Jewish Dopers: How do you view Jesus?

On one hand, he was “responsible” for a lot of hate and abuse that Jews had to go through over the centuries.

On the other hand, he is a Jew that managed to start a religion that attracts 2.1 billion followers (almost a third of the Earth’s population). That’s quite an accomplishment. Also, he wasn’t directly/personally responsible for the hate against Jews, it was just some idiots who wanted to blame the Jews for his crucifixion.

Overall, if there was such an Italian or Greek guy (i.e. who started a religion followed by 1/3 of the Earth, but who indirectly led to hate and persecution of his compatriots), maybe the Italians or Greeks would begrudgingly admire him in a way. Not sure.

So, Jewish Dopers, how do you feel about or view Jesus?

I don’t think we think about him that much. I don’t know anyone who blames the historical Jesus for anti-antisemitism. Since we (I use the term loosely as an atheist Jew) don’t consider him divine, we don’t hold him responsible for what his followers have done.

That sums it up. I really give Jesus very little thought, one way or another, and certainly don’t blame him for things done in his name.

Jesus’ just zis guy, you know?

IMO it could have been anyone or no one back then that spawned the religion. Many others could have took hold, his followers managed to make it happen.

Pretty well what the others have said. No Jew I know of blames Jesus for what his followers did centuries after he was dead.

I view him as one of many religious enthusiasts and reformers who existed in his time and place. His message happened to attract a dedicated set of followers, who eventually crafted a new religion.

If anything, if I believed in a religion in which there was an afterlife and that guys like Jesus was aware of stuff on Earth from beyond the grave, I’d be sorry for him. Imagine his plight, watching from beyond, as people twist his message so profoundly over the centuries and use it for hateful ends. That would truly suck.

I think he was probably a nice guy but a significant number of his followers are literalist lunatics. Then again one can say the same thing about pretty much any religious figure. Mostly I don’t think about him at all.

Interesting. How do the above responses jibe with what I read over the holidays (I believe on the SDMB and on other places like Slate) where Jews said there was a “No Jesus rule” in what movies they allowed their kids to watch during the holidays?

Like others, I don’t consider Jesus all that much, except insofar as I live in the Modern West, and so the ambient culture is fairly well steeped in Christian references.

What I know of Jesus’ teachings strike me as not all that different from Jewish teachings of his time and place. From a theological viewpoint, having God take on a human shape to stand as a sacrificial sin offering is…heretical, at best. The only sane homiletical lesson I can personally take from the story of the binding of Isaac in the Torah is that we are finished with human sacrifice as a way of propitiating God (or gods), and that’s one of the breaks of the early Hebrews from the older cults of the region. I’ve never been clear whether Jesus himself would have approved of that view of his life and death.

But, you know, whatever works for Christians, as long as we don’t get the pogroms and expulsions again.

I assume that’s shorthand for “no Christmas b.s.” It’s not specifically about Jesus, but around the holiday Christmas and Jesus get lumped together. You don’t have to give Jesus a lot of thought to tell your kids, “turn that crap off.”

Huh? Why should it jibe? Jews are as various in their opinions as other folks - maybe moreso. :wink:

Such a nice Jewish boy.

Why couldn’t he have been a doctor or a lawyer?


Sorry, no clue. How many “Jesus movies” are there?

I view him as a 2000-year-old L. Ron Hubbard.

Here’s an example of an article addressing this issue. An excerpt:

Well, news to me.

We never watched anything really religious, because why would we, but my kids (and me, when I was a kid) grew up on a diet of all those movies.

Wow, that’s some crazy stuff there. Maybe some Jews care about that kind of thing, the “challenge” of raising Jewish kids in a Christian world,etc. As a secular Jew, I’m probably not qualified to disagree. But, I am glad me and my kids don’t have to worry about it.

We never talked about Jesus; he was not a religious figure and was never mentioned in services.

Don’t know much about any No Jesus rule but sure I didn’t particularly want my kids when little to watch what would essentially be propaganda for another faith’s beliefs. Why would I? No Frosty though? Never heard anyone doing anything like that.

You are really though conflating two questions. What I think about the historical figure of Jesus Christ and how I react to the imposition of the (to my belief) mythologic character of Jesus Christ into my (and kids when little) secular existance are very different things.

As to the first, I find the historical figure to be of some interest. I also find Mohammed and the Buddha to be interesting.

In a related fashion I find how that historic figure became the (again to my way of thinking) myth and how that myth was used by various peoples and cultures over history for good bad and none of the above to be of significant interest as well. It is hard to deal with history and not consider it along the way. The historic figure bears no responsibility for what his myth became and how it was used.

Not something that is a big deal to me though. Intellectually interesting.

The manner that the myth is used in current culture and the way the myth is imposed upon my children in the public sphere is a different matter. To the degree that the myth is part of parcel of being of the culture it sets me and mine as outsider, an insecure place to be. Now a little insecurity is not a bad thing; it drives you. But you don’t like your kids feeling like they are outsiders in their own country.

Again, no offense meant in referring to Jesus the myth. I respect the belief. This is discussing from a different perpsective is all.

What are you kvetching about? He went into his father’s business!

If only he’d married and given me grandchildren… Such nachas!