In response to our dear friend Abdullah, shalom/salam.
Throughout Jewish history we’ve been fighting for our right to not believe in Jesus as God. We were persecuted, exiled, tortured, killed and sometimes forcefully converted, but as a nation and a faith- we survived!There were times that we were forced to “debate” bishops and priests, with the outcome usually independent of the arguments and proofs, for the table was always turned against the defenseless Jew. The one claiming victory would then force the loser to convert based on his own failure to stand up for his faith.
That was the only purpose why Jews debated anyone. We never tried to convert anyone to Judaism for it was never in the Jewish interest that there be more Jews, rather that people should keep the laws of God being who they are, without changing their identity. (The 7 Laws for all humanity are, not committing- adultery, idolatry, murder, theft, curse God’s Name, not eat a limb off an animal that wasn’t killed first, shall set up a court system and abide by it.) From the Jewish standpoint the debates were defensive not offensive.
Today, however, things changed. Thank God no one is burning Jews at the stake for not believing in Jesus. However, the missionary campaign against the Jews is unprecedented. The Evangelists funnel billions of dollars a year targeting uneducated Jews with their same lame 2,000 year old arguments. Those arguments didn’t stand in the face of learned Jews, but today’s assimilated Jews know nothing of their heritage, making it very easy to be seduced into the idolatry of Christianity. It is for those Jews sake that you will find rabbis voluntarily debating missionaries [sadly some of them Jews themselves.]
Thus, in all of Jewish history in Muslim lands (to the best of my knowledge) there were no debates. For the most part of history, the Muslims and Jews had a mutual respect for each other, there were obviously exceptions like in the days of Maimonides in Spain and Yemen, but the majority of history they weren’t interested in converting the other and therefore lived in peace.
I therefore find it ironic, that a Muslim should request to debate a Jew on the Messiah role of Jesus. I ask, why? What do you gain? You want to convince me that he was messiah? You won’t. I don’t care if you think he was messiah, for we both agree that he wasn’t divine and that it what really makes a difference.
A dialogue, however is something entirely different. That is in the context of curious discussion, and that’s always nice to have. So let me ask, what does the Quran say about Jesus? I know the Quran considers him a prophet. Does it mention the concept of messiah? From a Jewish point of view it is absurd in every way possible to say that he was messiah. For the reasons [which are probably about 10] we can follow up in future post.
God/Allah bless you