Skip to comments.Vatican: Jews do not wait in vain for Messiah
Posted on 07/26/2002 7:24:27 PM PDT by narses
According to a new Vatican document, recently released in English, Jews should continue to anticipate the coming of Messiah.
The Pontifical Biblical Commission released the English version of "The Jewish People and their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible" in May. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger signed the work.
"The Jewish Messianic wait is not in vain," the statement says. "It can become for us Christians a strong stimulus to maintain alive the eschatological dimension of our faith. We, like them, live in expectation. The difference is in the fact that for us, he who will come will have the traits of that Jesus who has already come and is already active and present among us."
The document is the latest of several that some believe suggest the church is softening its stance toward Jews and their salvation. For example, several scholars said Dominus Iesus, a 2000 document that reaffirms that salvation comes through Christ and the church, does not apply to Jews the way it does to members of other non-Christian religions.
Two Covenants? Darrell Bock, professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, noted that the new statement seems to imply belief in a two-covenant view of salvation. "This would undercut evangelism to Jews and does not make sense of the efforts of the earliest church to reach out to Jews as seen in the New Testament," Bock told Christianity Today. "On the key question of whether Judaism can save, the document is very unclear."
John Pawlikowski, director of the Catholic-Jewish Studies program at the University of Chicago, said the statement raises questions about the way the church understands Jews and salvation. "It demands some kind of further reflection on the significance of the universality of Christ's redemptive action," he said. "To what extent, then, does their salvation depend primarily on their own covenant rather than, say, on the universal work of Christ?"
The statement is "like the camel's nose of universalism in the tent of the Catholic Church," said David Brickner, executive director of Jews for Jesus. "Jesus is the Messiah of the Jews, or he's no one's Messiah.
"I think it's important for us as evangelicals to recognize that the Catholic Church has long given up the notion of a forthright evangelistic outreach to the Jewish people," Brickner said. "The evangelical church should see this as a cautionary tale. The uniqueness of Christ is what's at stake."
Relations with Jews Yechiel Eckstein, founder of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, said the statement could help Christians respond to Jews in a way that is respectful, but does not compromise Christian beliefs.
Eugene Fisher, associate director for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the document may help Jews and Christians pursue a more intense level of interfaith dialogue using their shared Scriptures.
"It provides a solid basis of understanding for a local congregation to speak to a local synagoguenot only on social issues that we can get together on, but precisely on 'Let's talk about how we understand, say, the Book of Genesis,' " he said.
Leon Klenicki, a past president of the Anti-Defamation League, said the statement is good for Catholic-Jewish relations. But, he said, the document only describes Jewish beliefs and does not grant them theological validity.
Brickner cautions that interfaith dialogue, though valuable, should not replace evangelism. "This document demonstrates that those who have in one sense given up evangelism and replaced it with dialogue ultimately end up compromising the essence of the gospel itself."
Despite questions, many religious leaders say the statement is a valuable step forward. Mary Boys, professor of practical theology at Union Theological Seminary, said the study's emphasis on reading the Scriptures in their original context is helpful in correcting "the disparagement of Judaism that has been like a virus in Christian theology."
Marvin Wilson, author of Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith, agrees. "For nearly 2,000 years, the Christians took the Jewish Scriptures and proceeded to essentially disregard Jewish scholarship and Jewish interpretation."
Wilson, professor of biblical and theological studies at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, says evangelicals need to hear the Jewish Scriptures "as a word meant for Israel, not just the word that gets validated for us because we can spiritualize it or Christolocize it, validating it by some kind of New Testament connection."
This bears repeating. On another thread, the question was asked, "if there was no one in hell, wouldn't that mean there was no hell"?
Rather, shouldn't we all pray that there is no one in hell, so that the desire of Him who created us could be fulfilled?
Can you not acknowledge that there is Purgatory and that it is a much better place than Hell?
We should pray that there are no human souls in a place with no hope of union with the Creator.
St. Paul looks forward to the day when the same words will be applied to the Jews who rejected their Messiah (Rom 11:25): "A blindness in part has fallen upon Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles enter" the People of God. Then, Paul adds "all Israel will be saved" - will enter the kingdom of their Messiah.
You are more of a dissenter than I first thought. What in the HELL is the matter with you? According to you, we are to pray that the words of Our Redeemer are untrue?
Then He will also say to those on the left hand, Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41).
The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:41-42.
Theres more but you just keep praying that there is no hell and, if there is, nobody is there.The fact is that we are to pray for individuals including sinners, regardless, many souls will be lost forever.
Matthew 7:13 "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it.
Does the Church teach that there are souls in hell? It certainly teaches that there are souls in heaven, but, to my knowledge, I've never seen a teaching about souls in hell.
I'm familiar with those Scriptures. There are differing interpretations of them, especially the last one, where Christ was likely referring analogically to a city gate in Jerusalem which had a very narrow opening to keep out invaders.
So suddenly you are willing to listen to what the Church teaches? Great, now give some thought to the teaching on artificail contraception.
1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, "eternal fire." The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.
1056 Following the example of Christ, the Church warns the faithful of the "sad and lamentable reality of eternal death" (GCD 69), also called "hell."
1057 Hell's principal punishment consists of eternal separation from God in whom alone man can have the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.
Source from the Catechism
To borrow your phraseology, stuff it.
You had better know what your talking about before you tell someone to "stuff it", you half wit.
... I've never seen a teaching about souls in hell.
Haven't there been more than one message from Our Lady and Saints about the suffering souls in Hell?
For believers, this, of course, is true. For dissenters, give them the teaching from the Catechism and watch them tap dance.
Sound familiar, sinkspur? It's from the Canon of the of the Holy Mass pre VC II.
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