Judaic Theology – A New Testament Perspective
Judaism, the Ancient Jewish Faith, is a religion that developed in the early centuries following the exile of the Jews from their home country, when they left for the Promised Land in Egypt. In contrast to many other Abrahamic faiths, Judaic theology maintains that creation is the sole attribute of God, together with the preservation, revelation, and final salvation of this world. The most fundamental principles of Judaic ethics mirror those of Jewish scripture, but are refined and transformed through interpretation and reflection of what the Rabbis taught, while retaining much of the basic structure of traditional Judaic teachings. While some scholars argue that Judaic theology is a synthesis of the three monotheisms of Judaism – Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform – there is widespread agreement that it contains within itself a rich diversity of beliefs and practices.
According to the traditions of Judaic theology, the founder of Judaicism, Maimonides, observed that, “The people of God must guard against all the things that divide them and must guard what is theirs.” Judaicism teaches that one’s duty is to pray for the blessings of the almighty Creator, as He has promised He will fulfill. Jews believe that the people of Israel were chosen by God to be His nation and are to maintain the commandments of God, and to love Him, even though they suffer for their beliefs. Jews must defend themselves from enemy nations and from those who hate them, but they should also do good to others, just as the sage Maimonides advised.
Because of this, Jews have two roles in the Torah: The mediator between God and the Israelites, and the rescuer of the Jews after they have been persecuted in other nations. One of the most important themes of Judaic theology is that of the messiah, who is believed to return to earth to rebuild the temple of Jerusalem after it has been destroyed in a great plague; and to spread His teachings to the world. In Jewish history, there are six different Messiahs, according to the Jewish calendar. The first was Abraham, followed by Joseph, then Moses, David and Solomon. Judaic theology also holds that Jesus, who is regarded as the last of the prophets, fulfilled the role of the perfect Jewish teacher.