Orthodox Jewish Scholar's
Profound Words about Yeshua
James Scott Trimm
Not long ago Orthodox Jewish scholar Daniel Boyarin wrote a book "The Jewish Gospels; The Story of the Jewish Christ". This book also takes a non-hostile approach to Yeshua and his original Jewish followers. Daniel Boyarin is not only a noted historian of religion, he has also been called "one of the two or three greatest rabbinic scholars in the world." He holds dual United States and Israeli citizenship. Trained as a Talmudic scholar, in 1990 he was appointed Professor of Talmudic Culture, Departments of Near Eastern Studies and Rhetoric, University of California, Berkeley, a post which he still holds.
Boyarin opens his book with some very interesting words:
If there is one thing that Christians know about their religion, it is that it’s not Judaism. If there’s one thing Jews know about their faith, it is that it’s not Christianity. If there is one thing that both groups know about this “double not,” it’s that Christians believe in the Trinity and the incarnation of Christ (the Greek word for Messiah) and that Jews don’t, that Jews keep kosher and Christians don’t.
If only things were that simple. In this book, I’m going to tell a very different story, a story of a time when Jews and Christians were much more mixed up with each other than they are now, when there were many Jews who believed in something quite like the Father and the Son and even in something like the incarnation of the Son in the Messiah, and when followers of Jesus kept kosher as Jews, and accordingly a time in which the difference between Judaism and Christianity just didn’t exist as it does now....
While by now almost everyone, Christian and non-Christian, is happy enough to refer to Jesus, the human, as a Jew, I want to go a step beyond that. I wish us to see that Christ too–the divine Messiah–is a Jew. Christology, or the early ideas about Christ, is also a Jewish discourse and not–until much later–an anti-Jewish discourse at all. Many Israelites at the time of Jesus were expecting a Messiah who would be divine and come to earth in the form of a human. Thus the basic underlying thoughts from which both the Trinity and the incarnation grew are there in the very world into which Jesus was born and in which he was first written about in the Gospels of Mark and John (1-2)
(Daniel Boyarin, The Jewish Gospels; The Story of the Jewish Christ; 2012, p. 1, 5-6)
Of course I believe that Boyarin uses the term "Christian" too loosely here (the original followers of Yeshua identified themselves as Jews and not as "Christians,") however it is very interesting that such an important Orthodox Jewish scholar is now willing to admit that not only were Yeshua's original followers Kosher eating and Torah observant, but that the doctrine of the Deity of Messiah itself was of Jewish origin, was held by the original Jewish followers of Yeshua from the very beginning, and has been rejected by Rabbinic Judaism since the first century in a reactionary manner!
In coming years you will see many Jewish people embracing Yeshua as the Messiah. (In fact it has already begun).
The Jewish people know that an anti-Torah Messiah is no Messiah at all, they know better than to accept the rank paganism attached to Gentile Christianity.
I am humbled by the fact that this ministry is on the cutting edge of this great last days restoration.
The Jewish people will also come to realize that the books known as the "New Testament" (More correctly called the Ketuvim Netzarim, the "Writings of the Nazarenes") in their original Hebrew and Aramaic rather than their Greek translations, are as much a "Jewish Book" as the Tanak ("Old Testament").
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