A Torah View of
the Founder of Christianity
A look at Yeshu haNotzri, the man, (the one whom the Christians believe to be thier messiah)
in his own words and actions.
A review of Yeshu, taken from the Christian Bible
and viewed in light of the true holy Word of G-d as He, Himself, blessed be He, revealed in His Torah.
Originally published in Panu Derekh #16-17
Copyright © 1997 by Ariel Bar Tzadok. All rights reserved.
This article is a part of a larger work entitled, "The Gentile and the Torah - The Great Untold Story." This work was written to explain in detail the seven universal laws of spirituality (sheva mitzvot d'benei Noah). Since the beginning of Christendom, conversion of the Jews has always been a top priority for Christians. They have been taught all their lives how Jews and Judaism are wrong and that we are "blind" to seeing the so-called truth of their religion. For this great offense on our parts, the Church teaches that Jews and especially Rabbis will burn in hell for eternity. These nonsensical beliefs must come to an end.
For centuries holy Jewish Sages have stood up against the attacks of Christian missionaries and suffered the consequences for each time proving the Church wrong in disputation after disputation. Today, Christian missionaries take advantage of the loss of Torah identity among the majority of Jews and have succeeded in converting over the last 20 years possibly more Jews than they have over the past 20 centuries. Needless to say, this is quite alarming!
Time is short and I believe it is necessary to follow in the footsteps of our holy Sages and go on the offense against the false teachings of Christianity. There are millions of sincere G-d loving, G-d fearing Christians in the world today who pray daily on behalf of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Indeed, in matters of morality and politics we are very similar. It is to these Christians that I address these words. They ask ever so sincerely, why we Jews don't see the so-called truth of their faith. Maybe this work will help explain to them things that we see about their Yeshu that they might be blind to.
In no way do I wish this work to offend anybody. Unfortunately, I know that it will.
The historical Yeshu was not a good person and in no way could have been a messiah. I do not wish only to make a proclamation. I will endeavor to prove it. I will use the Christian Bible as a source, for although we Jews do not accept its accuracy or legitimacy, our Christian neighbors do accept it. May they see Yeshu with our eyes and instead on trying to convert Jews to Christianity, maybe they will assist us in bringing wayward Jews, who have converted back to Torah and mitzvot. This is my deepest wish.
I offer this work in a spirit of friendship and brotherhood. May the holy light of G-d's true word, the Torah shine in the minds and hearts of us all.
A Torah View of the Founder of Christianity
What is a Messiah supposed to be like? What should his characteristics be? How are we to recognize a Messiah? Shouldn't he show the greatest of love, caring and forgiveness to fallen souls? Is the Messiah to be a racist? An anti Semite? A blasphemer? Can the Messiah possibly be a man of violence and a terrorist?
According to the Jewish Bible and summarized in all later Jewish holy literature, the character of the Messiah is impeccable. He is to be a man who fulfills the commandments of Torah completely. He is to restore Torah observance to Israel. Let us review Yeshu's own words as to how he interacted with the Divinely ordained Rabbinic authorities of his day.
In Matt. 23:2-3, Yeshu is quoted as saying, "The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses' seat; therefore all that they tell you do and observe."
Here we see that Yeshu acknowledges the authority of the Sages. Remember Deut.17:9-12 states: "You shall do according to the word that they will tell you...and you shall be careful to do according to everything they will teach you. According to the teaching that they will teach you and according to the judgment that they will say to you, shall you do, you shall not deviate from the word that they will tell you, right or left. And the man that will act with willfulness, not listening...to the judge, that man shall die, and you shall destroy the evil from among Israel."
Yeshu, himself acknowledges that the Biblical authority rests in the hands of the Rabbinic Sages, who in his day were known as the Pharisees. Now the question must be asked: did he himself listen to his own words. In other words, after acknowledging the authority of the Rabbis, did Yeshu himself listen to and follow their edicts. Remember what Deut. 17 say should happen to the one who does not follow the words of the Rabbinic judges. Let us turn now to the words and actions of Yeshu to see if he fulfilled the words of Torah that he himself acknowledged.
Yeshu and the Sabbath
In Matt. 12:1-7, we have recorded an episode relating to Yeshu's observance of the holy Sabbath. Now G-d has commanded in His Torah (Ex. 31:15), "whoever does work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death." We remember the episode of the man who went out and picked up sticks on the Sabbath and that he was put to death (ref. Num. 15:32-36). What then is Yeshu's relationship with regards to the Sabbath, to the Word of G-d and the authority of the Divinely ordained Rabbinic judges. Let us review Matt. 12:1-7.
"At that time Yeshu went on the Sabbath through the grain fields and his disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and ate. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, "Behold, your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath." But he said to them, "have you not read what David did . . . how he entered the house of G-d, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat . . . or have you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath, and are innocent? But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here. But if you had known what this means, I desire compassion and not sacrifice you would not have condemned the innocent."
This section is so replete with errors that it broadly broadcasts Yeshu's lack of Torah education and knowledge of G-d's laws. To begin with, it is surprising to note that Yeshu's disciples were not learned enough to know that the picking of grain on the Sabbath was a violation of Biblical law, which under certain circumstances would lead to the death penalty. Yeshu should have taught them better, but judging from his response to the Pharisees, it might be understood that Yeshu, himself, did not know the law.
When the Pharisees noticed Yeshu's disciples violating the Sabbath, they fulfilled their Biblical obligation of admonishment, as it is written, "You shall reprove your fellow and do not bear sin because of him" (Lev. 19:17). Instead of heeding the Rabbinic authorities and correcting their ways, like Yeshu said should be done (Matt. 23:3 "therefore all that they tell you do and observe") he instead attempts to justify the actions of his disciples and to challenge the authority of the Rabbis.
Yeshu makes reference to the Biblical story of David (1Sam. 21:4-6), saying how when he (David) was hungry the priests gave him and his men to eat of consecrated bread. Therefore, if it is OK for the law to be broken for David, then surely it is OK for the law to be broken for Yeshu's disciples. This response of Yeshu makes no sense in light of Jewish law. You see, the priests did not violate the law in giving the bread to David and his men. Anyone with knowledge of Hebrew can research this law and see for yourselves that what the priests did was entirely allowable. Therefore, when Yeshu declared, "they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat", he was dead wrong in his analogy.
Yeshu then attempts another analogy to justify their sinful behavior. He references the priests in the temple who "break the Sabbath, and are innocent." One with the least knowledge of Torah law knows that temple sacrifice was commanded by G-d to be performed on the Sabbath (Num. 28:9-10). It is not a violation of the Sabbath, it is the fulfillment of Sabbath law. Both of the rationalizations that Yeshu uses to justify his violation of the Torah law, instead of justifying his position, further condemns his actions. But the worst is yet to come.
Yeshu quotes the prophet Hoshea 6:6, "I desire compassion and not sacrifice." Is this supposed to imply that G-d simply wants the Jewish people to be compassionate and that the observance of Jewish law is a sacrifice and thus not important? Is it not written "My Sabbaths you must observe for it is a sign between Me and you for your generations" (Ex. 31:13) and "Between Me and the children of Israel it is a sign forever" (Ex. 31:16). Does something that is "forever" and "for your generations" come to an end? Did G-d, Himself not say, "whoever does work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death." (Ex. 31:15)?
Instead of accepting the admonishment of the Rabbinic Sages, which we have no reason to doubt was offered in good faith, Yeshu contradicts himself, and denies the authority and admonition of the Rabbis. By his own actions and words, Yeshu not only violated the Sabbath, but he also refused to accept the authority of the Rabbinic judge, which he, himself says must be listened to.
Yeshu violated the Sabbath and so did his disciples. Yeshu displayed an appalling lack of knowledge of the Torah and acted with contempt towards the Rabbis whose job it was to admonish him, a job which Yeshu, himself, acknowledges. And so, I ask you, are these the deeds of a messiah?
Yeshu and the Law
There are yet other episodes to be covered that conclusively show Yeshu violating G-d's command outlined in Deut. 17:11, "you shall not deviate from the word that they will tell you, right or left."
In one episode, recorded in Mark 7:1-8, we not only have another clear record of Yeshu violating G-d's word as spoken in Deut. 17:11, we also are given a glimpse into a much uglier side of Yeshu's personality.
"And the Pharisees and some of the scribes gathered around him when they had come from Jerusalem, and had seen that some of his disciples were eating their bread with impure hands, that is, unwashed. For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they carefully wash their hands, thus observing the traditions of the elders; and when they come from the market place they do not eat unless they cleanse themselves, and there are many other things which they have received in order to observe, such as the washing of cups and pitchers and copper pots. And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, "Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?" And he said to them, "Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, "This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me, but in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men."(Is. 29:13). "Neglecting the commandment of G-d, you hold to the tradition of men."
This scene opens with an innocent visit by the Pharisees to the students of Yeshu. Nowhere is there implied any form of maliciousness on behalf of the Pharisee visitors. When, however, the Pharisees again see Yeshu's disciples violating a principle of the Rabbis, these Pharisees ask, "isn't it written, "According to the teaching that they will teach you and according to the judgment that they will say to you, shall you do, you shall not deviate from the word that they will tell you, right or left." (Deut 17).
In light of this, the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, "Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?" (Mark 7)
Here Yeshu is given another excellent opportunity to appropriately respond to the Rabbis by accepting admonishment and by correcting his ways and the ways of his disciples. Yet, instead of doing what Torah law demands, Yeshu, again, goes on the offensive against G-d's holy servants.
Yeshu strikes out against the innocent Rabbis calling them hypocrites. But why? What hypocrisy did the Pharisees manifest? The story portrayed here in the Gospel of Mark does not reveal any trace of hypocrisy on behalf of the Rabbis. Yeshu was asked a simple question. He responded with an attack.
Yeshu continues to quote a verse from the prophet Isaiah to validate his position condemning the Rabbis. Yet, when the verse in Isaiah is looked at within its proper context, it can be clearly seen that the verse has nothing to do with what Yeshu is talking about. In fact, Yeshu does not even quote the verse correctly.
In the version of this episode in Matt. 15:1-9, Yeshu's response to the question of hand washing is answered by changing the subject. Here, Yeshu brings up the topics of vows to G-d. He condemns the law which states that devotion to G-d comes before devotion to one's parents. This is a queer thing for Yeshu to say when he himself has previous said "He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me." (Matt. 10:37).
It is true, that which is devoted to G-d becomes the property of the temple. But Yeshu here insinuates that adult children are intentionally dedicating their financial goods to the temple just so as to deprive their elderly parents of support. From where did Yeshu derive this idea? This, indeed, would be a cruel thing for anybody to do. Granted, it is a lawful thing to do, but why would anyone give away to the temple something that could and would stay in the family? Yeshu's argument simply does not make any economic sense. In all of Jewish literature relating to the topic of vows and the temple, we do not find even one instance or reference to anything similar to what Yeshu is referring. And besides, what does all this have to do with the washing of hands? That was the original topic. Instead of dealing with the issue, Yeshu avoided it.
In the version in Mark, Yeshu concludes his attack by saying, "Neglecting the commandment of G-d, you hold to the tradition of men", yet, which commandments of G-d, the Pharisees are accused of neglecting is not mentioned.
This story reveals nothing about hypocrisy on behalf of the Pharisaic Rabbis, but this story is very revelatory exposing Yeshu's quick temper, accusatory nature, lack of proper scriptural knowledge, and worst of all, his blatant disregard for the Biblical authority of the Pharisee Rabbis.
Again, I ask you: are these the deeds of a messiah?
Yeshu and the Rabbis
One message comes through loud and clear throughout the four gospels: Yeshu did not get along at all with the Pharisaic Rabbinic leadership of his day. The Christian will, of course, fault the Rabbis for being religious bigots and hypocrites. Yet, exact details of just what hypocrisy individual Rabbis have done is never mentioned. Also, since when is an entire group to be condemned for the mistakes of only a few? Granted, there must have been some Rabbis who were not the epitome of righteousness and holiness. We are, after all, only human. But why should Yeshu, a prospective messiah in the eyes of his disciples, seek to condemn the entire Rabbinate? The Rabbinate, was created by G-d. Deut. 17 clearly documents this.
Again, the Christian will answer by referring to the hypocrisy of the Rabbis. Yet, the Christian is simply repeating Yeshu's unfounded accusations. What hypocrisy are we talking about? Yeshu only makes general accusations against an entire group of people (ref. Matt. 6:2-5, 23:4-7). We have a words to describe this type of behavior: stereotype prejudice. More than this, with his condemnations and foul, violent language, Yeshu violates a number of Biblical commandments.
When asked (Matt. 22:36-40) what is the greatest of commandments, Yeshu responds that the love of G-d and the love of neighbor are the two most important. "On these two commandments depend the whole Law." (v. 40). In light of Yeshu's stereotypical prejudice against the Pharisaic Rabbis, let us review his own words as to how he fulfills the commandment to "love your neighbor as yourself" (Lev. 19:18, Matt. 22:39). With regards to the Rabbis, who are his neighbors, Yeshu says in Matt. 23:23-33:
"Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites. You blind guides . . .they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. . . You blind Pharisee . . .For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanliness. Even so you too outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. . . . You serpents, you brood of vipers."
Hypocrites? Blind Guides? Full of robbery and self indulgence? Blind? Whitewashed tombs? Full of dead men's bones? Full of hypocrisy? Serpents? Brood of vipers?
Are these the words of a dissenting Jew or are they the words of a Nazi anti Semite? If I didn't know any better, I would swear these words belonged to the later.
Whatever happened to "According to the teaching that they will teach you and according to the judgment that they will say to you, shall you do, you shall not deviate from the word that they will tell you, right or left." (Deut. 17)?
Whatever happened to "love your neighbor as yourself" (Lev. 19:18, Matt. 22:39)?
Yeshu's vicious attack against the Pharisees violates both of these laws as well as these other Biblical laws.
1. "You shall not go up and down as a talebearer among your people."
2. "You shall not hate your brother in your heart."
3. "You shall not bear a grudge against the children of your people." Lev. 19:17-18
Christian apologists today claim that Yeshu wasn't being stereotypically prejudiced here, rather "he was loving
the sinner, while at the same time hating their sin." I am sorry, I cannot accept such a shallow rationalization. Yeshu is clearly making a personal attack on a group of fellow Jews, in gross violation of the Torah
commandments listed above. He takes a stand very clearly against the authorities that G-d Himself has
ordained, and to which Yeshu, himself, has acknowledged as authorities.
Again, I ask you, are these the deeds of a messiah?
Yeshu and the Gentiles
It is quite clear that Yeshu did not approve of the Rabbinic authorities of his day. Yet, the Christian Bible makes it just as clear that there was another group of people that Yeshu disliked even more than the Rabbis.
Matt.12:18 states that Yeshu fulfills the "prophecy" of Isaiah which says, "he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles." Verse 21 continues, "and in his name the Gentiles will hope." It is clear that the Christian Bible tries to present Yeshu as the salvation of the Gentiles. Yet, it appears that Yeshu, himself, had his own ideas regarding Gentiles. Matt. 15:22-27 records the following episode:
"And behold, a Canaanite woman came out from that region, and began to cry out, saying, "Have mercy on me . . . but he did not answer her a word . . . she came and began to bow down before him saying, "lord help me". And he answered and said, "it is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs."
Do you get it? This poor needy woman came to a man she believed would help her and he called her a dog! Personally, I have always been very disturbed by this comment of Yeshu. I had always wondered how the Christian clergy could ever justify such disgusting racism. What I found out disgusted me even more.
I consulted the "New Bible Commentary" (Inter-Varsity Press, Downers Grove, IL.) which I was told by many fundamentalist Christians is an authoritative work in their eyes. With regards to this verse, the commentary (pg. 925) states that Yeshu, "was confronting her with the sort of language a Gentile could expect to hear from a Jew!"
Now I understood. The reason why the racism of Yeshu is not mentioned by Christian clergy is because the commentators on his words are themselves racists!
What an anti Semitic thing to say! Calling a Gentile a dog was the kind of language that an average Jew would use? What an anti Semitic racist lie!
One simply need consult the numerous Rabbinic literature from this time period to see just how atrocious this slanderous blood libel truly is! I certainly pray that not all Christian Bible commentaries teach this way.
It certainly is not the Jewish way to speak so derogatorily about Gentiles. In fact such type of talk is forbidden by Jewish law. But this small matter of Jewish law did not seem to upset Yeshu. Nor is this one instance the only time when Yeshu and his disciples speak in racist derogatory fashion about Gentiles.
"And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do" (Matt.6:7)
Is this not a derogatory thing to say? Do all Gentiles use "meaningless repetition" when they pray? How about you, my Gentile reader? If Yeshu wanted to condemn meaningless repetition in prayer, why didn't he simply say so? Why did he have to say, "as the Gentiles do"? Truly these are racist words.
"Do not be anxious then, saying, 'what shall we eat?' or 'what shall we drink?' or 'with what shall we cloth ourselves?' For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek." (Matt. 6:32)
Yeshu is speaking about faith. He wishes to encourage his listeners to have faith in G-d with regards to their daily needs. That is all well and good. Yet, when referring to those who have no faith, Yeshu refers specifically to the Gentiles. It is they who eagerly seek these things. And no Jew seeks or worries about their food, drink and clothing? Only Gentiles have this concern? Again, this is a derogatory slap in the face to all Gentiles. While I am sure there are Gentiles who do not have sufficient faith in G-d, I am just as sure that there are Jews who lack this faith, as well. Why could not Yeshu have said, 'for all these things, those lacking in faith seek'? No, he had to make a dig at the Gentiles, in direct violation of Jewish law. Truly these are racist words.
In Matt. 18:17, Yeshu states that those who do not accept his message should be treated like a Gentile. His intent is that the person would be outcast. But this is Yeshu's personal understanding of how to treat Gentiles. It most certainly does not agree with Jewish law or practice.
It appears that Yeshu's disciples had well learned this lesson of racism from him. His top disciple Peter shares his teacher's racist views. In 1 Peter 4:3, he is recorded to have said, "Let the time that is past suffice for doing what the Gentile likes to do, living in licentiousness, passions, drunkenness, revels, carousing, and lawless idolatry."
In our many sins, there are those Jews, even in Yeshu's day, who committed these sins. Why then are the Gentiles singled out for condemnation? Truly these are racist words, spoken by a racist and taught by a racist.
Seeing Yeshu's poor attitude towards Gentiles, I wonder if the Gentile Christian of today realizes that if he/she were alive in Yeshu's time, Yeshu would have called him a dog, or wouldn't have even spoken to him at all.
Again, I ask you, are these the deeds of a messiah (especially the messiah of the Gentiles)?
Yeshu and Violence
The Christian Bible records Yeshu teaching "do not resist him who is evil . . . love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (Matt. 5:39,44)
Based upon these words in Yeshu's famous Sermon on the Mount, Christianity portrays Yeshu as being quite a pacifist, a man who abhorred violence. This portrayal however does not match the facts of Yeshu's life that are outlined in the Gospels.
Unnoticed by most Christians and rationalized away by others are Yeshu's proclamations and acts of violence.
"Do not think that I came to bring peace to the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." (Matt. 10:34, Luke 12:51)
I have heard Christian apologists attempt to rationalize these threatening words of violence as being "symbolic", meaning that Yeshu was simply speaking about the disturbance his words would cause, and that they (i.e., his words) would be "like a sword" taking away peace from those who would refuse his message.
This type of rationalization does not stand up as being factual in light of Yeshu's own actions. Yeshu, instead of "turning the other cheek" and "forgiving his enemies and praying for them", decides to attack them physically in an act which can only be considered an organized act of religious terrorism.
Matt. 21:12-13 relates, "And Yeshu entered into the Temple and cast out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and seats of those who were selling doves. And he said to them, "it is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a robbers' den."
This story is also related in John 2:14-16. Here it is recorded that it is the Passover, a time when Jews from all over the world would come to Jerusalem to offer the Pascal sacrifice as ordained by Biblical law (Deut. 14:22,23).
Yeshu decides to disrupt the Passover holiday. He "made a scourge of cords and drove them all out" (John 2:15). And how is this act of violent social upheaval justified? John 2:17 states, "His disciples remembered that it is written, "zeal for your house will consume me".
In other words, Yeshu was so zealous for the honor of the temple that the mere presence of these cheating moneychangers and animal salesmen was an abomination. The temple is to be a house of prayer and nothing more.
These are all very nice sentiments, but they again portray Yeshu's lack of knowledge of scripture and lack of respect for the temple and its authority.
In Deut. 14:22-23, G-d had ordained the law that every male Jew should come to Jerusalem at Passover time to offer "the increase of your seed" and "the tithe of your corn, wine and oil, and the first of your herd and flock."
In other words, the temple, aside from being simply a house of prayer was a house of sacrifice. This is clearly portrayed in the Bible.
Deut. 14:24-26 continues to give the ordinance for the one who does not live near Jerusalem at sacrifice time. How was he to carry all of his fruits and firstborns the long distances to Jerusalem? In Yeshu's day, there were Jews visiting the temple from as far away as Rome and Babylon. Torah law had foreseen their long distance trip and ordained:
"And if the way is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry itThen you shall turn it into money, bind up the money in your hand, and go to the place the L-rd, your G-d chooses. And spend the money on whatever you desire: oxen, sheep, wine, strong drinkand you shall eat there before the L-rd, your G-d and rejoice." (Deut. 14:24-26)
Here G-d has ordained that money be brought to his temple and there exchanged for the necessities of eating before the L-rd. Josephus, the Jewish historian, living at the time of the destruction of the temple writes that on an average Passover, there were over 250,000 sacrifices offered. Each sacrifice was for a group of ten, therefore, there must have been, at least, 2 1/2 million people in Jerusalem for an average Passover.
Being that the majority of these people were visitors, where were they supposed to purchase their offerings? Being that they came into Israel with foreign currency, where could they go to exchange it into local currency? Remember that there were no banks then.
In order to fulfill the Divine commandments to exchange the monies brought from afar, the temple itself, in accordance to Biblical law, not in violation of it, provided for the pilgrims the means to fulfill the Bible's commandments. In other words, the moneychangers and the sellers of doves where themselves fulfilling an important Biblical commandment.
And along came Yeshu.
Yeshu could not have acted alone in disturbing the entire system of the temple. He must have had the help of his disciples, who were more than just the twelve. Yeshu decides to take matters into his own hands, and again, shows his ignorance of scripture by misquoting the verse from Isaiah.
"Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar. For My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations." (Is. 56:6)
This is what Isaiah really said. Of course, G-d wants His sacrifices. After all, He did ordain them. And as for Yeshu's quote about the temple being a house of prayer? Here we see him misquoting this verse.
The words in Isaiah are speaking about messianic times. That is why Isaiah uses the words, "For My house will be a house of prayer". However, the emphasis is not that the temple is for prayer, but rather that in messianic days, even the Gentiles will acknowledge G-d's house in Jerusalem and come to pray there. Nowhere is Isaiah making a statement against animal sacrifice as Yeshu implies. On the contrary, Isaiah mentions sacrifice outright. Some-thing that Yeshu "forgot" to mention.
Yeshu's act again portrays his callousness to the Rabbinic authorities and more so, his blatant disregard for the general community at large who came to Jerusalem to observe the Passover and rejoice.
There is no way that a man running around beating people with ropes can be considered anything other than a violent disturbed personality. The disruption of the Passover holiday cannot be considered as anything other than an act of terrorism.
Whatever happened to "do not resist him who is evil . . . love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (Matt. 5:39,44)?
If, in Yeshu's eyes what was happening in the temple was wrong, then following his own advise, he should have prayed to G-d for change rather than act like a violent madman.
With regards to his zeal for the temple, zeal has to be properly placed in order for it to be real. Breaking up the Divinely ordained order of providing for the visiting pilgrims is certainly not a proper expression of zeal for the temple. Rather, it is the ultimate expression of insult to the temple.
Are these the deeds of a messiah?
With regards to Yeshu's warning about bringing the sword to the earth, at least one of his disciples took his words quite literally. John 18:2-11 portrays the events of Yeshu's arrest. Verse 10 in most revealing: "Simon Peter therefore having a sword, drew it, and struck the high priest's slave, and cut off his right ear."
Peter, Yeshu's right hand man, took his teachers words quite literally. By trade, Peter was a fisherman, not a soldier, yet he was carrying a sword. Not only did he have a sword; he brandished it rather quickly, and seemed to be quite the expert in using it, being that he was able to execute such a precise blow as chopping off an ear before being stopped.
This behavior of Peter should not surprise any knowledgeable Christian. Yeshu was known to have surrounded himself with violent men. Two of his top twelve disciples were known terrorists. There was Simon the Zealot (Matt. 10:4, the term for Zealot in Hebrew is "kenai", this is sometimes mistranslated as "cananaean"). Then there was the infamous Judas Iscariot.
What most do not know is that the name "Iscariot" was the Greek form of the Aramaic word "sicarii". The word sicarii means a short sword or dagger. The term sicarii was not a name, but a title used to describe the worst groups of zealots living during this time. These sicarii zealots were also known as the "assassins." It was they who instigated the war with Rome and it was they who eventually caused the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem. In light of Yeshu's statements and acts of violence, I find it no wonder that among his top disciples were members of this most wicked group of misguided "zealots".
One other point relating to the topic of violence I have found to be of interest. Matt. 12:47-50 relates an episode where Yeshu's own mother comes to him and asks to see him.
"And someone said to him, "Behold your mother and your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to you." But he answered the one who was telling him and said, "Who is my mother and who are my brothers?" And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, "Behold my brother and my bothers! For whoever shall do the will of my Father who is in Heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother."
Rather than fulfill the Biblical edict to honor one's parents, Yeshu chooses to ignore his own mother. Not only is this type of response inappropriate and disrespectful, it is all too familiar today to those who have lost loved ones to the growing number of religious cults in the world.
Cults today teach members to cut off all outside connections with loved ones, who because they are not members of the cult are no longer to be considered as family. This detestable twisting of the mind seems not to be anything new. Even Yeshu thought this way with regards to his own family. While this is not physical violence, it most certainly is emotional abuse.
Again, I ask you are these the deeds of a messiah?
Yeshu and Prophecy
Christianity has portrayed Yeshu as being a great prophet, even greater than Moses. Yet, prophecy is an exact science. Just because someone offers a prophecy does not make that one a prophet. There are rules to prophesy that are outlined in the Bible. This was necessary, for just as there is true prophecy, there also exist false prophecy. With regards to telling the difference between the true and false prophecy, it is written in Deut. 18:21-22:
"When you say in your heart, "How can we know the word that G-d has not spoken?' If the prophet will speak in the Name of G-d and that thing will not occur and not come about - that is the word that G-d has not spoken; with willfulness has the prophet spoken it, you should not fear him."
Commenting on this in his famous Christian Biblical commentary, noted theologian Finis Jennings Dakes writes:
"All prophecy is not of G-d, nor by the name and inspiration of G-d. Prophecy that is supposed to be in His name may or may not be of Him. A mere claim is no proof.
If the prophecy comes to pass it is generally accepted as from G-d (Deut. 18:22). However, this test is not absolute, for in 13:1-3 G-d even states that He may allow a sign or wonder (spoken by a false prophet) to come to pass to as to prove His people and see if they will act contrary to His own Word.
Therefore, the real test is not only to see whether a prophecy comes to pass or not, but also to see if it is in harmony with the Word of G-d.
This is the final and complete test. Anything contrary to the Word is false, for G-d will never contradict Himself."
Dake's Bible, commentary to Deut. 18:15 (pg. 218)
If Christianity wishes to claim that Yeshu is a prophet, then by definition what he prophesied must come true. Again, let us turn to Yeshu's own words of prophecy and see if they have been fulfilled or not.
Matt. 24:1-2 records Yeshu's prophecy regarding the future destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.
"And Yeshu came out of the temple and was going away when his disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to him. And he answered and said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here shall be left upon another, which will not be torn down." Matt. 24:1-2
According to the Dakes commentary on Matthew (24:1, letter C) the fulfillment of the prophecy regarding the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem is crucial for Christianity. According to Dakes the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed specifically "to take away all possibility of continuing Judaism, to prove conclusively that the law was abolished, the Jewish economy was brought to an end."
For Christian theology, it is desperately necessary that Yeshu's prophecy of a completely destroyed temple be fulfilled. For without the complete destruction of the temple where "not one stone shall be left upon another, which will not be torn down" would mean that Judaism would survive as the bonafide and legitimate path for the Jew to approach G-d and receive salvation. This would contradict everything that Christianity stands for.
So, was Yeshu's prophecy fulfilled? Was the temple destroyed to such an extent that "not one stone shall be left upon another, which shall not be torn down?" Was "the law (i.e., the holy Torah) abolished", and "the Jewish economy brought to an end." Rather than argue this point from a theological point of view, let us simply look at the physical evidence.
The Western Wall of the holy temple known to many as the Wailing Wall or Kotel is the last standing edifice of Herod's temple. According to Jewish prophetic tradition recorded in the Talmud, G-d ordained that the Western Wall survive the destruction of Jerusalem to show that G-d is still with the Jewish people throughout our exile. No one has ever had the arrogance or gall to deny that the Western Wall is truly a remnant of Herod's temple.
It is this 2,000 year old monument, this standing Western Wall of the ancient temple that bears witness that Yeshu's prophecy regarding the destruction of temple did not come true. Yeshu is recorded as saying, "Not one stone shall be left upon another, which will not be torn down." The Western Wall of the temple still stands. It has always stood. Many stones, one on top of the other, today remain the way they stood at the time that Yeshu himself laid eyes upon them. His prophecy of "not one stone shall be left upon another, which will not be torn down" was, therefore, not fulfilled!
Many a Christian apologist have tried to explain away Yeshu's prophecy by claiming that the Kotel is only the outer wall of the temple and not part of the temple itself. Therefore, according to these apologists the Kotel has nothing to do with Yeshu's prophecy. However, when referencing this prophecy in Mark (13:1-2) it is clear that Yeshu's reference is to the temple, it's stones and it's buildings. According to the version of this prophecy in Luke 19:41-44, Yeshu's prophecy applies to the entire city of Jerusalem. It is thus clear from the gospels that Yeshu's prophecy does indeed include the Kotel. The conclusions, therefore, are obvious.
In addition, it must be remembered that at the time when Yeshu was supposed to have said these words there were already numerous political problems between the Jewish natives of the Holy Land and their Roman conquerors. Talk about the inevitable destruction of the Temple was widespread. For Yeshu to mention it was a common thing. What is uncommon was his prophecy of the stones, which obviously did not come true.
Does this failure of the fulfillment of prophecy make Yeshu a false prophet? Let us review what the Bible teaches about the false prophet. In Deut. 18:22 it is written,
"When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him."
Yeshu predicted an event for the future that clearly was not fulfilled. It is clear from Deuteronomy that he is a presumptuous (false) prophet.
Yeshu, the Legend
Yeshu, what a great worker of wonders and miracles. This is what every Christian believes deep down in their hearts. Yet, in light of what we have learned above about Yeshu's true character it is worthwhile asking the question: how many of these wonders attributed to him are real? Many modern Christian scholars have come to question the authenticity of Yeshu's so-called wonders and miracles.
Let me drive home this point a little further. Randel Helms opens his book "Gospel Fictions" (Prometheus Books, Amherst NY, 1988, pgs. 9-10) with these words:
"In the first century of the Common Era, there appeared at the eastern end of the Mediterranean a remarkable religious leader who taught the worship of one G-d and declared that religion meant not the sacrifice of beasts but the practice of charity and piety and the shunning of hatred and enmity. He was said to have worked miracles of goodness, casting out demons, healing the sick, raising the dead. His exemplary life led some of his followers to claim he was a Son of G-d though he called himself the son of man. Accused of sedition against Rome, he was arrested. After his death, his disciples claimed he had risen from the dead, appeared to them alive, and then ascended into heaven. Who was this teacher and wonder worker?"
"His name was Apollonius of Tyana. He died about 98A.D. and his story may be read in Flavius Philostratus's "Life of Apollonius."
"Readers who too hastily assumed that the preceding described Apollonious's earlier contemporary, Jesus of Nazareth, may be forgiven their error if they reflect how readily the human imagination embroiders the careers of notable figures of the past with common mythical and fictional embellishments."
All the stories of miracles recorded in the Christian Bible were all said about other people, both before and after the times of Yeshu. The stories of healings, casting out of demons and being raised from the dead are actually archetypal in nature. These characteristics have been applied to many. Of course, fundamental Christians dismiss all this as a demonic smokescreen attempting to veil "the truth."
It truly is confusing to know what Yeshu really did and did not do. Nonetheless, if the Christian Bible has any authenticity, then the words of Yeshu speak for themselves. And what they say is not a good story.
Yeshu violated the Sabbath, the Biblical penalty of which was death.
Yeshu violated the authority of the Divinely ordained judges of Torah, i.e., the Pharisees, the Biblical penalty of which was death.
Yeshu spoke false prophecy, the Biblical penalty of which is death.
These indeed are not the deeds of a messiah. They are not even the deeds of a good teacher, or of a good Jew. Is it any wonder then that the holy Rabbinic Sages have said, "May we have no son or student who publicly "spoils his food", such as did Yeshu HaNotzri" (Ber. 17B).
Notice that the language of the Rabbis is quite subtle. "Spoils his food" is a more dignified criticism that calling people names like hypocrites, blind guides, full of robbery and self indulgence, blind, whitewashed tombs, full of dead men's bones, full of hypocrisy, serpents and a brood of vipers.
Yeshu could never have been a messiah. He wasn't even a decent human being. For a Gentile to elevate this man to godhood to worship and pray to him as an extension of G-d is a most hideous crime. It is bad enough when a righteous man is elevated to the level of the Divine. It is all the more so offensive and horrible when a wicked man is elevated so.
In order for a Christian to become a Ger Toshav, the issue of Yeshu must be first and foremost addressed. How does one expect to be acceptable in G-d's eyes when one's every prayer and religious thought is a slap in G-d's face.
Yeshu lived a life of division, prejudice and violence. He died a death that was fitting of someone who so flagrantly violated G-d's laws. There is no need to argue who killed Yeshu, whether it was the Romans or the Jews. Neither killed him. G-d killed Yeshu. Better yet, G-d allowed nature to take its course and allowed Yeshu to reaps the fruits of what he had sown.
To call such a man "G-d" is a criminal mistake that must end, and will end very shortly with the coming of G-d's true messiah.
I offer this material to assist any Jew who has fallen into the snares of missionaries. I also welcome this material to be shared with our Christian neighbors. Maybe this will help them to understand why for 2000 years we Jews have been so willing to die for our faith rather than accept the false messiahship of Yeshu. What greater insult against G-d can there be than to worship the very one who is responsible for the destruction of His Holy Temple and the death of so many sacred Jewish souls?