What Is Jesus In Judaism

The Historical Context of Jesus in Judaism

In Judaism, Jesus is seen in both a negative and a positive light. Throughout history, Jews have held numerous views of Jesus. Many Jews saw him as an important teacher or prophet, while others have seen him as a false savior. This history of tension between Judaism and Christianity is both complex and contradicting.
In the first century CE, during Jesus’ lifetime, there was a form of Judaism that believed in a salvation for the world seen in a messiah figure. This Judaism was known as the movement of the Pharisees. This group was opposed to the belief of certain Jewish sects, such as the Sadducees, that the messiah would descend from heaven and bring about the end of the world.
In Christian tradition, Jesus is presented as the messiah of these early Pharisees. According to the Gospel of Matthew, when Jesus was brought to trial for his false claims, the Pharisees asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” In reply, Jesus identified himself as the messiah.

The Jewish Refutation of Christianity

After the death of Jesus, many of his followers believed that he had been resurrected, claiming that he was in fact the messiah. As Christianity gained traction and began to spread, the Jews viewed this new religion as blasphemous. They accused the Christians of perverting the Hebrew scriptures into a false messiah, and thus making a mockery of the traditional Jewish faith.
This sparked a heated controversy, leading to bloody persecution of Jews. During the time of the Second Temple (630-70 BCE) non-Christian Jews were attacked and ostracized for their perceived resistance to the new religion.
In response, Jewish leaders began to refute Christianity’s claims. Talmudic scholars produced extended arguments showing how Jesus was not the true messiah. To this day, some Rabbinical authorities continue to reject Jesus as the messiah, and teach that the traditional Judaism of the Torah remains the only true religion.

The Jewish Reception of Jesus Today

Modern Judaism has adopted a nuanced view of Jesus, recognizing him as an influential religious teacher and prophet in his own right. Jesus is often seen as a teacher of moral and ethical messages, in line with the teachings of other great prophets.
However, mainstream Judaism resists the notion of Jesus as the messiah and of Christianity as the only true religion. Judaism teaches that the Jewish people are to continue the search for their true messiah, and that the only one who can determine who is the messiah is God Himself.
Despite this, many Jews apply Jesus’ ethical teachings to their own lives. Many see him as an example of a righteous individual, and read the New Testament stories with respect.

The Role of Jesus in Messianic Judaism

In modern times, a new form of Judaism has emerged that is heavily influenced by Christianity – messianic Judaism. This movement sees Jesus as the messiah of Judaism and the New Testament as inspired scripture. Messianic Jews believe that Jesus is the only way to be saved and follow his teachings while still maintaining parts of the traditional Jewish faith.
However, most Jews reject this religion as a deviation from the mainstream Jewish faith. Many see the movement as a modern attempt to erase the centuries of struggle between Judaism and Christianity and the attempted erasure of the Jewish faith by re-interpreting the scriptures.

Effects of Christian Persecution on Jesus in Judaism

Due to the centuries of Christian persecution, Jesus is seen in many instances as having a negative connotation in Judaism. Jesus is often portrayed as a false messiah who drew his followers away from the Jewish faith.
These views have been perpetuated within the Jewish community by stories and tales that paint Jesus as a false messiah and a deceiver. This has led to a fear and resentment of Jesus within many members of the Jewish faith.

Jewish Jesus Scholarship

In the past few decades, modern scholarship has begun to re-examine Jesus’ teachings to uncover the nature of his religious beliefs. Scholars are especially looking into Jesus’ relationship with the Jewish faith and his own Jewish identity.
Scholars now have a better understanding of the early Christian movement and its connection to the Hebrew scriptures, and the shared ideas between Jesus’ teachings and those of other Rabbinical authorities.
Thanks to the work of these scholars, Jesus is beginning to be seen in a new, more positive light within Judaism. Rather than being viewed as a false messiah, many Jews see Jesus as a great teacher and a moral leader.

The Reception of Jesus in Jewish-Christian Dialogue

Modern Jewish-Christian dialogue has made a major contribution to the changing perception of Jesus in Judaism. Through these conversations, both sides are gaining a better understanding of the other’s beliefs and working to overcome the religious and historical disputes that have divided them for centuries.
This dialogue is seen as a key factor in the growing acceptance of Jesus within Judaism, as both sides strive to foster understanding between two faiths that share similar histories and values.

Jesus and Jewish Texts

Jesus’ teachings and life have been mentioned in traditional Jewish texts, such as the Midrash, Talmud, and Zohar. These works often highlight Jesus’ positive qualities and show respect towards him. For example, the Talmud states that Jesus was born miraculously and predicts his life and ,death.
The Midrash recounts stories of the miracles performed by Jesus, often depicting him as a kind and wise teacher. The Zohar marks Jesus as a holy individual and speaks favorably of his influence on society.


Generally, Jesus is seen in a negative light within Judaism, largely as a result of Christian persecution and Jewish-Christian disputes. In recent years, however, Jesus is gaining more acceptance within Judaism due to modern scholarship, dialogues, and references in traditional Jewish texts.
While many Rabbinical authorities teach that Jesus is not the messiah, Jesus is seen in a more positive light as an important teacher and moral leader. Jesus is viewed as a key example of righteous conduct and his ethical teachings are strongly present in modern Judaism.

Josephine Beck is a passionate seeker of religious knowledge. She loves to explore the depths of faith and understanding, often asking questions that challenge traditional beliefs. Her goal is to learn more about the different interpretations of religion, as well as how they intersect with one another.

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