Was Jesus, in the Christian bible, a Jew?
If so then why aren't Christians Jewish? I have been doing a lot of studying about the Jewish and Christian faiths over the last few days and am confused at how so many Christians believe Jesus was Jewish yet they themselves are not. Someone please enlighten me.
Jesus was Jewish. He was born a Jew, lived a Jewish life, taught and read in the synagogue, and was called 'rabbi' by some of his followers. The word 'Christian' refers to the followers of 'the Christ' - the Messiah, the anointed one. Jesus, in this context could not have been a 'Christian' by definition. However, Jesus was no ordinary Jew. Christians believe that he was sent by God as God in human form (hence the other name that Jesus used 'Emman\uel' which means 'God with us'). God the Father had revealed himself to the Jews over thousands of years in the stories in the Old Testament (or the 'Old Covenant'/Old Agreement') but the Jews continued to rebel against God to such an extent that even when the prophets foretold the messiah coming the Jews still ignored them.
Jesus, because of his teaching, his miracles and his crucifixion and resurrection, was seen as the fulfilment of the New Covenant (hence the accounts of his life are in the part of the Bible called the New Testament) between God and humankind. He showed the way to God through love and not mindless rules, and he made it very clear that his message was for all humanity and not just for the Jews.
After his crucifixion and resurrection, the ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit, his followers were mostly still Jews following 'The Way' as it was called. In fact, many new non-jewish adherents of the Way got into arguments about whether or not they should be circumcised, and whether or not certain foods were banned, just like in the old Jewish days. St Paul (who wrote many of the letters in the New Testament) pointed out that Jesus required that this new 'Way' was open to all, circumcised or not, pork-eaters or not. What mattered was the content of their hearts and not rules.
So the followers of the new Jesus movement, where a new relationship with God was possible through the salvation offered by Jesus, continued to be called 'the Way' - in fact they were not eventually called 'Christians' until many years later.
Thank you JThomp42 for this in depth explanation.
Very good and thorough answer, enjoyed reading it.
JThomp42......Well! I know exactly who I'm going straight to, with any questions on the Bible!! Thank you for this thorough explanation!
Matthew 15:11- " Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man."
Excellent anwer. Readers need remember, Judea was a part of the Roman Empire - small beer, really. So it was obvious that when people started to follow Christianity (after the Roman Emperor adopted it) they'd call it something other than Jewish.
Yes, he was a Jew. The first Christians were a Jewish sect. All of Greece and Judea were part of the Roman Empire by this time. Paul of Tarsus (a Jewish Roman citizen from modern-day Turkey) thought it would be a good idea to expand this new sect into the Greek-speaking world within the Roman Empire (cities of Thessalonica, Ephesus, Philippi, Galatia, etc). To do this, he had to change some of the details of the religion in order for it to conform a little more to the local Hellenistic religions. Paul started referring to the crucified Joshua Bar Joseph by the Greek name of "Jesus", which we still use today. Christ is a Greek title as well. Even Paul's name was really Saul, though he changed it to the Latin name of Paulus. The entire religion became more Greek-centric than Jewish. Preaching to the Greco-Romans earned Paul the enmity of the Jewish community in Judea, which he alludes to in his letters to his new churches. The Jewish Sect of Christians were wiped out by persecutions and in the Jewish revolt against the Roman Empire from 64 to 68 AD. Paul was also killed in Rome at this time.
More so that any other Jew. Paul is known for having said -
"But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God."
Jesus would be the founder of such. Though recently there was a question put forth as to whether Jesus came to create/found a new religion... on that, I think he was making a point of what Judaism was supposed to be.
Call it what you will, but Christianity is simply the OT in its more correct form, still, a work in progress. Jesus was definitely a Jew - theologically and nationally by blood. However, if you look back in his bloodline these women Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba are in question as to their historical Jewishness. So, Jesus is Everyman in that respect, and more Theologically Jewish than nationally so.
This is very important since he came to save the Jew first, then the Gentile. Jews, since they were the recipient of the Law, of Israel, through Adam and God's own - and Gentiles (every other nation), since he's not a separatist.
SO, He's more Jewish than Jewish, and more than just a Jew.
***"Pork eaters or not"... that's Awesome!!! And that's ***Jew or Gentile... Romans, Greeks, Chinese... Gentile.
Yes, Jesus was Jewish with regards to his lineage and upbringing. Jews believed that salvation was by works and that if you upheld the law you could be saved. Jesus came to fulfill the law and preach that salvation was by faith, not by works.
It is not required by Christians to become Jews in order to be a real Christian, I believe Paul talks about this in the book of Romans. He did not want Jewish beliefs and customs to be a stumbling block to Gentile believers. The only "circumcision" that is required by any believer Jew or Gentile is circumcision of the heart.
"For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but God." Romans 2:28&29
Jesus probably would not have considered himself to be "Jewish" in that this word has origins in the 12th. century; it is the English translation of the Greek for Judean The first time it appears in the Bible is in Esther. Jesus was "Judean" meaning He was from the tribe of Judah of the place Judea. Christianity was not a concept in the time of Jesus. The followers of Jesus were called "Christians" for the first time in Turkey in a place called Antioch. The followers of Jesus, The Church have been taken over by men who have placed their traditions and doctrines in place of the teachings of Jesus and created chaos.
I do not know.
But, while researching for a hub yesterday, I came across Wikipedia articles on the subject.
According to that source, scholars generally agree that Jesus was a Jew. But there is no consensus as to what being a Jew meant.
I have my own opinion. To me, it is not significant about Jesus being born and raised in the Jewish faith. I am more interested to know who he was as an individual.
For many years I was thoroughly convinced that he was the unique, only-begotten Son of God as taught by my church and Bible school. I could not be told otherwise.
Later, things changed. Over a period of years I re-examined my faith and in 2000 made a big change in my life. My view certainly did not change overnight, it was a long and gradual process of awakening and being true to myself.
Now, I feel closer to the person of Jesus than I ever did when my concept of him was as a special divine being. I am far more tolerant of others and overall a far happier and complete person. I feel the historical Jesus was a mystic and a healer, a man who went far in his own personal and spiritual development and was deeply committed to what he knew to be true. I wouldn't take anything too seriously or literally from the Bible, as its greatest truth is in metaphor. But Jesus is a man whose character is to emulate.
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