Orthodox Jews Recognize Christianity as 'Willed By God' as Catholics Call Jewish Covenant "Irrevocable"

by David_Jay 9 Replies latest social current

  • David_Jay

    To date, over 50 Jewish rabbis from around the world have added their names to an historical statement in response to ongoing Jewish and Catholic relations which have proved successful since the Vatican released Nostre Aetate some 50 years ago...and the number is growing.

    In the first days of December of 2015, about 24 Orthodox rabbis signed a "statement on Christianity" released by the Israel's Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation, with the Vatican releasing its own document entitled "The Gifts and the Calling of God Are Irrevocable" just one week later. Both statements recognize each other's religion as divine, from the same source, and part of the same (albeit mysterious) providential economy of redemption from God.

    While not totally new, especially since the papacy of St. Pope John Paul II, the Vatican document is a substantial culmination of formal statements and studies that came before over the last half century. Especially from the largely ignored but striking significance of the pontifical "The Jewish People and their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible," the new 2015 document is a reiteration of all that has come before in one place, resounding the previous Scripture-study statement that the Church holds that the Jews are still the covenant people of God, that the covenant has never been revoked, and...

    "In the past, the break between the Jewish people and the Church of Christ Jesus could sometimes, in certain times and places, give the impression of being complete. In the light of the Scriptures, this should never have occurred. For a complete break between Church and Synagogue contradicts Sacred Scripture."

    The Jewish document states "that Christianity is neither an accident nor an error, but the willed divine outcome and gift to the nations." Unique because it is the stand of rabbis from the Orthodox branch of Judaism, the one with the previous unbending stand regarding Christianity that currently exists among Conservative, Reform and Post-denominational Judaism, the number of signing Orthodox rabbis continues to grow into 2016.

    With the Catholic Church formally recognizing Israel in such a manner, putting a stop to all proselytizing of Jews as well as taking an active standing against antisemitism, the Jewish documents adds "we Jews can acknowledge the ongoing constructive validity of Christianity as our partner in world redemption, without any fear that this will be exploited for missionary purposes."

    The view of the Catholic Church is, of course, a striking contrast from that of Jehovah's Witnesses who officially hold that God rejected his covenant people for rejecting Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah, and that only a 144,000 Christians, with the Governing Body and other JW heavenly-claimants among them as the only human beings currently in a covenant relationship with the God of Abraham.

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  • Fisherman

    The Jewish document states "that Christianity is neither an accident nor an error, but the willed divine outcome and gift to the nations."

    That is funny. "Jews" believe that Satan is a Holy angel doing his job and that God is the source of both good and evil -figure that one out. In line with that I can see what they mean about Gentiles being divine willed and a gift to the nations and all that Orthoxy also believes that God created an aged universe so that it only seems to be billions of years old because God aged it but the universe is actually only thousands of years old.

  • David_Jay


    Many the views you express are not the views of all the Orthodox Jews who have signed the document.

    There are also no universal dogmas among the Jews, so the way doctrine is understood can differ drastically from Jew to Jew (which is why they enjoy debating among themselves so much in the yashiva system).

    Most schools of thought among Jews do not formally recognize Satan the Devil at all, and this is true especially among the Orthodox. But you are correct that some Orthodox Jews have some views of the universe which are similar to Fundamentalist Christians, but the majority of Jews do not.

  • Fisherman
    DJ How can an orthodox Jew disagree with a "holy man" like Rashi?
  • David_Jay
    I am not sure how their theology works in all instances. My family is Jewish. I can ask how this "no universal dogma" thing works and get back with you. But when you're talking about a room full of various ideas and beliefs, I have been told by my brother, you're likely describing a room full of Jews.
  • David_Jay


    As you know tonite is Shabbat. Went to dinner at my brother's house, and the rabbi was there. I asked your question. This was his answer:

    "What do you think, that Judaism is built on nothing but Rashi?"

    (For those who aren't familiar with what Fisherman is asking, Solomon Ben Isaac, also known as Rashi, was a most famous and influential Jewish exegete.)

    But, as the rabbi explained, Judaism is not a static relgion like some forms of Christianity. As the rabbi put it, "some Christians see God as in a snapshot or still picture taken from the Bible, but Jews see revelation from God as an ongoing process. What gets revealed in one age is not necessarily for another. The Scriptures are not what religion is supposed to be based upon. Religion from God produces Scripture. Understanding them is not static but changes as the Jewish people evolve."

    Rashi is still important, it was impressed upon me, but "Moses he's not," I was reminded. "Things change. Religion changes. Get over it."

    Straightforward answers aren't freely forthcoming from Jewish rabbis, but I am sure you know this. This is all I got.

    Dinner was good, but they served Magen David. Oy vey!

  • kaik
    Judaism and Christianity is incompatible. Totally different concept of beliefs. I am married to Jew and the post does not make much sense. (BTW I shared it and just got unbelieving grin).
  • paul from cleveland
    paul from cleveland
    Just like in business when an industry goes down there are a lot of mergers and acquisitions. The religion business is going down. They're trying to support each other to stay relevant.
  • Vidiot

    Fisherman - "...'Jews' believe that Satan is a holy angel doing his job and that God is the source of both good and evil - figure that one out..."

    Actually, that would explain some of the more puzzling aspects of the Biblical narrative... :smirk:

  • Fisherman
    Judaism and Christianity is incompatible.

    That is correct And that is also what a Jew would say.

    "What do you think, that Judaism is built on nothing but Rashi?"

    I never said that. Judaism allows diversity in Jewish thought, for example: Satmar position on Zionism but I cannot see much deviation from Rashi except from the perspective of Moshe ben Nachman. Rashi script is one of the first things taught in Hebrew school to ALL Jewish children. I cannot see any Rabbi disagreeing with Rashi.

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