Re-tweaked: The non-messiah status of Jesus of Nazareth
Disclaimer: Some Christians, it has come to my attention, are offended by the provocative starkness of parts of the following post.
The purpose of this post is to demonstrate concisely that Jesus of Nazareth does not fit the Torah‘s criteria for King Messiah. The status of “Messiah ben David“, another name for King Messiah, is considered by Judaism to be a uniquely special status, so much so that when the term “The Messiah” is used, everyone who is familiar with the concept of this singular personality immediately knows what exact function or office, if you will, is being referred to, (even if we don’t know the identity of the man who will fulfill that function at this point in history) much like when Americans refer to “The President”.
Even if Jesus is not “special” within the context of this post, if he did indeed live during the Second Temple period, and if indeed he was murdered, as so many Jewish patriots were murdered by the Roman beasts during those days, then of course, as any human being is special merely by virtue of the fact that he, like all human beings, was created in the image of G-d and was yet another martyr, at that level, Jesus would have been “special”.
However, that does not mean he was special in the messianic sense. And that is question. Was Jesus the uniquely special messiah who brings in the Messianic Age?
A. God is not man or corporeal in anyway = Jesus was a man, not God = not special
B. Sin is not only forgiven with animal blood sacrifices; human sacrifice is forbidden by the Torah = Death on a cross not necessary = not special
C. Miracles (not even rising from the dead) do not prove anything concerning candidacy for the office of Messiah = Jesus’ supposed miracles don’t mean anything = not special
D. Dying at the hands of the Romans and Sadducees was common in that era = Jesus’ death was one of many = not special
E. Messiah must complete his mission before dying = Jesus death disqualified him = not special
F. Messiah cannot simply “fly down” out of the sky. Becoming king is an intensely legal process overseen by the Sanhedrin = Jesus did not undergo such a process. (See C) = not special
Jesus was an insurrectionist against Roman representatives in Judea, made promises he didn’t fulfill, thought himself to be King Messiah and/or a prophet, did nothing to qualify as a candidate for King Messiah according to the Torah and Prophets (See Aryeh Kaplan‘s Anthology II on the process of qualifying as a prophet). He was instead killed and has never “come back.” He was not the only self-styled rabbi/prophet/messiah to get into serious trouble, make promises, and ultimately be killed by Rome. There were many in that time.
Because Jesus’ life was not special in any way from any other failed or false messiah, Jewish martyr or human being, Jews do not need to pay attention to him or his life, and should certainly not make him the centerpiece in their thinking. He is a non-issue for us and a piece of old news in our history. We rejected the Ishmaelite Muhammad for the same or similar reasons.
Next week: A Demonstration that the New Testament does not fit within the mesorah of Judaism, in that it is not a part of Torat Mosheh.