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Ian Black wrote:

Dear AskACatholic.com,

I am a Catholic engaged to a Reform Jewish girl. We talk regularly about our two faiths and the main argument she uses for not believing that Jesus was the Messiah is that He supposedly did not fulfill all the Messianic prophesies in the Scriptures. She acknowledges that He fulfilled many prophesies but says that He needed to do all of the things listed in Scripture. She specifically referred me to one Jewish web site that states:

  • "Before the time of the mashiach, there shall be war and suffering (Ezekiel 38:16)
  • The mashiach will bring about the political and spiritual redemption of the Jewish people by bringing us back to Israel and restoring Jerusalem (Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 23:8; 30:3; Hosea 3:4-5).
  • He will establish a government in Israel that will be the center of all world government, both for Jews and Gentiles (Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:10; 42:1).
  • He will restore the religious court system of Israel and establish Jewish law as the law of the land (Jeremiah 33:15)."
  • He will rebuild the Temple and re-establish its worship (Jeremiah 33:18).

Thanks,

— Ian

  { As a Catholic, how do I respond to these Messianic arguments from my Reform Jewish girlfriend? }

Mike replied:

Hi Ian,

I wouldn't know where to start on this one. Maybe my colleagues can help me.

I do know that historically the Jewish rabbis have changed and omitted parts of Isaiah 53 because it would clearly show Jesus was the Messiah. Check out a book I've read on this topic:

Isaiah 53 Explained by Mitch Glaser

and if she would be open to it, share it with her.

Also keep in mind that when a Catholic marries a non-Catholic, the Catholic has to promise to raise their children Catholic the best they can. The non-Catholic makes no promise. They are just a witness to the promise the Catholic spouse has made.

You should both be talking about how you plan to raise your children. In the process, share with her, in a non-coercive manner, how Catholicism is the fullness of Judaism.

Hebrew Catholics — formerly Jewish people — are fulfilled Jews plus, as Catholics, we celebrate Passover daily!

Mike
[Related posting]

John replied:

Ian,

All those things happened. Those prophets wrote either before or during the Babylonian Captivity.

  • The tribe of Judah was returned to Israel.
  • They rebuilt the Temple.
  • There were additional wars and suffering.
  • Temple worship was re-established.

You can go right down the line.

Now 40 years after most of the Jews rejected Christ, the Temple and that worship system was abolished when the Temple was destroyed. In fact, Christ prophesied that would happen in Matthew 24:1-2, Mark 13:1-9, Luke 21:5-6, and Revelation 21:22.

The Jews who rejected Christ were mostly looking for a nationalistic, political Messiah so they put a twist on things to find an excuse to reject Him.

With regards to Isaiah 53: It remains in tact in the English translation of the Hebrew Canon put out by the Jewish Publication Society. They did however, alter the prophecy in Daniel. That clearly states that the Messiah would be cut off from the land of the living. I forget the exact verse but it's the section where Daniel talks about the seventy week of years where a week equals seven years. (490 years in total.)

So Daniel says after so many weeks the tribe of Judah will return from Babylon, then after so many weeks, this will happen. In this section he predicts the Maccabean wars which is where we get the story of Hanukkah and after so many weeks the Messiah will be born and after so many weeks the Messiah (or the anointed one) will be cut off. I forget how they translate that but there is an asterisk and a foot note that conveniently says the original Hebrew was unclear.

They also do the same with text in Zachariah that says:

"We shall look on the one we've pierced and will mourn" (Zechariah 12:10)

They change that to will mourn for martyrs that were slain, and again, with a footnote and asterisk similar to what they said about the Daniel text which they deliberately altered.

John

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