560: JUST HOW JEWISH WAS JESUS?

“A warm welcome to Zingcreed, the polemical blog for the post-Christian age in which we live. The question here is ‘Just how Jewish was Jesus?’, and the answer is ‘Very’. Most Christians don’t wish to believe that. They think Jesus founded a nice Gentile religion for nice Gentiles like them. To see how anti-Gentile Jesus was see my post ‘Jesus hates me this I know, for the bible tells me so.‘ To see how evil the God of the Hebrew scriptures (O.T.) was see my Post ‘O.M.G!’  That’s the violent genocidal god that was, some say, Jesus’ father. Many of the 600 plus Laws in the earliest books of the bible would be rejected by Christians today if they had a clue what they were. But the gospels record Jesus saying that not one ‘jot or tittle should be taken away from them’. (King James Version). We’re looking  at a fundamentalist ultra-Orthodox kind of Jew here.

The first five books or Torah should be something that unites Christian and Jew, instead of which it divides them so profoundly that they can’t even agree on how to pronounce the word: it’s To-rah to the Christians and To-rah to the Jews.

My source is a Canadian Jewish ex-Episcopalian, Barrie Wilson, who lectures at a University in Toronto. I hope you find this enlightening.

In solidarity

Peter Turner, M.A., M.Sc.”

 

Jesus practised Judaism throughout his life and never converted to another religion nor started one. His parents were both Jewish. After his birth, his mother, Miriam (known as Mary in the West) had a mikvah or ritual bath and went through a purification process. At 8 days of age, Jesus was circumcised, as all Jewish baby boys always have been.

Here is a list of the distinctively Jewish day-to-day activities that Jesus participated in:-

  • Recital of the Shema prayer twice a day,
  • Wearing a tallit (prayer shawl) when praying,
  • Strapping on tefillin (arm and headbands) when praying,
  • Displaying a mezuzah on the doorpost of the family home,
  • Starting the Shabat (Sabbath) celebrations at sundown on the Friday, while enjoying a family meal and prayers and songs led by his father Yosef (Joseph in the West),
  • Observing the kosher dietary laws,
  • Following the ten commandments,
  • Keeping the Shabat and attending shul (synagogue),
  • Celebrating all the annual Jewish festivals such as passover and Succoth.

Jesus’s earliest followers were all Jewish, and he participated and preached in the synagogue services. His teachings dealt exclusively with the Jewish issues of the day:

  • How to interpret the strict Torah laws correctly,
  • When is the kingdom of God going to come,
  • How to behave righteously.

(This topic merits more attention, and I hope to devote a post to it shortly.)

Finally, Jesus was executed by the Romans as ‘King of the Jews’.

How can a Christian hope to get into Jesus’ mind without first immersing him/herself in Judaism?
And, if a Christian is trying to emulate Jesus, how come they’re still eating bacon for breakfast? (etc., compile your own list.)

Source:
Wilson, Barrie “How Jesus became Christian” St Martin’s Griffin (2008)

Related Zingcreed Posts:
488: Jewish purity maps
Social divisions in Jesus’ time and today 483

 

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One comment

  1. So Jesus was a Jew. I don’t think it’s news to any Christian, is it? I’d have to seek out an extreme fundamentalist to find someone who thought otherwise. And I’m sure most Christians know that he had no intention if creating a new religion, and neither did his earliest followers. It probably wasn’t until Jesus “became” God in the minds of his followers that a split from Judaism was inevitable.

    As I understand it, the 600 or so laws mentioned in the old testament applied to ethnic Jews. They didn’t apply to non ethnic Jews – Gentiles. One could argue that the laws were created to set the Jewish community apart from others in the region.

    As far as I’m concerned Jesus, for all his radical teaching was still a man of his time. The fact that he was “flawed” by Western twenty-first century standards, shouldn’t take away from those parts of his message that are applicable today.

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