The Jewish Messiah and Jesus

Ehteshaam Gulam

“The Jewish Messiah was suppose to be a warrior king—not crucified like a criminal” – New Testament Scholar, Bart D. Ehrman.

"I firmly believe, in complete faith, in the coming of the Messiah, and although he may tarry, I daily wait for his coming." (Rabbi Maimonides)

One of the most common Christian claims I have encountered is that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and our Jewish Friends must accept him. I have also heard countless times that Jesus is predicted in the Old Testament. After looking into these claims, I am confident that these claims are 100% fiction.

Judaism, unlike Christianity, does not believe that the Messiah is Jesus. The noun moshiach (translated as messiah) annotatively means "annointed one;" it does not, however, imply "savior." In Jewish thinking, the Messiah was not a divine figure, but was a human being chosen by God to fulfill some grand purpose on earth. He was suppose to raise up an army and fight Isreal’s enemies and establish Israel as a divine state ruled by God. [1]

The Messiah was never meant to be an object of worship. The Messiah was suppose to be a political king. Jesus was never a political king. Jesus was a deeply rooted Pharrisse Jew. In his day, many people called Jesus "rabbi."The notion of an innocent, semi-divine being who will sacrifice himself to save us from the consequences of our own sins is a purely Pagan and Christian concept that has no basis in Jewish thought or scripture. In Judaic texts, the term messiah was used for all kings, high priests, certain warriors, but never eschatological figures. In the Torah moshiach is used 38 times: two patriarchs, six high priests, once for Cyrus, 29 Israelite kings such as Saul and David. Not once is the word moshiach used in reference to the awaited Messiah. Even in the apocalyptic book of Daniel, the only time moshiach is mentioned is in connection to a murdered high priest. The Dead Sea Scrolls, the Pseudepigrapha, and Apocrypha never mention the Messiah. When Christians point out to Isaiah 53 and Psalms 22--- these
verses say nothing about a Messiah. According to the Jews of Ancient Israel-- the Messiah was suppose to be a great warrior king like David, who would over throw
the enemies of Israel & establish Israel as a state. According to the Jewish Apocryphal book Psalms of Solomon 17:21-32, the Messiah was suppose to be a powerful
warrior-king. Jesus was not a warrior king who took out the Romans.

As a Muslim I have no problems with admitting that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is not the Jewish Messiah (although he was foretold in the Old Testament). And as a Muslim I will provide pieces of evidence that prove that Jesus is also not the Jewish Messiah. The man destined to be the Messiah will be a direct descendant from the house of King David (Isaiah 11:1) [2].

Through the family of Solomon, David's son (1 Chronicles 22:9-l0). He will cause all the world to serve God together (Isaiah 11:2), be wiser than Solomon (Mishnah Torah Repentance 9:2), greater than the patriarchs and prophets (Aggadah Genesis 67), and more honored than kings (Mishnah Sanhedrin 10), for he will reign as king of the world (Pirkei Eliezer).

Amongst the most basic missions that the Messiah will accomplish during his lifetime (Isaiah 42:4) are to:

* Oversee the rebuilding of Jerusalem, including the Third Temple in the event that it has not yet been rebuilt (Michah 4:1 and Ezekiel 40-45).

* Gather the Jewish people from all over the world and bring them home to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 11:12; 27:12-13). Influence every individual of every nation to abandon and be ashamed of their former beliefs (or non-beliefs) and acknowledge and serve only the One True God of Israel (Isaiah 11:9-10; 40:5 and Zephaniah 3:9)

* Influence every individual of every nation to abandon and be ashamed of their former beliefs (or non-beliefs) and acknowledge and serve only the One True God of Israel (Isaiah 11:9-10; 40:5 and Zephaniah 3:9).

* Bring about global peace throughout the world (Isaiah 2:4; 11:5-9 and Michah 4:3-4). One of the Messiah's main tasks is to bring world peace by ending wars and arms manufacturing (Isaiah 2:4). Yet, Christian nations are very war-like, and wars continue to be fought to this day.

Did Jesus do any of these things? No. The historical fact is that Jesus fulfilled none of these messianic prophecies.  Moreover even if Jesus was the Jewish Messiah then, why does the New Testiment admit that not one of the rabbis of the time accept his claim? Why did all the educated men and prominent men reject him? If Jesus was the Messiah, why did most of his own people, the Jews of that time, reject him, including his own family? Why did his followers consist almost completely of a handful of poorly educated people?

The Jewish Messiah is to be a mortal human being born to two mortal parents. He is neither to be a god, nor a man born of supernatural or virgin birth. There is nothing in the Bible that states that the Messiah would be a god or God-like, or that he would be born to a virgin. The concept of the former contradicts the Jewish concept of God being above and beyond taking human form and limitations. Jews believe that only God should be worshipped, not a being of His creation, not even the Messiah himself.
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. (there is no mention of any “second coming” in the Tanach or the New Testament)The "second coming" theory is a desperate attempt by Christians to explain away Jesus’ failure. The Biblical passages which Christians are forced to regard as second coming don’t speak of someone returning, they have a "first coming" perspective.

Notes and Bibliography

[1] Bart Ehrman (2005) pg. 187-188

[2] In Islam, David is a very respected Prophet of Israel.

Ehrman Bart (2005): Misquoting Jesus: The story behind who changed the Bible and why Harper Collins Publishers, New York