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Beliefs about Jesus in Judaism, Christianity, Islam Felix Just, S.J. – Dec. 1, 2006 Who Is Jesus? – Overview Judaism: A Jew from Nazareth; possibly a prophet Not the Messiah, nor Son of God, nor divine Christianity: Christ/Messiah, Son of God, Prophet, King, etc.

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Beliefs about Jesusin Judaism, Christianity, Islam

Felix Just, S.J. – Dec. 1, 2006


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Who Is Jesus? – Overview

  • Judaism:

    • A Jew from Nazareth; possibly a prophet

    • Not the Messiah, nor Son of God, nor divine

  • Christianity:

    • Christ/Messiah, Son of God, Prophet, King, etc.

    • Fully human & fully divine (both/and)

  • Islam:

    • Last great prophet before Muhammad

    • Miraculous birth; but not crucified; not divine


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Jewish Hopesfor the Future:

  • Worksheet Q1) Based on the HB, describe some of the characters God may appoint to intervene in history:

  • An “anointed” or “appointed” leader:

    • Prophet like Moses – Deut 18:15-22; or Elijah – Mal 3:23

    • Priest (like Aaron) – Mal 3:1ff; Dead Sea Scrolls

    • Anointed King (like David) – Psalm 2:1-12

    • Royal Shepherd (like David) – Micah 5:1-8

    • Son of Man (royal judge) – Daniel 7:1-28

    • or more than one figure? – Dead Sea Scrolls

    • or God Himself directly? – Micah 4:1-10; 5:9-14


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The “Messiah” – Jewish Ideas

  • Worksheet Q4) Acc. to the article, “Why Can’t a Jew Believe in Jesus,” what are the expectations for the Messiah, from a Jewish perspective?

  • Various Requirements & Expectations:

    • Messiah is Human & Jewish (Deut 17:15; Num 24:17)

    • From tribe of Judah (Gen 49:10)

    • From family of David (1 Chron 22:9-10)

    • Jewish Exiles will return (Isa 11:12; 27:12-13)

    • Jerusalem Temple will be restored (Micah 4:1)

    • World will have peace (Isa 2:4; 11:6; Micah 4:3)

    • Everyone will believe in God (Isa 11:9; 40:5; Zeph 3:9)


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Hebrew Bible: Messianic Texts?

  • Texts interpreted by Christians, but not by Jews, as referring to the Messiah and/or Jesus:

    • Birth of Immanuel (Isaiah 7:1-17)

    • Suffering Servant (Isa 42:1-4; 49:1-7; 50:4-11; 52:13–53:12)

    • New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34)

    • Crucifixion Foretold? (Psalm 22)

    • Enthronement of the King (Psalm 110)

    • Etc.


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Jesus: New Testament Beliefs

  • Worksheet Q2)List some core early Christian beliefs about Jesus, as found in NT texts:

  • Various Christological Titles & Roles:

    • Prophet (Messenger); Christ/Messiah (“Anointed One”)

    • Son of God (Equal to God; One with the Father)

    • Son of Man; Judge; Savior; Lord

    • Son of David; King (of the Jews, of Israel)

  • Sampling of NT Texts:

    • Matt 16:13-20; Luke 4:14-30

    • John 5:15-18; 6:14-15; 7:40-42; 10:22-42

    • Acts 3:22; 4:8-12; 7:37; Phil 2:1-11

    • Col 1:15-29; Heb 1:1--2:18


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Jesus: The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty…

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;he suffered, died, and was buried.On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures;he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life…


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Jesus / ’Isa:Muslim Views

  • Worksheet Q3)How does the Qur’an describe the significance of Jesus (’Isa)?  What does it say about his birth, life, and death?

  • Worksheet Q5)According to the article, “Islamic & Christian Views of Jesus,” what are the main differences between the Muslim and Christian interpretations of the life and significance of Jesus?

  • Readings from the Qur’an:

    • Assigned: 2:135-141; 3:42-59; 4:150-173; 5:17-19, 67-77; 19:16-36; 112:1-4

    • Additional: 5:109-120; 9:30-31; 43:57-64; 57:27; 61:6, 14

  • Hadith: “The prophets are like brothers from the same father with different mothers. Their religion is one although their Shariah (rules of religion) differed. I am the most deserving of Prophet ’Isa. There was no other prophet between us.” (Muhammad)


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Jesus: Contrasting Beliefs

  • What do Jews, Christians, and Muslims believe about:

    • Jesus’ Nature & Role ?

    • Jesus’ Birth ?

    • Jesus’ Life & Actions ?

    • Jesus’ Death ?

    • Jesus’ Resurrection & Ascension ?

    • Jesus’ Second Coming ?


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Jesus’ Nature:Names & Titles

  • Judaism: (and secular history)

    • From Nazareth; son of Joseph & Mary; Carpenter (or C’s son)

  • Christianity:

    • Lord, Christ, only Son of God; eternally begotten of the Father; God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father (Nicene Creed)

    • Review Christological Titles webpage

  • Islam:

    • Last great prophet before Muhammad (Surah 43:59; 61:6)

    • not divine, not son of God (Surah 5:75; 9:30-31; 19:34-35; 112:1-4)

    • Muslim monotheism rejects concept of “Trinity” (Surah 4:171)


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Jesus’ Birth & Infancy

  • Judaism: (and secular history)

    • Probably born in Nazareth, not Bethlehem; ca. 6-4 BCE

  • Christianity:

    • “For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit; he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.” (Nicene Creed)

    • Born in Bethlehem; raised in Nazareth (Matthew 1–2; Luke 1–2)

    • Later “Gospels” add stories of his youth (G.Thomas; G.James)

  • Islam:

    • Miraculous birth from Virgin Mary (Surah 3:45-59; 19:16-21, 34)

    • Spoke while still an infant in the cradle (Surah 5:110; 19:29-33)

    • Miracle of clay birds (Surah 5:110; taken from Infancy G.Thomas)


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Jesus’ Life & Actions

  • Judaism: (and secular history)

    • Preacher, healer, magician, miracle worker, rebel, criminal, etc.

  • Christianity:

    • Prophet, preacher, teacher, reformer (all four Gospels)

    • Healer, exorcist, miracle worker (all four Gospels)

    • [not mentioned in Nicene Creed; knowledge of Gospels presumed]

  • Islam:

    • Prophet of Allah (Surah 3:48-51; 5:46, 72; 43:59; 61:6; etc.)

    • Teaches Wisdom (Surah 43:63-64)

    • Works Miracles (Surah 5:110, 113-115)

    • Gathers Disciples (Surah 57:27; 61:14)


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Jesus’ Passion & Death

  • Judaism: (and secular history)

    • Jesus was crucified outside of Jerusalem, ca. 29-33 CE, at time of High Priest Caiaphas and Roman Procurator Pontius Pilate.

  • Christianity:

    • “For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;he suffered, died, and was buried.” (Nicene Creed)

    • See Mark 14-15; Matt 26-27; Luke 22-23; John 18-19; Paul; etc.

  • Islam:

    • Jesus was NOT crucified and/or killed (Surah 4:157; 5:110)

    • How not? Muslim opinions differ:

      • Most believe someone else (look-a-like) was crucified in his place.

      • [Some say Jesus survived the cross and later lived in India!]


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Jesus’ Resurrection & Ascension

  • Judaism:

    • Many but not all Jews believe that God will raise the deadto new life “in the world to come” after the Messiah appears.

  • Christianity:

    • “On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures;he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.” (Nicene Creed)

    • See Matt 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20–21; Acts 1; etc.

  • Islam:

    • No resurrection (since he didn’t die), yet…

    • God lifted Jesus up to heaven (Surah 3:55; 4:158; 5:116-118)


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Jesus’ Return & Role as Judge

  • Judaism:

    • [Still awaiting the FIRST coming of the Messiah.]

  • Christianity:

    • “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,and his kingdom will have no end.” (Nicene Creed)

    • Apocalyptic Expectations (Mark 13; Matt 23-25; Luke 19; etc.)

    • “Maranatha” (1 Cor 16:22); “Come, Lord Jesus” (Rev 22:20)

  • Islam:

    • Jesus will witness for believers on judgment day (Surah 4:159)

    • Later traditions say Jesus will return to earth (with the 12th Imam) to defeat the Dajjal(“Deceiver”; Muslim “Anti-Christ”)


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Summary / Questions?

  • How is Jesus viewed by…

    • Jews ?

    • Christians ?

    • Muslims?

  • Your Questions / Reactions?

    • ?

    • ?

    • ?