Talk:Jewish eschatology

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This article seems like it could be organized more efficiently and more consistently across the different subtopics. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:44, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

Tertullian as a Church Father[edit]

I don't think that Tertullian is universally regarded as a Church father. According to his wiki article, he didn't even remain within the main body of the Church, but broke communion with the "Montanists" whoever they are. Seems he was always opposed to seeing any harmony between philosophy and theology, whereas many of the Eastern fathers happily drew from Plato and other Greed philosophers. Later, Thomas Aquinas in the West drew heavily on Aristotle in another attempt to harmonize faith and reason. The point that the incarnation seems illogical to Judaism is a valid one. However, I don't think that holding up Tertullian's repudiation of reason in this way is a fair characterization of the Christian understanding of the incarnation. --Wesley

Many Catholic seem pretty sure that Tertullian is a church father. Even if he politically wasn't, his theology certainly was - and is - mainstream. I have met many Protestant Christians whose theology (in this regard) was identical to his. It still seems like a representative view of what many Christians believe. RK
His theology may be mainstream in the West, but most definitely isn't in Eastern Orthodoxy. The East does not recognize him as a saint, and his teachings tend to emphasize a legalistic slant on things. This would match up well with Augustine and much of Western theology, but is heavily contrasted with East's less legal, more relational approach. Tertullian also scorned the Greek philosophers at a time when most Eastern theologians were using Greek philosophy to explain and defend Christianity. However widely read he is in general, most Christians rely on the eye-witness accounts of the apostles, or the scriptural accounts of them in the New Testament, for their faith in the Incarnation. I've never heard of anyone suggesting that we should believe in the Incarnation because it seems illogical. (By some accounts I've just recently read, Tertullian sounds a lot like a modern day Pentecostal Fundamentalist.) --Wesley
I don't know what kind of Catholics you've talked to about Tertullian, RK, but I have never met a modern Catholic who believed in the veiling of women, to give one example, RK. Tertullian is not mainstream.
You totally misread what I wrote. I was talking about his theology. RK
He died in schism - he was a Montanist. His position on private revelation is entirely outside the bounds of the church. He is not a saint in the West. He is considered a 'Father' only in the sense that he wrote during the third century. His influence was at its high point in the 17th and 18th century in France among the Jansenists, who shared both his puritan tendencies and his practice of trusting in private revelation. I think his position vis-a-vis the Roman Church is remarkably similar to that of Origen to the Orthodox. --MichaelTinkler
You miss my point. None of these things that you mention have anything to do with the specific topic at hand. Most Christians alive today are not Saints, either. But they do have viewpoints on the trinity. Many Christians alive today have the viewpoint that I described. No one is deabting whether or not Tertullian views on other issues were acceprted. In fact, no one was talking about Tertullian at all. Rather, I was merely giving an example of a mainstream Christian concept. Everyone else seems concerned with the particular person, but they are ignoring the idea, the main point of all this. The view expressed by Tertullian on Jesus is still a very widely held belief among Chrisitians. It, thus, is representative. I fail to understand the controversy. RK

I realize this is an old thread; happened across it while fixing old sigs. The view that Jesus rose from the dead is of course widely held among Christians. The view that its unlikeliness is proof that it happened, I'm not so sure about. Tertullian held a number of other views that are not mainstream, and some that are; quoting him is no guarantee that you're representing Christianity. Is there better documentation of the "proof from absurdity"? Wesley 23:15 Sep 23, 2002 (UTC)

Ah, I see what you mean. This is a valid point. I concur that just because his beliefs on issues A, B, and C (to make things generic, and applicable to many cases) are still accepted by many (most?) Christians, that does not prove that his views on issues D, E, or F still are (or were) widely accepted. RK
That's exactly my point. For that matter, why should this article discuss Christian eschatology? Would it be sufficient to first describe the Jewish conception of the messiah (as it does now), and then perhaps note that various people including Jesus Christ have claimed to be the messiah, but have not generally been accepted by Jews as such because they haven't met those criteria? Wesley 15:36 Sep 25, 2002 (UTC)
This article has to discuss at least some Christian eschatology, as it must show where and how Judaism differs from Christianity on this topic. The vast majority of English speakers who have access to Wikipedia are either themselves Christian, or from predominantly Christian nations, or at least know more about Christianity than about Judaism. Look at the situation we are dealing with: I still meet people ever week who think that Jews are some denomiantion of Christianity, and must worship Jesus. The ignorance of most people towards even the most basic ideas within Judaism is truely staggering. RK
Most Christians still incorrectly imagine that Judaism is the religion of the Old Testament, when in fact that would be another religion entirely (i.e. Karaites.) When people read the words "Heaven" or "messiah", most English speakers think first of the Christian definitions of these words, and thus misunderstand the Jewish point of view. There is no way around this confusion unless a word is used, and then the Christian and Jewish understanding of the term is contrasted. RK
That's a good reason for there to be some contrast with Christian eschatology. Even so, I'm going to remove the reference to Tertullian's "proof from absurdity" because I don't think it's very representative, although I could be wrong about this. Wesley

Contention between the Pharisees and Sadducees[edit]

Also, regarding the resurrection of the dead, wasn't this a point of contention between the Pharisees and Sadducees? If so, is that worth mentioning in this context, or was it just a blip in history? --Wesley

I'll have to look up some info on this to be sure, but it sure is worth mentioning. RK

The role of Elijah the prophet[edit]

Does anyone know the role of Elijah in the coming of the Messiah? I've read only New Testament talk regarding the idea that Elijah must come before the Messiah comes. This is significant to Unification Church theology, according to which the Jewish people would have recognized Jesus as the Messiah if they had seen Elijah appear and endorse him. Basically, i'm asking whether Elijah plays an important eschatological role in Judaism. Ed Poor

There is a well established Jewish tradition that Elijah the prophet never died, but was taken by God into Heaven, and that he will come back (alive) to Earth to announce the coming of moschiach (the Jewish messiah). However, none of the various Jewish principles of faith ever mention this as a belief that Jews must, or even should, maintain. It is a legend with high regard that some Orthodox Jews take literally, and that most non-Orthodox Jews are at the very least familiar with. RK

Isn't there a Passover tradition about leaving a chair empty for Elijah, in case this is the Passover that he returns? It probably doesn't bear mentioning in this article, but for what it's worth, some Christians believe this prophecy has already been fulfilled when Elijah and Moses appeared with Christ on Mt. Tabor at the Transfiguration, while others believe Moses and Elijah are the two prophets mentioned in Revelation who are yet to come (back). --Wesley
Yes, there is such a tradition. We also leave out a glass of wine for him to drink. When the children's attention is diverted, sometimes an adult takes a swig from Eliyahu's cup, and then announces "Eliyahu was here!" Little kids look in amazement! BTW, I did not know that Christians believe that Elijah and Moses appeared with Jesus; is this in the New Testament? RK
Yes, it appears in Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-10, and Luke 9:28-36. In Eastern Orthodoxy, the Transfiguration is one of about twelve of our major feasts, and is celebrated on August 15 (I think). Moses and Elijah are thought to represent the Law and the Prophets, to show Peter, James and John (the only witnesses to the event) that Christ is about to fulfill both through his death. Also, the fact that all three were shining is thought to indicate that it is possible we shall all one day appear as Jesus did at this time: "His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light." Ok, I'll stop now, and save the rest for the appropriate subpage under Eastern Orthodoxy...  :-) --Wesley
He is called on throughout the liturgy of Jewish services. It's done as one of the blessings after the Haftorah, as part of the Birkat HaMazon, and much more. It's traditional to end the Havdalah ceremony (which formally ends the Shabbat by calling for the coming of the Prophet Elijah. The reason is he can't come on Shabbat, as descending from heaven would require him to break the prohibition against travelling on the Sabbath which, being a good Orthodox Jew, he won't do. So as soon as Shabbat ends it becomes possible for him to arrive again, and it is traditional to call for his coming. Best, --Shirahadasha 03:20, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Elijah first appears as partner to end-of-world events in "seder olam" chapters 3 and 17. Seder Olam is a second century Jewish chronography. See article by Ch. Milikowky about Elijah role. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

The Babylonian Talmud contains this among a number of other passages about various Talmudic sages receiving visits from Eliyahu Hanavi:

R. Joshua b. Levi met Elijah standing by the entrance of R. Simeon b. Yohai's tomb. He asked him: 'Have I a portion in the world to come?' He replied, 'if this Master desires it.' R. Joshua b. Levi said, 'I saw two, but heard the voice of a third.' He then asked him, 'When will the Messiah come?' — 'Go and ask him himself,' was his reply. 'Where is he sitting?' — 'At the entrance.' And by what sign may I recognise him?' — 'He is sitting among the poor lepers: all of them untie [them] all at once, and rebandage them together, whereas he unties and rebandages each separately, [before treating the next], thinking, should I be wanted, [it being time for my appearance as the Messiah] I must not be delayed [through having to bandage a number of sores].' So he went to him and greeted him, saying, 'peace upon thee, Master and Teacher.' 'peace upon thee, O son of Levi,' he replied. 'When will you come, Master?' asked he, 'Today', was his answer. On his returning to Elijah, the latter enquired, 'What did he say to you?' — 'Peace upon you, son of Levi,' he answered. Thereupon he [Elijah] observed, 'He thereby assured you and your father of [a portion in] the world to come.' 'He spoke falsely to me,' he rejoined, 'stating that he would come to-day, but has not.' He [Elijah] answered him, 'This is what he said to you, Today, if you will hear his voice.' (Sanhedrin 98a)

Best, --Shirahadasha 21:59, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Addition of off-topic material?[edit]

Since I last worked on this page a large amount of material explaining Christian eschatology has been added. This doesn't seem appropriate here, and it almost feels like a theological disputation, although I am sure that this was not the intent. Shouldn't this material be in an entry on Christian eschatology or Christian theology? This entry attempts to explain the Jewish view, and not how Judaism's theology can be reinterpreted to be valid within Christianity. I think the proper place for detailed comparisons of religious views on eschatology is in the parent eschatology article itself. RK


I wonder if anyone who contibuted to this article can refute or confirm that there are significant Jewish sects which have any theory of reincarnation, as claimed at that article. If not, I'll remove the claim; if so, any details which compare or contrast the Jewish view of this phenomenon with other views would be a valuable addition to that article. Cheers Chas zzz brown 10:20 Dec 12, 2002 (UTC)

You are right; this belief, while having no basis in Judaism's written or oral law, did develop, and it still exists among some Jews even today. I have added a new section in the main entry. RK


Oops! Reincarnation really isn't a part of eschatology at all. Eschatology is about the end of days, the end of history, the messianic era. In contrast, reincarnation is about the normal world that we live in now. According to people who believe in reincarnation, this is something that has actually happened in the past and is still happening now. I am moving the Jewish discussion of this subject, for the time being, to the main reincarnation article. If it ever grows into a very long piece, it can be turned into its own stand-alone article. RK 17:50, Sep 4, 2004 (UTC)


I disagree that it isn't part of eschatology _at all_ - it is indicative that there is the soul that lives on in this world after the death of the body.

In Orthodox prayer books - the bedtime Shema recitation has a reference to Gilgulim (i.e. reincarnation) and is therefor indicative to be a widely accepted concept in Jewish Orthodoxy.

Christian POV figures too heavily in intro[edit]

I'm uncomfortable with the way the article begins mentioning the Christian POV so early. It's almost as if the authors can't conceive of explaining the subject without contrasting with the Christian beliefs about eschatology. Jewish eschatology can and should stand on its own right; I believe this section should be revised and moved down lower in the article. Since most of what is said involves Christian perspectives on the Messiah, perhaps that should be moved to the Messiah page. If necessary to mention those views here, it would seem sufficient to just state, "The Jewish perspective on the Messiah is different from the Christian perspective with which many are familiar," and then go on to describe the Jewish concept as it relates to eschatology. Jdavidb 21:26, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I would like to second this. Why is there so much discussion of a messiah? I have been reasonably observant for most of my life and have heard the concept of a messiah discussed only once. The context in which it was placed had to do with Christians mistakenly ascribing to us an obsession in the coming of a messiah. The concept of a messiah is nearly irrelevant in Judiasm. I am not going to try to include this because it is only based on my entire life's experiences and will not be sourced. Even if it was it would be reverted by gentiles. But for anyone who is reading the talk page, not only are we not waiting for a messiah, we do not ever even talk about a messiah. It is quite simply something we do not care about. This is the problem with Wikipedia. It is always the larger and more impassioned group who gets the final say not the smaller and more knowledgeable one. Crunk04gtp (talk) 00:43, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Judaic and Christian cultural heritage are very much intertwined. Broad and inclusive discussion, particularly within the area of messianic beliefs, would seem both natural and prudent. Would urge that we set aside discomfort, and elaborate fully upon the subject.

It would seem a to ravesty to exclude messianic discussion from the Jewish eschatology page. It is indeed centric to Judaic beliefs, even if it is not centric to religious observance / practice.

In ensuing debate we must not ignore the peculiar fact that an individual may be simultaneously jew and gentile. Being jewish or christian is not mutually exclusive. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JewforJesus (talkcontribs) 19:57, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

biblical support => verses used to argue[edit]

I disagree that the phrase "Biblical support for an afterlife" was POV. The term support means exactly what the phrase was changed to: these passages support the idea (provide possible evidence for). I do think "Biblical support for no afterlife" is awkward and should be changed to "Biblical support against an afterlife" (or something); however, it is nowhere near as awkward as these phrases have been changed to. I vote to change them back. Jdavidb 13:53, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I think "Biblical support for" is also cleaner and more accurate. And I think "Biblical support for no afterlife" is just fine. Jayjg 14:59, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I've changed it back. Minor nit, though, and if the regulars on this article feel it's POV, I won't shrink from being reverted. Jdavidb 17:23, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)

As far as I can tell, the "regulars" here are RK, me, and you. Jayjg 17:59, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Regarding the verses for "Biblical support for no afterlife", some of the verses quoted don't seem to prove that there is no afterlife, they only prove that only the living can prais G-d, but the dead can't, but that doesn't negate the existence of an afterlife, rather it only negates the concept of serving G-d after you die. You can have an afterlife in which the function is to receive reward or punishment for what was done, and not just to serve and praise G-d.--Truthaboutchabad 03:27, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

That might be a good comment to add to that section. Jayjg (talk) 03:33, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Description of Christian view incorrect[edit]

The following paragraph needs revision for a variety of reasons:

While Christians use the word "messiah" as well, they use it in a different way. Most Christians believe that God underwent self-incarnation as a human. In this view, God was both fully human and yet also fully divine, both limited in intelligence and yet omniscient, simultaneously. Philosophically and logically, these claims appear mutually incompatible. Yet the early church insisted that both truths be held together.

1. Christian teaching has never asserted that the concept of "messiah" requires the Incarnation. Christians believe that Jesus was God and man, and that he was the messiah. But God certainly could have raised up a mere human to be the messiah of Israel, or even the messiah of the whole world. Therefore, this paragraph confuses the Christian understanding of "messiah" (as a concept) with the Christian belief about Jesus. (To make an analogy: Christians believe the Messiah was active in the 1st century CE and was raised in Nazareth, but these traits are not part of the definition of "messiah" as understood by Christians.)

2. The sentence that "these claims appear mutually incompatible" is strongly POV. The word "appear" increases, rather than decreases, the POV nature. After all, one could (theoretically) prove that these claims actually are incompatible, but it is simply false to assert that these claims appear incompatible to everyone.

3. I cannot figure out what "philosophically and logically" means. If "A" and "B" are contradictory statements, then they are incompatible. "Logically incompatible" is redundant. "Philosophically incompatible" appears to be meaningless.

4. All Christian groups founded before the 1700's believe that Jesus was human and divine, so this can safely be called the overwhelming majority position. But the belief that Jesus was "limited in intelligence and yet omniscient" is nowhere near as widespread, and may not even be the majority opinion at all. Today you will find many Trinitarian Christians who deny that Jesus was limited in intelligence and others who deny that he was omniscient. In any event, this sort of Christian theological dispute does not belong in this article.

My proposed rewording:

Like Jews, Christians use the word "messiah" to refer to the Davidic king promised to Israel. However, Christians believe that the messiah has already appeared, and that he was Jesus of Nazareth. Since most Christians believe that Jesus was himself God incarnate, their understanding of the messiah as a Davidic king is often overshadowed by their understanding of Jesus as the revelation of God to humanity.

I wanted to mention this on the discussion page before changing it, in case there are objections. Lawrence King 10:40, 6 May 2005 (UTC)

Implemented my change. Lawrence King 06:43, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

Text copied from Eschatology article[edit]

I am moving this section from eschatology because it contains information that is too detailed for that article and would be more appropriate here. Someone needs to merge the info it into this article. —jiy (talk) 22:59, 17 September 2005 (UTC)

In Judaism, the end of the world is called the acharit hayamim (end of days). tumultuous events will take place in the world overturning the old world order and creating a new order where God is recognized by every single individual as the God who rules over everyone and everything in the Universe. One of the sages of the Talmud says that "Let the end of days come, but may I not live to see them", because they will be filled with so much conflict and suffering.

The Talmud, in the tractate Avodah Zarah, page 9A, states that this world as we know it will only exist for six thousand years:

  • "...The Tanna Debey Eliyahu taught: The world is to exist six thousand years; the first two thousand are to be "void" [of Torah], the next two thousand are the period of the Torah [from Abraham until the completion of the Mishna - the first part of the Talmud], and the following [last] two thousand are the period of the Messiah [i.e., the Messianic Age could commence during this time]; through our [the Jews'] sins a number of these [times for the Messiah's coming] have already passed [and the Messiah has not come yet]."

The Jewish calendar (luach) functions completely on the assumption that time begins at the Creation of the world by God in Genesis. Many people (notably Conservative and Reform Jews and some Christians) think that the years of the Torah, or Jewish Bible, are symbolic. According to the ancient Jewish teachings continued by today's Orthodox Jews, the years are literal and consistent throughout all time, with 24 hours per day and 365 days per year. Appropriate calibrations are, of course, done with leap years, to account for the difference between the lunar calendar and the solar calendar, since the Jewish calendar is based on both. Thus the year 2000 equals 5760 years since creation on the present Jewish calendar. According to this calculation, the end of days will occur in the year 2240.

According to Jewish tradition, the end of the world will see:

  1. the ingathering of the scattered Jewish exiles to geographic Israel,
  2. the defeat of all of Israel's enemies,
  3. the building of the third Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and the resumption of the sacrificial offerings and Temple service,
  4. the Revival of the Dead (techiat hameitim), or the Resurrection,
  5. and, at some point, the Jewish Messiah who will become the anointed King of Israel. He will divide the Jews in Israel into their original tribal portions in the land. During this time Gog, king of Magog, will attack Israel. Who Gog and the nation Magog are is not known yet. Magog will fight a great battle, in which many will die on both sides, but God will intervene and save the Jews. This is the battle referred to as Armageddon. God, having vanquished this final enemy once and for all, will accordingly banish all evil from human existence. After the year 6000 (in the Jewish calendar), the seventh millennium will be an era of holiness, tranquility, spiritual life, and worldwide peace, called the Olam Haba ("Future World"), where all people will know God directly.

One group of Jews from the Chabad Lubavitch, one strand of Hasidic Judaism, believes that the Messiah has quite possibly arrived and begun his mission, and that it is their deceased Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson, actually the Messiah in waiting. The defeat of Iraq by the United States Army during the Gulf War in 1990 - 1991, and the fact that Israel was not seriously harmed, was taken as a sign that the Messiah was at hand. This view was rejected by all other groups who still await the traditional "End of Days" as described in the writings of the Prophets of the Tanakh, the classic Jewish Bible .

Article seems to be unfocused[edit]

Eschatology has a focus of the "end of days," which for many Jews is the Messianic Era. Mashiach has a focus of the Messianic figure. Olam Haba (which redirects to this article) has to do with the Afterlife. This article doesn't seem to pick one. And if it did, it should pick the first, based on its title. I have two issues I want to take up: 1) that this focuses on the latter two, and doesn't seem to address the first at all 2) that Olam Haba redirects here.

In short, I see three different articles:

  • Olam Haba - Jewish view of the Afterlife (until Mashiach comes)

I guess I dispute the whole first line of the article. I wouldn't say it's "concerned" with those, so much as it is "related" to those. Anyone else agree?

—  <TALKJNDRLINETALK>     20:16, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

All valid points. In addition, the title should not be linked (to Jewish and eschatology), facts need to be checked (such as Gehenna-which incorrectly refers to purgatory when in reality it is synonymous with hell), and comparisons to other religions' eschatology, such as the Islamic Qiyamah, should be added. freestylefrappe 01:15, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
Gehennom is much more like purgatory than hell. Jayjg (talk) 03:20, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
I'd like to echo the suggestion that a separate article be created for Jewish views of the afterlife. I can't be the one to write it, but certainly is a topic worth having a whole article about. --Alecmconroy 13:49, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

"Some indications of an eternal punishment in hell fire"[edit]

These verses do not refer to hell in any legitimate translation. That's essentially just a list of references to Sheol, which isn't terribly neccesary. Just above that it says that verses about the finality of death do not "rule out" a punitive afterlife, but there's no indication of one, so that's irrelevant.Alakhriveion 22:13, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Gehinom, Kaddish, 11 months[edit]

"Jews will not recite mourner's kaddish for longer than an eleven month period." On the Kaddish page it says, "Following the death of a spouse or close relative it is customary to recite the Mourners' Kaddish in the presence of a congregation daily for thirty days (eleven months in the case of a parent), and then at or near every anniversary of the death." One of these sentences is wrong. Jonathan Tweet 13:51, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

The second is correct. Note that there are a numher of reasons for and interpretations of the Mourner's Kaddish, not all of them eschatological. While Maimonides' 13 core articles of faith include a belief in reward and punishment and in ressurrection, they do not include a belief in Gehinom. --Shirahadasha 15:58, 6 October 2006 (UTC)


Sourcing on this page seems rather light, and not all the pages points of view are represented. Best, --Shirahadasha 03:21, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

I added the {{unsourced}} template to the section on the role of the Bible. These Bible passages are not obvious and whether some of them support or oppose an afterlife is hotly disputed. As but one example of several, the meaning of the Hebrew word sheol is disputed. Artscroll, for example, tends to translate it as "grave" and claim that any silence is temporary (pending the ressurection). For this reason, editors should please refrain from providing their own interpretations of Biblical verses and claiming that specific verses, themselves, support or oppose an afterlife. Instead, please reference a scholar who makes such a claim. Only a scholar's interpretation of these verses can support a claim of this nature.--Shirahadasha 03:27, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

If reliable sources are not supplied for this section, it will be removed per WP:V. --Shirahadasha 18:45, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Tanakh section is Christian in orientation[edit]

The section on Jewish eschatology in Tanakh is from a purely Christian perspective. Very few of the verse given are considered to be referring to the messiah by Jews. This same list appeared in the article Jewish Messiah and has been removed pending a complete rewrite by someone qualified. I have removed it here as well. Lisa Liel 16:59, 13 December 2006 (CST)

Restored and added an OR tag for time being. Since it's a large section, let's leave the section and OR tag in for now and discuss prior to taking action, giving the section's authors/supporters an opportunity to supply sources if they can. Agree that there are currently no sources for claims traditional Judaism interprets these verses this way and some appear to be used more commonly in Christian explanations than in Jewish ones. Rewrite or removal may ultimately be appropriate. --Shirahadasha 23:29, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Deleted again. Putting a clearly Christian section in an article like this is effectively an act of vandalism. This is not a matter of providing sources. These quotes have been cited elsewhere as proof that Jews see these verses as referring to the Messiah, which was the intent of whoever added them in the first place. Lisa Liel 11:38, 3 January 2007 (CST)
The same section had been put into the Jewish Messiah article and deleted for the same reasons. A newly written section called Textual Requirements was added to that article, replacing the Christian one. I've inserted it here as well. Lisa Liel 11:51, 18 January 2007 (CST)

Orthodox beliefs about the messiah[edit]

The article says that "Belief in a personal messiah is generally a tenet of faith among Orthodox Jews. In many publications, such as those from Mesorah or Feldheim, the concept is unquestioned."

I am certain this is correct. Nonetheless, it might be good to give a few examples of Orthodox rabbis explicitly stating this belief in a personal messiah, and subsequent resumption of the Davidic line. I have learned that most Orthodox Jews believe in a non-supernatural messiah (doing this job will not require miracles) yet some Orthodox Jews believe that the arrival of the messiah, and his (or her?) job will be supernatural in many ways, many miracles occuring. Is this the common Chasidic view? Maybe we can discuss these varying POVs? Mark3

It also says:

"Some Orthodox rabbis note that belief in a personal messiah and restoration of the Davidic Kingdom has not always been an absolute, as a number of rabbis have questioned this posture. "Perhaps it is wiser to leave the messianic monarchy of the end of days in the realm of the future whose structure and content is known only to God, all the while wondering whether the belief in redemption...ought to be so powerfully focused on the person or redeemer in any case. Indeed, there are some aggadic indications of the downplaying of the messianic element in that redemption in the interest of the kingship of God." [4] [5]

I am also certain that this is true. Besides the two sources cited, are there other books or articles which discuss the variety of Orthodox teachings? Most books only give one point of view, that being the author's own view. This makes researching the subject difficult, and gives the impression that Orthodoxy is more monolithic than it really is. Mark3 19:57, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

The section on "Interpretations opposing afterlife"[edit]

This section is of Christian origin, as witness the citing of Stephen L Harris as an expert. But this is not an article on escatology as such, but rather one about Jewish eschatology. As such, this section is wholly inappropriate. I note as well that it has been tagged as unreferenced since last October. Therefore, I am modifying it to read only:

"Interpretations opposing an afterlife do not exist in Judaism. Some liberal movements are agnostic on the subject, but none actually oppose it."

Note as well that the text that had been here previously was likely put in by a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Lisa Liel 13:39, 09 February 2007 (CST)


Can we put a pronunciation key next to the word, like an IPA pronunciation key? Or is that not standard? Bryanpeterson (talk) 14:37, 29 January 2009 (UTC)


Why isn't there a reference on Sheol? It is a name mentioned in the Tanakh and after skimming through this article I wondered where it "fits". Is there a theology concerning sheol or is it superseded by medieval theology? (talk) 16:10, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Clarifications, please![edit]

1. From the article: "Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon), also known as the Rambam" cf. "Nahmanides (the Ramban)" - are we dealing with one individual here or two? If one, which spellings are correct, or are all four acceptable transliterations?

2. What on earth does the long discussion of Tertullian as a Church father have to do with this article? (talk) 15:35, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

I don't see anything about Tertullian.
Second item on THIS page
If you read to the end of that section, you can see that it has to do with the removal of Churchy stuff from the body of the article. Which seems to have been done quite some time ago. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 21:42, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Rambam and Ramban are two different people. In common usage, the name Rambam is accented on the first syllable and the name Ramban is accented on the second. That's just a convention to avoid confusion. I'm guessing the "cf." here was for those who might have confused the two. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 19:13, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

04/2012: Needs clean up, disambiguation and overview[edit]

Clarification needed to distinguish Jewish Messianism as a feature of Jewish eschatology and not be synonymous with it As it currently is, the article focuses a good deal of time on the Jewish messiah, while not giving a good global picture of the End of Days in general. If you actually read the Hebrew Bible, you will find that the Messiah is not referenced often, and multiple things happen in the End of Days, many of which do not necessarily revolve the Messiah. The article does incorporate these other things in the sections of the World to Come, but still leaves out other parts. For example:

Other events are also to happen in the end of days. According to the Book of Jeremiah, Moab and Biblical Elam which were exiled during the Babylonian Exile, will be brought back from their captivity in the end of days.[1]

There has to be a place for this kind of content as the current article does not have a section on "other stuff that is also supposed to happen" and a more general article "end of days" section for Judaism, only references back to this article.

To give an overview and incorporate these other parts of Jewish eschatology to the article, I created an overview section and tried to add what the Book of Jeremiah says will happen in the End of Days to the Days of Messiah section, which seems like the only fitting section, since these prophesies do not neccesarily involve the Messiah, or his age, but talk about the end of days.

It seems in Jewish thought, End of days came to be synomious with Messianic era, but the text itself does not make this distinction. The Hebrew Bible only says "end of days" not "messianic era" in the original hebrew (or even in the english translations). A disambugation or something explaning this has yet to be added to the article.

As the article now stands, it reads mainly about the Jewish messiah, and excludes other events that are supposed to happen around this time, according to Jewish eschatology. This needs to be fixed. I started some of that, but it needs more work. --Daniel E Romero (talk) 02:53, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

Daniel, thank you for your interest in improving this article. You need to make sure that in your efforts to improve the article you are avoiding WP:OR by referencing claims with reliable second and third-party sources instead of primary sources.-- Editor2020 (talk) 03:09, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
I agree with both of your points. There is a brief section in the beginning for "other stuff that is supposed to happen" but there is still an inordinate focus on the concept of the Messiah, which seems to be less emphasized in the actual practice of the faith, and may be due to some editorializing. For example, the events described as bulletpoints under Tanakh may not be a consequence of the Messiah himself, but may be described as occurring at that time. I am trying to find a reliable second/third party source, but am having difficulty. Parsh (talk) 04:54, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

Unused references[edit]

I removed the following sources that are not used as citations but could be of use in the future:

  • Sanders, E.P. "Paul and Palestinian Judaism". Fortress Press. (Christian perspective on Judaism)
  • Wright, N.T. "The New Testament and the People of God". Fortress Press: 1992. (Christian perspective on Judaism)
  • Yitzchak Blau "Body and Soul: Tehiyyat ha-Metim and Gilgulim in Medieval and Modern Philosophy", The Torah U-Madda Journal, Volume 10, 2001 (Modern Orthodox perspective)

I also removed the following external link that may have utility as a source:

Jojalozzo 01:21, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ Book of Jeremiah. pp. Chapters 48 and 49.