Much effort has been made over the past several decades to burnish Jesus’ identity as a Jewish carpenter in order to build affinities between Christians and Jews. The truth of the matter is that Jesus was neither a Jew nor a carpenter.
We have dealt previously with Jesus’ vocation which was that
of a rabbi, but here we wish to explain why Jesus was not Jewish, a statement
which will surprise many. In order to accomplish our goal, we need to take time
to discuss the ethnic composition of Judea at the time of Jesus’ birth, as well
as trace the history of the Hebrew people beginning with Abraham.
Of all of the races of Adam delineated in Genesis 10, God
called out Abraham to be the founder of a new race of people designated as
Israelites in the Bible. The line would descend through Isaac and Jacob, later
known as Israel.
These people, known also as Hebrews, would eventually form a
nation after captivity in Egypt, but would finally split into 2 nations known
as Israel and Judah, the former being called the House of Israel made up of 10
tribes, and the latter called the House of Judah which included the Levites.
Both nations would be conquered and deported, the former by
the Assyrians and the latter by the Chaldeans, although the Assyrians took many
Judahites living outside Jerusalem. Although the House of Judah would spend only
70 years in captivity in Babylon, its people would return to their homeland to
rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. The northern kingdom would remain scattered,
eventually becoming major people groups in western Asia and Europe all the way
to Scandinavia and Britain.
The people of the House of Judah were eventually overwhelmed
by Edomites of whom Herod, the tyrant who sought to murder the toddler Jesus,
was the archetype. The Edomites descended through Esau who had despised his
birthright and married Canaanite women. These offspring of Esau were not
racially Israelites who descended through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The House
of Judah had compelled the Edomites to convert to Judaism after conquering them
under Maccabees. But as noted, they soon dominated Jewish religious life with
heavy infiltration of Babylonian religious elements brought back from the
The genealogies of
Jesus given in the Gospels trace his lineage to Judah and to Adam. Thus Jesus
was most emphatically a Hebrew – not a Jew.
The important point is that Hebrew and Jew are two different
races because each group descends from two different lines from Isaac. This
sets up the conflict between Jesus and religious leaders of Judea at the time
of his ministry.
Jesus had sharp words for the Scribes, Pharisees, and
Sadducees who based their religious teachings on the Talmud – not upon the Holy
Scriptures. He reserved his harshest language for these people whom he called
hypocrites, liars, and murders, even stating that they were of their father the
devil, by which he literally meant that they were the seed of Satan as spoken
of in Genesis 3.
Jesus came to save the lost sheep of Israel, meaning that
his ministry was to the remaining Hebrews of the Houses of Israel and Judah who
remained in the land.
The apostles continued this hostility to the Jews by warning
new Christians to avoid the Judaizers who sought to impose their onerous
religious burdens on the new converts. The prophet Malachi describes the hatred
God has for Esau who intermarried with Canaanite women. Paul drives home the point by noting that not
all Israel is truly Israel, meaning, as John later stated, that not everyone
who calls himself a Jew is really a descendent of Jacob.
The enmity between the Seed of Satan and the Seed of Adam
reached its climax in 30 AD when the Jewish Sanhedrin murdered Jesus, and the
Jews said let his blood be on our hands and our descendants – and so it has
been to this very hour. But the penultimate act was the destruction of the Jews
in 70 AD and their dispersion in 135 AD. Yet they have returned by the hand of
Satan to their former lands, and shall be annihilated once and for all when
Jesus returns with his mighty army.
In no way, shape, or form was Jesus a Jew. He warned of
their destruction and declared that the Kingdom had been taken from them. While
they have made a come-back as Revelation foretold, their ultimate destiny is
the Lake of Fire.
Copyright 2016 Tony Bonn