4
   

1. Compare Judaism and Christianity

 
 
dauer
 
  1  
Tue 24 Aug, 2004 08:42 pm
That was me, not Moishe. No, the messiah won't be supernatural, but just a man, the same way Moses and Isaiah and David and myself and Bill Clinton are just men.

Well, the Jewish take is that Moses did not part the red sea. God parted the red sea for Moses. It'll be the same thing with the messiah.


M'shiakh is the hebrew for messiah and it just means annointed one, as in a leader who is annointed as such. David is a m'shiakh, Cyrus is a m'shiakh, etc. It doesn't have to mean a Jewish m'shiakh, but in this case it would be a Jew who comes from David.

mitzvot is the plural of mitzvah, which is one of the 613 commandments.
0 Replies
 
extra medium
 
  1  
Tue 24 Aug, 2004 10:39 pm
Sofia wrote:
OK--In my corner of Christianity, Christians accept that Christ was God as man. (To start the ball rolling...)


Right, Sofia, many Christians accept that Christ was God.

Then there are those, such as certain Catholics, who almost appear to worship Mother Mary in some sort of "higher" way than Jesus. Almost as if Mother Mary is somehow more important in the scheme of things, in some ways.

Many of the (admittedly more obscure) corners of Christianity I've studied don't quite emphasize that Jesus is God. More something along the lines of he is a conduit or a path or a pipeline to God. That he was an enlightened master who had realized some things beyond the vast majority of other people.

So here already, we have at least 3 views of the Messiah within Christianity. And this is just scratching the surface.

But there are certain "truths" most Christians would probably agree on regarding Jesus's Messiah status. For example, they would most probably all agree that "If one trusts their heart and soul to Jesus, becomes reborn, and puts all their faith in Him"...they will be forgiven their sins and will go to the good place.

Now this is an interesting concept. Many Christians believe that one can be a serial killer for example, and if they truly give their life to Jesus on the last day of their murderous life, their is a chance they will be forgiven and go to heaven.

Does the Jewish tradition speak of a Messiah that will have such powers that they can absolve a crimminal of his sins, etc?

How do Jewish people feel about the concept of forgiveness in general? Lets take away the Messiah aspect for a moment. Lets say I am a Jewish person who does all kinds of bad stuff, sins, crime, etc., up until I'm 30 or so. Then I realize the errors of my ways, and spend the rest of my life following the Law, making amends, am a good person, etc. Do I have a chance for heaven? What if I was bad for 30 years, and only realized my errors and changed my ways in the final week? A chance for heaven?
0 Replies
 
dauer
 
  1  
Tue 24 Aug, 2004 11:38 pm
Well, there is no heaven or hell in Judaism. You may want to review the thread. I think that was discussed. If they get into the world-to-come or Olam HaBa, then they still have a very good chance of leaving Gehenna for Gan Eden. Only the truly wicked who do not change in Gehenna have their souls extinguished. The Jewish emphasis is on this life anyway.

But forgiveness is pretty simple when looked at simply. If you do something wrong, you have turned from God. When you do teshuva, repentance or returning, you turn back to God.

If you check out God at Sinai it says He forgives iniquity, willful sin, and error. Another translation may be a little different.

We read it as Iniquity is an intentional sin. A willful sin is a sin done to anger God. An error is something done out of carelessness.

The careless things are forgiven. Iniquity and willful sin require teshuva. This looks like recognizing what you have done, accepting the consequences, and committing never to do it again. If you do it again after having truly committed not to, you just repeat. But that's for sins against God. We atone for those sins as a community on Yom Kippur.

There are also sins against man that must be resolved with the individual first. I think I went over all of this somewhere else in the thread. If I didn't I'll continue.

So the Jewish messiah will not have the ability to forgive sin, but in Judaism it is not neccessary. There is no intermediary. A Jew can take steps to clear himself.

If someone had been sinning their entire lives and then wanted to return to God, in general, they could. It would look like somebody in a 12-step program trying to find all of the people they needed to ask forgiveness from, making up to them as best they could on all levels. If there were things they could not do, they could go to a rabbi who would consult the law, and based on the law, they would be able to make a ruling of what if anything else was neccessary.
0 Replies
 
dauer
 
  1  
Sun 29 Aug, 2004 07:13 pm
Perhaps then, it should be acknowledged that the Jewish and Christian messiah are fairly different. Maybe it would be better to look for similarities.

This may be easier if someone can explain to me what the second coming is and what is supposed to happen. I think I get the general idea but after that I know nothing.
0 Replies
 
extra medium
 
  1  
Mon 30 Aug, 2004 09:16 pm
Again, if you asked 100 Christians about the second coming, you might get 100 different answers.

In general, I think most believe: Jesus will come. Those who believed in him will be saved, and they'll be on their way to heaven. There may be a chance for some other groups...they'll hang out in sort of a limbo for awhile. Most the rest will go to hell.

Something like that. Christians, correct (flame me?) if I'm wrong?

I realize the above is very general. I don't know how much that above description adds to what you already understood.

Trouble is, once we start getting much more specific & detailed than the above, I think we get into one of the specific 100+ sects and denominations of Christianity. For example, I think Jehovah Witnesses believe exactly 144,000 people will be saved, while the rest will not. Other denominations claim that is ridiculous....

Here's a quote regarding the Jehovah Witness Belief System:
"10. The Body of Christ. JWs believe that the members of the spiritual Body of Christ, or "Christian Congregation," number only 144,000 (Rev. 7:4-8). Most of those members of Christ's Body are now deceased and are reigning with Jesus in heaven since 1918. (Anybody born after 1936 cannot be in that number.) The remaining members still on earth, approximately 8,000 (out of whom are selected the "Governing Body"), are known as the "Remnant." They are collectively known as Jehovah God's "channel of communication" to men. They are the only ones "born again" and are the only ones who have a hope of going to Heaven. The rest of Jehovah's faithful witnesses only hope to be worthy enough to inherit the Earth, and will never see "Jesus/Michael," nor will they ever go to Heaven. All "so called Christendom" will be destroyed at Armageddon. "

This is not to pick on Jehovah Witnesses. Other denominations have beliefs that are just as....whatever. Just showing an example of how fast all the 100+ denominations can diverge in their beliefs, quite radically. (As an aside, consider that only 144,000 people will go to heaven. This is of all people that ever lived. Even if we just consider those alive today, this would mean only about one out of 40,000 people goes to heaven!--Contrast this to some denominations that say almost everyone goes to heaven. This is getting into a different question, though...)

Anyway, supposing the above (in blue) is a rough approximation, are there any similarities between this type of Messiah and the Jewish Messiah?

Secondary question: Did I read this thread correctly in that there isn't a heaven & hell in the Jewish tradition? What about all the fire & brimstone in what Christians call the Old Testament?
0 Replies
 
dauer
 
  1  
Mon 30 Aug, 2004 10:22 pm
There is no heaven or hell in Judaism. You'd have to point out specific references to fire and brimstone and I could reply to each one individually. Most Christian translations rely heavily on the septuagint, which is already a translation of Hebrew to Greek. Origen also tells us that it was corrupt.

Quote:

"Again, through the whole of Job there are many passages in the Hebrew which are wanting in our copies, generally four or five verses, but sometimes, however, even fourteen, and nineteen, and sixteen. But why should I enumerate all the instances I collected with so much labor, to prove that the difference between our copies and those of the Jews did not escape me? "

"I marked with an asterisk those passages in our copies which are not found in the Hebrew. . . sometimes the meaning even does not seem to be akin? And, forsooth, when we notice such things, we are forthwith to reject as spurious the copies in use in our Churches, and enjoin the brotherhood to put away the sacred books current among them, and to coax the Jews, and persuade them to give us copies which shall be untampered with, and free from forgery!" Origen, A Letter from Origen to Africanus, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 4.]


There may very well be references to fire and brimstone, but they may also just be speaking about a particular plague or such that would effect the people. As I said, I would have to see the text itself. I thought most of that comes from Revelations. That's not a Jewish book.

But no, that really has nothing to do with a Jewish messiah. There's no condemnation of the masses. Nobody has to believe in the messiah, although Maimonides eventually put belief in the coming of the messiah as one of his 13 principles. But still no eternal condemnation for not believing. In Judaism the masses would recognize HaShem and worship Him in the messianic age. The Jews would serve as a nation of priests, not literally in that they are officiating sacrifices. Only the Jewish priests, who are determined by lineage, do that. Just that they would help lead the people in the service of HaShem.

This position is a reflection of chosenness, but it is not a reflection of betterness. The talmud says

Quote:

(Psalms 146:8) "G-d loves the righteous." G-d said: 'I love those who love Me and so it says (1 Samuel 2:30) "For I honor those who honor Me." They love Me so I love them in return.' Why does G-d love the righteous? Because righteousness is not an inheritance or a family trait. You find that priests are from a priestly family and Levites are from a levitical family as it says (Psalms 135:19-20) "O house of Aaron bless G-d! O house of Levi bless G-d!" If someone wants to become a priest [from the family of Aaron] or a Levite he cannot because his father was not a priest or a Levite. However, if someone wants to become righteous even if he is a gentile he can because it is not a family trait as it says (ibid.) "O those who fear G-d bless G-d!" It does not say the house of those who fear G-d but those who fear G-d. It is not a family trait rather on their own they chose to fear and love G-d. Therefore, G-d loves them.


midrash bemidbar rabbah 8:2

There are other things that speak of all people and not just those who believe in God, but I thought this was more fitting because it speaks of how things are a level playing field. The term righteous should not be thought to mean that nonbelievers are not righteous. This is a specific term used in Judaism for a nonJew who meets certain obligations.

In Judaism everyone has a purpose, not just Jews. The purpose of the Jewish people is bound to the covenant. Other people have different purposes.

I guess I've spoken on Jewish chosenness as well. Perhaps someone can also speak on Christian chosenness? I know it is not by birth, but it seems like there are similarities.
0 Replies
 
extra medium
 
  1  
Tue 31 Aug, 2004 05:59 pm
hmmm...what is the purpose of the messiah in the Jewish tradition?

What kinds of things is it expected that the messiah might do?
0 Replies
 
dauer
 
  1  
Tue 31 Aug, 2004 07:13 pm
Well, the messiah will come and in that time certain things will happen. There will be the ingathering of the Jewish people, world peace, all people will recognize HaShem. The temple will be rebuilt. The best way to think of the word messiah in the Jewish sense is just the next Jewish leader in the Davidic dynasty, the next annointed one. We will know it is the messiah when all of these things happen. There is debate over whether everything will be completely different -- up is down left is right -- or if this will all happen within the laws of physics and time will go on as it does with no change.

Some Jews don't believe in the messiah so much as they do in a messianic age that we as humans will bring about. I think this was all covered earlier in the thread.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Tue 31 Aug, 2004 07:41 pm
It is thought that the Davidic Messianic tradition started around the time of the Babylonian conquest of Judea and the Babylonian Exile, where the exiled Judeans pined for a leader with the legendary qualities of King David to see them out of Babylon to a restored Israel. Lamentations is thought to have been written during this period.
0 Replies
 
dauer
 
  1  
Tue 31 Aug, 2004 08:39 pm
Yes, that is another possibility. Myself as an individual, I have no strong faith in the coming of the messiah.

And I also have no strong feelings as to what happens when we die. I'd rather say that we cannot know. If sheol really was originally meant as a euphemism for the grave, then there's nothing about that that isn't Jewish.
0 Replies
 
heofon
 
  1  
Mon 30 May, 2005 10:38 pm
ALL RELIGION SUUCCCKKKKSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Tue 31 May, 2005 06:42 am
heofon
A profound response. It must have taken you days to come up with it.
0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  1  
Tue 7 Jun, 2005 06:23 am
I have been told it is possible to be an atheist and a Jew.

Is it possible to be an atheist and a Christian?

I'm thinking you probably could if you followed the general teachings of Jesus Christ without being too literal about the Father/Son bit (and you'd have trouble defending it at church picnic)
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Tue 7 Jun, 2005 06:41 am
Earl.

How can one respond to that? The difference is being born into a religion and belief. It is no different in any religion. People who are atheists do not change religions. If they did what religion would they change to? There are atheists with all religious backgrounds.
0 Replies
 
Wolf ODonnell
 
  1  
Tue 7 Jun, 2005 07:22 am
Eorl wrote:
I have been told it is possible to be an atheist and a Jew.


Are you sure it wasn't being an atheist and a Buddhist? Seeing as Buddhism does not affirm nor deny the existence of any one God, i would have thought being an atheist and a Buddhist is more likely.

Quote:
Is it possible to be an atheist and a Christian?


This all boils down to the question, what does it mean to be a Christian?

If it means to follow the teachings of a Christ, then yes, you can be an atheist and a Christian. If you have to believe that Christ is the Son of God or that he is God or that he was sent by God, then no.
0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  1  
Tue 7 Jun, 2005 09:10 pm
I was told that Judaism can be followed as a tribal religion within which you follow the rules to be a good Jew. A god is generally taken for granted but not compulsory.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Tue 7 Jun, 2005 09:19 pm
Actually, they're all the same god; man-made. Created by man and worshipped by man.
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Wed 8 Jun, 2005 02:15 pm
Eorl
Whoever is doing the telling is full of shyte. The old testament is the Jewish bible. Remember the Ten comandments? Where do you suppose they came from.
0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  1  
Wed 8 Jun, 2005 11:05 pm
au

No, I don't think they were (full of...).

There are Jewish scholars who do not accept that the old testament is the literal word of a god(as do some christian scholars). They think that a god was simply taken for granted by all at the time it was written.

It's a fact: there are Jewish atheists and agnostics...and to them being Jewish is more important than being a theist.

But I'm not the expert, I'm just passing it on....I was quite shocked myself.

edit:

A quick google yielded this:

Quote:
.. but secular Jews, atheist Jews and agnostic Jews produce no shock. In fact, they comprise the largest constituency of the Jewish people.


http://www.vbs.org/rabbi/hshulw/outreach_bot.htm

This suggest MOST Jews are atheists !!!
0 Replies
 
Moishe3rd
 
  1  
Thu 9 Jun, 2005 06:04 am
Eorl wrote:
au

No, I don't think they were (full of...).

There are Jewish scholars who do not accept that the old testament is the literal word of a god(as do some christian scholars). They think that a god was simply taken for granted by all at the time it was written.

It's a fact: there are Jewish atheists and agnostics...and to them being Jewish is more important than being a theist.

But I'm not the expert, I'm just passing it on....I was quite shocked myself.

edit:

A quick google yielded this:

Quote:
.. but secular Jews, atheist Jews and agnostic Jews produce no shock. In fact, they comprise the largest constituency of the Jewish people.


http://www.vbs.org/rabbi/hshulw/outreach_bot.htm

This suggest MOST Jews are atheists !!!
\
Judaism is today, a two tracked system.
One track does indeed claim that one is Jewish if one "feels" Jewish. No other requirements are necessary.
Oddly enough, this is the "tribal Judaism," except that it doesn't require a person to be a member of the tribe.
This is not a viable (as in self-perpetuating or able to continue from generation to generation) form of Judaism. It is self-evident that those who have no religious connection to Judaism will cease to "feel" or be Jewish after a generation or so.
This is why there are only about 20 million Jews in the world today, even though Judaism is the oldest, continuous organized religion on the planet.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not simply that Jews were wiped out (although there has been a strong tendency to do that, that continues to this day... Rolling Eyes ), it is that Jews have always assimilated in large numbers into the native population - going back to Roman and Babylonian times...

Self-perpetuating Judaism is religious Judaism. Those who follow the precepts of the Torah and practice observant Judaism are indeed the Jews that have survived and continued since the time of Abraham.

Therefore, in any given generation, one can always make the claim that large numbers of "biological" Jews (although, as I point out above, most Jews who do not believe in the religion of Judaism reject the idea that one must have a Jewish mother in order to be Jewish, thereby making them Jewish because they "feel" Jewish, even as they reject being Jewish Rolling Eyes ) are not religiously observant - simply because they have repudiated the religion of Judaism.
This does not mean that "A god is generally taken for granted but not compulsory," in Judaism.
It merely means that there are large numbers of those who call themselves Jews, in almost every generation, that have rejected the religion of Judaism.
Just as, by the way, there are Christians who reject the divinity of Jesus and the resurrection.
Now, for the life of me, I don't know why they call themselves Christians, but they do. (see: John Shelby Spong, Episcopal Bishop and theologian in New Jersey)
As Judaism has biological underpinnings in addition to being a belief system, it is easier to be recognized as a Jew, while still repudiating Judaism.
Again, this is also an oxymoron to me, but... G-d works in mysterious ways... :wink:
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

700 Inconsistencies in the Bible - Discussion by onevoice
Why do we deliberately fool ourselves? - Discussion by coincidence
Spirituality - Question by Miller
Oneness vs. Trinity - Discussion by Arella Mae
give you chills - Discussion by Bartikus
Evidence for Evolution! - Discussion by Bartikus
Evidence of God! - Discussion by Bartikus
One World Order?! - Discussion by Bartikus
God loves us all....!? - Discussion by Bartikus
The Preambles to Our States - Discussion by Charli
 
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 10/26/2021 at 06:53:37