuries and didn’t assimilate among the gentiles (especially in light of the fact that their faith does not prohibit assimilation with Christian gentiles).
Historically, Roman Catholicism was the first established form of Christianity, and it dominated Europe for almost two thousand years. There was never a sect of Messianic Jews that continued down the generations until today. Any Jew who ever believed in Jesus assimilated and disappeared among the nations. This is a historical fact that no one denies. Messianic Jews claim that they are a new sect which only wants to reclaim the original Jewish faith, but this claim falls to the wayside in light of the fact that their faith is no different than the Catholic belief in the Trinity and in the New Testament.
Why haven’t we heard about "Messianic French" or "Russians for Jesus"? This is because in other countries, the Christians have nothing to hide, and they have no reason to camouflage themselves behind a false national identity to attract believers of their people. In terms of faith, there is no difference between Messianic Jews or Jews for Jesus and other evangelical Christian groups, except of course the name "Jews" that they glued on to themselves.
Against this claim, Messianic Jews respond that they speak Hebrew and serve in the army — an argument that does not make them Jews any more than other non-Jewish Christians who live in Israel.
It is interesting to note that even non-religious legal scholars who examined the right of return of Messianic Jews and Jews for Jesus, concluded that they have no Jewish identity. Israel’s Supreme Court reached that determination, in which Justice Aharon Barak wrote: "These factors (national, religious, linguistic, historical ...) lead everyone today to the conclusion that anyone who believes in Jesus’s messianic role and believes in the primacy of this conviction and converts people to it and organizes communities to this end ... all this makes him into an adherent of a different religion and negates his Judaism. Based on Jewish heritage, we view the petitioners as being of another faith ... It seems to me that the other faith, to which the petitioners belong, is — according to the secular test — the Christian religion ... "(Source: Supreme Court 265/87 Gary Lee and Shirley Beresford vs. the Interior Ministry, given on December 25, 1989).
Interior Minister Avraham Poraz also said in an interview: "The Law of Return gives the right to return to Jews only. A Jew who converted to Christianity is not a Jew in terms of the Law of Return. Anyone who believes in Jesus is not a Jew. What can we do — Judaism does not believe in Jesus. It is even considered idolatry. Whoever believes in Jesus, in my eyes he is a Christian, period." (Source: 7 days [Yediot Acharonot] August 13, 2004).
It is hard to believe that Messianic Jews who couldn’t even deceive the non-religious jurists, can deceive those educated in Jewish tradition, and who know how to distinguish between a Jew and the son of a different religion.
Fourth Fact: According to Messianic Jewish belief, whoever doesn’t believe in Jesus will be punished forever in Hell, notwithstanding if he is righteous or wicked.
It is well known that Judaism believes that gentiles can also get a portion of the Hereafter, and they are judged according to their good and bad deeds. So any gentile that comes to convert, is told that he doesn’t have to, and all he has to do is keep the Noahide laws and be a good and upright person. Judaism believes that in the End of Days, salvation will come to the whole world, and the gentiles will serve G-d too. Judaism has always been a global religion that relates to all people, and sees every gentile as a person created in the image of G-d.
In contrast, Christian faith from its inception was a religion that made faith in Jesus as its fundamental principle, and claimed that anyone who does not believe in this crucified man shall be condemned to hell eternally without end. This Christian belief, which to us borders on cruelty and even madness, was always a feature of Roman Catholicism. Even priests have asked how it was possible that a good and compassionate G-d would punish in Hell righteous people who hadn’t the “good fortune” to hear about Jesus and believe in him ... This shocking belief is also shared by Messianic Jews / Jews for Jesus.
It is hard to believe, but Messianic Jews believe that those who do not believe in Jesus shall will go straight to a hell, even if he was a just and honest person who was charitable with others. Christians have no concept of the "Righteous Among the Nations", but believe that everyone without exception are sent to heaven or to hell depending on one thing only: their belief in Jesus.
This lunatic belief therefore asserts that all the great Jewish wise men and sages throughout the generations are immediately sent to hell because they all denied Jesus. Jews who were murdered by Christians throughout the ages are likewise all sent to hell because they didn’t acknowledge Jesus. They actually believe that Christians who savagely murdered Jews in the Inquisition go to heaven, while their Jewish victims that suffered the torments of the Inquisition go to hell and eternal fire.
Messianic Jews also believe that all the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust went to hell after all they suffered in the holocaust, just because they didn’t acknowledge Jesus. There are some who would describe such an appalling faith as anti-Semitic.
It is strange that Messianic Jews believe that Jesus was all about love and boundless mercy, while the main principles of Christian faith going back to its inception were applied without the slightest differentiation between good and evil.
I can not think of one rational Jew who is capable of believing that righteous individuals and Jewish martyrs are now burning in eternal hell fire, along with billions of other people who didn’t have the "good fortune" to acknowledge Christian faith. If the Messianic Jews’ beliefs are correct, we’d frankly prefer to be in Hell with all the righteous and virtuous Jews, rather than in “Paradise” with all the wicked who massacred Jews for not believing in Jesus.
Our sages teach us that Jews are by nature "merciful, have a sense of shame and are kind" (Yevamot 79a). We believe that G-d is the source of all mercy, and man’s compassion derives from Him. As compassionate and kind people, we find it perverse to believe in such a cruel pagan faith. The Christian faith of Messianic Jews is repugnant to Jews.
Fifth Fact: The rabbis didn’t hide the prophecies of the Bible, nor did they distort the name Yeshu/Yeshua.
All the Bible prophecies had lengthy commentaries written on them by Bible commentators. No prophecy or verse was “hidden away", or unexplained or ignored by Jewish sages. Messianic Jews claim that chapters and verses in the Bible talking about Jesus had their real meanings covered up. Anyone who reads the Bible know that the prophets often spoke in parables, metaphors, riddles and clues that require interpretation. The missionaries utilize this fact, and rely on the ignorance of their readers to understand the prophets’ obscure parables and riddles, while repeatedly taking verses and chapters out of context.
Here are three known examples:
A. Isaiah’s prophecy: Isaiah speaks of the Babylonian captivity and Destruction of Jerusalem in Chapter 52. In another chapter, he describes Jerusalem as a poor barren woman (Chapter 54), in Chapter 53 Isaiah compares the Jewish people in exile to a tormented and rejected righteous man. It is important to note that nowhere in these chapters is the word “Messiah” mentioned. In order to misrepresent the contents, Messianic Jews will take Chapter 53 out of context from the other chapters, and claim that the “tormented righteous man" in the words of Isaiah is a prophecy about Jesus.
Apart from the chapter being taken out of context, even a simple perusal of the text contradicts any belief in Jesus. The parable about the righteous man relates that he will be "a man suffering pain and knowing illness" (verse 3), while Jesus wasn’t sick or a cripple who suffered pain. The parable also mentions "he shall see children, he shall prolong his days, and G-d's purpose shall prosper in his hand" (verse 10), while Jesus was crucified at a young age and and didn’t leave children behind.
The parable also says that when they will kill the righteous man, he will not say a word "he will be brought like a lamb to the slaughter ... he will not open his mouth" (verse 7), while the Christian story says that when Jesus was caught, he shouted "You went out with swords and clubs to seize me" and when they crucified him, he cried, "My G-d, my G-d, why did you abandon me?"
To make matters worse, the verse says that the righteous man’s burial place would be with the wicked (verse 9) while in the Christian story, Jesus was buried in the tomb of a righteous man from Ramatayim.
Throughout Chapter 52 and 54, the prophet Isaiah is speaking about the exile and predicts the redemption of the entire Jewish people by G-d, and saving them from the nations of the world, a prophecy whose fulfillment we are still awaiting. This proves to us that according to Isaiah, Messiah has not come. Anyone reading the Book of Isaiah from beginning to end, can not fall for this Christian fabrication.
Interestingly, Isaiah’s parable (in Chapter 53) was not mentioned in the New Testament nor by the early Christians, and they never viewed it as evidence of Jesus being the Messiah. It was just the later Christians who suddenly "remembered" this chapter, and decided that it referred to Jesus.
B. Jeremiah’s prophecy: Jeremiah states that in the End of Days, G-d will renew His first covenant with the Children of Israel, and calls the renewed relationship a "New Covenant" (Brit Chadasha) The early Christians called their book by the same name (Brit Chadasha) (which is usually translated in English as "New Testament") based on this verse, because they claimed that the prophet was referring to creating a new religion. The Christians thus tried to deduce a new religion after the fact, based on this verse from Jeremiah. But this flakey act only gives away their ignorance of the Bible and the Hebrew language.
First, the word brit in the Bible does not mean a book or religion, but an agreement or covenant to fulfill a certain matter (examples: the Covenant of the Pieces in Genesis Chapter 15, and the Blood of the Covenant named in Exodus Chapter 24). Second, the prophet Jeremiah writes explicitly that the new covenant would be intended only for the Jewish people (37:20) "and I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah" — that is, with the Jews and not with the nations of the world.
And if that were not enough, Jeremiah also writes explicitly that the new covenant will be about fulfilling the Torah and its commandments (verse 32): "For this is the covenant that I will form with the house of Israel after those days, says the L-rd: I will place My law in their midst and I will inscribe it upon their hearts, and I will be their G-d and they shall be My people." This prophecy has still not been fulfilled, since the prophet Jeremiah writes explicitly that on the day it will be fulfilled (verse 33): "And no longer shall one teach his neighbor or his brother, saying, ‘Know the L-rd,’ for they shall all know Me from their smallest to their greatest."
I have no idea how a Jew who can read Hebrew can read these verses in Jeremiah, and think for even a moment that it is referring to a Christian covenant or belief in Jesus.
C. Daniel's prophecy: Our sages taught us that in every generation there is someone worthy of being messiah who might bring the Redemption, because Redemption depends on the spiritual condition of the Jewish people. When the true messiah arrives, he will save us from the nations, he will build the Temple in Jerusalem, and it will be crystal clear to us that he was the messiah selected by G-d. These fact are enough to prove to us that all the prophecies about the coming of the messiah has not yet taken place.
For example, Daniel predicted that redemption will also involve the revival of the dead (12:2): "and many of those sleeping in the dust of the earth will awaken." Daniel also prophesied that at the redemption of the Jewish people, the messiah will arrive on clouds (7:13-14), or he will be a poor man riding on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9) (the description of two messiahs in the Prophets was intended to indicate that there are two modes of salvation, which depend on the Jewish people’s free will).
It is also known that the prophecies in the book of Daniel are metaphorical, and Messianic Jews take advantage of this to set a date for when messiah will come based on the book of Daniel (Chapter I). To do this, they hide the fact that the word "messiah" in the Bible almost always refers to a person who was anointed king [messiah literally means “anointed”], and only very rarely does the term refer to the messiah who will be the Redeemer at the End of Days.
In fact the Bible also calls gentile kings “messiah” (Kings I 19:15, and Isaiah 45:1). This is why all the Biblical commentators understood that this term refers not to the final messiah but to one of the Jewish kings who ruled and died towards the end of the First Temple period.
Moreover, the messiah mentioned in Daniel, Chapter 9, is called the “Messiah Prince" (naggid, which means a great minister or prince). See for example, where this term is used in Samuel I 9:16 or Chronicles I 13:1).
The Christians themselves claim that Jesus was a wanderer and wasn’t a Jewish king or minister.
It is a well known fact that Christian commentators have struggled with different and contradictory interpretations of the book of Daniel, and even the above prophecy, because the text is written vaguely and is very difficult to understand. I have no idea how they were able to deduce from this text a belief in a messiah who was revealed and died without bringing any redemption to the world. It is interesting to note that in all the New Testament, there is no mention of the prophecy of Daniel, which indicates that the early Christians never viewed his prophecy as a proof for Jesus.
Not only the Jewish sages never concealed the words of the prophets, but they are the ones who transmitted them. From generation to generation, they passed on to us the books of the prophets, and interpreted each verse according to its plain meaning and the accepted traditions. The Jewish Sages were familiar with the prophecies of the prophets, researched them and perused every verse, wrote commentaries based on exegesis and the literal meaning, but never arrived at the bizarre conclusions which Christians exposited from the Bible. It seems that Messianic Jews see what they want to see.
Concerning the name Yeshu/Yeshua: Messianic Jews repeatedly claim that Jewish sages distorted the name "Yeshu" from the original "Yeshua". This claim is a historical lie. Christian writings of the New Testament were transferred over two thousand years in Greek and English, and they were translated to Hebrew only recently. Only then did the translators choose the name "Yeshua" instead of "Yeshu" (the latter notorious among Hebrew-speaking Jews).
Catholic and Protestant Christians never called Jesus "Yeshua" in their language. Even Talmudic Hebrew has no special meaning for this name, and we see that the Talmud switches many times between the name "Yeshua" and the name "Yeshu", which originally was an alternate version of the name "Joshua" (Yoshua in Hebrew) (see Nehemiah 8:17).
In fact there were rabbis who were called "Yeshu" in the Talmud, such as "Rabbi Yeshu Dromaya" (i.e. Rabbi Yeshu from the south); another sage was known as "Rabbi Yoshu the son of Rabbi Tanchum." (Their names were kept out of the limelight so no one would make the mistake of thinking that they were Jesus).
Nowhere in the Babylonian or Yerushalmi Talmud do we find the phrase “may his name and memory be blotted out” linked to the name Yeshu. In fact, when the Talmud wanted to refer to the Yeshu who appears in the New Testament, they call him "Yeshu the Nazarene", because the name "Yeshu" alone was a well known Aramaic-Hebrew name.
Gentiles who didn’t know Hebrew found it difficult to pronounce the guttural letter ayin and dropped the final letter of Yeshua, resulting in the name Yeshu. In English, the name eventually became "Jesus" (English translations of Biblical names frequently convert “y” into “j” and “sh” into “s”, and usually end words with consonants).
Maimonides (among the greatest Jewish legal decisors of all times) mentions Jesus 800 years ago (Laws of Kings 11:10) as "Yeshua the Nazarene", because there was no special significance to pronouncing the name with or without the letter ayin. The rabbis didn’t hide verses or Jesus’s name. The only ones who are fabricating and concealing the truth are Jews for Jesus.
Sixth Fact: According to all the prophecies of the Bible, the messiah has not yet come.
All the prophets of the Bible, including even the prophets cited by the Messianic Jews, claim that when the messiah comes, the world will fundamentally change. There is no prophet in the Bible that talks about the messiah and does not predict significant changes taking place in the world — for instance, a wolf will dwell together with the lamb, people will not fight anymore, everyone will acknowledge G-d, there will be no more horrible deaths, there will be a revival of the dead and especially the Jewish people will experience salvation and well-being. Because these prophecies have not yet been fulfilled, the Jewish people knew that the messiah had not come yet, and we still continue to await his arrival. The Jews had been waiting more than a thousand years for the messiah to bring salvation to the Jewish people and redemption to the entire world, and it was obvious that the crucified man who disappeared as soon as he came was not the one. This point is the major contradiction in the prophets to Christian faith in Jesus. The prophets all described messiah as bringing redemption and salvation to the entire world, while Christianity has brought murder and misery to the Jewish people and caused many wars in the world.
The prophet Jeremiah predicts that the messiah will be a king who will reign over all of Israel and execute righteousness and justice throughout the country (23:5): "Behold, days are coming, says the L-rd, when I will set up a righteous shoot from David, and he shall reign as king and prosper, and he shall perform judgment and righteousness in the land."
Jeremiah also predicts that after the messiah comes, there will no longer be apostates in the world, and everyone will know the L-rd from the least to the greatest (31:36): "And no longer shall one instruct his neighbor or his brother, saying, "Know the L-rd," for they shall all know Me from their smallest to their greatest, says the L-rd, for I will forgive their iniquity and their sin I will no longer remember."
Jeremiah also predicts that with the revelation of the messiah and the redemption he brings, there will never again be injustice in the world (31:28-29): "In those days, they shall no longer say, ‘Fathers have eaten unripe grapes, and the teeth of the children shall be set on edge.’ But each man shall die for his iniquity; whoever eats the unripe grapes — his teeth shall be set on edge."
Jeremiah also predicts that the Jewish people will continue to exist as a nation only in the merit that they will keep the commandments forever (31:35): "If these laws depart from before Me, says the L-rd, so will the seed of Israel cease being a nation before Me for all time."
Jeremiah predicts that at the End of Days, all will recognize that the Jewish people is the chosen people (31:32): "For this is the covenant that I will form with the house of Israel after those days, says the L-rd: I will place My law in their midst and I will inscribe it upon their hearts, and I will be their G-d and they shall be My people."
The prophet Zechariah predicts that when the messiah comes, the whole world will recognize that G-d is one and will also call Him by only one Name (14:8): "And the L-rd shall become King over all the earth; on that day shall the L-rd be one, and His name one." This prophecy also completely contradicts the Christian belief in the Trinity.
Isaiah prophesied that when the redemption comes (11:6): "The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the lamb."
Daniel predicts that redemption will be accompanied by a revival of the dead (12:2): "and many of those sleeping in the dust of the earth will awaken."
These prophecies and many others completely contradict the Christian claim that Jesus was the messiah. Jews could never believe in a messiah who didn’t fulfill the words of the prophets, and didn’t bring redemption to the world. It is also illogical to believe in a messiah who didn’t rule anywhere in the world.
The whole concept behind the name "messiah" is that the person is a king of Israel (he was anointed to the monarchy), he restored the Davidic Kingdom, and renewed our days as of old. It is difficult to understand the strange Christian faith in a messiah that didn’t change a thing in the world, contrary to all the Bible prophets’s words.
Messianic Jews try to wiggle out of this dilemma by claiming that they are still waiting for Jesus’s return, who this time, for a change, will fulfill all the prophets’ words about the messiah and the redemption. This belief is built on circular reasoning. In the meantime, Christians have been waiting two thousand years for Jesus’s return.
Maimonides summed it up with common sense that is apparent to all Jews (Laws of Kings, Chapter 11):
"The messiah king that will arise, will return the Davidic monarchy to its former glory, build the Temple, and gather in the dispersed of Israel ... as it says "Then, the L-rd, your G-d, will bring back your exiles, and He will have mercy upon you. He will once again gather you from all the nations, where the L-rd, your G-d, had dispersed you. Even if your exiles are at the end of the heavens, the L-rd, your G-d, will gather you from there, and He will take you from there." (Deuteronomy 30:3-4) If he succeeded, and defeated all the nations around, and built a Temple in its place, and gathered the dispersed of Israel — he is certainly the messiah. If he didn’t succeed, or was killed — then know that he is not the one that the Torah promised ... Jesus the Nazarene imagined himself to be the Messiah, and he was killed by the court — as had been prophesied by Daniel, it is says, "and the sons of the renegades of your people will exalt themselves to bring about the vision but they will fail." (Daniel 11:14). Can there be a greater obstacle then the fact that all the prophets stated that the Messiah will redeem Israel and be their savior, and will gather their dispersed and strengthen their fulfillment of Torah; while Jesus caused numerous Jews to die by the sword, scattered their remnant and humiliated them, exchanged the Torah [for another religion], and deceived most of the world to serve a god who is not G-d."
The Jews understood this simple historical fact over the two thousand years while living under the terror of the Christian Church.
Seventh Fact: The New Testament wasn’t written by Jesus, but by four unknown persons.
Ask any Jew who wrote the Torah, and he will reply immediately: "Our teacher Moses". G-d dictated the entire Torah to Moses, and it was transmitted to the entire children of Israel before Moses’s passing. In contrast, if you ask a Christian who wrote the holy scriptures of Christianity, the "New Testament," he will mention the names of four people who lived nearly a century after the death of Jesus. Jesus didn’t write any “Testament” or “prophecy” during his life. His words were transmitted orally and written by people who were not prophets, and some of them had never even seen him. And who are these four people? No one knows, even the Christian Church does not know, because they are mentioned only by their name, without their lineage or the dates when they lived.
Therefore, all of Jesus’s "holy writings" were originally written by four unknown people who could write whatever they wanted in their books. Moreover, no people or nation have ever averred that the New Testament is part of their nation’s historical record. Even worse, the New Testament itself says that Jesus had only ten students ... In other words, Christianity has no solid historical claim, and no reliable historical record. The New Testament writers could write in their book whatever they wanted, because in any case it wasn’t representing any nation who might refute or accept their words. The Christian writings lack any historical weight.
Since the New Testament was written many years after Jesus' death, the writers had already read the books of the prophets in the Bible and tried to coordinate the prophecies with Jesus. In other words, if the prophet Isaiah would have written that the messiah would have blue eyes, then the writers of the New Testament would have described Jesus as having blue eyes.
When the Torah was given to the entire Jewish, they had just witnessed the mighty events of the Exodus and the Revelation on Mount Sinai, and were fulfilling commandments and celebrating holidays they had just experienced. But with the New Testament, there was not one people who acknowledged and remembered the events related in it, and it was all based on the writings of four unknown men who wrote a story.
It is impossible to verify or refute a legend. And that is the fundamental difference between history and a story. History is transmitted by millions who were witnesses to the event, while a story is transmitted by individuals who can tell you whatever they want. When the New Testament says that Jesus walked on the water, no nation admits to have witnessed it. When the New Testament says that Jesus rose from the grave, no nation ever verified that they saw it. Therefore, the New Testament does not possess historic validity. It is a simple story without an address, and it is as believable as any book that one may find in the drawer. I do not understand how Messianic Jews continue to cite quotations from the New Testament as if every word of it was given by G-d, when they themselves admit that Jesus didn’t write it, and that is entirely written by four unknown people who lived many years after Jesus’s crucifixion.
Eighth fact: The Bible explicitly states that G-d will never renege on His covenant with the Jewish people.
It is an exceedingly bizarre argument that the eternal and infinite Creator who "knows all generations in advance" (Isaiah 41:4), and who gave prophecy of the End of Days to the prophets, would one day change His mind because of one reason or another. Is it believable that one day He selects the Jewish people, and another day the Christian faith or the Muslim Koran? The Bible explicitly says about G-d that He doesn’t renege on His decisions and promises — "The Mighty One of Israel will not lie nor regret, for He is not a person who has regrets" (Samuel I, 15:29).
For some reason, Christians (and Muslims) would have us believe that G-d changes his mind, and is capable of suddenly choosing a new prophet who contradicts prophecies that He had given earlier. However, the Torah has already told us (Deuteronomy 7:6): "For you are a holy people to the L-rd, your G-d: the L-rd your G-d has chosen you to be His treasured people out of all the peoples upon the face of the earth. Not because you are more numerous than any people did the L-rd delight in you and choose you, for you are fewer than of all peoples." (Ex. 19:6): "And you shall be to Me a kingdom of princes and a holy nation.” (Ex. 19:5): "And you shall be to Me a treasure out of all peoples, for Mine is the entire earth." (Leviticus 20:26): "And you shall be holy to Me, for I, the L-rd, am holy, and I have distinguished you from the peoples, to be Mine."
In the Torah’s prediction of the End of Days in the Books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, it emphasizes that the L-rd will never renege on the Torah’s words which He transmitted at Sinai, even when the Jewish people sin and are negligent in observing His commandments.
Deuteronomy (Chapter 31:16) says: "And the L-rd said to Moses: Behold, you are [about to] lie with your forefathers, and this nation will rise up and stray after the deities of the nations of the land, into which they are coming. And they will forsake Me and violate My covenant which I made with them…”
(Leviticus 26:44): “But despite all this, while they are in the land of their enemies, I will not despise them nor will I reject them to annihilate them, thereby breaking My covenant with them, for I am the L-rd their G-d. I will remember for them the covenant [made with] the ancestors, whom I took out from the land of Egypt before the eyes of the nations, to be a G-d to them. I am the L-rd. These are the statutes, the ordinances, and the laws that the L-rd gave between Himself and the children of Israel on Mount Sinai, by the hand of Moses."
G-d requires the Jewish people to keep the commandments forever (Leviticus, 17:7): "This shall be an eternal statute for them, for [all] their generations." (Exodus 31:16) "Thus shall the children of Israel observe the Sabbath, to make the Sabbath throughout their generations as an everlasting covenant."
The prophets also explicitly say that the Torah is eternal (Isaiah 59:21): "As for Me, this is My covenant with them," says the L-rd. "My spirit, which is upon you and My words that I have placed in your mouth, shall not move from your mouth or from the mouth of your seed and from the mouth of your seed's seed," said the L-rd, "from now and to eternity."
If that is not enough, the Torah also promises that what will bring the Jewish people’s Redemption in the End of Days is their fulfillment of the commandments (Deuteronomy, Chapter 30): "And it will be, when all these things come upon you the blessing and the curse which I have set before you that you will consider in your heart, among all the nations where the L-rd your G-d has banished you, and you will return to the L-rd, your G-d, with all your heart and with all your soul, and you will listen to His voice according to all that I am commanding you this day you and your children, then, the L-rd, your G-d, will bring back your exiles, and He will have mercy upon you. He will once again gather you from all the nations, where the L-rd, your G-d, had dispersed you. Even if your exiles are at the end of the heavens, the L-rd, your G-d, will gather you from there, and He will take you from there. And the L-rd, your G-d, will bring you to the land which your forefathers possessed, and you [too] will take possession of it, and He will do good to you, and He will make you more numerous than your forefathers. And the L-rd, your G-d, will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, [so that you may] love the L-rd your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul, for the sake of your life. And the L-rd, your G-d, will place all these curses upon your enemies and upon your adversaries, who pursued you. And you will return and listen to the voice of the L-rd, and fulfill all His commandments, which I command you this day. And the L-rd, your G-d, will make you abundant for good in all the work of your hands, in the fruit of your womb, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your soil. For the L-rd will once again rejoice over you for good, as He rejoiced over your forefathers, when you obey the L-rd, your G-d, to observe His commandments and His statutes written in this Torah scroll, [and] when you return to the L-rd, your G-d, with all your heart and with all your soul.”
This prophecy tells us that Israel should believe only in G-d, and only through faith in Him and observance of the Torah’s commandments will they merit G-d’s redemption and deliverance in the End of Days.
The Torah also seems to have predicted the destruction of Christianity. Deuteronomy contains a prophecy of the destruction that will befall the Jewish people, and that the Gentiles would claim that G-d had forsaken them, a claim that has been stated by the Christians from their earliest days. After predicting this, the Torah writes (Deuteronomy 29:21-24), "And a later generation, your descendants, who will rise after you, along with the foreigner who comes from a distant land, will say, upon seeing the plagues of that land and the diseases with which the L-rd struck it.. And all the nations will say, Why did the L-rd do this to the land? What [is the reason] for this great fury? Then they will say, It is because they abandoned the covenant of the L-rd, G-d of their fathers, [the covenant] which He made with them when He took them out of the land of Egypt."
Here is a specific prophecy that the gentiles will think that G-d has violated His covenant with Israel, as Christians claim according to the "New Testament".
But the Torah tells the Jewish people not to worry because (Deut. 31:21), "And it will be, when they will encounter many evils and troubles, this song will bear witness against them, for it will not be forgotten from the mouth of their offspring."
The prophet also says (Jeremiah 31:32): "For this is the covenant that I will form with the house of Israel after those days, says the L-rd: I will place My law in their midst and I will inscribe it upon their hearts, and I will be their G-d and they shall be My people.” (Jeremiah 32:36-41): "And now, therefore, so said the L-rd, G-d of Israel ... And they shall be My people, and I will be their G-d. And I will give them one accord and one way to fear Me all the time, so that it be good for them and for their children after them. And I will form with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from them to do them good, and I will place My fear in their heart, so they will not turn away from Me. And I will rejoice over them to do good to them, and I will plant them in this land truly with all My heart and with all My soul."
I have heard of a not inconsiderable number of Christian priests who, after reading these Torah prophecies (which they call the "Old Testament"), abandoned the Christian faith, immigrated to Israel and converted to Judaism. I have still not found a Christian who managed to explain away these prophecies which were explicitly written in the Torah, and I do not know how they can remain a Christian (or "Messianic Jew") after reading them.
Fact Nine: The Torah commands the Jewish people to obey the Sanhedrin, and the Sanhedrin denied Jesus’s messianism.
This argument has no less merit than the divine prophecies mentioned in the previous section, since the Creator Himself commanded the Jewish people to listen in every generation to their judges, and not to turn aside from their words. After G-d revealed Himself to Moses at the burning bush, the first ones Moses approached were the elders of Israel, who led the people. G-d never intended that people will interpret prophecy by themselves, or that the common people would interpret their religious beliefs and practices as they see fit. To explain the Torah, G-d appointed sages in each generation to guide the people in the right way to fulfill the commandments and have correct faith.
The Torah states this explicitly (Numbers 11:16-17): "Then the L-rd said to Moses, "Assemble for Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the people's elders and officers, and you shall take them to the Tent of Meeting, and they shall stand there with You... and I will increase the spirit that is upon you and bestow it upon them."
We find a similar command in Deuteronomy (1:1-13):" These are the words ... that Moses spoke to the children of Israel according to all that the L-rd had commanded him ... Prepare for yourselves wise and understanding men, known among your tribes, and I will make them heads over you.”
The entire Torah section of Yitro deals with this. The sages didn’t first appear during the Second Temple era, but there were sages in every generation going back to the days of Moses who had been elevated to their position. The Torah tells us that the first Sanhedrin was formed by Moses at the L-rd’s command, and they continued to guide the nation until the destruction of the Second Temple.
In Deuteronomy, the Jewish people are ordered to do whatever the sages in every generation teach them (17:9): "And you shall come to the Levite kohanim and to the judge who will be in those days, and you shall inquire, and they will tell you the words of judgment. And you shall do according to the word they tell you, from the place the L-rd will choose, and you shall do according to all they instruct you. According to the law they instruct you and according to the judgment they say to you, you shall do; you shall not divert from the word they tell you, either right or left! "
And if that were not enough, the Torah says explicitly that after it was given, the Torah is forbidden to be changed by a prophet (Deuteronomy 30:11): "For this commandment which I command you this day, is not concealed from you, nor is it far away. It is not in heaven, that you should say, "Who will go up to heaven for us and fetch it for us, to tell [it] to us, so that we can fulfill it?"
After it was given to the people, the Torah is now in the hands of those who received it and those who passed it down, and in every generation, they have taught the laws and correct beliefs to the people.
The Sages of Israel were the ones who informed the Israelites in Egypt that Moses was indeed a true prophet of G-d, and they instructed us to believe in all the prophets of the Old Testament. If it were not for the sages, we would not know who is a false prophet and who is a true prophet, since we do not have the ability to read the Bible and decide alone which prophets spoke with G-d. The sages imparted to us who are the true prophets of the Bible, and they transmitted down to us their books and their interpretations from generation to generation. Without the sages teaching us Torah, we would not have any Torah today.
As is well known, the Sanhedrin existed during Jesus’s days, it heard his claims and denied his prophecy (or "divinity"). The New Testament itself claims that Jesus accepted the authority of the Sanhedrin, the same Sanhedrin that rejected him as a false prophet.
The obvious question is: after G-d explicitly commanded in the Torah for every generation to rely on the sages of Israel, how is it possible to believe in a “prophet" that all the Jewish sages claimed was a false prophet? After all, G-d Himself ordered the Jews to listen to the Jewish sages in every generation, and G-d knows all generations in advance. What can a righteous and honest Jew but rely on his generation’s wise men as the Torah itself commands him? It is inconceivable that G-d would punish Jews who fulfilled the Torah’s commandment to listen to the sages of Israel, but we certainly can expect G-d to punish a Messianic Jew who did not obey the Jewish sages, and relied on his own judgment in interpreting Scriptures.
I remember at least one Messianic Jew who abandoned his Christian faith, after he was asked how he allows himself to interpret and understand prophecy and prophets based on his own understanding, after the Torah specifically commanded "you shall observe to do according to all they [the sages] instruct you." There is not much room for philosophizing and plumbing deep after such a simple argument.
I told a Messianic Jew who eventually repented: act like a straight and simple Jew, and not like a philosopher trying to research ancient verses and understand the prophecies, for the truth was given to all people who want it, and not just to the sages. And since G-d told Jews to listen to the sages, once the sages repudiated Jesus, Jews had to reject Jesus without further questions. The only ones who chose to believe in Jesus were those who rejected the sages and thought they were smarter than the Creator Who gave the Torah. After the sages of Israel rejected Jesus and his prophecy with the authority invested in them by Moses, G-d’s Torah places upon us the responsibility to obey them and reject Christianity.
Tenth fact: Why Jews believe in the Torah, and reject other religions.
Messianic Jews often get confused when they are asked why, in their view, do they believe at all in the Torah (what they call the "Old Testament"). Christians are so used to blind faith in the New Testament, that they have no idea of the historical foundations on which Jewish belief is based — the Torah written down by Moses which he heard from G-d. As we have shown, the Christian Scriptures were written by four unknown people from nowhere, and as such, lack historical authentication. The Messianic Jew quotes from the Book of Jeremiah and Isaiah and the Book of Daniel, without first asking why he should even believe all these prophets, or even believe everything that is written in the Torah?
Our faith in the Torah, and consequently, the books of the prophets who spoke in the name of the Torah, is historically verifiable. The Torah, unlike any other religion in the whole world, describes G-d’s revelation to our entire nation.
In the Book of Deuteronomy (Chapter 4:32-35) Moshe tells us the difference between Judaism and any other religion in the world: "For ask now regarding the early days that were before you, since the day that G-d created man upon the earth, and from one end of the heavens to the other end of the heavens, whether there was anything like this great thing, or was the likes of it ever heard?! Did ever a people hear G-d's voice speaking out of the midst of the fire as you have heard, and live?! Or has any god performed miracles to come and take for himself a nation from the midst of a[nother] nation, with trials, with signs, and with wonders, and with war and a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm and with great awesome deeds, as all that the L-rd your G-d did for you in Egypt before your eyes?! You were shown this, in order to know that the L-rd He is G-d; there is none else besides Him."
The reason we know that Moses was a true prophet, and the Torah is a book of prophecy from the Creator Himself, lies in the monumental Revelation in which G-d revealed Himself before our entire nation at Mount Sinai, and the forty years in the wilderness, and before that, when He revealed to us His mighty power through the ten plagues in Egypt and the splitting of the Red Sea. G-d demonstrated to the Jewish people that He was the Creator and not a man.
Maimonides wrote in his famous Letter to Yemen: “A large selection of witnesses, unprecedented before or after, saw this great reality and testified about it. A single nation heard G-d speak, and saw His glory with their own eyes. The purpose of all this was to confirm us in our faith so that nothing can change it... G-d revealed Himself to you in order to give you strength to withstand all future trials.”
Malbim explained in his commentary on the Torah (Exodus 19:9): "G-d wanted to give the Torah in a mass revelation, in front of the huge number of six hundred thousand (men, besides women and children), so they would pass down the tradition of what their own eyes saw to their children after them until the last generation. Therefore, any one who will arise and say that he is a messenger from G-d to give a Torah to the people, we respond to him: Any Torah from G-d that will not be given in a mass revelation, cannot be divine. And certainly if he comes to cancel the Torah given by Moses, we will reply to him that G-d Himself has to appear before six hundred thousand in a mass revelation as He did when He gave the Torah, because in any manner concerning what He commanded a prophet, it is doubtful what he said even to the prophet’s generation, and certainly to other generations."
Those who understand this argument, will immediately understand why Jews have never believed in Christianity. Judaism is based on a revelation to the entire people, while Christianity is based on the claim of an individual.
Israel’s Torah was given to all the Jewish people, with their knowledge and consent, in a national divine revelation to millions. G-d made an eternal covenant with the children of Israel, for all generations.
In contrast, the Christians believe that G-d repudiated the covenant He made with the Jewish people at Mount Sinai, and created a "new covenant" to all nations, which depends on believing in one man by the name of Yeshu / Yeshua. The Christians believe that G-d reneged on the covenant, without announcing another revelation to millions of witnesses to cancel the covenant with Israel. Christians admit that G-d did not to cancel the first covenant in a revelation to millions of people as He did when He established the covenant at Mount Sinai. They also admit that G-d didn’t appear again before millions to establish a new covenant with the nations of the world.
If someone has signed a contract with two witnesses, and now he wants to change or cancel the contract, can he do so without witnesses? Of course, if G-d decided to cancel the old covenant, He had to appear again before at least three million witnesses to cancel it. Nor may one side cancel the agreement while the other side continues to comply with it, and while the other side is not even aware of the contract’s cancellation. The Jewish people continues to fulfill the contract until this day, "in all their generations" as the Torah says: they keep Shabbat, circumcision, Passover, Yom Kippur and so on. As long as they fulfill the old covenant, that means that no new covenant was made.
This is the most powerful historical argument against belief in Jesus and the New Testament. The very fact that Christianity came to cancel a national event that occurred before millions, and tried to do so through the claim of one individual, appears preposterous to a Jew. No rational Jew can believe Messianic Jews’ claim that the Torah, which was given in an historical revelation to an entire people, was cancelled without an equivalent counter-revelation.
For further questions and information, please contact the writer of the article.
More interesting articles on this topic:
Exposing Jews for Jesus - Rabbi Tovia Singer
Answering Missionaries: The Deception of Zechariah 13 - Rabbi Tovia Singer
Torah’s Divine Origin: Establishing Religion Credibility - Rabbi Lawrence Kelemen