Why Don’t Jews Believe in the New Testament? Discover the Surprising Reasons

Ever wondered why Jews don’t believe in the New Testament? It’s a question that pops up often, especially in interfaith discussions. At the core, it’s about deeply held beliefs and traditions that have shaped Judaism for thousands of years.

Why Don’t Jews Believe in the New Testament? Discover the Surprising Reasons

Judaism and Christianity share some common ground, but they diverge significantly when it comes to religious texts. For Jews, the Hebrew Bible, or Tanakh, is the ultimate sacred scripture. The New Testament, central to Christianity, doesn’t hold the same authority or relevance in Jewish faith. Understanding these differences can help you appreciate the unique perspectives and rich traditions that define each religion.

Understanding the Jewish Perspective on Scriptures

To understand why Jews don’t believe in the New Testament, let’s explore their view on scriptures.

Why the Torah Differs from the New Testament

Jews hold the Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, as the central sacred text. The New Testament, featuring the life and teachings of Jesus, doesn’t align with Jewish beliefs about God’s revelations and remains outside their religious canon.

The Role of Oral Torah in Jewish Faith

In Judaism, the Oral Torah, which includes interpretations and teachings not written in the Hebrew Bible, holds significant importance. Rabbinic traditions passed down through generations help Jews understand and practice their faith, making the New Testament unnecessary for their religious framework.

Core Beliefs that Influence Jewish Views on the New Testament

Judaism and Christianity have different core beliefs that shape their views on sacred texts, especially the New Testament.

The Concept of Messiah in Judaism vs. Christianity

In Christianity, Jesus is seen as the Messiah who has already come. Christians believe He fulfills prophecies from the Hebrew Bible. In Judaism, the Messiah hasn’t come yet. Jews expect a future leader who will bring peace and restore Israel.

The Notion of Prophecy and Its Closure

Christians believe prophecies continue with the New Testament, seeing it as fulfilling earlier scriptures. Jews believe prophecy ended with the Hebrew Bible, considering it complete and sufficient. This makes the New Testament unnecessary for Jewish faith.

Historical Context of Jewish and Christian Scriptures

Understanding the historical context of Jewish and Christian scriptures can help clarify why Jews don’t accept the New Testament.

Development of the New Testament

Early Christians compiled the New Testament between 50-100 CE. It includes the Gospels, letters from apostles, and the Book of Revelation.

The New Testament was written in Greek. Early church leaders decided its contents based on apostolic authorship and widespread use in worship.

Jewish Reactions to Christian Texts

Jews in the 1st century didn’t accept Christian texts. They adhered to the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh), focusing on the Torah, Prophets, and Writings.

Rabbinic authorities emphasized the Oral Torah. They continued Jewish traditions, excluding new Christian writings from their canon.

Modern Jewish Interpretations of the New Testament

Modern Jewish scholars often see the New Testament as an important historical document. It provides insight into early Christian communities and their beliefs.

Interfaith Dialogues and Scholarly Views

In interfaith dialogues, Jewish and Christian scholars discuss their scriptures to foster understanding. These conversations help clarify differences and similarities.

Some Jewish scholars analyze the New Testament from a historical perspective. They look at its context within Jewish traditions without seeing it as sacred.

Jewish and Christian scholars often collaborate on academic projects. These efforts promote mutual respect and knowledge.

Modern Jewish interpretations don’t include accepting the New Testament as religiously authoritative. They view it as a text valuable for historical and interfaith study.


Understanding why Jews don’t believe in the New Testament involves recognizing the deep-rooted traditions and beliefs that shape Jewish faith. While the New Testament holds significant value for Christians, Jews find spiritual guidance and authority in the Hebrew Bible and Rabbinic traditions.

Modern Jewish scholars appreciate the New Testament as a historical document, offering insights into early Christian communities. Interfaith dialogues continue to bridge gaps, fostering mutual respect and understanding between the two faiths.

By exploring these perspectives, you gain a richer appreciation of the diverse ways people find meaning in their spiritual journeys.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why don’t Jews believe in the New Testament?

Jews do not believe in the New Testament because it is not part of their religious tradition. They uphold the Hebrew Bible, especially the Torah, as their sacred text and do not view the New Testament as having religious authority.

What is the main difference between the Torah and the New Testament?

The Torah, part of the Hebrew Bible, is considered the foundational text of Judaism, comprising laws and teachings given to Moses. The New Testament is a Christian text that discusses the life and teachings of Jesus, who Jews do not recognize as the Messiah.

How do Jewish views on prophecy differ from Christian views?

Christians believe Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecies and that the New Testament continues to reveal prophecy. Jews, however, see prophecy as complete with the Hebrew Bible and do not accept Jesus as the prophesied Messiah.

What role does the Oral Torah play in Judaism?

The Oral Torah consists of rabbinic interpretations and teachings that complement the written Torah. It plays a crucial role in guiding Jewish practice and understanding, distinguishing Jewish religious life from Christian reliance on the New Testament.

How do modern Jewish scholars approach the New Testament?

Modern Jewish scholars often regard the New Testament as a valuable historical document that provides insights into early Christian communities. They study it to understand historical contexts rather than as a sacred text.

What is the importance of interfaith dialogue between Jews and Christians?

Interfaith dialogue helps clarify differences and similarities between Jewish and Christian beliefs, fostering mutual respect and understanding. Collaborative academic projects promote deeper knowledge and respect for each tradition’s scriptures.