Who understands the Old Testament better: Jews or Christians?

Christians usually defend their claim that Jesus was GOD by referring to Genesis. Jews claim that it is impossible that GOD becomes a human being and that GOD transcends space and time.

Jews believe that the Messiah was (or would inevitably be) a human being. Christians believe that the Messiah was GOD or the Son of GOD.

Who would be correct??? Who has a better understanding of the Old Testament?? Please explain...

23 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    From the Artscroll Stone Edition Tanach

    Isaiah 9:1-6

    Isaiah again interrupts his prophecy to address God. The salvation to which he refers is the miraculous end of Sennacherib's siege of Jerusalem (see Chs. 36-37). Rashi

    (The "young woman" was already pregnant with the child, Hezekiah. L'Chaim)

    Isaiah 48:16

    The prophet declares that he had spoken his prophecy regarding Sennacherib's downfall for all to hear from the very first time it was revealed to him (Radak). He then issues a new prophecy. "Your descendants will be as numerous as the fish in the ocean (Rashi).

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Who understands the 'New' Testament better: Christians or Jews?

    Now see how absurd your question actually is?

    You do realise that the 'OT' is not the Jewish bible, right?

    The OT is a translation of a translation. It is often nothing more than a MIStranslation of the actual Jewish bible: the Tanakh.

    Since Jews are the ones who read and study an accurate translation, and since the Tanakh is the JEWISH bible, then of course it's Jews who understand it. It was written BY Jews, FOR Jews.

    'HAYIM TOV Y'ALL' - what a load of utter rubbish. shame on you.

    TO THE ASKER

    Again, I'm going to assume you are aware of some of the more infamous MIStranslations of the Jewish Tanakh? Christians try desperately to 'back engineer' Jesus into it but the FACT remains that anyone with an accurate translation of the original Hebrew KNOWS and can READ that Jesus is nowhere to be found in it!

    The Tanakh stands alone. It makes sense, alone. It is studied and read and enjoyed, on its' own. It does not require the NT nor anything from the NT to enhance it.

    Can Christians claim the same for their bible? If so, why do they even need to bother with the 'OT'? After all, they reject the very essence of it.

  • Feivel
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Jews.

    I mean no offense to anyone but it has to be us.

    We read it in its original Hebrew and have the Talmud to go with it. Christians use the Torah to fortell "Jesus" but in essence they have written Jesus into the Torah. In almost every case you can either state what is truly being said or how it is being mistranslated.

    I have often had Christians tell me that "almah" meant virgin when it very clearly means "young woman" when read it its original. As well, many Christians will take a snipit here or there and say "this proves Jesus was God (or the son of God depending upon which Christian you are talking to) but if they read the entire passage it would clearly state that could not be the case.

    Christians certainly have a better understanding of the "New Testament". They study it and it is their Bible even though they do not read it in its original form.

    Like I said, I mean no offense to anyone but I would have to say Jews understand the Torah (Old Testament)/Tanakh better than any other group.

  • 4 years ago

    Understanding Hebrew will help you understand explanations of the differences more readily, but it's far from mandatory. You can get yourself off to a great start by reading entire chapters, rather than a verse or two in theological isolation. The text that Christians get the virgin birth of a savior from is simply a reference to a young woman sitting in the court of King Ahaz; the chapter is about a specific prophecy regarding a siege the court was under. Use Jewish sources whenever possible (if you're trying to research something on-line, use the Jewish names of the books instead of the English ones (which will give you a gazillion Christian sites), so 'Bereshit' instead of 'Genesis'). That way you won't be left wondering how a virgin can give birth. :-)

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  • 1 decade ago

    Well, for a Jew, naturally they do

    For a Christian, naturally they do

    It is a matter of understanding. The Jewish do not believe the New Testament, therefore, they can not get the same meaning as a Christian does about the Old Testament.

    I agree that the Old Testament was written for the Jews to the Jews and is a History of the Jews and Prophecy given by the Jews.

    Having said that, I, as a Christian, believe that there is MUCH to be learned from Judaism regarding interpretation. I believe that though interpretation about Jesus as Messiah is not negotiable for me, as for me, he is, in other areas, there is much to be learned.

  • 1 decade ago

    Without a doubt the Jews understand the Old Testament better, there are many Christians who believe that it is not necessary to read or understand the OT because when Jesus came He changed everything.

    But Jesus said "I have not come to change the law but to fulfull it."

    So I believe that it is VERY important for Christians to understand what the OT says, for it is their foundation.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm a Christian and I don't claim Jesus was God. I don't know of any off hand that do believe that.

    However as to your original question.

    I would go with Jews. For the main reason, that Jews believe in Old Testament. Which is the basis for their religion. Christians in the New Testament (along with old of course), which is the basis for our religions.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think it is important to make the distinction between PROFESSED Christians and TRUE Christians, since many professed Christians have different, conflicting understanding of the scriptures, therefore not all professed Christians are truly Christians from God's and Jesus' point of view. TRUE Christians would understand it better because:

    - True Christians appreciate the fullfilment of 'Old Testament' prophecies in Jesus. The Jews are still waiting for the Messiah.

    - Christ poured out holy spirit on his followers - Christians - to give them a better understanding of the scriptures. (John 14:26)

    - Many 'Old Testament' prophecies related to Isreal are having fullfillment today with True Christians - The Israel of God (Jeremiah 31:31-33, Hebrews 10:14-21, Galatians 6:16, Romans 2:28-29). Jews are oblivious to this. (Romans 11:25)

    Still the Jews may have a better understanding of the language and context of the Hebrew Scriptures than non-Hebrew-speaking Christians.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Jews most definitely. After all, it was for them. The Jews here have given you good answers.

  • 1 decade ago

    Matth 28:6He is not here; he has risen, just as he said....Matth 28:15So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day. (Key word:JEWS told this story at one point)

    Matth 28:18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth...19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

    As you can see even the Jews knew that Jesus body was not in the tomb, and that an Angel came down and told both Mary's that Jesus has risen (where did the disconnect come from since this point, and yes this is the 1st book in the new testament, but it explains so much.

    Jesus does recognize all 3 (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)

    and that Jesus has the authority over heaven and earth (only God has that power, which this was granted to Jesus. (Not sure if this was before or after his ressurrection but...) This meaning is Jesus acts in God's (the Father's) behalf.

    Source(s): One day we will all recognize that the trinity and the roles of each.
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