David posts: “Because every human being is the Child of God.”
Crissy posts to my FB: “Are you saying Jesus Christ is or isn’t the Son of God?”
Luke says: “Judaism has always believed in a complete separation of man and God. The Torah says God can not take human form. The idea of it is completely ludicrous for a Jew. A Jew can not accept these distinct Christian beliefs, Crissy, but it’s fine for non-Jews if they want to believe such things. Just so long as they lead ethical lives, they can believe what they want, and will have a place in the world to come. It is theoretically possible for God to take human form, but no Jew can accept this.”
Crissy says: “So the Torah has authority over the Bible? and now I have to ask you from your last comment… do Jews believe that leading ethical lives is what gets you to heaven? or do they even believe in heaven (since you said world to come)?”
Luke posts: The Torah is the first five books of the Bible. Jews believe that all good people have a place in the world to come (based on your deeds). Jews don’t speak about “heaven” and “hell” preferring terms such as “Afterlife.”
For Jewish views of Jesus, see these books by Hyam Maccoby.
David posts: “Crissy, I don’t mean “son” literally, of course. Like Luke says, Judaism doesn’t accept God taking on a human form. That’s why we are ALL created in His image, and why we are all His “children.” At the same time, we respect the fact that there are other paths to God that differ significantly from ours.”
Crissy posts: “I believe we are all created in his image. I am not sure what the Torah says but the bible says that Jesus is the son of God and he was sent to heaven as a sinless human. Do you just believe the first 5 books of the Bible or the entire Bible? btw – I am not trying to be confrontational and I will look … See Moreat the links. I am just wondering why Luke chose to be Jewish instead of Christian. I had this thought that since he is so brilliant maybe it was because it was more intellectual.”
Luke says: Jews believe in the Bible, but we have never regarded the New Testament as part of the Bible and we’ve never seen it as a source for truth of any kind, any more than you would see the Koran or the scriptures of the Hindus as a valid source of religious truth for you a Christian.
The Gospels say we should come to God like little children. There is nothing like this in 4,000 years of Judaism. We come to God with our adult brains and a simple Jew (an am haaretz) can never be a good Jew according to the Talmud. You have to study. It is more intellectual and more demanding and more difficult but not nearly as accessible and immediate and thrilling and emotional as Christianity.
Pat: “How does modern Judaism then explain that many Jews didn’t see an incompatibility in accepting Jesus and remaining Jewish? Are the earliest Christians consider heretic or schismatic?”
Luke: Jews have always left their religion for other religions throughout history. Jews worshipped baal. Jews worship Jesus. Both are equally idolatrous for Jews, though not necessarily for non-Jews.