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August 27, 2014 / 1 Elul, 5774
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The Messiah Ain’t JeZeus, That’s for Sure!

Crucifixion

In response to yesterday’s blog about Mashiach, I received a few questions about Jezeus, the heralded Xtian messiah, so before continuing with our discussion about the true Jewish Mashiach, I will try to shatter this terrible Xtian myth that has plunged mankind into darkness for the last 2000 years. Hopefully, this knowledge will give you the ammunition you need should you encounter one of the Jews for Jezeus missionaries who are crawling like cockroaches all over the globe in search of hapless Jewish victims.

It is explained in the Talmud that the first missionary, the “one from Nazereth,” was a student of Rabbi Yehushua ben Prachia, one of the great Sages of the time and leader of the Great Assembly. Traveling together on a journey, they stopped at a lodge along the way. After a lady innkeeper attended to their needs in a diligent fashion, Rabbi Yehoshua ben Prachia praised her for honoring Torah scholars in the appropriate manner. Pure and saintly as he was, he remarked in an innocent fashion, “How pleasant this innkeeper is.” The commentator Rashi explains his remark as referring to, “her deeds.” However, the “Nazereth” jumped up and exclaimed, “But her eyes aren’t pretty!”

When Rabbi Yehoshua ben Prachia heard his student say this, he proclaimed, “Evil person! You are preoccupied with this!?” meaning looking at women. And he drove him away in the most severe manner, as the Talmud records, “He thrust the Nazereth away with both hands” (Sotah, 47A).

In his lectures about the Mashiach at the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem, Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda HaKohen Kook, of blessed memory, explained that the Sages of the Talmud deliberately stated that Rabbi Yehoshua ben Prachia “thrust the Nazereth away with both hands,” as opposed to pushing him away with the left hand and drawing him close with the right, in the usual educational manner. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Prachia reacted in this emphatic way in thrusting the “Nazereth” away to show that he was clearly not the Mashiach.

The task of the Mashiach (or the Messiah, as he is known in English) is to save the Jews from its enemies and rebuild the Nation of Israel, yet the followers of Jezeus have slaughtered millions and millions of Jews and done everything in their power to keep Israel lowly and weak. Referring to Christianity’s renegade founder, the great Jewish Torah Sage, the Rambam (also known to the English-speaking world as Maimonides), writes:

“Can there be a greater stumbling block than this one? All of the Prophets spoke of the Mashiach as the redeemer of Israel, and as its savior, who would gather their dispersed, and strengthen their observance of the commandments, while this one caused the annihilation of Israel by the sword, and caused their remnants to be scattered and scorned. He caused the Torah to be altered, and brought the majority of the world to err, and to serve a god other than the Lord” (Rambam, Laws of Kings and Their Wars, 11:4, see the uncensored edition of Mossad HaRav Kook Publications).

Thus, if you come across a missionary for Jezeus, you have permission from the Talmud and from the Rambam to thrust him away with both hands.

The prohibition against idol worship tops the list of the Ten Commandments. No one is allowed to make or worship a graven image. As the Rambam explains, “The essential principle concerning idolatry is that people are not to worship anything created – neither angel, planet, star, the elements, or something derived from them” (Rambam, Laws of Idol Worship, Ch.9).

This includes great golden Buddhas, Hindu monkey gods, totem poles, statues of Jezeus, and the like. I would post a few photos in illustration, but it is even forbidden to gaze upon the picture of an idolatrous figure, as it says, “Turn not after their idols” (Vayikra, 19:4. See Rambam, 2:2, loc. cited).

In his writings on Christianity, which he calls, “Minut,” Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak HaKohen Kook explains that it began as a breakaway sect of Judaism which grew in influence and ultimately led the world astray with its doctrines. He categorizes it as idol worship, and says that its founder brought the majority of the world to err by serving a god other than the Almighty. By abandoning the mitzvot, Christianity enshrouded the world in a seemingly legitimate offshoot of idol worship. While imitating many of Judaism’s values and beliefs, Christianity actually led the world away from the true service of God.

Rabbi Kook writes: “The foundations of Christianity, which mocked the words of the Rabbis, caused havoc in the Nation of Israel, but because of the mighty hand of God which fills the life of the Jewish Nation, it failed to destroy the foundations of Israel. Nevertheless, it spun its webs which succeeded in becoming a tapestry like a quilt of false shelter over many nations” (Orot, Israel and its Revival, Ch.15).

Much of modern Western culture, which Rabbi Kook terms a culture which “praises itself with melodious lies” (Orot, Ch.2:4), is an outgrowth of Christianity, whether in its adoption of Christianity’s teachings, or in rejecting the Christian dogma, and subsequently rejecting any allegiance whatsoever to God. By usurping the role of the Jewish People, and by casting the Torah and the Divine commandments aside, Christianity brought darkness to the world. By saying, “Come to us – we will save your souls and bring you close to God without have to elevate yourselves by bearing a yoke of Divine laws and commandments – just confess, accept Jezeus, believe in the gospels, and be miraculously healed” – Christianity led mankind away from the true faith and onto a path of falsehood. Therefore, Rabbi Kook writes: “The world must come to recognize that not through a single utterance of abstract belief alone is it sufficient for a person to fly into Paradise while the entire arsenal of evil, murder, and licentiousness, which is embedded in man’s unrefined spirit and flesh is allowed to remain intact” (Ibid).

To get to Gan Eden, it isn’t enough to say “I believe!” and dangle a little crucifix from the rear-view mirror of your car while you commit adultery with your neighbor’s wife in the back seat. In order for a person to refine his evil character traits, he must set his life in life with the laws of the Torah (for non-Jews this means the 7 mitzvot of the Sons of Noah) and engage on a lifelong path of inner cleansing, as set forth by our holy Jewish Sages. As Rabbi Kook writes:

“Christianity abandoned the Divine Law and rooted itself in the trait of mercy and illusionary love, undermining the foundations of the world and destroying it” (Ibid, Ch.3).

Ever since the Roman Empire adopted the banner of Christianity, its doctrines were imposed, often with ruthless violence, throughout the world. Christian morality became the foundation of Western civilization. Tragically, the Church’s dogmas demand more from man than he is able to achieve. Under the guise of holiness, Christianity demands from humanity an unnatural saintliness. Man’s powerful passions are banned, instead of being refined, tempered, transformed and channeled into constructive paths. Mankind cannot adhere to the repression of character traits which Christianity teaches, because it does not provide man with the means to attain true holiness and moral refinement. Cut off from the Torah, the mitzvot, and Judaism’s moral teachings and the ladder to achieve them, Christianity breeds a culture which dooms man to darkness and guilt, and a festering inner rage whose only outlet is violence, sexual corruption, and wars.

This rejection of the One and Only true God of Israel leaves mankind to develop a civilization empty of Divine Truth and God’s Divine Laws for mankind. Instead, man is left to evolve his own apostate system of values, and his own measures of right and wrong, with as many different measures and moralities as there are opinions and philosophies, until almost everything becomes permitted, or repressively forbidden, and every individual becomes his own conscience and judge. This is the path to moral anarchy, where God is given a backstage role, shoved behind the curtain so as not to interfere with the lewd cabaret on stage.

This is the culture of Edom which Christianity bred and which rules over the Western world today. The Midrash compares it to a pig (Vayikra Rabbah, 13:5). In order to be kosher, an animal has to have split hooves and also chew its cud. The pig has split hooves, but he does not chew the cud. He holds out his forelegs as if to say, “Look at me- I’m kosher!” On the inside, however, he is thoroughly trafe. This is the culture of Christianity which proclaims, “Look at me – I’m pure.” It seduces mankind with the Name of God on its lips, but beyond its outer pompous façade, it is rancid with impurity and lies. From the beginning of its foundation, when it turned its back on the Torah and the Jewish People, it called out to God with the sweet Psalms of David, which it stole from the Jews, while blasphemy blazed in its heart. As Rabbi Kook writes:

“From the beginning of its foundation, and throughout its entire development, it is nothing but the counsel of lies and a masquerade of intricate evil… forgetters of God in their innards, and carrying his Name on their lips and tongues” (Orot, Ch.2:8. For a full discussion of this theme, see the book, “War and Peace in the Teachings of Rabbi Kook,” by Rabbi David Samson and Tzvi Fishman).

So beware, my friends, of all of those sweet-talking missionaries who swear that they love you and want to save your souls. The very opposite is the truth. They hate you, as Rabbi Kook states as clear as can be:

“Christianity knows very well that if its outer pagan façade and ostentatious show of holiness be abandoned, its framework could no longer command a place in the world, and it would be compelled to be spiritually reabsorbed in Judaism, its source. Therefore, Christianity strives to protect its existence and is filled with a deadly hatred toward Judaism and its faithful guardians – the Jews” (Orot, Orot HaTechiya 3).

Although Rabbi Kook was unequivocal in his writings on Christianity, it is important to note that he never encouraged open conflict against its doctrines. In the spirit of all of his teachings, he advocated that other religions be enlisted in the universal task of leading the world to God. He writes:

“As to alien faiths, I will tell you my opinion, that it is not the goal of Israel’s light to uproot and destroy them, just as we do not aim for the general destruction of the world and all of its nations, but rather for their correction and elevation, the removal of their dross, and that they themselves will join the source of Israel, where dew drops of light will flow over them, as it states, ‘And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his detestable things from between his teeth, and he too shall remain for our God’ (Zechariah, 9:7). This applies to idolatry, and therefore even more so to religions whose foundations are partly based on the light of Israel’s Torah” (Letters of Rabbi Kook, 112).

But all this is nothing new. After all, this is what we affirm several times a day in the concluding “Aleynu” prayer. The following verse is deleted in many prayer books used in the Diaspora, but here in Israel, we say it concerning all those who have erected false gods, instead of serving the One and Only true God of Israel: “They bow down to vanity and emptiness, and pray to a god that cannot save.”

The “Aleynu” prayer expresses our heartfelt wish that idol worship be uprooted from the earth, and that the world come to understand that God alone is the One and Only King, “We hope, therefore, Lord our God, soon to behold Your majestic glory, when the abominations will be removed from the earth, and the false gods exterminated; when the world will be perfected under the reign of the Almighty, and all mankind will call upon Your Name, and the wicked of the earth will be turned to You. My all the inhabitants of the world realize and know that to You every knee must bend and every tongue vow allegiance….”

Amen. May it be soon.

About the Author: Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." For the past several years, he has written a popular and controversial blog at Arutz 7. A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon. The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of The Jewish Press


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20 Responses to “The Messiah Ain’t JeZeus, That’s for Sure!”

  1. Pninah Means Millson Mason says:

    Great article. Xianity did indeed ride the Light of Torah/Judaism to spread darkness throughout the world. The xtian "messiah" did the total opposite of what Moshiach is to do. From our prophet Jeremiah: Jeremiah 16:19. O Lord, Who are my power and my strength and my refuge in the day of trouble, to You nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, "Only lies have our fathers handed down to us, emptiness in which there is nothing of any avail!"

  2. Liad Bar-el says:

    There are many things to consider on xian religion which has pervaded many centuries and destroyed many Jews. The religious Jewish site, http://www.simpletoremember.com/ has a few if I am allowed to list some of their sites. Why Don’t Jews Believe In Jesus?
    • The Catholic Church’s Response to Our Critique of Christian Credibility.
    • A Comprehensive Refutation of Christian Missionaries.
    • Did The Jews Kill Jesus? Mel Gibson & The Jews.
    • JewsForJudaism.org (response to messianic groups such as "Jews for Jesus").
    • The Origin of Christmas (The Real Story).
    • MessiahTruth.com (Anti-Missionary)
    • OutreachJudaism.org (Anti-Missionary)
    • 26reasons.com (more reasons why Jews don’t believe in jesus).
    • Recommended Books to Correctly Understand Christianity (free copies).
    • Ordained Pastor Converts To Judaism.
    • more Counter-Missionary websites.
    • The Seven Laws of Noah (for non-Jews).

  3. Bet Tefillah says:

    Yushkin ideology is horrible and hollow. As Tzvi makes note of in the article,( and I know I am paraphrasing) it shuns holiness and embraces emptieness. Hevel V Riek. It is not a religion rather it is an attempt to convince the nations of the world that a man can become a god, and is just an extension of Romanism and Helenism that disguises itself with some aspects of Judaism to make everyone the same. The "founders" of Xristianity just wanted to absorb the Jews and push them away from Torah and mitzvot and they did not really believe in G-d.

  4. The article cites Rabbi Kook as saying: “Christianity knows very well that if its outer pagan façade and ostentatious show of holiness be abandoned, its framework could no longer command a place in the world, and it would be compelled to be spiritually reabsorbed in Judaism, its source.” I say: Awesome!
    Very interesting Article! Off course it deals with an issue that has caused pain to Jews through history, yet I note it talks about Christianity being reabsorbed into Judaism. Well I got news, it is happening! Slowly, carefully, not perfectly, but it's happening in many parts of Christianity. Jewish rejection of this is natural and understandable; I believe it won’t fully take place during our generation but I can see it in the future. Although Christianity won’t be reabsorbed into present day Judaism, actually Christians are looking back towards first century, second temple period Judaism, which is a little different, back then many sects within Judaism could coexist thanks to the existence of Israel, instead of that, today’s branches of Judaism can be traced from a single sect from the first century: The Pharisees.
    I don’t know for sure whether Judaism will ever see this as a positive thing, but I feel many Jews already are, including many important scholars whose work starts to portray Jesus as what he really was, a Jewish rabbi. I see Christians everywhere rediscovering Torah while nobody is teaching them such a thing. I feel G-d is behind it. Bridges are being built and they are placed on the State of Israel. It’s rather amazing how Israel is fighting the PA by claiming Jesus was an Israelite as a part of Bethlehem’s issue, exactly! He was no Palestinian, he was no Christian, he was a Jew, and Christians are learning that as well.
    Torah is important and must be observed, truly Christians have started to remember that, yet Adam was taken out of Gan eden after just one sin, Moshe didn’t see Ertez Yisrael after one single sin, How many times have we disobeyed Torah? How do we achieve G-d’s forgiveness then? I believe that as we struggle in learning how to obey Torah both through acts and inner life, we need G-d compassion to forgive our sins somehow, until our lives are fully rendered into Torah obedience at the end.
    If Jesus is Moshiach everyone will know it if he comes back, shows His resurrected body and accomplishes what Tanach said Moshiach should accomplish. Apostle Paul (Rab Shaul) said that’s when all Israel is going to believe. So, let’s wait until then. Meanwhile, many Christian (I know not all of them) are learning Torah once again and thanking G-d for keeping the Jews with us. Shalom!

  5. I agree with Antonio. Now I wish to address not the subject of the article, but the way it was written. The venomous way in which the author addressed the subject is reminiscent of how many anti-Semites (Presbyterian Church USA for example) would cover the subject. The bully tactic shows me that the author is too afraid Christians who are Zionist in nature could be right and he has no way of defeating them in an argument. We can always argue facts and what has been written, but faith can not be argued as the author of the original article has done.

  6. This article is based on a fundamental error:

    The "Yeshu" who was the student of R. Yehoshua ben Perachia (TB Sotah 47a) could not possibly have been the same person as the Jesus of Christianity: R. Yehoshua ben Perachia died about 130 years before the destruction of the Second Temple. That's at least 100 years before Jesus was born. Therefore it is logically impossible to identify "Yeshu" the student of R. Yehoshua ben Perachia as the Christian Jesus.

  7. Liad Bar-el says:

    Is anyone to doubt that you would not agree with Antonio who is Co-Pastor at Casa de Oracion, Iglesia Evangelical Pentecostal being that you live in an area of the USA, Louisiana, which is socially conservative evangelical Protestantism?
    By Tzvi quoting Rabbis, evokes your feelings of “the venomous way in which the author addressed the subject…” is directed at the Rabbis who are telling the truth. Tzvi and others who know the truth are not afraid of telling the truth in an internet forum, debate or other means of argument. Moses Nachmanides (the Ramban) held such a debate called The Debate in Barcelona in Spain, 1263. You might want to review this debate and the articles that I listed before you attack Tzvi for he knows a lot more than me and is light years ahead of you in knowledge. You say Tzvi is afraid to debate this issue and I say he is willing to debate you in the community hall here in Jerusalem for everyone to hear.

  8. Hi Liad, yes I don't hide my identity behind a nickname, this is who I am. I wouldn't dare offending a person such as Tzvi. I don't totally disagree with him. I was raised as an evangelical yet I take a stand for Israel and the Jewish people in a country where it's very dangerous to do so, while nobody gives me a dime or even thanks me about it. We have a very small Jewish population in my country some of whom I've known only by chance (That population decreases continually as they have felt forced to leave), I’ve never even tried to think about converting a Jew, while I’ve never concealed my own opinions in a deceitful way. In a place where your job and your safety might be at stake for just talking good about Israel or Jews I continue to do so, and that has brought about an important cost for me as I’ve lost job and business opportunities in a place where the same anti-Semites control almost everything. I don’t live in Louisiana as you may notice. If you read what I said, you’ll see I seriously believe Jews are correct when they say many Christians went the wrong way when forgetting about Torah, yet calling Jesus JeZeuz ain’t polite to say the least. I do respect that though, since I know the painful history. Yet, I also take a stand for a future understanding where Christian and Jews base their relationship on respect, where slanderous words will not be necessary, and where Christians will once again respect Torah and Judaism in thanksgiving to G-d for the great gift they are. Shalom!

  9. Tzvi Fishman,

    Your statement Jeus is not Messiah is right. But do you know Jesus didn't say he is the messiah. Jesus didn't want any one to worship him as Son of God. It is the wrong interpretaion of Bible that makes Jesus the messiah and sonof God. Is it not rediculous to waste your time to prove Jesus is not the messiah if Jesus had not claimed he is the messiah? I can prove from Gospels Jesus had not claimed he is the messiah, instead what Jesus told to the Jews was that no individual will come as messiah and who or what will come is the kingdom of God. Jesus told the Jews not to believe any individual who will come saying he is the messiah.If you would provide your email address I am prepared to share my views about Jesus whom you do not know or heard.

  10. Pat McCrann says:

    Zechariah 8:23. "This is what the Lord Almighty says: “In those days [end times] ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.’” Jesus is not the Messiah. Christianity has failed to achieve holiness even in its leaders. Christians cannot have Christianity and also Judaism but they are trying to do so because Christianity is a hollow sham. Only the commandments can make a person holy, not belief in some magic figure or eating magic bread. Christians can't even love each other never mind anyone else.

  11. Pat McCrann says:

    Antonio Jose Cordero Troconis you ask for mutual respect, but Christianity is a denial of Judaism and a denial of Torah, and not only have Christians persecuted Jews for 2000 years but continue to do so, hence the large number of Christian churches and leaders supporting BDS and also trying to take away Israel from Jews, particularly in their efforts to internationalise Jerusalem. The Torah does not teach that you should love your enemy, but rather that you should hate your enemy and kill him before he kills you. Big contrast to Christian falsehood eh?

  12. Liad Bar-el says:

    Antonio, for the lack of time, it’s now 3:38 am, I’ll just give you a few points. 1st, I know you don’t live in Louisiana which is in the Bible Belt as I mentioned already. 2nd, there is a Jewish law not to take the name of idols on ones lips; so, this is the reason Tzvi is using that name and it is not for the purpose of offending others. Lastly, for xians (remember what I said about taking the name of idols on ones lips?) which was founded on the destruction of Jews, to say that they love Jews and Israel and study Torah, etc, etc, etc isn’t true. If it were true, they would give up xianity and become Jews. For an xian to not have read all of the references that I and Tzvi have given should also prove they are the ones who are afraid of the truth.

  13. Liad Bar-el says:

    When Yeska said in John 14:6 “"I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me”, this is setting himself up as the son of god, an idol, false messiah and leader of tens of thousands of anti-Semitic churches, the Crusades, etc, etc, etc. Save your polemics on this matter for other issues worth the time and effort.

  14. Jesus said those words in the language of a prophet."John 14:6 “"I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me”, . He was not saying those words about himself. The Jews who mistook Jesus as messiah and sons of God gave thier own interpretation for those words and the world see Jesus through their interpretaions. If you know the real meaning of his words you will astonish.

    I am not asking you to espouse Christian religion, I am asking you to try to understand the true message of Jesus the most misunderstood Jew ever lived.

  15. Jesus said" Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth but a sword ". Why do you fail to realize "Christian religion " is that sword ? That sword cut off Jews who were not loyal to their God Yahweh from Judaism.

  16. Whycan't you believe when a person says with cen per cent sincerety and honestness "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the law until every thing is acomplished" ? You are trying to see that person through the interpreation of Christians that is why you fail to know the real message of that person Jesus the most misundertood Jew who ever lived on earth.

  17. Pat McCrann One point; there are ultra-orthodox Jews who have met with Iran's president calling for Israel's destruction. Should I judge all Jews based on those actions? Does that mean Jews are trying to destroy Israel? Well, some definitely are, but, according to your way of thinking I should think all of them are. I didn't talk to you about other Christians, I talked to you about myself, and I know very many others who act the same way. Yet, since you talk about hatred and Judaism teaching hatred towards your enemies, then you're way astray in the possibility of showing any respect to me, especially since you may think I'm your enemy because I believe in Jesus. Now, I have to defend Judaism here, since you are shaming Judaism before everyone, those Christians who attack Judaism, regard it as a harsh religion, based on foolishness like that. Shemos 23:4 says: “If you see your enemy's ox or donkey going astray, you should surely bring them back.”, and Pirkei Avot 4:24 says: “Let not your heart be glad when your enemy falls lest the Lord see it and it displeases Him”. Off course, Judaism teaches you shouldn’t let other abuse you, but Never Judaism teaches anyone to Hate, the only thing a Jew should hate is evil itself. Not even evil doers, who are to be presented with repentance opportunities even if they’re your enemies, when a Jew tells his enemies what they should do, he is in a sense showing them love. Right now, if you consider me an enemy, yet you teach me what you know about Torah, then that is love, you’re loving me pal whenever you remind me of the words of Ha-shem whether I like or not. In that case, Jesus wouldn't have been so wrong when He told us to love our enemies. I seriously believe that's a quite jewish thing to say.

  18. Matt Giwer says:

    While in another blog.
    http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/blogs/sultan-knish/why-the-west-loves-lying-to-itself-about-islam/2012/07/11/0/
    we get the same message about Christianity. I see a pattern here.
    The pattern appears to be, Jewish good, not Jewish not good. Hardly a surprising pattern.

  19. Matt Giwer says:

    Those with a religious slant to sell do not let the known facts of history get in the way of a moral lesson. If the facts do not match the lesson then change the facts. That is clearly the case on this messiah thing. Fortunately there is a credible source from ancient times who credits temple records as his source material who tells us a very secular version of events.

    The priest Flavius Josephus tells us the Maccabes conquered the Galileans and forced them to adopt circumcision and Judean religious customs, e.g. if circumcised pay the temple tax.

    So if nearly two centuries later a Galilean arises preaching against the rule of Galilee by the priests of Judea the only surprise is why it took so long. He preaches what is likely the Galilean father image that preceded the Judean (which Josephus tells us means the same as Jewish) of their tyrant (bipolar) god image. He is not teaching a new revelation but rather an alternate view of god prevalent in the Galilee. Never once does he name this god nor say it is the same as the Judean god.
    He does have a Passover dinner in form only but does not conduct a Seder. Why? Terms of the conquest were to adopt Judean customs but once in a closed room who is going to police what is done? Keep in mind the idea of religion had not been invented yet, there was no belief required, it was all ritual and taboo. Doing a thing could not have signified believing a thing because the concept had not been invented.

    Of course the Judean priests to not like the challenge which would lead to a loss of power and temple taxes and civil authority of their priests. Of course this preacher is not the Judean Messiah rather the Messiah of the Galileans who obviously would not raise the Judeans above all others, two centuries of that was enough for the Galileans.
    And of course he hates the Judeans and their priests as conquerors and oppressors for nearly two centuries. Almost all of his teaching life is in the Galilee. His followers are Galileans.

    This animosity never died out. The christian book, Acts of the Apostles, tells of the Judean priests attempting to exterminate the followers of the Galilean teacher. Emperor Justin the Apostate the successor to Constantine who lifted the prohibition against Jews entering Jerusalem (there was never one against entering Judea despite legend) joins with the Jews of his day referring to the Christians as Galileans.

    Perhaps if the Hasmonean dynasty had not expanded to Samaria, Idumea and the Galilee this animosity would not have arisen but that is spilt milk. If the Judeans priests had not attempted to exterminate the early Galileans they would not have expanded their horizons to every place but Judea where the power of the priests was minimal… but that is also long ago wasted milk.

    Yes the Christians often spread their cult practices by military conquest but this is what Josephus tells us the Judeans did. The only difference is in degree of success. Yes the followers of the Galilean teacher did not forget his hatred of the Judeans even if they did lose perspective as to why. They certainly did not forget their sacred book of Acts of the Apostles and the attempted extermination. I know, I know one should never use extermination when talking about what Jews do but keep in mind I am talking about real geographic Judeans in this case and then their priests only. Still this was not a distinction the Christian/Galilean peasants were going to make.

  20. Matt Giwer says:

    Those with a religious slant to sell do not let the known facts of history get in the way of a moral lesson. If the facts do not match the lesson then change the facts. That is clearly the case on this messiah thing. Fortunately there is a credible source from ancient times who credits temple records as his source material who tells us a very secular version of events.

    The priest Flavius Josephus tells us the Maccabes conquered the Galileans and forced them to adopt circumcision and Judean religious customs, e.g. if circumcised pay the temple tax.

    So if nearly two centuries later a Galilean arises preaching against the rule of Galilee by the priests of Judea the only surprise is why it took so long. He preaches what is likely the Galilean father image that preceded the Judean (which Josephus tells us means the same as Jewish) of their tyrant (bipolar) god image. He is not teaching a new revelation but rather an alternate view of god prevalent in the Galilee. Never once does he name this god nor say it is the same as the Judean god.
    He does have a Passover dinner in form only but does not conduct a Seder. Why? Terms of the conquest were to adopt Judean customs but once in a closed room who is going to police what is done? Keep in mind the idea of religion had not been invented yet, there was no belief required, it was all ritual and taboo. Doing a thing could not have signified believing a thing because the concept had not been invented.

    Of course the Judean priests to not like the challenge which would lead to a loss of power and temple taxes and civil authority of their priests. Of course this preacher is not the Judean Messiah rather the Messiah of the Galileans who obviously would not raise the Judeans above all others, two centuries of that was enough for the Galileans.
    And of course he hates the Judeans and their priests as conquerors and oppressors for nearly two centuries. Almost all of his teaching life is in the Galilee. His followers are Galileans.

    This animosity never died out. The christian book, Acts of the Apostles, tells of the Judean priests attempting to exterminate the followers of the Galilean teacher. Emperor Justin the Apostate the successor to Constantine who lifted the prohibition against Jews entering Jerusalem (there was never one against entering Judea despite legend) joins with the Jews of his day referring to the Christians as Galileans.

    Perhaps if the Hasmonean dynasty had not expanded to Samaria, Idumea and the Galilee this animosity would not have arisen but that is spilt milk. If the Judeans priests had not attempted to exterminate the early Galileans they would not have expanded their horizons to every place but Judea where the power of the priests was minimal… but that is also long ago wasted milk.

    Yes the Christians often spread their cult practices by military conquest but this is what Josephus tells us the Judeans did. The only difference is in degree of success. Yes the followers of the Galilean teacher did not forget his hatred of the Judeans even if they did lose perspective as to why. They certainly did not forget their sacred book of Acts of the Apostles and the attempted extermination. I know, I know one should never use extermination when talking about what Jews do but keep in mind I am talking about real geographic Judeans in this case and then their priests only. Still this was not a distinction the Christian/Galilean peasants were going to make.

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Tzvi Fishman, author of the Jewish Press blog Felafel on Rye and author of more than a dozen books.
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