Dealing with lack of Jesus the Messiah in Israel

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Noamx
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01 Oct 2022, 11:46 am

Well, as some of you might know, I live in Israel. In Israel, we're waiting for the messiah(Judaism), but in countries like the US, Canada, Australia, UK, and so on, the messiah had arrived for them(Christianity).

The problem I am dealing with and have to deal with for as long as I live in Israel, is the fact no matter what I would say or do, nobody would accept a conversation about Jesus or about him being the messiah. Nobody here around me thinks he is the messiah, because there are only Jews here.

Myself, being an agnostic person mostly, believe religions in generally can make people live their lifes in a wrong way, and the whole "you have to believe" concept is something I disagree with. But still, I have to find a way to still believe Jesus could have been the messiah, while still avoiding chat/conversation about this subject and avoiding pissing other people off(Jews in Israel).

Can you explain what can I do about it? After all, in Israel, there arent many Christians if at all. The few which exist dont live in the area I live at in Israel too. So nobody to talk to about Jesus being the messiah, nobody to share feelings about this with, and so on. Except the WrongPlanet Forums of course, but thats the internet, not real people I meet in my life.

Hope you can please help me with this problem?

Also, last question, if I dont think Jesus was the Messiah for sure, but was just a good person, and so on, is that okay? Or I dont "count" as someone who would be "saved" and get to Heaven after I die, although I dont really believe in that, but it still makes sense a little bit.

Thanks!


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hurtloam
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01 Oct 2022, 12:00 pm

I've heard that construction workers and service industry people who have come to work in Israel are more open to talking about such subjects because they have come from abroad and have different beliefs.

Not sure you could just strike up a deep conversation with a waiter. That would be weird, but they might know where a church is.



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01 Oct 2022, 12:15 pm

I think you have to believe he is the Messiah and died on the cross. John 3:16 and if you wanna read more the third chapter of the gospel of john is good.
I think in the psalms David said
'The Lord said to my Lord sit at my right hand'

So there are two Lords, so he must be equal with God.

I'm lucky cos the UK has loadsa Christians.But I'd say we're still a minority compared to atheists.

I suppose if you enjoy debate that would be one advantage of being in the religious extreme minority.
If Christianity is hated there I wonder what the churches are like there. I would like to visit one day. You know I gotta go visit all those places like Bethlehem n that
I grew up in a time where Christmas carols were sung in school, were on TV, and sung in the street at Christmas .

I think the reason you have to believe what I said above is cos we're being judged by the law of moses otherwise.
no-one can keep it perfectly,
The moral stuff like love your enemies and love God with all your strength, don't steal,don't lie etc. All of us have broken it at some point in our lives.



Last edited by klanka on 01 Oct 2022, 12:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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01 Oct 2022, 12:23 pm

I haven't done much research, but to my understanding the 4 Books of the Gospel originate roughly a century after the events they portray. For the most part, they deal with a relatively short period of time leading up to Jesus' assassination, which supposedly happened because some members of the local population had taken to proclaiming him their king. Christian scripture in general (not sure which parts of the Christian Bible are relevant) offers numerous clues to suggest that Jesus was the fulfillment of Messianic Prophecy, despite the fact that he accomplished nothing comparable to what Messianic Prophecy claims the Messiah will do. As far as being a Good Person, honestly I don't know how much of his Ministry supports that premise. He acted pious but would seem determined to overturn the Jewish religious establishment of the time, which usually means that he would have probably been at least as authoritarian as those he wished to depose, as usually happens in these situations. I guess it was his exertions in this regard that caused most people to not especially care if the authorities executed him. I suspect the average person in Judea at that time wasn't a fan. He did offer a number of parables that of themselves could be seen as good "life lessons" however I don't know how much more powerful their message was compared to similar material originating elsewhere. And a lot of it was mostly about religion which if you don't care about religion it wouldn't interest you. TBH the Rabbis e.g. Meir, Akiva, etc. probably had much more to say on the same topics.

You may be aware there was a Messiah in the US, the Lubavitcher Rebbe (Menachem Schneerson) you could make a case for him as well.

It seems Muslims consider Jesus to have been a Saint. Some anti-Jewish Muslim writings apparently attack Judaism for not recognizing Jesus' sainthood.

I seriously doubt the average Israeli really much cares about Messianic Prophecy.

In conclusion I would suggest Jesus' claim to Messiah-hood is a piss-poor conversation starter. Maybe you should try to find people who want to talk about basketball.


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01 Oct 2022, 12:27 pm

Israel is quite the land of paradoxes. Is it not?

The birthplace of Christianity. But today is a battleground between Jews and Muslims with practically no Christians at all.

Havent been many Christians there since the Arab invaders seized Palestine from the Byzantines over a thousand years ago.

The Crusaders established a Christian kingdom there for a while, but it didnt last. And it reverted to all Muslim.

But then in the wake of the two World Wars Jews flocked back into Palestine from Europe, and created the modern state of Israel, creating the modern uneasy balance between Muslims and Jews.

However the most enthusiastic American supporters of Israel are ...not the American Jewish populaton...but Fundamentalist Christians. So Christians are still a factor.

Maybe you can get a job as tour guide for foreign tourists of Biblical sites. Seriously. That way you would meet a lot of Christians. Not just American Evangelicals, but Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox, from all over Christendom. Christians have been drawn to seeing the actual places mentioned in the Bible for the last 2000 years. And still do today.



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01 Oct 2022, 12:38 pm

MaxE wrote:
I haven't done much research, but to my understanding the 4 Books of the Gospel originate roughly a century after the events they portray. For the most part, they deal with a relatively short period of time leading up to Jesus' assassination, which supposedly happened because some members of the local population had taken to proclaiming him their king. Christian scripture in general (not sure which parts of the Christian Bible are relevant) offers numerous clues to suggest that Jesus was the fulfillment of Messianic Prophecy, despite the fact that he accomplished nothing comparable to what Messianic Prophecy claims the Messiah will do. As far as being a Good Person, honestly I don't know how much of his Ministry supports that premise. He acted pious but would seem determined to overturn the Jewish religious establishment of the time, which usually means that he would have probably been at least as authoritarian as those he wished to depose, as usually happens in these situations. I guess it was his exertions in this regard that caused most people to not especially care if the authorities executed him. I suspect the average person in Judea at that time wasn't a fan. He did offer a number of parables that of themselves could be seen as good "life lessons" however I don't know how much more powerful their message was compared to similar material originating elsewhere. And a lot of it was mostly about religion which if you don't care about religion it wouldn't interest you. TBH the Rabbis e.g. Meir, Akiva, etc. probably had much more to say on the same topics.

You may be aware there was a Messiah in the US, the Lubavitcher Rebbe (Menachem Schneerson) you could make a case for him as well.

It seems Muslims consider Jesus to have been a Saint. Some anti-Jewish Muslim writings apparently attack Judaism for not recognizing Jesus' sainthood.

I seriously doubt the average Israeli really much cares about Messianic Prophecy.

In conclusion I would suggest Jesus' claim to Messiah-hood is a piss-poor conversation starter. Maybe you should try to find people who want to talk about basketball.

Well... if all that he wants is something to start small talk then YES...asking fellow Jews if they accept Jesus as the Messiah aint the way to go. Soccer, is a better sport than American basketball, as a conversation starter in that part of the world. Or talking about the latest music acts on Eurovision.

But he seems to have some actual interest in the topic of ...comparative Messiahs...for some reason.



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01 Oct 2022, 1:34 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
Well... if all that he wants is something to start small talk then YES...asking fellow Jews if they accept Jesus as the Messiah aint the way to go. Soccer, is a better sport than American basketball, as a conversation starter in that part of the world. Or talking about the latest music acts on Eurovision.


According to Wikipedia, Basketball is Number 2 i.e. second most popular.

Quote:
2 Major sports
2.1 Football
2.2 Basketball
2.3 Chess
2.4 Swimming
2.5 Rowing
2.6 Tennis
2.7 Track and field
2.7.1 Marathons


Quote:
Basketball (כדורסל, Kadursal) is the second most popular sport in Israel.


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01 Oct 2022, 3:23 pm

^Whatever.

Now that we gotten the issue of Israeli small talk straightened out...lets return to the topic of....THE MESSIAH!! !! !! !! !! !! !!

Why does the OP need to discuss the Messiah with folks?



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01 Oct 2022, 6:31 pm

Try this site because you may find it interesting.

http://www.arkdiscovery.com



r00tb33r
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01 Oct 2022, 10:05 pm

There is no consensus that a man named Jesus (hold off the Mexican jokes) really ever lived.

And no, I don't believe Israel has that problem.


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klanka
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02 Oct 2022, 6:05 am

there is historical evidence he was a real person. The only conflict between atheists and Christians is whether he was the son of God and was resurrected



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02 Oct 2022, 6:23 am

So what is your own background? Are you Jewish by birth, or are you Arab, or are you some other ancestry? Were you born in Israel, or did you move there?

In any case, I don't remember if it was Bethlehem or Nazareth, but one of these two towns have "year long Christmas" arranged by the Christian Arab population, and is all about Jesus. So if you move there, then I am sure everyone will be happy to talk about Jesus since the majority there are Christian anyway.

If you can't move to one of those places, find some other area that is populated by Arab Christians and move there.

Also, as others suggested, ask for a church.

Or ask for Messianic congregation.



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02 Oct 2022, 6:58 am

Thats true. One tends to assume that all Palestinian Arabs are Muslim, but about 30 percent of them are Christian.

And locals of all three faiths (Muslim, Jewish, and Arab) are employed in the tourist trade catering to Christians.



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02 Oct 2022, 3:31 pm

A few different topics have come up that I feel like I want to comment on.

The Messiah: honestly unless you're actively religious then I don't see why someone would care. There very probably isn't a Messiah because God is unlikely to exist. Irreligious deists have no reason to believe in a Messiah because that's purely an article of faith within Abrahamic religions. I'd generally suggest that religious people are unlikely to want to have a genuine discussion about this because regardless of what you believe, it is fundamentally a question of faith. Probably the best people to speak to would be academic theologians, and liberal religious figures with an academic background. Some Christians might be able to put an academic case for Jesus actually being a supernatural Messiah, but most (even those prepared to approach this as an intellectual exercise) will probably just say it is a matter of faith.

The Gospels: there are only really two Gospels, Mark and John. Luke and Matthew are derivative of Mark. Mark and John were both written within living memory of Jesus's life, around 70AD. John seems to have undergone revisions in the 2nd century. Matthew and Luke were probably written sometime at the end of the 1st century or beginning of the 2nd, between 80-110. Additionally, many of the later books of the Bible were either written by people who knew Jesus, or people like Paul who knew many of the disciples.

Historicity of Jesus: aside from the Gospels, there are two historical records of Jesus' existence: Josephus and Tacticus. There is some controversy regarding Tacticus iirc, but Josephus is generally accepted. I think historians tend to conclude that Jesus existed, even if they're naturally sceptical of the veracity of the Gospel stories (though Mark is remarkably restrained in its supernatural content compared to the others - for example, Jesus never claims to be divine, and is not resurrected).



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02 Oct 2022, 4:51 pm

The OP may have a healthy interest in comparative religion. Which includes "comparative messiahs". The Jews of Jesus' time had a concept of the Messiah that Jesus didnt fulfill. And some Jews are still waiting for their messiah.

Trouble is that among religious people (at least in the Abrahamic faiths) you cant treat religion like a buffet in which you get to savior a bit of everything. Both Christians and Jews will ...crucify you...if you suggest that the other religion had the right "messiah" ( or even had an okay Messiah worth savoring). Lol! Makes discussion difficult.

Maybe you should take a comparative religion course in college. Or only talk about it with secular non religous folks.



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02 Oct 2022, 6:31 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
And some Jews are still waiting for their messiah.
.


some? don't you mean all? the whole concept of the messiah is exclusively Jewish...

The jews were waiting for a future descendant of King David who would be a savior or redeemer who would appear at the end of days and usher in the kingdom of God, the restoration of Israel, or whatever dispensation was considered to be the ideal state of the world.

An aramaic character named jesus who was a carpenter and member of the essene sect of judaism declared himself the messiah around 25-30AD. Not surprising the essenes were a doomesday cult of judaism who believed 2000 years ago the Romans were the harbingers of the end of the world. Jesus fulfilled the role while he was alive. It's only after his death when the world didn't end his disciples looked a little foolish in front of their jewish bretheren so decided to preach to non-jews who (as we know) eagerly accepted the messianic message. Long before the internet, the message went viral in the west (christianity) and in the east (islam).