Tuesday, June 25, 2013


(Is. 43:10) 
Yisroel C. Blumenthal

 On the Sabbath of August 4 in the year 1263, the 
synagogue of Barcelona was host to a royal guest. James the 
first, king of Aragon, had come to talk to his Jewish subjects. 
The king attempted to persuade the congregants that they 
ought to convert to Christianity. When the king finished his 
speech, Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman (RaMBaN, Nachmanides) 
stepped forward to give expression to the feelings of his 

After a preliminary demonstration of respect for the 
crown, the Rabbi addressed the king with these words. A I am 
amazed. The words said in our presence to convince us that 
the Nazarene is the Messiah, were said by the Nazarene 
himself when he brought this same message to our ancestors 
and tried to persuade them. They refuted him to his face with a 
perfect and strong rejection despite the fact that it was he who 
spoke, who knew and could argue his claim that he is divine, 
in accordance to your opinion, better than you can today. Now, 
if our ancestors who saw him and knew him did not heed him, 
how then can we believe and heed the voice of the king, whose 
only knowledge of the matter stems merely from the hearsay 
of distant reporters who heard it from people who neither 
knew him nor were his countrymen as our ancestors knew him 
and witnessed his life.”

 The simple words of Nachmanides reflect the clarity of 
vision, the calmness of spirit, and the solid conviction of the 
Jew’s rejection of Christianity. Throughout the ages the Jew 
faced hardship, and persecution and sometimes even death as a 
result of this rejection. But the Jew was not moved. The Jew 
went about doing whatever he had to do, patiently negotiating 
the various obstacles the hostile Christian world threw into his 
path. But it never occurred to him to join that world. Being a 
Jew was as essential as life itself, and even more than that. 
When being a Jew meant death, the Jew went to die  
accompanied by his wife, his little children, and a simple love 
for his God. But Christianity? Never. 

 It happened however, that in certain phases of Jewish 
history, many Jews seem to have lost this resistance to 
Christianity. We live in one of those periods today. Hundreds 
if not thousands of Jews have joined the Messianic, and 
Hebrew Christian congregations. This wave of apostasy, as did 
those which preceded it, comes on the heels of another wave. 
A Jewish conversion to Christianity, whether it takes place on 
the individual level or on the communal level, follows a 
breakdown of the Jewish educational system. Most converts to 
Christianity had little connection to their heritage before they 
converted. A Jew who is truly connected to a living Judaism 
would sooner die than be a Christian.

 Why? What is it that the Jew knows about Christianity that 
inspires him to reject it? How can the Jew be so confident that 
it is better to be dead than to be a Christian?

 The traditional Jew knows very little about Christianity. 
But the little that he knows is far more than enough. The Jew 
knows that Christianity rejects the fundamental beliefs of 
Judaism. The Jew knows that Christianity calls a man, god.

All the philosophical explanations offered to justify Christian 
theology are wasted on the Jew. These simple facts cannot 
change. The law of Moses is not Christianity, and the God of 
Abraham is not a trinity. His faith in the God of Abraham and 
Moses, inspired the Jew with the confidence to reject 

 A Jew who lives as his ancestors did before him, 
experiences the law of Moses in his daily life. Love and 
awareness of the God of Abraham, fills the Jew’s heart and 
soul. Perhaps he cannot articulate how it is that he knows the 
law of Moses to be immutable, but he knows it nevertheless. 

Some Jews who walk with God may find it difficult to point 
out the faults in the various arguments presented by the 
missionaries in their attempt to justify their worship of Jesus.  
Nevertheless, these Jews know that worship of a human-being 
is idolatry. But in our generation, when so many Jews are 
disconnected from the simple faith of their ancestors, it has 
become necessary to articulate and to explain the Jewish 
rejection of Christianity. 

 In the following pages you will find an articulation of the 
traditional Jewish viewpoint. These words are not written to 
replace a living connection with authentic Judaism, but rather 
to encourage it. As a Jew you have probably wondered what 
went through the minds of our ancestors when they went to die 
for the “crime” of rejecting Jesus. It is possible that your 
interest in this subject was fueled by the increased efforts of 
the missionaries in recent years. You have found that the 
missionary campaign to “save your soul” has reached 
obnoxious proportions. This may have served as an inspiration 
for you, to learn more about the traditional Jewish response to 
the missionaries. In any case, we hope that you will find in this 
work a starting point for research in this field. 

 Some of those who read this booklet may be Christians. As 
a Christian, you may have wondered why it is that the Jewish 
people have such a resistance to Christianity? Why is it that 
most Jewish people do not even bother to read the Christian 
scriptures? Do these Jews think that just because they were 
born into the religion, then this religion must be right? How 
are these people so confident that they are right? These, and 
similar questions may have been troubling you. The purpose of 
this booklet is to answer these questions. We hope that you 
find this work helpful in understanding the traditional Jewish 

 If you are a Jew, who subscribes to the Christian belief 
system, then please read this work as an appeal to your sense 
of honesty. Do not take me on my word, check things out for 
yourself. Please acquaint yourself with the richness of your 
heritage. Find out what it means to be a Jew. Find out what it 
means to be chosen as God’s witness to the world. Taste, and  
see that God is good, fortunate is the man who takes shelter in 
Him. (Ps. 34)  


Both Judaism and Christianity are belief systems. Each has 
its own way of looking at the world. These two systems are 
fundamentally different from each other. Only one of these 
systems can be correct. Judaism and Christianity are mutually 

 The foundations of Judaism are the events of the exodus and 
the revelation at Sinai. These established the relationship that 
the Jewish people have with God. These events established the 
credibility of Moses as God’s prophet. The Jewish people 
worship the God which revealed Himself to them at Sinai. The 
Jewish people follow the teachings of Moses, the prophet of 
God. The Jews of all generations accept this belief system 
based on the testimony of their parents. A Jew is born into a 
nation which worships the God of Sinai, and which lives by 
the teachings of Moses. It is through the testimony of his 
nation that the Jew learns the belief system which is Judaism.

 Christianity has a dual foundation. First, Christianity 
believes in the prophets of Jewish scripture. The second 
foundation of Christianity is the life and teachings of Jesus. 
The Jewish prophets are the ones who proclaimed that the 
Messiah is to come, and Jesus supposedly came and fulfilled 
that prophecy. The miracles that the Christian scriptures claim 
were performed by Jesus, establish the credibility of Jesus and 
his message. The person of Jesus is worshipped by Christians 
as a god, and the teachings of Jesus form the belief system 
which is Christianity. Christians of all generations accept this 
belief system based on the testimony of the Christian 

 These two belief systems clash on several fundamental 
points. From the Jewish perspective, the important differences 
between the two belief systems relate to the nature of God, and 
to the teachings of Moses. 

Who is God? 
 Judaism worships the Almighty God. Jews believe that God  
is not a physical being, nor can God be represented by a 
physical being. God is not constrained by time or space. God 
is all powerful and all knowing. God is one. The Jewish belief 
about the oneness of God is described by the term “absolute 
unity”. This means that any plural number cannot be used in 
describing the essence of God. This is the God of Abraham, 
Isaac, and Jacob. This is the God who spoke to His people at 
Sinai. The focus of Judaism is on God. The life of the Jew is 
devoted to this God.

 Christianity worships Jesus. Christianity believes that god is 
one at the same time that he is three. The Christian god 
consists of the father (who roughly parallels the Jewish God), 
Jesus, and the holy ghost. These three are considered by the 
Christian to be coequal members of the godhead. The focus of 
Christianity is on Jesus. The life of the Christian is devoted to 

What are the teachings of Moses?

 Judaism believes that the law of Moses is a living law. It is 
a law which can, and should be followed by a nation. A nation 
which includes all types of people. The law of Moses is 
applicable in all generations, and in all situations. The full 
teachings of Moses include more than that which is written in 
the five books of Moses. The five books of Moses only 
contain the general structure of the law. Moses also taught the 
definition of the law. These teachings of Moses which clarify 
the law were not recorded in the five books, but rather, these 
were retained in the collective memory of the nation. As a 
static body of law the teachings of Moses require living people 
to apply it to practical life. Moses taught the nation the 
methods they are to use in order to render the law applicable to 
every situation. When a Jew does not know how to apply the 
law to a particular situation, he consults with the teachers who 
are familiar with the methods of application which were taught 
by Moses. The Jew finds practical guidance for daily life 
within the law of Moses.  

 Christianity does not recognize any teachings of Moses 
which are not recorded in the five books. Christianity rejects 
the Jewish testimony which pertains to the practical 
application of the law. Christianity believes that many of the 
scriptural teachings of Moses are no longer relevant. 
Christianity does not see in the law of Moses a guide to 
practical living. (Indeed today some Messianic congregations 
have taken steps towards recognizing the binding nature of the 
law of Moses. These people are also beginning to realize the 
importance of the defining teachings of Moses. But this is not 
the traditional Christian position.) 

 From the Christian perspective, the important differences 
between the Jewish and Christian belief systems, are the 
differences in attitude towards atonement and the Messiah. 

How does one achieve atonement for sin?

 Judaism accepts that the only method for expiation of sin is 
repentance. If one sincerely regrets his sins, confesses his guilt 
before God, and redirects his life towards God, then God 
forgives the sin. There are many actions through which one 
can express the attitude of repentance. Prayer, charity, and 
bringing offerings to God’s altar, are legitimate expressions of 
a repentant heart. In some situations God commands us to 
bring an offering to give expression to our repentance. But it is 
the sincerity of the repentance which ultimately achieves the 
reconciliation with God.

 Christianity believes that the only method for atonement of 
sin is through blood sacrifice. The only blood sacrifice which 
can actually redeem from sin, is the sacrifice of Jesus. Through 
worship of Jesus the Christian connects with the blood that 
expiates his sins. 

What is the role of the Messiah? 

 Judaism believes that the Messiah will be a human king. In 
the time of the Messiah there will be universal peace. The 
temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem. The Jewish people will 
return to the land of Israel. In the time of the Messiah everyone  
on earth will be united in their worship of the God of Israel. 
The Messiah will lead all of mankind in service of God.

 Christianity believes that the Messiah is a human god. 
Christianity believes that the chief role of the Messiah is to 
die. Through the death of the Messiah the world is redeemed 
of its sins. According to Christian theology, the Messiah will 
come a second time. When the Messiah returns, then all those 
who worshipped him will be rewarded, while those who 
rejected him will be punished.

 These are the basic differences between the two belief 
systems. Judaism and Christianity differ on their 
understanding of the essence of God, the teachings of Moses, 
atonement, and the role of the Messiah. Judaism and 
Christianity have different beliefs concerning these basic 
matters. Only one set of beliefs can be true. Christian 
missionaries spend much energy in an effort to convince Jews 
that the Christian belief system is the one which is correct. All 
the arguments of the missionaries are wasted on the 
knowledgeable Jew. 

 In order for the Jew to be convinced that his belief system is 
correct, he must be sure that the testimony of his nation is true. 
If the Jewish nation is bearing true witness, then any belief 
system which runs counter to their testimony must be false. If 
the Jewish people are telling the truth when they testify that 
God revealed Himself as an absolute unity, then any belief 
system which denies the absolute unity of God must be false. 
If the Jewish people are telling the truth when they testify that 
Moses taught them a living teaching (Torah), then any belief 
system which denies this fact must be false. It is not necessary 
for the Jew to examine the testimony of other belief systems to 
know that Judaism is true. 

 For the Christian to be convinced that his belief system is 
true, it is not enough to be sure that the Christian scriptures are 
reporting actual events. In order for the Christian to know that 
his belief system is correct, he must also determine that the  
Jewish nation is bearing false witness. For if the Jewish nation 
is telling the truth, then even if Jesus performed all the 
miracles which the Christian scriptures claim for him, he 
would still be a fraud. If indeed God revealed himself at Sinai 
as an absolute unity, then anyone who advocates worship of a 
trinity is advocating idolatry. No miracle, no matter how 
spectacular, can serve as justification to worship an idol. In 
order to be an honest Christian one must be convinced that the 
Jewish people are bearing false testimony. 

 The history of each of the world religions consists of two 
periods. The first period is the formative period. This is the 
time when the belief system was established. The formative 
era is when the founders of the belief system came to believe 
in that particular system. Generally this consists of a sequence 
of events which convinced the founders of the religion as to 
the veracity of the faith that they were about to adopt. Then 
comes the era of transmission. This is the time period which 
separates the foundation of the belief system and the present.

Each belief system must provide some way of transporting its 
message safely through the ages. People who subscribe to any 
particular belief system must be confident that the founders of 
their belief system were correct in their assessment of the 
situation. If there is no way to determine that the founders of 
the religion were not mistaken, then it is naive to accept their 
belief system. One must also be sure that the message of the 
belief system did not get distorted through the passage of time. 

If the method of transmission is not fool-proof, then again, it is 
naive to accept the belief system. If there is no way to 
ascertain the integrity of the transmission, then there is no way 
of knowing that the belief system being presented is the same 
system which was adopted by the founders of the faith. 

 The entire belief system which is Judaism is founded upon 
two pieces of information. The first piece of information is the 
simple fact that God is an absolute unity. The second piece of 
information is the fact that Moses is the prophet of God. Both 
of these pieces of information came to the Jewish people 
directly from God. At Sinai, God revealed Himself to the 
Jewish people. It is through this national prophecy that the 
Jewish people came to know that God is absolutely one. At 
Sinai, God spoke to Moses while the entire nation listened in. 

This is how God demonstrated to His people that Moses is His 
prophet. For forty years, Moses lived among the Jewish nation. 
During these forty years the nation lived in seclusion. They ate  
bread that rained down from heaven, and they drank water 
which poured out from a rock. And during this time, Moses 
taught them the law which God had revealed to him. When 
Moses died, he left behind him a complete body of law.

Nothing can be added to the teaching of Moses, nor can 
anything be detracted from it. With the death of Moses, the 
formative era of Judaism came to a close. 

 After Moses, Judaism had many prophets and many 
teachers. But the prophets and teachers did not come to 
introduce a new law. The role of the prophets which followed 
Moses, was to encourage the people to uphold the law of 
Moses. The prophets were appointed by God to reprove the 
nation when they went astray from the law of Moses, and to 
guide the people in bringing their lives back in line with the 
law of Moses. The prophets also took the basic themes 
presented by Moses, such as the suffering of the Jewish nation 
and their ultimate redemption, and illustrated how these 
concepts would be played out. But never do the prophets add 
or detract from the law of Moses. 

 The role of the teachers of the Jewish nation which 
followed Moses, is to guide the people in the practical 
application of the law of Moses. Using methods of deduction 
which were laid down by Moses, the teachers of Israel draw 
from within the law of Moses, precise instructions which 
render the law of Moses applicable to every situation. But the 
teachers did not introduce new law. The prophets and the 
teachers did not participate in the formation of the Jewish 
belief system. These men could not be involved in the 
formation of Judaism. Moses remains the only man authorized 
by God to deliver His holy law to the people. 

 Judaism recognizes the limited authority of the prophets 
and the teachers, only because Moses taught that these men 
should be granted this measure of authority. It is the law of 
Moses which defines the terms; prophet, and teacher. And it is 
the law of Moses which delineates the roles of the prophets  
and the teachers. According to these guidelines, the Jewish 
people recognized many great teachers and prophets. But these 
men did not affect the formation of the belief system. The 
formation of the Jewish belief system was completed by 
Moses. At the time of Moses’s death the Jewish nation already 
possessed a complete belief system. 

 The era of transmission began when Moses left his people 
encamped on the eastern bank of the Jordan river. God chose 
to transmit His message, through the living legacy of the 
Jewish nation. By the time Moses died, the entire belief system 
which is Judaism was firmly planted in the hearts and minds 
of the Jewish nation. This belief system was the focal point of 
their daily lives. The second generation was born into a nation 
that worships the God of Sinai, and lives with the teachings of 
Moses. It is through the living action and belief of an entire 
nation that we receive the word of God. 

 The written word is also utilized in the transmission of the 
Jewish belief system. The core of the teachings of Moses was 
recorded by Moses in the five books. The words of some of 
the prophets were also written down. Together, the five books 
of Moses, and the books of the prophets, make up the Jewish 
scriptures. The books of the Mishna and the Talmud, also play 
a role in the process of transmitting the Jewish belief system 
through the ages. The Mishna and the Talmud record many of 
the decisions which were made by the teachers of Israel 
pertaining to the application of the law. These books also 
contain many of the teachings of Moses which were not 
recorded by Moses in his five books. The books of scripture, 
the Mishna, and the Talmud, enabled the nation to retain a vast 
amount of knowledge. But the role of all of these books, is 
secondary to the testimony of the living people. It is only the 
testimony of the living people which informs us that these 
books are authentic and authoritative. The fact that these 
books were in the possession of a living nation, preserved the 
accuracy of the texts. And it is only through the living legacy  
of the nation that we can arrive at a true understanding of the 
spirit of these books. The written word, no matter how 
explicit, can always be misinterpreted. 

 The Jew can be confident that the testimony of his nation is 
true. Both the formation of the belief system, and the 
transmission of the system were national experiences. In order 
to assume that the Jewish belief system is false, one must 
accept that an entire nation is unanimously lying. 

A Jew is born into a nation of witnesses. A child who is born into a 
Jewish community in which the educational system is still 
intact, enters a world of living Judaism. The Jewish 
educational system is not limited to the scholastic experience. 

The Jewish home, is the keystone of the Jewish educational 
system. Long before the Jewish child can read, he has come to 
know the Creator of the world. Through the simple faith of his 
parents, the child begins to develop a real relationship with the 
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The living example of his 
parents will teach the child what Sabbath means to the Jew.

Passover, Pentecost (Shavuot), and Tabernacles (Succoth), are 
living realities in the Jewish home. Through the observance of 
these holidays the Jewish child learns of the exodus, the 
revelation at Sinai, and the seclusion of the Jewish nation in 
the wilderness for forty years. (These were the formative 
events of the Jewish belief system.) 

As the child grows older, he is introduced to the holy books of Judaism. The child learns 
the position that each of these books occupy, in the minds and 
hearts of his people. The meaning and the spirit of these books 
come alive for the child through the example of his parents 
and teachers. The child comes to realize that this world of 
Judaism is the same all over the globe. Wherever Jews who 
are faithful to the teachings of their ancestors can be found, the 
belief system is the same. Jews all over the world teach their 
children to worship the Creator of the world who is absolutely 

Wherever Judaism is alive, Sabbath is the same, kosher 
food is the same, and family purity is the same. Whenever the  
Jew has a question concerning the law of Moses, he will 
consult with the teachers of the law. All over the world, the 
teachers of Israel use the same methods of deduction to 
provide answers to the questions posed to them. The Jewish 
people teach their children that this is how their parents taught 
them to live, who learned it from their parents etc. in a chain 
which extends back to Moses. There is no Jew alive today, nor 
is there any record of a Jew, who claims to possess a deviant 
tradition which goes back to Moses. All the Jews in history 
who deviated from the unanimous practices of the nation, 
admitted that they did not receive their deviant teachings from 
the previous generation. There is only one belief system which 
comes with the claim that it goes back to Moses. And that is 
the Judaism into which the Jewish child is born. He knows 
that his people are not lying. And he will pass on to his 
children the testimony that he received from his parents. 
 Throughout history many people rejected or ignored the 
national testimony of the Jewish people. The Jew faced the 
rejection of these people with equanimity. The Jew saw that no 
one else possesses a belief system which claims to have been 
established by God on a national scale. No other belief 
systems began its journey through time on a national level.

Every other belief system is placing its trust in the testimony 
of individuals. Individuals can lie. Individuals can be 
mistaken. A nation cannot unanimously lie. A nation cannot be 
unanimously mistaken concerning concrete events which were 
collectively experienced. As long as no rival belief system is 
claiming a national revelation, the Jew can be confident that 
Judaism is true. As long as Moses remains the only prophet 
who had the truth of his mission attested to by God on a 
national scale, the Jew can be confident that his teachings still 

 If the Jew faces other belief systems with equanimity, then 
he faces Christianity with sheer amazement. Other belief 
systems may reject the Jewish testimony outright. But  
Christianity is different. Although Christianity rejects the 
Jewish testimony, they still accept the Jewish scriptures. 

The Jewish scripture is one of the pillars of the Christian faith. The 
Christian claim to the messiah-ship of Jesus, is founded upon 
the presumption that he fulfilled the prophecies of the Jewish 
scriptures. If the Christians would recognize that Jesus did not 
fulfill these prophecies, they would then admit that he is not 
the Messiah. 

All the alleged miracles of Jesus would be tossed 
out the window if his message would be seen as running 
contrary to Jewish scripture. It is only because Christians 
believe that Jesus’s mission conforms with the vision of the 
Jewish prophets, that they accept him as the Messiah.

 Who were the prophets of Jewish scripture that the 
Christian belief system considers their words so powerful? 
How do we know that they really existed? And how do we 
know that the books of scripture were indeed authored by 
them? How can we know that these people were not frauds? In 
the history of mankind few terms were misused as often as the 
title “prophet”. What criteria was used to establish the 
authenticity of the scriptural prophets?

 The only way that the world knows of the existence of the 
Jewish prophets is through the testimony of the Jewish people. 
The Jewish nation bears witness that these men existed and 
that the books of scripture were written by them. The Jewish 
nation testifies that these men were able to demonstrate that 
they were really sent by God. The criteria used to determine 
the authenticity of the prophets were the teachings of Moses as 
applied by the teachers of the Jewish nation. If these teachers 
would not have acknowledged that the prophets of scripture 
were authentic, we would not have their books today. The 
testimony of the Jewish nation is the means through which the 
message of the prophets travels through time.

 But Christianity places no trust in the testimony of the 
Jewish people. Christianity maintains that the Jewish people 
are lying about the fundamental concepts of their belief  
system. Christianity is founded upon the notion that the Jewish 
people are bearing false witness concerning the revelation at 
Sinai. All of Christendom admits that this was an event which 
took place in the presence of the entire nation. Christianity 
acknowledges that this revelation made it clear to the Jewish 
people if God is, or isn’t, an absolute unity. The Jewish people 
testify that God revealed Himself as an absolute unity. Yet 
Christianity asserts that the Jews are unanimously lying, every 
last one of them. Christianity believes that the Jewish people 
falsely attribute to Moses a massive body of law which he 
never taught. So how can Christianity be sure that this nation 
of liars is not attributing the books of scripture to prophets 
who never wrote them? Christianity accuses the Jewish nation 
of maintaining loyalty to a fraudulent belief system. So how 
can Christianity rely on the this same nation to sort out the 
genuine prophets from the frauds?

The Jew accepts the words of the Jewish scripture based 
upon the testimony of the Jewish people. But upon which 
foundation does the Christian base his acceptance of Jewish 

Christianity uses the words of the Jewish prophets to lay 
the groundwork of their belief system. At the same time 
Christianity has total confidence that the Jewish nation is 
bearing false witness. This is hypocrisy. Either the witness is 
lying or he is telling the truth. It cannot be both. 

 In the early years of Christianity, the Church came to the 
realization that in order to establish its own credibility, it must 
first discredit Judaism. There were many methods the Church 
used in order to achieve this objective. These included 
spreading lies about the Jews, teaching that the Jews are 
children of the devil, and general vilification of the chosen 
nation. The only attempt that the Church made to appeal to the 
human intellect was their exploitation of the Jewish scriptures.

The Church attempted to present the Jewish scriptures as a 
document which supports the Christian belief system, and as 
one which stands in contradiction to the Jewish belief system.

The Church would have us believe that the authors of Jewish 
scripture, namely; Moses and the prophets, all subscribed to 
the Christian belief system. In order to substantiate this 
preposterous theory, the Church spent millions of man-hours 
combing the length and breadth of the Jewish scriptures. They 
were looking for verses which could be read as supportive to 
the Christian belief system. From the thousands of verses in 
Jewish scripture, the Church has found a handful of statements 
which could be manipulated to read as supportive of the 
Christian belief system, and as standing in contradiction to 
Judaism. The Church then presented these verses, together 
with the Christian explanation of these verses, and made the 
claim that the authors of these verses were Christians by 

The Church proposes the argument that the Jewish 
people are not loyal to their own holy books. Based on the 
Christian interpretation of these verses (known as “prooftexts”) 
the Church advances the theory, that the Jewish belief 
system stands in direct contradiction to the sacred books 
venerated by the Jewish people. According to the Christian 
claim, the authors of these books subscribed to the Christian 
belief system, while their disciples confused their message, 
and created Judaism. The Church thus claims that Judaism 
failed in the transmission of the very foundations of their 

If indeed the Church has succeeded in demonstrating that the 
Jewish belief system possesses inherent contradictions, then 
the Jewish scriptures should be discarded. We must bear in 
mind that it is only through the testimony of the Jewish people 
that we have scripture. It was the religious leadership of the 
Jewish people who determined the authenticity of the 
scriptural prophets. If the Jewish method of transmission 
managed to distort the very essence of their religion, then it is 
foolhardy to accept their scriptural canon.

 The truth of the matter is, that the Jewish nation has been 
studying scripture since it was put down in writing. Every 
word, and every nuance of the text is precious to the Jew. Jews 
have been reading these “proof-texts” centuries before 
Christianity was born. Each one of those verses has a classical 
Jewish interpretation, which clearly explains how these verses 
conform with the Jewish belief system. The Church maintains 
that the Jewish interpretation is wrong. The Church asserts that 
it is only an anti-Christian bias, which blinds the Jews from 
seeing the true meaning of these verses. The problem with this 
assertion is that many Christian scholars have come to agree 
with the Jewish interpretation of these verses. These people 
were not blinded by an anti-Christian bias, yet they accept the 
Jewish understanding of these verses as honest interpretation.

It seems perhaps, that the Church is operating under a bias. It 
is this pro-Christian bias which causes them to read these 
verses as proof to the veracity of the Christian belief system. 
 Much of the missionary effort to attract Jews to Christianity 
is focused on these proof-texts. These are the verses in the 
Jewish scripture which Christians see as supportive of their 
belief system. These verses relate to the areas of difference 
between the Jewish and Christian belief systems. The verses 
which the missionaries use as proof-texts are not the only 
verses which speak about these subjects. Jewish scripture 
gives a lot of coverage to each of these subjects, and the proof- 
texts form only a small segment of the overall picture which 
scripture presents. Scripture gives us a clear picture 
concerning each of these subjects. The general message of 
scripture conforms with the Jewish belief system. The few 
missionary proof-text verses are generally vague and 
ambiguous. If the Christian interpretation of these verses is 
honest, then we would be facing an inherent contradiction 
within scripture itself. If one would not know the Jewish 
interpretation for a given proof-text, the honest thing to do is 
to say “I don’t know what it means” rather than assume that 
this verse stands in contradiction to the general message of 

Judaism and Christianity differ in their attitudes towards the 
essence of God, the teachings of Moses, atonement, and the 
Messiah. What is the clarity that scripture gives us on these 
subjects? What is the overall message of scripture? In this 
brief study we will not examine the missionary proof-texts. It 
will suffice for us to see that the Jewish belief system is firmly 
rooted in the words of the prophets. 

1 The essence of God 
 The Jewish scriptures testify that God revealed Himself to 
the entire body of the Jewish nation. The entire nation heard 
God’s voice proclaim “I am the Lord your God who brought 
you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. You 
shall not have any other gods beside Me.” This is how God 
demonstrated to His people who it is they are to worship. At 
the same time God was teaching the people whom they are not 
to worship. Worship of anyone other than the God who 
brought the nation out of Egypt, is idolatry. The Jewish 
scriptures testify that the Sinaitic revelation was an allinclusive 
demonstration. After the revelation at Sinai there can 
be no room for doubt. Concerning this revelation Moses tells 
the Jewish people “To you it was demonstrated in order that 
you know that the Lord is the God, there is none beside Him.”

The people who were privileged to witness this great  
revelation were commanded “you should make it known to 
your children and to your children’s children.” When God 
commands the nation to kill people who are involved with 
idolatry, He makes reference to this revelation. In those cases 
where the death penalty is to be implemented, God identifies 
the idol by the simple terms “that which I have not 
commanded” or “those which you do not know.” It is clear 
that God expects the Jewish people to identify the idol by 
process of elimination. If this is not what you were 
commanded to worship, then it is another god. The Jewish 
people testify that God revealed himself at Sinai as an absolute 
unity. Worship of anyone else, is by definition, idolatry. (The 
biblical quotations in the preceding paragraph can be found in Exodus 
chapter 20, and Deuteronomy chapters 4, 13, and 18.)

No one ever claimed that it was Jesus who was revealed to 
the Jewish people at Sinai. The first worshipers of Jesus did 
not claim that with their worship they were following a 
tradition which goes back to Sinai. According to the definition 
of scripture, worship of Jesus is idolatry.

The Jewish people were granted a revelation in order that 
they should know whom to worship. This was an extra. It is 
clear from Jewish scripture that God expects the human 
conscience to be able to distinguish between worship of God, 
and idolatry. Time and time again, the prophets appeal to 
human logic, and sometimes even to human humor in order to 
demonstrate the evil of idolatry. Jeremiah exclaims (Jer. 
10:11) “Tell them, gods that did not create heaven and earth 
should go lost from this earth and from beneath these 
heavens.” Jeremiah is pointing out the absurdity which is 
inherent in worship of anyone aside from the Creator. A god 
who operates in an arena which he did not create, is no god. 
Similarly, Isaiah points out the foolishness of placing faith in a 
human-being. (Is. 2:22) “Cease ye of man that has breath in 
his nostrils for of what worth is he.” Isaiah is demonstrating 
the futility of worshipping a man. If he is dependent on a 
constant supply of oxygen for his own well being, then how is 
he going to help you?

 Worship of a human being, is abhorrent to the human 
conscience. Yet this is what Christianity advocates. Whichever 
way you wrap it, Christianity is pointing to a man, and saying 
“that is god”. Scripture is clear that when it comes to idolatry, 
you should not ignore the cry of your conscience. Again, by 
scriptural definition, worship of Jesus is idolatry. 

2 The teachings of Moses 
 Judaism testifies that Moses taught them an entire body of 
law which defines the scriptural commandments. Judaism also 
testifies that the law of Moses authorizes people to make 
decisions in order to implement scriptural law. These 
decisions are binding upon the entire nation. Christianity 
rejects this testimony. Christianity asserts that Moses taught no 
more than what he wrote in the five books. And he certainly 
didn’t authorize anyone to make decisions concerning the 
application of God’s law. 

Upon examining scripture, one discovers that the Christian 
rejection of the Jewish position is illogical. If we read scripture 
with the Christian position in mind, we will find that the 
teachings of Moses are practically meaningless. Take the 
scriptural holidays as an example. God directs His people to 
celebrate the holiday of Passover. Anyone who eats leaven 
during this holiday is liable to the divine punishment of having 
his soul cut off. This is to take place from the fourteenth day to 
the twenty-first day of the first month. Scripture does not tell 
us when this first month is to begin. In fact, scripture says 
nothing about the construction of a calendar. If we assume that 
Moses was told nothing more than what he wrote in the five 
books, then we are facing a serious problem. How are we 
expected to know when Passover is going to begin? It is 
obvious that Moses was told by God how to construct a 
calendar which would determine when God’s holidays are to 
be celebrated. Indeed the Jewish people testify that Moses 
taught them how to construct a calendar which would 
determine the times of the scriptural holidays. Throughout 
history this is the calendar that the Jews have been following. 
The Jews observed the holidays according to the teachings of 
Moses which were not recorded in the five books. 

There are many groups today who subscribe to the Christian 
belief system, but at the same time they attempt to observe the 
scriptural holidays. These people observe Passover on the 
same days that the Jewish nation celebrates Passover. This is 
hypocrisy. If indeed these people believe that Moses was 
taught nothing which he did not record in the five books, they 
should construct their own scriptural calendar. And if they 
admit that there were some teachings of Moses which were not 
recorded in scripture, then they should ask themselves the 
following questions. How did God expect us to learn of these 
unwritten teachings of Moses? What means did God use to 
transport this information to us? If God considered the 
testimony of the nation a reliable means of transporting a 
complicated calendar, then how can these people be so 
confident that the testimony of this same nation is not reliable 
concerning simple matters, such as the absolute unity of God? 
 Scripture is equally clear concerning the authority of the 
teachers of Israel to render decisions concerning God’s law. In 
chapter 17 of Deuteronomy, Moses directs the people to 
consult with the courts. The decision of the court is to be 
heeded. One who blatantly ignores the court decision should 
be put to death. Similarly, we find in chapter 19 of second 
Chronicles, how the righteous king Jehoshaphat fulfilled this 
directive of Moses. The chapter describes how Jehoshaphat 
established courts in the land of Judah and in the city of 
Jerusalem. The king refers to two leaders to whom the judges 
can turn to with their questions. One was to direct the courts 
concerning God’s law, while the other officer’s role was to 
decide matters which pertain to the king. It is quite clear that 
the scriptures expected these judges to make decisions 
concerning the application of God’s law. 

In chapters 13 and 17 of Deuteronomy, Moses directs the 
entire nation to participate in the execution of people involved 
with idolatry. It is obvious that the guilt of these lawbreakers 
was determined by a court of qualified judges. Yet the entire 
nation is commanded to implement the decision of these men. 
It is clear that not only does God authorize men to make 
decisions concerning the implementation of His holy law, but 
God also instructs the Jewish people to abide by these 

3 Atonement 
 The Jewish belief system maintains that it is only 
repentance, turning back to God, that can achieve atonement 
for sin. The worship of Jesus, can do nothing to help expiate 
sin. Christianity on the other hand maintains that it is worship 
of Jesus which achieves atonement for sin. Repentance can do 
nothing to achieve atonement for sin. (Some prominent 
Christian scholars concede the point and admit that repentance 
plays an important role in the process of expiating sin. They 
believe that it is repentance together with the blood of Jesus 
which gains God’s forgiveness. But this opinion is not 
accepted by the vast majority of Evangelical Christians.)

 The Jewish position is firmly rooted in scripture. The book 
of Jonah describes how the wicked people of Nineveh were 
threatened with destruction. The inhabitants of that city 
repented and as a result, God rescinded the decree of 
destruction. The prophet Ezekiel (in chapters 18 and 33) tells 
the people ‘and the wicked, should he repent from all his sins 
that he has done and he will keep all my statutes and do 
justice and righteousness, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 
All his iniquity shall not be remembered against him, in the 
righteousness that he has done he shall live.” These are not 
isolated passages in scripture. The concept of repentance is 
one of the predominant themes in scripture.

The Christian cannot point to any one verse in scripture  
which will tell you that repentance does not bring about the 
expiation of sin. Nor can the Christian find a verse which 
states that worship of the messiah can achieve atonement. The 
Christian attempts to assemble several scriptural themes, 
which when pieced together, point to the Christian system of 
atonement. This type of argument has an obvious weakness. 
Since there is no explicit scriptural quotation to support the 
Christian position, then it must rely on the capabilities of 
human analysis to draw accurate conclusions from a 
complicated conglomeration of scriptural themes. There is 
simply too much room for error. When we pit this argument 
against the straightforward statements which support the 
Jewish position, we are pitting human reason against the 
explicit word of God.

When one examines the scriptural themes which the 
Christians quote to support their position, it becomes clear that 
not only do these themes fail to lend support to the Christian 
argument, but these themes actually testify against the 
Christian position. 

The Christians point to the scriptural theme of the sinful 
nature of man. If man is so sinful, then how can his repentance 
count for anything before God? Indeed, scripture declares 
“how can one born of a woman be righteous?” (Job 15:14) 
This sits well with the Jewish belief system. Judaism believes 
that indeed every created being must be imperfect before God. 
But it is the Christian belief system which stands in 
contradiction to this basic scriptural teaching. The entire 
Christian belief system is founded upon the notion that one 
born of a woman was totally righteous.

The Christian scriptures (Ro. 4) quote the verse in Genesis 
15, where it says that God credited Abraham’s faith to him for 
righteousness. The Christian argument is that only faith can 
count before God as righteousness, and not action. But whom 
did Abraham place his faith in? It certainly was not Jesus. It is 
the Jew’s faith in the words of the God of Abraham which  
leads him to believe all that God has taught. It is the God of 
Abraham who said “return to me and I shall return to you”
(Mal. 3), and the Jewish nation takes God on His word. 

Christians point to the scriptural concept of blood sacrifice. 
The law of Moses spends so much time describing the various 
offerings. Does this not demonstrate clearly how blood 
sacrifice is central to the atonement process? But what is a 
blood sacrifice? A blood sacrifice was an offering brought by a 
sinner to God’s altar as an expression of his repentant heart. 
Some of the sacrifices were national offerings. These offerings 
were paid for, through a fund which was replenished every 
year by a collection taken from each individual Jew. These 
offerings were brought in the Temple which was built by the 
Jewish people. The national offerings were an expression of 
the entire nation’s sincere desire to be reconciled with God. 
But according to the Christian belief system no action on 
man’s part could bring about atonement for sin. The blood 
offerings of scripture testify that man’s action can, and do 
achieve atonement for sin. 

4) Messiah 
 This is how Moses describes the Messianic era (Deut. 30). 
“And it shall be that all these things come upon you, the 
blessing and the curse that I have set down before you, and 
you will bring it to your heart amongst all the nations that the 
Lord your God has driven you. And you shall return unto the 
Lord your God and you shall hearken to His voice according 
to all that I command you today, you and your children, with 
all your heart and with all your soul. And the Lord your God 
will return your captivity and He will have compassion upon 
you, and he will return and gather you from all the nations 
that the Lord your God has scattered you there. If your 
outcasts be at the ends of the heaven, from there will the Lord 
your God gather you and from there will He fetch you. And the 
Lord your God will bring you to the land which your ancestors 
inherited, and you shall inherit it, and He will do you good  
and He will multiply you more than your ancestors. And the 
Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of 
your children to love the Lord your God with all your heart 
and all your soul for the sake of your life. And the Lord your 
God shall place all these curses upon your enemies and upon 
those that hate you who have persecuted you. And you will 
return and hearken to the voice of the Lord and you shall do 
all His commandments that I command you today. And the 
Lord your God will make you plenteous in all the work of your 
hands, in the fruit of your body, and in the fruit of your cattle, 
and in the fruit of your land, for good, for the Lord will turn to 
rejoice over you for good just as he rejoiced over your 
ancestors. When you hearken to the voice of the Lord your 
God to keep His commandments and statutes which are 
written in this book of teaching, when you return to the Lord 
your God with all your heart and all your soul.”
 The prophets of scripture elaborated upon the basic 
messianic theme presented by Moses. The prophets describe in 
great detail, the ingathering of the Jewish exile, the rebuilding 
of the land of Israel, the temple in Jerusalem, peace on earth, 
and universal knowledge of God. The prophets provided a 
clear and unambiguous picture of the age of the Messiah. The 
fact that these prophecies were not fulfilled tells us that the 
Messiah has not arrived. But these prophecies tell us more 
than that. These prophecies testify that when the Messiah does 
arrive he will not be a Christian. What would a Christian 
Messiah do in a world in which obedience to God is expressed 
through observance of the law of Moses? Who would the 
Christian Messiah teach, in a world that looks to the Aaronic 
priests for guidance in their observance of God’s law? (Ezekiel 
45:23) For whom would the Christian Messiah be providing 
atonement, in a world which sees the blood offerings of Moses 
being offered in the Jerusalem temple as they were in days of 
old? Not only do the Jewish prophets tell us nothing about the 
Christian Messiah, but they leave no room for him in their  29
vision of the future.

 In the face of the explicit message of the Jewish scriptures, 
the missionaries quote these same prophets to lend support for 
their version of the role of the Messiah. It will suffice us to 
point out that every one of the Christian proof-texts is a 
subject of debate, even amongst Christian scholars, as to their 
true interpretation. There is no way one can honestly invoke 
these difficult and ambiguous passages to support a position 
which stands in contradiction to the entire messianic theme 
presented by the prophets.

All in all, the message of scripture is quite clear. One who 
reads the Jewish scriptures from cover to cover will certainly 
encounter many vague and ambiguous passages, but at the 
same time he will find clarity concerning the most basic 
subjects. Scripture leaves the reader with no doubt that the 
Jewish people are the witnesses to whom God chose to reveal 
His glory. Scripture leaves the reader with no doubt, that the 
law of Moses is a living law which applies to every generation. 
Scripture is abundantly clear that sincere repentance achieves 
God’s forgiveness for sin. And the picture the Jewish prophets 
painted of the Messianic age is a complete portrait which 
leaves no room for a dying god who is supposed to be an all 
atoning sacrifice.

 The traditional Jew was never moved by the Christian 
argument. When the Jew rejected Christianity it was with 
confidence and with clarity. The Jew’s rejection of 
Christianity is founded upon the testimony of an entire nation. 
A nation whom God Himself chose as His witnesses. The 
clarity of the Jewish rejection is reflected in the words of the 
Jewish prophets. This is what empowered our nation to 
overcome all obstacles and preserve the message which was 
handed to them at Sinai. The message is still intact. Come and 
NOTE: The following section is included, not because it 
reflects the attitude of the Jew’s rejection of Christianity. The 
Jew never saw a need to examine the testimony of Christianity 
in order to expose its emptiness. A clear understanding of the 
Jewish testimony is all that is required for the Jew to be 
confident in his rejection of Christianity. The reason this 
section was included is because it illustrates how an 
accusation to the effect, that a given belief system failed in the 
transmission of its message can be substantiated.

 The formative era of the Christian belief system, was the 
time that Jesus revealed his teachings to his disciples. The fact 
that the disciples understood that Jesus fulfilled certain 
prophecies of the Jewish scriptures, and the miracles that Jesus 
allegedly performed, established his credibility in the eyes of 
his followers. Once his credibility was established, his 
disciples accepted his teachings. The entire Christian belief 
system should be contained within the teachings of Jesus.

Judaism rejects the Christian belief system at its foundation. 
According to the Jewish belief system, the disciples of Jesus 
were mistaken. Christianity claims that Jesus taught that he is 
god. The disciples should never have accepted this claim. 
Both, the national testimony of the Jewish people, and the 
human conscience, equate worship of a human being with 
idolatry. All the miracles that the disciples believed that Jesus 
performed, and all the prophecies that the disciples thought 
that Jesus fulfilled, cannot justify idolatry. Judaism does not 
recognize the authority of the founders of Christianity, to 
establish the type of belief system which is credited to them.

The formative era of the Jewish belief system, was the time 
that the Jewish nation were in the desert, on their way from 
Egypt to the land of Israel. The national revelation at Sinai, 
and the teachings of Moses, form the basis of the Jewish belief 
system. Christianity recognizes the authority of the founders of  
Judaism. Christianity acknowledges that whatever God 
revealed to the Jewish nation, and that whatever Moses taught, 
is absolutely true. Christianity does not reject Judaism at its 
foundation. Christianity rejects Judaism, because it questions 
the integrity of the transmission of the Jewish belief system. 
Christianity accuses Judaism of distorting the original 
teachings of their founders. Christianity makes this accusation 
despite the fact that; 
a) it was God Himself who established the method through 
which the Jewish belief system should be transmitted to all 
b) from its inception, the Jewish belief system was in the 
hands of a nation, 
c) there is only one belief system which claims a direct line of 
tradition which goes back to Moses, 
d) the Christian accusation is self-contradictory, (Christianity 
accepts the Jewish scriptures, while rejecting the testimony of 
the Jewish nation which is the only basis for accepting the 
veracity of the Jewish scriptures) 
e) the scriptural evidence presented to substantiate this 
accusation is practically, nonexistent, 
f) there is no historical evidence to substantiate the accusation. 
(there is no point in Jewish history which Christians can point 
to and say “here is where the Jewish method of transmission 
went wrong”) 
In spite of all this, Christianity places its full faith in this 
accusation. If this accusation is false, and the Jewish nation 
truly managed to preserve the original message of their 
founders, then Christianity is the greatest fraud perpetrated 
upon mankind. Christianity admits to this. Still, they are fully 
confident that Judaism is a distortion of the teachings of its 
original founders.

We will now turn our focus upon the Christian method of 
transmission. Which method does Christianity rely on, in order 
to transmit its message throughout the ages? How does  
Christianity attempt to preserve the original teachings of 
Jesus? The Evangelical Christian will answer these questions 
by pointing to the books of the Christian scriptures. According 
to Evangelical Christianity, these books should have 
accurately preserved the message of the founders of 
Christianity. We will note that; 
a) Jesus, the god of Christianity did not write any of these 
books. Neither did he specify that any of these books be 
written. In fact Jesus did not authorize anyone to teach in his 
name except for his immediate disciples. Jesus expected to 
return in the lifetime of his immediate disciples, so he saw no 
need in establishing a chain of tradition. 
b) The entire Christian tradition is founded upon the testimony 
of individuals. 
c) There were many groups in the early years of Christianity, 
each claiming a direct tradition which goes back to the 
disciples of Jesus. Each of these groups had a distinctly 
different belief system. Some of these groups had their own 
version of the Christian scriptures. (Those divergent gospels 
did not survive the centuries of Church censorship.)

In spite of all this, Evangelical Christianity places its full 
faith in these books of Christian scripture. Evangelical 
Christianity is totally confident that these books represent the 
original teachings of Jesus. 
 An unbiased reading of the Christian scriptures will reveal 
that this confidence is misplaced. Not only do the Christian 
scriptures reveal that Jesus did not teach Evangelical 
Christianity, but these books provide the historical evidence 
necessary to substantiate the accusation that the Church 
distorted the original teachings of Jesus.

In order to make this accusation against Christianity, it is 
not necessary to grant that the Christian scriptures are anything 
more than the words of men. We recognize that the Christian 
scriptures were written in the later half of the first century of 
the common era. These books were written by men who  
believed a certain way, and we expect these books to reflect 
their beliefs. We do not read these books in order to discover 
direct words of truth. We can only hope to gain an 
understanding as to how the writers of these books viewed the 
world. And more importantly, we will discover how these 
writers wanted the world to view them. 

 The authors of the Christian scriptures describe the 
development of the early church in the following manner. 
Jesus was a Jewish man, who lived in the land of Israel. When 
he was about thirty years old, he began to travel throughout the 
country. For about three years, Jesus traveled and taught. By 
the time Jesus died, he had created a small following. All of 
his followers were Jews. Prominent among Jesus’s followers 
were his twelve disciples. These disciples formed a 
community with its center in Jerusalem. The community of 
Jesus’s followers was lead by James, a brother of Jesus. This 
community is referred to as the “Jerusalem Church”. In the 
years following Jesus’s death, the Jerusalem Church grew in 
size. At one point, the authors of Christian scriptures claim 
that they numbered several thousand. But the members of this 
church were all Jews.

 Christianity reached the non-Jewish world through the 
person of Paul. Paul traveled the length and breadth of the 
Mediterranean, teaching the gentile world about Jesus. Paul 
founded many churches throughout the Roman Empire. The 
churches which Paul established were predominantly gentile. 
 The Christian scriptures end their narrative at this point. 
They leave the reader at the historical point where there are 
two churches; the Jewish church of James, and the gentile 
church of Paul.

 History tells us that the Jewish church of James did not 
survive as a separate entity. By the time Christianity became 
the established religion of the Roman Empire, there were 
almost no Jewish Christians left. The few Jewish Christians 
which still existed, were persecuted as heretics by the gentile  
church. All of Christianity as it exists today, was transmitted 
through the body of the gentile church. The books of Christian 
scripture were products of the gentile church. They may have 
included in these books, material which came from the Jewish 
Christians. But the gentile church was the editor of this 
material. It was the gentile church who determined the 
contents of the Christian scriptures, and who transmitted these 
texts to the future generations.

 In order to be convinced that the gentile church is truly 
transmitting the original message of Jesus, one must determine 
that Paul’s teachings conformed with the teachings of Jesus. 
The gentile church only learned of Jesus through the teachings 
of Paul. If Paul’s teachings were not synonymous with the 
teachings of Jesus, then the gentile church does not possess the 
original message of Jesus. 
 To determine Paul’s connection to Jesus, we will turn to the 
books of Christian scripture. It is clear that the editors of these 
books were strongly motivated to present Paul as one who is 
faithfully transmitting the original message of Jesus. Yet even 
these biased writers, were not able to do so.

 The Christian scriptures describe the basis of Paul’s mission 
in the following manner. Paul never saw Jesus in real life. 
Neither did Paul learn of Jesus’s teachings through the 
disciples of Jesus. Paul emphatically states (in the 1st and 2nd 
chapters of Galatians) that no living person was involved in 
transmitting Jesus’s message to him. Paul only learned of the 
teachings of Jesus through a series of visions. In these visions, 
Jesus appeared to him and imparted his teachings. Paul’s 
entire message was the product of these visions.

 The only way we can verify the truth of Paul’s claim, is by 
determining the reaction of Jesus’s disciples to Paul’s 
message. These men who lived with Jesus and heard him 
teach, could compare the teachings that they heard, to the 
prophecy of Paul. How did the Jewish following of James 
react to Paul’s claim to prophecy?
 Paul makes the claim (Galatians 2:9) that the leaders of the 
Jerusalem Church acknowledged the fact that he was 
appointed (by the dead Jesus) as a messenger to the gentiles. 
But Paul was lying. James and the Jerusalem Church never 
acknowledged the validity of Paul’s visions. It is the Christian 
scriptures themselves who contradict Paul’s claim.

 The 15th chapter of the book of Acts, describes how the 
leadership of the Jerusalem Church disregarded Paul’s claim 
to prophecy. Paul had come to Jerusalem. He had been 
preaching to the gentiles that they are not required to practice 
the law of Moses. Some members of the Jerusalem Church 
disagreed with Paul. They felt that in order for a gentile to join 
their following, he should be required to observe the law of 
Moses. This question was brought before the leadership of the 
Jerusalem Church. The elders of the church discussed the 
question, and James handed down his decision. His judgment 
was that the gentiles were not obligated to observe the entirety 
of the law of Moses as a prerequisite to joining the Christian 
community. But he stipulated that the gentiles were obligated 
to observe certain dietary laws, and to avoid immorality.

 If Paul was telling us the truth when he claimed that the 
leadership of the Jerusalem Church acknowledged him as a 
true prophet, then this story makes no sense. Here we have 
Paul, who was personally appointed by the dead Jesus as his 
emissary to the gentile world. Whatever Paul taught was 
personally revealed to him in these prophetic visions. One of 
the central teachings of Paul was that the gentile world is not 
bound by the law of Moses. Yet when the leaders of the 
Jerusalem Church are in doubt as to what Jesus would have 
said concerning the gentiles, they discuss the question, and 
look to James for guidance. If there was any truth to Paul’s 
claim, that these leaders acknowledged the truth of his 
prophecy, then they should have simply asked him “what did 
Jesus tell you?” The fact that they considered the question, and 
the method that they used to resolve the question, clearly tells  
us that these men did not believe that Jesus had ever spoken to 
Paul. The author of the book of Acts, his bias 
notwithstanding, could not hide this simple fact.

 The difference between the gentile church founded by Paul, 
and the Jerusalem Church founded by Jesus, was not limited to 
the question of the authenticity of Paul’s prophecy. These two 
institutions espoused two totally different philosophies. The 
central teaching of Pauline Christianity is, that faith in the 
redeeming sacrifice of Jesus, is the only valid method through 
which atonement for sin can be achieved. The entire 
philosophy of Paul, revolves around this one teaching. 
Evangelical Christianity is founded upon this basic teaching of 
Paul. If you were to ask an Evangelical Christian to sum up his 
belief system in one sentence, he would respond with this 
point. That faith in Jesus is the only redemption from sin. In 
fact the entire concept of the messiah-ship of Jesus is basically 
limited to this one point. Jesus is the messiah of Evangelical 
Christians, only because they believe that his death provided 
atonement for sin.

 But the Jerusalem Church which was established by Jesus, and which was guided by his disciples, did not believe in this teaching of Paul. They did not believe that faith in Jesus could effectively atone for their sins.

 But the Jerusalem Church which was established by Jesus, 
and which was guided by his disciples, did not believe in this 
teaching of Paul. They did not believe that faith in Jesus could 
effectively atone for their sins. This is demonstrated by the 
testimony of the Christian scriptures. The 21st chapter in the 
book of Acts reports that the normal activities of the members 
of the Jerusalem Church included the offering of animals for 
the explicit purpose of the expiation of sin. The book of Acts 
describes how four members of the Jerusalem Church had 
taken a Nazirite vow. This means that they had voluntarily 
brought themselves into a situation where they would be 
required (by the law of Moses) to bring an animal as a sin 
offering. It is clear that these people saw in the temple 
offerings a valid method for the expiation of sin. If they 
believed as Paul did, that Jesus died for their sins once and for 
all, then there would be no point in bringing a sin offering in  
the temple. The fact that the Jerusalem Church still 
participated in the temple offerings after Jesus had died, tells 
us that they did not see in Jesus’s death an all atoning 
sacrifice. These people were not Evangelical Christians.**

The Christian scriptures provides both the theological and 
the historical justification to the accusation that Christianity 
has failed in the transmission of its own message. The 
Christian scriptures tell us that the disciples of Jesus never 
believed the fundamental teaching of Evangelical Christianity.

These people who lived with Jesus and heard him preach did 
not believe, that with the death of Jesus, the world is redeemed 
of its sins. The Christian scriptures also tell us, at which 
historical point the break in the transmission occurred. These 
books tell us that Paul, the father of modern Christianity, had 
no connection to Jesus. Christianity is an edifice erected upon 
the testimony of one man. All of Christianity stands upon 
Paul’s word that Jesus appeared to him. The only people that 
were qualified to verify Paul’s claim, contradicted him to his 
face. This emerges from the pages of the very books which 
Christianity regards as true witnesses to its claims. 

 Judaism and Christianity are two different belief systems. 
Each one of these belief systems categorically rejects the 
fundamental teachings of the other.

 Christian missionaries attempt to persuade Jews to abandon 
Judaism in favor of Christianity. In their efforts at achieving 
this objective, the missionaries try to present logical arguments 
which would justify a conversion from Judaism to 
Christianity. The typical missionary sales pitch has the 
missionary pointing to a verse in the Jewish scriptures which 
seems to be supporting the Christian belief system. Essentially, 
the missionary argument is that the original teachers of 
Judaism (the authors of Jewish scripture) were Christians by 
belief. If Jews today are not Christians, it is only because they 
have distorted the message of their original teachers. This is 
the thrust of the missionary argument. 

The Jew cannot accept this argument for several reasons.

 1) It was God Himself who established the original Jewish 
belief system. The missionary admits as much. It is clear that 
God expected the message of Judaism to be available to the 
last generations. The means through which God transmitted 
His message, is the national testimony of the Jewish people. If 
God deemed the living testimony of this nation to be a reliable 
method of transmitting His message, the Jew will not differ. 

 2) The missionary argument has an entire nation 
unanimously corrupting the essence of their belief system. In 
order for the missionary argument to be true, one must accept 
one of the following scenarios. Either a national conspiracy is 
involved, or a nation unanimously made the same series of 
mistakes. Both of these are statistical improbabilities.

 3) The missionary argument is self-contradictory. If the 
Jewish nation managed to corrupt the very essence of their 
belief system, then there is no reason to accept the sanctity of 
Jewish scripture. It is only through the testimony of the Jewish 
nation that we know these books to be sacred. If the national  
testimony of the Jews cannot be trusted, then there is no way 
of knowing that there is any authenticity to the books of 
Jewish scripture.

 4) The authors of Jewish scripture were quite clear about 
their beliefs. And they were not Christians.

 As a general rule the Jew felt no need to counter every 
missionary argument. However, it often happened that the 
Church would force the Jew to respond to each of the 
missionary arguments. Many books contain a record the 
Jewish responses to the various missionary arguments. Any 
decent Jewish library will include some of these books. In 
addition, many of the prominent Jewish commentators of 
scripture will explain why Jews do not accept the missionary 
interpretation of a given verse. (These include, but are not 
limited to, the commentaries of Ibn Ezra, and Abarbenel.) It is 
not difficult to find Jewish responses to the individual 
missionary arguments. Furthermore, many Christian scholars 
have come to recognize the dishonesty of the various 
missionary applications of Jewish scripture.

 There is yet another factor which should be taken into 
consideration when we examine the missionary argument. 
There is an old Jewish saying which advises “before you point 
to the splinter between the eyes of your friend, remove the 
beam from between your own eyes”. If the missionary 
demands that the Jew search the Jewish scriptures for evidence 
that the original teachers of Judaism were not Jews by belief, 
then the missionary should first search the Christian scriptures. 
Had the missionaries the honesty to undertake this search, they 
would discover sufficient evidence to substantiate the theory 
that Jesus, James and Peter were not Christians. In place of the 
futile attempt to assail the solid foundations of Judaism, the 
missionary should examine the breaches in his own house.


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