A question which was asked in Spanish department оf the Brit Olam
I have a hard problem regarding my desire to follow by the way of God of Israel.
I believe in Jesus but I do not consider him as a Son of God (or as a “demigod”) and of course, I do not think that he was God who was appeared in a human body. I study Cristian theology in Summit Bible College – California. I have my own view on Cristian theology. I want to study Tanakh (Jewish Bible) more better and more right.
And now, it’s appeared a serious problem: can I in any way consider myself as a “Ben Noah? Or there will be an internal problem?
I can’t found somewhere in a New Testament that Jesus proclaimed himself as a God. At a later time Christianity attributed to him such a status. It’s a separate issue. He taught everybody (including himself) to pray to “Father, who is a God of all people”. He also said that The Most High is his God and our God. An idea about Jesus as God arose after his and disciples death. In ancient copies of Scriptures in a Greek that I can find there was written that early Christians turned their prayers towards the Temple, they worshiped The only Lord of the World, they kept the Torah and its commandments, as Jesus taught them, and went to the synagogue on Saturday.
Jesus and his disciples always behaved this way. Unfortunately, in modern Christian translations, something is consciously erased and words are added that were not in the original Greek text, so that this corresponds to the Christian faith. But this faith and doctrine, which Paul and his disciples kept, but Jesus himself never taught. And they, like Jews and observing the Torah, could have a heart attack if they saw what Christianity turned the teachings of Jesus, who himself always adhered to the Torah of Moses.
I was fortunate enough to listen to the lessons of Rabbi David Shalom of Mahon Meir. And I really appreciate him. And since I believe in Jesus (but in Jesus the Jew, not the Roman Jesus, who was invented in the Greek and Roman worlds), while I am very interested in the subject of Bnei Noah, and therefore, it is important for me to know whether it is possible to be Ben Noah and believe in Jesus?
The answer of Rav Hollander:
There are two aspects:
– Studying of the essence of the question;
– Practical decision.
From point of a view on a studying the question:
To my mind, the wording of the question misleads us. A person, who asked us, consider himself as “a believer in Jesus”, but as far as I know, he doesn’t believe IN HIM. He believe that there was such a person who was a religious leader for his followers. And there were documents passed through the second and third hands. That man (Jesus) didn’t speak Greek but that documents were written on Greek. In a principle, this approach cannot be attributed as a Christianity or to idolatry. If such a person accept Bnei Noah Commandments, he can be a kosher Ben Noah and have the status of “Ger Toshav”.
From point of a view on a practical decision:
I met with the Rabbis, and with the leaders of those Bnei Noah, who came out from Christianity. For the most part, they are opposed to accepting a person who does not proclaim that he does not believe in Jesus. There are rabbis who included in the Pledge before taking on the seven commandments a statement that a person does not believe in Jesus. One of the reasons of it that they are afraid of people who might come to their community and start campaigning for faith in Jesus.
The answer of Rav Cherki:
Here we should discuss several aspects of the question:
Rav Hollander rightly noted there is a contradiction between statements: “believe THAT…” and “believe IN…”. The statement “believe THAT…” has a shade of idolatry which we cannot but take into account. Especially when a person state that he come in a such way (through Jesus) to a Father (God). Why just in this way? If God is a Father, than who is a son?
Beside theological problem, we should discuss the essence of the faith which states that acceptance Jesus is a condition of the Hereafter.
Even we leave the question aside, we should take into attention that Jesus himself argued with sages of Israel and insulted them. How can we reconcile it with the recognition of the authority of the sages which a person who accept the Pledge declare in front of three judges.
And this is an integral part of accepting the status of Bnei Noah.
For all that, there are no obstacles for such a person to be accepted by the Almighty God and pleasing to Him. But we cannot accept it in our earthly court.
Therefore, in practice, while a person declares that he believes in Jesus, we cannot accept his Pledge.
As for the person who asked the question, he should declare that he does not believe in Jesus. After all, he only believes that such a person existed, and that some of his words and actions are worth attention