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Why don’t Jews believe that Jesus was the messiah?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg


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Maimonides writes (Laws of Kings 11:4) the criteria for identifying the messiah: "If a king will arise from the House of David, diligent in Torah study and the fulfillment of mitzvahs - of the written and Oral Law – like David his ancestor, and will compel all the Jews to go in its [the Torah's] path . . and builds the Holy Temple and gathers the Diaspora [to the land of Israel], this is certainly the Messiah."

If Jesus is the Messiah and this is what Redemption is all about -- who needs the Messiah?
Jesus did not fulfill any of the basic duties of the Messiah.

Additionally, the Bible is replete with prophecies about the Messianic Era (see for example Isaiah 11) which were never realized.

To put it in simple words: If Jesus is the Messiah and this is what Redemption is all about -- who needs the Messiah? The Messiah I await will fulfill all the promises of world peace and global monotheism which are vividly described by the prophets.

For more info, see

TAGS: jesus


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Why Jews don't beleive Jesus was Messiah

Posted by: Ralph G., Philadelphia, PA on Jan 25, 2005

Please explain Isaiah 53. Thank you.

Editor's Comment

I don't believe Jesus' name is mentioned there... Is that the only chapter in the Bible which deals with the Messianic redemption? Even if Jesus' story bears similarities to Isaiah 53, how about all the other Messianic prophecies which he never fulfilled?


Posted by: Anonymous on Feb 26, 2005

You need to look at the surrounding texts and the Jewish translation. The New Testament completely changes the translation of certain Hebrew words to fit with their story. The change tenses from past to future to present whenever they feel like it and it is completely inconsistent.

You cannot take isolated phrases and say "look it's Jesus!!!" That is now the Jewish Torah (bible) works. Events must be taken in context.

A classic example of mistranslation is

"53:5 "But he was wounded FROM our transgressions, he was crushed FROM our iniquities."

Christian sources change FROM to FOR and I'm sure you can figure out where they go with it.

All of 53 is referring to Israel and the Jews. However, Christians say it is talking about Jesus! There are many conflicting statements:

53:10 "He will prolong his days." 

Not only did Jesus die young, but how could the days be prolonged of someone who is alleged to be God himself ? 


Posted by: Anonymous, Stratford, Canada on Feb 28, 2005

By my reading Jesus is not the messiah in the Jewish religion,however in the old testament the book of Daniel in his visions refer to Jesus as the messiah. I am servant of Jesus who is the messiah so please explain your position

Editor's Comment

Jesus' name is not mentioned in the Old Testament.


Posted by: Brandon, Dallas, TX, U.S. on Mar 28, 2005

Editor's Comment

"I don't believe Jesus' name is mentioned there... Is that the only chapter in the Bible which deals with the Messianic redemption? Even if Jesus' story bears similarities to Isaiah 53, how about all the other Messianic prophecies which he never fulfilled?"


Editor's Comment

For argument's sake, let's assume that he did fulfill "the vast majority" of the prophecies.

I wonder, if I told you that I would like to meet you. Please wait for me on this corner and I'll be arriving in my '87 white Toyota Camry wagon which has a dent on the front-left fender. I am a 6 feet 2 inches tall male, with red hair and I walk with a limp. 

Now, if you're standing at the designated meeting area and someone approaches you, and this person fulfills almost all the conditions -- except for the fact that it is a female with jet-black hair -- would you assume it was me?!

And let us remember that all these prophecies are Divine...  

RE: Tanslation errors

Posted by: CordonBleu on Apr 04, 2005

It seems rather circular to use the mistranslation of old texts of the new testament to favor your arguments, given that the translators were mostly helenistic jews. Perhaps they were... biased? I don't know.

Why Jews don't believe that Jesus was the Messiah

Posted by: Christina, Philadelphia, PA, USA on Apr 15, 2005

The Messiah is in fact supposed to bring peace to the entire world which will be a time called the 'Messianic Era'. And obviously, Jesus did not fulfill this task. However, why does it clearly state in Daniel's Seventy-Weeks Prophecy that the Messiah will be 'cut off, but not for himself'? The misconception of Jews is that the Messiah will come only once when he sets up his kingdom. But in fact, the Messiah comes twice. He will return again when the last 'week' spoken of by Daniel will be completed, thus he will establish his kingdom on earth.

Editor's Comment

For a proper understanding of the verse (Daniel 9:26) -- which is not talking of the Messiah at all -- see Rashi's commentary on the verse (

Isaiah 53

Posted by: Neal Facciuto on Apr 26, 2005

The passage in Isaiah 53 seems to support a reference to Israel as a nation...that is unless you back up to 52:13-15, "Behold my servant will prosper, he will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted. Just as many were astonished at you, My people, so his appearance was marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men." surely we must conclude that this is not talking about a nation, for "My people" are compared with the subject at hand. please correct me where i am wrong but, it seems we must conclude that this is a reference to an individual and a very special one at that.

Editor's Comment

1. It is quite common in the Bible for an entire nation to be addressed as a single individual. Here, too, the Nation of Israel is referred to as G-d's servant. 2. There are, indeed, authentic Biblical commentators who interpret this chapter to be talking about the Messiah. This, however, does not at all prove that Jesus was the Messiah, as there are countless other vital prophecies which he did not fulfill.

Which prophecies did he not fulfill?

Posted by: Anonymous on Jun 16, 2005

can you list the ones He did not fulfill with the scriptures? Im not saying you're wrong, but I would like to know the ones he did not fulfill and where they are in the Torah.

Editor's Comment

See, for example, chapter 30 of Deuteronomy.


Posted by: Chris Bird, Calgary, Canada on Jul 10, 2005

it is wrong for people to try to convince you that Jesus is the messiah, in fact you should not even have to explain to anyone that you do not believe that jesus is the messiah (you people should have more respect for the jewish faith). but understand that it was people and not jesus who exacerbated these world problems you speak of. know that this is not an argument for jesus being the messiah, I am merely pointing out that as the operators of this website you, sadly, have a greater responsibility to be more respectful than the people who read it and reply to it (and many are obviously disrespectful)

Its all about the Hebrew!

Posted by: Aharon, Memphis, TN, USA on Jul 30, 2005

To get to the truth and beauty of the bible, you must learn the bible in its original language, is an example

The Hebrew word that appears in Is 53:10 for the word seed is the hebrew word "Zera" and can mean only physical CHILDREN. Christians have interpreted this to mean Yeshu's "spiritual offspring".......but it can mean only physical offspring and we know that Yeshu did not have children or live a long a life. Therefore, Isaiah 53 can in no way refer to Yeshu.

53:10......... he shall see children, he shall prolong his days, and God's purpose shall prosper in his hand.


Philosophy » Messiah
Israel » Messiah
Jewish Identity » Non-Jews » Other Religions - Missionaries

Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Oral Law
G–d orally explained all the 613 Commandments to Moses. These explanations constitute the Oral Law.
Moses son of Maimon, born in Spain in 1135, died in Egypt in 1204. Noted philosopher and authority on Jewish law. Also was an accomplished physician and was the personal doctor for members of the Egyptian royalty. Interred in Tiberius, Israel.
King of Israel who succeeded Saul, becoming king of Israel in 876 BCE. Originally a shepherd, he became popular after he killed the Philistine strongman, Goliath. He is the progenitor of the Davidic royal dynasty -- which will return to the throne with the arrival of King Messiah.
1. One of the greatest prophets, lived in the 7th century BCE. 2. One of the 24 books of the Bible, containing the prophecies of Isaiah. The book is filled with prophecies concerning the Messianic redemption.
1. Usually a reference to the Holy Temple which was/will be situated in Jerusalem. 1st Temple was built in 825 BCE and was destroyed in 423 BCE. The 2nd Temple was built in 350 BCE and was destroyed in 70 CE. The 3rd Temple will be built by the Messiah. 2. A synagogue.