Chosen people

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Throughout history, various groups of people have considered themselves to be chosen people by a deity for a purpose, such as to act as the deity's agent on earth. In monotheistic faiths, like Abrahamic religions, references to God are used in constructs such as "God's Chosen People". Anthropologists commonly regard these claims as a form of ethnocentrism,[1][2] and many religious authorities disagree.[3]


In Judaism, "chosenness" is the belief that the Jews, via descent from the ancient Israelites, are the chosen people, i.e. chosen to be in a covenant with God. The idea of the Israelites being chosen by God is found most directly in the Book of Deuteronomy[4] as the verb bahar (בָּחַ֣ר (Hebrew)), and is alluded to elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible using other terms such as "holy people".[5][citation needed] Much is written about these topics in rabbinic literature. The three largest Jewish denominations— Orthodox Judaism, Conservative Judaism and Reform Judaism—maintain the belief that the Jews have been chosen by God for a purpose. Sometimes this choice is seen as charging the Jewish people with a specific mission — to be a light unto the nations, and to exemplify the covenant with God as described in the Torah.


Seventh-day Adventism[edit]


In Mormonism, all Latter Day Saints are viewed as covenant, or chosen, people because they have accepted the name of Jesus Christ through the ordinance of baptism. In contrast to supersessionism, Latter Day Saints do not dispute the "chosen" status of the Jewish people. In Mormon doctrine, all people who have ever lived will have the ability to enter into this covenant during the Millennium. Mormon eschatology holds that Jews, as a chosen people, will ultimately accept Mormonism (see Jeremiah 31:31–34).

Most practicing Mormons receive a patriarchal blessing that reveals their lineage in the House of Israel. This lineage may be blood related or through "adoption;" therefore, a child may not necessarily share the lineage of her parents (but will still be a member of the tribes of Israel). It is a widely held belief[6][7] that most members of the faith are in the tribe of Ephraim or the tribe of Manasseh.

Christian Identity[edit]

Christian Identity holds that the descendants of the ancient Israelites are the Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, Nordic and kindred peoples of the world and are the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is not an organized religion but composed of individuals, churches and some prison gangs[8] with a white supremacist theology[9][10] that promotes a racial interpretation of Christianity. Christian Identity beliefs were primarily developed and promoted by two authors who considered Europeans to be the "chosen people" and the Jews were considered to be the cursed offspring of Cain. Many of these teachings were later adopted by white supremacist sects and gangs.


Main article: Rastafari movement

Rastafaris beliefs contain six fundamental principles, including the complete chosenness of the black race in the eyes of Jah (God incarnate), rendering them supreme physically and spiritually to all other people. Many Rastas are also physical immortalists who believe the chosen few will continue to live forever in their current bodies. This idea of ever living (rather than everlasting) life is very strong and important.

Based on Jewish biblical tradition and Ethiopian legend via Kebra Nagast, Rastas believe that Israel's King Solomon, together with Ethiopian Queen of Sheba, conceived a child which began the Solomonic line of kings in Ethiopia, rendering the Ethiopian people as the true children of Israel, and thereby chosen. Reinforcement of this belief occurred when Beta Israel, Ethiopia's ancient Israelite First Temple community, were rescued from Sudanese famine and brought to Israel during Operation Moses in 1985.

Unification Church[edit]

Main article: Unification Church

Sun Myung Moon taught that Korea is the chosen nation, selected to serve a divine mission and was "chosen by God to be the birthplace of the leading figure of the age"[11] and was the birthplace of "Heavenly Tradition", ushering in God's kingdom.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ William A. Haviland; Harald E. L. Prins; Dana Walrath; Bunny McBride (2009). The Essence of Anthropology. Cengage Learning. p. 159. ISBN 978-0-495-59981-4. 
  2. ^ D. Stanley Eitzen; Maxine Baca Zinn (2003). In conflict and order: understanding society (10th ed.). Pearson. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-205-37622-3. 
  3. ^ Jonathan Sacks (2009). Future Tense: A Vision for Jews and Judaism in the Global Culture. Hodder and Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-97985-3. 
  4. ^ Clements, Ronald (1968). God's Chosen People: a Theological Interpretation of the Book of Deuteronomy. In series, Religious Book Club, 182. London: S.C.M. Press
  5. ^ The Jews as a Chosen People: Tradition and Transformation, S. Leyla Gurkan
  6. ^ Daniel H. Ludlow, "Of the House of Israel", Ensign, January 1991.
  7. ^ "Genesis 44 – Joseph Tests His Brothers". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  External link in |work= (help)
  8. ^ "Bigotry Behind Bars: Racist Groups In U.S. Prisons". 
  9. ^ Eck, Diane (2001). A New Religious America: How a "Christian Country" has become the world’s most religiously diverse nation. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. p. 347. 
  10. ^ Buck, Christopher (2009). Religious Myths and Visions of America: How Minority Faiths Redefined America's World Role. Praeger. pp. 107, 108, 213. ISBN 978-0313359590. 
  11. ^ Questions and Answers - The Second Coming - Rev Moon And Korea. Unofficial Notes from International Conferences for Clergy. Retrieved 10 March 2010.

Further reading[edit]