An Orthodox Jewish man whom I was talking to about the Messiah, suggested that I
read a book called ‘26 Reasons why Jews don’t believe in Jesus’by Asher Norman.
So I obtained a copy of this book and read it through. Having done this I decided
that a response is needed which I am still working on. In this section of our website
I will post articles as they are done and welcome comment or discussion on any issues
I would like to state at the beginning that I believe that the written Torah (first
five books of the Bible) was written by Moses under the inspiration of the LORD.
I accept that this Torah was given to the Jewish people and that the Jewish people
began with this unique national revelation and have played a unique role in history.
I also deplore hostility to Jewish people and anti-Semitism especially when it comes
in the name of Christianity. I accept that much of the professing Christian church
has behaved horribly towards Jewish people and that persecutions and pogroms against
the Jews in the name of Jesus are a disgrace and a total denial of His teaching.
However, despite the failures of historic Christianity towards the Jewish people
which I do not deny, the issue about Jesus being the Messiah cannot be simply dismissed
as ‘not easily susceptible to rational argument’ or ‘emotionally charged’ and ‘fear-based’
as Mr Norman claims (Introduction p xxx / 30). It is my hope that these thoughts
may lead to rational discussion and consideration of this issue.
Mr Norman says ‘I bear no animosity towards American Christianity, and I have no
interest in undermining the faith of Christians’ (p xxi / introduction 21). It is
a bit hard to square this with the fact that he attacks almost every aspect of Christianity
and then recommends Christians to buy the book. On the back page R Mariano Otero
says ‘I encourage Jews, Christians and ‘messianic Jews’ to buy this book. The only
thing that would stand in their way is fear of the truth.’
I have bought the book and read it
I still believe in Jesus as the Messiah and actually would question some of Mr Norman’s
claims about the Torah and modern Judaism. So before we look at his reasons for rejecting
Jesus as the Messiah let us first look at three issues raised by Mr Norman concerning
Judaism. This in fact questions some of the basic teaching of modern Judaism.
1. Did the entire Jewish people receive the Torah at Sinai or was Moses the Mediator?
2. Was there an Oral Torah also given at Sinai?
3. Does God judge Jews by the 10 categories of the 613 laws of Torah and Gentiles
by the seven laws of Noah?
The next three sections on this subject are a direct answer to what I have read in
Asher Norman’s book. The remaining sections are taken from my book ‘The Messiah
Factor’ which deals with some of these issues.