Orthodox rabbis’ statement calls Christianity part of God’s plan

Rabbi David Rosen, the international director of interreligious affairs for the American Jewish Committee, is the Jewish member of the board of directors for the King Abdullah Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue. Photo courtesy Rabbi David Rosen
Rabbi David Rosen, the international director of interreligious affairs for the American Jewish Committee, is the Jewish member of the board of directors for the King Abdullah Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue. Photo courtesy Rabbi David Rosen

Rabbi David Rosen, the international director of interreligious affairs for the American Jewish Committee, is the Jewish member of the board of directors for the King Abdullah Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue. Photo courtesy Rabbi David Rosen

(RNS)  A statement by a group of Orthodox rabbis calls Christianity part of a divine plan in which God would have Jews and Christians work together to redeem the world.

Although signed so far by 28 rabbis mostly from the more liberal wing of the most traditional branch of Judaism, the statement marks a turning point for Orthodox Jews, who until now have limited interfaith cooperation to working on social, economic and political causes. But this statement puts Christianity in a distinct Jewish theological perspective — and an extremely positive one.

“(W)e acknowledge that Christianity is neither an accident nor an error, but the willed divine outcome and gift to the nations,” the seven-paragraph statement, issued on Dec. 3, asserts.  “In separating Judaism and Christianity, God willed a separation between partners with significant theological differences, not a separation between enemies.”

Rabbi Irving Greenberg, photo courtesy of Rabbi Irving Greenberg

Rabbi Irving Greenberg, a signatory to a statement titled “To Do the Will of Our Father in Heaven: Toward a Partnership between Jews and Christians.” Photo courtesy of Rabbi Irving Greenberg

“We understand that there is room in traditional Judaism to see Christianity as part of God’s covenantal plan for humanity, as a development out of Judaism that was willed by God,” said Rabbi Irving Greenberg, a signatory to the statement, titled “To Do the Will of Our Father in Heaven: Toward a Partnership between Jews and Christians.”

The signatories include Orthodox figures who have been at the forefront of interfaith dialogue efforts, such as Rabbis David Rosen of the American Jewish Committee and Shlomo Riskin, founding rabbi of New York’s Lincoln Square Synagogue.

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Still, Greenberg conceded that most Orthodox rabbis will not sign on to the statement because they reject the idea that it is the will of God to reach out to gentiles through Christianity, and that Christianity is a divinely willed phenomenon.

Rabbi Mark Dratch, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Council of America, one of the largest groups representing Orthodox rabbis, said the group values its partnerships with Christians. The reluctance to engage over theology, he said, is rooted in the teaching of Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, one of the most esteemed Orthodox rabbis of the 20th century, who prohibited engagement with other religions on theological matters.

“Soloveitchik said very clearly that each faith community is unique and entitled to the integrity of its own positions, which are neither negotiable, nor able to be fully understood by people from other faith traditions,” said Dratch, who added that Soloveitchik understood Jews as a small and vulnerable group.

“There are still groups which have as their mission the evangelization of the Jewish people,” he added.

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The rabbinical statement begins with a reference to the Holocaust as “the warped climax to centuries of disrespect, oppression and rejection of Jews and the consequent enmity that developed between Jews and Christians.” It then goes on to praise Nostra Aetate, the 50-year-old Vatican declaration that repudiated the idea, once common among Christians, that the Jews killed Christ and were deserving of the centuries of persecution they had suffered.

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel meeting in New York with Cardinal Augustine Bea, who shepherded the process of Catholic introspection that led to Nostra Aetate, on March 31, 1963. Photo courtesy of American Jewish Committee

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel meeting in New York with Cardinal Augustine Bea, who shepherded the process of Catholic introspection that led to Nostra Aetate, on March 31, 1963. Photo courtesy of American Jewish Committee

“Today Jews have experienced sincere love and respect from many Christians that have been expressed in many dialogue initiatives, meetings and conferences around the world,” the statement continues. Though not a direct response to the anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the statement continues that the Catholic document had paved the way for a Jewish one.

“Now that the Catholic Church has acknowledged the eternal Covenant between God and Israel, we Jews can acknowledge the ongoing constructive validity of Christianity as our partner in world redemption, without any fear that this will be exploited for missionary purposes,” it reads.

The rabbis who signed on to the statement, which was released by the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation in Israel, come from the U.S., Israel and Europe.

The statement has met with appreciation from Christian theologians, including Michael Peppard, a Fordham University theology professor. He noted on the blog of Commonweal, the Catholic journal, that while the Reform and Conservative movements in Judaism — representing most American Jews — have long engaged in interfaith theological discussions, Orthodox Judaism has in the past found such dialogue problematic.

By calling Christianity “neither accident nor error,” Peppard says this Orthodox rabbinical statement is going further than a similar document titled “Dabru Emet,” signed by mostly by non-Orthodox rabbis and Jewish leaders in 2000.

It may be that “Orthodox Judaism is in the midst of a serious reckoning with the fundamental tenets of Christianity,” Peppard wrote. “This theologically compelling and provocative statement is quite a 50th anniversary present for Nostra Aetate.”

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The Orthodox statement includes no reference to Islam, which, with Judaism and Christianity, also traces itself back to the biblical patriarch Abraham. Greenberg said he believes Islam is not ripe for such a statement, because too much of Islamic culture currently is steeped in anti-Semitism and “almost genocidal hostility to Israel.”

But as the evolution of Christian-Jewish relations has shown, hatreds need not last for all of history, and one day, he hopes, the statement released this month can serve as a model for one on Islam and Judaism.

(Lauren Markoe is a national reporter for RNS)

About the author

Lauren Markoe

Lauren Markoe has been a national reporter for RNS since 2011. Previously she covered government and politics as a daily reporter at the Charlotte Observer and The State (Columbia, S.C.)


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  • I hope the rabbi’s are aware that they are potentially trying to make a household pet out of a potentially venomous snake. Anti-Semitism is actually growing in many areas of Christendom, including the neo-Calvinist movement with its ‘replacement theology’. And after Pope Francis’ time is over, the blowback to his liberal reign could see a return to the traditional Catholicism of old, which was steeped in hatred of Jews.

  • I don’t believe that there is any going back to traditional anti-Semitism on the part of Christians, just as there is no going back to the slaughter of witches, the keeping of slaves or to the notion that the sun goes round the earth and not the reverse.

    That won’t stop Christians and Jews from disagreeing on other matters, of course.

  • One should notice the careful words of a Jewish Rabbi. My rabbi told me a long time ago that rabbis are people that one should listen to carefully. He also said, “Two rabbis. Three opinions.”

    The rabbi did not say that Christianity was true, Jesus was true, or anything even close to it. He said Christianity was a part of god’s plan. Not the same thing at all. If god’s plan ever comes to fruition, I wonder which one we’ll be worshipping: the God with a son who came to redeem the world, or the God who never had a son.

    On the other hand, Marco Rubio said that terrorism by Islamists is a part of god’s plan– the part where innocent people die a frightening death and generations are plunged into turmoil So, apparently, are children starving in Africa, Tim Tebow’s football performance, and I would assume, the Obergefell decision.

    It never fails to impress me how easy it is to convince Omnipotence to agree with you,

  • This is a completely meaningless position, it seems to me. If there is an Abrahamic God, a God of history, then of course Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are all part of the plan. Believers must read it all as a history of the acts of God: God is working the purpose out.

  • I suspect there’s more political reasons behind this (i.e. the Israel/Palestine conflict) than an actual well thought out theological reason. It also strikes me as a hypocritical double standard to demonize all of Islam as anti-Semitic while white washing the ugly history of Christianity.

  • “God’s covenantal plan for humanity….was willed by God,”

    WHO can know such a thing? HOW can they know?
    What sort of person sits around and decides God agrees with whatever plan they think up!? By that logic God wants me to be an Atheist.

    If you think it would be best for people to be peaceful and get along just say it! you don’t need to lie about it being a plan from a god you can’t possibly know about!

  • Any honest treatment of the history of so-called “Christianity” and “Judaism” show that both are like two creeks flowing from the same river but wandering around unnecessarily all too often. Judaism is a spinoff of the tenets set forth for the Israelites, and “Christianity” has been shown for having far, far, far too many spinoffs from Biblical theological reality. There’s little doubt that the New Testament is an Israelite (Jewish) work about realities set forth in the Tanakh. Stating that as fact is not doing something wrong. Now, Islam an Mohammad, has just about no connection with either the Torah, the Tanakh or the New Testament except for sources of inspiration for one man – Mohammad ‘ and his religious and social ideology.

  • Neon, you’re right about it being at least somewhat about politics. But they’re not demonizing all of Islam nor whitewashing past Christian anti-Semitism. All they’re saying is that it would be difficult, in the current political climate, for similar talks with Islam to occur right now. The truth is that Judaism and Islam have always been closer theologically than Judaism and Christianity. Judaism historically has often seen Christianity as heretical and the Trinity as for all intents and purposes pagan and idolatrous. Islam, as a steadfastly monotheistic religion that borrowed heavily from Judaism but did not “split” from it like Christianity, did not present the same problems and has not needed a similar rapprochement.

  • Muhammad is referenced (foretold) in the Torah:

    Genesis 17:20 – “And as for Ishmael, … twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.”

    Ishmael was the progenitor of the Arabic people. The 12 princes were the future 12 Imams of Shi’ah Islam – and Muhammad was the Intermediary who brought them and their nation, Islam, about. But Muhammad’s purpose from God was to end idolatry among the Arab tribes and to unify them. His purpose was not directed toward the Jewish people, who God knew would reject Muhammad’s – and Jesus’ – teachings.

    However, the Latter Days – in which we currently live – would bring the Messiah to the Jews and Who would also be the return of Christ to the Christians, the Redeemer expected by Muslims, the Fifth Buddha to Buddhists, and the 10th Avatar to the Hindus. An All-In-One Prophet for the 7th millennium.

    Please consider watching this video “The Prophecy of the 7th Millennium” on YouTube channel name “IntegralDestiny9”.

  • Christy,

    “Muhammed is foretold”

    No. If I order a pistachio ice cream and the ice cream man gives it to me that is not something being ‘foretold’. It is not prophecy.
    It is plagiarism.

    Anyone can invent a character from old Bible verses which existed for hundreds of years and thereafter claim it was prophesied all along.
    It appears the life of Jesus was invented by a Paulist Churches from mixing the psalms with Homeric epics long before the Gospel of Mark was ever written.

    Same for Islam which was invented in 600 C.E. This is not complicated. It is obvious.

  • The whole point of the statement is so Orthodox Jews have an excuse to join in interfaith/ecumenical actions. Something Reform and Conservative Judaism have been doing so for a very long time without the need for such theological contortion outside of, “its a good thing to do”.

    The only reason for the statement is because Orthodox Judaism has long had problems with the following concepts:
    “Live and let live” and “Lets agree to disagree”.

    Interfaith dialogue is only problematic to those who harbor illusions of speaking for an entire faith or being the sole acceptable followers of God. Problems inherent to Orthodox Judaism, Islamicism and Evangelical Christianity. Pretty much everyone outside of extremist sects is already past this point.

  • I’m reminded of C.S. Lewis’s metaphor, which doesn’t get as much ‘air time’ as, I think, it deserves, is prayer is like a schoolboy discussing the operation of the school with the principal.

  • The opposite is the case. The Orthodox Jewish statement is commendable, and harkens back to Pinchas Lapide, an Israeli Orthodox scholar, who said similar things. It should be clear to anyone who believes the God of the Bible that both Christianity and Judaism reflect the will of God. The miraculous spread of the Gospel to the ends of the earth, coupled with the equally miraculous survival of the Jewish people through the ages, plus their return to their land after 20 centuries, speak volumes about the divine hand being on both. For one to deny the other is to be blind to history and reality.

    For one to try to deny the other for the sake of theological consistency isn’t going to work. Both are going concerns and both are racing toward a destiny involving the redemption of the world.

  • Reread the words in the article, Ben, including the quotes. The utterance is a positive one, not that it’s part of God’s plan like rabies or root canal.

  • Wrong, Larry. Orthodox Judaism struggled with the problem of how to accept another faith whose central tenet affirmed precisely what it denied, that the Jewish Messiah had arrived in Jesus.

    The answer that these Orthodox rabbis have come up with is similar to what the Vatican came up with in 1965. Long ago, each faith, at least in its respective Catholic and Orthodox formulations, believed the other would just go away since God supposedly opposed it. So here we are, 20 centuries later, with both very much alive and kicking.

    So each have concluded that somehow, God meant the other faith to stick around. The Catholics said that Judaism’s survival was part of the Abrahamic covenant, and the Orthodox Jews have now said that Christendom’s survival was part of God’s redemption of the nations, ie the non-Jews.

    They still haven’t resolved what to do about their differences on Jesus, obviously, but at least they each sense that each is in God’s will.

  • Neon, where does it say the rabbis “demonize all of Islam as anti-Semitic?” An Orthodox Jewish friend once showed me an article in the Jewish Press, an Orthodox newspaper, about Muslims who were pro-Israel and pro-Jewish.

  • IN other words, each faith was initially embarrassed and perturbed over the other’s survival over time….because each though the other was in error and darkness and that God would not permit it to survive, let alone thrive.

    Both have obviously been proven wrong on that score.

  • Jack,

    “God’s will”

    Yeah. Apparently it is whatever you say it is. Or whatever someone else says it is. In other words, there is a sucker born every minute.

  • Atheist Max, The way out of your dilemma (“By that logic God wants me to be an Atheist.”) is posited by the Scripture itself: simply read the passages that seem to show God unjustly blaming Pharaoh hardening his own heart as if the same passages were accompanied with the helpful metaphor, “The same sunlight that hardens clay, melts butter.”

  • You are exactly backwards – the anti-Semitism is not coming from the Catholic Church, it is coming from the secular masses who have abandoned all religion, and of course the Muslims aren’t too pro-Israel.

    As Catholics (and I’m as conservative as they come), we are strenuously reminded that the Lord did not withdraw His promise from His Chosen People. We believe, and hope to show the world, that we have the fullness of the faith once received by the Jews. That we have the Messiah!

  • Therese Z, I agree that the steepest rises in anti-Semitism are coming from secularist (as well as Islamist) ranks today, unlike what pseudo-Jack claims, no sector of humanity is completely immune from it. Some of the worst anti-Semitism on campus today comes from pseudo-Jack’s lefty comrades….but unfortunately, it can arise anywhere.

  • I would like to see scholars of various faiths get together and discuss the surprises that have overtaken their respective traditions across the centuries and millennia, especially regarding other faiths.

    Now that would be interesting on all counts.

    It would point eloquently to the ultimate impossibility of putting God into any of the boxes humanity constructs for Him through its traditions and carefully constructed theologies and religious systems.

    While I believe the Bible is God’s Word, nearly all religious expressions arising from it have added their two cents to the picture, resulting in layer upon layer of tradition that buries the essential message and messages.

  • My belief is the right one because it’s my belief and all those others have layerz that aren’t as good as my layerz.

  • The Rabbis are absolutely correct: “(W)e acknowledge that Christianity is neither an accident nor an error, but the willed divine outcome and gift to the nations,”

    Judaism and Christianity are inseparably joined together. Judaism is the root which foreshadows and gives birth to Christianity, the glorious fruit. Jesus directed the Jewish leaders, “Search the scriptures [Hebrew] for in them ye think ye have eternal life, for these are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). He is the promised seed which Moses and all the prophets prophesied about (Luke 24:27).

    It was not Christians, but popery, which high jacked Christianity,persecuted the Jews and slaughtered more than 50 million ‘true’ Christians for claiming the Jewish Jesus as their Messiah.

    The Jewish/Christian holy book foretells that that same power will arise to create a regime more despotic and sinister than any we have ever seen in human history (Rev 17).We are almost there, http://bit

  • Tom,

    “the way out is scripture itself”

    So God hardens hearts and softens hearts as he wishes. If it is all god’s will then we have no free will. And that means God is either lying about free will or he is lying about his own powers.

    Either way, God’s existence makes no sense.

  • whatever part of God’s plan included Christianity, also included Islam

    The authority on which these rabbis base their position is the statement in Maimonides’ Code – and that statement includes both Christianity and Islam

  • Jack, there is nothing more ignorant than your musing on the Jewish faith.

    No other sect of Judaism bothered with how to reconcile their beliefs with working with Christians. There was no need to. You don’t see such statements from Conservative or Reform sects because they already acknowledged the idea of co-existence and acceptance of differences in beliefs. They didn’t need some theological explanation for Christianity. Working with Christians was not a detriment if there was a common good to be achieved. It makes no distinction who is performing the ‘mitzvah’ as long as it is done.

    The Vatican has to address centuries of antisemitic theology and enabling atrocities against the Jews. It should have fallen on Pius XII. But instead it went to Paul VI. So much the better, Paul VI was a far better human being and pope. Orthodox Jews have no such issue to address here besides their own fairly minor passive-aggressive behavior towards other faiths.

  • Larry, nothing you’ve just written has any conceivable relation to anything I or anyone else has posted here. When you’re not dreaming up new poster names for yourself or hijacking the names of others, it seems you enjoy writing words that either say nothing or are non-responsive to anything other than the voices in your head.

    Your posts on Jewish ethnicity and religion are often incoherent, like the mumblings of a punch-drunk boxer, such as when you were arguing for religion alone as defining Jewish identity while suddenly reversing yourself in the middle of your post while apparently not even realizing it.

    I wonder how long it will take to realize that when you pretend to write on something you know nothing about, you make yourself look worse than if you said nothing at all. Probably never, because if you’ve done it for this long, you’re presumably incapable of change, absent some sort of moral or religious epiphany.

  • I am confident of your innocence concerning the charge that you harbor any coherent beliefs at all, besides a jumble of loosely connected sentiments similar to those of Comrade Max.

  • The problem with Islam as it still stands today is that anything good about it isn’t original, while anything original about it isn’t good. It’s a copycat religion of Judaism and Christianity, with a chilling new twist called jihad. To be fair, it can be argued that it condemns terrorism. But jihad, which includes the idea of perpetual war against governments that are non-Muslim or deemed insufficiently Muslim, can be waged without terrorism. And that’s the problem. Even if Islam condemns terrorism it does not condemn perpetual holy war if waged conventionally, but blesses it.

    Do most Muslims take the command for jihad against governments seriously? No. The vast majority want nothing to do with that. And that’s good.

    Can it be reformed? Sure. There are those working hard on that project. But in its basic, original form, the problem is clear.

  • Pseudo-Ben, who’s “we?” The sum total of your various poster names?

    You know, there is a cure for multiple-personality disorder.

  • Pseudo-Ben is trying to hijack Ben from Oakland’s name.

    And no, I’m not going to buy an insurance policy from you….go solicit your relatives and get that jalopy fixed.

  • And people would give their lives for a myth they invented why, exactly? Paul straight-up said that if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, then Christianity is worthless and pathetic.

  • Not really. St. Paul taught that Rabbinic Judaism would survive until the Last Days, at which time the remaining Jews would recognize Jesus as the Messiah. Nowhere in the New Testament is the notion that Rabbinic Judaism would just fade away, but rather that Jews would convert to Christianity en mass shortly before the Second Coming, when the Gospel has been preached to all nations.

  • I don’t see anything in either testament about the Jews converting to any religion. I do see evidence in both testaments about everybody else converting to the God of the Jews.

    Looks like we’re trying to superimpose medieval and modern ideas on the ancient texts rather than letting them speak for themselves.

  • “The kingdom of God is within you”…Yeshua What did He mean by that statement? Messiah came first as The Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. He will return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He also said: “The kingdom of God does not come by observation”. The kingdom of God is marching on right now, but it is happening in the hearts and souls of individuals. It is not to be observed from without but rather it is from within. God’s kingdom is going forward. God is reaching into lives in a personal way. Millions are experiencing a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus/Yeshua. In many cases apart from “institutional religion”. This is how it will continue until Messiah returns to establish His kingdom which will indeed come by observation, as He rules from Jerusalem as King of Kings. Receive Him as Messiah, as Savior and Lord. Trust in His atoning sacrifice to save you. And know His peace and blessing. Shalom

  • On the repentance and conversion of the Jews:
    Acts 15:16-18
    Romans 11:15-36
    Revelation 7:4-8

    Th prophets too declared that Israel would be exiled from the Promised Land and scattered among the nations for their infidelity to the Covenant, but God would preserve them, and in the Last Days, they would be regathered to the Promised Land and no longer follow after the sins of their fathers:
    Deuteronomy 32 in its entirety
    Daniel 9:26-27
    Ezekiel 36-37 in their entirety
    Hosea 6:2
    Isaiah 61:4-62:12

    And this is the verdict: The Lord sent many prophets to Israel, and Israel spurned their warnings and were exiled, but the Lord called them back. The Lord Himself came to them, but a wicked and perverse generation heeded neither Him nor His witnesses, save for a small remnant that was saved, for “His mercy is on every generation.” The rest were banished to the ends of the Earth, but the Lord of Hosts who is Faithful and True again called them back, and this time they shall heed…

  • There were not 50 million heretics put to death, and besides, you yourself would regard them as heretics if you knew their real doctrines. What did Paul prophesy about Protestantism? In the last days men would “hav[e] a form of godliness but deny the power thereof.” That is exactly what Protestantism is: sham ministers, sham communion, sham confession, sham altar calls, sham marriage given equal status with Holy Matrimony (gay marriage is just the tip of the iceberg, for many are living in adultery and fornication while their so-called churches call them married), and an utter rejection of the Anointing of the Sick. I have no use for your so-called communion of bread and wine; throw it out and tread it underfoot! Give me the Body and Blood of Christ, for without it, my soul shall starve to death. Only the Laying of Hands can transmit Apostolic authority with which to shepherd God’s flock, and unless you confess your sins to such a man, confessing them to God is false humility.

  • Why is it false humility? Because God already knows your sins; it takes no humility to tell God what He already knows. God commanded us to confess our sins to His priests to debase our pride. Furthermore, God requires obedience of us; to substitute your own acts of penance for His decrees is an offering of strange fire that He has not commanded. Those who do so bring their own polluted rags to the altar of the Lord, rather than the Blood of Christ. Neither is the sting of deadly sin removed from one who confesses Christ but does not turn from his sins. Such a one is a hypocrite and worse than an infidel.

    A man who forsakes his wife and takes another man’s wife as his own is not to approach the Table of the Lord, and neither is such a woman. Such a one should be treated as an unrepentant idolater or heretic. He certainly has no business being in any sort of leadership position. A man who remarries after his wife dies is unfit to be pastor; a polygamist ought to be expelled!

  • None of these scriptures say Jews will abandon the faith of their fathers. As the father of one of my closest friends who’s Jewish once said when we were kids, “If Jesus’ apostles were to walk into a church today, they’d say, ‘what the hel…is this?”

    I was & remain convinced he was on to something.

    If Jews are to believe in Jesus, one thing I know is this:

    This will be between God and His people….none of the rest of humanity will be there, including the church — there will be nobody else in the room. And when all’s done, Jews won’t be joining First Baptist, or Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrows, or United Methodist, or St. Athanasius Orthodox, or any other church. They will go right back to their synagogues, have the exact same services as previously, live the same Jewish lives as before. The only change will be a belief that their Messiah has come. That’s it.

    But one day, we’ll join them….not the other way around. See Zechariah 8:23.

  • “Let Us Make man in Our Image.”

    God Is Love. Love exists in relationship. Love Is Trinitarian. Love Is ordered to the personal and relational Dignity of the persons existing in a relationship of Love. Every act of Love will serve to complement and thus enhance the fullness of Love. God Is The Ordered, Communion of Perfect Love, The Blessed Trinity.
    Christianity is part of God’s Plan because man was created through an act of Love, and Hopefully, we will be Redeemed through The Greatest Act of Love, if we but repent and desire to become transformed through Salvational Love, God’s Gift of Grace and Mercy

  • Sure, if they walked into a Protestant church they’d have that reaction, but any issues with the Catholic Church would be limited to lukewarmness on the part of Catholics.

    As for the Jews, Rabbinic Judaism is not the faith of their fathers, but rather a caricature of it. The sages of old knew that the Messiah was divine, the Son of God. He is the same God who appeared to Abraham, Hagar, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, and many others throughout the Torah and the Prophets. Who is this Angel of the Lord who accepts divine worship but the Image of the Invisible God? Would that they would heed the warning that David gave them: “Kiss the Son, lest His anger flare up, and you perish from the way.”