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The Jewishness of Christianity

  • 06-07-2009 4:41pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 22,480 ✭✭✭✭ philologos


    This is a key topic that often gets ignored or is put to the wayside in a lot of cases. However, people often do not realise that much of Christianity and Christ's teachings are not anything extraordinarily new in a lot of cases, but rather it is Christ reinforcing the Judaism that was long forgotten in a corrupted age. I've been coming to this view more and more as I have been reading the Hebrew scriptures and see the comparison between Christ's speech, Paul's speech and what was written before in the Jewish scriptures. I'll give a few examples.

    1.
    When you are praying do not heap up many phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
    Never be rash with your mouth, not let your heart be quick to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you upon the earth, therefore let your words be few.


    2.
    For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks the door will be opened.
    Call to me and I will answer you, and I will tell you the great and hidden things you have not known
    Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me says the LORD.


    3.
    And seeing a fig tree by the side of the road, He went to it and found nothing at all on it but leaves. Then He said to it, "May no fruit ever come from you again!". And the fig tree withered at once.
    For thus says the LORD: Like the bad figs that are so bad that they cannot be eaten, so will I treat King Zedekiah of Judah, his officials and the remnant of Jerusalem, who remain in this land, and those who live in the land of Egypt. I will make them a horror, an evil thing, to all the kingdoms of the earth - a disgrace, a byword, a taunt, and a curse in all the places where I shall drive them


    4.
    For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light
    Isaiah 9:4 wrote:
    For the yoke of their burden and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.
    ^^ This comes right in the middle of Messianic prophesy concerning the Messiah preaching in Galilee (Isaiah 9:2), and a child with authority will be born unto us (Isaiah 9:6) which is referred to in Matthew 28:18.


    5.
    "My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you are turning it into a den of robbers"
    .... for my house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples.
    Has this house, which is called in my name, become a den of robbers in my sight

    Just wondering what you think of this? Is most of the Gospel already there in the Old Testament, and was Jesus teaching the same truth of God in a different way?

    The more I become acquainted with what Jesus said and the Hebrew Scriptures I can't help but think that the diachotomy between Old and New Testaments is really false, and that the God of the New Testament is the same as the Old Testament.

    There are more I can use for Paul, but I think I've given enough examples to start with :)


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,900 crotalus667


    Well if you want to get technical Christians are Jew’s :rolleyes:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 22,480 ✭✭✭✭ philologos


    Interesting how are we Jewish? I certainly don't think I am ethnically, so religiously I take it?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,900 crotalus667


    Jakkass wrote: »
    Interesting how are we Jewish?
    I thought that would have been pretty obvious , you believe you are fallowing the Jewish messiah as proclaimed in the Jewish holy books. hence you are Jewish .



    Jakkass wrote: »
    I certainly don't think I am ethnically,
    Judaism is a belief system You can not ethnically be jewish ,


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,421 JimiTime


    Jakkass wrote: »

    The more I become acquainted with what Jesus said and the Hebrew Scriptures I can't help but think that the diachotomy between Old and New Testaments is really false, and that the God of the New Testament is the same as the Old Testament.

    Could you clarify this? I never seen them as different in the slightest, and I'm wondering where this idea arises from:confused:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,697 PDN


    JimiTime wrote: »
    Could you clarify this? I never seen them as different in the slightest, and I'm wondering where this idea arises from:confused:

    It started with a heretic called Marcion many centuries ago, but it's a favourite argument of atheist trolls in this forum.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 22,480 ✭✭✭✭ philologos


    JimiTime wrote: »
    Could you clarify this? I never seen them as different in the slightest, and I'm wondering where this idea arises from:confused:

    I meant in terms of criticism of the Bible. Theres this notion that God of the Old Testament is this horrible bigot and the God of the New Testament is all fluffy. Whereas the Biblical record really shows that Jesus was teaching a lot of what God had revealed already as well as of things that were to come as a part of the New Covenant.

    PDN has clarified it perfectly for me. I also find that many Christians are reluctant to quote from the Old Testament sometimes and I think it's quite a shame. I've only just started to rediscover some of it recently and my eyes have been well and truly opened.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,421 JimiTime


    Jakkass wrote: »
    I meant in terms of criticism of the Bible. Theres this notion that God of the Old Testament is this horrible bigot and the God of the New Testament is all fluffy. Whereas the Biblical record really shows that Jesus was teaching a lot of what God had revealed already as well as of things that were to come as a part of the New Covenant.

    PDN has clarified it perfectly for me. I also find that many Christians are reluctant to quote from the Old Testament sometimes and I think it's quite a shame. I've only just started to rediscover some of it recently and my eyes have been well and truly opened.

    Apologies Jackass, I thought that you were saying that tthis is what you believed at one point, but are now realising is false. Crossed wires.

    On Topic, Old testament is great. After Christ, King David is my favourite biblical person. I've said it before on this very forum, that the OT gives us a great insight into God and his ways. His loyalty to his peoples, and his Judgements against his enemies. Also the theme of faith making a person righteous is throughout the Old and New testaments. The NT is more straight to the point. There are large portions of the Mosaic books which would have me sleeping, like the tent dimensions etc. The Geneologies aren't exactly riveting neither, but serve a purpose. The prophets books are great though. Stories like Elijah and the Ba'al worshipers etc are priceless.

    Anyone who presents God as different in the old and new, certainly show a definate ignorance to Gods revelations. There is an awful lot of ignorant propaganda and negative press that people swallow about Christianity these days though. Zeitgeist anyone:rolleyes:


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,980 wolfsbane


    Charco wrote: »
    Ooh, I'll throw in another one:





    Oh wait, that doesn't look quite right...hmmm I don't think I have gotten the hang of this yet.



    I'm sure you will find many Christians who are uncomfortable with being associated with alot of the actions of the Old Testament God, the unpleasant nature of Yahweh is not something that "atheist trolls" discovered by themselves.

    But in terms of how Jesus' teaching relates to Judaism it is not too surprising that there are similarities. Jesus after all was a Torah following Jewish man living in a Jewish society and telling his Jewish followers to abide by the Jewish law even closer than the Pharisees. It shouldn't be much of a revelation to find that Jesus didn't bring an awful lot of original ideas to the table, perhaps some different interpretations alright but thats about all.
    One should not think God is all judgement or all mercy. He has appointed a time for each, in all our lives. If we fail to take up His offer of mercy, eventually judgement falls.

    Jesus indeed observed the Law of Moses completely, and became the perfect Lamb of God who could be offered in our place. In doing so He fulfilled and abolished the Old Covenant and set up the New Covenant. Gone now are all the commandments that were peculiar to the Jewish nation under the Law; but the Moral Law remains - the 'Do not murder', 'Do not steal', etc. It is eternal.

    You are right that Christ's teaching was not new, as it was the kernal of what Moses taught. Judaism contented itself with the outward signs of the Law but failed to see the essentials. Moses spoke of the coming Messiah and the salvation He would bring; Christ was the fulfilment of that.

    The newness of Christ's word was in the revelation of the promises to the fathers in a clear light. The truth that was concealed or hinted at in Moses was made explicit in Christ. God spoke via the prophets (of whom Moses was one) in various ways, but then He spoke by His Son. A much clearer, full, final revelation.

    Galatians 3:7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.

    10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” 11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” 12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”
    13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.





  • Registered Users Posts: 7,421 JimiTime


    Charco wrote: »
    Ooh, I'll throw in another one:





    Oh wait, that doesn't look quite right...hmmm I don't think I have gotten the hang of this yet.



    I'm sure you will find many Christians who are uncomfortable with being associated with alot of the actions of the Old Testament God, the unpleasant nature of Yahweh is not something that "atheist trolls" discovered by themselves.

    But in terms of how Jesus' teaching relates to Judaism it is not too surprising that there are similarities. Jesus after all was a Torah following Jewish man living in a Jewish society and telling his Jewish followers to abide by the Jewish law even closer than the Pharisees. It shouldn't be much of a revelation to find that Jesus didn't bring an awful lot of original ideas to the table, perhaps some different interpretations alright but thats about all.

    I had a sneaking suspicion that you weren't making honest assesments in your 'historical' wranglings with PDN. Thank you for removing all doubt.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,697 PDN


    Charco will be taking a week's holiday which will give him time to read the Charter.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 341 ✭✭ postcynical


    Jakkass wrote: »
    However, people often do not realise that much of Christianity and Christ's teachings are not anything extraordinarily new in a lot of cases, but rather it is Christ reinforcing the Judaism that was long forgotten in a corrupted age. I've been coming to this view more and more as I have been reading the Hebrew scriptures and see the comparison between Christ's speech, Paul's speech and what was written before in the Jewish scriptures.

    Good thread. I'd be interested to hear what the resident scholars can contribute. Earlier, on my journey back to faith, I used to admire Jesus but resent the "Old Testament God" as a Jewish god. I shared a room in a hostel one night with a religious nut who got me at a good time. He brought the whole thing to life, a natural preacher. Two stories of his stick out (and I can't do them justice):

    1. The imagery of the passover. The Jews would smear blood on their doors in a pattern which foresaw the wounds of Christ on the cross, collecting the spilled blood in a "bucket" which corresponded to His wounded feet. You have to see somebody role-playing the head of the household to fully grasp the imagery.

    2. The creation in 6 days. Each day corresponded to a millenium of our time. Neatly fitting in with a 6000 year old world that's about to end:eek: But each day had an associated image which corresponded to an event in biblical history. So after 4 days God made the light and this corresponds to Christ coming to Earth. He spun a good yarn but it's too speculative for me to reproduce it here.

    He was delighted I listened (amazed) at his stories because people usually tell him to shut up or whatever. He was a Kiwi lad heading off to learn Hebrew so he could study this stuff properly (He already had Latin and Greek) and had designs to be an evangelical preacher. Very enlightening chance encounter that transformed my view of the OT. And one of millions of such events that have steered me closer towards a true faith.

    OP, in the RCC the Sunday liturgy usually has a reading from the OT, a letter from Paul and a passage from the gospel. In light of encounters like the above, I can now look at the imagery in the OT text and discover there is a frequent overlap with the NT readings. Of course these passages are chosen carefully by expert scholars...


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,598 prinz


    Judaism is a belief system You can not ethnically be Jewish

    There is much debate about that. Sephardi and Ashkenazi, are ethnic groupings, which also are delineated along religious lines. It seems you can be an ethnic Jew. One could also be Jewish, but not be ethnically so.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 22,480 ✭✭✭✭ philologos


    postcynical: You are right it is in the liturgy for both Catholics, and the Church of Ireland, however I find it is only when I sit down with the book and think about what I am reading that these things hit me :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 341 ✭✭ postcynical


    Jakkass: You're lucky these things hit you. One of the reasons I'd like to take a proper course in Biblical studies in the future is that I often can't understand the passages or worse, I read what I want to read into the passages. What book are you talking about, the text of the readings?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 22,480 ✭✭✭✭ philologos


    Jakkass: You're lucky these things hit you. One of the reasons I'd like to take a proper course in Biblical studies in the future is that I often can't understand the passages or worse, I read what I want to read into the passages. What book are you talking about, the text of the readings?

    A lot of them are in the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah, I have found others in Psalms, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes so far.


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