Jesus Was A Jew – So What is That To You?

by Steve Ray on June 20, 2018

The Jewish Jesus – like he really was

Jesus was a Jew…

This fact may escape the casual reader of the New Testament, but it is crucial to understanding Jesus and the book written about him—the Bible. Unhappily, in 21st century America we are far removed from the land of Israel and the ancient culture and religion of Judaism followed by Jesus and his Jewish ancestors.

Let me ask you a few questions. Were you born and raised in Israel? Did you study the Torah with the rabbis from an early age? Have you traversed the rocky hills and dusty paths to celebrate the mandatory feasts in Jerusalem?

Do you speak Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic? I haven’t found anyone in my Catholic parish who has these credentials. Without this background, we are at a great disadvantage when studying the Bible and its central character — Jesus himself.

When we open the pages of our English Bible, we find a Jewish book! The setting revolves around Israel and the worship of Yahweh.

With one exception, the more than forty biblical writers were all Jews, and the exception was most likely a Jewish proselyte.  (Do you know who the only non-Jewish author in the Bible is? I’ll give you a few hints: he was a physician, one of St. Paul’s co-workers, and he wrote the first history of the Church.)

The point is, how can we understand the Bible and the teaching surrounding our Lord Jesus and salvation without understanding his people, his culture, and his Jewish identity?

For the whole article click here.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Barry Wright May 24, 2015 at 5:41 AM

Great article Steve. Thank you for the list of resources.

Another resource I would highly recommend is ‘Jesus in Context’ by Darrell Bock. It is a fantastic resource for understanding Jesus in his first century Jewish context. It goes through each Gospel story and provides background readings from Jewish sources that shed light on Jesus and his actions. Some of the sources used include Joesphus, The Dead sea scrolls, The Mishnah, Talmud, OT Pseudepigrapha etc. The format of the book makes it very easy to use. It really is a wonderful reference work.

P.s the non Jewish author is Luke.

Kevin May 25, 2015 at 2:32 AM

Luke is My Guess!

Steve I have a question what is the technical name of The Apostles converting from Jews to Catholics this was a Long Process. They were caught between practicing their Jewish faith and adhering to their new Catholic Practices. I heard it a few years back and I cannot recollect where I heard this technical name!

Have a great experience with your Pilgrims!

Thanks for being a beacon of Hope in Jesus name in this dark world of Today!

STEVE RAY HER FROM ASSISI: They are “Completed Jews” or “fulfilled Jew”

Andre Villeneuve June 20, 2016 at 9:29 AM

Great article, Steve. Except that it is not Pius XII who said “spiritually we are all Semites” but Pius XI in 1938.

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