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Switch to Forum Live View What do Jewish people know about Christianity that many Christians dont know?
6 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2009 - 8:22PM #51
Inviere
Posts: 25
Well, I'm no expert on on Christianity. I took a religious studies course on it in college, and that's about it. Still, I remember there is a distinction between the "Jesus of history" and the "Christ of faith." It's the latter that is important to the Christian.

Now, take your example about Isaiah. Christians can say that yes, the Jewish interpretation is the surface meaning, but their interpretation is the REAL meaning as revealed to them through their faith in Jesus. I hesitate to make the comparison, but we -- for example -- do not take the Torah Shebikhtiv literally; we read it in light of the Torah Shebealpeh. Our traditional-minded landsmen believe the Torah Shebealpeh comes from G-d through Moshe, Christians believe their faith in Jesus is their Torah Shebealpeh.

Both religious Christians and religious Jews approach the Bible differently from the way a non-religious scholar would. There's the text, but then there's all the mental stuff associated with the text, the prism through which it is interpreted, that determines what the text means.

Anyway, both our religions are more than the sum of their parts, more than their texts. I still think a Jew knows JUDAISM and the JEWISH interpretation of texts better than a Christian, but a Christian knows CHRISTIANITY and the CHRISTIAN interpretation better than a Jew. The Tanakh and the "Old Testament" are really two entirely different books, despite their superficial resemblance.

Is it apparent I was a pomo lit major? :)
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2009 - 8:30PM #52
Yesh
Posts: 69
Invi: A Jew knows JUDAISM better than a Christian, but a Christian knows CHRISTIANITY better than a Jew.

Yesh: Yes, but Jesus is a Jew who knows JUDAISM. Jesus never met Paul, Jesus didnt know he needed an 'apostle to the gentiles', Jesus never heard of the word 'Trinity' and wouldnt know what it meant. Jesus knows absolutely nothing about Christianity.

Obviously, a Jew knows JESUS better than a Christian does.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2009 - 9:08PM #53
ffb
Posts: 2,165
"but their interpretation is the REAL meaning as revealed to them through their faith in Jesus"

comparing to the oral law is, i think, a bit specious -- the christian tradition is not that there is a complementary body of law following exegetical rules and steeped in a parallel transmission, but in a need to explain text in a way which validates a conclusion one has already come to. it leads to dishonesty in the translation of words -- not to the reinterpretation of concepts. It is a necessity of belief, not a formative aspect of theology. Remember, Jesus endorsed the pharisaic mode (which included the oral law) so an interpretation of Is. 7:14 which goes contrary to phraisaic/rabbinic understanding contradicts jesus' own attitude. This logic is exactly the kind of thing that allows me an insight into christianity.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2009 - 10:00PM #54
Inviere
Posts: 25

Yesh wrote:

Invi: A Jew knows JUDAISM better than a Christian, but a Christian knows CHRISTIANITY better than a Jew.

Yesh: Yes, but Jesus is a Jew who knows JUDAISM. Jesus never met Paul, Jesus didnt know he needed an 'apostle to the gentiles', Jesus never heard of the word 'Trinity' and wouldnt know what it meant. Jesus knows absolutely nothing about Christianity.

Obviously, a Jew knows JESUS better than a Christian does.


I'm still kinda squicked out by this notion that Jews somehow know better than Christians. I mean, we can't even prove our own G-d exists, so how can we really, honestly say that theirs doesn't?

You're making a lot of assumptions about what Jesus knew and did not know based on your own understanding and interpretation of the Christian scriptures (one I share, I might add). But that is not the only possible interpretation and not the interpretation that Christians hold. To convince Christians that they're wrong, you'd have to prove to them that Jesus isn't G-d. I don't know how to do that. Do you?

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6 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2009 - 10:06PM #55
Inviere
Posts: 25

ffb wrote:

"but their interpretation is the REAL meaning as revealed to them through their faith in Jesus"

comparing to the oral law is, i think, a bit specious -- the christian tradition is not that there is a complementary body of law following exegetical rules and steeped in a parallel transmission, but in a need to explain text in a way which validates a conclusion one has already come to.


Well.....

The same can be said about quite a lot of the Torah Shebealpeh.

it leads to dishonesty in the translation of words -- not to the reinterpretation of concepts. It is a necessity of belief, not a formative aspect of theology.


One person's "dishonesty" is another person's reinterpretation, and when we get down to things so personal and so subjective as religion, it's really hard to draw any kind of defining line between what is a "necessity of belief" and what is a "formative aspect of theology."

We may believe one thing, but it quite easily appear the opposite in the eyes of others.

Remember, Jesus endorsed the pharisaic mode (which included the oral law) so an interpretation of Is. 7:14 which goes contrary to phraisaic/rabbinic understanding contradicts jesus' own attitude.


That assumes that the pharisaic/rabbinic understanding is monolithic (which it isn't) and that Jesus wasn't G-d (which he wasn't, but that's another issue).

This logic is exactly the kind of thing that allows me an insight into christianity.


OK. I don't know what to tell ya. I get offended when Christians try to tell us they know our religion better than we do, so I'm not gonna turn around and do the same. If that floats your boat, I hope you have a smooth sailing. It's just not a trip I have any desire to take.

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6 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2009 - 10:25PM #56
ffb
Posts: 2,165
so you don't find that a knowledge of hebrew or jewish law gives a jew any insight about the use of references to jewish law in christian texts?
If I were an american and saw someone from siberia citing american constitutional law translated into siberian, I would think I have a better sense of its meaning and context.
this isn't really so much about floating my boat but about looking for a measure of reasonableness.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2009 - 11:03PM #57
Inviere
Posts: 25
Not if those references to Jewish law in Christians texts don't have any practical impact -- at least in the way we understand them -- in Christianity.

At best, it gives the Jew insight into the way of life and religious practice of 1st century Judea, which is essentially kinda like saying it gives a Jew insight into Judaism.

I guess my point, if I do indeed have one, is that Christianity and Judaism are apples and oranges, they are each their own thing and no comparison or judgment between them is possible.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2009 - 11:20PM #58
ffb
Posts: 2,165
Well I wouldn't try to compare them because they are so radically different, but if the religious philosophy attributed to the nominal leader is based on an interpretation of jewish law which runs contrary to the way jewish law would have been presented and understood, then I think I have an insight into a development in Christianity which is premised on an error. This is not a practical matter but a theological one.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 29, 2009 - 2:03AM #59
Yesh
Posts: 69
Timeline ...

By around 30 CE: A Jewish Jesus movement begins. Jesus founds a Jewish Tora community, per the Prushim.

Around 32 CE: Pagan Romans execute Jesus for claiming to be 'King of the Judeans', understood to reject the authority of Caesar the King of Rome. Jesuss Jewish students continue to transmit Jesuss Tora teachings, centered in Jerusalem.

By around 50 CE: A Nonjewish Jesus movement begins. Paul who never met Jesus, independently founds an outreach to Nonjews, but without Jewish Tora because Nonjews dont need Tora. Eventually, Paul with his Nonjewish students comes to an agreement with Jesuss Jewish students in Jerusalem: Jesuss students will continue to focus on teaching Jews only, but Paul will focus on teaching Nonjews only. Meanwhile, Pauls Nonjewish students from the Helenistic culture of West Turkey need to understand Jesus as a 'god-king' (in the tradition of Alexander the Great and the Roman imperial cult of Caesar worship) - with Pauls nuanced approval.

By around 135 CE: The Jewish Jesus movement ceases to exist, more-or-less. At the end of the Bar Kokhba Revolt, Pagan Romans genocide the Jews of Judea, including most of Jesuss Jewish students, who were centered in Jerusalem. Pagan Romans *force* Nonjews to replace Jews as the leaders of the Jesus community in Jerusalem. The Nonjewish 'Natsri' (Pauline) religion becomes officially Nonjewish in Rabbinic tradition, making it a heresy for Jews to abandon Tora by joining this Nonjewish religion.

By around 325 CE: The Nonjewish Jesus movement becomes systematically Antijewish. The Pagan Roman Emperor Constantinus converts to a branch of Pauline Christianity. He *forces* all the leaders of the Nonjewish Jesus movement to call the Council of Nicea to standardize the Jesus movement - and scornfully shuts out all surviving Jewish Jesus movements from participation. The Council of Nicea declares Gods commandments of Shabat and Pesakh null and void, and formalizes the idolatry of the god-king Jesus (both 'God' and 'anointed human king'), more-or-less substituting Jesus for the Roman imperial cult of Caesar worship. The Christian Empire becomes imperialistic and bloodthirsty (like the Pagan Roman Empire).
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 29, 2009 - 5:46AM #60
river8101
Posts: 5,543
At Jesus’ crucifixion the NT reports that the heavens and earth affirmed his deity, causing a 3 hour eclipse of the sun over all the earth, an earthquake causing Jerusalem’s temple curtain to be split in two, and graves were opened with many Jewish saints resurrected and appearing to the people in Jerusalem. (no confirmation of this appears in Jewish writings) Within three days, the Son of God, defeated Satan the prince of darkness, rose from the dead, and appeared to his disciples, then ascended into heaven. On the Day of Pentecost Jews gathered from every nation to witness the Holy Ghost descending with tongues of fire, and the Christian church growth exploded with both Jewish and Gentile converts, signs and miracles being unleashed in abundance.

Why do objective-minded inquirers of history make no mention of this astounding story? In fact, non-Christian Jewish, Greek, and Roman writers make no mention of such a story. It would seem that if such events really happened they would have spread throughout the Mediterranean world! Yet, the surviving writings of some 35 to 40 independent observers of the first one hundred years following the alleged crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus give virtually no confirmation nor mention of it at all. These authors were respected, well-traveled, articulate, thinkers and observers, the philosophers, poets, moralists, historians of that era. Yet no mention of the NT’s miraculous events were even noted in history.

Regardless of Rabbinic rejection of Jesus as Messiah, the historical impact of events surrounding Jesus would probably at least be noted in Israel’s Talmudic commentaries known as the Midrash. Remarkably, not a single early rabbinic source so much as hints at the events of the events alleged surrounding Jesus crucifixion and resurrection.

As to Nazereth, which I mentioned in the previous post, it is not mentioned in the Hebrew TaNaKh, (Bible) Even Origen, a Christian historian and church father 182-254 CE who lived in Caesarea 30 miles from present-day Nazareth does not mention Nazareth. The first solid reference to Nazareth comes from the Christian evangelist Eusebius in the 4th Century. The best guess is that Nazareth did not come into existence until the 2nd Century, therefore the gospels title”Jesus of Nazareth” must have been put in centuries later. This historic evidence strongly suggests why no 1st Century non-Christian Roman, Greek, Jewish historian, or Rabbinic literature mentions a Jesus of Nazareth. There was no 1st Century Nazareth.
“Faith is deciding to allow yourself to believe something your intellect would otherwise cause you to reject.”
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