I used to be a Christian and I live in an area that is mainly Christian. I am now trying to live as a Buddhist. I would like information that proves that Jesus was NOT the Christ that the Christians claim. For instance, I do not see the end of war, the lion lying down with the lamb, or a changed world. Would you recommend a book or pamphlet that proves that Jesus is not the person who the Christians claim him to be.
The reason why Judaism does not accept the Christian messiah is simple and clear: There is no relationship between what the Jewish Scriptures teach about the messiah and what the Church teaches about Jesus of Nazareth.
Moreover, the person whom Christians worship, revering him as a divine being, is mentioned nowhere in the Jewish Scriptures. Quite the contrary, the Torah explicitly states that
“God is not a man that He should lie, nor a mortal that He should change His mind.”
To be sure, the prophets explicitly state that God is one and no other being shares that glory with Him:
“You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me no god was formed, nor will there be one after Me. I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no Savior.”
“I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides Me there is no God… I will strengthen you…I order that they know from the shining of the sun and from the west that there is no one besides Me; I am the Lord and there is no other!”
(See Volume 1 pages 132-135 for additional passages)
What does Scripture say about the messiah and the age he will usher into the world? I would encourage you to read the 37th chapter of the Book of Ezekiel. In this famed text, the prophet clearly teaches that we can recognize the coming of the messiah when all of the following take place:
- the resurrection of the dead
- the building of the final Temple that will stand forever in Jerusalem
- the universal knowledge of God and obedience to His Torah is attained
- the return of the lost tribes (the Northern Kingdom of Israel whom Assyria carried off)
- as well as the complete restoration of the Jewish people to their land (see Volume 1 pages 230-233).
When we conclude that not a single one of these epic events ever occurred, we can be sure that although many thousands of individuals have claimed to be the messiah throughout history, Jesus included, none of them fulfill a single aforementioned prophetic requirement.
Moreover, when we ponder whether Jesus is the messiah, it is obvious that the very opposite events occurred immediately after the Christian movement began. During the first century CE, the Romans slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Jews, Secondly, hundreds of thousands more were forced into exile or enslaved by the Romans, and thirdly, the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed. Consequently, the knowledge of Torah and its observance decreased as the nation of Israel was dispersed throughout the Roman Empire.
Clearly, there is no correlation between what the Tanach prophesied about the Messianic Age and what the Messianic movement teaches about the Christian messiah, Jesus.
Nonetheless, missionaries often insist that Jesus will somehow accomplish these things in a second coming. While this notion conveniently explains away any failed messiahship, it is completely and utterly antithetical to the Bible.
James, I also suggest that you read Ezekiel 37 for another reason. This eye-opening chapter will give you the opportunity to learn about the real messiah, for whose coming the Jewish people all yearn.
As you consider the flaws of the Christian claim, remember that the nation of Israel stood at the foot of Mount Sinai and heard the voice of God and declared His testimonies to the world. It is the nation of Israel that bears the mark of the covenant and attests to the world that there is one God and no other. His name is not Buddha. It is the Lord God of Israel, your Creator.
Rabbi Tovia Singer