Portal:Messianic Judaism

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The Messianic Judaism Portal

Seal of Messianic Judaism

Messianic Judaism is a syncretic religious movement that arose in the 1960s. It blends evangelical Christian theology with elements of Jewish terminology and ritual.

Messianic Judaism states that Jesus is not merely a man, but the Jewish Messiah and "God the Son" (one person of the Trinity), and that salvation is only achieved through acceptance of Jesus as one's savior. Any Jewish laws or customs that are followed are cultural and do not contribute to attaining salvation. Belief in the messiahship and divinity of Jesus, which Messianic Judaism shares, is viewed by Christian denominations and Jewish religious movements as being a defining distinction between Christianity and Judaism.

Some members of the movement are ethnically Jewish, and some of them argue that Messianic Judaism is a sect of Judaism. Jewish organizations and religious movements reject this, stating that Messianic Judaism is a Christian sect. The Supreme Court of Israel has ruled that the Law of Return should treat Jews who convert to Messianic Judaism the same way it treats Jews who convert to Christianity. Mainstream Christian groups generally accept Messianic Judaism as a form of Christianity.

From 2003 to 2007, the movement grew from 150 Messianic houses of worship in the United States to as many as 438, with over 100 in Israel and more worldwide; often congregations are members of larger Messianic organizations or alliances.

Selected article

Messianic Jewish theology is the study of God and Scripture from the perspective of Messianic Judaism, considered by most Christians and Jews to be a form of Christianity. Below are a list of doctrines:

  • God: Messianics believe in the God of the Bible, and that he is all-powerful, omni-present, eternal, exists outside of creation, and infinitely significant and benevolent. Some Messianics are open to trinitarian views of God, while others insist upon strict, unitarian monotheism.
  • The Messiah: Yeshua (Jesus) is believed to be the promised Jewish messiah. The mainstream movement accepts Yeshua as God in the flesh, and as the Torah made flesh. This view is Messianic halakhah, although some small offshoots exist which deny Yeshua's divinity. These groups are rejected by mainstream Messianic Jews.
  • Written Torah: Messianics, with some exceptions, consider the written Torah (Pentateuch), the five books of Moses, to remain fully in force and a holy covenant, to be observed both morally and ritually, by those who profess faith in God. They believe that Yeshua taught and re-affirmed the Torah, rather than doing away with it. This means that most Messianic Jews do not eat foods such as: shrimp, lobster, crab, oysters, clams, or pork. They also will not work on Friday nights or Saturday days (the traditional Jewish Sabbath). This adherence to the biblical Law is where Messianic Judaism differs from most Christian denominations.
  • Israel: It is believed that the Children of Israel were, remain, and will continue to be the chosen people of the God of Jacob and are central to his plans. Virtually all Messianics (whether Jewish nor non-Jewish) oppose Replacement theology.
  • The Bible: The Tanakh and New Testament (sometimes called the B’rit Chadasha) are usually considered the established and divinely inspired Biblical scripture by Messianic Judaism. Messianics are much more open to criticism of the established canon of the New Testament, since there was not considered to be a standard canon until the Gentile Church established one in the 4th century, when many Jewish sects devoted to the teachings and messiahship of Jesus were on the decline.
  • Eschatology: Most Messianics hold all of the following eschatological beliefs: the End of Days, the Second Coming of Jesus as the conquering Messiah, the re-gathering of Israel, a rebuilt Third Temple, a Resurrection of the Dead (and that Jesus was resurrected after his death), and the millennial sabbath.
  • Oral Torah: Messianic Jewish opinions concerning the "Oral Torah" (the Talmud) are varied and sometimes conflicting between individual congregations. Some congregations are very selective in their applications of Talmudic law, or do so for the sake of continuity with tradition, while others encourage a serious observance of the Jewish halakha. Virtually all Messianic congregations and synagogues believe that the oral traditions are subservient to the written Torah.
  • Sin and atonement: Messianics define sin as transgression of the Torah (Law/Instruction) of God. Some adherents atone for their sins through prayer and repentance—that is, acknowledgment of the wrongdoing and seeking forgiveness for their sins (especially on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement). Other Messianics disagree with these practices, believing that all sin (whether committed yet or not) is already atoned for through Jesus's death and resurrection.{Hebrews 9:26}
  • Faith and works: Contra historical Protestantism, few Messianics believe that faith and works are mutually exclusive or polarized, and most believe that faith in God and righteous works are entirely complementary of one another, and that one naturally leads to the other.{James 2:20}

Selected biography

Herod the Great.

Herod (Hebrew: הוֹרְדוֹס Hordos‎, Greek: ἡρῴδης), also known as Herod I or Herod the Great, was a Roman client king of Judaea (73 BC – 4 BC in Jericho).

Herod is known for his colossal building projects in Jerusalem and other parts of the ancient world, including the construction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, sometimes referred to as Herod's Temple. Some details of his biography can be gleaned from the works of the 1st century AD Roman-Jewish historian Josephus.

In Christian scripture, Herod is known for his role in the Massacre of the Innocents, described in Chapter 2 of the Gospel According to Matthew.

"When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi." - Matthew 2:16

Selected picture

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The Baruch Hashem Messianic synagogue in Dallas, Texas

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