I am often asked by Christian evangelists, two primary questions related to the deified figure at the center of their cult[ure]. The first is “why does Judaism hate Jesus?”
The answer is simply that Judaism doesn’t teach anything about the Jesus figure. Why? For the simple reason and fact that the Jesus character does not matter.
It’s really that simple. No human being matters to our practice of the Torah – not Abraham nor Moses – they were simply messengers, delivering a Divine Message… or if you are a more secular Jew than I, a socio-religiously successful message. If Jesus would have been a historical figure who said otherwise, and sought glory and deification for himself, then he would have been a false-prophet. But thankfully, in spite of the millennia of blood libel against us as “Christ-killers,” was was no crucifixion, no resurrection, and not even a historical, physical “Jesus.”
Bloodshed Does NOT Atone For Sins
Adoration of any figure does not factor into our living the Torah. Blood sacrifice does not atone for sins, as attested to throughout the Nevi’im, the part of the Hebrew Bible called the “Prophets.” Apart from these plentiful references, the Torah itself tells us that if we don’t sacrifice an animal, we can sacrifice grain.
And if his means do not suffice for two turtledoves or two pigeons, he shall bring as his offering for that of which he sinned a tenth of an ephah of choice flour for a chatat; he shall not add oil to it or lay frankincense on it, for it is a chatat… Thus the priest shall make expiation on his behalf for whichever of these sins he has sinned, and he shall be forgiven…. It shall belong to the priest, like the meal offering (Vayiqra/Leviticus 5:11 and 13).
For a full discussion of this subject, see my article entitled Meat is NOT a Mitzvah: A Biblical Basis For Veganism.
Furthermore, we read as well from the prophet Yeshayahu (Isaiah):
Whoever sacrifices a bull is like one who kills a man, and whoever offers a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck; whoever makes a grain offering is like one who presents pig’s blood, and whoever burns memorial incense like one who worships an idol. They have chosen their own ways and their souls delight in their abominations. (66:3)
This was not simply the approach of Yeshayahu, Isaiah. This view is found throughout the Nevi’im. Of the Messianic Era, we read:
In that day, [the Messianic Era], declares Ha’Shem, “You will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master.’ I will remove the names of the Ba`als, from her lips; no longer will their names be invoked. In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety. (Hoshea/Hosea 2:16)
I hate, I spurn your pilgrim feasts; I will not delight in your sacred ceremonies. When you present your sacrifices and offerings I will not accept them, nor look on the buffaloes of your shared offerings. Spare me the sound of your songs; I cannot endure the music of your lutes. (Amos 5:21-23)
Moreover, throughout the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible, the Creator makes it absolutely clear that no one can die for the sins of another:
“Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin” (Devarim/Deuteronomy 24:16, Melakhim Bet/II Kings 14:6).
“But everyone will die for his own sin; each man who eats sour grapes, his teeth will be set on edge” (Yiramiyahu/Jeremiah 31:30).
“The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself” (Yechezqel/Ezekiel 18:20).
“No man can by any means redeem his brother, or give to G-d a ransom for him” (Tehillim/Psalms 49:7).
“So you shall not pollute the land in which you are; for blood pollutes the land and no expiation can be made for the land for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who has shed it!” (Bamidbar/Numbers 35:33).
So that settles that. Jews simply do not believe in the Christian doctrines that bloodshed is necessary to atone for sins. Such a view, in fact, originates in Mithraism, which Christianity contains many elements of (including the December 25th birthdate of Mithra). It is absolutely antithetical to what the Torah itself states clearly.
Why We Don’t “Accept Jesus”
The second question I am asked by the Evangelical crowd is: “why don’t Jews accept Jesus?”
To answer that, one must first understand that the original Hebrew Gospel was one work, not four, nor four hundred. This work was rejected outright by the Christian Church, even while they acknowledge it predates their Gospel accounts.
This was a work penned years after the first Gospel “of the Twin” of “Jesus” – the gnostic Gospel of Thomas – was set to parchment. Delineating 114 sayings, akin to works like the Daodejing (Tao Te Ching), these teachings of “Christ” included references to its disciples “channeling” it as a non-corporeal Spirit (Saying 24). Thomas, however, contained no Nativity legend, nor a crucifixion nor a resurrection – nor any narrative at all, save for one Salome (Shlomit in Hebrew) speaking to the author (Thomas, or “Toma” in Aramaic), apparently “channeling” this “Jesus” figure.
In the Gospel of Thomas, there is a reference to Jesus reclining on a couch and eating at a table that belonged to Salome and being asked by her: “Who are you sir, that you have taken your place on my couch and eaten from my table?”
In other words, “Who are you talking like this, with all of these grandiose teachings? Aren’t you the same guy who lays on my couch and eats at the same table as me?”
The Jesus figure answers – presumably still being channeled – “I am he who is from the One, and the things that belong to the Father have been given to me.”
Salome replies, “But I am your disciple”, your “Talmidah!”
To this, the channeled Spirit answers, “When the disciple is united he will be filled with light, but if he is divided he will be filled with darkness.”
In other words, he was answering her question. It was not Thomas, but this channeled “Jesus” Spirit who was speaking.
Regarding this discussion with Salome in the Gospel of Thomas, Thomas himself was the disciple being referenced in the statement that “when the disciple is united he will be filled with light, but if he is divided he will be filled with darkness.”
How do we know? Simple grammar.
Salome is speaking and she attests to being his disciple. When he responds, he refers to the disciple the the masculine pronoun. This indicates Thomas himself, who was – not coincidentally – called the “Twin” of Jesus. This “Toma Didymus” was called such in two languages (Aramaic and Greek), and back to back – indicating emphasis. This wasn’t just the twin of a physical Jesus (who never historically existed), this was the Twin Twin!
How Christianity, and even scholars of Christian Origins and so-called Historical Jesus Research have missed this, after all these years, is beyond me. The words are as clear as day, but sadly Christian biases and assumptions creep into the research on these matters, and even the way we read the sources themselves – even if we are not Christian!
In a number of other works, I delve into the term in the Hebrew original of the Gospel account, was `Oseh – the “Doer” or even “the Essene.” There is so much more to be said about this topic and the mistranslation that led to the protagonist from original Hebrew Gospel myth being termed “Iesus” (Ιησούς, Iisoús), but the focus of this present work is too narrow to diverge into such an in-depth linguistic discussion.
It’s worth noting the that Gospel accounts mention every known Jewish sect in the Levant, during the Second Temple Era, except for the Essenes. The reason for this omission is simple: you would not reference your own group and audience with the name of your group or sect. It would sound awkward, at best. In a Catholic church, for example, you would not expect a priest to say “and the Catholics believe…” thus and so forth. As with the aforementioned linguistic topic, a full discussion of this topic, however, is far beyond the scope of the work at hand.
The Gospel as Fiction
When I speak of the Gospel as fiction, I do not simply mean the Christian Gospel accounts, but what scholars call the “Q” Source Gospel. I do not mean the Gospel of Thomas either, for that matter. Instead, I refer to this “Q” Source that emerged after Thomas’ 114 Sayings, but before the Christian “Fan-Fiction” of the Canonical “New Testament” Gospels (and all other, even later, apocryphal ones).
That “Lost” Hebrew Gospel was a fictional “Mega-Parable” of sorts. What is most relevant to the topic at hand, however, is not the parables within the text, nor the text as a parable itself. Instead, it is about the fact that the “Jesus” Character absolutely never claims to be the Holy Verb, which we call “Ha’Shem” (the Name) out of reverence for the Holy Name of Yud-Hay-Vav-Hay.
The author of this original Hebrew Pre-Christian Gospel wrote of this fictional “Jesus” character, based upon the channeling of this Primordial Spirit’s physical “Twin Twin.” Thomas, actually Judas Thomas, or Yehudah ben Yosef (if later Church attestations about his paternity are correct), wrote of this Spirit’s teachings on the Oneness of the Creator, and of ALL Existence. Indeed, this character also taught the Unity of ALL human beings with the Divine, with the Divine – the Elohim.
While such teachings are the bread and butter of Kabbalah, all of this is, of course, diametrically opposed to fundamental doctrines of all branches of Christianity.
The “Lost” Source or a CENSORED one?
In spite of all of this, Christianity has for two thousand years, persisted in propagating to major lies, relative to this “lost” book, which was nevertheless quoted from by many of the Early Christian Church Fathers. This book, though available to these founders of Christianity, has somehow been “lost” within such places, no doubt, as the Vatican Archives.
That is because the Christian Church desperately needed to cover up the original Hebrew Gospel, which they called such names as “Hebrew Matthew” and “The Gospel of the Ebionites” (and more). The work not only contradicted nearly every aspect of Christian theology, but it was also far more obviously and overtly penned as something of a “Mega-Parable,” – every bit as allegorical, fictional and ahistorical, as the Mashalim of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, a great-grandson of the Baal Shem Tov.
The Trinity of Lies
The lies of Christianity can be boiled down to three primary falsehoods. We might think of this as a “Trinity” of confusion and misguidance, for those who do not know any better. These are as follows:
- The Lie of the Trinity. The word “Trinity” is the English equivalent of the Latin word Trinitas, which was coined by the early Christian writer Tertullian (c. 155 CE – c. 220). The term etymologically means “the Threeness” in contrast to the Jewish notion of the Oneness of the Creator.
- The historicity of the Jesus character in the Gospel narrative as a single human, physical figure, who walked upon the Earth, was born of a “Virgin” mother, and God “the Father” Itself, who was crucified by Rome on the charge of insurrection – not by the Jewish people and not for “blasphemy,” who died remarkably quicker than Ponticus Pilate had ever seen before, and who was anomalously buried in a cavern grave, rather than in the mass graves in which crucified insurrectionists (λῃσταί) were otherwise always buried in.This corpse somehow poured forth blood when stabbed after supposedly being dead… The author here is clearly trying to hint to the observant and medically-informed reader, that the figure faked his death and “outsmarted” the Romans.
But this, we must remember, is an allegory, a Mega-Parable in a literary work filled to the brim with Zen koan-like parables, or mashalim, even the most famous parable of the Buddha himself: “The Prodigal Son.”
- The Divinity of “Jesus” as one of three, of Tertullian’s “Threeness” concept. The idea that this character set up himself as somehow different and separate from all other human beings. In this view, he alone is human and god, and other humans are not.
All of these core beliefs of Christianity are not only patently false, but also contradicted by their own late Greek fan-fiction, based upon the aforementioned Hebrew original literary work. Again, this “lost” – or perhaps we should say “hidden” and “censored” Gospel or “Basar” – was originally written as a parable, allegory. This cannot be stressed enough: THERE WAS NO HISTORICAL JESUS!
This literally Gospel work emerged, of course, in an era when such Jewish philosophers as Philo of Alexandria (c. 20 BCE – c. 50 CE), were speaking of the Torah itself as such, and paving the way for a competing Jewish allegory to be written, rivaling such works as the Iliad and the Odyssey – both loosely-based upon some historical figures and occurrences, but largely straight-forward fiction – quasi-historical novels – just like the Gospel.
As so many Jews today have been raised in relatively-non-practicing Jewish households, this has left many susceptible to the missionary efforts of so-called “Messianic Judaism” – messy antics of an older group known as “Jews for Jesus.”
They lead with the pitch that “Jesus was a Jew!” And indeed, in the literary work of the Gospel, the Jesus character was indeed Jewish. But this was no historical figure, but instead a literary character based loosely upon the biographies of three Jewish revolutionaries, who most Christians have never even heard of:
- Shim`on ben Yosef (d. 4 BCE)
- Yehudah Ha’Galili (fl. 6 CE)
- Menachem ben Yehudah (fl. 66-70s CE)
A deep-dive into this vast topic is far beyond the scope of this short piece, and is instead the focus of my magnum opus The Greatest Story NEVER Told: The Truth About the “Jesus” Myth and the Historical Figures Behind It, set for publication in 2024, im yirtzeh Ha’Shem.
Needless to say, far from the Jewish people rejecting these figures, various Jewish communities of the Second Temple Era debated as to whether or not these historical figures might in fact be the awaited Mashiach!
Thus, through a rich study of relevant history, we can find that the Jewish people did not reject these historical figures, but instead Christianity did – preferring a literal reading of an allegorical novel and its protagonist, to three actual historical, Jewish heroes and revolutionaries.
“You are ALL Elohim”
The topic of the Christian Trinity is somewhat pointless to attempt to debunk. Mathematics has done that already and innately. Those who believe in this concept do so on “faith” in their Church dogma, rather than anything found within their Christian Testament, to say nothing of faculties of higher reasoning itself.
A full discussion on the ahistoricity of the Gospel protagonist is also beyond the scope of this piece. It is, as mentioned, the subject of The Greatest Story NEVER Told: The Truth About the “Jesus” Myth and the Historical Figures Behind It. It suffices, however, that this short piece introduces the reader to this idea. The seriously interested reader should contact me directly for access to preliminary chapters of this massive work.
Thus, we are left with debunking the Divinity of the Jesus character, using nothing but his own words, as attested in the Christian fan-fiction Gospels, based on a Hebrew original that the Christian Church keeps locked up in Vatican Archives.
The Jesus character of the Christian Gospels defends himself from allegations of blasphemy and claiming unique Divinity of himself. This account is found within the quasi-Gnostic Johannite Gospel “according to” John – or more accurately, “attributed” to him. In it, quoting David Ha’Melekh, in the Tehillim (Psalms), he says “you are all gods” (John )
Lest anyone think the Jesus character in the Johannite Gospel had said something other than we read in English translations, we read that “Iesous” or “Jesus” answered them, saying “Has it not been written in your Bible (νόμῳ) [that] “I said you are (ἐστε) [ALL] gods (θεοί)?” (John 10:34).
Notice that I translate the Greek “nomos” here as “Bible.” This is because the Apostate Paul used the term at least 110 times in his Epistles (a fancy-schmancy word for “Letters”), but not in a uniform way. He used it to refer to such things as the Mosaic Law of the Torah (Galatians 4:21; Romans 7:22, 25; 1 Corinthians 9:9), but also to the whole of the Tanakh, what Christians call the “Old Testament,” in juxtaposition to their alleged “New Testament” (1 Corinthians 14:21; Romans 3:19, 21)
The Hebrew of the original passage, which is rendered into the Greek of the Christian Gospels, is even more elucidating, with regards to what the Gospel character was saying about his own – and indeed ALL of humankind’s – mutual Divine nature.
Elohim (אלהים) stand in the congregation of El (אל) (Tehillim/Psalms 82:1)… I said Elohim Atem, you are ALL gods, Elohim (אלהים אתם), and Sons and Daughters, Children (בני) of the Most High, `Elyon (עליון) ALL of you (כלכם). Nevertheless, you will all die like Adam, and like one of the Princes, you will fall. Arise Elohim! Judge the Land (ארץ), for YOU (אתה) [The One] possess, originate, control and receive (תנחל) in all (בכל) of the Nations (גוים). (Tehillim 82:6-8)
There can be no question that whatever the author of this character’s interpretation of Tehillim was here, that it was absolutely not one which distinguished himself from any other human being. If this character claimed he was “God”, he simultaneously was claiming you are too. Whatever good intentions behind this mystical doctrine of what Sufis might call Wahdat al-Wujud (the Oneness and Unity of ALL Existence), it was very clearly lost in translation into the inherently polytheistic Greek tongue.
Christian Misunderstanding: The Jesus Character and Concept as “One” With “God” …and Equally “One” With Humankind
This is far from the only example we have in the Christian Gospels. The Johannite Gospel, which opens with a preamble quotation from the Rig Veda (rendered into Greek, from the Sanskrit original), tells us the following:
All of them may be One, Father, just as You are in me and I am in You. May they also be in US so that the world may believe that You have sent me (John 17:21)
The Johannite Gospel is by far the latest of the Canonical Christian Gospel attestations. It is also the most similar to the various Gnostic traditions. It is worth noting, however, that the vast majority of Gnostics did not believe in a corporeal “Jesus” but instead believed he was a Spirit. Some sects had a view almost indistinguishable from the Kabbalistic concept of a Primordial “Adam Qadmon.” This view was later termed “Docetism” or “seemingness” – an idea echoed later in the Qur’an, which said that the Jewish people neither killed nor even crucified `Isa, “it only seemed that way” (4:157).
When coupled with the claims of the Jesus figure almost verbatim echoing the teachings of Krishna to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, and the Johannite opening with the Rig Veda. We read: “In the beginning was Prajapati [the Creator] with whom was the Vak [Word] and the Vak is Brahman (Prajapatir vai idam-agree asit tasya vak dvitiya asit vak vai paramam Brahma).”
In addition to this, we have the Jesus character teaching the Buddha’s “Prodigal Son” parable (with the author’s own koan-like spin on it). Thus, it becomes very clear that the widespread Buddhism in the region, from the missionary activities of King Ashoka (fl. c. 268 – c. 232 BCE), had a huge influence on both the Therapeutae of Egypt, and the Christian Fan-Fiction Gospels.
It is thus worth noting the that Jewish-Buddhist Therapeutae sect also spoke of “Dark Room Meditation” techniques and “prayer closets,” which we see in Philo’s discussion of the group, which he so admired. This same is mentioned in the Matthean Gospel as well (Matthew 6:6)
“Not one Yud, will disappear from the Torah”
This piece thus concludes with a Matthean quote, deemed highly probable by the scholarly, historical-critical methodologies of the Jesus Seminar (est. 1985). I have interpolated back-translation of various terms into their Hebrew origins, de-Hellenizing them (while noting the Greek terms parenthetically), for the sake of illustration:
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Torah (νόμον) or the Prophets (προφήτας) the Nevi’im; I have not come to abolish (καταλῦσαι) them but to fulfill them! For truly I tell you, until Heaven Shamayim, and the World, `Olam, disappear, not the smallest letter, a single yud (ἰῶτα), will by any means disappear from the Torah until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these Commandments of the Mitzvot and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the [Messianic Era], the Malkhut Ha’Shamayim (Kingdom of Heaven), but whoever practices and teaches these Mitzvot will be called great in the Malkhut Ha’Shamayim. For I tell you that unless your Justice, your Tzedeq (δικαιοσύνη) surpasses that of the Soferim [who meticulously pen each Sefer Torah scroll] and the P’rushim, you will certainly not enter the Malkhut Ha’Shamayim (Matthew 5:17-20)
Far from supporting the missionary tactics of Jews For Jesus and their Messy-Antics, this verse completely deracinates the honest reader from anything approaching Christian theology and dogma.
In conclusion, we read the Gospel protagonist quoting Rabbi Hillel, when the Matthean accounts says:
Rabbi (Διδάσκαλε), which is the most important Mitzvah (ἐντολὴ ) in the Torah (νόμῳ)?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the YHVH Elohenu (κύριον σου θεόν) with all your LEV (καρδίᾳ), all your NEFESH (ψυχῇ), and all your INTELLECT (διανοίᾳ).’ This is the first and greatest Mitzvah. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire Torah and the Nevi’im are based on these two Mitzvot (δυσὶν ἐντολαῖς )” (22:36-40)
Without getting into how the Christian account actually misquotes the Torah here, we can see the parallel here to the teachings of Hillel the Pharisee, a popular Rabbi from the same time.
According to a popular Talmudic tale, a stranger once approached Hillel and Shammai, the great sages of the first century CE, with a question, or rather, more of a request: “Teach me the Torah while I stand on one foot.”
First, he brought the request to Shammai. The Talmud teaches that Shammai picked up a builder’s ruler and smacked him across his head and told him to leave.
So the man came to Hillel with the same question: “Teach me the Torah on one foot.” Hillel responded: “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah, all the rest is commentary. Zil u’gemar, now, go and learn.”
The Jesus character’s quoting of this well-known response was anything but innovative, it was a hat-tip to normative modes of Judaism.
“God is not a man, nor the Son of Man”
Finally, given the Jesus character’s insistence that not even on “iota” (ἰῶτα) or “yud” (י) of the Torah and Nevi’im will pass away, before the world and space (shamayim) itself pass away, we should consider the Torah’s teachings on this matter of Divine Incarnation.
As the Jesus character notes that we are all the metaphorical “children” of the Creator, Christianity has maintained that the phrase “Son of God” does actually not point to the Divinity of “Christ.” Instead, they claim that this is indicated by his use of the phrase “Son of Man” or “Ben Adam.”
Yet the same Torah that the Jesus character said would be in effect, down to the tiniest letter thereof, tells us that “God (אל) is not a man (איש)… neither [is God] the Son of Man (בן אדם)” (Bamidbar/Numbers 23:19).
Christianity clearly did not get the memo that this term “Son of Man” or “Son of Adam” simply means “Human Being” in Hebrew. In the same way, they did not realize that this was a popular designation of a Primordial Mashiach Qadmon of sorts, throughout Jewish Apocalyptic literature, which was wildly popular in the Second Temple Era.
Thus, with the Christian theological argument for Divine incarnation into the personage of this literary character and no one else completely uprooted, these theological weeds can be caste into the Fire – where they belong.
Print this article out and keep it with you for the next time Christian missionaries attempt to colonize your mind, and substitute Torah-true Yahadut with their cheap knock-off imitation, sloppily pieced together from reheated Mithraism, that they call the “New Covenant.”
As the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”