Why Jesus could not be the messiah of the Old Testament
Christians are fond of claiming that Jesus fulfilled Old Testament messianic prophecies. But as we mentioned above in Argument # 3, the writers of the New Testament books often twisted verses from the Old Testament that had nothing to do with messianic prophecies, to try to make them fit into Jesus’ story. (In my opinion, that was very disrespectful to the Old Testament writers.) It was as though the Gospel advocates of the New Testament were desperate to look for anything in the Old Testament to try to fit their concept of Jesus as the messiah into it. In effect, it was a sort of “forced sequel.” Anyone who merely looks at the alleged Old Testament prophecies can see this. It’s quite obvious.
However, not only does Jesus not fit the messianic prophecies of the Old Testament scriptures, but what most Christians don’t know and are never told, is that Jesus also did not fulfill the actual intended messianic prophecies of the Old Testament and Torah! You see, Old Testament prophesized a messiah (or “moshiach” as modern Jews like to call it) who would re-establish the national kingdom of Israel as a nation, making it the powerful center of the world. This leader would live and thrive in the world, not die on the cross for our sins. That was never part of the plan! On the other hand, the concept of a messiah as savior and redeemer of the world is a Christian concept. This is explained by a section from a Judaism website:
“The word "moshiach" does not mean "savior." The notion of an innocent, divine or semi-divine being who will sacrifice himself to save us from the consequences of our own sins is a purely Christian concept that has no basis in Jewish thought. Unfortunately, this Christian concept has become so deeply ingrained in the English word "messiah" that this English word can no longer be used to refer to the Jewish concept. The word "moshiach" will be used throughout this page.”
In that same site, the prophecies about what the “moshiach” will do are explained:
“The moshiach will be a great political leader descended from King David (Jeremiah 23:5). The moshiach is often referred to as "moshiach ben David" (moshiach, son of David). He will be well-versed in Jewish law, and observant of its commandments. (Isaiah 11:2-5) He will be a charismatic leader, inspiring others to follow his example. He will be a great military leader, who will win battles for Israel. He will be a great judge, who makes righteous decisions (Jeremiah 33:15). But above all, he will be a human being, not a god, demi-god or other supernatural being………….
The moshiach will bring about the political and spiritual redemption of the Jewish people by bringing us back to Israel and restoring Jerusalem (Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 23:8; 30:3; Hosea 3:4-5). He will establish a government in Israel that will be the center of all world government, both for Jews and gentiles (Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:10; 42:1). He will rebuild the Temple and re-establish its worship (Jeremiah 33:18). He will restore the religious court system of Israel and establish Jewish law as the law of the land (Jeremiah 33:15).”
And according to that site on Jewish tradition, here is what this “moshiach” will bring to the world when he arrives:
“Olam Ha-Ba: The Messianic Age
The world after the messiah comes is often referred to in Jewish literature as Olam Ha-Ba (oh-LAHM hah-BAH), the World to Come. This term can cause some confusion, because it is also used to refer to a spiritual afterlife. In English, we commonly use the term "messianic age" to refer specifically to the time of the messiah.
Olam Ha-Ba will be characterized by the peaceful co-existence of all people. (Isaiah 2:4) Hatred, intolerance and war will cease to exist. Some authorities suggest that the laws of nature will change, so that predatory beasts will no longer seek prey and agriculture will bring forth supernatural abundance (Isaiah 11:6-11:9). Others, however, say that these statements are merely an allegory for peace and prosperity.
All of the Jewish people will return from their exile among the nations to their home in Israel (Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 23:8; 30:3; Hosea 3:4-5). The law of the Jubilee will be reinstated.
In the Olam Ha-Ba, the whole world will recognize the Jewish G-d as the only true G-d, and the Jewish religion as the only true religion (Isaiah 2:3; 11:10; Micah 4:2-3; Zechariah 14:9). There will be no murder, robbery, competition or jealousy. There will be no sin (Zephaniah 3:13). Sacrifices will continue to be brought in the Temple, but these will be limited to thanksgiving offerings, because there will be no further need for expiatory offerings.”
Obviously the Jesus of Christianity did not fulfill these requirements, contrary to what the church teaches. Instead, what the Christians do is take the prophecies that Jesus didn’t fulfill and try to claim that he will fulfill them in his future Second Coming. Nice try, but no cigar. The Judaism site addresses Jesus:
“What About Jesus?
Jews do not believe that Jesus was the moshiach. Assuming that he existed, and assuming that the Christian scriptures are accurate in describing him (both matters that are debatable), he simply did not fulfill the mission of the moshiach as it is described in the biblical passages cited above. Jesus did not do any of the things that the scriptures said the messiah would do.
On the contrary, another Jew born about a century later came far closer to fulfilling the messianic ideal than Jesus did. His name was Shimeon ben Kosiba, known as Bar Kochba (son of a star), and he was a charismatic, brilliant, but brutal warlord. Rabbi Akiba, one of the greatest scholars in Jewish history, believed that Bar Kochba was the moshiach. Bar Kochba fought a war against the Roman Empire, catching the Tenth Legion by surprise and retaking Jerusalem. He resumed sacrifices at the site of the Temple and made plans to rebuild the Temple. He established a provisional government and began to issue coins in its name. This is what the Jewish people were looking for in a moshiach; Jesus clearly does not fit into this mold. Ultimately, however, the Roman Empire crushed his revolt and killed Bar Kochba. After his death, all acknowledged that he was not the moshiach.”
For more detailed answers, another Jewish site entitled Jews for Judaism (http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/) provides explanations for the real Jewish messiah and why Jesus didn’t match the criteria. In this section of the site the “Second Coming” theory to try to reconcile the messianic prophecies is refuted:
http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/web/faq/g ... ponse.html
“9) The claim that Jesus will fulfill the Messianic prophesies when he returns does not give him any credibility for his “first” coming. The Bible never speaks about the Messiah returning after an initial appearance. The “second coming” theory is a desperate attempt to explain away Jesus’ failure. The Biblical passages which Christians are forced to regard as second coming (#5 above) don’t speak of someone returning, they have a “first coming” perspective.”
Also from the Jews for Judaism site, is a great handbook for dealing with and responding to Christian missionaries who try to convert them. You can read the handbook online at:
http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/web/handb ... ssiah.html
In it, the criteria for the true Jewish messiah are given:
“THE CRITERIA TO BE FULFILLED BY THE JEWISH MESSIAH
In an accurate translation of the Jewish Scriptures, the word "Moshiach" is never translated as "Messiah," but as "anointed."1Nevertheless, Judaism has always maintained a fundamental belief in a Messianic figure. Since the concept of a Messiah is one that was given by G-d to the Jews, Jewish tradition is best qualified to describe and recognize the expected Messiah. This tradition has its foundation in numerous biblical references, many of which are cited below. Judaism understands the Messiah to be a human being (with no connotation of deity or divinity) who will bring about certain changes in the world and who must fulfill certain specific criteria before being acknowledged as the Messiah.
These specific criteria are as follows:
1) He must be Jewish. (Deuteronomy 17:15, Numbers 24:17)
2) He must be a member of the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10) and a direct male descendent of both King David (I Chronicles 17:11, Psalm 89:29-38, Jeremiah 33:17, II Samuel 7:12-16) and King Solomon. (I Chronicles 22:10, II Chronicles 7:18)
3) He must gather the Jewish people from exile and return them to Israel. (Isaiah 27:12-13, Isaiah 11:12)
4) He must rebuild the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. (Micah 4:1)
5) He must bring world peace. (Isaiah 2:4, Isaiah 11:6, Micah 4:3)
6) He must influence the entire world to acknowledge and serve one G-d. (Isaiah 11:9, Isaiah 40:5, Zephaniah 3:9)
All of these criteria for the Messiah are best stated in the book of Ezekiel chapter 37:24-28:
"And My servant David will be a king over them, and they will all have one shepherd, and they will walk in My ordinances, and keep My statutes, and observe them, and they shall live on the land that I gave to Jacob My servant...and I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant and I will set my sanctuary in their midst forever and My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their G-d and they will be My people. And the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forever."
If an individual fails to fulfill even one of these conditions, he cannot be the Messiah.”
Finally, in the next section of the handbook, a funny story is given that illustrates how the New Testament writers created Jesus’ fulfilled prophecies.
http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/web/handb ... uting.html
“While traveling through a forest, a person noticed a circle marked on a tree with an arrow shot perfectly into the center. A few yards away he noticed several more targets, each with arrows in the center. Later, he met the talented archer and he asked him, "How did you become such an expert that you always get your arrows into the center of the bull's-eye?" "It's not difficult," responded the archer, "First I shoot the arrow and then I draw the circle."”