Crucifixion of the Jews: Book 2

Rosemary Ruether on “The Coming of the Messiah”: Christianity v. Judaism

 “The most fundamental affirmation of Christian faith is the belief that Jesus is the Christ. He is that Messiah whom the prophets “foretold” and the Jews “awaited.” On this affirmation, everything else in Christian theology is built. To ask about this affirmation is to ask about the keystone of Christian faith. For Judaism, however, there is no possibility of talking about the Messiah having already come, much less of having come two thousand years ago, with all the evil history that has reigned from that time to this (much of it having been done in Christ’s name!), when the Reign of God has not come. For Israel, the coming of the Messiah and the coming of the Messianic Age are inseparable. They are, in fact, the same thing. Israel’s messianic hope was not for the coming of a redemptive person whose coming would not change the outward ambiguity of human and social existence, but for the coming of that Messianic Age which, as Engels was to put it, is “the solution to the riddle of history.”

source: Rosemary Ruether, Faith and Fratricide, Oregon: WS Publishers, © 1995, Chapter 4, pp. 246–247.