"O L-RD, Who are my power and my strength and my refuge in the day of trouble, to You nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, 'Only lies have our fathers handed down to us, emptiness in which there is nothing of any avail! Can a man make gods for himself, and they are no gods? 'Therefore, behold I let them know; at this time I will let them know My power and My might, and they shall know that My Name is the L-RD".
Jeremiah 16:19-21
Question: 

I used to be a Christian and I live in an area that is mainly Christian.  I am now trying to live as a Buddhist.  I would like information that proves that Jesus was NOT the Christ that the Christians claim.  For instance, I do not see the end of war, the lion lying down with the lamb, or a changed world.  Would you recommend a book or pamphlet that proves that Jesus is not the person who the Christians claim him to be.

Answer:

The reason why Judaism does not accept the Christian messiah is simple and clear: There is no relationship between what the Jewish scriptures teach about the messiah and Jesus of Nazareth.

What does scripture say about the messiah and the age he will bring to the world?  I would encourage you to read Ezekiel 37.  In this well known chapter, the prophet clearly teaches that we can recognize the coming of the messiah when: the resurrection of the dead, the building of the final Temple that will stand forever in Jerusalem, the universal knowledge of God and obedience to His Torah, the restoration of the lost tribes (Ephraim or the Kingdom of Israel whom Assyria carried off), and the complete restoration of the Jewish people to their land all take place.

When we carefully consider that none of this has occurred, we can be assured that although many thousands of individuals have claimed to be the messiah throughout the centuries, Jesus included, none of them is.  Moreover, when we ponder whether Jesus is the messiah, it is obvious that the very opposite occurred immediately after the Christian movement began; that is: During the first century the Romans slaughtered many thousands of Jews, the Jewish people were exiled from their land, the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, the knowledge of Torah and its observance decreased, and the nation of Israel was dispersed throughout the Roman Empire.  Clearly, there is no relationship between what the Bible says about the messiah and what the Messianic movement teaches about Jesus.

Missionaries often insist that Jesus will somehow accomplish these things in a second coming.  While this notion conveniently explains away any failed messiahship, it is completely and utterly antithetical to the Bible.

I encourage you to study Outreach Judaism’s tapes series and study guide entitled, Let’s Get Biblical! for an in-depth study of this subject.

James, I suggest that you read Ezekiel 37 for another reason.  It would give you the opportunity to learn about the real messiah, for whose coming the Jewish people all yearn.  As you consider the flaws of the Christian claim, remember that the nation of Israel stood at the foot of Mount Sinai and heard the voice of God and declared His testimonies to the world.  It is the nation of Israel that bears the mark of the covenant and attests to the world that there is one God and no other.  His name is not Buddha.  It is the Lord, God of Israel, your Creator.

Yours,

Rabbi Tovia Singer
National Director of Outreach Judaism
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