Judaism – Uncovering Religion

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Judaism Uncovering Religion. Introduction. History of Judaism Origin Who was Jewish in the Old Testament? Who was Jewish in the New Testament? Was Jesus Jewish?. Why look at Judaism?. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Judaism Uncovering Religion

Opening Prayer

As part of the uncovering religion series, today we will be looking at the interesting and often unstudied religion of Judaism.

1IntroductionHistory of Judaism Origin

Who was Jewish in the Old Testament?

Who was Jewish in the New Testament?

Was Jesus Jewish?Where did Judaism start or what is the basic history of Judaism. Well, as Im sure youre all aware it is this.

This is the history of Judaism. In fact here are several people that historians and scholars consider Jewish.Abraham, Isaac and JacobMoses and JoshuaSaul and David and SamuelIn fact most of the people in the Old Testament were JewishMost of the writers of the New Testament were Jewish Of course ultimately Jesus was Jewish.

2Why look at Judaism?1 Peter 3:15 - Always be prepared to make a defence to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you

Important we know about the history and implications on Christianity

As believers in Jesus we must know something about this.

Leading apologist and Christian teacher WLC says as Christians we must follow what the Bible says in regards to this.

In 1 Peter 3:15 we read Always be prepared to make a defence to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you It then goes on to explain that this is not merely an argument or an angry judgement but an instruction for us to speak to unbelievers in love.

I personally believe that any witnessing effort done with unforgiveness present in the heart, will fail. As we will find out today, the Jewish people, Gods chosen people have been persecuted by the world and even by Christians since the beginning. I hope that this sermon will bring a greater understanding to you all about what it is the Jewish people believe and how we can reach out with respect but without compromise.

I hope also to show you how much of an important religion this is to the foundation of Christianity.

3History

As I said before, the history of the Jewish people and the Christians is in effect one in the same.The Old Testament, to put it crudely, is what Jewish people believe in. The one major difference and the reason we are not Jewish and that they are not Christian is the messiah factor.

Simply put, we believe that Jesus was and is the messiah, and the Jewish people believe that the messiah is still coming.

This is why when we read in the New Testament, any time that Paul or any of the disciples claimed that Jesus was the messiah it was seen as a blasphemy by the religious Jews. The Jews are still waiting for the Messiah.Infact, most of you know but my mother works at the only Jewish school here and the Rabbi (who is much like a priest) goes around with stickers on his car saying Hachem is coming which is Hebrew for God. To summarise, the only reason Jews dont consider themselves Christians is because they dont see Jesus as the messiah and are still waiting for God to come to earth.

4Contradiction?Haggai 2:9 - The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house, says the Lord Almighty. And in this place I will grant peace, declares the Lord Almighty

Malachi 3:1 - See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come, says the Lord AlmightyNow an interesting issue arises from the Old testament, Amongst the many many claims in the old testament that we have seen that predict the coming of Jesus (the most common being Isaiah 53) we find in Haggai one that really challenges the Jewish belief.Haggai 2:6-9 talks about the Glory of the second temple would be greater than the first temple (Solomons temple) God would fill the second temple with his glory. The prophet Malachi, who lived years later says that the Lord will come to his temple, purifying some of his people and bringing Judgement on others. (Malachi 3:1-5). He uses a Hebrew term here that always refers to God himself. The Lord himself will come.

History acknowledges that the second temple was destroyed in 70AD.

This divine visitation had to be made before this temple was destroyed. From this we can clearly see that when Jewish people declare that they are claiming that the Messiah will come they are clearly in the wrong.If the messiah is not Jesus, then throw out the Bible. Nobody but him accomplished all that needed to be done prior to 70 AD. We have two options here. Either the Messiah came 2000 years ago or the Old Testament is wrong.

But the Jewish people dont see this and continue to hold to the Old Testament and also believe the contradiction that He is still coming.

5BranchesOrthodox or Traditional

Conservative

Reformed

Lets look at what Jewish people believe today and how they carry out their religion.There are three main branches of Judaism.

These are reformed, conservative and orthodox.

Reformed being the most liberal out the 3 and orthodox being the most traditional and strict if you will.As the most traditional of the three branches the Orthodox Jews believe primarily in the Old Testament and the Oral traditions and commentaries.

They see themselves as the only true Judaism out there today and that they are the true descendants of the priests in the OT. On a lighter note the 3 branches are summarized in this easy to remember saying. The orthodox Jews are crazy (referring to the strictness and fundamentalist approach)The conservative Jews are Hazy (alluding to the lack of clarity in whether to believe in the scriptures wholeheartedly)The reform Jews and Lazy (referring to the way they approach the observance of Jewish law.)In a similar fashion you could probably think of examples of this in the Christian Churches.

There are some that are strict on rules and regulations and some that are such a social gathering you wouldnt know it was a Church.

I like to think we are strict in our convictions but true to the scriptures in love and kindness shown to one another.

6HOLY BOOKSOld Testament / Tanakh

Torah

Talmud

So which books to the Jewish people gain their religious insight from. The ultimate Holy book for the Jewish people is the Tanakh or as we know it the Old TestamentA part of the Tanakh is called the Torah which is the first 5 books of the OTThe Jewish people also believe that there were many oral traditions passed down from generation to generation and these started to be written down around 200 AD.

This have been put together and are referred to as the Talmud.

The main Talmud called the Babylonian Talmud consists of 2.5 million words of instruction and commentary as well as the oral traditions.

It was finished around 500-600 AD.

7Main differencesGod

Messiah

Atonement

Afterlife

Main DifferencesGod Judaism believes in an absolute unity of God whereas Christianity believes in Gods tri-unity. Messiah We have already touched on this but Judaism believes the Messiah will be fully human.

He will gather all the Jews and fight the wars of the Lord and bring about world peace. We believe that Jesus Fully human and Fully God came to earth 2000 years ago and that he will return at the end of the age and establish his kingdom on earth.Atonement Traditional Jews pray daily for the rebuilding of the temple and the restoration of the blood sacrifices.

They believe that repentance, good deeds, prayer and personal suffering will atone for their sins. Christians however believe the atonement can only come through the substitutionary death of the Messiah and that true saving faith includes repentance. Afterlife The primary emphasis is on the present world but they do recognise the coming of the messiah.

The Christian is more focused on the world to come. Specifically Heaven and Hell.

8Main FactorMany varying views on Jesus

As I spoke of before, the major difference however is the Jesus factor.In the modern Jewish world most Jews would not discuss Jesus in a serious way.

Infact most Jews would probably say We are Jews and not Christians, Jesus is for the Christians.The views of Jesus are mixed because of the various branches of Judaism that we spoke about before. The Orthodox Jews regard Jesus as an Apostate Jew and the archenemy of the Jewish people.

He is the founder of the destructive religion that has brought hardship and persecution on us through the generations.

Some believe that the new testament is a true record of what he said but some believe that was all Pauls doing which we will discuss later. (Wonder why they would be angry with Paul)The Jews that are less religious (from the other two branches) tend to be more positive in their assessment of Jesus. Some view him as a great Rabbi who was misrepresented in the following generations.

Some see him as a wise man and some even see him as a prophet (Like Islam).

Some even see him as a mystic or guru figure.The important difference that I highlighted before is that Jewish people do not recognise Jesus as messiah and therefore do not recognise him as God incarnate. The problem many Jews have is understanding that Jesus was one of them.

The author of this book put it as embracing him would be the most Jewish thing to do.

There is still unfortunately the stereotype.

That you cant be a Jew for Jesus. Its like a black man being for the KKK.

You cant be a table and a chair. Youre either a Jew or a Gentile.

9The Rise of Anti-Semetism

On that topic of the KKK and other racially motivated issues of our time lets watch this video on one of the most brutal and unnoticed problems today.

Anti Semitisim and the rise of it today.

[Click on the Video to make it play]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7VsJY4DsfI

10Historical Background

Now Im sure we have all seen the footage of what happened in WW2 in the concentration camps and such.

This was just another form of anti Semitism. One of the reasons that many Jews dont study and examine Jesus is the barrier put up by anti Semitism.

I think there is a huge amount of Christians that are oblivious to the history of the horrid act.We all know that one of the most anti-semetic people of the last 100 years was Adolf Hitler.

We know alot about the bad side of hitler. Im not saying there was a good side but in other cases we do take it out of context. Here is an example . Do any of us know who this man was?-He wrote a ThesesI would say he is one of the reasons we can sit here today and worship away from the Catholic Church. Martin Luther was very influential in the evangelical movement and his influence remains with us today. But I would suggest that most of you have only heard the Good side.In his 1543 tractate titled Concerning the Jews and their Lies he recommended among other things that synagogues be burned, Jewish homes destroyed and that Rabbis should be forbidden to teach and that If they continued they should be threatened with Death. The scary thing is that Hitler adopted these teachings and they clearly influenced his life and works.John Chrysostom was a powerful preacher that existed a thousand years before Luther. Among his remembered works were 7 sermons against the Jews. In these he said things like I hate the Jews he called them possessed by the devil and said that the Jewish religion is a disease.Anti-semitism is a real thing.

I have seen it amongst unbelievers in normal conversation.

But I have also seen among Christians today.

How long will it be before we stop and realise that what we are doing is totally against what Gods will is.

His Chosen people Israel still receive persecution from Christians and world.

We really need to cut that out and knowing about it is the first step.

11Palestine

PalestineIn what has never ceased to be a political issue in global politics, we can also learn and see how it has effected Judaism. The Canaanites that we read about in the Bible are not the fathers of the Palestinian people today.

There is no such thing as the Palestinian people.

It is true that there have been Arabs living in the land of Palestine for centuries.Israel was called Palestine by the Romans in the second century AD.

But at no time before 1967 did the people living there ever identify themselves as being Palestinian.

Nor did they try to achieve any sort of statehood.A respected Lebanese scholar called Professor Fouad Ajami answered the question of whether or not there ever was a Palestinian people.

He answered with a clear no. He also claimed that this would never be on the news or mass media. Former Terrorist Walid Shoebat said Why is it that on June 4th 1967 I was a Jordanian and then overnight I became a Palestinian. When the British withdrew in 1948, prior to them doing so, 9% of the land was owned by the Jews, 3% by Arab nationals, 17% was abandoned arab land and then the remaining 71% was crown land held by the Commonwealth and then turned into the State of Israel. I need to make this clear though.

The Arabic people that are claiming themselves to be Palestinain today deserve compassion.

I think that the majority of Israelis are a peace loving people as are the Palestinian people and some deal should be made to see them accommodate each.However it seems clear in the scriptures (Zechariah 12-14, Thess 5:1-3) that there will be no lasting, true peace between Israel and their Arab Neighbours until Jesus returns. He and he alone is the hope for the region.Now here I want to say that Just because the Bible says there will never be any peace between these people, doesnt mean that we should close it off and let them fight it out.

We should help, we should witness and we should preach Jesus.The Bible says sinners will go to Hell.

But we dont say Oh ok then well we shall leave it alone then.

We get out there and we talk to people.

The Jewish people and the Arabic nations around Israel need our prayers.There is an excellent sermon the Joe Schimmel has done a podcast called why anti Semitism that deals with this whole political issue and also why the Jews have been persecuted for so long a time.

Page 264

12FAQsDid Jesus Abolish the Law?Matthew5:17 Do not think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but fulfil them.Transcended the lawTrue meaning of the law

Did Jesus abolish the law?This quote from Sermon on the Mount clearly explains what Jesus said about this question.Matt 5:17 Do not think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to Abolish them but fulfil them.Jesus transcended the law Jesus never violated any part of the OT.

On many occaisions he rejected the religious traditions that had crept in or he applied the OT in the correct way.

Most times leaving the pharisees bemused and angry.

When the woman is bought to him he discloses the hypocrisy of the matter and also tells her to stop sinning. Jesus pointed to the true intent of the law He went out of his way to heal on the Sabbath, so that he reminded people of its true meaning. Jesus gave us a new understanding about moral purity The OT placed a great deal of importance on ritual purity instead of moral purity.

It was very easy for Jewish people at the time to think that eating forbidden food was as bad as being morally impure.

Jesus made this clear in Mark 7:15.Jesus opened the door to the gentiles We can be fully blessed and become Gods people without becoming Jewish.

We read in Acts when Peter had the vision of all the unclean food and that he was told to get up and kill. Jesus was not telling him this cause he wanted him to change his diet but a lesson that Peter should no longer call the Gentiles unclean instead they would now be accepted as spiritual equals.

If we put our trust in Jesus and call on his name we shall be saved. (Romans 10:11-13)

He even reaches out to the Samaritan woman.

This is unheard of and is still baffling the rabbis of our time. ___________In summary Jesus did not come to Abolish the law.

He came to bring the entire OT into its full expression and to start the messianic kingdom.

As Matt 11:28 says we do well to follow that new a better way, one in which Jesus gives us rest.For the Jewish believer, someone that is from Jewish heritage that feels that the only way to God is through the observance of the Torah must realise that Christ is the only way.

The Bible says that the Glory of the Torah has faded in light of the Glory of Jesus. It is much like a typewriter being replaced by a computer. So do Jewish people that totally believe in Jesus need to keep the Sabbath and other laws.

No, not as a means for salvation.

They can if they feel led to though.

Maybe to preserve culture or attract traditional Jews, but not to feel better than Gentiles or try and win Gods favour.

All believers in Christ are of the same body. The body that is united in Christ.

13FAQsDid God make a special way for the Jews to be saved?

To all the Christian people out there and also Jewish people.

Is there a special way that God has set up that the Jewish people will be saved.

So many Jewish people love God with all of their heart, they keep the strict law and do everything possible.

But they fail to believe in Jesus.

14FAQsWe are not God

Pluralism is contradictory to the Bible

Evidence from ActsI think its important here to just state that each Jew and gentile will have to stand before God on their own and we cannot claim to know the fate of every human being.But we can be sure of this. God did not make a special covenant with the Jewish people that allows them to be saved without Jesus. The scriptures make this clear.Some say that faith in God that is so passionate will be rewarded in salvation.

These people would then have to say that all devout Muslims are going to be saved and in a way are saying that Jesus isnt the only way which clearly contradicts the Bible. __________More evidence is seen in the book of Acts, The Jewish apostles were sharing their message with other Jewish people and repeatedly their message was rejected. Did they then go and say well thats ok , you still have your own way to God?

No Peter states clearly to the Sanhedrin that salvation is found through no one else. _______________All of us, Jew and gentile alike, fall infinitely short of His Holy Standards and without His mercy displayed in the cross, there is no hope for any of us, Jew or Gentile.

15A hope for the Jews

What do we say then of the Jewish person that has died without hearing the Gospel and especially those who had to deal with an anti Semitic Church. _________________As I said before their fate is in the hands of God. Just as those gentiles who have died and have not heard the Gospel.

But we should not hold out the hope that somehow they were still under the old covenant and were good enough to be accepted by God. ________________Which brings me to the end of the Sermon.

Id like to close with a few final words regarding how important the Jewish people are.

Israels salvation matters dearly to the Lord.

To the extent that as Christians we must pray and intercede for them.

We must also better understand the Jewish roots of their faith and become greater witnesses to them.

I personally long to see the Good news being preached to the lost sheep of Israel and to see the day that Paul talked about when all of Israel will be saved.

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