Christian Debatorial Works
(Jewish statements taken from the website [www.whatjewsbelieve.org], and is copyright material by Rabbi Stuart Federow)
The major Jewish objections to Christianity are:
1. Jews believe that one person cannot die for the sins of another person.
The Christian understanding is that the messiah, Jesus, died for the sins of the people. The messiah is supposed to be a human sacrifice that is the blood sacrifice necessary for the forgiveness of sin.
But we are taught in our Bible that no one can die for the sins of another.
In Deuteronomy 24:16 it specifically says this:
The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the father. Every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
In Exodus 32:30-35, Moses tries to offer himself as an atonement for the sins of the people. To be written out of God's book, means to be written out of the Book of Life, which means Moses was asking to die for the sins of the People. God's response was "No, it does not work that way, each man dies for his own sin:"
And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the Eternal; perhaps I shall make an atonement for your sin. And Moses returned unto the Eternal, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. And the Eternal said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them. And the Eternal plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made. [Exodus 32:30-35]
The whole of chapter 18 of the book of Ezekiel is about this idea, that no one can die for someone else's sin. Further, this chapter of Ezekiel teaches us that all we have to do for God's forgiveness is to stop doing the Bad and start doing the Good, and God will forgive us. Nowhere in this chapter does it say that we have to have a blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. (But more on this later.)
The word of the Eternal came unto me again, saying, What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge? As I live, saith the Eternal God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.
The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Eternal God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.
When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. [Ezekiel 18:1-4; 20-24; 26-27]
So, the Bible is clear, no one can die for the sins of another.This means that Jesus cannot die for your sins.
This argument seems to completly overlook the institution of a sacrificial system in the time of Moses, which was intended to deal with the sins of Israel through the cermonial sacrifice of an animal. Some passages regarding this are:
7 Moses said to Aaron, "Come to the altar and sacrifice your sin offering and your burnt offering and make atonement for yourself and the people; sacrifice the offering that is for the people and make atonement for them, as the LORD has commanded."
8 So Aaron came to the altar and slaughtered the calf as a sin offering for himself.
Jesus, being sinless Himself, is that perfect sacrifice, the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world, and is thus the fulfillment of the Jewish sacrificial system.
"He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:5-6, NIV)
This is not to be confused with passages indicating "The son shall not be puniched for the sins of the father" which are not referring to the condition of the sinner before God, but the condition of transgressors of the Law before the judicial system in Israel. These passages prevent innocent relatives of Law transgressors from being legally punished.
However, this goes a little deeper yet.
Initially, we were intended to all be free of sin. Yet Adam, father of the human race, sinned, and his sin nature was passed on to every one of us in turn. We today sin because of the sin nature imputed to us through our relationship with Adam.
Jesus, on the other hand, had no sin nature, and so to be unified with Him is to be part of a new relationship, one of life, and not of death.
Just like being united with Adam meant death, being united with Jesus means life, as Jesus is a new Adam.
"The result of one trespass (of Adam) was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous." (Romans 5:18-19, NIV)
This ultimately means that the ability of Jesus to save mankind from sin goes beyond the Jewish system, beyond the Jewish covenant itself, and harkens back to the original sin in Eden, and the original sinner in Adam.
2. Jews believe that we do not need a blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins.
If one believed that a blood sacrifice was necessary before God would forgive you, then even one example where God forgave without a blood sacrifice would prove that this idea is UnBiblical. There are many such examples, but the most interesting is found in the Book of Leviticus. The reason this is so interesting is that it comes right in the middle of the discussion of sin sacrifices, which is found in the first chapters. In Leviticus 5:11-13, it states, "If, however, he cannot afford two doves or two young pigeons, he is to bring as an offering for his sin a tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering." One can also see that one does not need a blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins in the Book of Jonah 3:10. There, the Bible simply states that God saw the works of the people of Ninevah. Specifically it says that the works God saw were that they stopped doing evil, and so God forgave them. There are plenty of other examples, and the idea that one needs a blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins is UnBiblical.
So, if the people of Israel had gone up to Jerusalem in the past for the Day of Atonement, and the priests had sacrificed some flour as the offering, no one there would have passed comment?
So, while exceptions were made on a daily basis to accomodate those sinners who were unable to bring the appropriate offering, this was yet accounted for on the Day of Atonement when a blood sacrifice was made.
Make no doubt about it: the Old Testament is clear on the need for blood to atone for the sins of the people of God...
11 For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life.
It can be additionally noted that on the Day of Atonement, when the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies, he did so not without blood, and thus, as this is a picture of increasing nearness to God, (Outer Court, then Inner Court, finally to Holy of Holies), it is shown that increasing nearness to God does indeed require blood sacrifice.
3. Jews believe that Jesus was not the messiah.
Christians identify Messiah with Jesus and define him as God incarnated as a man, and believe he died for the sins of humanity as a blood sacrifice. This means that one has to accept the idea that one person's death can atone for another person's sins. However, this is opposed to what the Bible says in Deuteronomy 24:16, "Every man shall be put to death for his own sin," which is also expressed in Exodus 32:30-35, and Ezekiel 18. The Christian idea of the messiah also assumes that God wants, and will accept, a human sacrifice. After all, it was either Jesus-the-god who died on the cross, or Jesus-the-human. Jews believe that God cannot die, and so all that Christians are left with in the death of Jesus on the cross, is a human sacrifice. However, in Deuteronomy 12:30-31, God calls human sacrifice an abomination, and something He hates: "for every abomination to the Eternal, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods." All human beings are sons or daughters, and any sacrifice to God of any human being would be something that God would hate. The Christian idea of the messiah consists of ideas that are UnBiblical.
See above rebuttal notes for answers to the issue of one persons death atoning for the sins of another.
Christians believe that God indeed did die on the cross:
2 Cor 5:18-19
19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ
And yes, this leads to the problem that an immortal being apparently "died". While we agree saying that God cannot actually die, we need to clear up confusion by defining what death actually is.
What is death? The Bible says clearly Jesus died for our sins, and death involves the whole person not just his flesh. Certainly the spirit lives on, however it becomes separated at the point of death. If it was only the flesh involved in the redemption what eternal value is that? The concept of the crucifixion is not that God actually died, but that God as Jesus was separated spiritually, and died in the flesh. In Gethsamane it was this cup that Jesus asked to be removed.
When we look at the symbolic usage of cups, we find it can represent Gods wrath poured out as punishment. This is cup that he had asked to be removed, the wrath of God that would result in separation he would experience on the cross. This is the baptism he said he had to experience. While we are all born in a sinful state, and have by nature the consequences of spiritual death separation from God. Jesus never knew of this, he was always in perfect fellowship with the Father and the Spirit from eternity. He knew something would take place he never experienced before. As soon as the sins of the world were placed on him he was in contact with the effects of sin which is separation from God. As our substitute he was separated, suffering the wrath of God for us, he cried out to the Father "my God, my God why have you forsaken me?" His eternal fellowship was broken as he experienced the punishment for sin. He now understood its affect on the human condition, body and soul.
If what God did not experience is the same as what Jesus experienced, this event would be meaningless. The two natures are united organically in one person. As he cried out it is finished the debt for sin was paid. He cried out Father once again saying, "into your hands I commit my Spirit" and then breathed his last and died. Notice he did not say I commend your spirit, separating Gods spirit from himself, his spirit was deity. He determined the moment his own Spirit would be dismissed. (You try doing that, it won't happen) No mere man can control his own Spirit and the time of his death by speaking. Only God has this ability.
Heb 2:17, "that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people". Propitiation, sacrifices are always Godward, he did not sacrifice himself to himself as one person. He as God gave his life (his body) as a sacrifice to the Father. Heb. 9:14 "he offered himself without spot to God, we know from the scriptures that it was the Son who was on the cross and the Father who accepted his atonement. Yet we must not put aside that he was on the cross as God or we have only a human atoning for sins that would amount to of no effect. God is then reduced to a nature and not a person if his deity did not suffer along with the humanity.
4. Jews believe that God hates human sacrifices. Who died on the cross? Was it Jesus-the-god, or was it Jesus-the-human? If it was Jesus-the-god, Jews don't believe that God can die. If it was Jesus-the-human, then all Christians have in the death of Jesus was a human death, a human sacrifice. Jews believe that God hates the very idea of human sacrifice.
What, EXACTLY does God say about human sacrifice in the TaNaCH? In Deuteronomy 12:30-31, God calls Human sacrifice something that He hates, and an abomination to Him, "for every abomination to the Eternal, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. In Jeremiah 19:4-6, God tells us that Human sacrifice is so horrible a concept to Him, that it did not even come into His mind to demand it from His creation, "They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind." We see the same thing in Psalm 106:37-38, and in Ezekiel 16:20. This means that God would not accept Jesus's death on the cross as a blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. The very idea of that God would accept a human sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins is UnBiblical.
see above response
5. Jews believe that one is born into the world with original purity, and not with original sin. Jews do not believe in original sin.
Jews believe that one is born into the world with original purity, and not with original sin. Jews do not believe in original sin. The Christian concept of Original Sin is that since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, all human beings are born not only with a tendency to sin, but they are also born with the guilt of Adam and Eve, and for this guilt, all human beings die (see I Corinthians 15:21-22). In other words, Adam and Eve brought death into the world as a result of their sin, and because of this sin, all human beings die.
This is simply UnBiblical. The Biblical text tells us that Adam and Eve were not removed from the Garden of Eden because they sinned. (Please note that the first time the Bible uses the term, "sin," it is NOT in reference to Adam and Eve, it is in reference to the jealousy of Cain against Abel in Genesis 4:7.) Rather, Adam and Eve were removed from the Garden of Eden because there was another tree in the Garden from which God did not want them to eat. That tree was the Tree Of Life.
But think about this logically! If Adam and Eve had to eat the fruit of the Tree Of Life to become IMmortal, then God made them mortal to begin with. Adam and Eve were created in such a way that Death was a natural part of their existence, from the moment of their Creation!
The Biblical text of Genesis 3:22-24 tells us that Adam and Eve were almost like God and the Angels. They were almost like God and the Angels because they knew the difference between Good and Evil. Both God and the Angels know the difference between Good and Evil, but both God and the Angels are IMmortal as well. Because Adam and Eve had eaten the fruit of The Tree Of the Knowledge Of Good And Evil, they, like God and the Angels, knew the difference between Good and Evil. However, Adam and Eve were not yet IMmortal because they had not yet eaten from the Tree Of Life. Therefore God separated Adam and Eve from the Tree Of Life by kicking them out of the Garden. This means that Adam and Eve did not bring Death into the world! We Human Beings do not die because of their sin, we die because God made Death a part of life from the moment of Creation. There is no such thing as Original Sin!
And the Etrnl God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the Tree Of Life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the Etrnl God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the Garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the Tree Of Life. [Genesis 3:22-24]
Remember also that no one else can die for your sins. This is discussed in Question 1. This means that even if one believed that Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden (which they didn't), their descendants cannot die, and do not die, for the sin of Adam and Eve.
6. Jews believe that God is one and indivisible. Jews do not believe in a trinity.
The Jewish idea of God is that God is One and Indivisible. We cannot divide God up into separate parts, where each part of God is UnEqual to each of the other parts, but somehow they are one and the same. The Hebrew Scriptures describes God as an absolute One, but the Christian's New Testament describes the Christian idea of God as divisible into three parts called a trinity. In the Christian's New Testament, Jesus at one point claims to have different knowledge than other parts of the Christian Trinity. For example, Matthew 24:36 or Mark 13:32. In another verse, Jesus does not have the same power as other parts of the Christian Trinity, for example, Luke 23:34. And in Matthew 26:42, Jesus's will is not the same as the will of the Father. Indeed, Jesus often contrasted himself with the Father, for example, in John 14:28, or Luke 18:19. Furthermore, Jesus supposedly said that the punishment for blaspheming against one part of the Trinity is not the same punishment for blaspheming against another part of the Trinity. In the Hebrew Scriptures, however, God is One, as we read in Deuteronomy 6:4, as well as in Isaiah 44:6, where God tells us, "I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God." When Isaiah tells us that God said, "I am the first," it means that God has no father. When Isaiah tells us that God said, "I am the last," it means that God has no literal son. And when Isaiah tells us that God said, "Besides me there is no God," it means that God does not share being God with any other god, or demi-god, or semi-god, or persons, and there is no trinity.
7. Jews believe in The Satan, but not in a devil. There is a difference between The Satan and the devil.
For Jews, anything that even remotely conflicts with the idea that God is One and Indivisible will be rejected because it precludes true, pure, monotheism. The idea that there is a God in heaven above who fights against a god of the underworld, or hell, is not monotheism. Other faiths had this same duality:
Now, of course, Judaism and the Bible tell of a character called, "The Satan." Every time the term is used in the Hebrew Scriptures, it reads, "HaSaTaN," which means "THE Satan." However, the concept of The Satan is radically different from the idea of the Devil. For Christians, the devil has power and authority in and of himself. However, in the Bible, The Satan only has power granted by God, and has no authority in and of himself. For the devil, or satan, to have power and authority is to have more than one god, as we saw above concerning the Greeks and the Romans.
The Satan is described in only a few places in the Hebrew Scriptures. In every instance, he is an angel who works FOR God, not against God, and must get permission from God for everything that he does. Chronicles, Job, Psalms, and Zechariah are the only places where The Satan is mentioned. In each instance, the job description of The Satan is to act like what we now call a Prosecuting Attorney, or District Attorney, and accuse and show evidence against the defendant. Furthermore, like a D.A., The Satan must obtain permission from God, The Judge, to begin a sting operation.
In the following quotation from the Biblical Book of Job, please take note of who is doing the talking, as The Satan asks God for permission to conduct a sting operation against Job:
And the Eternal said unto <the>Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou <The Satan> movedst me <God> against him, to destroy him without cause. And Satan answered the Eternal, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand <God's hand> now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the Eternal said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life. [Job 2:3-6]
In the above verses, The Satan must get permission from God to perform this "sting operation" on Job. The Satan has no power or authority of his own, like a District Attorney who must also obtain permission from The Judge for anything he does.
Furthermore, the Biblical text paints this same picture of the Satan, when it uses the character of The Satan in what appears to be the end of a court scene. In the following two quotations, The Satan is standing near the accused like the D.A. stands at the end of a court drama on television.
And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Eternal, and <the>Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the Eternal said unto Satan, "The Eternal rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Eternal that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?" [Zechariah 3:1-2]
Set thou a wicked man over him, and let Satan stand at his right hand. When he shall be judged, let him be condemned, and let his prayer become sin. [Psalm 109:6-7]
In the Bible there is also verses which show that it is God, the Creator and Ruler of the whole universe, who is responsible for both the Good and the Bad, and not a devil or god of the underworld:
I am the Eternal, and there is none else, there is no god beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Eternal, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Eternal do all these things. [Isaiah 45:5-7]
For God, the Bible, and for Judaism, to have an entity that competes with God, that has power and authority of his own in opposition to God, is to violate the basic idea of monotheism.
8. Jews believe that God is God, and humans are humans. God does not become human nor do humans become God.
Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, there is a sharp contrast made between God on one hand, and human beings on the other. First of all, there is always a reprimand against any human being who claims to be God, or Divine, as we read in Ezekiel 28:2:
Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Eternal God; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a god, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:
Then there is the verse from Hosea in which God specifically tells us that God is not a human being:
I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not a man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city. [Hosea 11:9]
And then there is another verse, in Numbers 23:19, where God specifically tells us that if God were a human being, then he would be a liar, as all human beings do lie on occasion. Furthermore, this verse tell us that if God were a human being, he would be in need of repentance because all human beings sin at some point in their lives. Finally, this verse also tells us that if God were a human being, then he would make promises, but not keep them:
God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the Son of Man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? [Numbers 23:19]
God is the same, God does not lie, and God is God and Human Beings are Human Beings, and God does not become a Human Being, and Human Beings do not become gods.
There are three Jewish Holy Days that express this idea.
Let us take a look at Passover, first. Passover is the celebration of the Exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. God brought the Jews out of slavery by performing miracles, which were in the form of plagues. These plagues were not against the Egyptians, as most people think. They were actually against the gods of the Egyptians. For example, the Egyptians worshipped the Nile, but Moses, on behalf of God, struck the Nile and it bled. The Egyptians worshipped the Sun, Ra. But one of the plagues of God was darkness for three days. The plagues of the locusts and the hail which destroyed the crops were against the Egyptian gods of the harvest. Finally the last plague was against the first-born sons who became the priests of these Egyptian gods. But the Pharaoh was held to be a god by the Egyptians. That is why the Biblical text in Exodus 11:5 tells us that the plague of the death of the firstborn went all the way to the throne of Pharaoh. The holiday of Passover has a way of saying, "Sorry, Pharaoh, you are not God!"
The next holiday we will look at is Chanukah. Antiochus of Syria wanted to unify his empire by making all of the inhabitants of his empire into Hellenists, followers of Zeus. But the Jews refused, of course, because they believe in only One God. Antiochus saw this as insurrection, and began persecuting the Jews. Antiochus called himself Antiochus Epiphanies, which means, "Antiochus who is god manifested." The holiday of Chanukah has a way of saying, "Sorry, Antiochus, you are not God!"
Finally, let us look at Purim, the holiday that celebrates the events of the Biblical book of Esther. In this story, there is a character named Haman. He hated the Jews because the Jewish hero, Mordechai, would not bow down to him. The holiday of Purim has a way of saying, "Sorry, Haman, you are not God!"
These three holidays have as a part of their themes, the idea that God is God, humans are humans, and God does not become a human, and humans do not become God.
This means that basic to the faith of the Jewish People, is the distinction between God and man, a distinction which is not found in Christianity. This confusion, the mixing of Man with gods, was common in the ancient pagan world.
9. Jews believe that "Jews for Jesus," "Messianic Jews," and "Hebrew Christians" are no longer Jews, even if they were once Jews.
Many people, Christians and some Jews as well, erroneously believe that just as one can be Black and Christian, just as one can be Oriental and Christian, one can also be Jewish and Christian. It is not true. The Jews are not a race. There is no genetic code passed from either mother or father to the child that makes that child a Jew. Even if all, or some, of the genetic code in a child could be proved to be of Jewish Origin, that would not make the child a Jew. Jewish law determines who is a Jew, and Jewish law is quite clear. If a person's mother is a Jew, and that person has not converted to another faith, then that person will be considered fully Jewish, so long as that person wishes to identify solely as a Jew. Although one cannot convert to become a member of a race, for example one cannot convert to become an Oriental or an African-American, one who converts to Judaism does, indeed, become fully a Jew. Similarly, if one converts from Judaism to another faith, one is no longer a Jew.
10. The "Jewish roots" of Christianity?
The newest technique used by Christian missionaries and other Christian Clergy, is what they call learning about "The Jewish Roots of Christianity." One might think this means how, in their opinion, Christianity began with Jews, or developed from Judaism. However, this is not what they mean by "the Jewish Roots." The way they show that the roots of Christianity are to be found in Judaism is that they put a Christian theological interpretation into a Jewish ceremony or ritual. Then they claim that this planted Christian theological interpretation, having been "found" in something Jewish (because it was planted there by them in the first place), shows that Christianity came from Judaism. This is nonsense, and shows the lengths they will go to, in order to obtain for themselves Jewish legitimacy.
David had a garden that was absolutely beautiful. In it, he grew the most perfect tomatoes that you have ever seen! One day, Matthew came along and planted cucumbers right in the middle of David's garden. When the cucumbers started sprouting, Matthew told everyone that the tomatoes were the root of his cucumbers. In other words, that the cucumbers had developed from the tomatoes, and were the natural result -- the goal -- of the tomatoes as they grew to maturity.
The above story may seem to you to be ridiculous, but this is exactly what many people who teach "The 'Jewish Roots' Of Christianity" actually do. They plant Christian cucumbers, so to speak, in the midst of the Jewish tomatoes, and then claim that what they planted there sprouted naturally from what was already growing there. In other words, they put a Christian theological interpretation into a Jewish ceremony or ritual. Then they claim that this planted Christian theological interpretation, having been "found" in something Jewish (because it was planted there by them in the first place), shows that Christianity came from Judaism. This is nonsense, and shows the lengths they will go to, in order to obtain for themselves Jewish legitimacy. Let me give you an example:
Most people are aware that there are three pieces of matzah on the Passover seder plate. Most people know that the middle matzah is taken out, broken into two, and one of the two pieces is then hidden away, brought out at the end of the meal, and is called the Afikoman. The matzah has stripes and lines of holes on it. Christians will claim that the matzah as well as the ritual with the Afikoman is symbolic of Jesus, and therefore indicates that the basic theology of Christianity can be found in Jewish rituals. This, to them, shows the "Jewish Roots" of Christianity. They will claim that the stripes and holes represent the marks on Jesus from the scourging he received, and the holes represent those on Jesus that were caused by the crucifixion. They will claim the three pieces of matzah represent the trinity of the Father, the SON, and the Holy Spirit. Please take note that it is the middle matzah, the "son" in the trinity, that is taken out and broken (crucified), hidden (buried), and brought back out (resurrected).
The problem with this is that it is an absolute lie. There was no seder, no Haggadah, no three pieces of Matzah on any seder plate, at the time of Jesus. There was not even a seder plate. The whole ritual developed hundreds of years after Jesus lived. The first discussions of a Passover ritual describe only one half of a piece of matzah. This half piece of Matzah was then broken in half, and one of these two pieces, now a fourth of the original whole, was set aside, to be eaten as the last part of the meal. It was not hidden, it was merely set aside, remaining in plain view. The idea of hiding it came in the middle 1600's, in Germany, as a way to keep the children interested in the service, an idea that eventually caught on throughout the world. The reason that the matzah has stripes and holes is that it is machine made. The machine causes the stripes and the holes as it pulls the dough through the machine. This machine was invented only about 150 years ago, in the middle of the 1800's.
Of course, Christian missionaries and those who want to see Christianity as coming from Judaism, can interpret anything at all in a Christian way. But that does not mean that Christianity developed from whatever they are interpreting.
A Christian might ask, "But weren't the first Christians actually Jews?" Yes, but this is irrelevant. The first Protestants were Roman Catholics. Martin Luther was a Roman Catholic Priest. The Roman Catholics do not consider Protestant Christianity to be merely another form of Roman Catholicism.
If you read the Apocryphal book of I Maccabbees, you will see that the first person killed in the Maccabbee's rebellion was a Jew. He was willing to go ahead and sacrifice a pig to Zeus, just as Mattathias had refused to do. Obviously, he had to have been a very secular, assimilated Jew. Had he survived Mattathias's attack, and later formed a religion that was dedicated to the worship of Zeus and Zeus's half-human sons, would that make his newly formed faith just another form of Judaism? Should he call his new faith, "Jews For Zeus," or "Jews For Zeus And His Half-Human Sons?" Would that mean that his new faith had "Jewish Roots?"
Christian missionaries, and this includes the "Jews" For Jesus, the Messianic "Jews," and the "Hebrew" Christians, will go to any length to get even one real Jew to convert. They will take anything that is Jewish and put into it Christian symbolism. Then they will claim that, since they can now find Christian symbolism in it, that it proves that Christianity developed from it, that it was the source of Christian theology, and that the Jews are too stupid to see how Christian theology is what Gd wanted them to see in it, in the first place.
However, this can be done with anything that is not Jewish as well!
One could do the same thing with pizza. Pizza has three basic elements to it, the bread, the tomato sauce, and the cheese. The middle element is the tomato sauce, which is red.
One could easily give a Christian interpretation to these three elements that define pizza:
The three basic ingredients of pizza represent the Christian trinity of the Father, the son and the Holy Spirit.
The bread: Jesus is called the bread of life. The dough is kneaded. This image of kneading the dough is the same as someone being beaten which could represent Jesus being scourged. The dough to make the bread is rolled over with an instrument, which pokes holes in the dough to remove any air before baking. This could be likened to Jesus receiving the holes in his body from the crucifixion, just like they say of the matzah.
The tomato sauce: The sauce is red like Jesus's blood, and it is spread all around the dough like the blood of a sacrifice is put on an altar.
The cheese: The cheese covers the rest, like the death of Jesus covers the sins of the people.
From what you have read above, you can easily see how anything, even pizza, can be used to symbolize Jesus. But does that mean that the symbolism found in pizza indicates The Pizza Roots of Christianity?
There are no Jewish Roots to Christianity, because the theology that supports it is antithetical to what the Bible says, and is diametrically opposite of what Judaism believes.