A MORE COMPLETE EXPLANATION...
David had a garden that was absolutely beautiful. In it, he grew the
most perfect tomatoes that you have ever seen! One day, Matthew came
along and planted cucumbers right in the middle of David's garden. When
the cucumbers started sprouting, Matthew told everyone that the
tomatoes were the root of his cucumbers. In other words, that the
cucumbers had developed from the tomatoes, and were the natural result
-- the goal -- of the tomatoes as they grew to maturity.
The above story may seem to you to be ridiculous, but
exactly what many people who teach 'The Jewish Roots' or 'The Hebraic
Roots' of Christianity actually do. They plant Christian cucumbers, so
to speak, in the midst of the Jewish tomatoes, and then claim that what
they planted there sprouted naturally from the tomatoes that were
already growing there. In other words, they put a Christian theological
interpretation into a Jewish ceremony or ritual. Then they claim that
this planted Christian theological interpretation, having been 'found'
in something Jewish (it was planted there by them in the first place),
shows that Christianity came from Judaism.
This clearly does not make any sense. It is merely an
effort to claim Jewish legitimacy.
Let me give you an example:
Most people are aware that there are three pieces of
the Passover Seder plate. Most people know that the middle matzah is
taken out, broken into two, and one of the two pieces is then hidden
away, brought out at the end of the meal, and is called the Afikoman.
The matzah has stripes and lines of holes on it. Some Christians will
claim that the matzah as well as the ritual with the Afikoman is
symbolic of Jesus, and therefore indicates that the basic theology of
Christianity can be found in Jewish rituals. They will claim that the
stripes and holes represent the marks on Jesus from the scourging he
received, and the holes represent those on Jesus that were caused by
the crucifixion. They will claim that the three pieces of matzah
represent the trinity of 1. the Father, 2. the son, and 3. the Holy
Spirit. Please take note that it is the middle matzah, the 'son' in the
trinity, that is taken out and broken (crucified), hidden (buried), and
brought back out (resurrected).
The problem with this is that it is an absolute
wedged into its ill-fitting place by the Christian agenda. There was no
Seder, no Haggadah, no three pieces of Matzah on any Seder plate, at
the time of Jesus. There was not even so much as a Seder plate. The
entire ritual developed hundreds of years after Jesus lived. The first
discussions of a Passover ritual describe only one and a half pieces of
matzah. The half piece is itself broken in half, then one of these two
smaller pieces is set aside, to be eaten as the last part of the meal.
It is not hidden, it is merely set aside, remaining in plain view. The
idea of hiding it came in the middle 1600's, in Germany, as a way to
keep the children interested in the service, a very successful idea
that eventually caught on throughout the world. The reason the matzah
has stripes and holes is that it is machine made. The machine causes
the stripes and the holes as it pulls the dough through the machine.
This machine was invented only about 150 years ago, in the middle of
How can something invented many hundreds of years after
event be considered a foreshadowing of an event that occurred before
it? The answer is, it cannot, without ignoring the rules of logic.
Of course, Christian missionaries, and those who want to
Christianity as coming from Judaism, can interpret anything at all in a
Christian way. But that does not mean that Christianity developed from
whatever they are interpreting.
One might ask, 'But weren't the first Christians
Jews?' Yes, but this is irrelevant. The first Protestants were Roman
Catholics. Martin Luther was a Roman Catholic Priest. The Roman
Catholics do not consider Protestant Christianity to be merely another
form of Catholicism.
If you read the Apocryphal Book of I Maccabees, you will
that the first person killed in the Maccabee rebellion was a Jew. He
was willing to go ahead and sacrifice a pig to Zeus, which Mattathias
had refused to do. Obviously, he had to have been a very secular,
assimilated Jew. Had he survived Mattathias' attack, and later formed a
religion that was dedicated to the worship of Zeus and Zeus' half-human
sons, would that make his newly formed faith just another form of
Judaism? Would that mean that his new faith had 'Jewish Roots' since
the founder of this faith was originally a Jew?
Just because it is a Jew who creates something, does
that mean that what was created is Jewish?
Just because a Jew holds to an idea, does that automatically mean that
the idea the Jew holds to is a Jewish idea?
Christian missionaries, including 'Jews' For Jesus,
'Jews,' and 'Hebrew' Christians, will go to amazing lengths to get even
one real Jew to convert. They will claim that, since they can now find
Christian symbolism in a Jewish ritual, this proves that Christianity
developed as a natural outgrowth of Judaism, that Judaism was the
source of Christian theology, and that the Jews are too stubborn to see
how Christian theology is what Gd wanted to lead them to in the first
However, this convenient trick can be done with a thing
that is not Jewish as well.
Let's take pizza.
Pizza has three basic elements to it, the bread, the
sauce, and the cheese. The middle element is the tomato sauce, which is
red. One could easily give a Christian interpretation to these three
elements that define pizza.
Jesus is called the bread of life. The dough is kneaded.
image of kneading the dough is the same as someone being beaten which
could represent Jesus being scourged. The dough to make the bread is
rolled over with an instrument, which pokes holes in the dough to allow
air to escape during baking. This could be likened to Jesus receiving
the holes in his body from the crucifixion, just as certain people
erroneously say of the matzah.
The tomato sauce:
The sauce is red like Jesus' blood, and it is spread all
around the dough like the blood of a sacrifice is put on an altar.
The cheese covers the rest, like the death of Jesus
'covers the sins of the people.'
From this hypothetical interpretation, you can easily
even pizza could be used to symbolize Jesus. But this clearly does not
mean that the symbolism one could find in pizza indicates The Pizza
Roots of Christianity.
Although Jesus himself was Jewish, and preached to Jews,
the religion that now considers him the messiah is clearly not Jewish.
While there may be historical Jewish Roots to
there are no theological Jewish Roots to Christianity because the
theology that supports Christianity is antithetical to what the Bible
says, and diametrically opposite of what Judaism believes.