What Jewish Leaders Have Said about Jesus

Jewish Men Praying On Isolated Background

What Jewish Leaders Have Said about Jesus

Martin Buber (1878-1965)  Celebrated Jewish Philosopher

 “From my youth onwards I have found in Jesus my great big brother.  That Christianity has regarded and does regard him as God and Savior has always appeared to me a fact of the highest importance which, for his sake and my own, I must endeavor to understand…I am more than ever certain that a great place belongs to him in Israel’s history of faith and that this place cannot be described by any of usual categories.”[1]

 Shalom Asch (1880-1957)  Jewish Author of International Fame

 “Jesus Christ, to me, is the outstanding personality of all time, of all history, both as Son of God and as Son of Man.  Everything he ever said or did has value for us today, and that is something you can say of no other man, alive or dead.  Every act or word of Jesus has value for all of us, wherever we are.  He became the Light of the World.  Why shouldn’t I, a Jew, be proud of that?”[2]

Constantin Brunner (1862-1937)  German Jewish philosopher

 “It is amazing how many Jews write about Jews and Judaism while ignoring the super-Jew and super-Judaism.  I refer to Jesus the Messiah and to Christianity.  His profound and holy words, and all that is true and heart appealing in the New Testament, must now on be heard in our synagogues and to our children.”[3]

Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler (1843-1926)  President of Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati and Reform Judaism leader

 “No ethical system, no textbook on religion, are capable of exerting such a deep impression on us as that great personality of Jesus, standing unlike any other, midway between heaven and earth, equally near to God and to man….Jesus the helper of the needy, the friend of sinners, the brother of all sufferers, the comforter of the unfortunate, the lover of all mankind, the liberator of women, he won and conquered the human heart.  Jesus, the most lowly of all men, the despised, beyond comparison, of the despised Jewish nation, has ascended the world’s throne to become the Great King of the whole earth.”[4]

Rabbi Stephen S. Wise (1874-1949)  Founder of the American Jewish Congress and Federation of American Zionists

“Even if Jesus had not been born unto Israel, even if he had borne no relation to the people of Israel, it becomes of importance for Israel to determine for itself what shall be its relation to the man who has touched the world nearly two thousand years as has no other single figure in history…Jesus was not only a Jew but he was the  Jew, the Jew of Jews…Whatever the death of Jesus may have been, we believe that his life was Jewish, and we devoutly affirm that Jewish was his teaching.”[5]

Norman Cousins (1912-1990)  Writer, editor of the Saturday Review; recipient of the United Nations Peace Medal

“Christianity and Judaism share one of the great reluctances of history.  Both are reluctant to live openly and fully with the fact that Jesus was a Jew.  The earliest Christians knew neither awkwardness nor reticence over the fact that Jesus was a Jew.  Most, if not all, were ews themselves.  To these Jews, the Jewishness of Jesus was not incidental or extraneous but inevitable.  His coming, they believed, had been foretold in the Hebrew Scriptures; it awakened the dictates of faith that were natural to the Prophecy.  Messianism was in the air;  the idea of salvation was powerful and dominant.  There is every reason for Judaism to lose its reluctance toward Jesus.  His own towering spiritual presence is a projection of Judaism, not a repudiation of it.  No other figure—spiritual, philosophical or intellectual—has had a greater impact on human history.  The modern synagogue can live openly and fully with Jesus.”[6]

Albert Einstein (1879-1955)  Scientist, Nobel prize in physics, 192; Professor, Princeton University

 “As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud.  I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene.  No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus.  His personality pulsates in every word.  No myth is filled with such life.”[7]

No Comments

Post A Comment