Week 5 APO102 – Judaism

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Week Date Topic Student Notes Audio PowerPoint Teacher


5 3/11 Judaism Notes MP3 PPT Notes

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Chapter Summary

Homework: Read a little bit of the Talmud Here[1]

I. The Jewish Roots of Christianity

1. OT: Promise Made; NT: Promise Kept

  1. Promise Made in the Garden – Gen. 3:15
  2. Promise Made to Abraham – Gen. 12:1-3
  3. Promise Made to David – 2 Sam. 7
  4. The Genecology of Jesus Matthew 1:1-17
  • Abraham to Jesus through David

2. Christianity considered as a sect of Judaism

  • “Christianity was born in the cradle of Judaism”[2] – Mark Noll (church historian)
  • Ethnically, Jesus gave priority to the Jews and this was followed by the early Church
  • “The early Church was primarily Jewish and existed within Judaism.”[3]
  • “The Church… was looked upon by the authorities as a part of Judaism..”[4] and as long as it was considered as such it was not persecuted because it was considered a religio licita, or leagel sect.
  • “For several decades after AD 70, the Church enjoyed the legal status that they Jews had won through hard and difficult trial.”[5]

3. The Historical break between Judaism and Christianity

  • The Jewish community rejected Jesus (Jn. 1:10-11)
  • The teachings of the Apostles were rejected (Acts 4:18-19; 5:40)
  • With inclusion of Gentiles into the Church, “Christian practices increasingly separated them from the Jewish faith.”[6]
  • “As the Christian Church moved out into the Roman world, it’s Judaic roots would be obscured, but even beneath the surface those roots remained a critical part of what Christianity had been and what it would become.”[7]

Two Fires:[8]

  1. Fire in Rome AD 64
  • Nero distinguished the difference between Judaism and Christianity when he blamed the fire of AD 64 in Rome on them.[9]
  1. Fire in Jerusalem AD 70
  • “The early center of Christianity’s communications, organization, and authority was Jerusalem.”[10]
  • A Jewish revolt against Rome led to the destruction of the Jerusalem and its temple in AD 70.
  • “The year 70 marked the close of the period when Christianity could be regarded as simply a variety of Judaism… from AD 70 onward the divergence of the paths of Jewish Christianity and orthodox Judaism was decisive.”[11]

“By AD 100, the Christian and Jewish faiths were recognized as two separate groups.”[12]

  1. Doctrinal Differences

1. Primary: The Messiahship of Jesus

  1. The concept of Messiah
  • “The word “Messiah” is an English rendering of the Hebrew word “Mashiach”, whose translation is “Anointed”. It usually refers to a person initiated into G-d’s service by being anointed with oil. (Having oil poured on his head.  Exodus 29:7, I Kings 1:39, II Kings 9:3).
  • There are many Messiahs in the Bible. 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: “G-d forbid that I [David] should stretch out my hand against the L-rd’s Messiah [Saul]…” I Samuel 26:11. Cf. II Samuel 23:1, Isaiah 45:1, Psalms 20:6.
  • The Hebrew word “HaMashiach” (lit. the Messiah) describing a future anointed person to come does not appear anywhere in the Bible.”[13]
  1. The Current Messianic Expectation of Judaism
  • One of the central themes of Biblical prophecy is the promise of a future age of perfection characterized by universal peace and recognition of G-d. 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 one 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.[14]
  1. Present Day Judaism Rejects Jesus (and others) as their Messiah
  • “All past Messianic claimants, including Jesus of Nazareth, Bar Cochba and Shabbtai Tzvi have been rejected.”[15]
  1. How Judaism of the past looked at the prophecies of both a Suffering Servant and a Reigning King: Two Messiah Theory: Suffering Servant and Conquering King
  • The Ruling Messiah: (Messiah Son of David)

“There are similarities between King David and the Messiahs Kingdom. These would include King David, through a covenant with God, founded an everlasting dynasty. He also expanded the boarders of Israel and planned to build “a house for God.” Kings are “anointed” and some Jewish literature refers to the Messiah as “King Messiah.” Jer.23:5 speaks of Messiahs’ kingship

Isaiah 11:1-10 and Psalm 72: 1-19 clearly foretell of a Messiah coming to bring peace and establish the Messianic Kingdom over Israel.”[16]

  • The Suffering Messiah: (Messiah Son of Joseph)

“The Messianic interpretation of Isaiah 53 was common before and during the days of Jesus. The New Testament writers (most of whom were Jewish) address this in at least seven passages. (Matt. 8:17; Mark 15:28; Luke 22:37; John 12:37-38; Acts 8:32-33; Rom. 10:16; 1 Peter 2:24-25). It continued during the creation of the Talmud which was finished around 400 A.D. Many other ancient Jewish writings support the view that Isaiah 53 is a Messianic passage.

Another interpretation developed and became poplar during the Middle Ages. This other interpretation taught that subject of Isaiah 53 was the nation of Israel and not an individual Messiah. It taught that Israel as a nation would suffer for the sins of the world and developed partially out of the need to help answer the question: Who else could be the promised Jewish Messiah besides Jesus Christ? (Even though it is clear that the grammar is speaking of a singular person and not a plural nation). For more on the grammar of Isaiah 53 check out Is the Suffering Servant One Or Many?”[17]

“The eminent scholar Raphael Patai, who “taught Hebrew at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem” and served as Professor of Anthropology at Dropsie University,1said this of the two-messiah theory:

“When the death of the Messiah became an established tenet in Talmudic times, this was felt to be irreconcilable with the belief in the Messiah as Redeemer who would usher in the blissful millennium of the Messianic Age. The dilemma was solved by splitting the person of the Messiah in two: one of them, called Messiah ben Joseph, was to raise the armies of Israel against their enemies, and, after many victories and miracles, would fall victim Gog and Magog. The other, Messiah ben David, will come after him (in some legends will bring him back to life, which psychologically hints at the identity of the two), and will lead Israel to the ultimate victory, the triumph, and the Messianic era of bliss.””[18]

“Maybe you weren’t told, but many ancient rabbinic sources understood Isaiah 53 as referring to the Messiah. Here are quotations from some of them:

Babylonian Talmud: “The Messiah –what is his name?…The Rabbis say, The Leper Scholar, as it is said, `surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him a leper, smitten of God and afflicted…'” (Sanhedrin 98b)

Midrash Ruth Rabbah: “Another explanation (of Ruth ii.14): — He is speaking of king Messiah; `Come hither,’ draw near to the throne; `and eat of the bread,’ that is, the bread of the kingdom; `and dip thy morsel in the vinegar,’ this refers to his chastisements, as it is said, `But he was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities'”

Targum Jonathan: “Behold my servant Messiah shall prosper; he shall be high and increase and be exceedingly strong…”

Zohar: “`He was wounded for our transgressions,’ etc….There is in the Garden of Eden a palace called the Palace of the Sons of Sickness; this palace the Messiah then enters, and summons every sickness, every pain, and every chastisement of Israel; they all come and rest upon him. And were it not that he had thus lightened them off Israel and taken them upon himself, there had been no man able to bear Israel’s chastisements for the transgression of the law: and this is that which is written, `Surely our sicknesses he hath carried.'”

Rabbi Moses Maimonides: “What is the manner of Messiah’s advent….there shall rise up one of whom none have known before, and signs and wonders which they shall see performed by him will be the proofs of his true origin; for the Almighty, where he declares to us his mind upon this matter, says, `Behold a man whose name is the Branch, and he shall branch forth out of his place’ (Zech. 6:12). And Isaiah speaks similarly of the time when he shall appear, without father or mother or family being known, He came up as a sucker before him, and as a root out of dry earth, etc….in the words of Isaiah, when describing the manner in which kings will harken to him, At him kings will shut their mouth; for that which had not been told them have they seen, and that which they had not heard they have perceived.” (From the Letter to the South (Yemen), quoted in The Fifty-third Chapter of Isaiah According to the Jewish Interpreters, Ktav Publishing House, 1969, Volume 2, pages 374-5)

Rabbi Mosheh Kohen Ibn Crispin: This rabbi described those who interpret Isaiah 53 as referring to Israel as those: “having forsaken the knowledge of our Teachers, and inclined after the `stubbornness of their own hearts,’ and of their own opinion, I am pleased to interpret it, in accordance with the teaching of our Rabbis, of the King Messiah….This prophecy was delivered by Isaiah at the divine command for the purpose of making known to us something about the nature of the future Messiah, who is to come and deliver Israel, and his life from the day when he arrives at discretion until his advent as a redeemer, in order that if anyone should arise claiming to be himself the Messiah, we may reflect, and look to see whether we can observe in him any resemblance to the traits described here; if there is any such resemblance, then we may believe that he is the Messiah our righteousness; but if not, we cannot do so.” (From his commentary on Isaiah, quoted in The Fifty-third Chapter of Isaiah According to the Jewish Interpreters, Ktav Publishing House, 1969, Volume 2, pages 99-114.)”[19]

For a book entitled: The Fifty-third Chapter of Isaiah According to the Jewish Interpreters Here[20]

2. Secondary:

  1. Scripture

For the Orthodox Jew – Mishnah and the Talmud are authoritative

  1. Salvation
Judaism Evangelical Protestant
Salvation is gained through commitment to the one true God and through moral living Salvation comes through faith in Jesus atoning death and resurrection (Rom. 3:24; Eph. 2:8-9)
“Can non-Jews gain a place in heaven?

Absolutely. Judaism teaches that non-Jews should believe in God and accept and practice the 7 Noahide commandments. These include:

1) Not worshiping idolatry,

2) No blasphemy,

3) No murder,

4) No stealing,

5) No adultery,

6) Establishing courts of justice,

7) Not being cruel to animals.

Actually, these are 7 categories and include other details. A non-Jews who accepts the Noahide covenant can get to heaven.”[21]

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9

“being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” – Romans 3:24

  1. Atonement
  • “If I go off the path, I have to put myself back on track, and G-d will forgive me. Even when sacrifices were offered, they in and of themselves didn’t effect atonement. The sacrifice was part of the process, it helped bring us to the core of atonement”[22]
  • “Prayer and repentance are cited here as effective means for securing atonement”[23]
  • “We are able to approach G-d directly with prayer, which is possible at all times; and G-d assures us that sincere prayer can achieve forgiveness for our sins”[24]
  • “Jesus could never serve as an atoning sacrifice”[25]

III. Judaism Today

Three Forms Presently:

  1. Orthodox
  2. Conservative
  3. Reform

For a more detailed look at the three branches with in Judaism click Here[26]

  1. Orthodox
  • Attempts to follow the letter of the Law
  • Carefully studies the Law
  • Also observed are the: Mishnah and the Talmud
  • Examples of laws followed: not mixing dairy and meat (Exo. 23:19), not working on Sabbath
  1. Conservative
  • Attempts to follow the letter of the Law
  • Carefully studies the Law
  • Also observed are the: Mishnah and the Talmud
  • Examples of laws followed: not mixing dairy and meat (Exo. 23:19), not working on Sabbath
  1. Reformed
  • The principles of Judaism are more important than the practices
  • Don’t keep dietary laws or observe all the rules regarding Sabbath

All Three:

  • Orthodox, Conservative and Reformed all observe Sabbath

[1] https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/FullTalmud.pdf

[2] Noll, Turning Points, Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity; 3rd Edition (16)

[3] Cairns, Christianity through the Centuries, 3rd ed. (59)

[4] Cairns, Christianity through the Centuries, 3rd ed. (87)

[5] Noll, Turning Points, Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity; 3rd Edition (18),

[6] Jones, Christian History Made Easy (10)

[7] Noll, Turning Points, Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity; 3rd Edition (19)

[8] These two “fires” are the first two events recorded in The 100 Most Important Events in Christian History (Curtis, Lan, Peteresn)

[9] Jones, Christian History Made Easy (11)

[10] Noll, Turning Points, Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity; 3rd Edition (16)

[11] Noll, quoting F.F. Bruce, Turning Points, Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity; 3rd Edition (17)

[12] Jones, Christian History Made Easy (10)

[13] https://jewsforjudaism.org/knowledge/articles/the-jewish-concept-of-messiah-and-the-jewish-response-to-christian-claims/

[14] https://jewsforjudaism.org/knowledge/articles/the-jewish-concept-of-messiah-and-the-jewish-response-to-christian-claims/

[15] https://jewsforjudaism.org/knowledge/articles/the-jewish-concept-of-messiah-and-the-jewish-response-to-christian-claims/

[16] http://jewishroots.net/library/messianic/two-messiahs-2.html

[17] http://jewishroots.net/library/messianic/two-messiahs-2.html

[18] https://www.chaim.org/2messiah.htm

[19] https://www.chaim.org/rabbis.htm

[20] http://www.jewishawareness.org/wp-content/uploads/The_fifty_third_chapter_of_Isaiah_according-to-Jewish-Tradition.pdf

[21] https://jewsforjudaism.org/

[22] https://jewsforjudaism.org/knowledge/articles/leviticus-1711/

[23] https://jewsforjudaism.org/knowledge/articles/leviticus-1711/

[24] https://jewsforjudaism.org/knowledge/articles/leviticus-1711/

[25] https://jewsforjudaism.org/knowledge/articles/leviticus-1711/

[26] https://jewsforjesus.org/publications/newsletter/newsletter-feb-1990/the-three-branches-of-judaism/

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