How does Judaism view Jesus?

The thread about Messianic Jews got me thinking. How do various Jewish groups (by which I mean Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, or whatever) see Jesus-as basically a nice, well-meaning guy, or a nutjob, or an evil blasphemer?

Just curious.

The key point is that Jesus is not regarded as divine. Since he’s just another guy, any jew is free to form their own opinion of him on any basis they want, he’s “outside the scope” of Judaism. There is no more a standard way for jews to view Jesus than for jews to view Bush, Pol Pot, or Martha Stewart.

Wasn’t Jesus a Rabbi? (I’m neither Christian nor Jewish, so I might be wrong here, it’s been a long while since I’ve read the bible). Wouldn’t that put him within the scope of the jewish faith, as to be regarded as a “good” rabbi or a “bad” rabbi, at least.

I believe some Christian texts say that Jesus’ followers called him “rabbi,” meaning “teacher.” It doesn’t denote an office or title that was bestowed upon him by an authority.

I don’t mean to sidetrack, but did it need to be? What made a rabbi a Rabbi ?

Until someone knowledgeable on the subject comes along, I’ll just interject that I recall reading something on this topic years ago.

Basically it said that the Jews didn’t think much of anything about Jesus, considering him a purely Christian phenomenon. None of the contemporary jewish histories had anything about him, and he was basically irrelevant to jewish history and theology, until such a time as large numbers of jews were being persecuted and slain in Jesus’ name.

In Talmudic times (which is the time period in which Jesus lived) one became a Rabbi by receiving ordination from an existing Rabbi.

In Orthodox Judaism, Jesus is really not thought of much at all. There are some passages in the Talmud that some may claim refer to Jesus (in an unflattering light) but, in reality, those passages actually refer to a different person altogether (different time period). Jesus really plays no part in Orthodox Judaism whatsoever.

How do we view the man? Well, assuming that we take him as the Gospels present him, I’d wager that he was a person who lived in Israel during the end of the Second Temple period. He was a kind, caring person for the most part, but was somewhat ignorant of Jewish law and custom.

For that matter, I don’t believe that he figures even slightly prominently in Conservative, Reform or even Reconstructionist Judaism.

Zev Steinhardt

Meaning one:Any old teacher.

Meaning two: Any teacher of Judaica, who is approved of by the local court of Jewish law.


Never heard of the guy.

mks57 said it best.