Modern-day Jews reject the Christian claim that Jesus was the Messiah, claiming that Jesus didn't match the profile of the Messiah. Nevertheless, there have been Rabbis before, during, and after the time of Christ with views about the characteristics of the Messiah which Jesus matched. The general structure of this article ...


Jews claim Jesus is not the Messiah ...

As the following quotations demonstrate, modern day Jews do not believe that Jesus matched the profile of the Messiah. Some of these are ...


To this day, Judaism has certain qualifications regarding the Messiah, Maimonides attempts [sic] delineate what is expected of the Messiah in his work, the Mishne Torah. Among other points, he lists the following as signs of Messiah.

Mishne Torah is an extensive commentary on the Talmud, composed in the 12th century by the renowned Jewish philosopher and scholar Moses Maimonides (A.D.1135-1204)

The Messiah of the Bible


Jews do not accept Jesus as the messiah because:

1) Jesus did not fulfill the messianic prophecies.

2) Jesus did not embody the personal qualifications of the Messiah.

3) Biblical verses "referring" to Jesus are mistranslations.

4) Jewish belief is based on national revelation.

JESUS DID NOT FULFILL THE MESSIANIC PROPHECIES. What is the Messiah supposed to accomplish? The Bible says that he will:

A. Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).

B. Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).

C. Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore." (Isaiah 2:4)

D. Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: "God will be King over all the world — on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One" (Zechariah 14:9).

The historical fact is that Jesus fulfilled none of these messianic prophecies.

Ask Rabbi Simmons


In many places, the Bible says that the Torah was given forever. It is therefore impossible to say that it has been replaced by a new law or testament.

We disagree with Christianity not only with regard to belief, but also with regard to what man must do. Christianity tends to deny that man's actions are ultimately very useful. The only thing that can save man is his utter despair in his own sinfulness, and total dependence on G-d. The Jew, on the other hand, believes that man can come close to G-d by obeying Him and keeping His commandments.

This is a Protestant idea, not a Catholic one.

The Jewish Messiah is to be a human being born naturally to husband and wife. He is not to be a god, nor a man born of supernatural or virgin birth, as the Christians claim. Nowhere does our Bible say that the Messiah would be a god or G-d-like. The very idea that G-d would take on human form is repulsive to Jews because it contradicts our concept of G-d as being above and beyond the limitations of the human body and situation. Jews believe that G-d alone is to be worshiped, not a being who is His creation, be he angel, saint, or even the Messiah himself. Nowhere does the Bible predict that the Messiah will be born to a virgin. In fact, virgins never give birth anywhere in the Bible. This idea is to be found only in pagan mythology. To the Jewish mind, the very idea that G-d would plant a seed in a woman is unnecessary and unnatural.

The Jewish Messiah is expected to return the Jews to their land. Jesus was born while the Jews still lived in their land, before they had gone into exile. He could not restore them to their land because they were still living in it!

The true Messiah is to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem but Jesus lived while the Temple was still standing.

Jewish View of the Messiah | Jesus the Christ: Is Jesus the Jewish Messiah?


Modern-day Jews claim that Jesus did not match these and, therefore, he was not the messiah. However, as the quotations in the following sections show, there have been Rabbis before, during, and after the time of Christ who had different views.


Some modern Rabbi's identify OT prophecies as Messianic ...

It is very significant when a rabbi identifies various Old Testament prophecies as the Messiah since Jews who reject Jesus as the Messiah typically insist that these prophecies do not refer to the Messiah.

The Targum: Behold, My Servant the Messiah shall prosper.  — Targum ("Targum Jonathan") to Isaiah 52:13

Ruth Rabbah 5:6: The fifth interpretation [of Ruth 2:14] makes it refer to the Messiah. Come hither: approach to royal state. And eat of the BREAD refers to the bread of royalty; AND DIP THY MORSEL IN THE VINEGAR refers to his sufferings, as it is said, But he was wounded because of our transgressions. (Isa. LIII [53], 5). — Soncino Midrash Rabbah (vol. 8, p. 64).

The Karaite Yefeth ben Ali (10th c.): As to myself, I am inclined, with Benjamin of Nehawend, to regard it [Isaiah 53] as alluding to the Messiah, and as opening with a description of his condition in exile, from the time of his birth to his accession to the throne: for the prophet begins by speaking of his being seated in a position of great honour, and then goes back to relate all that will happen to him during the captivity. He thus gives us to understand two things: In the first instance, that the Messiah will only reach his highest degree of honour after long and severe trials; and secondly, that these trials will be sent upon him as a kind of sign, so that, if he finds himself under the yoke of misfortunes whilst remaining pure in his actions, he may know that he is the desired one....

Rabbi Moshe Alshekh (El-Sheikh) of Sefad (16th c.): I may remark, then, that our Rabbis with one voice accept and affirm the opinion that the prophet is speaking of the King Messiah, and we ourselves also adhere to the same view.

Herz Homberg (18th-19th c.): The fact is, that it refers to the King Messiah, who will come in the latter days, when it will be the Lord's good pleasure to redeem Israel from among the different nations of the earth.....Whatever he underwent was in consequence of their own transgression, the Lord having chosen him to be a trespass-offering, like the scape-goat which bore all the iniquities of the house of Israel.

Jewish Messianic Interpretations of Isaiah 53


As to the identification of the 'Servant', there is no scholarly consensus to this day. However, the Aggada, the Talmudic legend, unhesitatingly identifies him with the Messiah

When the death of the Messiah became an established tenet in Talmudic times, this was felt to be irreconcilable with the belief in the Messiah as Redeemer who would usher in the blissful millennium of the Messianic Age. The dilemma was solved by splitting the person of the Messiah in two.

Ancient Traditions of the Messiah


Rabbi's write that Messiah is a God-man ...

Rabbis who deny that Jesus was the Messiah typically deny that the Messiah is deity. But there are Rabbis who do identify the Messiah as deity.

Even the Jewish scholar Jacob Neusner (who attempts to minimize 'traditional' notions of the messiah) readily ADMITS that the messianic expectations of pre-Mishnahhic Jewry WERE those of an exalted super-human figure! . . . These earlier systems resorted to the myth of the Messiah as savior and redeemer of Israel, a supernatural figure engaged in political-historical tasks as king of the Jews, even a God-man (emphasis mine) facing the crucial historical questions of Israel's life and resolving them: the Christ as king of the world, of the ages, of death itself.

Messianic Expectations in 1st Century Judaism



Rabbi's write that Messiah atones for our sins ...

Rabbis who deny that Jesus was the Messiah typically deny that the Messiah would atone for our sins. But there are Rabbis who do claim that the Messiah would atone for our sins.

Dead Sea Scrolls. CD (Damascus Document), col XIV, 19: "until there arises the messiah of Aaron and Israel. He shall atone for their sins..."

The Targums. Isa 52.13-53.12: "Behold, My servant the Messiah shall prosper; he shall be exalted and great and very powerful...It is the will of the Lord to purify and to acquit as innocent the remnant of his people, to cleanse their souls of sin, so that they may see the kingdom of their Messiah..."

Messianic Expectations in 1st Century Judaism


In fact, one of these ancients told a legend that pictured God creating the Messiah and then asking him if he wanted to take upon himself the suffering for the sins of Israel. The Messiah replied,
"With gladness in my soul and with joy in my heart I accept it, so that not a single one of Israel should perish; and not only those who will be alive should be saved in my days, but even the dead who have died from the days of Adam the first man until now."
Midrash from a collection of rabbinic writings beginning as late as the year 845 C.E.

Jewish Messianic Interpretations of Isaiah 53


Another comment from R. Mosheh Kohen ibn Crispin: If his soul makes itself into a trespass-offering, implying that his soul will treat itself as guilty, and so receive punishment for our trespasses and transgressions.

R. Elijah de Vidas (16th c.): Since the Messiah bears our iniquities which produce the effect of His being bruised, it follows that whoso will not admit that the Messiah thus suffers for our iniquities, must endure and suffer for them himself.

Jewish Messianic Interpretations of Isaiah 53


Rabbi's write that Messiah would suffer ...

Rabbis who deny that Jesus was the Messiah typically deny that the Messiah would suffer. But there are Rabbis who do claim that the Messiah would suffer.

Another Talmudic passage that presents the suffering Messiah states:
The rabbis say: "The Leprous of the House of study is his name, as it is said, Verily he has born our diseases and our pains—he carried them, and we thought him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted." (Sanhedrin 98b)
This excerpt from the Mishnah is quoting directly from Isaiah 53. It also states specifically "The rabbis (plural) say." The identification of the suffering, leprous one as the Messiah was not merely the opinion of one writer. It was the commonly accepted interpretation of this passage by the Tannaim (c. 200-400 C.E.).

When the death of the Messiah became an established tenet in Talmudic times, this was felt to be irreconcilable with the belief in the Messiah or redeemer who would usher in the blissful millennium of the Messianic age. The dilemma was solved by splitting the person of the Messiah in two: ...Messiah ben Joseph...and...Messiah ben David.

Jewish Messianic Interpretations of Isaiah 53


Babylonian Talmud: Sukkah 52: "the slaying of the Messiah the son of Joseph" (explaining Zech 12.10—"they will look on him whom they pierced.")

Messianic Expectations in 1st Century Judaism


Catholic view of Antichrist ...

The Catholic Church officially teaches that there will be an Antichrist.

Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 675

The Antichrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the "intrinsically perverse" political form of a secular messianism.

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 676


Conclusions ...

Based on prophecies by various Saints and the Church Fathers, there will be a time in the future in which the Jews will mistake the Antichrist for the Messiah. This is because the Antichrist will fit their modern-day view of the Messiah. But due to the preaching of the two prophets, they will convert to Christianity en masse.

I should mention: I reject the notion there will be a yet-future Antichrist.

The following quotations are from the book Trial, Tribulation & Triumph, by Desmond A. Birch. This book cites numerous prophetic statements by the Church Fathers and the Saints. These are not endorsed by the teaching magisteriumof the Catholic Church.

There will be an age of peace. (p. xliii)

Antichrist will be an individual man. (p. 437)

He [Antichrist] will not come to us [Christians], but to the Jews (initially). (p. 441)

He [Antichrist] rises up, revolts, and rules. (p. 441)

Having beguiled the Jews, as though he were the expected Christ. (p. 451)

After holding public deliberations, the Jews will then offer Antichrist a royal crown. (p. 454)

The Antichrist will deceive the Jews to such an extent that they will accept him as the Messias. (p. 455)

Antichrist will draw the hearts of the Jews to him by his great generosity and sympathetic attitude.      The Jews will say to one another: "There is not a more virtuous, just and wise man than he to be found in our entire generation. Of all men, he certainly will be able to rescue us from all our miseries." (p. 456)

Antichrist will be of Jewish extraction, of the tribe of Dan, will be circumcised, will rebuild Jerusalem and the Jewish temple. . . . The Jews . . . will accept him as the Messias (p.460)

At the time of his reign, Antichrist will command that Jerusalem be rebuilt in splendor, and will make it a great and populous city, second to none in the world. (p. 497)

Antichrist shall restore it [the Temple]. (p. 497)

Trial, Tribulation & Triumph

Notice that in these prophecies, it is the erroneous views of the modern-day Rabbis about the Messiah which will result in the Jews mistaking the Antichrist for the Messiah. This is not in any way intended to represent Jews in a bad light. I am certain that many (all) G-d fearing Jews will end up in the new heavens and new earth.