Do Jews Believe In Jesus? Unpacking The Jewish Perspective

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Published by Kimberly Wall


Co-Founder, Disciple Group Leader, Author

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A venerable faith, Judaism [1] boasts a rich tapestry of traditions that have endured for millennia, with a vibrant community of approximately 15 million devout adherents scattered across the globe. Rooted in a legacy stretching back over three millennia, Judaism is universally acknowledged for its unwavering commitment to monotheism.

It is grounded on the belief that God disclosed himself through the prophets and the Hebrew Bible. The religion emphasizes that the Messiah, an individual sent by God to govern and save us has not yet arrived.

Distinct from Jews, Christians assert that Jesus is the awaited Savior. Nevertheless, Jewish tradition pronounces the Messiah as one born of human parents, responsible for the political and spiritual liberation of the Jewish nation.

The Jews believe that Jesus Christ did not meet this primary criterion. However, both adhere to important similarities in the practice of their faith like prayer, charity, and other acts of kindness.

Do Jews Believe In Jesus?

As per Jewish law and scripture, the awaited Messiah is anticipated to be a human, divinely appointed by God to deliver both the Jewish community and the world. Consequently, many Jewish individuals harbor skepticism regarding Jesus’ claim to Messiahship, as their own enduring beliefs and practices have evolved over millennia.

In the Old Testament, Ezra the Scribe played a pivotal role in religious reforms and the restoration of the Jewish community in Jerusalem, according to the Hebrew Bible.

Young Jews, however, are taking different stances about Jesus Christ. Modern Messianic Jews also incorporate elements of Judaism into evangelicalism.

Although there were Jews who adhered to Jesus during his time, the overwhelming majority did not recognize him as the Jewish Messiah. They firmly reject the Christian idea of Christ’s divine sonship. The early followers of Jesus were mostly non-Jewish, and the development of Christianity as a separate religion from Judaism occurred after Jesus’ death.

Enveloped in the embrace of their unique spiritual cosmos, Jewish faith holds its own sacred convictions and rituals, setting it distinctly apart from the tapestry of Christianity. While certain harmonious notes resonate between the two, such as the shared faith in a singular deity and the profound significance accorded to ethical conduct, the theological and ritualistic landscapes diverge, carving out distinctive paths of devotion.

What Do Jews Believe About Jesus?

Jesus Was A Jewish Rabbi And Teacher

Within Jewish tradition, Jesus is acknowledged as a Rabbi and instructor, yet the titles of Messiah or Son of God do not align with their perception. The Jewish perspective firmly denies Jesus as the Messiah, as their belief maintains that the Messiah’s arrival is still anticipated in the future. In contrast, Christians believe Jesus fulfilled all the requirements to be considered the Messiah.

Jewish theology does not support the idea of original sin or the notion that Jesus’s execution acted as an atonement for humanity’s sins, in contrast to Christian doctrines. Instead, Jews emphasize the significance of adhering to the commandments and leading a life characterized by righteousness.

Jesus Was Associated With The Jewish Oppression

For numerous Jewish individuals, Jesus is intertwined with their enduring history of persecution and suffering. This association is based on the belief that some Jewish leaders were involved in the crucifixion of Jesus. This belief, coupled with centuries of Christian anti-Semitism, has led to the Jewish people being blamed for Jesus’ death.

While Jesus was born within the Jewish faith, his teachings and deeds frequently appeared as a direct confrontation to the religious and political powers of his time. He emerged as a revolutionary figure who fearlessly probed the prevailing norms, urging individuals to contemplate possibilities beyond the confines of their era. His message and the sizeable following he had amassed alarmed certain Jewish officials, which ultimately resulted in his arrest and execution.

In essence, the linkage between Jesus and the history of Jewish persecution constitutes a multifaceted and contentious subject, demanding sensitivity and comprehension from all perspectives. By acknowledging and addressing the harm that has been done in the name of this association, we can work toward healing and reconciliation between different communities.

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Why Don’t Jews Believe In Jesus?

Jesus Did Not Fulfill The Messianic Prophecies

  • While the Messianic prophecy heralded the advent of a world peacemaker, Jesus did not manifest this grand aspiration.
  • The long-standing prophecy held that the Messiah would embark upon the monumental endeavor of rebuilding the sacred Temple in Jerusalem. However, this profound task remained unfulfilled during Jesus’ time.
  • The predicted role of the Messiah was to bring all Jews back to Israel, but Jesus did not fulfill this.
  • Warfare continues today despite expectations that the Messiah would put an end to all hostilities.
  • Despite the Messianic expectation for a political figure, Jesus wielded no discernible political clout during his time.
  • The ancient prophecy foretold the Messiah’s reign over the world from the heart of Israel, yet Jesus did not establish a kingdom within its borders.
  • It was foretold by ancient Scriptures that the Messiah would be a descendant of King David. However, no evidence exists that Jesus actually had biological connection to the great king.
  • Amidst the Messianic anticipation of a valiant military leader who would triumph over Israel’s adversaries, Jesus did not orchestrate any martial campaigns or wield the sword of command.

Jesus Did Not Exemplify The Personal Qualifications Of The Messiah

As per Jewish tradition, the anticipation of the Messiah is steeped in the belief that this remarkable figure ought to hail from a lineage tracing back to two Jewish parents. Consequently, it is held that Jesus did not meet the intimate prerequisites of the awaited Messiah.

Moreover, the Messianic role, in the eyes of Jewish doctrine, extends far beyond mere birthright. It encompasses the sacred duty of guiding the Jewish people toward the fulfillment of God’s divine commandments. They believe the Messiah will restore the sacred Temple of Jerusalem to its former glory and bring forth world peace as he does so.

However, Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah and that he fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament. Christians believe that he was born of the Virgin Mary and sacrificed himself for the sins of humanity.

Biblical Verses About Jesus Are Mistranslations

The Jewish community argues that Christians have mistranslate the scriptural passages to prove that Jesus is the Messiah. Because the sacred texts went through a few translations—from Hebrew to Greek to English, Jewish people believe it has caused a significant amount of misunderstanding.

In Judaism, the Messiah is not a divine entity, which is why the verses that refer to Jesus as such are viewed differently. The Jews believe that the term “Son of God” was a common phrase used to refer to important figures in Jewish history, such as King David or the firstborn son of the Pharaoh. Similarly, they claim that the term “Messiah” was used to describe a political figure—rather than a spiritual savior—who would lead the Jewish people to freedom.

Another instance is “The Suffering Servant” in Isaiah 53, which Christianity claims alludes to Jesus as the Messiah. This is opposed by the Jews, as it actually refers to the Jewish nation.

Jewish Belief Is Based On National Revelation

Jewish belief is unique in that it is based solely on national revelation. This means that the entire Jewish nation, past and present, witnessed and experienced the revelation at Mount Sinai.

This national revelation is the foundation of Jewish belief and the basis for the Jewish people’s connection to God. They believe that God gave the Torah, the Jewish holy book, to Moses at Mount Sinai and that it contains instructions for how to live a holy life.

According to Jewish tradition, the revelation at Mount Sinai was not just a one-time event, but an ongoing process that continues to this day. The Jewish people believe that they need to hear God speak to them. They believe God is constantly communicating with them and that the Torah is a living document that is relevant to contemporary life.

Jewish belief is based solely on national revelation, which is the foundation of the Jewish people’s connection to God. The ongoing nature of this revelation is reflected in the belief that the Torah is a living document that continues to guide and inspire the Jewish people to this day.

Are There Jewish Texts That Reference Jesus?

While there are no Jewish texts that directly reference Jesus, there are some texts that may indirectly allude to Him. For example, the Talmud, a central text of Judaism, mentions a rabbi named Yeshu who was executed for heresy.

Some scholars believe that this Yeshu may have been a historical figure who was the inspiration for the Jesus of the Christian faith. However, others argue that Yeshu was a different person altogether and that any similarities between him and Jesus are purely coincidental.

The Toledot Yeshu, a medieval Jewish work that talks about a man named Yeshu who is claimed to have been the illegitimate offspring of a Roman soldier and a Jewish lady, is another probable allusion to Jesus. This Yeshu is shown as a false prophet who uses magic to work miracles and is finally executed for his sins. However, it is typically regarded as satire rather than a reliable historical source.

In the midst of these discussions, biblical historians often speculate about the mysterious Essenes, a minor, separatist Jewish sect, whose scriptural contributions and pious lifestyle suggest a parallel ethos to the teachings found in the Bible’s New Testament.

This contemplation of their role and the nature of their texts adds another layer to our understanding of the religious milieu from which Christianity emerged.

archway in jerusalem israel and do jews believe in jesus


To conclude, according to the Jews, the awaited Messiah has not yet arrived. Furthermore, they believe in one God, as opposed to the Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Jesus also serves as a reminder of Christian persecution and anti-Semitism, which create an uneasy disposition among the Jews.

The Scriptures truly reveal and accept Jesus as the Messiah. He is the divine Son, dispatched to offer his life as a sacrifice for our transgressions and to bring redemption to the world, thus granting us the opportunity to dwell with him in an everlasting existence.

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