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Do Jews believe that Jesus was a prophet?

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rockymountaindem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-05-06 11:44 PM
Original message
Do Jews believe that Jesus was a prophet?
Relax, relax, I already know the answer. But, I'm having a little PM exchange with someone who thinks Jews believe Jesus is a prophet. In case my explanation doesn't suffice, I'm going to need some backup.

Could someone else explain the theological relationship (or non-relationship) between Jews and Jesus?
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Behind the Aegis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-06-06 02:33 AM
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1. No.
I bet I know with whom you had that exchange. Don't you love it when we are told about our religion by someone who does not practice it?

Jesus was seen as a teacher. There are some that believe he may have even been a Rabbi. It is believed he was fighting corruption within our own religion, so there was much tension between him and the elders. Of course Israel was being occupied at the time by a foreign power, Rome. Much of his ire was directed at their treatment of Jews and other non-Romans.

However, I have never seen him called one of our prophets, until the other day, on DU. The only Jews I know that call him a prophet are "Jews for Jesus."
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ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-08-06 10:21 PM
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2. Jesus never comes up in traditional Jewish practice
He is not mentioned in any prayers or rituals.

There is no theological relationship between Jews and Jesus. NONE.
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 04:28 PM
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3. Maybe better framing: Did any Jews ever believe Jesus was a prophet?
The original question clearly sounds a little silly from the perspective of the modern Abrahamic religions, but that is many centuries after they have separated themselves out, and re-written their own cannons to exclude some things and include other things.

In other words, clearly there were people who considered themselves Jews who were followers of Jesus around and after the time of Jesus' death. They considered themselves Jews even if in retrospect, neither Jews nor Christians today would.

Even the early Muslims could be considered Jews who considered Jesus a prophet. Mohammed claimed to be reviving the "debased" Judaism and Christianity around him, but seemed to make little distinction between them, although he believed that Christians deified Jesus incorrectly.

So of course the people who now consider themselves Jews don't believe Jesus was a prophet, but from the time of Jesus to the time of Mohammed, there were such people even though in retrospect they are not so considered and their writings entered the Islamic rather than Jewish cannon.
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Meshuga Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-18-06 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Jews never believed that Jesus was a prophet
There is no consensus on how Jews are to regard Jesus but in recent decades many Jewish scholars have tended to view him as one of several first and second century Jews to have claimed to be the messiah, and who attempted to rid Judea of their oppressors (Rome). Almost none of these scholars believe that Jesus intended to start a new religion. Most Jews believe that if Jesus came back today he would feel more comfortable in a synagogue than at a church. An increasing number of Jewish scholars believe that Christianity real founder was another first-century Jew, Paul.

Christianity came about after Jesus died. Paul of Tarsus (a.k.a. Saint Paul) one day had a vision of Jesus as God. Before Paul's vision, Jesus' followers saw themselves as Jews and observed the Torah. The characteristic that set them apart was the fact that they thought Jesus was the messiah, and he would one day return to redeem the Jewish people. Paul radically redefined this small Jewish sect into a religion which sharply broke with Judaism.

According to Paul what matter to God was not observing the Torah but faith in Jesus. Those surviving christians who had known Jesus personally (Paul had not) really resisted this teaching. The people around Jesus were observant of the Torah. Paul claimed that it was impossible to follow every commandment from the Torah and people would eventually sin and be damned by God. He said "to be saved, mankind must be redeemed from the Law, a redemption which can only come through belief in Jesus". Judaism rejected virtually every element in Paul's reasoning process. While Judaism advocated complete observance of the Torah, it also recognized that people would inevitably sin. Before Jesus and Paul, Judaism had worked out a complete process for repentance. Sadly Paul's claims that God damns people for violating any of the Torah's laws have lead people to believe that the God from the Hebrew Bible is harsh and vengeful.

Back in the time after Jesus' death, as long as the small sect of Christians differed from their fellow Jews only with regard to certain beliefs about Jesus, they remained part of the Jewish people. But when Paul dropped the Torah and drooped any requirement for conversion, Christianity ceased being a sect and became a separate religion.
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