Showing posts with label Judaism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Judaism. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Inbox: The Jewish ‘Question’

Wikipedia says, “The Jewish question, also referred to as the Jewish problem, was a wide-ranging debate in 19th- and 20th-century European society that pertained to the appropriate status and treatment of Jews.” We still hear the term batted around online today, some say as a euphemism for a prospective campaign of ethnic cleansing in the US.

An anonymous commenter notes that a post here last week may have inadvertently raised another sort of Jewish question, one that probably merits more than a quick answer in the comments of a post.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

But the Jews …

“Out of all major world religions, Christianity and Judaism are typically regarded as the most similar.”

— Nixie Adams, Interfaith Now

“In spite of their differences, Jews [and] Christians … worship the same God.”

— Jo Adetunji, The Conversation UK

Such sentiments were common in the media during the last half of the twentieth century. You can still find them today, though not anywhere near so frequently.

Monday, October 03, 2022

Anonymous Asks (217)

“Do Jews and Christians worship the same God?”

There is a sense in which we do, or at least could potentially. YHWH, who revealed himself to the Israelite patriarchs, who brought a slave nation out of Egypt with signs and wonders that astonished the nations, who gave Moses the law, who brought Israel into Canaan, who established the Davidic dynasty, who sent first Israel then Judah into exile among the nations, and who brought Judah and members of the other tribes back to Jerusalem — this is the same God Christians worship today. He has not changed.

Jewish beliefs have changed over the centuries since Christ died though, and here lies the real issue.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

The Bit in Between

It has long been noticed that of the four gospels, Matthew’s is the most distinctly Jewish.

This being the case, it may surprise you to find that the Gentile Luke actually mentions the temple in Jerusalem — the very heart of Judaism — more than Matthew, a Jew. Matthew mentions the temple explicitly in only five of 28 chapters, and the majority of these references are quite incidental.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Anonymous Asks (153)

“Do Jews go to heaven?”

Before we rush to give a pat answer to what seems an obvious question, we should stop to ask what the questioner means by “Jews”. The word is used several different ways today, and the answer very much depends on which sort of Jew the writer has in mind.

A discussion of how the term came to be used to mean so many different things to so many different people may be found here.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

On the Mount (2)

In this series of posts I’m working my way through Matthew 5-7 attempting (however feebly) to hear the words of Christ from the same cultural and religious perspective as the Lord’s original audience.

Since I’m not William MacDonald, and since this is a blog post rather than an exhaustive commentary, I make no apology for skipping lightly over some sections of the Sermon and dwelling at length on others as they may currently interest me.

All I can really promise you is that it’ll be consecutive and that it’ll be as Jewish as I can make it, and with any luck almost as Jewish as it actually is.

Ready? Let’s go.

Monday, January 23, 2017


I once took an inter-cultural understanding class at my local Reformed synagogue.

Now, I should probably explain. For those who don’t know, the Reformed Tradition in Judaism is the most “open” and modern segment of the Community. Quite a number of Reformed Jews are former Gentiles, or married to Gentiles. In fact, you could easily meet, or being going to school with, or working with a Reformed Jew, and never know what his or her religious practices were at all. They’re very well integrated into Western life.

The class was intended to further improve understanding between the most tolerant Jews and the rest of our society. The rabbi who taught the class was charming, intelligent and personable. He was also very helpful in laying out the practices and traditions of modern Judaism to a Gentile audience. He knew his stuff, and I liked him. (I’m sorry to say I hear he’s passed on now.)

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Below the Surface

A few thoughts for our Christian readers that I’ve condensed (and hopefully not distorted too badly) from R’B’s excellent series on interpreting scripture via the Jewish perspective. The original posts may be found here, here, here and here.

Orthodox Judaism seeks to understand the first five books of our Old Testament (for them, the Torah) on four levels. These principles may also be applied to the rest of the scriptures.

Having read about schools of thought like Kabbalah, which originated in Judaism, I feared rabbinical exegesis might be a bit wacky and mystical. For the most part that does not appear to be the case.

Monday, August 03, 2015

The Immature Christian

I don’t know a lot about modern Judaism, orthodox or otherwise. But I was intrigued by this opinion piece in The Jerusalem Post. Of all the things that might tick Jews off about Christians, the one that particularly sticks in the craw of writer Bat-Zion Susskind-Sacks is that we’re ... well ... immature.

Now let’s face it, almost nobody in this century or the last much likes the idea of a religion that claims a monopoly on truth. But the one completely untenable, utterly illogical position to be taken is that all religions are therefore simultaneously true, or even contain substantial truth. The Law of Non-Contradiction declares that contradictory statements cannot be true in the same sense at the same time, and contradictory statements about the nature of God are no exception. Some ideas about God, the universe and morality are simply more accurate (and therefore more truthful) than others.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Do Christians Hate Jews?

Many Jews today feel that, because of historical atrocities committed against their people by the so-called “Christian” church, all Christians are Jew-haters. Unfortunately, not only many nominal Christians but even some real believers harbor anti-Semitic attitudes, and this only confirms the suspicion in Jewish minds.

But does the New Testament allow Christians to be prejudiced in this way?

Definitely not.