Talk:Messianic Judaism/Archive 22

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Assertation of Continuation

Jonathan Waxman, in "Messianic Jews Are Not Jews", claims that Hebrew Christian and Jewish Christian "reflect the same phenomenon" of the Messianic Jew, and that only the name has changed over the course of time. [1] What about it? Is the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism saying the Hebrew Christian movement of the 1800s the same thing as the Messianic Jewish movement of today, just under a different name?--DeknMike (talk) 05:33, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

To begin with, what Waxman actually says is the following:

Hebrew Christian, Jewish Christian, Jew for Jesus, Messianic Jew, Fulfilled Jew. The name may have changed over the course of time, but all of the names reflect the same phenomenon: one who asserts that s/he is straddling the theological fence between Judaism and Christianity, but in truth is firmly on the Christian side.

He's not asserting that they are all one continuous movement with different names, he's asserting that they "reflect the same phenomenon". More fundamentally, even if he were saying what you claim (which he's obviously not), Waxman is a Conservative rabbi writing on a Conservative website. He's a reliable source regarding the beliefs of the Conservative movement, but he's not a reliable source regarding the history of Messianic Judaism - nor would he claim to be. Jayjg (talk) 01:46, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
If he's not a reliable source on the subject of Messianic Judaism, then let's you and I go purge the other pages where his book "Messianic Jews Are Not Jews" is counted as authority on the subject.--DeknMike (talk) 02:05, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
I wrote "He's a reliable source regarding the beliefs of the Conservative movement, but he's not a reliable source regarding the history of Messianic Judaism". He is cited regarding the beliefs of the Conservative movement, not regarding the history of Messianic Judaism. Why would you suggest "purging" him on precisely the topic on which he is a reliable source? Jayjg (talk) 02:20, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
Then where in this article should Waxman go as a reliable source regarding the beliefs of the Conservative movement regarding the history of Messianic Judaism? In ictu oculi (talk) 21:34, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
What do you mean? This article doesn't discuss "the beliefs of the Conservative movement regarding the history of Messianic Judaism". It's not clear to me that the Conservative movement even has any official beliefs on the history of Messianic Judaism. Jayjg (talk) 03:41, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
He wrote a book on Messianic Judaism published by a Conservative Judaism publishing house. Sounds like an official position. (I said nothing about 'purging' his opinions of CJ.) But if he's not a reliable source, then are those that cite him also not reliable sources?--DeknMike (talk) 04:32, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
To which "book on Messianic Judaism published by a Conservative Judaism publishing house" are you referring? Jayjg (talk) 04:39, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
The book are we talking about this thread. (Or did you start arguing without having context for the discussion?) --DeknMike (talk) 18:19, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
DeknMike, please stop being evasive. Jayjg asked which book you are talking about, which is a reasonable question. I have read this entire thread and I cannot figure out what book you are talking about. And I am nbot attacking you personally or questioning your good faith. I woul just like to see the title of the book and the name of the press that published it and year of publication. I have read and reread this thread and don't even see a book title. Why do you keep referring to books, without naming them? If you want us to assume good faith on your part, you have to be willing to answer a civil question about the books you are referring to. Why can't you just write out the title of the book? Slrubenstein | Talk 18:53, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
Two days later, DeknMike is editing, and we still do not have the title of the book, the name of the press that published it, and the year of publication. Jayjg (talk) 20:24, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
If you can't read, I can't help you. In the first post of this subject, I included reference to the book "Messianic Jews Are Not Jews" by Jonathan Waxman, published by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism in 2006. I assumed that since the USCJ was the publisher, it endorsed the content. --DeknMike (talk) 18:24, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
To be more accurate, the work being discussed is not a book, but rather an essay, published on the USCJ, and can be found here: Zad68 (talk) 19:00, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
I see. So by a "book on Messianic Judaism published by a Conservative Judaism publishing house" Mike was referring to a short article that was once (but is no longer) published on the USCJ website. That's quite different, of course. Jayjg (talk) 02:18, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

The views of major Jewish movements and organizations are certainly relevant to any article that has "Jewish" or "Judaism" in the title. I am sure there is a place for Waxman's quote. But it must be presented as representing a Jewish viewpoint, that is what it means to say it is a reliable source for the views of (many but not all) Jews. It cannot be represented as the view of a historian of religion or a sociologist of religion who, for example, has done scholarly studies of messianic movements. We need to distinguish between different kinds of views and present them in context. Slrubenstein | Talk 15:45, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Well said.--DeknMike (talk) 18:19, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Use of Juster and Hocken's "The Messianic Jewish Movement: An Introduction" in this article?

I'd like to solicit opinions on whether this essay: The Messianic Jewish Movement: An Introduction by Juster and Hocken can be used a reliable source for content in this article, specifically in the areas of how MJ defines itself, how MJs define themselves, and MJ doctrine, beliefs, worship practices, sacred texts and liturgy. I understand that at least author Daniel Juster is a self-declared MJ and writes as a 'primary' source insider, and so this material must be handled very carefully. Understanding that, the authors have good credentials: Daniel C. Juster "was the founding president and general secretary of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations for nine years, the senior pastor of Beth Messiah Congregation for 22 years, and a co-founder of the Messiah Biblical Institute in several nations" and has reasonable academic and theological credentials including a Th.D. Juster says he has "been involved in the Messianic Jewish movement since 1972", so he has first-hand knowledge of the movement from the ground floor. Peter Hocken received his PhD for his research on the history of charismatic renewal from the University of Birmingham, and is a Catholic Monsignor and has been active in the charismatic movement since 1971. Before I put time and effort into making substantial content changes to the areas of the article concerning self-definition, doctrine, practices, etc. (changes which are sorely needed) by using this paper, I wanted to get consensus from the editors here regarding how the essay can be used. Thanks for your collaboration. Zad68 (talk) 14:44, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

I personally tend to think that the source is probably reliable for the opinions of the group(s) which prompted the source being written. Having said that, however, I think that there still might be some questions regarding whether Messianic Judaism as a whole, including all the disparate groups, is neutrally and fully represented in the work. I don't know one way or another about it, but do think that we would want to ensure that the source is not used to emphasize the thinking of one or more branches of Messianic Judaism over others. John Carter (talk) 22:16, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Edit request on 28 November 2011

Messianic Jews were and are Jews who accepted that Yeshua of Natzeret was and is the Messiah. All of Yeshua's Jewish disciples were Messianic Jews. The "movement" began with Yeshua of Natzeret. My source is the Bible. All of the content in the article that does not reflect these facts should be removed. Hellfree (talk) 19:14, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

N Not done and not likely to be done Welcome to Wikipedia. First, as you are a registered user, you can make edits to articles yourself--even this article. That said, the edit you are considering would be reverted immediately because it is original research, fails to be of a neutral point of view, and is not verifiable. Wikipedia's core content policies require that edits must be neutral, verifiable and not original research. Please do some reading on how to edit Wikipedia before editing. Thanks. Zad68 (talk) 19:31, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

A newer Israeli Supreme Court Ruling replaces the older one cited in the text, it provides a different result

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.[26]

This needs to be replaced, first because there is no conversion (that is simply an opinion of the writer, the word should be omitted), and second, it is very outdated (new ruling was in 2008). The page is semi locked and therefor I cannot change it. The line should read:

The Supreme Court of Israel has ruled that the Law of Return should treat a Jew who is both Messianic and is a Jew on the father's side as eligable for citizenship in the same way as it treats all other Jews are eligable.

Source Friday, April 25, 2008 | Jerusalem Institute for Justice In a landmark decision this week, the Supreme Court of Israel ratified a settlement between twelve Messianic Jewish believers and the State of Israel, which states that being a Messianic Jew does not prevent one from receiving citizenship in Israel under the Law of Return or the Law of Citizenship, if one is a descendent of Jews on one's father's side (and thus not Jewish according to halacha).

This Supreme Court decision brought an end to a legal battle that has carried on for two and a half years. The applicants were represented by Yuval Grayevsky and Calev Myers from the offices of Yehuda Raveh & Co., and their legal costs were subsidized by the Jerusalem Institute of Justice. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cybrsage (talkcontribs) 04:07, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

The older text is useful for understanding context of the arguments. The newer ruling was already there, so I changed the tense of the verbs to show the chronological order of the two.--DeknMike (talk) 02:45, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Good revert

This correctly reverted. In ictu oculi (talk) 04:11, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

How was this a good revert? In the first century the movement was a sect within Judaism, more akin to the Saduccees, Pharasees, Essenes, Gnostics, or Zealots. Rabbi Saul became known by his Helenized name Paul later in the first century as gentiles joined the movement, but it did not formally separate until about the 4th Century. It is improper to call Paul's actions "Christian Mission to the Jews" since all but one of the missionaries of that day were Jewish. --DeknMike (talk) 15:27, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
Paul wasn't a rabbi, Wikipedia has a name for Paul (and it's not "Rabbi Saul"), and Paul's new faith – which included worshiping Jesus, a man he never met – wasn't Judaism. Jayjg (talk) 21:48, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
Agreed with Jayjg. We do strive for accuracy, and it seems that, at times, some Christian sources misrepresent Paul/Saul. John Carter (talk) 21:55, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
Agreed, regardless of what individual editors might like to believe, it is worthwhile to note that the Wikipedia article Paul the Apostle does not try to claim Paul was "rabbi;" in fact the word "rabbi" does not appear anywhere on the page. And, WP:COMMONNAME requires we use "Paul." So, "Rabbi Saul" is a complete non-starter. Zad68 (talk) 22:17, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
DeknMike, sorry but really it shouldn't need explaining why that was a good revert. The reasons given by Jayjg, John Carter, Zad68 above are all correct. In addition to which (1) "Rabbi Saul became known by his Hel[l]enized name Paul later in the first century as gentiles joined the movement" is nonsense - apart from being contradicted by every scholarly text on Paul it's also contradicted by the New Testament. You really need to do some mainstream reading if you're going to edit anything related to the 1st Century CE. Re (2) "Christian Mission to the Jews since all but one of the missionaries of that day were Jewish." - Firstly the underlink says "Christian" not "Gentile" (I think this link is covered up with the NPOV term "proselytizing"). (And FWIW Luke is not the only Gentile coworker of Paul, he also records Epaphras, Demas...) Cheers. In ictu oculi (talk) 23:42, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
I've been watching this since it started and just wanted to chime in with a few things -- 1) Very few third-party sources refer to Paul of Tarsus as Saul (and actually it's Sha'ul, if we really want to get linguistically correct). It was almost certainly his name, but it's unreasonable to expect Wikipedia to change the COMMON NAME that has been established for roughly 2,000 years. 2) From what I understand, it is likely that Saul/Paul/Sha'ul had semikhah ordination. He studied under Gamaliel, probably in preparation for becoming a rabbi. Now, I don't think the Greek transliteration for the Hebrew "rabbi" appears anywhere in Paul's letters and, again, we have very few third-party sources (especially in regard to sources 20+ years old) that would call him a rabbi. So in this case, it comes down to "verifiability, not truth", but I don't think it's a matter of compromise on any important point of truth -- whether or not the Apostle to the Gentiles was an ordained rabbi or not is irrelevant to the influence he has exerted over Christianity for the past two thousand years. Evanh2008, Super Genius Who am I? You can talk to me... 23:55, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
It's true Pauls writings have been influential to Christians, but he himself said he never stopped being Jewish, nor called himself a Christian. And while there were many 'co-workers in the faith' who were gentile, none but Luke were mentioned as having accomplished one of the early missionary journeys (Luke, more of a physician than evangelist, joined in Philippi on the 2d journey). You might have a point that he was 'pre-rabinical' but he was without doubt a biblical scholar studying as a disciple of Gamaliel. As for his name, I was trained using "Hailey's Bible Handbook (my copy is 24th ed, copyright 1965); p572 says about Acts 13:9 "From here on, Saul is called Paul." Same person, called something different, no matter what another Wikipedia page says.--DeknMike (talk) 07:30, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Another good revert

DekmMike, I hate to say it but Jayjg's latest reversion was even more justified. That paragraph on "False Messianism" was clearly NPOV and OR, was the "text" in the ref footnote really in the source? The later Kansas City Jewish Chronicle source might be okay, but still looks POVish. In ictu oculi (talk) 04:03, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

In no way was that OR - it was clearly Neutral POV, reporting sources respected in the Messianic community. The first was a response by UMJC & MJAA to someone calling himself Messianic; others condemned the action, but the words from these the two largest groups said clearly that Messer was "operating entirely outside the mainstream Messianic Jewish community." What header would you use? The second edit was sourced, but Brickner's paper wasn't sourced with a hyperlink to the KCJC; I did find the story available from the Jewish Agency for Israel site (, word for word.--DeknMike (talk) 06:38, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
Incorrect. This sentence "Some within the Christian community have adopted Messianic forms and music without understanding of the core theology or sensitivity to the essential Jewish nature of the faith" makes Wikipedia appear to take the position that there is an "essential Jewish nature" to Messianism. That is classic WP:NPOV. Wikipedia must mirror what already in reliable sources in accordance with how the sources themselves are, and it is very clear from all the verifiable sources we have that the position that there is an "essential Jewish nature" to Messianism is exclusive to a very small group of people and vastly outweighed by the positions that Messianism is merely another branch of Christianity that has taken on some of Judaism's traditions. -- Avi (talk) 06:41, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
DeknMike, apologies but if you can't see why "False Messianism" isn't a POV section heading (let alone content) sorry but I'll leave it to others to explain it or not; If UMJC & MJAA are notable (yes), and if the person they are criticizing is notable (?), and if the subject is notable (??), then maybe there'll be a 3rd party source. Otherwise... is this even encyclopaedic content?
Plus what Avi says above is correct, approximately for the reasons Avi gives. Although if the article had supplied already sources to demonstrate that there is something "essentially Jewish" about Messianic Judaism (I would suggest that there is - selective adoption of cultural elements of rabbinical Judaism, selective retention of some elements of the worship of Ancient Israel) it would be a less POV statement. In ictu oculi (talk) 06:45, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
I ask again, what heading would this editing board put for the sourced material? As for the "essential Jewish nature of the faith" comment, it is widespread throughout the movement. As I have said many times, although 'some' disagree with the sources, the bulk of information from within the movement suggests mainstream MJ is Jewish at its core with additional theology that is common with Christian churches. This particular edit is about Christians who add a little knowledge about Judaism to their church and call themselves messianic. --DeknMike (talk) 07:26, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
A possible heading would be UMJC and MJAA definition of "Messianic", if, as it seems missing, it would be better to go back 10 steps and find a source that tells the reader what UMJC & MJAA consider to define "Messianic" in the first place. Only THEN it makes sense to note that some over Messianic-ish fellow-Christian wasn't "Messianic" enough for UMJC and MJAA. In ictu oculi (talk) 07:40, 6 February 2012 (UTC)


I was reminded by DeknMik's edit "essential Jewish nature" and Avi's reply, of the presence of the word "syncretic" in the lede, when both Judaism and Christianity are themselves "syncretic" compounds of all kinds of Babylonian, Greek, Egyptian ideas, that this article has "syncretic" in the first sentence, but Judaism and Christianity don't. I note this in passing... In ictu oculi (talk) 06:55, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

"God the Son"

The recent placing of the item on Jesus as "the Son" (as deity, capitalized) into the lede brought to my attention the fact that the article states something that, while generally true, I don't think can be given as representative of the entire movement. There is a much larger section, proportionally speaking, of Messianic Judaism that objects to Trinitarian doctrine than there is in mainstream Christianity. As is, the Christianity article doesn't even mention the "Son" title, other than in the phrase "son of God", so I hardly think this article should mention it, particularly in the lede. I would say we should retain its use within the body of the article, but with the disclaimer that it's not a unanimous position within the movement. Evanh2008, Super Genius Who am I? You can talk to me... 11:39, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

That statement is based on a source (pg 170 of Sherbok, IIRC) and thus cannot be changed unless the original source used the word "generally" in which case of course it should go there. -- Avi (talk) 03:42, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
With due respect, that's patently false. The original source is not being used to support a statement that the original source believes a certain thing; it is phrased as being representative as the movement as a whole. My edits misrepresented nothing about the source, but as it stands the article does misrepresent the movement as monolithically Trinitarian. Evanh2008, Super Genius Who am I? You can talk to me... 03:50, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Hi Evanh2008, the original source rules out "generally" - unless "united" is wrong:

Regarding the doctrine of God, Messianic Jews are united in their belief in the Trinity. Dan Cohn-Sherbok Messianic Judaism p170 (2000)

We have had this issue arise before. The problem is that the sources do represent the movement as Trinitarian. It isn't a misrepresentation unless there are some sources stating the opposite. FWIW I do know, anecdotally, that there is at least one pocket of Unitarians in Tel Aviv, who by default are יהודים משיחיים in Israel (given that נוצרים carries a bit of history), but Unitarians wouldn't count themselves "Messianic Jews" in the American sense. To date I'm not even aware of Arian MJ web churches (one man, his laptop and his dog) which claim to be both Arian and "Messianic Judaism." I think what you need is an actual example "In Dallas 20 members were excommunicated from a MJ church for denying the Trinity and set up their own church" + source: Dallas-Fort Worth News 1999, or something. In other words more than a previous Scandinavian editor on this talk page who legitimately said "I know a Jewish-Christian guy who has antitrinitarian blog" owtte. Great, but not WP:RS. In ictu oculi (talk) 04:12, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I see your point. There are at least two groups of what westerners would consider "Messianics" that are really established in Israel. The one in Tel Aviv that you mentioned, and one based in Ra'anana that actually has some limited support from Orthodox rabbis. That's off-topic, though. Anyway, I think it's worth noting that the reference to, which is currently being cited in support of Trinitarian ubiquity, explicitly disclaims any belief in the Trinity, if you actually read it all the way to the end. If Jerusalem Council's site is reliable enough to cite Trinitarianism, then I'm certain I can cite enough to make a mention of the non-Trins among the group. Evanh2008, Super Genius Who am I? You can talk to me... 04:25, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Hi Evanh8, if you can identify, source, a group in either Israel or US please go ahead. But just a clarification - there is a difference between being called משיחיי in Israel and calling oneself "Messianic" in USA. Palestinian Christians also prefer to be called meshihiy rather than notzri (Hebrew) or masihi rather than nasrani (Arabic), it does not mean that they would celebrate Jewish festivals or have much in common with Messianic Judaism. The term yahudim meshiyiym can be translated both "Jewish Christians" and "Messianic Jews" according to taste - but the sources in this article suggest that in English those aren't the same thing. In ictu oculi (talk) 04:40, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Hello, everyone. Sorry to have been out of touch; I've been doing a lot of research and also some other stuff. I will shortly be making some (sourced) changes to the lede to reflect the presence of non-trinitarian teachings within the movement. I hope we can work together to make this article better. Evanh2008, Super Genius Who am I? You can talk to me... 20:48, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Non-summary statement in Lede

Zad68 claims that the sentence "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" is so essential to understanding Messianic Judaism that it belongs in the lede statement. However the source is an opinion piece citing a 1989 ruling that was overturned in April 2008. The statement in the lede is outdated and needs to be removed.--DeknMike (talk) 03:08, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

The ruling wasn't overturned at all. The 2008 ruling allowed Messianic non-Jews to immigrate under the Law of Return. They were allowed in specifically because they were not Jews according to Jewish law, and instead qualified as non-Jews with Jewish ancestors. Jayjg (talk) 04:03, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
Incorrect. The ruling in fact determined that the petitioners were entitled to automatic new immigrant status and citizenship precisely because they were the offspring of Jewish fathers. "The bottom line is that if your father is Jewish or if any of your grandparents are Jewish from your father's side – even if you're a Messianic Jew – you can immigrate to Israel under the law of return."--DeknMike (talk) 12:28, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
Even if we continue to disagree about which ruling takes precedence, the statement itself is an ARGUMENT defending a position and not a summary statement, and does not belong in the lede.--DeknMike (talk) 12:28, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
DeknMike, first, thank you for taking this to the Talk page instead of engaging in a revert-war. Now, you're bringing up three arguments and I'd like to separate them out and clarify, and ask you some questions about each:
  1. You argue that the Israeli Law of Return was "overturned" (in your words) in April 2008. This is something I've seen you say before. I think it's important we all agree about the factual accuracy of this claim, so that if we all agree that it is not actually true, you can avoid making this mistaken claim in the future. Saying something is "overturned" is a legal claim, usually meaning "to invalidate or reverse a decision by legal means." What was the particular decision regarding MJ's before April 2008, and what do reliable secondary sources say it was after?
  2. You argue that the sentence "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" isn't a "summary statement." We can discuss this. What could a better summary statement be?
  3. You may be arguing that an accurate summary statement (once we have consensus on what one is) of the Israeli Supreme Court's interpretation of the Law of Return as it applies to MJ's shouldn't be in the lede at all. We can discuss this. Per WP:LEDE, "The lead should be able to stand alone as a concise overview. It should define the topic, establish context, explain why the topic is interesting or notable, and summarize the most important points—including any prominent controversies. The emphasis given to material in the lead should roughly reflect its importance to the topic, according to reliable, published sources, and the notability of the article's subject is usually established in the first few sentences" (my emphasis). The article has a whole section on Reception of the Messianic Judaism movement, and the view of MJ's by Israeli law is a critical and defining idea that should be in the lede. The sentence "The Supreme Court of Israel has ruled..." has been in the the article untouched (if I am using the tools right) for at least a year and a half and so clearly there has been consensus up to this point to keep it in there. What has changed?
Thanks. Zad68 (talk) 13:47, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
DeknMike, again, you are incorrect. To quote one of the relevant sources:

In a landmark decision today, the Supreme Court of Israel ratified a settlement between twelve Messianic Jewish believers and the State of Israel, which states that being a Messianic Jew does not prevent one from receiving citizenship in Israel under the Law of Return or the Law of Citizenship, if one is a descendent of Jews on one's father's side (and thus not Jewish according to halacha).[1]

Do you see that part I've highlighted? It's the part that indicates the key issue here; that the people in question are not Jewish according to halacha. If you are a Jew, the child of a Jewish mother, then you are not eligible. The law still treats "Jews who convert to Messianic Judaism the same way it treats Jews who convert to Christianity", exactly as the lede summarizes. Jayjg (talk) 15:35, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
You are mixing two arguments. Perhaps it was my fault, but I return to the subject line of THIS section of comments. The sentence in question amplifies a contention by one party to the discussion that Messianics are not Jews. I accept there is difference of opinion, even among mainline Judaism (separate from Israeli law), about what constitutes a 'Jew'. Therefore in a 2-paragraph executive summary, it should be sufficient to say that "Jewish organizations and religious movements (say) that Messianic Judaism is a Christian sect." The explanation of that phrase belongs in the text of the article. To make a point about one of the two landmark (and seemingly contradictory) rulings regarding Jewishness of the individuals without referencing the other inserts a bias where none should be. The paragraph in question should be the least contentious, which is why I removed that line.--DeknMike (talk) 18:28, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
I really wish you would break down the discussion across the three areas I delineated above. What exactly is the issue? Is the sentence "The Supreme Court of Israel has ruled..." as it appears in the lead accurate, yes or no? Or are you saying that a specific sentence about the Israeli Supreme Court's decision should not appear in the lead as it is too much detail, yes or no? Is it a combination of these two? And again you are questioning the Court's interpretations when you throw in "(and seemingly contradictory)" when they are not at all contradictory. All three of the areas I outlined in my previous edit are still open, I wish you would address each one in turn so we can figure out exactly what issue or issues you are identifying here, and drive to a consensus. Zad68 (talk) 21:14, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
This is not a discussion about whether either court was right or if the decisions complement or contradict one another. My issue, clearly, is that the sentence does not summarize the neutral point of view of the article, but instead makes an assertion that people with Jewish parents (one or both) who hold to Messianic theology change their DNA and are no longer Jewish. You may continue to assert your piece in the 'objections' section, but the statement I have agreed to above adequately summarizes the prominent controversies.--DeknMike (talk) 00:18, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
The source in question is quite clear that these people are being allowed into Israel under the Law of Return because they are not Jews. It says so explicitly, and that is the court's rationale. It is not clear exactly what you think is incorrect about the current statement in the lede, and why. Jayjg (talk) 01:09, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
DeknMike, based on what you wrote, your concern appears to be that the sentence in the lead: "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" makes an assertion that people with Jewish parents (one or both) who hold to Messianic theology change their DNA and are no longer Jewish (in your own words). You will be relieved to find out that the sentence does not actually mention people changing their DNA, and so your concern is invalid. Therefore, we can leave the sentence as it stands in the lead. Zad68 (talk) 13:07, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
You are funny! Have you not been trained in hyperbole, or only in obfuscation? My concern is indeed with the inclusion of that one line, which is an amplification of the point that "Jewish organizations and religious movements (say) that Messianic Judaism is a Christian sect." That's all that needs to be said.--DeknMike (talk) 01:42, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
You say I have been "trained ... in obfuscation." This is a personal insult. Please refrain from personal attacks--comment on the content, not the editor. Thank you for finally clarifying what you feel the issue is. The sentence "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" is not an "amplification" about "Jewish organizations and religious movements". Instead, it brings up an entirely separate entity that views MJs as Christians: The government of Israel. Removing the sentence would eliminate the summary of the large section in the article called "Response of Israeli government." The sentence you are calling out only addresses Jewish organizations and religious movements, and the government of Israel is neither of those. For this reason, and the reasons that have been mentioned previously, the sentence should stay in the lead. Zad68 (talk) 02:32, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
In what way is that a "large section"? 225 of 6206 words? It's only large if you have a POV to make. I'm asking to remove 10% of the lede, and leave the 5% that addresses 3% of the article.--DeknMike (talk) 02:53, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── OK so now we have something to work on. We can tighten up the lead (your concern) without eliminating important information (my concern). Suggestion, change:

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.


Jewish organizations and religious movements, and the Supreme Court of Israel (regarding the Law of Return), reject this, and instead consider Messianic Judaism to be a form of Christianity.

How does that look? It reduces the text by about 25% without losing any information. Personally I feel the wording is a little more tortured but it's a compromise start. Zad68 (talk) 16:52, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

You're right, it's a bit clunky, but it's a good starter compromise. Thanks.--DeknMike (talk) 02:36, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Roberto de Nobili

first used a similar adaptation method in India. Could be added to the history section. Jan (talk) 07:44, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

Only if reliable secondary sources make that connection. Jayjg (talk) 02:28, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Roots of Messianic Judaism

On page 13 of Mark S. Kinzer's Postmissionary Messianic Judaism: Redefining Christian Engagement with the Jewish People [[2]], he says "In (chapter8) I will recount the history of the Messianic Jewish movement and its origins in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Hebrew Christianity." (I don't have access yet to the details in chapter 8) The lede says the HCAA adopted the name Messianic in the 70s, but the movement's roots are much older.

Kinzer also comments on the diversity within the movement, and quotes theologian Michael Wyschogrod's complaint about "congregations that simply adopt Jewish symbos and practices but are not committed in principle to Torah observance. (Authentic Messianic) congregations are ‘committed in principle to Torah observance' and ‘demand it ..indefinitely.' The motivation is covenant fidelity, not missionary expediency." --DeknMike (talk) 15:13, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Hi DeknMike. What changes to the article are you proposing? Regarding the history, it appears that Kinzer is in line with what the article already says--there were things that happened in the 19th Century Hebrew Christian movement that were relevant to the eventual rise of Messianic Judaism. Regarding MJ practice, first we should also be aware while we're discussing him that Kinzer is a Messianic himself and is an "insider," partisan to a particular group's implementation of it. Take care with the Wyschogrod quote, he does not talk about "Authentic Messianic" anything. But again, you posted something here on the Talk page and it sounds like you want to use this source to support changes to the article, what are those changes? Zad68 (talk) 15:45, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
(On no other board does an insider expert get ruled out of bounds.) I was noting an additional source that confirmed that Messianic Judaism did not begin [Ex nihilo] in the late 1960s, but instead had a history, and over time - particularly with international attention on the Six Day War and the influx of converts during the Jesus Movement - the emphasis shifted from the Hebrew Christian practices to let the 100-year-old Messianic Judaism strain emerge.--DeknMike (talk) 21:10, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't think Zad was ruling Kinzer out, as you put it. There's just a fine line as to what might be acceptably sourced by someone with as deep an interest in the movement as Kinzer. He is a well-known leader in (if I remember correctly) the UMJC, so sourcing to him would be most appropriate for views prominent in (or specific to) the UMJC -- his idea of unrecognized mediation, for instance (which really should be mentioned, by the way). Unless he cites a third-party (preferably impartial) source in relation to his thoughts on Messianic history, or it is otherwise independently verifiable, I would be a little uncomfortable with that. However, if there is independent verification, as you say there is, there should be no problem adding it to the article. But how exactly does the current state of the article say that Messianic Judaism arose "Ex nihilo"? I don't get that from it at all. Evanh2008 (talk) (contribs) 21:22, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Exactly, thank you Evanh Zad68 (talk) 21:32, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
First, I'm not saying that he's "ruled out of bounds," but only that his particular take on what MJism should or should not be needs to be understood as that of a partisan insider. Kinzer is not an anthropologist. He is not an independent, impartial, scientific observer and recorder of what MJism currently is. In fact, Kinzer's book that you are quoting from is his argument about what MJism should be--something new that he is proposing that he calls "Postmissionary Messianic Judaism"--and as such we must understand that MJism as it currently exists is not what he is arguing it should be, otherwise he would not have to write such a book. His book might be useful for this article in some ways, but not as an impartial overview of the state of MJism as it currently exists. Do you understand?
So, we are discussing the start date of MJism again. The article currently has seven reliable sources that explicitly give the 1960s and 70s as when the movement arose/emerged/began. What exactly does Kinzer say? Can we please see the full text of exactly what he says, in context, quoted directly from the source? Once we have that we can discuss what changes to the article it might support. Zad68 (talk) 21:31, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Exactly right on both your points, that a) the article already clearly indicates that while Messianism itself arose in the 60s and 70s, it had Hebrew Christian precursors in the 19th century, and b) we need to know exactly what the source says, in context, and exactly what changes are proposed based on that source. Jayjg (talk) 01:20, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree that the full text of exactly what the source says, in context, would be very useful here. Ambiguous phrases saying things like "it has roots" elsewhere are somewhat problematic, because the definition of "roots" in context is an ambiguous one. I tend to think he may be a reliable source on what, if Evanh2008 is right, the UMJC or its members declares to be its history, but unfortunately the internal statements of adherents and the academic opinions of outsiders often differ greatly, particularly regarding groups which see themselves as being a direct continuation or possibly "restoration" of earlier groups, but which are not necessarily seen as such by outsiders. John Carter (talk) 01:28, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
The opinions of UJMC, as being the largest body of MJ,should have more weight than editorials of outside antagonists.--DeknMike (talk) 04:28, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
To which "editorials of outside antagonists" are you referring? Please be explicit, listing the exact source, why you think it is an "editorial", why you think it is an "outside antagonist", and how it is used in the article in lieu of the views of the UJMC. Jayjg (talk) 11:08, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Evanh2008, the ex nihilo comment refers to the many discussions (particularly from Zad68)that MJ did not exist until the late 1960s, which has been documented to be false.--DeknMike (talk) 04:32, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
We have seven reliable sources indicating that Messianism arose in the 1960s and 1970s. Please stop trying to promote historical revisionism, please review WP:NOTAFORUM, and please make more accurate Talk: page statements. Jayjg (talk) 11:08, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
For the record, I am not of the conviction that MJism arose "ex nihilo" and I have not made edits along those lines. DeknMike, please stop misrepresenting my editing history. Who exactly are the "outside antagonists" you are referring to? Zad68 (talk) 12:45, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Seven reliable sources you say? Cohn-Sherbok says a growing segment of the Hebrew Christian movement ‘emerged’ and..."In time the name of the movement was changed to messianic Judaism." Şenay and Melton's Encyclopedia also say 'emerged' (not ‘started’). Ariel says the term ‘resurfaced’ in the 1940s in Israel and was ‘adopted’ in the US in the early 70s. Lewis says origins were with American Jews in the 1960s, ignoring Ariel's reporting of the movement in other countries – how can we then call his work ‘authoritative’? Feher’s research regarding the ‘’date’’ is unsubstantiated. That gives one source that dates the movement at least to the 1940s, three that say a segment of the Hebrew Christian movement emerged and changed its name, and one undocumented assertion based on common assumptions. Four sources indicate a beginning prior to 1960 (the strongest indicates a movement prior to 1940); only the weakest two sources says it started in the 1960s.--DeknMike (talk) 04:32, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
This is yet another attempt to continue the many, many arguments cataloged here. As you've added nothing new to the previous arguments, and none of them ever resulted in consensus to change the article, I don't see any need to re-engage here at this time. I would support anybody who would consider this to be a continuation of a history of disruptive editing. Zad68 (talk) 13:46, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. Jayjg (talk) 00:43, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
And yet he changed it anyway, to ""emerged from the Hebrew Christian movement", despite the fact that several sources use the term "arose" or "rise" or "began", and that the sources give many different (and somewhat conflicting) origins for Messianism. By my count this is the 23rd time he's changed it to something which does not accurately represent the sources. Jayjg (talk) 23:43, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
I think that probably qualifies as tendentious editing as per WP:TE and POV pushing as per WP:POV. Perhaps it might be time to consider a topic ban at WP:AN/I? That seems to be the reasonable next step. John Carter (talk) 00:11, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
I support this proposal. This idea has come up before, but it didn't go anywhere. Maybe it will this time? Zad68 (talk) 01:33, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I'm not sure what to think here. I only drop in here occasionally but have increasing sympathy with Jayjg's view and in particular am somewhat concerned with DeknMike making 23 changes on a single line (I'm presuming that the 23 changes the other way will have been made by a variety of editors, 3 editors x 7 reverts each or something, but haven't checked). I would advise DeknMike that at this point edits to that particular line need to go through the keyboard of another editor - for example John Carter who is evidently neutral here. Has that option been offered DeknMike already? If it has been offered and has been refused, then it might be getting near to topic ban. In ictu oculi (talk) 03:38, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

IIO, take a look at DeknMike's Talk page--John Carter has tried several times to advise DeknMike but it does not seem to have worked. And actually it was John Carter himself who brought up the AN/I suggestion. Zad68 (talk) 03:43, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
(am having a connectivity problem, may take time) It may take time to look at the diffs. Is Melton's wording in article now? Melton would be a standard source. In ictu oculi (talk) 04:11, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
IIO, Melton says "Messianic Judaism is a Protestant movement that emerged in the last half of the 20th century among believers who were ethnically Jewish but had adopted an Evangelical Christian faith... By the 1960s, a new effort to create a culturally Jewish Protestant Christianity emerged among individuals who began to call themselves Messianic Jews." The article says "arose in the 1960s and 70s." So, the article agrees with Melton on the timing. If you're talking about "emerged" vs. "arose" again... to rehash our old discussion, Feher and Yaakov Ariel use "arose/rise" and Melton, Cohn-Sherbok and Şenay use "emerged." Honestly I don't think it matters either way, it doesn't make a darn bit of semantic difference, and here's a little bit of proof: Feher and Melton were both at UCSB at the same time, researching in the same subject area, and in her book, Feher thanks Melton: "Gordon Melton generously shared his ideas and his library and introduced me to the world of Messianic Judaism." So between these two Ph.D. colleagues, who worked at the same university, in the same subject area, who talked to each other and shared research resources and ideas about this subject, one uses "arose" and the other uses "emerged." Also, in this thread DeknMike is equally unhappy with "emerged" as he is with "rise," and in that same thread Jayjg notes "Oddly enough, back in July 2010 the word used was 'emerged', before DeknMike started edit-warring over it." The issue here is not "arose" vs. "emerged" but rather the continuous attempts to misrepresent the sources and change the article to have it say something the sources do not say. Zad68 (talk) 13:09, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Mmm. As I said I was having a connectivity issue and couldn't open history up. It does seem as if DeknMike is pushing it. As far as I know the problem is limited to one page - here. (I haven't been following anyone's contribs history). If it is only here then it may be manageable without a topic ban. Hmm. In ictu oculi (talk) 13:34, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
As far as I know I'm working alone. I did ask for 3d party input on the reliable sources board but Zad68 clownfooted the discussion with more of the same old rhetoric. I did not start the edit war, but rather offered sourced statements that did not agree with those wishing to prove MJ has no right to exist or to use the name it has chosen, and when they were deleted out of hand I restored the vandalism. All I have tried to do is show there are more sources than the ones "allowed" that offer other research, and my accusers respond with tired diatribes and half-truth accusations. When I compromise they reject the offer and slam my good name yet again with bygone discussions. Is Messianic Judaism the new name for Jews not happy in the Hebrew Christian congregations or Protestant churches, or was it a spontaneous creation by a large number of disaffected Jews who all organized the same way?--DeknMike (talk) 21:03, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Sources from inside a movement can be used to support copy edits, but such sources would need to be prefaced with "some [in this case] Messianic Jews consider...". If the sources were couched in that format then I don't see inclusion is a problem, provided that what is stated in source and edit copy match up. It is possible to use sources from inside - many of not most Chabad articles on WP depend exclusively on Chabad sources, JW articles (not an area I'm too familiar but John Carter and myself were both recently exposed to some JW vs JW-basher edit conflict) do feature JW internal sources. So the issue normally is in presenting those sources (a) accurately, and with due Weight, and (b) making sure the copy edit matches up.
Can I make a suggestion? Rather than argue further (whoever is right) on the arose / emerge / roots issue for a time. Could the search for reliable sources go into another direction and explain why/how/when Messianic Jewish practices developed. why/how/when did MJ's split from traditional Protestant "Hebrew Christian" groups? Why/how/when did use of bits of Hebrew in English become current? Why/how/when did celebrating Jewish festivals get (re)introduced? etc. If you can provide sourced content for this it would improve the article and would inform the roots/split with earlier Protestant Jewish groups. In ictu oculi (talk) 23:32, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Such material would certainly be useful, if independent reliable sources can be found which address such matters. If only internal sources can be found, it might however best be included in the body of the article, but perhaps not to any great degree in the lead. John Carter (talk) 23:51, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure that comment makes any sense. The lede summarizes the article (or at least, is supposed to), so anything fit for inclusion in the article, if notable enough, can be summarized in the lede as well. While we're on the subject, the lede on this article is ridiculously large and includes numerous non-summary statements; if I have enough free time next month I'm going to go through and try to clean it up a bit. That's all the input I have right now. Evanh2008 (talk) (contribs) 00:56, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Agreed regarding the lead. My earlier comment was more or less in accord, I thought, with WP:NPOV. We really are not supposed to give any side more prominence than the other. So, including only the internal opinions of the group, without any indication of whether the material has independent support, would to my eyes seem to give the group's own opinion undue weight and possibly violate NPOV. "Opinions regarding the origins of MJ" would be significant enough for the lead if internal and external opinions were known. FWIW, though, having myself gone over the reliable independent sources available to me on this topic in the past, I can't remember any independent sources really saying anything about MJ origins or "prehistory" one way or another. John Carter (talk) 01:14, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
What John says makes sense, anything controverted or based on internal sources would be better in body. Ledes are invariably too long and oversourced/overworked in these kind of articles anyway. In ictu oculi (talk) 01:50, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
I'll bring up your concerns at the annual conference this summer, though most (not all) of the scholarship done on the subject is done by so-called 'insiders' and has in the past rejected by some on this board as biased, even if well-referenced; other sources are not concerned with origins as much as current activities. Nuances - such as the difference between churches adopting Messianic music and Jewish trappings versus Jewish-led congregations that rely heavily on liturgy in Hebrew with Messianic sermons - are often ignored. Even the sources allowed say Messianic congregations existed in Eastern Europe and Israel in the 40s, and a few in the US, but the 60s saw many new congregations and in the 70s many Hebrew Christians changed their name to the term Messianic.--DeknMike (talk) 02:14, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
DeknMike, which sources "say Messianic congregations existed in Eastern Europe and Israel in the 40s, and a few in the US"? Please cite and quote them. Jayjg (talk) 21:59, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Ariel, Yaakov (2006). "Judaism and Christianity Unite! The Unique Culture of Messianic Judaism". In Gallagher, Eugene V.; Ashcraft, W. Michael. Jewish and Christian Traditions. Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America. 2. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 194–195. ISBN 978-0-275-98714-5. LCCN 2006022954. OCLC 315689134--DeknMike (talk) 05:20, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Greenwood Publishing is generally a reliable source. Can you provide an exact quotation from the article in question which would link it directly to modern Messianic Judaism. I more or less have to ask that they be directly linked to MJs in the source, because there have been numerous messianic movements in Judaism, and not all of them are necessarily directly connected to the modern Messianic Jews. John Carter (talk) 18:25, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
I've read the source, and it in no way supports the claim Mike is making for it - no doubt this is the reason the quotation I requested was not provided. In fact, the source talks about Christian Missions to Jews, not "Messianic congregations". This is just more of that invented revisionist history. Mike, provide the quote that states "Messianic congregations existed in Eastern Europe and Israel in the 40s, and a few in the US", Jayjg (talk) 23:34, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Page 1 of Feher says Messianic Judaism's origins "can be traced in the United States to the Hebrew Christian missions to the Jews in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries," plus the 60s Jesus People movements and renewed Zionism. On the history page of the MJAA ("the largest association of Messianic Jews and non-Jewish believers in Yeshua (Jesus) in the world"), they say they were founded in 1915. On their explanation of Messianic Judaism, it says '"Hebrew Christianity" has since become known as "Messianic Judaism."' If the largest group within Messianic Judaism says their roots go back to 1915 and that they are now known as Messianic Jewish, and Feher confirms, who am I to argue? The quote from Kinzer confirms that the name change of HCAA to MJAA was a semantic difference, not a new start of a new movement. --DeknMike (talk) 22:38, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Mike, provide the quote that states "Messianic congregations existed in Eastern Europe and Israel in the 40s, and a few in the US". Jayjg (talk) 23:09, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
Mike, in that same book by Feher, she says (p. 140) "This interest in developing a Jewish ethnic identity may not be surprising when we consider the 1960s, when Messianic Judaism arose." Why do you say "Who am I to argue" against what Feher says on page 1, but you argue so vehemently against what she says on page 140? Zad68 (talk) 03:31, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't argue against what she said on page 140, only your interpretation of what arose means. I say it means came into view by the general population and you say it means began. If you are willing to say that Messianic Judaism has a history prior to 1960 (even if under other names) then we are in agreement. --DeknMike (talk) 16:47, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
(emphasis mine:) Reliable source Shoshanah Feher, Ph.D. in Sociology, in "Passing over Easter: Constructing the Boundaries of Messianic Judaism" (1998), p. 140. writes "This interest in developing a Jewish ethnic identity may not be surprising when we consider the 1960s, when Messianic Judaism arose." Reliable source James Lewis, Ph.D. in Religious Studies, in "Odd Gods: New Religions & the Cult Controversy" (2001) writes "The origins of Messianic Judaism date to the 1960s when it began among American Jews who converted to Christianity." The article currently states "arose in the 1960s and 70s" but it could just as easily say "began in the 1960s and 70s" because we have multiple reliable sources to support it. Regarding your question "If you are willing to say that Messianic Judaism has a history prior to 1960 (even if under other names) then we are in agreement." -- Answer is: It doesn't matter what I, personally, am "willing to say." All that matters is what reliable sources say. Reliable sources--multiple, independent Ph.D.s from around the world--say it arose/began/emerged in the 1960s and 1970s and so that is what the Wikipedia article will say. Zad68 (talk) 18:27, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
And again to the root of the problem. If Feher, who said its "origins can be traced in the United States to the Hebrew Christian missions to the Jews in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries" had meant 'began' she would have said 'began' and not arose. Of the 7 sources, four say a segment of the Hebrew Christian movement emerged and changed its name and one says it existed in the 1940s. Yet you continue to harp on that one undefined word with no thought as to finding consensus, though I have tried over and over to find a synonym that squares with the majority of these sources.--DeknMike (talk) 01:20, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
"Again to the root of the problem" indeed: Again you are conflating the origins of MJism with the modern movement itself. Again you are flatly, plainly misrepresenting the sources to push your POV.
  • Dr. Shoshanah Feher, who received her Ph.D. in sociology from UCSB in 1995, gives the 1960s (p. 140) as "when Messianic Judaism arose." She differentiates MJs from Hebrew Christians by saying Hebrew Christians and Messianic Jews are all "Jews who become Christian and continue to consider themselves Jews" but "Hebrew Christians ... differ from Messianic Jews not in their identification as Jews, but in the extent to which they integrate Judaism into their religious life." So she's saying there had been Hebrew Christians (those who had converted to Christianity but started to identify themselves as ethnic Jews, elsewhere in her book she talks about how the Hebrew Christian movement started in the late 1800s) and in the 1960 MJism arose out of them. Let's be clear: According to Feher, before 1960, "Messianic Judaism" did not exist because it did not arise until the 1960s. Full quote from Feher, p. 25:

    The Jewish community is most disturbed by Messianics' insistence on maintaining their Jewish identity. Those who convert from Judaism to Christianity may be upsetting because they leave the fold, but Messianic Jews straddle the cultures and cause havoc by confusing the boundaries and mixing classifications. This is not only true of Messianic Jews, but of all Jews who become Christian and continue to consider themselves Jews. Included in the category are Hebrew Christians, which differ from Messianic Jews not in their identification as Jews, but in the extent to which they integrate Judaism into their religious life. Jews for Jesus, perhaps the most prominent of the Hebrew Christian groups, uses considerably less Jewish ritual than Messianic Judaism, and its members worship in established Christian churches rather than in their own congregations.

  • Our most heavyweight reliable source, J. Gordon Melton, Ph.D. in History and Literature of Religions, founding director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion, Distinguished Senior Fellow at Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion, research specialist in religion and New Religious Movements with the Department of Religious Studies at USCB, second most prolific contributor to the Encyclopædia Britannica, and author of his own Encyclopedia of Protestantism, writes in his encyclopedia chapter on Messianic Judaism (read it for yourself here), "Messianic Judaism is a Protestant movement that emerged in the last half of the 20th century among believers who were ethnically Jewish but had adopted an Evangelical Christian faith... By the 1960s, a new effort to create a culturally Jewish Protestant Christianity emerged among individuals who began to call themselves Messianic Jews." The article does not mention the Hebrew Christian movement at all, but it appears in saying "believers who were ethnically Jewish but had adopted an Evangelical Christian faith" he means Hebrew Christians.
  • Bülent Şenay, Ph.D. in religious studies from Lancaster University, UK and former professor in the religion department of Bursa Uludag University in Turkey, wrote the "group emerged in the 1960s" from the "Christian Jews," and there I think he's talking about Hebrew Christians, which he defines as those "who identify themselves as religiously Christian but ethnically Jewish." Again, before 1960: No MJs, but there were Hebrew Christians.
  • Dr. Yaakov S. Ariel, Ph.D., Professor of Religious Studies at UNC Chapel Hill also discusses Hebrew Christians through the mid-1900 but clearly states "The Rise of Messianic Judaism" was in "the early and mid-1970s" (p. 194). The 1940's you keep throwing out is about the term and not the movement itself, which Ariel makes clear arose in the early and mid-1970s. In fact, Ariel makes it clear that in Israel in the 1940s, the term "Messianic Judaism" described Jews who accepted Christianity in its Protestant evangelical form. Here's the full "term resurfaced" quote you keep misusing, full quote (Judaism and Christianity Unite! The Unique Culture of Messianic Judaism p. 194):

    When the term ("Messianic Judaism") resurfaced in Israel in the 1940s and 1950s, it designated all Jews who accepted Christianity in its Protestant evangelical form. Missionaries such as the Southern Baptist Robert Lindsey noted that for Israeli Jews, the term nozrim, "Christians" in Hebrew, meant, almost automatically, an alien, hostile religion. Because such a term made it nearly impossible to convince Jews that Christianity was their religion, missionaries sought a more neutral term, one that did not arouse negative feelings. They chose Meshichyim, Messianic, to overcome the suspicion and antagonism of the term nozrim. Meshichyim as a term also had the advantage of emphasizing messianism as a major component of the Christian evangelical belief that the missions and communities of Jewish converts to Christianity propagated. It conveyed the sense of a new, innovative religion rather that(sic) an old, unfavorable one. The term was used in reference to those Jews who accepted Jesus as their personal savior, and did not apply to Jews accepting Roman Catholicism who in Israel have called themselves Hebrew Christians. The term Messianic Judaism was adopted in the United States in the early 1970s by those converts to evangelical Christianity who advocated a more assertive attitude on the part of converts towards their Jewish roots and heritage.

  • Dr. James R. Lewis, who received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of Wales, says "[t]he origins of Messianic Judaism date to the 1960s".
  • Cohn-Sherbok, perhaps the weakest source (a rabbi of Reform Judaism and no advanced academic degrees in religion), says that MJ "emerged [from] a growing segment of the Hebrew Christian community" in the 1970s. Full quote:

    In the 1970s a number of American Jewish converts to Christianity, known as Hebrew Christians, were committed to a church-based conception of Hebrew Christianity. Yet, at the same time, there emerged a growing segment of the Hebrew Christian community that sought a more Jewish lifestyle. Eventually, a division emerged between those who wished to identify as Jews and those who sought to pursue Hebrew Christian goals... In time, the name of the movement was changed to Messianic Judaism.

So, to review: According to reliable sources, Messianic Judaism arose as early as the 1960s. In the 1950s, the Messianic Judaism movement did not exist. I don't know what else can possibly be done to convince you to accept what the multiple, independent reliable sources have to say on this matter. I'm certainly exhausted trying to convince you to accept what the reliable sources say, it simply may not be possible to do so. (You also grossly mischaracterize the underlying core issue here ("you continue to harp on that one undefined word with no thought as to finding consensus, though I have tried over and over to find a synonym...") as the archives here prove, and as we are currently discussing on the open WP:AN thread that you are already aware of, but as that is an editor behavior issue and not a content issue, there's no reason to go into that further here.) Zad68 (talk) 18:18, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Jerusalem Council as source

Though not a mainstream Messianic Judaism body, the particular citations used in the text are not inconsistent with Messianic Judaism in general. The "unreliable source' tags should be removed.--DeknMike (talk) 04:21, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

What indicates that it meets the requirements of WP:RS? Jayjg (talk) 11:02, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Quote: Self-published or questionable sources may be used as sources of information about themselves, especially in articles about themselves, without the requirement that they be published experts in the field, so long as:
  • the material is not unduly self-serving;
  • the material does not involve claims about third parties (such as people, organizations, or other entities);
  • the material does not involve claims about events not directly related to the subject;
  • there is no reasonable doubt as to the authenticity and source of the material;
  • the article is not based primarily on such sources.
The source in question is an "about us" section of a public website. --DeknMike (talk) 02:20, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
This article is Messianic Judaism, not Jerusalem Council. The material is about Messianic Judaism, not Jerusalem Council. Jayjg (talk) 21:58, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
...and Jerusalem Council is a Messianic organization. --DeknMike (talk) 05:08, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
First, I notice that Jerusalem Council is a disambiguation page, not an article, so I am not myself necessarily sure exactly what is being referred to here. Secondly, and perhaps more important, it is apparently, I guess, a separate, self-governing group within broader Messianic Judaism. That being the case, it would probably be a violation of WP:SYNTH and/or [{WP:OR]] to assume that a statement which is apparently true of this Jerusalem Council would also necessarily be true about Messianic Judaism in general. It might well be relevant for a separate article about the Jerusalem Council, but I am not myself sure that such an article exists at this point. John Carter (talk) 18:31, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
True. More directly, the WP:SPS exemption applies only if the material does not involve claims about third parties (such as people, organizations, or other entities). This in not an article about the Jerusalem Council, it is an article about another entity. Jayjg (talk) 23:31, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
John Carter, I'm not sure who added the Jerusalem Council wikilink, but the references in the document all point to the website of the Messianic Jewish organization that provided information about Messianic beliefs. It is neither OR or SYNTH to reference the words of a Messianic organization as a reference about Messianic beliefs, which meets the RS test.--DeknMike (talk) 22:14, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I believe you are wrong. A single Messianic group is very likely to have its own beliefs. To present those beliefs as being those of Messianic Judaism as a whole would be in the first instance not supported by the evidence, and thus a violation of WP:OR, but also making an assumption which is not substantiated by the text, specifically, that the beliefs attributed to a single group within the MJ community are also true of MJ as a whole, is a fairly clear violation of WP:SYNTH, as the source itself does not apparently specifically say that the beliefs are held by the broader MJ community, but rather only by a single group within the broader MJ community. That is, unless the source specifically and clearly states that those beliefs are commonly held by the MJ community as a whole. So, while that source is a reasonable source for the Jerusalem Council, and while it might be possible to say that "Some groups within the MJ movement, such as the Jerusalem Council, believe....", that would likely be the only way to have such information included in this article, and including the beliefs of a specific group within the broader movement also raises serious issues of WP:WEIGHT, by giving material about a specific group within the movement attention in the main article on the movement itself. Of course, if you wish to pursue the matter, I suppose you could raise the question at the appropriate noticeboard, WP:NORN. John Carter (talk) 22:33, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
Exactly my point. The reference we've been talking about is to the phrases "some of them argue that Messianic Judaism is a sect of Judaism", "Other Messianic believers call rabbinic commentaries such as the Mishnah and the Talmud 'dangerous'," and "Other congregations are selective in their applications of Talmudic law Not universal constructs." Not broad pronouncements. "Some" and "other" indicate these are various independent pronouncements. It's not OR or Synth to add this source saying what they believe within the Messianic universe. They're not mainstream, but why leave them out if properly caveated? --DeknMike (talk) 02:48, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Really? Your original point was, to quote the first entry in this thread, 'Though not a mainstream Messianic Judaism body, the particular citations used in the text are not inconsistent with Messianic Judaism in general. The "unreliable source' tags should be removed." Your later statement just above indicates that perhaps they in effect are not consistent with Messianic Judaism in general, or, at least, not in accord with it. Which of these two statements is to be trusted? If they are as you say in the last statement only held by this group which as stated is apparently not notable enough for a separate article, then I think WP:WEIGHT would be relevant. Such information, which is apparently about a small group within the MJ movement, would probably be better included in Messianic Jewish theology or some other child article. John Carter (talk) 18:40, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Whatever. I didn't add the source. I don't agree with all the source stands for. I'm only advocating on their behalf to present a fair and balanced review of the varied Messianic Jewish viewpoints.--DeknMike (talk) 22:46, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Related discussion

There is a discussion relating to content on this article at the Administrators' Noticeboard here. John Carter (talk) 17:44, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

I have vast sympathy for everyone who has been involved in this protracted challenging situation! Hugz to all of you. If we can sort this out here, I personally can't see any benefit to be gained from a topic ban. As I've just pointed out at AN, I think you all have exceptionally good points here; I can see why this has become so heated (I think unintended ambiguity may be the root cause as it so often is in these situations). Everyone's patience just wore out / burned out. I'm really hoping you can all just heave a sigh of relief, shake hands, share a virtual beer, and move on collaboratively. Pesky (talk) 03:40, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Another source misrepresentation / inaccurate edit summary?

In an edit that everyone here apparently missed, DeknMike changed

Missions to the Jews saw a period of growth between the 1920s and the 1960s.[2][3] In the 1940s and 50s, missionaries in Israel such as the Southern Baptists adopted the term meshichyim (משיחיים "Messianics") to counter negative connotations of the word notsrim (נוצרים "Christians", from "Nazarenes"); the term was used to designate all Jews who had converted to Protestant evangelical Christianity.[4]

to (changes highlighted)

The term resurfaced in Israel in the 1940s and 50s when missionaries in Israel such as the Southern Baptists adopted the term meshichyim (משיחיים "Messianics") to counter negative connotations of the word notsrim (נוצרים "Christians", from "Nazarenes"); the term was used to designate all Jews who had converted to Protestant evangelical Christianity.[4]

Missions to the Jews saw a period of growth between the 1920s and the 1960s. Its leaders used the decades to build a strong, respectable reputation, and hired Jewish converts as missionaries. Among the missionaries were Martin (Moishe) Rosen, who later founded Jews for Jesus.[2][3]

The edit summary used was "separated Israel from the US experience".

As is fairly obvious, the edit did much more than simply "separate Israel from the US experience", but because the new material was in a new paragraph, it wasn't automatically highlighted in a diff, and was hard to notice. Mike, where is the source for the additional material? Where does Ariel say that "Its leaders used the decades to build a strong, respectable reputation, and hired Jewish converts as missionaries. Among the missionaries were Martin (Moishe) Rosen, who later founded Jews for Jesus"? I can't find it in the cited sources. Jayjg (talk) 02:23, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

The source was there all along, already quoted in the Ariel (ch19) footnote. ""Missions to the Jews during the period were conservative evangelical institutions. It should be noted, therefore, that the years from the 1920s to the 1960s were not ones of decline but rather a period of growth for these enterprises in size, experience, organization and sophistication." Is it because you believe that one who adopts a faith in Jesus is no longer Jewish? That's an opinion not shared by scientists. I did put in a link to the Moishe Rosen information - I'll pretty it up later.--DeknMike (talk) 05:05, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Mike, where does Ariel say Its leaders used the decades to build a strong, respectable reputation. And where did it say anything at all about Moishe Rosen? The quote you've provided says nothing like that. Jayjg (talk) 23:36, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
As for the separation, I was making it clear to you that the term may have come into vogue in the USA in the 60s, but the movement is multi-national and existed at least in Israel in the 40s.--DeknMike (talk) 05:07, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
The source for Moshe Rosen is different from the use of Messianic in Israel, since he was pretty much Hebrew Christian Missions for most of his life, and only adopted the nomenclature 'Messianic' later.--DeknMike (talk) 19:12, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Which "movement"? Christian Missions to the Jews? Because that's the only thing the source is talking about there. Jayjg (talk) 23:36, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Why the Messianic Judaism movement, of course. It is clear from the variety of sources there is no one single Messianic denomination or uninimity of doctrine, though the article captures the central core fairly well. It's not a separate religion, not an accepted form of Rabbinic Judaism, and generally different in style than most of Christianity. It's common within the church growth literature to call a set of ideas moving forward together a 'movement.' However, if you don't like that word, what would you call Messianic Judaism (other than heresy).--DeknMike (talk) 19:12, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately, to make the assumption you make in your very first sentence above, DeknMike, is a clear violation of WP:SYNTH, which I very much suggest you read and perhaps become better acquainted with. Messianic Judaism is not even directly mentioned in the source, and there is no way according to policies and guidelines that we could include such content based solely on the opinions of one editor who has a very clear POV issue regarding this subject. John Carter (talk) 19:45, 4 May 2012 (UTC)


I'm trying to get to grips with understanding exactly what's going on here (basically to cover my ass against any "You don't know nuffin'" responses, lol!) The one thing I can't actually work out here is whether the the article is supposed to be about Messianic Judaism as a whole big picture thing; the entire movement including its forebears, offshoots, cousins, and so on, or whether it's supposed to be about one particular group with that particular name. I really don't want to get involved in the arguments, but I find myself wondering whether a possibly-unresolved-ambiguity thing, in the approach, is what's at the root of these quite evident differences of opinion here. Just my twopence-worth; I have no idea whether that's helpful or not, but it's my view offered in the hope that it might help you guys find some resolution. Pesky (talk) 14:52, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

This article intends to cover Messianic Judaism as religious movement, including its history. It should cover in proportion to the coverage found in reliable sources all the significant sects within it, and there are several. For example, one of the major splits is over whether Talmud is binding, some Messianic Jews say it is, other says it isn't. There are also some splits over theological points. Of course, all the several sects within the movement claim to be the one, true Messianic Judaism and find the others to be heretics; this is typical across all religious movements over all time. However, the reliable sources we have show that Messianic Judaism as a movement in general arose as early as the 1960s. In the "Roots" discussion above here on this Talk: page, I provided lots of direct links to good, reliable sources that you can read for yourself. Why not read them? Also, please remember that an article's Talk: page is not for general discussion of the topic, and this page is not the page to discuss editor behavior. Did you have an improvement to the article you wanted to discuss? Zad68 (talk) 15:19, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
Quick answer: nope! Pesky (talk) 19:56, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
I can understand the question. As is generally the case, this is the main article on the subject of Messianic Judaism, the comparatively recent religious grouping. As such, it is supposed to cover the entire subject of the MJs. There is another question involved, even though it is not explicitly stated, and it might be my own POV causing it to be raised. That is whether this is also supposed to be the main article on the general idea of followers of Jesus who more or less adhere to the Jewish law. The main article for that topic is Jewish Christians. So, just as this is basically the primary article on the current grouping, that article is the main article on the broader topic of "Jewish Christians." If I am right in my assumption about the question, I believe one point which might be relevant to raise is that it probably isn't necessary to place a great deal of material in this article on the prior history of Jewish Christians. This would include its own frequently internally asserted ties to the earlier group from the late 19th century. If there are any specific proposals as to how to make that clearer in the article, of course, I would welcome hearing them. John Carter (talk) 20:19, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
Hi John, at this point I've done enough reading that I'm pretty sure this is the taxonomy:
  • Theological Christians -- I put "theological" in there because there's an argument over whether MJ is "Christian" due to its practices, but there's no doubt that theologically it's Christianity
  • Gentile Christians
  • Jewish Christians -- using "Jewish" as an ethnicity and not a religion; these are ethnic Jews that adhere to Christian theology
  • Christians of Jewish heritage but do not self-identify as Jews or Jewish
  • Hebrew Christians -- Christians who self-identify as ethnic Jews but retain little of Jewish culture or religious pratice; if you ask one what their religion is they would say "Christian" as part of the answer, and would not identify themselves as practicing Judaism; this movement started in the late 1800's
  • Messianic Jews -- theologically Christian but self-identify as Jewish and as practicing a valid form of Judaism, maintain Jewish culture and style of religious practice, if asked what their religion was would not use "Christian" in the answer; this movement split off from the Hebrew Christians in the 1960s and 70s
What do you think? Zad68 (talk) 20:40, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
From my reading, it's an accurate taxonomy, given the common understanding of Christianity.--DeknMike (talk) 02:28, 17 May 2012 (UTC)


Zad, that's pretty much how I read the kind of evolution of it. John, thanks for the clarification up above. I can see DeknMike's point about the "Messianic Jews" thing "resurfacing" in Israel in the 40s - 50s as being kinda problematical when compared to the 60s thing. Would a possible solution be to rename the article "Modern Messianic Judaism", with a very short section on the history and a "see also" to the main Jewish Christians article? AFAICS that might resolve the perceived problem. Though I could be totally off track, of course, but it's a thought ;P I don't personally have any strong views on the subject at all; I try not to have strong views on specific religious subjects (I suppose I'm possibly a Polygnostic Morphist. (For which there are zero Google hits, let alone reliable sources, most probably because I've only just invented it.) Pesky (talk) 21:38, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

Love "Polygnostic Morphist"! Create an article!  :) Regarding Ariel's "term resurfaced," please don't make the same mistake Mike is--I can't exactly tell from what you typed if you are making the same mistake, but I think you might be. Read the full Ariel quote, I typed out the whole thing for you above right here on this Talk page, and also provided you a link directly to the page in the book it came from, "Judaism and Christianity Unite! The Unique Culture of Messianic Judaism" p. 194. Especially read this sentence:

When the term ("Messianic Judaism") resurfaced in Israel in the 1940s and 1950s, it designated all Jews who accepted Christianity in its Protestant evangelical form.

Ariel is clear, the term was used in Israel in the 1940s and 1950s to mean Jews who converted to evangelical Protestant Christianity; it could not have been used to mean what we are now calling the Messianic Judaism movement, because (as Ariel states on the same page in the same book) "the rise of Messianic Judaism" wasn't until "the early and mid-1970s." Don't take my word for it, read the page from Dr. Ariel's book yourself here: link. Renaming the article "Modern Messianic Judaism" is a complete non-starter due to Wikipedia policy regarding article names. All reliable sources call the movement we're talking about "Messianic Judaism" and not "Modern Messianic Judaism" and don't use any other qualifier. I do appreciate your creative attempts to help defuse the issue but we can't do it in a way that violates Wikipedia policy. Zad68 (talk) 03:19, 11 May 2012 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Yes, I read that bit earlier :D (Also Ariel pointing out that it wasn't "entirely new" having been "used in internal debates in the community of converts as early as the beginning of the century.")

OK, if we can't rename the article to show that it relates to the modern movement of Messianic Judaism ... what could it possibly be renamed to? Or what other ways are there around this glitch of having an identical term for two related-but-not-identical meanings? There must be a way. That seems to be the problem here; the term existed before it applied to the current movement. If there's a clearly-defined problem, there will be a solution. Think outside the box ;P ... be creative. That's what Polygnostic Morphists do. Pesky (talk) 05:31, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

Re, "if we can't rename the article to show that it relates to the modern movement of Messianic Judaism"... whoa back up there for a sec. Where in the reliable sources do we find a not-modern movement of Messianic Judaism?? Citation please. Zad68 (talk) 13:43, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
Zad68 is correct here. The bit in red above simply refers to Israeli (or British Mandate) Christians using the term משיחי rather than נוצרי for reasons of offense, it doesn't mean "Messianic" in the 1960s-70s American sense, but is simply a Hebrew translation of "Christian" - משיחי is used in Israeli Christian texts (and occasionally even in Israeli secular texts) of "Christians" in total with no Jewishness whatsoever, including Palestinian משיחים, of whom the 1960s-1970s term "Messianic" would no more be used than calling Michael Alexander (bishop) "Messianic" in the American-English sense. In ictu oculi (talk) 14:32, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

It might be possible to include the phrase "Jewish Christianity" prominently in the lead to indicate that the modern MJs are a part of the broader "Jewish Christian" movement throughout time. Maybe something very roughly like "The MJs fall within the Jewish Christianity tradition of believers who place more emphasis on Jewish religious elements while still accepting Jesus as the Messiah"? John Carter (talk) 17:08, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

That sounds like a good idea, I think. I know that, once one knows that the article is about the modern movement, it reads easily that way, but without that prior knowledge it's ambiguous. (I have high-functioning autism, and ambiguities of either words or intent are very obvious to me – they're like an unscratchable itch, once they're pointed out!) Fing is, though, fing is ... that the reader won't have looked through the sources before they get to the article, so I feel that the article itself must make this clear. Non-modern Messianic Judaism ... [Pesky ponders] ... I wonder what the original Disciples thought of themselves as? ;P Pesky (talk) 02:52, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
It wouldn't be enormously difficult to include a brief note after the vanilla context sentence Efforts by converted Jews to proselytize Jews go back to the first Century when Paul preached first at the synagogues in each city he visited that the early church also had Jewish Christians..., the problem would be that I can't see that content being sourced and added in any positive way that any MJ editor/reader would feel comfortable with, as Pauline Christianity, and moreso 2nd and 3rd Century, was generally hostile to "Judaizers," just as mainstream Christianity is today. Also Jewish Christian groups were often doctrinally heterodox, Arian, or Ebionite, wheras MJs today are orthodox Trinitarians and mainline in other aspects.
I still think this article would a lot more useful if it told us anything at all about MJ liturgy and practice today rather than the endless search for "roots" - which Jayjg and Zad68 are quiet rightly keeping a foot down on. In ictu oculi (talk) 03:09, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
How about: "Messianic Judaism is a syncretic religious movement which falls within the Jewish Christianity tradition of believers who place more emphasis on Jewish religious elements while still accepting Jesus as the Messiah" in the lede, and "The modern Messianic Judaism movement emerged from this background in the 1960s and 70s" as the first sentence of the "The Messianic Judaism movement, 1970s" sub-section? Does that work for everyone? If so, problem solved :D (Which would then mean that you could lose the refbombing of the article, too. It's unlikely to get back to GA with more than two citations for any sentence.) Pesky (talk) 03:11, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Adding: IIO, you have an extremely good point there; I'd like to see more about the liturgy and practice, too. And, ideally, can we lose all the citations in the lede? If the sources are there in the relevant sections of the article, they don't need to be in the lede as well. Pesky (talk) 03:29, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

There appears to be a deathly hush ... if the deathly hush continues for more than another day or so, with no objections, I could insert those two into the article, if y'all like. As I'm totally neutral on this, nobody would have any fresh ammunition to hurl at anyone else ;P Pesky (talk) 10:27, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
You are of course welcome to edit, "be bold." However, I have two serious issues with your proposed change to the lead. First, removing the timeframe in which the movement arose is not in line with other Wikipedia articles. I took a look at the other articles in the New religious movements category that Messianic Judaism is in. All the comparable ones in the sample I looked at--Bahá'í Faith, Rastafari movement, Falun Gong, Scientology, Burkhanism--mention the start dates for the movement in the first sentence of the lead; Nation of Yahweh mentions its start date in the first words of the second sentence. We have excellent, clear sourcing for the dates, and so there is no Wikipedia content-based reason to remove this information from where it is in the lead. I do not agree with removing clear, relevant, well-sourced information from the lead for the purposes of making an individual editor feel better. Second, describing Messianic Jews as those who are "accepting Jesus as the Messiah" seriously degrades the accuracy of the article. Reliable sources show that Messianic Jews do not just believe Jesus to be the messiah, but rather they adhere to the whole evangelical Christian theology (as the lead currently states), meaning that they hold Jesus to be identical to "God the Son," one person of the Trinity. I would not agree that the changes you are proposing will improve the article for these two important, content-based reasons. That said, I've generally lost my appetite for trying to improve the article for the time being, until things are resolved, I'm not interested in developing new content here. But if you put the change in that you are describing, I would agree with reverting it for the content reasons I've outlined. (Off-topic for here, but I'm concerned about your use of words like "ammunition" or "hurl." I don't feel like we should be treating this as a battle, I'm not interesting in "winning.") Zad68 13:52, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
The edit is acceptable, though I agree with Zad68 that we should use the terms similar to we've used in the past, that Messianic Judaism places an"emphasis on Jewish religious elements" but accepts normative Christian theology.--DeknMike (talk) 01:18, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Pesky, the purpose of Wikipedia is to create an encyclopedia, not a community or social networking site. As such, its goal is to provide accurate, well-sourced, and neutrally-stated encyclopedia articles, not promote social harmony among internet denizens. The edit you have suggested promotes the latter goal at the expense of the former. Jayjg (talk) 01:38, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Renaming the article would not be advisable, since the 'modern' era of philosophical thought was at its height in the 1800s and early 1900s, and by the 1970s we were entering the post-modernist stage, and current evangelical methods are almost pre-Christian in methodology. (See "Church on the Other Side' by Brian D McLaren, esp p89 "this new apologetic more like the apologetic and evangelism of the apostolic times...") However, this shouldn't matter, because we're talking about an international movement, not a strictly American religion. (Chosen People Ministries is in 13 countries, and UMJC in 6; both trace their histories over 100 years.) Dating it to the 60s was a ploy some pull to emphasize a tactic by the anti-missionaries that the movement was only a recent renaming of purely Christian missions. All my edits were to get past that narrow interpretation in the opening sentence, and put it in a subsection where it belongs.--DeknMike (talk) 01:45, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I may well be able to come up with some wording which satisfies everyone, taking into account the comments above. I will have a go and see if I can come up with something suitable. I apologise if anyone was offended by my use of words like ammunition and hurl; you guys don't "know" me, I suppose, as our paths haven't crossed before (but I was hoping that the ;P would show the spirit in which I posted). I'm a mad British granny with a slightly-offbeat sense of humour; when in doubt, the correct reaction to almost anything I say is to chuckle whilst absorbing any underlying points. Hugz to all of you; I'll see what I can do re phrasing. Pesky (talk) 04:29, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Pesky, before you go too far down that road, please examine what DeknMike said, "...the 'modern' era of philosophical thought was at its height in the 1800s and early 1900s, and by the 1970s we were entering the post-modernist stage." What reliable sources confirm "the 'modern' era of philosophical thought was at its height in the 1800s and early 1900s"? What reliable sources confirm "by the 1970s we were entering the post-modernist stage"? Do the reliable sources discuss a "modern (meaning 1800s to early 1900s) era of philosophical thought" regarding Messianic Judaism? Do we have a quote to confirm it? Do the reliable sources discuss the 1970s as being a time when we were "entering the post-modernist stage" of thought regarding Messianic Judaism? Do we have a quote to confirm it? I am interested to hear your answers to these questions. Thanks. Zad68 04:46, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Ahhh, I've done what I can here, I think. A couple of minor tweaks; I prefer "emerged" to "arose" as it carries the nuance of something which had been around in the mix in one form or another, but became obvious as separate from the others at that time, kinda thing. I'm going to unwatch this now and leave you guys to it, as it's not something which is in my main areas of interest, I have a mass of Real Life stuff using up a lot of emotional resources (not to mention time, etc.), and a FAC to be thinking about. I hope you guys can all work together with no more angst. Pesky (talk) 04:53, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Apparently not. Again, the moment a compromise solution is offered by a neutral third party that disagrees with the anti-Messianic drumline, it is reverted with vague questioning about 'valid sources', as if the editor has not been listening for the past several weeks.--DeknMike (talk) 04:39, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Maybe the editor (not me) who reverted Pesky's edit will respond here too, but reverting an edit that makes the article attribute to sources content unsupported by those sources is absolutely in line with Wikipedia's Verifiability policy. Zad68 13:03, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Zad, it's a side subject for this article (I only mentioned it tongue-in-cheek). But for your edification, Postmodernism gained significant popularity in the 1950s and dominated literature and art by the 1960s.[5] Gianni Vattimo formulates a postmodern hermeneutics in 'The End of Modernity' (1988.)[6] In D. A. Carson's 'The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism' he says "A modernistic world view has been the driving force behind science as we have come to know it in the 20th century. It is the age of scientific reason beginning with the eighteenth century Enlightenment and accelerating through the first half of the twentieth century."[7] (Note Carson's book won the 1997 Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Gold Medallion Book Award in the category of "theology and doctrine.")[8] Dr Alvin Reid used it as one of his several references to affirm we are living in a post-Modern world[9] --DeknMike (talk) 04:32, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Mike, very interesting, but the point, of course, is that if the reliable sources do not call the movement that emerged in the 1960s and 70s "Modern Messianic Judaism," or, as you tongue-in-cheekily allude to, "Postmodern Messianic Judaism," then the article must not either. As always, it comes back to: "What do the reliable sources say?" Zad68 13:03, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
I didn't say we should call it 'modern' or 'post-modern.' I only mentioned that to try to call it 'modern' would be a bit of a misnomer. Better to address the whole of the movement: its history, foundations, practices, beliefs and organizations in the US and abroad.--DeknMike (talk) 02:25, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
"Messianic Judaism As We Know It Today™" emerged from .....? Y'know, sometimes the word "modern" is just used to describe something, to distinguish it from earlier versions. Not automatically becoming part of Its Official Name™. And, to bring back a point which I mentioned earlier, you guys really need to lose all those inline citations in the lede. The lede is supposed to be a summary of what's in the article, it doesn't need to have inline citations, they're in the main body of the article. Pesky (talk) 03:13, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Use of KJV translations?

Why are KJV translations of articles being added into the article? Of all available translations, it is perhaps the least accurate, and the least representative of the movement itself. Complete Jewish Bible is most commonly used, and English Standard Version or Revised Standard Version are considered most accurate; New International is perhaps most widely used in the rest of the congregations.--DeknMike (talk) 05:14, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done I only saw one KJV tag. There was no "Complete Jewish Bible" tag name available, so I changed it to ESV per your request. Zad68 13:39, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Thank you.--DeknMike (talk) 15:11, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

WP:REFBOMB in lede removed

It is unnecessary to have a WP:REFBOMB, particularly in the lead. Everything there had an inline citation in the main body of the article, therefore (as there was nothing BLP-ish, etc.) all it did was make the lede into a total eyesore. Refbombing is generally done to make a point, and should not disrupt the reader's flow of thought through any section of an article, most particularly in the lede, and not as ammunition to bulldoze a POV through. Pesky (talk) 05:08, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

You did a great job cleaning up the lead, thank you. Indeed the WP:REFBOMB crept into and grew in the lead due to a WP:POINT. Predictably, I have a follow-up discussion regarding one change you made in the article body, which I am not reverting, but would like to discuss below. Zad68 13:19, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
I strongly disagree. There have numerous attacks on the integrity of this article over the years, and the preponderance of evidence is needed to ensure they do not repeat. It may be possible to combine them into one, but removing the citations will just allow for the same old attacks of the past few years to recur, requiring the re-implementation of the citations on each of the potentially challenged statements. -- 16:09, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Avraham, I have not seen a correlation between an increase in the number and quality of references added to the article lead and a decrease in attempts to degrade the article, have you? Without the project realizing the intended benefit of having them there, I can't find a reason to keep them. And hopefully if things get resolved soon, they won't be needed. Zad68 16:16, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
I didn't notice until now that the AN thread has indeed been closed and so I am striking my "get resolved soon" sentence. Zad68 16:25, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

I have wrapped every list in the lede with three or more tags with the {{refn}} tags. What this does is allow nesting of references, which cleans up the visual text. On the downside, it means that the entry in the reference list is now the footnote identifiers themselves which can be clicked to find the actual references. Would this be an acceptable compromise? -- Avi (talk) 16:25, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Discussion of "The Messianic Judaism movement of modern times"

The first sentence of the section The Messianic Judaism movement, 1970s starts with "The Messianic Judaism movement of modern times..." This implies that there was a Messianic Judaism movement before modern times. What reliable sources can we bring to support the idea that Messianic Judaism (understood as how reliable sources describe and use the term) had a period of existence pre-dating the 1960s? My concern is that a reader of this sentence will come away with the idea that Messianic Judaism (again, understood as how reliable sources describe and use the term) existed in (at least) two separate time periods, which the reliable sources do not seem to support. We either need to bring sources to support this idea, or change the wording. Thoughts? Zad68 13:27, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Agree with Zed; this is one of the more surreptitious POV points pushed by Mike and others; the conflation of the "Messianic Jewish" movement with historical Jewish Christians. As noted in the article (and above), that Messianism is a new movement is overwhelmingly supported by the preponderance of evidence. The fact that Jews and Christians have had groups that overlapped in history is also true, but unrelated. I am not saying that Pesky is pushing anything, and I apologize if it sounds that way. However, based on my experience with this article, I do not believe that the formulation used is accurate, and know it as been used by those who clearly edited this article improperly, and thus have reverted it for now. -- Avi (talk) 16:12, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
The 70s saw a gradual name change in the US from Hebrew Christianity to an historical name that had been used in the 1800s.The IMJA, one of the larger Messianic organizations, explains itself with "Messianic Judaism of today is the latest expression of a process that is over one hundred years old. The resurgence of this movement can be traced to Great Britain, around the year 1850...Out of the ashes of the Holocaust, and with the founding of the modern State of Israel, a new Jewish identity began to emerge, and the Hebrew Christian movement was not immune to these changes. The term “Hebrew Christian” no longer properly defined Jewish believers in Yeshua. Therefore, a more adequate form of expressing their Jewish identity and beliefs was found in the term 'Messianic Jew.' "[10] Similarly, Chapter 5 of Cohn-Sherbock's 'Messianic Judaism'(pp49ff) is titled "The Growth of the Messianic Movement" and deals with those activities starting 1924. Chapter 6, on the 60s and 70s, is called "Messianic Judaism in Transition." [11] The 70s was certainly a watershed time for the movement, and no one can ignore it rose to international notice then, but reliable sources say it was simply a name change for an independent movement that was already a hundred years old.--DeknMike (talk) 05:00, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
As always, we start with the sources. The first source you mentioned, David Sedaca's essay at, is not a satisfactory Wikipedia WP:RS reliable source to support content at the article regarding the history. Surely you knew this already? Please only offer sources that pass Wikipedia WP:RS muster. The second source, Cohn-Sherbock's 'Messianic Judaism', is good, as we've discussed before. I'm going to re-read chapters 5 and 6 (as much as I can get), paying specific, close attention to how the source describes the movement, and what it was called, before and after the 1960s and 1970. I'll come back later with a page-by-page or even paragraph-by-paragraph breakdown of how I read it, and we can discuss how it supports the changes being proposed. Zad68 13:20, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
My mistake. i assumed that if the article allows sources such as the Messiah Truth Project, Outreach Judaism and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (the source that claims: “It is nothing more than a disguised effort to missionize Jews and convert them to Christianity”), then it would allow use of a one of the movement's largest organization's main website.--DeknMike (talk) 15:10, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Come on, Mike, the sarcasm doesn't help. The Wikipedia rules about considering a source are: 1) What are the credentials and affiliations of the person or organization that wrote it; and 2) What in the article is it being used to support. Both factors must be used when evaluating a source for its use in an article. There are sources that can be used, for example, to present the opinions of Judaism (here using the Wikipedia scope of "Judaism" which does not include Messianic Judaism within it) about Messianic Judaism. Those same sources may be absolutely unreliable sources concerning the history of Messianic Judaism, and if the article tried to source statements about the history of MJ from them I'd take them out. Do you want to go over Cohn-Sherbok or not? If we'd be wasting each other's time I'd rather know up-front so we can both spend our time doing productive things instead. Zad68 18:09, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Simple question. If the standard for inclusion in the article is authoritative sources, and the source is the international association of national Messianic Jewish associations (including one of the largest in the US), I'd assume that what they had to say about their own organizational history carried weight. When the source is a 2-page rant in a thinly-read local newsletter or a one-man anti-messianic organization based on an obscure document centuries old, I'd have thought it would have been expunged long ago.
This book by Cohn-Sherbok is useful in laying out a clear case that there was dissatisfaction within the Hebrew Christian movement by the early 1950s and some were already laying the foundations for Jewish-run congregations that acted differently from gentile congregations. ("Page 55 – “In Los Angeles, the congregation of the Messiah Within Israel was founded by Lawrence Duff-Forbes. A forerunner of later Messianic congregations, this congregation called itself both biblical and Messianic and employed a style of worship distinct from Hebrew Christian churches. Based on the synagogue service, the congregation used a traditional form of liturgy.”). He goes on to explain that others (especially those in the 60s Youth Movement that were seeking greater connection with their Jewish heritage) began to exert more influence on the established structures. By 1973 there was sufficient acceptance that congregations were using the term Messianic, and in 1975 the largest organization of American congregations, formally changed its name from HCAA to MJAA. I can see where some might say the name of the movement 'arose' or 'emerged', but it is ingenuous to say so in a way that infers it began in the 60s as a Christian deceit without explaining in the same sentence the gradual acceptance of the term with the movement over the course of several decades.--DeknMike (talk) 21:56, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Mike:

  • Regarding your question "If the standard for inclusion in the article is authoritative sources..."--again: The Wikipedia rules about considering a source are: 1) What are the credentials and affiliations of the person or organization that wrote it; and 2) What in the article is it being used to support. Both factors must be used when evaluating a source for its use in an article. No source can be declared "reliable" or "not reliable" in a vacuum, the article content it is being applied to MUST be considered. Regarding whether an MJ organization's account of the general history of MJ can be used, the answer is: It can be used in the article to support a description of how that MJ organization views the history of the movement, but it cannot be the main source that supports a description of the general history of the movement, especially because we have so many good, independent, academic sources that cover it. I hope this explanation is understood. If not, please get the opinions of other editors on this. I've done my best to explain, and I apologize if I cannot make myself understood here.
  • Regarding other parts of the article being supported by questionable sources, I think those areas you're alluding to need work as well, they will get worked on and improved, and understand that poor sourcing in one area of an article doesn't justify the use of poor sourcing in another area of an article.
  • Regarding Cohn-Sherbok, I generally agree with how you're reading the source there. This is good. However, we do have support from Cohn-Sherbok that in the 1960s and 70s the youths bringing up the MJ movement did indeed have evangelism to the Jews on their mind. Sources indicate this was part of the thinking and intent. Cohn-Sherbok does NOT say the movement is "Christian deceit" and the article doesn't say it either, so I am not sure why you are describing this as a problem with the article. Exactly what article sentence are you saying needs to be changed? Please copy-and-paste it here. Zad68 13:33, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

The History section

Does it seem incongruous to anyone else that two of the three subsections under "History" consist of material centered around what is purported to be a time prior to the movement's existence? I'm making no judgement as to how old it is, as I have no desire to get into that argument (though it does appear that the term was used as early as around the turn of the century) and I simply haven't read enough on the topic to make a fully informed claim one way or the other. It just seems odd the way the "History" section is structured right now, and I'd appreciate input on it. Evanh2008 (talk) (contribs) 20:41, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

My take on it is that it shows the evolution of the movement. A bit like the "history of man" would cover primitive hominids etc., as well as modern man. Pesky (talk) 21:02, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Possibly. However, the "movement" has, to a degree, been around for a few hundred or thousand years, since Saint James and the early Judaizers, for instance. I myself do not deny that there is a clear relationship between, for instance, Hugh Schonfield and the Hebrew Christian movement and modern Messianic Judaism. The question, I guess, is whether that material really belongs in this particular article and whether it meets WP:WEIGHT. So far as I can tell, having looked at the material available to me, the answer is probably "no." While not in any way doubting that they had some impact on the modern MJs, that material does not seem to have much direct relationship with them. I do however believe that the founders of the MJs were probably strongly influenced by those earlier groups, and I would not necessarily have any objections to seeing significant coverage of such material in another article, either on MJ history or theology, or, perhaps, Jewish Christianity in the modern era. John Carter (talk) 22:33, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
I think it's quite possible that most of the in-depth coverage could well be cut, and an article on "the history and evolution of Jewish Christianity" or something, with just a short paragraph or two and a "see also / see main article" link. Pesky (talk) 08:33, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
Having a separate history article would certainly help the situation. I can't help but wonder, though, as to what kind of POV issues we could face with that... Putting all forms of Jewish Christianity into a single umbrella history article sounds like it's inviting synthesis of all sorts, but I can't see that it's actually verboten as far as policy is concerned. We could certainly look into it. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 11:00, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
John, et al, I have to disagree with your assessment. The actions of intentionally targeting Jews to believe in Jesus as messiah while keeping the traditions of the synagogue in place seems to have died out in the 4th Century CE, and did not re-emerge until the early 1800s. The actions from 1825 to about 1880 were almost exclusively Christian missions but in a separate context from Christian churches, offering opportunities to worship with other Jewish people using the forms of Judaism reinterpreted within a Christian theology. Starting in the late 1800s and until about 1920 there were actions taken by independent Jewish converts to form indigineous congregations (such as Cohen's Brownsville Mission). Several names were used and much discussion over whether to call themselves Messianic or Hebrew Christian, but by the 1920s the latter had taken hold, and the largest association of congregation established themselves as the HCAA. For the next 50 years, all groups focused on missions, but independent congregations were rare. By the late 50s there was emerging a concern that Jews were losing their ethic identity by attending gentile-dominated congregations (as had happened in the 2d and 3d century), but it took the 1967 Six-Day War to galvanize the attention of the youth in the movements, and the evangelism tactics of Moishe Rosen's Jews for Jesus helped the movement emerge from obscurity. Over the following two decades, virtually all within the movement adopted the dominant term Messianic to describe Jewish belivers worshipping in a Jewish context, leaving the terms "Hebrew Christian" and "Completed Jew" to the gentile-dominated Christian congregations. (I have provided documentation for all this in the past, but don't have access to it at the moment, though some is available on the Hebrew Christian movement page.)--DeknMike (talk) 15:22, 29 May 2012 (UTC)