Talk:Jews for Jesus/Archive 5

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This page is an archive of Talk:Jews for Jesus, which was archived by User:Anthony cfc (talk) due to its increasing length. This archive's source is located here; if you wish to revive a previous conversation, please copy and paste the entire conversation over to the present talk page and recommence your discussion there. If you wish to start a new discussion, please do so at the present talk page. Thank you.

Not-so-third opinion[edit]

WP:3O is not for filing for several opinions-you're looking for Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Religion and philosophy. Given that, however (and I've no qualms disclosing my religious beliefs or lack thereof, I'm an atheist), the existence of a Jewish organization claiming Jesus' divinity (which is exactly what this article is about), clearly proves that the disclaimer/assertion is false. So long as this organization continues to exist, that claim is factually incorrect and should be removed. Seraphimblade 17:02, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Not exactly, they are an organization having Jews in it is not the same as the organization being compatible with Judaism. Part of the issue here might also be the many meanings of the word "Jewish" (ethnic or cultural as opposed to religious sense). JoshuaZ 17:28, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
Agreed, and that can be a bit slippery. However, so long as any organization which self-identifies as "Jews" or "Jewish" advocates a position, it is not correct to state that "No Jewish organization states that..." It would, of course, be correct to specify such a view as a small-minority viewpoint among Jews. Seraphimblade 17:32, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
JoshuaZ is correct. The text has been adjusted so this is moot. ←Humus sapiens ну? 23:53, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Christianity template[edit]

The more I think about this the less reason I see to have the template. The only point to it seems to be to add emphasis on the Christian nature of J4J. This is a) slightly redundant since the article intro makes the situation clear and b) arguably not NPOV since it is placing undue emphasis by strategic template usage.JoshuaZ 16:57, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

I concurr. Neither should it have Template:Messianic Judaism because JfJ does not claim to support Messianic Judaism, nor do those who hold to Messianic Judaism see JfJ as Jewish, but rather Christian. (Boy, add THAT as my comment to the Dispute section above!) inigmatus 19:56, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
I'd also like to note that User:Osgoodelawyer has now moved the template to the top of the page, now apparently trying to signify that the entire subject of JfJ, not just their beliefs, are somehow an instrumental aspect of the coverage of the religion of Christianity. Homestarmy 20:03, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
I moved it back to Beliefs. This was discussed earlier at length, pls. see #Christianity tag. ←Humus sapiens ну? 23:44, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Support section[edit]

I think the paragraph about the many Christian umbrella orgs that J4J is in should probably be moved elsewhere possibly to one of the sections discussing the reasons why it is seen as a Christian organization. JoshuaZ 17:37, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Another Third Opinion[edit]

I see there is a huge debate here on whether "Jews for Jesus" is a Christian or Jewish organization. Very interesting debate, and possibly goes back to the beginning of the Christian faith. However, for purposes of ending this dispute, may I suggest the opening read: "Jews for Jesus is an evangelical organization based in San Francisco, California, whose goal is to convince Jews that Jesus is the Messiah and God." No one can argue with that. The subsequent sentences and the article itself does a decent job laying out the controversy and giving out both sides. There is an inherent problem when the organization characterizes itself as Jewish or "Jewish-Christian", and the encyclopedia article on said subject characterizes it as something else. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 22:41, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't recall seeing JFJ deny being a Christian group. In any case, that is not the problem. The problem is their claim that Christianity is "fulfilled" Judaism and that one can be a Jew and a Christian at the same time. ←Humus sapiens ну? 23:50, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't see why the fulfillment claim by JFJ is relevant to this article. It's about the organization so clearly editors can lay out some of its beliefs, as well as its detractors. Which was done. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 23:58, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
I made the edit I advocated here on the article page. The controversy is still laid out, without Wikipedia taking a side, and the information continues to be presented neutrally. I don't believe the article as is, is as bad as some would make it out to be. Overall, it is a well sourced piece of information. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 00:06, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
I just reverted your edit. There is no dispute that they are a Christian group. As Humus says, they do not deny it. What follows is what I wrote in response to your first post in this section, but I hit an edit conflict. It is somewhat "dated" now after Humus's comment, but here it is anyway:
I think a close look at how J4J characterizes itself is indeed in order, so let me ask this: Where in any of their literature do they explicitly say they are not a "Christian organization"? For that matter, can anyone find anywhere where they explicitly say that they are a "Jewish organization"? Read their web site. It is very cleverly worded so as to be ambiguous about what they "are" -- but no ambiguity about what they do and why, which is really much more important. What they do is to try to convert Jews to Christianity. They say it themselves all over their web site, www.jewsforjesus.org (though they use words like "mission" and "witness" intead of "convert" but they make no secret of what their goal is. How is that not a description of a "Christian evangelical organization," even if some of them do claim to be Jewish as well as Christian. Additionally, as I believe the Wikipedia article states, their religious beliefs are indistinguishable from evangelical Christianity. They also say on their web site (in the section on "core values") that of their "core values" is: "Deploying only front-line missionaries who are Jewish or married to Jews." I am not sure how that is a "value", it sounds to me more like a tactic. More importantly, it clearly implies that some in the organization are not Jews at all, and that the only positions that are open only to Jews (or those married to Jews, which is really interesting since being married to a Jewish person does not necessarily make one Jewish) are the "front-line missionaries." In other words, they say that they use Jews to try to convert other Jews. Then read this section: http://www.jewsforjesus.org/about/corevalues/#direct. I cannot even describe it, just read it: It talks about the importance of convincing Jews to become Christians. For all I know, J4J may believe that it is possible to be Christian and Jewish at the same time, but I don't think they ever deny being Christian. In fact, here (http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/newsletter) they mention "all Christians whether Jewish or Gentile." And here's a really good one, http://files.jewsforjesus.org/pdf/other/4j.pdf, notice the statement "Please do not sign your Jewish friends up for our newsletter as it is geared for Christians." (Hey, there's something that ought to be in the article itself.) That pdf file is basically a sales manual for Christians in selling Christianity to Jews -- as is much of their entire web site. This whole idea that J4J is not "Christian" is sheer fantasy. I bet they get a big laugh when they see people who really believe in it. 6SJ7 00:27, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
You know something... I came here seeking to help based on what I saw on the RfAr. But it is apparent that because of the dispute with ParadoxTom, that you and Humus have lost a bit of perspective. Don't ask for help if you are going to bite the hand off the person who tries to provide it. I never claim they are a Jewish Organization, I never claim they are a Christian organization. Look at my edit, I claim they are an Evangelical organization bent on converting Jews to Christianity, WHICH THEY ARE!!!!!!! With that said, I don't edit on religious articles for this reason, the extreme amount of bad faith because the views are so closely and passionately held. May I suggest in the future that you simply assume good faith. Please note that no one has yet to show how my edit is innaccurate or violates WP:NPOV. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 00:40, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
Ramsquire, just to join on in, the dispute isn't about whether JfJ is Christian or not, they certainly don't deny that label for one thing and theologically it seems clear they are Christian, the bulk of the dispute is whether this organization can be both Christian and Jewish. Or, to use more of their perspective, to say that because Christianity came out of Judaism, that the type of Christianity JfJ teaches (Which, really, seems sort of like all mainstream Christianity as far as I can tell on the surface) is therefore, by default, also Jewish. It's a bit complicated, and the article doesn't really examine how JfJ argues for this, but one problem is that all sources about it seem to be from JfJ itself, and often consist of personal posts by leaders of JfJ rather than official statements :/. That's not to say that the current state of the article is obviously neutral by anyone's standards, but i'm just saying, referring to them as factually Christian at least isn't part of the problem I think.Homestarmy 00:49, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
OK, based on what I've read, the article is fine. To me on the surface, JfJ seems more Jewish than Christian, but that is neither here nor there. The only thing I see "wrong" with the article is that I think it is improper to place any tag on the front of an organization, especially when it is the label of detractors. Here's an examples: In the NAACP article, editors keep writing "a liberal civil rights organization", even though the NAACP as a non-profit has to be apolitical. That is a creating an unnecessary dispute when saying a "a civil rights organization that has been criticized for supporting liberal causes" would get the point across in a neutral fashion, and still be accurate. Another thing the Christian tag is being supported by some Baptist reverend, which is good and all, but who is this guy? Google doesn't provide any independant notablity for him, but what he said about JfJ. Haggerty, Graham, Robertson, even a Jesse Jackson or an Al Sharpton, would hold a lot more water than this guy. As it stands now the assertion in the introduction is basically unsourced and unverified. I've never heard of him and certainly he can't speak for the majority of Christians, denominations and the like, who probably aren't that familiar with JfJ at all. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 01:04, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, given that the minister in question has his letter specifically posted on J4J's official website under the section where they put all their positive testaments, it is hard to see how it wouldn't be a notable citation in that they seem to be endorsing it. JoshuaZ 19:45, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, but this guy's opinion doesn't prove JfJ's is a Christian organization as the citation would have you believe. If it was the Pope saying it, then yeah there'd be some sway to the opinion. In the simplest terms, my argument is this, there is no way to objectively (without resorting to religious doctrines, which by their nature are not objective) determine what JfJ is, so why try. State they are an organization, that claim to be Jewish, but yet are attempting to convert persons into Christian beliefs. I don't see the controversy in that. And the article basically says that as is, with the exception of one word. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 20:14, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Current version looks great to me, any objections from anyone else? Seraphimblade 00:49, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

For Third Opinions - the specific debate[edit]

If you are coming here because a third opinion has been requested, please would you look at this sentence, which is the main subject of debate. "Belief in the divinity of Jesus, or in Jesus as Christ, is incompatible with Judaism.". This is obviously a statement that Jews for Jesus disagrees with - the question is, should Wikipedia state it as a fact? DJ Clayworth 16:19, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

One religion does not get to decide what another religion's beliefs are. 6SJ7 16:27, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
Can I take it that you then believe that since JFJ say they are Jewish, we must believe them and they are therefore an example of a Jewish organisation that believes Jesis is the Messiah? Or did you mean something different? DJ Clayworth 16:29, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
Also, one Wikipedia does not get to enforce the consensus of what another religion believes. Though personally, i'd rather that it could, but eh, you win some you lose some.... Homestarmy 19:33, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
DJ: No, you can't. 6SJ7 22:51, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
Actually I knew that. My point was that one could take your statement that way. If one group doesn't get to define another's beliefs, then nobody can disagree that JFJ are Jewish. DJ Clayworth 19:40, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Would we have to add some kind of qualifier and say "the majority of Christians consider the belief that Jesus is the devil to be incompatible with Christianity"? --MPerel ( talk | contrib) 00:04, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

If you can find a group that believes this then potentially, yes. If the group is a small one then we shouldn't change the article on Christianity to reflect their views, just as nobody is arguing that we should alter the article on Judaism to reflect the beliefs of JFJ. But if this group was worthy of a Wikipedia article then in that article we should say something like "virtually all Christians believe that Jesus is not the Devil, but God". That's what NPOV means. DJ Clayworth 21:13, 6 December 2006 (UTC)


The sources say that a belief in Jesus a God, Messiah, etc. is incompatible with Judaism. Period. No qualifiers. Please stop putting the "A majority of..." language into the article; those are original research weasel words that are not supported by the sources. Articles about religion should generally stay away from statements that refer to what "Jews" believe, because Jews believe tens of millions of different things. What matters is what Judaism says, not what Jews believe. Jayjg (talk)

The problem there is, religion is to a large part self-identification. There are those Protestant sects who argue that Catholicism is not "true" Christianity, and vice versa. There are some who argue that belief in evolution is incompatible with it. "Jewish" is an even more complex term, as it can represent an ethnicity as well as a religion-so at least in that sense, "Jewish Christian" would be no more incongruous than saying "black Christian" or "Asian Christian." Also, the very existence of Jews for Jesus quite clearly indicates that there is a dispute to any assertion that Jews cannot believe in Jesus-as-messiah. It's not our place to take a side there-we should simply report that it is disputed and leave it at that. Religion isn't an exact science-it's easy to factually say that the absence of hydrogen chloride is incompatible with the formation of hydrochloric acid, but here establishing what is "compatible" or "incompatible" is not incontrovertible fact. It would be inherently POV to take one side or the other in a case like that-we don't put "Abortion is fine" or "Abortion is wrong" in the abortion article, we put "Abortion is controversial." That's the only non-POV way to do it here too. (Even though I'm sure tons of sources could be found, stating "Abortion is right" or "Abortion is terrible.") Seraphimblade 03:32, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
To begin with, this belief in Judaism is as clear as the belief in Islam that the Qur'an is a holy prophecy transmitted by Allah to Muhammad. There's no point in trying to find an apostate or "secular" Muslim (e.g. www.secularislam.org) who says "that's all made up", and then saying in the article "most Muslims believe the Qur'an is the word of Allah, but some Muslims think that it is not", because that's simply nonsense. Islam says the Qur'an is the word of Allah. Full stop. In addition, there is no issue here; Judaism has a position on this, it dates back millenia, and it is uniform. And, most importantly, it's supported by a number of reliable sources which state exactly that; DJ Clayworth needs to stop making up things that the sources do not say, such as "most Jews believe...". Jayjg (talk) 03:44, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Jayg, please go and look at source 4 and source 5 in the article. They back up exactly what I've been saying. I expect you to apologise for what you wrote above. DJ Clayworth 18:47, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Islam, however, is not used to represent both a religion and an ethnicity. Jew is. You certainly could refer to an "atheist Arab", though it certainly would be quite incongruous to refer to an "atheist Muslim." One can be Jewish in ethnicity and not follow Judaism. Conversely, it would be possible for one to not be Jewish by ethnicity but to convert to Judaism. This is a bit of a unique case because of that overlap in the term. Also, religions change over time, so "historical" evidence is not necessarily applicable-it certainly used to be that someone who did not regularly go to church could never be considered Christian, but anymore many are identified as Christians and never go. Again, that's why this is a lot more slippery and a lot less "factual" then seems to be made out here. Also, oftentimes, there are disagreements over what does constitute proper observance of a religion, and what it allows and disallows. Some Episcopal denominations allow gay priests, other Christian sects deride them as apostates-but we wouldn't say they're "no longer a Christian denomination", even if their move is wildly unpopular. Seraphimblade 04:00, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
We're talking about religious doctrines here, not ethnicity. Judaism says this, regardless of what ethnic Jews do or don't believe. Jayjg (talk) 04:08, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
That addresses the ethnic issues, but no others. If some who self-identify as Jews (by religion) believe in Jesus' divinity, then it's obviously not true that no Jews consider the two to be compatible. I would agree that this is a small-minority viewpoint-but this is not the main Judaism article, where undue weight would come into play. It is an article about that viewpoint-and Jews for Jesus is a notable and apparently reasonably well-populated organization, which does identify as Jewish and does make this claim. It is of course proper to say that most Jews disagree. (If there were a sizable Christian organization proclaiming that Jesus was in fact the devil, I suppose we'd have to say the majority of Christians do not believe so but some do. That example is, however, irrelevant unless such an organization does in fact exist.) It would, on the other hand, be proper to say that most Christians worship on Sunday but some do so on Saturday instead, and that would be a much more relevant example. Seraphimblade 21:37, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
You keep missing the point; it doesn't matter what "some Jews" believe; what matters is what the doctrines of a religion are. The doctrines of Judaism preclude Jesus worship, as the reliable sources attest. Religion articles should be about religions, not about what "some Jews" or "some Christians" or "some Muslims" think or say or do. Jayjg (talk) 03:01, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Just to point out, this is not a religion article, this is an article on a religious organization.... Homestarmy 03:06, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
The point is the same. Jayjg (talk) 03:15, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm afraid I must assert that you are missing the point. Not all religions agree on their own doctrines (Is Saturday the day of worship or Sunday? Must one go to church or not? Sunni or Shia? Hinayana or Mahayana?) This is a religious schism within Judaism, and as such, a majority of Jews believe one thing and a minority another. It is still not, however, Wikipedia's place to take a side in this conflict-only to state what is the majority and minority position, not to interpret a religion's "doctrine" or say who does or does not follow it. Seraphimblade 03:35, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
When a Jew converts to another faith, it does not make it a religious schism within Judaism. Again, as the many reliable sources point out, there is unanimity within Judaism on this point. What Christian groups like "Jews for Jesus" (or, for that matter, Muslim "groups" like "Jews for Islam") have to say on the matter has nothing to do with Judaism. Jayjg (talk) 03:48, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Unfortunately Jayjg, that is your opinion, and the opinion of most people who claim to be Jews. Sorry to point out the obvious, but Jews for Jesus claims to be an organization of well, um, Jews for Jesus. And this point is the point that needs to be made in the article. Dogmatic statements that "all Jews" or "no Jews" or "Judaism does not believe" are just that - dogmatic assertions, that even though they may have majority opinion weight, in light of the very existence of the article Jews for Jesus, the assertions are obviously dogmatic unless qualfied with a reduction of the claim, or a qualifier as to who exactly says such an assertion (ie. "most Jews"). inigmatus 05:49, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Those who go against the most important principles of Judaism cannot "claim" anything in the name of Judaism. It is wrong to speak in the name of another religion, and it is even more wrong to redefine another religion. ←Humus sapiens ну? 08:10, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Seraphimblade: "This is a religious schism within Judaism, and as such, a majority of Jews believe one thing and a minority another" - FYI, this schism already took place. The breakaway religion (called Christianity) is not within Judaism for almost 2 millennia now. Long time ago, the authorities of Judaism decided that those who adhere to Christianity (even those born Jewish) are not considered Jewish anymore. Therefore, it is impossible be Jewish and Christian at the same time. ←Humus sapiens ну? 09:50, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

...according to the authorities of Judaism. Homestarmy 16:05, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Maybe I should add "according to the authorities of Judaism" to the article as the qualifier. I'm sure Humus could provide a source. inigmatus 17:05, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
I think this would be workable and quite clear-it would clarify that Jewish authorities do not believe that this is something which should be done, but is something which some who continue to identify as Jews do not agree with. That assertion would be NPOV and certainly could be sourced well. Seraphimblade 17:25, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Do you realize how silly this is starting to sound? "According to authorities of Judaism, worship of Jesus is incompatible with Judaism. According to members of other faiths, this may not be the case." It's absurd. Muslims don't define Christianity, Hindus don't define Islam, and Christians don't define Judaism. Jayjg (talk) 18:37, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Actually, we almost had a situation with the Muslims and Christianity thing where some editors nearly made us qualify the "monotheistic" thing in Christianity in the intro to state "is considered by adherants to be Monotheistic, but is seen by Muslims and many critics to be polytheistic", but we referenced it for simply "monotheistic" so thoroughly that representing opposition or qualification would clearly of been undue weight. However, that argument was in the main article of the religion in question, whereas for instance, if there was an article on a critic who insisted that Christianity is polytheistic, the article wouldn't have the subject's views marginalized mostly to the introduction and then have an article-filling speech about how monotheistic Christianity is and about how many people disagree with said example critic. While JfJ is certainly larger than one person, and while I, erm, don't actually have an example of an article with a critic who believes that Christianity isn't monotheistic to check for consistancy, I have to wonder why the subject of this article seems so amazingly threatening to members of Judaism that it has to have such an extensive amount of commentary against what JfJ believes, to the point where it appears JfJ's view is never presented even once without qualifiers from sources who, it seems more often than not, are not even addressing JfJ, but beliefs similar to JfJ's in a broader sense. Now, don't get me wrong, I certainly think opposition to ideas which are clearly ridiculous concerning the religion in question should be presented, (probably more often than it is in many articles) but in this article's case, it appears as though views opposing Jews for Jesus are placed with a higher weight in mind than the views of the actual subject the article is about. (By "weight" here I don't mean validity, I mean space.) While that's certainly ok for articles which are starting out and can use any content when they can get it that's reasonable, this article is nearly at the end of its current development, and I think this weird distribution of weight as a whole makes it look bad. Homestarmy 18:51, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
If what you are saying is that J4J is not given the opportunity to "describe itself" in the article, I do not think that is accurate. There are several sections, "Aims and Organization", "Beliefs", "Core Values" and "Support" that consist either entirely or almost entirely of quotations or paraphrases from their own web site or other literature. Three of these four sections are near the top of the article. As for criticism, sure there is criticism, and the article makes clear that it comes both from Jews and Christians. And as for the criticisms being directed "more often than not" to groups with beliefs similar to J4J rather than J4J itself, I do not see where in the article you get that from. And most criticism of J4J is not directed at their "beliefs" at all, but rather at their methods and tactics. I think this is reflected in the article as well. 6SJ7 19:28, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Oh sure, JfJ is given its own viewpoint, but not very much without qualifiers and rebuttles immedietly. The "Beliefs" section immedietly presents an image of JfJ implicitly contradicting itself, "Core Values" is limited because there's pretty much nothing to write besides that list and discussing exactly what JfJ says in that article would probably be redudant, in "Support" the final reference, which was basically JfJ's big response to the theme of most criticism presented on this talk page, formerly had a description which actually went into some detail in what they were saying but was then removed for JfJ's argument not being "clear" enough or something, and "Aims and organization" certainly isn't as long as the material covering the aims and organizations of people who oppose JfJ. I also have no problem with what direction the criticism is coming from, but if you read many of the references, you might find several of them never explicitly mention JfJ at all. Homestarmy 19:39, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Well let me just jump into this debate. IMHO, it is perfectly fine to state the above sentence as fact because, well, it is a fact. The JfJ claim of being Jewish yet believing in the divinity of Jesus, is a minority viewpoint. If someone can show it is a significant minority viewpoint, then the sentence can be changed. Until then it is a tiny minority viewpoint not worth discussing in the article. Since this is an article about the organization, however, its position is adequately staked out in the article. We need not present it as though JfJ represents some schism in Judaism, which it clearly does not. My two cents. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 20:09, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for your input! Your asking if it's a "significant minority viewpoint" - well, um... isn't the title of the organization Jews for Jesus the very significance of this "minority viewpoint"? It seems to me that refusal to qualify the statement (or related statements) "all Jews don't believe in Jesus" when clearly the article's title seems to be ignored when saying such, is an act of bending over backwards. I find it odd that such dogmatic illegitimization of the article's title and the subject it represents, is somehow an act of NPOV. Tell me if the following statement is NPOV: "In light of Jews for Jesus claiming to be Jews who believe in the divinity of Jesus, other people who call themselves Jews, disagree that one can actually be Jewish and still believe in the divinity of Jesus." That statement, I believe, is truly NPOV, is sourceable, and would end this debate. inigmatus 23:35, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

How about this: "Jews for Jesus is an organization of those who identify as Jews but believe in Jesus' divinity. Most Jews, however, argue that the two beliefs are incompatible, and that members of Jews for Jesus are actually Christians (source cites)." This presents JfJ's viewpoint, but does not give undue weight and makes clear that there is significant disagreement as to their status as Jews. Seraphimblade 23:47, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
What part of "Belief in the divinity of Jesus, or in Jesus as Christ, is incompatible with Judaism" you don't get? ←Humus sapiens ну? 23:50, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
The part where we're editing an article on what is apparently a reasonably large organization who disagree. Seraphimblade 00:08, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
You are wrong, it is an extremist fringe group (though well financed and loud). See WP:NPOV#Undue weight. ←Humus sapiens ну? 22:45, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Am I alone to notice that the phrase "people who call themselves Jews" smells bad? ←Humus sapiens ну? 23:53, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
The quote you mention does smell bad. We agree there. However, I must agree with Seraphimblade, that the most important thing here is presenting the organization in an encyclopedic fashion. Therefore the article should mention that JfJ does believe that you can believe in Jesus and be Jewish (which it does) and that said belief contradicts Judaism (which the article also makes clear). With that said, I don't see why this dispute has lasted so long. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 00:15, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
One other thing (and this may get me in trouble), some understandably believe and correctly IMO believe that one religion should not dictate what another believe. Although true, it should be irrelevant in terms of creating and improving this article. Also, the sword cuts both ways. Clearly many Christians DO believe that it is possible to be primarily Jewish and believe in Jesus as Messiah. So the same argument can be made the other way. It is an argument best avoided, especially on this topic. When all the information is readily apparent to readers of the article. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 01:40, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Seraphimblade, I'm not sure why you cannot understand this, but no "Most Jews" language will stand in in this article, because it's original research, and because Jews believe all sorts of things. Again, we're talking about the doctrines of Judaism, not what this Jew or that Jew happens to believe about any particular topic. Jayjg (talk) 21:50, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
To clarify my earlier comment, I see this debate spiraling down to trying to decide "what is a Jew? The Christian version vs. the Jewish version". This is best avoided, and certainly is unnecessary in this article. JfJ's self identification is noted, and it's opposition is also noted. However in regards to ending this dispute, what if the sentence in question read "Judaism holds that belief in Jesus is incompatible with the faith"? Ramsquire (throw me a line) 22:06, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Unnecessary; Judaism defines Judaism, we're stating simple facts, and, frankly, we don't really care what Christianity's views are on the matter, because Christianity's views are irrelevant to the doctrines of Judaism. Jayjg (talk) 22:10, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
See a response like that can easily be misread and become unhelpful. I'm going to sidestep and not get into the discussion of who can define Judaism. I'm trying to see if we can form a consensus here on the specific sentence in question. Stubbornness on the wording of a sentence will not move the ball forward. As the current sentence obviously is causing a problem with certain users, maybe a new approach is necessary. There is more than one way to state a fact. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 22:20, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
You seem to discount the more likely scenario that in this case the sentence is perfectly fine, and the "problem" is with "certain users". Jayjg (talk) 22:23, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't have as long a history here that you do. I saw something on the RfArb case and thought I could help (turns out I misread the dispute at first). Then, I was asked for comment by another user on my talk page. I have no reason to not assume good faith with anyone here. As you may be aware, I do not have a problem with the sentence, but others apparently do. If you feel that there is something nefarious going on that I should know about, please enlighten me. But I don't see where anyone's concern is born out of anything but a good faith dispute. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 22:37, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
"and because Jews believe all sorts of things" - including (allegedly, in some controversial cases) a belief in Jesus. This belief might well disagree with the internal definitions of "Jew" in 100% of Jewish organisations that aren't JforJ itself, but this doesn't, in itself, negate the claim of Jewishness. It could lead to the statement "100% of non-JforJ organisations disagree" if such a strong statement could be proven. "All" is a very, very strong word that is equally difficult to support. A quick scan of the Judaism related pages indicates a long and varied history that is no more homogeneous than any other non-cult sized religion. Schisms among the Jews has seven sections with multiple full articles. Who is a Jew? has seven major sections. This does not strike me as a simple question with a simple answer. Most of the arguments above seem to be of the form "they can't be Jewish because that disagrees with the doctrines I believe in". Such arguments are bound to fail against someone that does not share that particular brand of faith. This naturally applies to any religion or set of beliefs. Homeopathy is dismissed as a science by 99% of scientists but that article uses the terms "Critics describe it as pseudoscience [ref]" and "is inconsistent with the laws of chemistry and physics". Not "it disagrees with science as [virtually] all scientists describe it, so it isn't a science". Is adding a minor qualifier really that painful? Slinky Puppet 00:28, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
SP, welcome. We won't go over this with every newcomer, so please search this page and its archives after reading the article. In short, the schism in question has already occurred almost 2 millennia ago. Oh and BTW, that wording has been improved so we make clear that "belief in the divinity of Jesus, or in Jesus as Christ, is incompatible with Judaism". ←Humus sapiens ну? 01:35, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the welcome. Just so you know - I read through the entire talk page prior to making my post. I'm not entirely ignorant :) I feel my argument still stands as it is largely independent of the history of Judaism. It really doesn't matter whether the split happened 2000 years ago or last week. In order for anyone of us to make a definitive, absolute, statement regarding the status of Jews for Jesus, homoeopathy, dark matter or the superiority of cricket over baseball that person must be all-knowing and infallible (or, failing this, possess a huuuuuge ego). Lacking such super-knowledge the best we can do is say 'so-and-so said this about them and lots of other people agree'. People aren't idiots. No one is going to convert on the basis of a conditional in a sentence on wikipedia. Nor is Judaism going to be reinvented in the public consciousness on the basis of one minor article. This really is a non-issue except as regards normal wikipedia practise of not assuming that we have all the answers. Slinky Puppet 20:39, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes Humus we will go over this with every newcomer if necessary. I have gone over the point with you many times. You are still makign the same points, and other users keep refuting them. You are the person who is wrong here. Please don't insult the newcomers. Let's make the points very clearly:

  1. The statement that "belief in the divinity of Jesus, or in Jesus as Christ, is incompatible with Judaism: is a violation of NPOV, because it ignores a significant group of people who do not believe that. You may continue to believe that these people are not Jews (and you would be in the majority) but Wikipedia cannot take sides. That is what NPOV is all about.
  2. The argument that JFJ are not Jewish is circular:
A:No Jews believe in Jesus.
B:I'm a Jew, and I believe in Jesus
A:But you don't count, you're not a Jew.
B:Why not?
A:Because you believe in Jesus.
  1. The statement above is not supported by a neutral source. It is, in fact, original research. Our neutral sources all say "most Jews believe..." or "virtually all Jews believe...". The sources supporting the statement speak only for their particular branch of Judaism.
  2. You can only ignore the views of JFJ by stating that they are "not Jews" as if it were a fact. Again that's a violation of NPOV. We don't make this judgement with Flat Earth Society; we don't deny groups like Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses the label 'Christian', even though virtually every other Chirstian group in the world says they are not.

Humus, look at what's going on above. Three or four unbiased newcomers give their opinions on this article, and you argue and argue and argue with them. Consider the possibility for the moment that you may be wrong. Your actions are causing these people, which we invited here, to give up on the article. [1] That's a win for you, because you get your way, but a loss for Wikipedia because it establishes the precedent that a sufficiently argumentative editor can overrule reasoned argument. DJ Clayworth 18:45, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

The people here (including you) keep making the same irrelevant strawman argument over and over. The article doesn't say that Jews who don't believe in Jesus are not Jews, it says that belief in Jesus is not compatible with Judaism. That point is well attested by literally a dozen reliable sources, and religious doctrine really isn't a popularity contest, nor are Judaism's doctrines define by what various Christians or Wikipedia editors believe. Jayjg (talk) 19:20, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
I just can't let this statement stand. It is simply not true Jayjg. Above, I suggested changing the sentence in questions to "Judaism holds that belief in Jesus as Messiah is incompatible with the faith" and it was rejected by you as "unnecessary", with a cryptic sentence about letting Jews decide what Judaism is. How is the above sentence a strawman argument? As I said above, there is more than one way to state a fact. But you will not even allow for that possibility with this stance you and others have taken. You rejected the sentence not because it is inaccurate or misleading, but solely because it is different. Considering we should be striving to consensus, that sort of attitude is improper. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 20:32, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
It is not a strawman. Look at the article "belief in Jesus as the son of God, or in Jesus as Christ, is incompatible with Judaism". Since JFJ believe in Jesus as the Son of God, then that statement is the logical equivalent of saying "JFJ are not Jews". Unless you have some alternative intepretation? DJ Clayworth 19:24, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Is J4J a reliable source regarding the doctrines of Judaism? Does JFJ say that belief in Jesus is compatible with Judaism? Do any reliable sources make this claim? Jayjg (talk) 19:26, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Don't switch arguments on us Jayjg. Otherwise we will take your lack of response to mean that you have accepted that the arguments you called 'strawman' above are not in fact straw man arguments.
In response to your question above, no JFJ is not a definitive source on the doctrines of Judaism. They are a reliable source on their own doctrines, which they claim as part of Judaism. There is no single overarching body in a position to make definitive statements about what Judaism believes. DJ Clayworth 19:38, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
DJC, you admit that "no JFJ is not a definitive source on the doctrines of Judaism" and yet you together with JFJ are ready to violate one of the most important principles of Judaism and ignore the historical schism in order to accommodate Christian beliefs where they do not belong. Just as earlier you joined them in failing to see the difference between concept of God in Christianity and Judaism. ←Humus sapiens ну? 21:28, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Humus can't you even read the second part of the post you are quoting? "There is no single overarching body in a position to make definitive statements about what Judaism believes." As for the difference between concept of God in Christianity and (most of) Judaism, I understand it perfectly. It's just that we are here discussing a group who don't agree with it. Let me state this again, for the fifth or sixth time: I understand fully that you, and a vast majority of other Jews, consider JFJ not to be Jewish. However Wikipedia should not be quoting your views (or even the majority views) as if they were absolute fact. DJ Clayworth 21:43, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
It is not about my views. Judaism is a belief system, it has principles. Your POV (together with JFJ) is that even those who violate the most important principles are still within Judaism. Numerous references say that such beliefs are incompatible. You seem to be unable to provide any references supporting your POV so you engage in original research and straw man arguments. ←Humus sapiens ну? 22:05, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Oh for heavens sake! The references are reference 4, and reference 5 in the article!. I wrote that several times on this page. What is going on? Does someone think that if they say "there are no references" long enough people will believe it?
Yes it's about the principles of Judaism, and those principles are disputed! This is one of the groups that disputes them! And wait, let me check with my psychic - yes, she told me you are now going to start arguing that JFJ don't get a say in the principles because they are not Jewish, and when I tell you that is something under dispute you're going to change the subject. DJ Clayworth 22:15, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Our text is correct, and none of the refs contradict what our article says: "Belief in the divinity of Jesus, or in Jesus as Christ, is incompatible with Judaism." Are you able to provide some refs that support the opposite position (that this belief is compatible with Judaism)? ←Humus sapiens ну? 22:29, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Before DJ does that, may I assume the only "refs" valid here are ones which are 1. Jewish and 2. Are opposed to JfJ's claims? Homestarmy 23:00, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Plenty of references can be found stating that JfJ (and Messianic Jews as well) disagree on this point. I thought there were some references in there stating this, however? In fact, in a press release from JfJ (cited as evidence that they are Christian!), the statement "Excluding my Jewish people from Christian witness is theologically and biblically untenable...". This is not incompatible with the later "Jews for Jesus and other Christian groups"-JfJ consider themselves both Christian and Jewish. Therefore, there already is sourcing in this article to support such an assertion, provided we properly frame it as a minority opinion. I'm sure there are more sources out there if you'd like? This, however, clearly and unambiguously asserts that JfJ believes itself to be a group of Jews who also engage in Christian work. Whether this is true or even possible is a judgment call that should be left to the reader, not editorialized by any of us. Our job is to present and properly frame the debate, not to take a side in it. Seraphimblade 23:17, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Our job is not to misinform the reader. A historical fact is that the schism took place 2 millennia ago. We do reflect JFJ's opinion that the two religions are somehow compatible, but it would be wrong for WP to present it as truth. ←Humus sapiens ну? 23:44, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Oh noes, we've been foiled again Seraphim, and we were so close to getting them to accept that this article should espouse JfJ's views as absolutle facts! And look, there must be hundreds of diffs to demonstrate how you, me, DJ, and Ramsquire have been secretly advocating JfJ's viewpoint as a fact! All pro-JfJ forces, retreat to Messianic Judaism, we'll continue our cabal there -____- Homestarmy 00:19, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

"Jews for Jesus and other Christian groups"[edit]

Here's an evidence that JFJ leadership considers it a Christian group: "This is an attack on Jews for Jesus and other Christian groups who hold to the uniqueness of Christ." (JEWS FOR JESUS LEADER CONTRADICTS AMERICAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS Press Release. August 19, 2002). I think it is important enough to be mentioned in the intro. ←Humus sapiens ну? 22:33, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

As do other Christians: "Clothed in colorful shirts with large writing identifying their Christian group, Jews for Jesus has been keeping up with the 24-hour-running city, handing out tens of thousands of literature and promoting their evangelistic campaign – Behold Your God – through media outlets." - Christian Post.[2] Jayjg (talk) 22:37, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Apparently NOW (magazine) feels the same way: "The Canadian Jewish Congress is in a tizzy over evangelical Christian group Jews for Jesus's "missionary crusade," ..."[3] Jayjg (talk) 22:42, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't know when the word got removed again in the intro, (it seemed like we had decided above that their status as a Christian organization wasn't in dispute) but i've restored it again, their status as Christian is referenced well enough already that we don't have to start digging up references from so many corners that the references don't even directly address the subject. (In that first reference's case, JfJ's specific status as Christian isn't really the focus of the article, just on some catholic bishops.) Homestarmy 22:40, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Nobody says that was the focus. They don't have as much trouble admitting that (at least not to Jewish audience) as some of their cheerleaders here. ←Humus sapiens ну? 22:48, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
So then if it isn't the focus why are we talking about it, and why was the word removed from the introduction? Homestarmy 22:51, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Before someone answers for me, let me explain why I "removed" it. I didn't remove it, I restated it. Here's the diff. The quote to Pastor Leigh is not nearly sufficient to support JfJ as a Christian group, but JfJ's membership in several Christian organizations is more than sufficient. I thought it was saying the same thing, and for most of two days no one seemed to disagree publicly. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 23:01, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Oh, this was about the Pastor Leigh thing. That letter never explicitly rejects their self-proclaimed status as Jewish, let me move the ref around. (I had just removed it in my last edit, i'll fix that). Homestarmy 23:27, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I think you missed my point. What is better evidence of JfJ's Christianity? A) One virtually unknown Pastor's opinion or B) its verifiable membership in several Christian groups. I thought B was easily the better way to go. Pastor's Leigh's opinion in the intro gives him undue weight and may violate WP:NPOV. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 23:36, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, before, it was in the list of people who reject JfJ's claims about their religiosity, :/. I'm just confused, remove the reference if you want.... Homestarmy 00:17, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
I've copied a couple of refs from the top of this section over there in hope to put this question to rest. Their leader is quite unambiguous when he is not addressing Jews. ←Humus sapiens ну? 01:16, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm unsure how this statement proves your viewpoint? "Excluding my Jewish people from Christian witness is theologically and biblically untenable..." (emphasis added). JfJ -claims- that their members are both Christians and Jews. Many Jews might (and, indeed, provably do) find that assertion to be ridiculous and impossible, and this should certainly be noted. However, what the debate would eventually come down to is this (even agreeing that it is solely members of a religion who define it, which I wouldn't even say is true in all cases):
"Belief in Christianity is incompatible with Judaism. All Jews agree."
"But I'm a Jew, and I disagree, so not all of us agree."
"Well you don't count, since you believe that you're obviously not a Jew."
Once again-I agree to stating that authorities in Judaism at large overwhelmingly disagree that JfJ is a group of Jewish/Christians, and considers them Christian only. However, JfJ still -does- self-identify this way. We should not take sides in this debate-only state the facts, which are that JfJ considers itself and its members Jewish (and Christian), and most authorities within Judaism disagree. That is the only way to state the matter truly factually and without taking a side. Seraphimblade 19:14, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Please don't use strawman arguments. We're not talking about what "all Jews", or "most Jews" believe. We're talking about what reliable sources have to say about Judaism's doctrines. That's something quite different. Jayjg (talk) 19:25, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
When the article writes "belief in Jesus as the son of God, or in Jesus as Christ, is incompatible with Judaism" most readers will take this as a statement of fact, which all Jews believe. Since that is not the case we need to qualify it, especially in the current context. I am open to suggestions about how we should qualify it. Otherwise it reads as if we are deciding to exclude JFJ from Judaism. DJ Clayworth 19:29, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
We're not going to be able to get anywhere if your comments include statements like "all Jews believe" etc. We are not talking about what Jews believe, we are talking about the doctrines of Judaism, which is something else. It's quite likely that hundreds of millions of Catholics believe that women should be allowed to become Catholic priests or have abortions; however, the doctrines of Catholicism say that neither is allowed. When speaking of Catholic doctrine what "some" or "many" or "most" Catholics believe is irrelevant unverifiable original research. You need to deal with policy here; the statement is properly sourced to reliable sources; do you have sources which explicitly contradict it? And no more responses that in any way refer to what you imagine Jews do or don't believe - again, we are talking about verifiable statement regarding the doctrines of Judaism. Jayjg (talk) 22:36, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I agree, and that's exactly how we should present it. We have it reliably sourced that most authorities within Judaism consider JfJ non-Jewish. We have it reliably sourced that JfJ considers itself Jewish. Presenting it according to those sources is exactly what I'm advocating! There's no real "fact" in this situation-it's not the same as saying that sodium added to water produces sodium hydroxide and hydrogen, in that case either it does or it doesn't and fact can be established. In this case, however, we're looking at things more like a review-most critics say that the movie was terrible, but a few notable ones disagreed and loved it. In that case, that's exactly what we say-not "It was terrible." We should handle this the same way-"JfJ says this, however, most Jewish authorities disagree", and then present why. It should always be left to the reader to decide for h(im|er)self, after the debate and the clear majority opinion is properly framed. Seraphimblade 19:32, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Can you please try to keep on track here? The issue is not whether Judaism considers J4J to be non-Jewish, but rather, what the doctrines of Judaism are. Judaism has no specific doctrines about J4J, but it does have a doctrine that worshiping Jesus is incompatible with the faith. Jayjg (talk) 22:36, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Just as Hindus do not define beliefs of Islam, Muslims do not define beliefs of Christianity, and Christians do not define beliefs of Judaism. A number of references in the article address this. ←Humus sapiens ну? 22:12, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Correct (to a good degree in any case). However, Jews do define Judaism-including Jews with minority viewpoints, even including Jews who some would say aren't "real" anyway! Now, of course, theirs should be clearly stated as a minority viewpoint, but the majority viewpoint should be presented as, well, the majority opinion, not as incontrovertible fact. Seraphimblade 22:32, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Actually, authoritative Jewish texts define Judaism. There are Jews who have converted to Islam, Hinduism, Scientology - you name it, a Jew has converted to that faith. Jews who convert to various religions do not become "not real", and I wish you'd finally drop that strawman argument once and for all. Yet the doctrines of those religions do not suddenly become compatible with Judaism as soon as one Jew converts to that faith. Jayjg (talk) 22:41, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
The principles of Judaism as a classic belief system go long long way back. To accept that JFJ represent "a minority viewpoint" is to accept that JFJ are somehow compatible with Judaism - while the refs say they are not compatible. Why would we contradict reliable sources? ←Humus sapiens ну? 23:00, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
What the doctrine says is not in dispute. However, many people self-identify with a religion and yet fail to follow all its doctrines-the person who follows, to the letter, every doctrine of h(is|er) religion is a rare one indeed! JfJ interprets these doctrines one way, most Jews another. It is not our place to take a side-only to present the debate, state what each side believes and why, and, given that there is a clear majority viewpoint here, frame clearly and properly what is the majority viewpoint. Religious texts are interpreted and reinterpreted every day-to present any religion as a static, unchanging thing which can be interpreted or followed one way or one only is simply not correct. Seraphimblade 23:20, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
You said "most Jews" again. What's the point of reading after that? Jayjg (talk) 03:18, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
You don't seem to have a problem when you take JFJ's side: specifically you accept that JFJ may represent or redefine Judaism. This would contradict the refs. The current text reflects reliable sources. Instead of engaging in original research and strawman, please show scholarly sources confirming that JFJ's views are somehow compatible with Judaism. ←Humus sapiens ну? 23:35, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Contradictions you say? Hmm, that sounds like just the sort of thing that would belong in an article covering a controversial subject.... (By the way, what is a scholarly source defined here as anyway?) Homestarmy 23:41, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
The straw man, I'm afraid, is being pounded by you. (Please look up the strawman fallacy, since you're fond of accusing of it). Nowhere did I advocate placing in the article "Jews for Jesus has the only correct definition of Judaism", "Jews for Jesus is an organization which defines Judaism", or anything of the like, and I would strongly oppose the inclusion of such material-as I imagine would everyone here. What I am stating, is that we should present the disputed doctrines, as in dispute-this is the only NPOV way! What religion someone is tends to be mostly a matter of self-identification. As stated previously, if we were going to restrict "person who belongs to that religion" to "person who unfailingly follows all that religion's doctrines", we'd probably have to go back and state there are only maybe 5 people of any given religion! As to the self-identification methodology, it is generally used by everything from sociologists to the United States Census Bureau-if you say you're A, then you are. Those scientists don't "take sides" in whether someone is a "real" (insert member of religion here), and neither should we-we should simply frame the debate, that most Jews do believe JfJ are Christian solely, while JfJ self-identifies as Christian and Jewish both. Seraphimblade 03:42, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
There's that "most Jews" wording again. What does it have to do with this discussion? We are talking about what reliable sources say regarding the doctrines of Judaism; what would "most Jews" have to do with that? Jayjg (talk) 03:19, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Seraphimblade, "a matter of self-identification" may be misleading: see e.g. Supersessionism, Christian Identity, Ten Lost Tribes. Also, given the evidence provided, it would be a violation of WP:NPOV#Undue weight to identify JFJ's beliefs as compatible with Judaism, even as a minority. ←Humus sapiens ну? 22:39, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

RfC suggestion[edit]

As there are several parties on both sides, and we seem unlikely to achieve consensus at the current rate, I suggest that we file for a request for comment on the matter. Are there any objections, or proposed wordings for the RfC? Seraphimblade 21:36, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

No objections as all. I was thinking it was about that time. I would suggest we focus on the neutrality of the most contentions statement: "belief in Jesus as the son of God, or in Jesus as Christ, is incompatible with Judaism.". If we can get a simple opinion on whether that is a neutral statement then we would be a long way towards resolving this. DJ Clayworth 21:39, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Done. Seraphimblade 22:05, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

The more I consider this debate the tougher it is. To start with one point I think I can grasp, Catholicism is structured differently from Judaism. Catholicism has one centralized decision-making body that doesn't necessarily decide everything but reserves the right to do so, and although formally it's a very top-down organization the top is informally constrained by what everyone else will accept. Judaism - to state the matter very broadly and I hope not disrespectfully - bears more similarity to a discussion where knowledgeable people weigh in with reasons and evidence and try to reach consensus. A consensus may be broad or even overwhelming yet there's this little group over here that begs to differ. It's possible to say what Catholic doctrine is and isn't with greater precision than what Jewish doctrine is or isn't because Catholicism has that formal top-down structure, so I don't think the analogy regarding doctrine holds.

That said, Jews for Jesus did not originate within the rabinnical tradition. It was founded by a Baptist minister and receives its funding from conservative Christian groups and includes a significant share of membership who aren't Jewish (I'm not sure which definition the article means to indicate but that's a side question).

So, with due respect for the sides involved, I think it follows WP:NPOV#Undue_weight to address the topic of whether Judaism and Christianity are compatible in a different manner here than at Wikipedia's other articles. That is, this group represents a tiny minority view. Non-Jews for Jesus members particularly within Judaism may agree its claim to represent Judaism in any way has no legitimacy at all and even find its existence offensive, and at any other article the Jews for Jesus claims about Judaism may be dismissed as insignificant, yet here the task is in some measure to represent the group and its tenets on its own terms. So if everybody else on one side lines up against them, say so and describe why, yet stop that hair's breadth short of stating editorially that everybody else is right. I hope that's acceptable. DurovaCharge! 05:36, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

RfC Response[edit]

The policy that is relevant is obvious; WP:NPOV. The portion that I believe applies is (emphasis changed} "None of the views should be given undue weight or asserted as being the truth, and all significant published points of view are to be presented, not just the most popular one. It should also not be asserted that the most popular view or some sort of intermediate view among the different views is the correct one. Readers are left to form their own opinions." Accordingly, it is wrong for Wikipedia to state as our own statement that the belief is incompatible with Judaism.

In the next paragraph, the policy says that "Debates are described, represented, and characterized, but not engaged in. Background is provided on who believes what and why, and which view is more popular. Detailed articles might also contain the mutual evaluations of each viewpoint, but studiously refrain from stating which is better." If a quotation from a reliable authority on what most Jews believe is available, use that quotation instead of a statement in the Wikipedia voice. I don't think it would be contentious to state that the majority of those who consider themselves Jewish are of the opinion that the two are incompatible, but it would be best to have a source for such a statement in case it is challenged. The relevant detailed article is Judaism's view of Jesus, so instead of evaluating each viewpoint in this article we should direct readers to that article.

On an unrelated note, the section "Leadership, funding and outreach" states that the founder of the organization was born Jewish, yet the "Membership" section states that those born as gentiles established the movement. This is a contradiction within the article that should be resolved. GRBerry 08:50, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

The issue has nothing to do with what "most Jews believe", nor do the sources in question discuss that; why have you brought it up? Jayjg (talk) 03:21, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Because Judaism does not have a definitive theological authority these days that can make definitive announcements. (The Sanhedrin hasn't met for centuries.) (Well, except God, but scriptural interpretation is not Wikipedia's core competency.) In the lack of a definitive authority, what most Jews believe is the test that Wikipedia can use. GRBerry 02:55, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
The various movements have authoritative bodies, and Judaism in general has authoritative works and authors. Jayjg (talk) 03:33, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

I believe the statement written above is fine as long as JfJ's dissent is presented as well. The problem with using qualifiers like "Most" or "Virtually all" is that it is misleading, as it may give the appearance of a schism in the faith where there is none. Also by placing those qualifiers, it may seem that Wikipedia is taking JfJ's side that the organization is a "Jewish" dissenter from that mainstream view. Whether JfJ is Christian, Jewish, or both is a controversial matter and shouldn't be decided by Wikipedia either (as it is in the introduction, by the way). The issue here is the Jewish principle of faith regarding Jesus's followers, not what any individual Jew may feel. To state "most", "many", "virtually all" would be to change the focus of the sentence. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 17:09, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Ethnic Jews[edit]

Is an ethnic Jewish person, who is an "Atheist" or Communist, still Jewish?

Anyone?

Can this person gain Israeli citizenship based on the Law of Return? Rockette 08:36, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

The two questions are different. The question of whether one can get citizenship based on the Law of Return is separate from the question of whether one is regarded as Jewish by a particular Jewish denomination. An apostate, one who has actively embraced another religion, is not eligible under the Law of Return. However, a person who has not actively expressed allegiance to another faith, is a Jew under the law of return regardeless of belief or practice, and many secular Israeli Jews are atheists. Political beliefs and ideologies are totally irrelevant. Traditional Orthodox belief is that an opostate is still a Jew, while some Orthodox opinion, and most non-Orthodox opinion, holds that it makes one a non-Jew. A community in Belmonte, Portugal whose ancestors were forcibly converted to Christianity half a millenium but secretly retained a Jewish identity and practices, came out of the closet a few years ago -- and they are Jews. See Marrano. --Shirahadasha 10:04, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
The Law of Return is not relevant to Judaism; it's a civil law of the State of Israel, not a religious doctrine, and non-Jews can gain citizenship under the law too. Jayjg (talk) 16:02, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
I am agnostic, an unrepentant capitalist, a liberal Democrat, and I am Jewish. I keep a Kosher household. My children have learned Hebrew. I am Jewish to the core, even though I do not follow any particular religious doctrine. It's whatever is in your heart that counts. And my friendly Conservative Rabbi considers me Jewish. My Christian friends consider me Jewish. My family considers me Jewish. The State of Israel considers me Jewish. That about does it for me. OrangeMarlin 20:46, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

"Incompatibility with Christianity" section[edit]

I've taken a shot at NPOV'ing this, it was one of the big issues. Any feedback would be appreciated-the aim here, as indicated by the RfC, is to properly frame the debate, make it clear that JfJ's belief is small-minority, and yet stop that step short of editorializing or "picking a side". Accordingly, was moved to the "Criticism" section, the section header was changed as it provided a statement of fact, and some of the wording's been changed. Seraphimblade 17:02, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

The placement of this section has been debated at length, above, the title is nonsense, as the text doesn't claim that "JfJ are non-Jews in mainstream Judaism", nor deal with that issue, and the "authorities of Judaism" wording is a neoplasm. Please be very careful of the WP:3RR. Jayjg (talk) 21:52, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Let me ask this then-what would you agree to changing, to solve the concerns regarding editorializing/taking a side? Surely you're aware that articles are not owned, and the discussion I've seen above comes to nothing like a consensus. On the other hand, the RfC responses were clear-editorializing and presenting any stance as fact must be avoided, proper framing of the debate is what is in order. "Incompatibility of..." is indeed editorializing-it is using Wikipedia's voice to state "The incompatibility does exist." Let's instead let the cited sources speak for themselves-any reader should quickly realize that JfJ's position is a minority one, and not very popular at all, without us having to take sides in the conflict. The debate over calling Hitler "evil" is very instructive here-there are certainly a million sources which mention Hitler in connection with evil, and it can hardly be denied. Yet, even so, the eventual decision was that we should avoid editorializing, and simply let the -actual- facts speak for themselves. In this case, the facts are that JfJ says something-and pretty near the rest of the world disagrees. Let's frame that properly, but let's not choose sides. So, back to my initial question-what do you suggest? Seraphimblade 21:59, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
To add, I disagree with your edit summary that I violated WP:3RR-I see [4], [5], [6]. I would request that you link to the fourth revert (which isn't there), or please retract this. Seraphimblade 22:13, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
It is obvious that your first edit was so similar to previous reverts that it would be considered a violation of the 3RR. You could dispute it if you want but keep in mind that it is unlikely to work.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 23:21, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm unsure what to "dispute"-it looks like most of the edits for at least the past week were mainly housekeeping type stuff and tended to be relatively uncontroversial. I'm trying to understand your meaning here, but I'm failing to see which "previous revert" my first edit was similar to. Now, 3RR stuff aside. How about we go over changes we can all agree on, regarding the concerns of editorializing? Seraphimblade 23:27, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Continual reverting without explanation[edit]

I do not believe that it is acceptable to revert an attempted solution without explanation, especially when feedback has been explicitly solicited. I would ask that any future reverts be explained here, especially in light of the recent RfC comments. If it is someone's intention not to allow any changes to be made, regardless of the forming consensus that some are necessary, this too is not acceptable. Seraphimblade 21:47, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

In my experience, it appears that most editors opposed to any edits which present JfJ in a less unfavorable than current light have gotten, well, tired of discussing the issue, so they'll mostly just revert nowadays. At least, that's how it appears to me. Homestarmy 21:49, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
To me too unfortunately-though I'm hoping for some hint of what changes could be made with the consent of both sides. Certainly, some to be made, and the edit-war-false-3RR-accusation bit is going to help nothing. Seraphimblade 22:29, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
To their credit, most of the early fights concerning this article consisted of a whole bunch of sockpuppet type people, vandals, people who refused to adhere to 3RR, random people who would revert to old versions, and then of course myself all on sides not opposed to JfJ, and this went on for months, so I would probably be suspicious of you and anyone else here who is not opposed to JfJ if I was on the anti-JfJ side at this point :/. Homestarmy 22:42, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, I'm not "against" or "for" JfJ, these religious fights between and within religions just make me the more glad to be a member of none of them. I am against Wikipedia editorializing or "taking sides" in any type of controversy though. (Actually, I was initially brought here by a call for those who had no affiliation with Judaism, Christianity, and/or JfJ to have a look at the issue.) Seraphimblade 23:16, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree. Moshe and Jay, please play by the rules. Don't engage in edit warring. Homestarmy, which vandals are you speaking of? Are you saying that revert warring against Seraphimblade is forgivable if a vandal has stepped on your toes?
Asking me about forgiveness is probably going to get you the wrong answer that you want, since i'm a fundamentalist Christian, and therefore my answer to a question like that is always that I should forgive them all :/. However, the flood of vandals of which I speak of primarily involved themselves with this article many months ago, primarily when the talk page started picking up. (Its in the archives, not discussion of all the vandals since there was so many, but you'll see some comments from time to time about "Pro-JfJ propaganda accounts trying to use the article to their own ends" or things like that) So it appears to me that, by now, since the discussions have generally gone to nothing, (They wern't necessarily circular, its just no ground was really ever made much) that editors here against JfJ for the most part are starting to just assume any edits which undermine the position of Judaism in any way are basically wrong, likely to just be implicit POV pushing, and should be reverted almost on site. This seems to be the motivation for many of the edit summaries you see lately in the history. Homestarmy 01:23, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
Was aware of that-my main issue was that I was aware of that, and made efforts to file an RfC-if the RfC results had been "It's fine, leave it alone", I would've been happy to go by that. However, many of the editors who came in from that shared such concerns-my efforts were hardly unilateral, and I took pains to ensure that they were not, only to be reverted repeatedly with terse edit summaries and no explanation. Thus far, there's still been no response to my calls for a discussion as to what should be done to address these concerns, which leads me to believe that no changes will be accepted whatsoever and an attempt is being made to own the article. Seraphimblade 01:36, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Question[edit]

The 3RR and unpleasantries like that being settled, why don't we discuss how to improve the article? I would like to hear what would be some acceptable changes, so that we can resolve this in a more constructive way. Seraphimblade 18:34, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

From reading the article again, plus outside knowledge; it seems clear to me that the JfJ organization is using an ethnic or racial definition of who is a Jew is their claim to be Jewish. I think the article could be improved by 1) making this more clear 2) distinguishing between ethnic and religious Judiasm and 3) pointing to other articles like Who is a Jew? that go into this subject a lot more fully than this article can or should. GRBerry 18:55, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
I think that just might work! I'll have a look for something clarifying that JfJ's distinction is ethnic, that would clear things up greatly. Do you happen to remember where you found that? Seraphimblade 21:07, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
I didn't find it in a usable source; I used my personal knowledge (friends with a couple of their missionaries) and our Wikipedia articles (all front line missionaries are Jews or their spouses, the theology here, and the Who is a Jew article) then did a little interpretation. So I can't help you with finding a source to cite in the article. But my interpretation is not a reliable source by our standards. However, a little digging produces the first question at this official site, which seems to serve the purpose. GRBerry 21:45, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
I just found that myself Googling around. Thanks very much, I think that will quite solve the dilemma. Seraphimblade 21:48, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
Excellent. Good work guys. JoshuaZ 21:57, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
I myself was not aware that JfJ's definition was ethnic as well, I was under the impression it was primarily religion based. But if the ethnicity factor is true, (Which, reading that FAQ, it appears to be) it does change things quite a bit, and a JfJ article should be a reliable source for it. Homestarmy 22:04, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
I repeatedly mentioned this above, about the problem with conflating ethnicity and religion into the term "Jewish". And others have been saying it over and over as well. Jews for Jesus has some ethnically Jewish members, but they do not represent Judaism and they are not a "Jewish" organization. When "Jewish" is associated with a religious organization it implies adherence to Judaism (it seems clear they like the ambiguity). Anyway, I'm glad it's finally sinking in. --MPerel ( talk | contrib) 00:09, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I thought I had a decent understanding of their beliefs and I didn't know this (although it is funny-knowing that their def is ethnic actually makes me like them less not more- it is one thing when I disagree with them theologically, but this seems to be pretty close to just racism). JoshuaZ 22:48, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

I have just made major changes to the intro to reflect the subject of this discussion, including a "ref" excerpting the page from jewsforjesus.org cited by GRBerry above. 6SJ7 23:56, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

By the way, in describing their beliefs I used "parentage" rather than "ethnic", as the J4J document states that being Jewish is not a matter of "culture" but then cites what appear more to be "ethnic" factors in what they say "Jewishness" is not. Of course, parentage and ethnicity could be viewed as being the same, and I would not object to the word "ethnicity" but I was trying to be precise in view of their own statements. 6SJ7 23:59, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

I also believe that the J4J web page in question could be excerpted in the section "Incompatability with Judaism" or whatever it is called. I do not have time to do so myself at the moment. It also occurs to me that in light of these quotes, there should be no controversy over the "incompatability" issue. J4J appears to draw a distinction between "Jewishness" and "Judaism", in fact they seldom refer to "Judaism" on their web site, it is almost always "Jews", "Jewish", "Jewishness", etc. The distinction is between "Jewishness" as a matter of parentage (or ethnicity, see above) and Judaism as a religion. The first is what they identify with. The second they mostly ignore. 6SJ7 00:06, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm not so certain that they outright ignore Judaism altogether, for instance, their thing on holidays seems based on trying to tie in the traditions of Judaism to Christianity. Although it does seem possible one could argue that's an ethnic relation too....however, in their evangelistic materials, the impression i've gotten from them is that they try to tie in the Judaism of 2,000 years ago or so with Christianity :/. I could be wrong of course, maybe I give detractors too much credit.... Homestarmy 00:11, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, I didn't say "ignore" in the article, only on here. As for their trying to tie in the traditions of Judaism to Christianity, that has nothing to do with beliefs... that is just a marketing ploy. 6SJ7 00:49, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Links with Anti-Semitism[edit]

Though we can all conclude that many individuals find the evangelical tactics of Jews for Jesus offensive, is it reasonable to assume that this constitutes Anti-Semitism? The citations used to support this assertion all refer Jewish perceptions on inconsistencies in the JfJ theology, not to actual anti-semitism.
As such, I recommend that we remove History of Anti-Semitism and possibly Anti-Judaism from the "See Also" section. Any thoughts? Djma12 02:20, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

I think I started a discussion concerning Anti-Judaism awhile ago, but I was shot down, however, at the time, the Anti-Judaism article defined Anti-Judaism very differently. (I believe it was something along the lines of anything which implied any sort of decifiency of Judaism, similar to the annoyingly vauge definition of Anti-Catholicism.) As it stands now, I agree that Jews for Jesus at the very least no longer fits under the definition of Anti-Judaism, as they would have to have a clearly evident hostility towards Judaism and Jews which is non-controversial in nature, if I understand category policy right. I don't think we've ever discussed the History of Anti-Semitism category, however, since Jews for Jesus is never mentioned in that article, I don't think that category is useful either. Homestarmy 02:27, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Does any one else agree? If you disagree, could we please include relevant citations to the article to back this up? I have no problem with the internal links being there -- they just seem non apropos in the context of the article. I will remove them in 24 hrs unless I hear otherwise. Djma12 03:00, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
I disagree with the proposed removal of those entries from the ==See also== section. We do not take a position that JFJ is or is not an antisemitic group, but - as the refs & quotes show - these links are relevant to the discourse. This is not the first effort to convert Jews and/or undermine Judaism. ←Humus sapiens ну? 05:11, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Oops, I thought this was categories, I guess I wasn't paying enough attention.... Homestarmy 13:47, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough. Thanks for the input! Djma12 18:36, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Clean-up[edit]

Also, this article is in some major need for clean-up. For example, while a litigation section concerning JFJ is completely appropriate, the section occupies upwards to 1/4th the article. Furthermore, the citations are often block quotes that only confuse the reader. The article, as it stands, is disorienting and patchwork. Djma12 03:03, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

The problem is, I think many editors are quite supportive of showing the whole quotes, even though they are very large, because the thing is, each citation often has just a little bit of it pertaining to the exact fact being mentioned and so the particular paragraph is just copied here :/. Homestarmy 03:10, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
WP is full of blockquotes. I don't see anything wrong with them. What exactly do you find "disorienting" and how do you propose to knit together the "patchwork"? ←Humus sapiens ну? 05:04, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
I'd be for cutting the "excerpts" for any sources that are available online, just keeping the source cite and link, and excerpting only offline sources. If the reader wants to read the stuff, that's what a link is for, it does currently seem excessive and not really in keeping with the style of other articles. Seraphimblade 05:36, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Since when references are a problem in an encyclopedic article? It is hard to find anything in the article that has not been challenged, hence the refs. See WP:CITE. ←Humus sapiens ну? 09:22, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
The number of references is great, and the more the better! The big problem is the lengths of the excerpts. I wouldn't take away a single reference at all, we just should replace excerpts with links for material available online. (For offline references, the excerpts are probably a good idea.) That would keep the reference section from getting overly long, while still making sure the material to verify is available to readers. I'd suggest replacing the online ones with some standard form of "summary" citation (I use MLA myself generally, but I think anything really would work). Seraphimblade 17:23, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Online references can go offline without notice, so it makes little sense to remove a quote simply because it is online. Jayjg (talk) 21:09, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
How about archiving the excerpts on this page, for sources which are currently online? That would preserve them in case a source goes offline, but would still help to declutter the article. Seraphimblade 21:32, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Can you give me an example of something you consider to be an "excerpt" that needs to be "decluttered"? Jayjg (talk) 21:40, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
References 29 and 14 are excellent examples. While some of the sources cited are offline, and those excerpts should be kept, many of them are online. They add quite a bit of length to the article as a whole, especially to the reference section (which is supposed to be brief), and also add a -lot- of text inline with the article while editing, leading to a much greater risk of editing/formatting errors. Taking 14 as an example, I would suggest keeping the three book excerpts at the top (which presumably are unavailable online), and simply linking to the other articles which are available online, while preserving those excerpts in an archive here-that way, if one of those sources goes offline at a later date, it's easy to simply pull out and reinsert the excerpt. Also, standard format tends to have one citation per footnote, so each citation of a different publication should be its own footnote-currently, a lot of the footnotes, including the ones listed, cram quite a few publications into a single note. Some quotes also might be fitting as direct, attributed quotes within the article body itself-so long as we properly attribute and mark the direct quotations, that would be fine if they'd be fitting as well. Seraphimblade 22:01, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
I was afraid that was what you were talking about, so I had to be sure. I'm astonished you'd even suggest removing them. These kinds of quotations are exactly where ref system excels, and exactly what a good article does - brings copious proof for points made. They were brought in the first place because people kept insisting that obvious facts were not facts. They hardly "clutter" the article, since they are footnotes; they are kept at the bottom of the article precisely so that they don't clutter it. I can see why one might want to take a quotation from the body of an article and move it to a footnote, but I can't imagine any rational reason for removing relevant quotations in footnotes. Jayjg (talk) 22:17, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
If they are important enough to be cited as large sections of block text, I propose that they should be included in the article, not buried in a reference section. If that makes the article too bulky, I propose that the article should be split. Best regards, Djma12 01:52, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm not understanding your point. They are not "cited as large sections of block text", but rather are a number of individual quotes brought as footnotes to support summarized statements made in the text. The whole point of footnotes is to bring support (including greater detail) to points made in the main article, but which are not crucial for understanding the main article. A list of references which support a main point are not readable as a narrative, but ideal for footnotes, and this is exactly how footnotes are used in academic works. In addition, footnotes do not make "sub-articles". I'm having a great deal of difficulty understanding the point of any of these suggestions, as they don't seem to improve the article in any way, but instead seemed designed to either make it less well referenced, or, alternatively, unreadable. Jayjg (talk) 03:49, 13 December 2006 (UTC)



(indent reset) Jayjg, I don't claim to have any expertise on this article and I do understand your concerns about why copious citations are required, especially in (as I would imagine) a frequently vandalized article such as this. My only point is that this article is approaching the limits of Wikipedia:Article_size, though the readable prose section is still just under the suggested limit. Of course you may disagree with my suggestions, and I am open to other options besides splitting the article and trimming direct texts from citations. Best regards, Djma12 16:20, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

(indent reset) I don't see anything in WP:CITE advocating or accepting long excerpts? (Actually, I'd not gone through that thoroughly, that doesn't even advise excerpts for offline sources). It is a stylistic thing, and it really detracts from the readability and (just as important!) editability of the article, especially the references section. I do, however, think that some of the excerpts might fit as properly-cited direct quotes or paraphrases, and placing them in the article itself would make it look a lot nicer. For anything else-if the reader can find the source to read for h(im|er)self if interested, the citation has served its purpose. So long as the cited source really does support the text it's being used for, there's no need for such length of footnotes. (Also, there's a difference between footnotes and source cites, source cites are simply to say "I got the information here, here's how to find it if you want to read it yourself.") I think that's where the confusion may lie here. But the main problem is, it just makes the page look terrible! (Also, please note I'm not advocating removing a single cite, as you said above-all of them seem quite relevant. All we should do is clean them up, condense them, and standardize their format to source cites as used in other articles.) The "cramming" of references under a single number is also very confusing-at a glance, one could miss that one number refers to more than one reference. This is certainly nonstandard, and at the very least could we agree on fixing that? Seraphimblade 04:32, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

There aren't any "lengthy excerpts" in the article; rather, there are brief quotes in footnotes supporting the various points made in the article. As for "cramming" cites under one reference, this is regularly done to make articles more readable; rather than having a sentence with [9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17] after it, one simply has a sentence with [9] after it. As for "editability", it is a problem with the ref system in general, which is being worked on, but it's no better or worse with multiple cites. Jayjg (talk) 18:35, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
What would you suggest to shorten the section, then? Certainly you would agree the referencing there doesn't fit any standard formats in MOS or WP:CITE (all of these suggest only footnotes from which references can be located, rather than excerpting, which is standard). I think some of those quotes could actually be integrated into the article itself, either paraphrased or quoted directly. I think this would make the article read a whole lot more easily, and also not make the references section so long-it needs to be somewhat long, given that apparently a lot of the information is challenged and requires sourcing, but no need to be more then it has to! Seraphimblade 19:37, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
I see no reason to shorten it at all, nor anything in MOS or WP:CITE that would suggest removing the quotes. Indeed, the better articles are filled with these kinds of informative footnotes, as are most peer-reviewed articles. See Rudolf Vrba for an example. We could make the footnotes into two columns, which would make the section appear shorter; what do you think of that? Jayjg (talk) 21:54, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
The two columns just might do it, how is that done? I've not formatted one like that before. Seraphimblade 03:14, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

As my interest in the article is only passing (I'm simply patrolling for vandalism/format), I'll keep my points brief. If Serphimblade is correct (that all references should be included and displayed in a consistent format), then they should be trimmed for readability. If Humus sapiens is correct (i.e. all citations should be kept at length), then some sections should be split off into their own articles. Either way, for the sake of presentation, no reference section should be the equivalent length to the actual article text. As for the actual mechanics of doing so, I'll leave that in the hands of those with more investment in the article. Djma12

2-column refs section per request. I am not a big fan of that style so I won't insist on keeping it. I do feel strongly about keeping the refs and quotes, though. They are here only because of the amount of denial, trolling, and attempts to distort facts. I wish all WP articles were as well referenced as this one. ←Humus sapiens ну? 03:54, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
Is this fine looking now, is the cleanup tag still needed? Homestarmy 16:32, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
I assume that since Humus changed the refs section and Djma hasn't said anything, that no more cleanup is needed for references, so i'm removing the template. Homestarmy 21:31, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Christianity banner[edit]

Why is this banner here? It's actually insulting to both Jews for Jesus and to Christianity. The former clearly does not identify or want to identify as a purely Christian group. For the latter, the banner implies some importance of a controversial group to Christianity, an importance which it doesn't have. I'm pretty sure neither group would want the banner. That's not the ultimate issue, but it suggests there should at least be a good reason for having it, which I don't see. Mackan79 15:51, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

The banner is appropriate because as I have been made to understand it, the Jewishness in JfJ is ethnic in origin. They believe themselve to be Christian theologically but Jewish ethnically. If I am wrong, I'm sure someone will correct me. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 17:15, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Alright, I guess I don't care. Maybe this can be called one type of Christianity. Along with the many references to it's Christianity in the opening, it just strikes me as over-kill for the sake of making a point. Mackan79 21:05, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Doh, guess its too late to throw in my two cents yet again about the banner -____-. Homestarmy 21:08, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, I'm still generally against it, for the reason that Jews for Jesus seems like a controversial activist group, not an actual form of Christianity. Is there a standard rule for when banners like these are included? Is it for any article that connects to Christianity?
As an example of my concern, I wouldn't inlclude the Christianity banner on the page for the God Hates Fags people, simply because they're controversial, and the inclusion of the banner would look like a dig at Christianity. It's insulting, in that context, to say "Hi there, and now we're going to teach you some more about Christianity." If you're talking an actual sect that is controversial, I would override that rule, because a sect is a sect, and relates directly to the subject. If you're simply talking about a controversial religious group though, particularly one that sees itself as some form of hybrid, the inclusion of the Christianity banner has a not-so-subtle appearance of POV which I would simply avoid.
The question is: was this banner placed here to provide people more information about Christianity, or was it placed here to make a point? Mackan79 21:29, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Looking again, I really don't think it should be there. The banner says "Part of a series of articles on Christianity." That is not what this is. This is not an article on Christianity; it is an article on a controversial group. In addition to making a point, the banner is thus inaccurate and misleading. Could you explain again why you think it should be there? Mackan79 21:34, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Mackan79, many swords were broken over this article. I suggest you read the talk and its archives before making substantial changes. And please don't edit quotes to your liking as you did earlier. ←Humus sapiens ну? 21:50, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
I would agree on the banner-certainly, whatever we classify JfJ as, this article is not mainly about Christianity, nor "part of a series of articles" on it-it is mainly about the controversy surrounding JfJ. Seraphimblade 08:50, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

NPOV[edit]

Humus, your revert is to repeatedly inflammatory and POV language. Can you explain why my substitutions were POV, as you alleged? I'll explain a few reasons why I found the previous language POV. Mackan79 22:04, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, I find your edits inflammatory, after all this article went though. See its talk & archives. ←Humus sapiens ну? 23:46, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
I just saw these responses. You know, I appreciate what the article went through, but that's not something I was involved in. Basically, I think the article is alright. My problem is with the contentious and argumentative language, which the compromises don't appear to have helped.Mackan79 01:03, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
Let's work on it, one by one, at talk. I'll be away for a day though. ←Humus sapiens ну? 01:18, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

1. The reference in the first paragraph to "Jewish denominations,[4] Jewish groups, [5] [6] national Jewish organizations, [7] the State of Israel, [8] and many others" is extreme overkill and POV. Why are we making a point of listing every type of different Jewish group that disagrees with them in the first paragraph? If Christians oppose something, you refer to Christian groups, not "Christian groups, Christian sects, Christian denominations, Christian churches, Christian people, and many other people too." It's redundant and unnecessarily wordy and POV in an intro that should be concise. Mackan79 22:04, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

There are incessant attempts to misrepresent views on JFJ, therefore we list those who expressed those views. ←Humus sapiens ну? 23:46, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Umm, yes, it's rather apparent that this is the POV underlying the sentence. Can you not see that this is POV?Mackan79 01:03, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

2. The section on Jews for Jesus' Beliefs and Judaism was highly POV and argumentative. Rather than discussing an argument, as is appropriate in an encyclopedia, the section /makes/ an argument that the group's contentions are theologically unsound. This is the very definition of POV. What we have is a section that sets about rebutting the claims of JfJ. I changed it to a section that discusses Jewish opposition to JfJ, because that is what an encyclopedia can properly discuss. Why do you disagree? Mackan79 22:04, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

We quote reliable sources, even though some may not like what they say. These are not our arguments. ←Humus sapiens ну? 23:46, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
The problem, again, is that you're having Wikipedia make arguments, rather than presenting them as the criticism of a group. This is wrong, see WP:NPOV. "We should present all significant, competing views sympathetically." This means not attacking the group throughout the narrative. Why does the narrative suddenly start explaining why JfJ is incompattible with Judaism? Is that a proper role for the narrative? Of course not; it should be present as an argument of the groups from which it comes. That's what I did.Mackan79 01:03, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
We state facts. ←Humus sapiens ну? 01:18, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
It is, of course, correct (factually) to say that a large number of major Jewish groups oppose JfJ, don't consider them Jewish, etc. But surely not every Jewish organization says this-if nothing else, JfJ identifies itself as Jewish, and they disagree. Do most disagree that they are Jewish? Sure! But it is not for us to settle that debate-if they say "We're Jewish and we disagree", then we simply frame the debate-the vast majority of major Jewish organizations classify them as non-Jewish, but JfJ self-identifies as Jewish. Seraphimblade 08:46, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
It was already explained why self-identification doesn't work. ←Humus sapiens ну? 09:32, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
Self-ID isn't sufficient to create a controversy? Of course it is, in an article about the group in question. Otherwise any article about a fringe group would be overwhelmed with discussions of why they're wrong. You've missed the point by saying they're simply "facts," though. Regarding this point, the question is why certain facts have been included. As WP:NPOV makes clear, bias can come from the decision of which facts to include. Here, we've clearly got a list of facts included to show why JfJ's beliefs are incorrect. That's classic bias. If there's going to be a section about whether JfJ's beliefs are incorrect, this should be presented as a controversy. You're clearly wanting to show they're incorrect without presenting it as a controversy, but that's pretty much the definition of POV. Mackan79 16:42, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

3. Statements such as "Jewish groups oppose Jews for Jesus and many see its proselytizing activities as a thinly-veiled attack on Judaism" are contentious and POV. "Thinly-veiled", for one, is a sensationalistic phrase. More importantly, the article repeatedly speaks for "Jewish groups" in a way that is entirely POV. Encyclopedias do not characterize that a particular group is opposed by a religion. Do you have a source saying that every single Jewish group opposes JfJ? If not, the statement is unsourced, POV and inappropriate. Mackan79 22:04, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

You know that this is impossible. What is possible is for those who argue otherwise (like you?) to show which Jewish groups support JfJ. ←Humus sapiens ну? 01:18, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
Been there, see talk. ←Humus sapiens ну? 23:46, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
From the discussion I've read, there appears to have been strong disagreement. In any case, do you have a citation to show that every single Jewish group opposes JfJ? If not, how is the characterization justified?Mackan79 01:00, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

The rest of my edits were related to these points. Please let me know why you disagree, and particularly how you can characterize my edits as POV. I'm not sure which quote you think I changed, but I would appreciate your civility in the future. Thanks, Mackan79 22:04, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Just to add: I would really appreciate some reasonableness here. The problems with the previous version, I believe, are extremely clear. Indeed, the broken swords are excedingly evident from a brief look. If you looked carefully at my edits, you'll see that the criticism is not undermined in any way; I simply attempted to return some semblance of normalcy to the article, as opposed to the aggressive, contentious writing which was there. It's mainly the writing style I was trying to improve, which repeatedly shows extreme contempt for the group. Isn't that a bad thing? Mackan79 22:20, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't see your removal of cited information as reasonable. Finally, this article had a period of some stabilty after edit wars and you decided to start over again. I reverted to a stable version again and changed "thinly veiled" to "veiled". I also kept your version of the section ===Messianic Judaism opposition===.
In addition to removal of quotes, you added wording like "generally oopose". What does it mean? Or "For this reason, they say, belief in Jesus as deity, son of God, or Christ, is incompatible with Judaism". I find this unreasonable: do Hindus or Muslims "say" otherwise? ←Humus sapiens ну? 00:05, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
The point is Wikipedia should not take a position about which of JfJ's positions are "compatible" with Judaism. To say it's "incompatible" is to make the specific point that JfJ is wrong. That's not something NPOV allows. Now, potentially you could reword the article to explain in NPOV what Judaism is, and specifically what traditional Jewish belief says about Jesus. You could then offer Jewish or other perspectives on how this compares to the views of JfJ. At the point where you're calling things "incompatible," though, you're making an argument, an argument that JfJ is wrong. That's simply against NPOV at a very fundamental level. Wikipedia isn't supposed to make arguments.
So would you please answer my questions? Particularly, why does the first paragraph split Jewish groups into 5 different elements? Isn't that rather, um, blunt? Saying "Jewish groups" makes the important point; it simply leaves off the rhetorical fireworks. If Christians generally opposed something, would you break it apart into every possible categorization? And secondly, which source shows that Jews universally oppose the group without exception? Mackan79 00:34, 30 December 2006 (UTC) Thanks, btw, for leaving certain changes.
Please review WP:NPOV#Undue weight. We are not saying they are wrong. The article has plenty of sources. If you need more, please say so. If you think that some are arguable, please bring reliable sources. If you contest an unsourced statement, please show us which one. ←Humus sapiens ну? 00:42, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
I responded to your individual comments above. What is unsourced is the idea that every single Jewish group opposes JfJ. This is said repeatedly. Do you have a source for that? Also, when you launch into an explanation of why JfJ's statements are "incompatible" with Judaism, you are indeed having the narrative argue against them. Finally, the problem with the first paragraph isn't that it is undue weight, but that it is POV, when all it needs to say is "Jewish groups." I don't want to be sarcastic, but why in your mind don't we list every single Jewish group by name? Who decided that breaking it up into five different elements was the appropriate number? Who decided that a denomination needed to be separated from a group? You must see why I think listing the Jewish opposition as 5 different things is rhetorical rather than neutral.Mackan79 01:15, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
Do you have a Jewish group in mind or you argue just for the sake of arguing? We listed categories we have reliable sources for. I'm open for suggestions, but you simply removed them. ←Humus sapiens ну? 01:25, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
Ah, but let us not forget, if a Jewish organization does not explicitly disagree with JfJ they don't count as we determined so many months ago, and if they do agree with JfJ, they are not Jewish. Is this not correct Humus? :D Homestarmy 01:51, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Do I have an example of a Jewish group that supports JfJ? No. The point here is about WP:NPOV writing. I think Wikipedia should be neutral, do you? We currently have these two options:

  • "Jewish groups oppose Jews for Jesus and many see its proselytizing activities as a veiled attack on Judaism."
  • "Many Jewish groups oppose Jews for Jesus, seeing its proselytizing activities as a veiled attack on Judaism."

Is there a reason you oppose the second? My reasons: 1. Your sources don't support an unqualified statement that Jewish groups oppose JfJ. So it's unsourced. 2. Your version of the sentence is awkwardly and childishly aggressive, connected by nothing more than hostility ("John is a bad person and I don't like him." Could we take a second to connect those two thoughts?) 3. Speaking of unified opposition to a group from all groups of a religion is completely bizarre in an Encyclopedia article. What is a Jewish group exactly? Are you really telling me that every Jewish group even takes a position on JfJ?

I don't think many religious Jewish groups are going to voice support for JfJ. The idea that every Jewish group in the world opposes them, though, is ridiculous. It's also unsourced and aggressively written. Can you see this? Please actually answer whether you think every Jewish group in the world takes a position on JfJ, and how you know this.Mackan79 06:13, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Homestarmy, I'm not sure what your point is. If we're talking about circular reasoning, it seems you're the one saying "If you support JfJ, then you're definitionally not Jewish, so that means all Jews oppose JfJ." Do you not see a problem either with having Wikipedia characterize all Jewish groups as unified in their opposition to a particular non-violent evangelical group?Mackan79 06:13, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
I was being sarcastic, i've been around this article for quite awhile, and what I wrote seems to be what alot of people want to boil the argument down to. Someone found some obscure Jewish children's daycare thing or something, which was indeed a Jewish organization, and of course didn't say a thing about Jews for Jesus, yet one way or another it was ignored. Honestly, it was sort of silly that we were arguing over some Jewish daycare or something anyway, but this wouldn't be the Jews for Jesus talk page if interesting things didn't happen. Homestarmy 06:55, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
For the record, I still disagree too. Humus, there has now been a -lot- of opposition to the editorializing there, and I think we're starting to have some ownership problems here. That paragraph has -got- to get made neutral at some point, and that means presenting it as majority opinion, not as fact. It's a subtle but critical distinction. Seraphimblade 08:26, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
I would also like to add that it is generally not sourcing that is called into question here, it is the manner in which that sourced material is presented. If a lot of Jewish organizations can be sourced, one should simply say "Many Jewish organizations, including (list a few of the top dog/most-recognized names here) state that (insert a paraphrase of their position here, superlative language and the like is generally not necessary). (Opposing group(s)) such as (group(s)) respond to these claims stating that (rebuttals)." This properly frames the debate as a debate, shows clearly what the majority opinion is, but stops short of endorsing this opinion as fact. Seraphimblade 08:46, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it's a number of problems, really. The main problem is as you say, that it's simply non-encyclopedic writing which presents an argument as a fact. At the same time, to the extent it's actually being suggested that there is unanimity, that's also unsourced and ridiculous, since every Jewish group can't possibly take a position on JfJ. Mackan79 21:12, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
I redid the first paragraph, lacking further defense of the status quo. Just to be clear, the fact that Jewish opposition is even mentioned there is somewhat questionable of itself. Many controversial topics do not state the opposition right up front. In any case, attempting to draw all attention to the statement by making strange distinctions between groups, organizations, denominations, etc., is clearly POV. Even if there were five different types of opposition, which there aren't, this shouldn't be in the first paragraph. There should also be a distinction here and throughout the article that it is religious Jewish groups which oppose JfJ, but that's another issue for another day.Mackan79 21:39, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
I find it strange that, against all the evidence, some here keep implying that JFJ's beliefs are compatible with Judaism. You are removing sourced material and introducing WP:WEASEL. ←Humus sapiens ну? 09:37, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
It's not for us to say whether JfJ's beliefs are compatible with Judaism. Only to properly frame the controversy-majority opinion, minority dissent. This is, after all, an article about the dissenters-so if their opinion is clearly presented as minority, it is not POV or weaselish to present it whatsoever. Seraphimblade 10:06, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
Wrong. There is no "minority" in Judaism that believes in divine Jesus, and there is no "controversy" about it. Seraphimblade, your arguments are absurd. Keep your POV if you want, but stop pushing it. ←Humus sapiens ну? 10:56, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
I continue to disagree-the matter, simply put, is in dispute. This article is about an obviously-controversial organization which asserts itself as just such a minority! I personally have no POV here, as I am neither Jewish nor Christian. This aside, however, I would like to see the article properly frame the debate. It is not Wikipedia's place to take sides in a debate, or to state unequivocally that one side or the other is wrong. It is ours only to properly frame it, to present each side's arguments, and to make clear what the majority position is when one exists (as clearly it does in this case). Personally, I do find JfJ's position, that Jews can be Jews and Christians, a bit odd myself. However, it is their position, and to state unequivocally that it is wrong is to violate NPOV. Certainly, we should state that it is widely opposed, by whom, and why, as to fail to do so would be granting JfJ's opinion undue weight. But we must stop short of unequivocally stating that they are in fact wrong. I also agree with Mackan79 that there doesn't need to be a whole ton of "stacking"-it should be enough to state that Jewish organizations almost universally disagree, and cite a few of the most notable ones who have been vocal in disagreement. If we still are not in agreement, however, perhaps best to file a narrower RfC, solely addressing stating the "incompatibility with Judaism" as fact or opinion? Perhaps that could break the deadlock and establish consensus? Seraphimblade 14:17, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
Humus, it doesn't matter whether there's a minority in Judaism that supports JfJ. You're saying every Jewish group /opposes/ JfJ, which is unsourced and untrue. Many Jewish groups have not stated their opposition to JfJ. Why are you insisting on making unsourced false statements and accusing us of pushing POV? There is indeed a controversy, though; one group opposing another is pretty much the definition of a controversy. Please do read WP:NPOV. It is very clear that WP does not assert truth in controversies, no matter how lopsided, and does not try to make clear that a groups claims are wrong, but documents how various people are sourced as believing about it.
As to weasel words, which were the weasel words? If "Jewish groups," etc. are weasel words, I simply reduced five instances to one. Mackan79 17:56, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
Your word "generally" means that there is some minority in Judaism that is pro-JFJ. Proof please. There is no "controversy" in Judaism about the belief in divine Jesus. ←Humus sapiens ну? 23:35, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
Exactly, and this point has been made over and over to deaf ears. This is why direct quotes are preferable to the weasel words that attempt to water down what the sources actually say. --MPerel ( talk | contrib) 18:09, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
Would you also prefer simply saying "many Jewish groups" then rather than "Jewish groups generally"? The first is certainly the more conventional phrasing, but I was trying to convey, on your behalf, that there is actually some amount of concensus here, not simply a number of groups who say this. So watering down is actually the opposite of what I was trying to do. At the same time, I feel there is substantial deafness on your part if you can't see the inappropriateness of stating Jewish opposition as if it is inherent to being a Jewish group that one oppose JfJ.
Two other things: 1. Please reread the policy on weasel words. "Weasel words are words or phrases that seemingly support statements without attributing opinions to verifiable sources." This is not such an instance; it is a summary in the first paragraph and is fully cited. One doesn't cite specific sources in introductions. 2. Please direct your complaints regarding my editing here, and I'll do the same, so we don't have to turn the summary page into a battlefield.Mackan79 21:25, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
No I'd prefer it to say explicitly what the sources report, that "virtually all denominations" etc. And I don't want to have to keep repeating myself everyone time someone new shows up and wants to change what the sources say to something else that fits personal preferences. --MPerel ( talk | contrib) 22:03, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, I didn't change any language about "virtually all." There would be several problems with such language though, most importantly that encyclopedias simply don't use that kind of language, unless extremely rarely, to characterize opposition to a group. When an encyclopedia says "most," this means anything from 50.1% to 99.9%; it's simply the way encyclopedias write to avoid the appearance of bias which your emphasis creates. In any case, what is obviously not ok is to artificially split the opposition into five elements in order to emphasize your point that this is near unanimity. That is simply as POV as POV gets. Why do you keep reverting this edit?
If you don't want to keep repeating yourself anytime someone new shows up, you should not be editing this page. If your feeling is that I am trying to minimize Jewish opposition to JfJ, you are incorrect and failing to WP:AGF. Please be honest: can you not see that it is POV to ramble off 5 different kinds of Jewish organizations that oppose JfJ in its opening paragraph? Again, I'd ask you, if we were talking about a group which Christians generally opposed, should the page say "Christian prayer groups, Christian denominations, Christian organizations, Christian churches, Christian bookstores, the Vatican, Christian bishops, and many other Christians reject this group's beliefs"? Unless you can answer this convincingly, please don't tell me I'm trying to insert my POV into the article. To me it seems extremely clear that several people are simply vehemently opposed to a /neutral/ article on JfJ. Mackan79 22:28, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
What you removed was that Jewish denominations reject J4J as a Jewish organization and subsumed it instead under Jewish groups and added the word "generally" which changes the meaning of what the sources say since sources explicitly state that all Jewish denominations reject them. "Generally" implies that some Jewish groups exist that accept that J4J somehow represents Judaism when there is no Jewish group. If you think there exists some Jewish group that accepts J4J as a "Jewish" organization, then produce a source, otherwise "generally" is misleading. Only J4J regards themselves as Jewish and this is plainly stated in the intro. --MPerel ( talk | contrib) 23:00, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
I think you need to appreciate that encyclopedias are not in the business of characterizing opposition through the use of phrasing. If encyclopedias want to characterize strength of opinion, they state raw facts, such as numbers. Otherwise, as WP:NPOV makes entirely clear, they studiously avoid taking sides in controversies, even where a small group is entirely by itself (flat earthers). When an encyclopedia says "many people believe this," it does not mean that many people also believe the opposite. At most, it implies that one person disagrees. Here, when we very well know that JfJ disagrees, to overlook them is to insult them in their own article. Of course, it is not good enough that their beliefs have been stated above; that is the whole point of the insult. You're saying JfJ believes this, and it is false. That's not what encyclopedias do, either directly or by implication.
You must know, though, that Wikipedia is not based on the notion that unless a statement can be proven false, it must be included. My primary objection to characterizing all Jewish groups as opposing JfJ is my belief that most Jewish groups probably have no official position on JfJ at all. So how would that be sourced? The simple point is that encyclopedias don't characterize opposition to a group as unanimous simply because nobody can find somebody who specifically supports it. Mackan79 23:24, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

(indent reset) Actually, it could simply mean that there is a minority which is not actively anti-JfJ. For that matter, it could mean JfJ itself, as they identify as Jewish, and it is not our place to call them right or wrong-and JfJ would of course be pro-JfJ! As you don't object to the RfC, I'm going to go ahead and file it. Seraphimblade 01:27, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

As an addition to previous-I'm wondering why this bit, from WP:NPOV, doesn't settle the entire debate?

"We should write articles with the tone that all positions presented are at least plausible, bearing in mind the important qualification about extreme minority views."

Does this not clearly indicate we should not state that JfJ's beliefs are factually incorrect, and (in accordance with NPOV) present them as plausible but small-minority? Surely, if we even take this approach with flat-earthers, we can manage it here? Seraphimblade 01:58, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

What part of There is no "minority" in Judaism that believes in divine Jesus, and there is no "controversy" about it you don't get? ←Humus sapiens ну? 05:47, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
The part where we're discussing an organization who has created a controversy over that issue, and claims to be such a minority. Pursuant to NPOV, even if we find their claims ridiculous (as with the flat-earthers), we may not say they are wrong. We can cite all the people and evidence which indicate that they're probably wrong, but we may not say so ourselves. Seraphimblade 05:50, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
It is a Christian organization. Their claims about their relation to Jews and Judaism are as relevant as those of the Christian Identity. ←Humus sapiens ну? 06:20, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't see anything in the Christian Identity article stating that they identify as Jewish-indeed, it appears they'd probably be horrified at the prospect! However, note that in that article, it never says they're wrong, it simply lists their beliefs. (I think that particular article could do with a bit more criticism if it's out there, and I imagine it is, I'll look for some.) However, JfJ does identify as Jewish, and it is still not our place to state that they're wrong-even if most agree that they are. We should not present any given viewpoint, even unpopular or potentially offensive ones, as unequivocally wrong. Rather, we should identify if the viewpoint is criticized, and if so why and by whom. If it is a minority viewpoint, that should be made clear. But we should never state, in Wikipedia's voice, "This viewpoint is wrong." Seraphimblade 06:45, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
Self-id doesn't work. By your logic, since C.I. consider themselves descendants of the Israelites, they deserve to be mentioned in articles Israelites and perhaps Jews. If JFJ chose to use deceptions and misrepresent a classic ancient religion, it should be pointed out - otherwise we'd do a disservice to our readers. But we don't say "they are wrong". Many WP articles need work. Unfortunately, most of articles related to Jews and Judaism are subject to incessant attacks by trolls, clueless POV pushers and all kinds of vandals, wasting time of their own and of others. ←Humus sapiens ну? 11:54, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
They don't deserve to be mentioned in those articles if they're a fringe minority. What that doesn't mean is that you'd state in an article about them that "Jews oppose them."Mackan79 16:33, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
I absolutely did not say or imply such a thing-and I think to mention JfJ in the main Judaism article would be undue weight. However, in the article regarding JfJ, we should mention their beliefs, and not editorialize on them as right or wrong. We should, instead, frame the debate surrounding them. However, if C.I. consider themselves descendents of the Israelites, that should be mentioned in their article-just as the flat-earthers' beliefs should be mentioned in their article, but (with consideration to undue weight) not in the main Earth article. Seraphimblade 12:00, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
Look at the refs: many of them are from JFJ. They are given plenty of space to express their views. Where do we say "they are wrong"? And what editorializing you are talking about? What is "debate surrounding them"? There is no debate, but rather complete rejection: see the refs. If you disagree, let's see your refs. ←Humus sapiens ну? 12:25, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
The main problem is the "incompatibility" (or its successor) section not being under the "Opposition and criticism" heading. That tends to prevent it as fact rather than criticism. If this section were moved under the "criticism" section I'd no longer object a bit. Seraphimblade 12:28, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
No sources then? This is the first time you bring up "The main problem". That "problem" has been already discussed, see above. ←Humus sapiens ну? 12:45, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
"Generally" speaks to the obvious point that an encyclopedia can't speak for all Jewish groups in all times and all places. This is the only thing it implies. Is there another word you would prefer, though? You could just say "Many Jewish groups;" I simply thought "generally" was a stronger statement on your behalf, by suggesting that it's not just many groups, but a predominant majority. The fact remains, however, that you can't speak for all groups at all times and all places without a source saying there is unanimity. Note that we're not talking about "compatibility" here, but whether all groups oppose them, which is the definition of a controversy.
As to Seraphim's main problem, I also completely agree with him, though. We haven't discussed this above; I've simply decided to focus on the first problem in the article since you refuse to discuss two issues at the same time. So, Humus, is there another word you'd prefer to "generally"? This might be a good issue for outside input, on whether it's appropriate for Wikipedia to speak for all groups or all members of a religion in their specific opposition to a group or its tenents.Mackan79 16:33, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
Also, for what is stated in the header, the "JfJ is a Christian group..." appears to indicate that it is exclusively Christian. I think this could be worded in a much more NPOV way-for example, "a group which advocates Christian beliefs to Jews." The sources cited would most certainly support this statement, but they do not conclusively support the statement that it is a Christian group and only a Christian group. (They would support the statement that one clergy member says so and that many members of JfJ are associated with Christian organizations, but that's awkward and I think mine would be both succinct and NPOV in comparison.) Also, I stand by my comment that the section should be moved to the criticism section. Just because something has once been discussed does not mean it is forever decided. Seraphimblade 17:19, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
To add to previous-that "part of a series of articles on Christianity" template has got to go. I would be against the use of either that template or the Judaism template-this is just a more subtle version of "taking a side" on the issue of what JfJ is, and regardless, they're certainly not a main part of either series. Seraphimblade 18:14, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

I've been removing the "major" weasel wording since at least last September [7] Must I repeat my reasoning every week, or can the previous reasons stand? Certainly no new reasons for adding it have been advanced. Also, certain editors have been trying to remove the Christianity templates since mid-August [8], and have been resisted for reasons eloquently stated on this Talk: page. Must those arguments be repeated weekly as well? Jayjg (talk) 22:33, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

In the grand old tradition of collaborative projects, yep, we've got to keep hashing it out until a clear consensus forms on one side or the other, or until a compromise solution can be come to. Thus far, that's not happened, but I think if everyone on both sides will remember to assume good faith and be willing to compromise in some areas to come to consensus, it can be done! Seraphimblade 23:08, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, Jayjg, quite obviously if you want to continue reverting material you have to respond to the people arguing for its conclusion. I was not even involved in any previous debates. The benefit of having hashed something out is that you should be able to state very quickly and very easily the basis for your edits. It isn't that you get to ignore newcomers.
Did the previous discussion note the fact that the banner specifically states the article is in a series on Christianity? Did it explain why deonominations are distinguished from groups, and those from organizations? Did it explain why all these distinctions are necessary in the first paragraph? Were the explanations for why asserting unanimous Jewish opposition to an organizations is entirely neutral better than the explanations I've seen in response to me? You say very quickly that you've already discussed all these issues, but I'm not sure why you think I can simply believe that's true. Mackan79 01:04, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Misleading edit summaries[edit]

I just noticed the following pair of edits: [9], an edit by Mnikoldz, followed by a revert ([10]), marked as minor by Jayjg marked as a minor vandalism reversion. The only other intervening edit is [11], a minor disambiguation fix. I would ask that everyone involved uses true edit summaries, and refrains from calling non-vandal edits vandalism. I believe the edit here was evidently not vandalism-it may have been disagreeable, but it certainly is no random insertion of profanity or page-blanking. Seraphimblade 09:01, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Ah, I see now, that was reversal of a banned user. Still, a summary such as "reverse banned user's edits" would've probably been clearer for an otherwise alright-looking edit. Seraphimblade 09:04, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Undiscussed reverts[edit]

Once again, I ask that reverts not be performed without discussion. My rationale for changing the "Christian" bit is clear-the cited sources do not (and cannot) establish as "fact" that JfJ is Christian, only that many believe that they are. I have accordingly restored the edit (or will shortly anyway). If you must revert, please at minimum discuss why you did so, and why you disagree with the rationale of those making the edits. Seraphimblade 21:48, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Jews for Jesus doesn't deny they are a Christian organization, plenty of sources confirm that they are indeed Christian, this is not even an issue. --MPerel ( talk | contrib) 22:06, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
There is a debate, however, as to whether they are solely Christian. The lead effectively "takes a side" and effectively says "Yes, they are in fact solely Christian." We also should not take a side and say that they are "both Christian and Jewish"-this too is highly disputed. What there is no debate over is that they advocate Christian principles to Jews, and I believe that as this is clearly correct it should be used to describe the organization. Seraphimblade 22:15, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
The intro already addresses it fine, it says Jews for Jesus is Christian (no one argues that they are not), and that the organization members also identify themselves as living out their "Jewishness". It then further explains that this notion is rejected by Jewish denominations and other organizations. --MPerel ( talk | contrib) 22:25, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
Agreed that those parts are fine, they're not under dispute to my knowledge. However, in putting (in Wikipedia's voice) only that they are "Christian", we are in effect "taking a side" as to who is correct in the dispute. Why not simply use something which is obviously and undisputedly correct, instead of something that is the core of the dispute? Seraphimblade 22:29, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
Indeed. I'm not sure why we must constantly repeat these things, they've been stated again and again on the Talk: page for weeks now. Jayjg (talk) 22:26, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
And are still and yet in dispute. It is not just I who disagree, Jayjg-the tone of this article has repeatedly attracted criticism from quite a few editors. Don't you believe that this does indeed indicate there are issues? Seraphimblade 22:29, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, they may be in dispute, but the arguments around them haven't changed, to it's rather misleading to claim that reverts of your edits have been "un-discussed", when they have been discussed over and over, at great length. Just because you go away for a couple of weeks, then come back and do the same reverts you've done time and again before, it doesn't mean that someone who reverts you is "not discussing". Jayjg (talk) 22:37, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
The header may have been discussed before, but I don't recall having ever changed it, and I know I have not to any such version as I did there. I would appreciate if you would state why you disagree that my changes represent a less-neutral tone. Additionally, I believe that any revert in a content dispute should always be discussed. Seraphimblade 22:43, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
Whether or not it should be described as "Christian" has been discussed at great, great length - reversion of changes to the consensus description can, in no way, be described as "undiscussed". Your changes introduced unnecessary circumlocution designed to weasel word around simple facts confirmed by J4J themselves. Jayjg (talk) 22:48, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
And, by the way, in the future, if I revert any changes to the simple, factual, description of the group as "Christian", the discussion of that revert can be found right here, and in the many previous discussions. I won't be repeating myself. Jayjg (talk) 22:49, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
I was not here when the last round of arguments were made. These are my edits which you are reverting, which are not based on prior disputes. If you don't have time to respond, you should not be editing this page. You did not explain your reversions of my edits. If you have explained before why the Jewish opposition is artificially divided into 5 elements in the first paragraph, please simply copy and paste your previous explanation.Mackan79 22:53, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
Additionally, there is not a consensus here. Quite a few editors have disagreed to the current wording. (Quite a few have agreed to it as well, leading to the lack of consensus.) I think, however, that continued discussion is more productive than threats to edit war-I'll freely admit I've not been perfect on that myself, but I think it's important to note that this is not a case of violating any consensus. Seraphimblade 22:58, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
The "Jewish opposition" consists of all sorts of groups which are not normally lumped together, nor do they normally act together. Any edit which removes valid references without giving reasons for, and getting agreement to, remove specific references, will be instantly reverted. Jayjg (talk) 17:46, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
My complaint against the division is that it is inappropriate to speak of five kinds of opposition in the introduction, even if 5 kinds of opposition exist, which they don't. Some of the distinctions are ridiculously transparent (groups vs. organizations). To the extent there are real differences, however, they are irrelevant. The reason each of these groups is included is because they're Jewish, not because they are "organizations" or "groups" or "denominations" or "states." The distinctions serve no purpose other than to give undue weight to the proposition that Jewish groups oppose JfJ. Particularly in an introduction, this is highly inappropriate. Your repeated declarations of intent to edit war are also another clear violation of Wikipedia policy which I'd appreciate if you would stop making. Mackan79 19:06, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
There certainly is a difference between "Jewish groups" and "Jewish denominations"; the other distinction doesn't seem particularly important. However, the real point was that you didn't consolidate references, you eliminated them. Had you simply consolidated them, especially after proposing the edit here first, I doubt it would have been so contentious. And I have declared no intent to edit war; I have simply stated that this article, like all articles, must follow Wikipedia's content policies. Jayjg (talk) 20:04, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
You didn't say that was your objection until after several reverts. When you refer to Jewish groups this would implicitly include groups, organizations and denominations. Again, though, the point is simply that many authoritative Jewish people oppose this. That's the point that needs to be made, without driving it into the ground. I removed certain links which did not fit the format, while leaving dozens of sources for this single assertion. There is such a thing as source over-kill, you know, relating to undue weight. It's a common persuasive tactic to throw up 50 references on a particular point to make it seem like it's extremely important. It looks like now somebody has changed it without removing any sources, though, so I guess that makes the point moot for now. Mackan79 21:27, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Request for Comment[edit]

Unless there is some breakthrough here, I will request comment on two questions:

1. Is it appropriate in the first paragraph to divide Jewish opposition into five groups which distinguish denominations from groups from organizations, or is it more appropriate to consolidate opposition in the first paragraph?

2. Is it appropriate in discussing a group's beliefs to characterize opposition to those beliefs or to the group itself as unanimous among another group, or should one qualify the opposition as coming "generally" or from "many" or "most" in the latter group, to the extent the sources support such a statement?Mackan79 23:06, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Sounds reasonable to me. I've already got an RfC up for this on the fact vs. opinion issue, if you'd like to add to that one rather than filing a second please feel free. Seraphimblade 23:10, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, which request for comment did you put up? Was this recently? I'm not sure where I'm looking (I haven't filed a request before, so I'm not totally sure how the system works either). Thanks, Mackan79 23:38, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
As others pointed out, all this has been discussed on this talk page at length. If you weren't here, have a courtesy to read it. Mackan79, you did not try to "consolidate" the first sentence, but rather removed refs: [12]. We've been through this: 1) the text is questioned because it is unsupported, after the refs are provided they are removed as "Extreme overkill", 3) see 1). ←Humus sapiens ну? 00:15, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Has it been discussed why the opening paragraph distinguishes between groups, organizations and denominations? If so, please tell me where. I've found in the past that people like to say things were discussed that weren't actually discussed. Thanks, Mackan79 00:26, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
We list relevant evidence. Please do not remove referenced information and do not introduce WP:WEASEL. ←Humus sapiens ну? 00:50, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Humus, please note that WP:WEASEL is not a list of banned words which should never be used. It is, rather, a caution against overuse of such words when they do not clearly apply. Here, they clearly do. Seraphimblade 00:56, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
No, Humus, I asked why the article distinguishes between groups and organizations and denominations. This is separate from whether we should assert unanimity in Jewish opposition. So your explanation is that it's "relevant evidence"? I'm not sure that answers the question. I mean, everything in the article is presumably relevant, although I'm slightly concerned that you're trying to include "evidence" in the first paragraph. The question is: why list the Jewish opposition in the introduction as five different things? Shouldn't an introduction try to summarize the information in article, rather than expanding it for unexplained reasons? Can you even tell me what the difference between a Jewish group and a Jewish organization is? Why is this distinction necessary?
Also, though, like Seraphim notes, Weasel Words doesn't refer to a qualification that the opposition comes from many groups rather than all groups. Weasel words refer to unattributed statements. This is not unattributed, which means it is not a use of weasel words. Can you explain to me why my insertion of the word "many" turns the statement from acceptable into weasel words? I think you're actually quite incorrect about this. Again, the question is why "Jewish organizations reject" is ok but "Many Jewish organizations reject" is weasel words. Thanks, Mackan79 01:26, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Although it appears Mackan and Seraph have already commented on most of what can be responded to, I just thought i'd throw in, just because something is referenced doesn't make it necessarily true, but often just true from a particular point of view. Homestarmy 01:53, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't think these are two separate issues. It probably would not be necessary to recite the litany of types of entities that reject the idea that J4J is "Jewish", if you did not also want to put in these inappropriate qualifiers like "many" or "generally." I have yet to see one reliable source for the idea that a belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ is compatible with the religion of Judaism. I don't think even J4J really says that. To the contrary, their web site says that Judaism is merely one of the religion that "Jews" believe in, and they define being Jewish as merely a matter of parentage and not a matter of religion. Of course, they then obscure the whole issue by talking about "Judaica" and Jewish holidays, which they half-jokingly say should include Christmas. It is all there on their web site. As I have said previously, they will say what they think they have to say to accomplish their "mission" (pun intended). 6SJ7 06:11, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Seraphim below is absolutely right. The group says its Jewish. I don't know that it says it practices Judaism. Even so, if you're saying the group doesn't practice Judaism, that's still obviously an opinion which should be cited, not stated as some magically known universal fact. This kind of evaluation of an organization's beliefs is inherently /opinion/. When you're talking about the simple issue of whether they're Jewish, though, then the issue is obviously much much more controversial, in part because you're specifically trying to contravene what the group itself says. You're trying to assert as foundational fact that this group is not what it claims to be. That is not NPOV. You simply can't do that. It's not even close. Indeed, that's probably largely why this article keeps attracting criticism.Mackan79 15:08, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
A dispute over what it means to be Jewish is still a dispute over whether JfJ is Jewish or not, and per WP:NPOV, should still be presented as plausible (though small-minority, and we should be careful to emphasize that as well). If it is plausible, then, that JfJ is indeed Jewish, it is possible there is a Jewish organization who dissents-JfJ! (Since it is effectively impossible to say definitively that one "is" or "is not" of a given religion, self-identification generally has to work, even for professional sociologists and the like). Also, no amount of sourcing could show that "all" Jewish organizations disagree-one would have to show that every synagogue, Jewish school, youth group, etc. had come out against JfJ. On the other hand, to state that "many mainstream Jewish organizations strongly oppose JfJ's philosophies and practices" is quite easily sourced (and indeed, already sourced). Finally, it is not necessary to source that belief in Jesus is compatible with Judaism-JfJ claims to be Jewish for other reasons than that, and whether or not we personally agree (I even personally find it pretty odd), we must present that belief neutrally-as a plausible one which is, however, generally opposed outside of the organization itself. Seraphimblade 07:55, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
"many mainstream Jewish organizations" is offensive and completely unacceptable. ←Humus sapiens ну? 09:32, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Would you care to explain, or to address the concerns raised (that sourcing the "all" statement would genuinely require a source for every Jewish organization in existence, and even then would not address the requirement that we give plausibility to JfJ's claim to be Jewish?) Seraphimblade 09:37, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Your wording implies that some Jewish organizations endorse JFJ. Do you have any proof of that or it is just your original research? JFJ is not a "Jewish organization" because it is a Christian group. One cannot be a Christian and Jewish at the same time. Seraphimblade, what sources are you basing on? ←Humus sapiens ну? 09:46, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Humus, you're kind of driving me nuts with this. Your statements above are completely POV and unsupported. /This/ is a group that believes you can believe whatever it is they believe and still be Jewish. Why do you think we can disregard them in an article about them? There are apparently others who believe similar things, described under Messianic Judaism. Why are you disregarding them?
The question is: Can Wikipedia tell somebody who says they're Jewish in the article about them that no, you're actually not Jewish? Mackan79 14:54, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
My wording actually just implies that not every Jewish organization actively opposes JfJ. The burden of sourcing does not lie with me-per WP:V, the burden of sourcing is on those who do wish to assert something, not upon those who challenge it. Until you can source the position of every Jewish organization under the sun, and every last one actively opposes JfJ, the "all" assertion is inadequately sourced and subject to challenge. Also, please remember that per WP:NPOV, no matter how unlikely JfJ's claims are, we must treat them as plausible though small-minority. Therefore, for purposes of this article, we must acknowledge that they could be right (though ensuring to show that almost everyone thinks they're not.) To the contrary, it does constitute original research for us to unequivocally state "No, it's not possible they're right, because...". It is only for us to cite sources, and basically to say "Almost everyone thinks they're wrong, but they still assert this", not "They're right" or "They're wrong" or "Everyone says" or any such. Here's the critical point from NPOV:
"...where there are or have been conflicting views, these should be presented fairly. None of the views should be given undue weight or asserted as being the truth..."
Therefore, any assertion that JfJ is not Jewish, is wrong, etc., etc., is in violation of NPOV. We can, of course, put in cited assertions of others saying that they're wrong, and to avoid giving JfJ's position undue weight, we most certainly should. But we should not say, in Wikipedia's voice, that they are wrong, in mindfulness of NPOV.
"We should write articles with the tone that all positions presented are at least plausible, bearing in mind the important qualification about extreme minority views."
Therefore, for purposes of this article, we must accept as plausible that JfJ is right-that one may be both Jewish and Christian, even if on its face that seems utterly ridiculous. While it may be your view, Humus, that they are dead wrong (and indeed, that is a view shared by many, and I suspect those many are probably correct), we must, when writing here, accept their views as plausible and possible. To write from the standpoint that they cannot be right is, again, to violate NPOV. We must write from the standpoint that, while it is heavily disputed (a sourceable fact), their viewpoint is plausible and possible (to take any position on this would be an opinion). That also must, then, prohibit such things as use of the "Christianity" template (this takes a "position by template", so to speak), and from stating that no Jewish organizations support JfJ's position-if we are (as NPOV demands) regarding JfJ's position as plausible, they could be a Jewish organization which espouse their philosophy. I know it can be difficult, especially with assertions that do on their face seem ridiculous (trust me, I always make sure to take a good hard look at any edits I make to creationism articles, because it is so tempting to ridicule it), but this is not the place to "debunk" even the most ridiculous of assertions-only to report on what they are, who disagrees, and why. Seraphimblade 15:25, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

I thought it might be useful to look at how other pages deal with this. From the page on astrology: "The scientific community generally considers astrology to be a pseudoscience[9] or superstition[10] as astrologers have failed empirical tests in controlled studies.[10][11]" Is the use of "generally" there inappropriate and POV, or is this different? Mackan79 16:00, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes, the word generally is inappropriate. It implies that some scientists agree with astrology which is not true. It is not different here. Jon513 17:48, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, I think that's just not true, since there are many other things which could explain the qualification as well. Perhaps there are simply scientists who see it as something other than a pseudo-science or superstition. Here, there are likely many Jews who have no strong feelings toward JfJ. That's all that would need to be true to justify such a use of "Jewish groups generally oppose JfJ and see it as an effort to convert Jews to Christianity" or whatever the sentence might be.
In any case, so, would you have simply said "Scientists consider astrology to be a pseudoscience or superstition as astrologers have failed empirical tests in controlled studies"? Or would you say "many" or "most" or "the vast majority" or "all known"? I'd submit "generally" is actually the most accurate and least provocative word, unless somebody else has something better.Mackan79 02:06, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Weasel words[edit]

Any edits which contain unattributed weasel words such as "Many", "Most", "Some", "Almost all", etc. will be reverted, per policy. Jayjg (talk) 17:48, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Jayjg, it is not policy that one may revert or edit war at will, nor is it policy that such words may never be used. The words are already sourced by the existing sources-there is plenty of evidence that almost all Jewish organizations oppose JfJ. There is not, however, evidence that all do, for two reasons. Firstly, there is not a source in the article for every Jewish organization in existence, and I would think this would be rather an impossible project-I'm sure there are millions of such organizations. Therefore, per WP:V, the statement is inadequately sourced and may be challenged. Secondly, even if in theory it were possible to find such millions of sources, and affirm that they represented every known organization, we must still, per WP:NPOV, treat as plausible JfJ's claim that it is a Jewish organization-and it would be unlikely to oppose itself! Therefore, "almost all" or the like is the proper and sourced wording. Seraphimblade 17:54, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

You're right, you shouldn't edit war in your attempts to keep inserting weasel words. Your original research regarding the validity of using "almost all" is interesting, but, of course, only appropriate for the Talk: page at best, not for an actual article. Jayjg (talk) 18:09, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

I would, conversely, assert that it constitutes original research to jump from a well-sourced assertion that many organizations oppose JfJ to a novel conclusion that all of them do. I would also disagree that I have engaged in edit warring-each edit I have made has been to a different section of the article, and once each edit was disputed I came here to discuss them, having reverted back to none. Conversely, you have reverted every attempt to edit the article. I would also assert that any "all" assertion is still inadequately sourced unless every Jewish organization on the planet can be sourced as having come out against JfJ-and even then we have the plausibility requirement from WP:NPOV, which you have not addressed. Seraphimblade 18:14, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't see the phrase "all Jewish groups" in the article; this looks like a strawman argument to me. Jayjg (talk) 18:19, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Jayjg, I think you and others here should reread WP:WEASEL. "Many" is not a weasel word when several groups are sourced. From WP:WEASEL, "Weasel words are words or phrases that seemingly support statements without attributing opinions to verifiable sources." Here, the opinions are attributed to several sources. This is exactly what's supposed to happen. Additionally, the solution to a weasel word is to have the source speak for itself, not to assert unsourced unanimity, as you must know. Please respond if you think I am misinterpreting the policy.Mackan79 18:23, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
There are dozens of sources all saying the same thing, so we certainly can't list them all. "Many" is always a weasel word, unless you have a reliable source that explicitly states "Many Jewish groups etc." Jayjg (talk) 19:15, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Here is the edit in question, true that it does not use those exact words [13]. However, by simply stating that it "is rejected", we are stating that as a fact rather than a position (though a definite majority position). This is problematic, as there are some organizations, such as Messianic Judaism and, well, JfJ, which do reject this position. It is also inadequately sourced due to this implication of "entirely rejected"-we'd have to show that everyone on the planet rejects it, which is certainly not the case. Seraphimblade 18:27, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Why would you add something about what you believe "almost all Jewish organizations" believe to a section on the beliefs of Judaism? Judaism is a religion, with specific beliefs and practices. Many (most?) "Jewish organizations" are not even religious. Are B'nai Brith's beliefs about the Trinity (if they have any) relevant to what Judaism believes? How about the views of the Atlanta Jewish Bowling League? It looks like you inserted a weasel worded strawman claim. Jayjg (talk) 19:15, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
The last link is relevant to this article, since I presume it is a Jewish organization which has no position on JfJ, (I mean, its not like JfJ can contact every Jewish organization there is) and thusly, likely does not have a stated opinion one way or another on whether JfJ is or is not Jewish. But I guess if original reaserch doesn't have weasel wording in it its ok, right? Homestarmy 22:23, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
What are you talking about? What original research? Jayjg (talk) 06:37, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Belligerent Editing[edit]

It is clear that several people here strongly feel that issues of neutrality on this page have been discussed enough, and therefore that new suggestions (meaning suggestions from new people) are not entitled to polite or thoughtful responses. I think this is mistaken. I have seen no indication on Wikipedia that because an issue has previously been discussed, explanations are no longer necessary. Rather, I see a policy which states that reversions should always be explained, and an effort should always be made to incorporate new suggestions even if not completely. It would seem to me that continuous complaints regarding this page indicate that there is a real problem with the page, not that future complaints should be ignored.

The major problem here is that the page asserts without any qualification that JfJ are not Jewish, despite their claims to the contrary, and that Jewish groups oppose JfJ and their beliefs. In fact, this latter claim is a clear violation of WP:WEASEL by speaking for all Jewish groups without any source suggesting that all Jewish groups agree on this. I would very much appreciate an actual response to this. Saying the issue has already has been discussed is irrelevant, when it is clear that there is no concensus on the issue. Mackan79 18:50, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

This is another strawman argument. The page does not assert that J4J is not Jewish; rather, it cites other groups that assert it is not Jewish. Jayjg (talk) 19:06, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Usually when an issue is discussed extensively and a consensus is reached on it, editors do not wish to re-argue the same points over and over again. It is only natural. However, I have not seen a consensus on this page ever. There are 3-5 editors who feel very strongly about their position, and a rotating band of new editors who simply pick up the baton when other new editors are bludgeoned away. Also, that trolling tag on the top of the page is really unnecessary as a look through the discussion history on this topic shows only one "troll" who has been blocked indefinitely. That's the problem with this debate. Any suggestion, no matter how reasonalbe is immediately struck down. I would ask certain editors to at least be slightly open to change.
With that out of the way. The problem as I see it is that JfJ Jewishness is ethnic, but the "Jewish groups" stand on JfJ's beliefs compatibility is religious. Wikipedia should not present a religious controversy where there is none. Saying that "Most Jews believe" is correct if you are speaking ethnically (because ethnically Jews can be Muslim, Christian, Atheist, Hindu, etc.), whereas if you are speaking religiously it shouldn't be used, because it has the same effect of saying "Most Muslims believe Muhammed is the last prophet of Allah". There is no dispute and it is well sourced that belief in Jesus as Christ, is incompatible with Judaism.
Ramsquire (throw me a line) 19:10, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
You make a good point. However, with Islam, that "fuzz" in the definition does not exist (there's no such thing as a "Muslim by ethnicity", a Muslim is simply defined as a person who follows Islam). It's unfortunate that English is a rather fuzzy language sometimes. Perhaps the issue could be solved by using "ethnic Jews" and "followers of Judaism" rather than simply "Jews", where it appears? Jayjg, would this be acceptable to you? Seraphimblade 19:15, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia doesn't care what "Jews" or "ethnic Jews" believe, as the whole concept is not encyclopedic. "Jews" believe a million different things, and it's impossible to properly poll them all anyway. The beliefs of Judaism, on the other hand, can be fairly easily ascertained, from various authoritative sources. This article is sensibly sticking to statements about the beliefs of Judaism, and sourced statements from various Jewish organizations (and others). There's no point in inserting fuzzy and inherently unverifiable claims about what "Jews" believe. Jayjg (talk) 19:45, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
As I've said before though Jayjg, the article is confusing to many people as is, and perhaps some clarifications and re-wordings are necessary. Perhaps we can alert the readers that in some contexts in the article, we are speaking of ethnic Jewishness and in other sections we are speaking about adherents of Judaism. Where is the problem in making the distinction clear? Ramsquire (throw me a line) 20:02, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the comment, Ramsquire. I would simply say this: when it comes to religion, I think there are extremely few things you can say about /all/ believers. In fact, if you look at the Judaism page, and search for the word "believe," you'll find most references are to "many" or "most." Only regarding the core definitional tenent of a small group does it use the word without qualification. The same is true on the Christianity page. Here, we aren't even talking about a belief, but opposition to a group. As I've said above, this doesn't even strike mas a close call. How can you possibly say this is a definitional aspect of Judaism that it opposes JfJ? I agree with you that it's odd to say "most Muslims" like that, regarding the most core aspect of Islam. I'm less convinced that opposition to JfJ is similarly core to Judaism. Even "not believing in Christ as Messiah" seems directly contradicted by Messianic Jews. Check out the Judaism or Christianity pages and see what I mean. I very much agree with most of your sentiment, though. Mackan79 19:35, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
When it comes to religion you are right; there is little one can say about "all believers". That's why this article sensibly sticks to describing the tenets of the faith, rather than what the various adherents may or may not believe. Jayjg (talk) 19:45, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Although I am not Jewish, I believe I can state rather strongly that one of the core beliefs of Judaism is that the Messiah has not yet come. I don't know if it stands alongside the receiving of the law on Mt. Sinai, but the coming of the Messiah is expected and is a tenet of the faith. (If I am wrong, I apologize and stand corrected). Therefore the incompatibility with Jesus as Messiah and Judaism should reflect the rule on all core religious beliefs without qualification. As for JfJ and other Messianic Jewish groups, please remember the distinction is ethnic not religious. Although they celebrate religious Jewish celebrations and customs, that does not make them adherents to Judaism. Just as celebrating Christmas, does not make one Christian. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 19:56, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, like you say, the distinction between religious and and ethnic Jewishness is important, and something this article should better clarify. I remain skeptical, though, that the Judaism page would get concensus for "Judaism asserts that the Messiah is coming." It raises the controversy, of course: who defines Judaism? I'd guess such a statement would surely be qualified with "traditionally believes" or "traditionally asserts." To do otherwise would simply be unnecessarily POV.
Even so, if this article said "Religious Jews oppose," I'd be much more supportive. I strongly disagree with Jayjg, though, that one can only talk about the position of Judaism itself in regard to a group like JfJ. Judaism does not have a position on JfJ. There is no JfJ doctrine. Any position clearly must be extrapolated, even if some people think it's very clear. When others disagree, as they do, that makes it a controversy.Mackan79 20:20, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Authoritative Jewish texts and bodies define Judaism, and it's far more than "religious Jews" who oppose J4J. In fact, I know of many "non-religious Jews" who oppose J4J as well. You see the issue with making up claims about what "Religious Jews" believe? And Judaism certainly does have a position on the claims of J4J, a position that is millenia-old. Jayjg (talk) 20:30, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Is there really a concensus that Judaism is defined singularly by authoritative Jewish texts and bodies? I could say the same thing about Christianity, but many would disagree. JfJ, for one, seems to disagree. As to non-religious Jews, I'm sure you're correct, but the issue is whether we can assert or imply that /all/ feel this way. Quite clearly, I don't think we can. Also, I think you'll find it much harder to prove a concensus that JfJ cannot be ethnically or culturally Jewish, which is all we can say for sure that they claim Mackan79 21:04, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
We need not get into that discussion here. Judaism defines who Jews are. It is not up to others to decide that for them. And yes that is the same for all religions. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 21:44, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Jayjg, can you explain this sentence, then? "According to Judaism, these "indications" are based on mistranslations [18] [19] [20] and Jesus did not fulfill the qualifications for Jewish Messiah. The vision of God as a trinity is seen by Judaism as a deviation from monotheism and therefore is rejected. [21]" Secondly, can you address why you don't think it is OR or WP:WEASEL to speak on behalf of all Jewish organizations in saying they oppose JfJ? For instance: "Jewish groups oppose Jews for Jesus and many see its proselytizing activities as a veiled attack on Judaism." Interestingly, the second half of the sentence suggests your objection to the word "many" is inconsistent.Mackan79 19:17, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
I fail to see what it wrong with the first sentence; can you explain? As for the second, it should be reworded. Jayjg (talk) 19:45, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Jayjg, is there any edit to this article you would accept? What are your objections to clarifying ethnic vs. religious definitions of "Jews"? The article is currently confusing as to which is which, and it would help to clarify that JfJ means ethnic Jews. I think in the case Mackan points out, "many" is appropriately used-many Jewish groups do see JfJ that way, but certainly not all (I would imagine there are plenty of Jewish groups without any official position on JfJ.) Also, most religions are rather fluid and change over time, and there is often debate over interpretation. It is, therefore, not quite so easy to state religious principles as fact (Jews don't believe in Jesus as Messiah? What about Messianic Judaism?) Of course, religious faith also tends to be given over to a lot of dogmatism ("my way is the correct one" type of thinking), so sometimes it's difficult to see debates to that as valid. WP:WEASEL does not object to ever using "many" or "most" or the like as qualifiers, it advocates against it only in the absence of sourcing. What we have here is a lot of sourcing, which does not, however, show that all Jews object to JfJ (as I explained above, that would be effectively impossible). It does, of course, show that "many" do (I wouldn't even object to "almost all" or "most"), but in order to preserve the plausibility requirement of WP:NPOV (JfJ's assertion that it is Jewish must be treated as plausible), it is impossible that all Jewish organizations disagree-as JfJ doesn't! Seraphimblade 20:00, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Of course there are edits to this article which I would accept - I explicitly stated that. As for the "clarifying ethnic vs. religious definitions of "Jews"", why on earth would that be relevant for this article? That looks like an attempt to introduce fuzziness, rather than clarification. Regarding the use of "many", I've been through that "many" times - it's no more appropriate here than elsewhere. As for religious principles being fluid, that's true, but there are some core principals that don't change, and this happens to be one of them - even the Reform movement has stated this explicitly. Finally, you keep talking about what "Jews believe", in order to introduce that fuzziness, but I'm not biting. Jayjg (talk) 20:14, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
It is relevant because JfJ defines its Jewishness ethnically and the organization's opponents deny their Jewishness on religious terms. Don't you think that should be made apparent in the article? If it is just an ethnic identifier, then all mentions of Judaism should be removed from the article as irrelevant. Should it not? Ramsquire (throw me a line) 21:04, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
As to that first sentence: Rather than "according to Judaism", it should read "according to The Judaism Scholars' Group, the Rabbis' Council, and (insert other groups sourced here, names used are just examples and should be replaced with whoever's being sourced in those quotes), these indications are based on mistranslations...". Also, use of the "" around "indications" is unneeded and makes it appear that we're dismissing the claim "in Wikipedia's voice". That way, it's clear to the reader who says so, and we're not stating their interpretation of Judaism as correct "in our voice". Seraphimblade 20:04, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
When authoritative groups and bodies speak about the tenets of Judaism, we simply state those tenets. Judaism really does have tenets, that's part of what makes it a religion. Jayjg (talk) 20:14, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Excuse me here, but JfJ assertion of its Jewishness is not religious as is shown by its membership in several Christian groups, and its use of "Jews" as frontline missionaries. Clearly they are not speaking of followers of Judaism in that sense. I agree that perhaps an explanation of the difference between ethnic and religious should be in the article to clear up the confusion. This is especially the case since some parts of the article are clearly speaking of the beliefs of individual Jews (ethnic) and not Judaism. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 20:11, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Which parts of the article speak about the beliefs of individual ethnic Jews? Jayjg (talk) 20:14, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
From the introduction: "Jewish denominations,[4] Jewish groups, [5] [6] national Jewish organizations, [7] the State of Israel, [8] and many others reject the group's self-identification as Jewish due to the Christian beliefs of its members and its evangelical activities. [9] [10] [11]" and the entire opponents and criticism section. I don't think any of those persons are challenging the ethnicity of JfJ, but rather it's religion. However, it is not clearly defined. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 20:25, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
J4J is an organization, not an ethnic group; it's not claiming to be an "ethnic Jew". Jayjg (talk) 20:31, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
There's ethnic, cultural, religious, possibly others. According to the first paragraph, "Jews for Jesus views its followers as "living out their Jewishness" [2], defining "Jewish" in terms of ethnicity rather than as a matter of religion, and declaring that Jews "are not of one religion." It seems to me they're very much stressing the non-religious aspects, particularly the cultural aspects. Mackan79 20:47, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Also see this. JfJ claims Jewishness by their parentage and as a birthright, which seems to be an allusion ethnicity to me. Further, I'll state this, the members of the organization are ethnically Jewish but religiously Christian. Their opponents object to any characterizations of the individual members and organization's religious belief as Jewish because JfJ's belief's conflict with Judaism. However, no one (in the article) is challenging the ethnicity of the organization (compare this with JfJ-- the NAACP is widely seen as a "black" organization when it is the members of the organization that are black and the organization is officially open to everyone). That point should be made clear in the article (it isn't). Ramsquire (throw me a line) 20:54, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Even the director of the organization is not ethnically Jewish and a good majority of the members are not ethnically Jewish either, so its not clear J4J only intends the ethnic meaning of "Jewish". In fact, J4J is known for its habit to utilize the ethnic/religious ambiguity of "Jewish" for proselytzing purposes. --MPerel ( talk | contrib) 21:24, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Shouldn't the response then be to clarify the ambiguity, rather than utilizing it to counter them? The issue here is about their claim that you can be a Jew for Jesus, not whether every member is ethnically Jewish. They may have ethnic, cultural or religious bases for asserting Jewishness, or they may simply support the aims of the organization. I agree that they don't clarify the ambiguity, but I'd also say they're POV, which we shouldn't be. Mackan79 21:37, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Actually Mackan they do not deny they are a Christian group. Their claim to Jewishness is through their birth. This is from the organization themself:
"Any follower of Jesus the Messiah, therefore, is a Christian (a messianic believer). That believer might be Jewish or of any other lineage.
Thus, "Jewish" refers to who we are. "Christian" is a designation for who we follow. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 21:48, 2 January 2007 (UTC)


That is why I put the NAACP info in there as a comparison. Not all members of the organization are Jewish, but their frontline missionaries are, their message is sent to primarily a Jewish audience, and they organization self identifies as Jewish. As for how JfJ uses this ambiguity to proselytize, I would have no problem with such info going into the article to help the readers understand the ambiguity and the opposition to the group. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 21:44, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
I think we basically agree. That's fine if they admit to being Christian, I just wouldn't be surprised if some claim this is compatible with being religiously Jewish as well. I could be wrong, and that's fine, since an ethnic or cultural claim still can't simply be refuted; I simply haven't seen the religious claim ruled out either. Mackan79 22:04, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Ok, Jayjg, you asked what's wrong with the sentence: "According to Judaism, these "indications" are based on mistranslations [18] [19] [20] and Jesus did not fulfill the qualifications for Jewish Messiah. The vision of God as a trinity is seen by Judaism as a deviation from monotheism and therefore is rejected. [21]" 1. Speaking of Judaism as "seeing" things in a certain way is odd. 2. Wikipedia's pretensions of speaking on behalf of Judaism are unsourced and OR. The Judaism Scholars' Group isn't Judaism unless you have a source saying it is. 3. The sentence is placed as a direct refutation of JfJ. Note the words "rejected," "by Judaism." There is no question this is what the section is arguing. The question is whether such an argument needs to be attributed to those who made it. To me, refutation by one group of another = controversy, which is why I say it should be.

Second, what do you mean that the second sentence should be rephrased? You want to remove the word "many"? I'd encourage you to check out the pages on Judaism and Christianity, which refer to what "many" and "most" people believe many times. Mackan79 20:42, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

My problem with using those pages to create a conformity here is that this is an article about an organization, not a religion. Because those religions have thousand of years to evolve there will be divergence in some views and practices. However, the position of this organization does not represent some new orthodoxy in any of those religions. We should be looking at how other organizations are presented if we are seeking to conform this article. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 21:44, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I'm not talking about how to characterize the beliefs of JfJ, though; I'm talking about how to characterize the position of Judaism regarding JfJ. It's the statements about Judaism seeing things this way and that way that I contest. I don't think such specific statements are possible. It would require Wikipedia to define Judaism very specifically, something it doesn't and shouldn't do, particularly on the page of a group which says Jews "are not of one religion." When you're talking about opposition to a group, I think it's much more appropriate to talk about what certain Jewish groups say. Mackan79 21:57, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
I may be misunderstooding you, but I think Wikipedia can definitively state that Judaism holds the belief in the divine Christ is outside of the faith without qualification. Not even JfJ believes that you can be both Jewish and Christian religiously. Any person or entity who believes that will be a tiny-minority viewpoint and certainly should not be put into this article. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 22:08, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
I appreciate that; it doesn't seem to me that this disagreement is central, though. If the article presented tenents of Judaism in a NPOV way, and this included some neutral statement that traditional Judaism asserts that the Messiah has not yet come, I wouldn't have a problem. My problem is with dubious POV assertions meant simply as theological refutations of JfJ's claims. The thing is, except for the controversy here, the theological soundness of JfJ's assertions would not be a relevant issue to this article. There is no particular reason for Wikipedia to go out of its way to explain that Judaism and Christianity are incompatible in an article about Jews for Jesus. In an article about an astrologist or an astrologist group, an encyclopdia doesn't go out of its way to present a scientific criticism of astrology. Such an explanation would be POV and out of place. Now, when there is a big controversy about the group's beliefs, then that makes the issue relevant. The relevance is directly related to the controversy, though. This is all I'm saying the article should acknowledge, don't you think? Mackan79 22:37, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
I would have no problem if the article said something like: "Although members of JfJ identifies as Jewish through their birth and parentage, many adherents of Judaism feel that JfJ uses the ambiguity between ethnic Jewishness and Judaism to proselytize. These opponents point out that JfJ's belief that Jesus is the Messiah places is incompatible with Judaism." Of course we'd need citations and grammatical changes but I think the basic message should be placed somewhere in the article. This way we have what JfJ believes, what individual Jews feel about it and its incompatibility with Judaism all explicitly stated. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 22:50, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree with that kind of statement, but I think a NPOV version should say "incompatible with Judaism as it is traditionally practiced" or something similar. In the first paragraph, we quote JfJ as saying they don't believe Judaism is of one belief, so I think there is still some controversy even about the religious compatibility. Otherwise you could simply replace "point out" with "argue." I'd note that it's very common in Wikipedia to present ideas as "arguments" or "assertions" even if most people would think it's obvious. Personally I don't think there's any question that this is an argument, though, since Messianic Jews also seem to disagree. Mackan79 23:22, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
It seems highly unreasonable to take the claims of a late 20th century evangelical Christian organization founded by a Baptist minister, and use them to cast doubt on what Judaism's doctrines actually are. Jayjg (talk) 01:11, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
See, but that tiny minority viewpoints- held only by Messianics who number less than a million globally (that one can still be a Jew by accepting Jesus as Christ)- have nothing to do with Judaism. Judaism is quite clear that the Messiah has not come yet. Therefore accepting Jesus as a Messiah, takes you out of the Jewish faith. However, this discussion isn't even appropriate here since JfJ does not claim you can be both. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 00:05, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
It's unlikely that Messianics number over 250,000, and the majority of their members are not even "ethnic Jews". Jayjg (talk) 01:23, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
I was attempting to be generous, it could be less than 150,000. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 01:53, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but you keep ignoring that this is an article /about/ JfJ. The policy on extreme minority viewpoints specifically states that it applies /except/ in articles about those views themselves. Isn't that relevant? Mackan79 03:31, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Jayjg, I'm waiting for your response. If you want agreement before editing the page, you have to respond to questions and comments.Mackan79 22:37, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

What, must I be at your beck and call on Wikipedia 24 hours a day? I'm going other things as well. Jayjg (talk) 01:11, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
You show up very quickly when edits are made. Again, why are you editing the page if you don't have time to participate in the discussion? I think Wikipedia policy is pretty clear that this isn't proper behavior. Mackan79 01:41, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
In response to the statements that JfJ's position covers only ethnic Judaism, I went and had a look for myself. JfJ asserts here that Jesus was in fact the Jewish Messiah: [14], that the Trinity is evidenced in the Hebrew Bible: [15], and that many other Christian positions are compatible with Judaism: [16]. And there's the sources-this debate is not just over ethnicity, it really is doctrinal, and JfJ really does assert that Christian doctrines are compatible with Judaism, not just with Jewishness. Seraphimblade 01:05, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes. So what now? Jayjg (talk) 01:11, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Some editors here persist in reverting. Please make sure to seek consensus on the talk page. Thanks! Justforasecond 01:10, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
You are misstating the point. JfJ's self identification as Jewish is ethnic because as they put it "it is a birthright. It is inherited by our parents." They go on further to state that "Any follower of Jesus the Messiah, therefore, is a Christian (a messianic believer). That believer might be Jewish or of any other lineage." Now you have pulled out the organization's Christian beliefs, those beliefs are held by all Christians. No one is saying those views shouldn't be presented, but it should also be presented that those views are antithetical to Judaism, which holds as a core belief that the Messiah has not arrived yet. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 01:18, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
(In reply to Jayjg) So, we follow WP:NPOV, which is clear: Since we're discussing their viewpoint, we must treat it as plausible, as stated:
"Background is provided on who believes what and why, and which view is more popular....but studiously refrain from stating which is better."
"When asserting a fact about an opinion, it is important also to assert facts about competing opinions, and to do so without implying that any one of the opinions is correct."
"We should write articles with the tone that all positions presented are at least plausible..."
Basically, then, we cannot state that JfJ is right or wrong in their beliefs that Christianity and Judaism are compatible. We can (and should!) identify them as a minority in their beliefs, present the rebuttals of those who disagree with them, present the well-sourced claim that Israel considers believers in Jesus to be non-Jews and disallows them from using the Law of Return. But we must stop short of stating that they are wrong-only that most Jews believe that they are wrong.
(In reply to Ramsquire) No misstatement. They apparently believe in both the ethnic connotations and the doctrinal compatibility-look through the sources I presented, they assert up, down, and backwards through those that Christianity and Judaism are compatible. Seraphimblade 01:25, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
J4J is not a reliable source when it comes to statements about Judaism; on the contrary, it is a partisan extreme minority viewpoint. It's opinions about itself can be cited, but not about Judaism. And, Seraphimblade, if I see any more comments using strawman arguments about what "most Jews" believe, I will not respond, but simply refer back to this comment. Please don't use that inherently unverifiable phrase again. Jayjg (talk) 01:35, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
What Jayjg said up until the sentence that begins with "And." Ramsquire (throw me a line) 01:45, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Also, let's not cherry pick and extrapolate things. When asked specifically whether one can be Jew and Christian they answer yes, in the limited sense of ethnicity and belief. There is no attempt to try to say one can be both in beliefs, they also admit that once you accept Christ as Messiah you are Christian. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 01:49, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't think he is using a "strawman" and it is not OK to refuse to respond to Seriph's comments. He is editing and discussing in good faith. Justforasecond 01:38, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Justforasecond, agreed. Jayjg, Wikipedia states that all positions should be discussed as if they're plausible. Do you think this is consistent with entirely disregarding JfJ's claims in a discussion of their validity? Would it be neutral in an article about John who claims to be a scientist to say "John says he's a scientist. Scientists say he's not."? Or would would it not be appropriate to say "John lacks standing in the Scientific community," or "Most scientists disagree," or "Many well-accepted scientists have contraverted this claim"? Mackan79 01:50, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't think it is a strawman either but it is misleading. What individual Jews (or more clearly ethnic Jews) think is irrelevant. However, we are not sure what Seraphim means so we should assume good faith. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 01:45, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
In summary: This is the article about JfJ. Jayjg is correct that they're a minority viewpoint, and to mention their views in, for example, the main Judaism article would be to give them undue weight. However, this article is one about that minority. In this article, their views do merit mention, and WP:NPOV is clear-when a viewpoint is notable enough to merit mention, we must treat it as plausible, and refrain from taking a side as to whether it is "right" or "wrong". If JfJ says that Judaism and Christianity are compatible, then we must treat that as plausible, even though it is quite an eyebrow-raiser of a claim. The flat-earth comparison is similarly inappropriate (and yet totally appropriate)-we need not address the views of the flat-earthers in the main Earth article, as this would be undue weight, but in the article specifically on them, we must dispassionately state their views, and make sure to have it clear that most everyone thinks they're wrong-but stop short of saying in Wikipedia's voice "They are indeed wrong." Seraphimblade 01:52, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Exactly what I was writing at the same time. Mackan79 01:58, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
My position: JfJ's views are fairly represented in the article. My suggestion as always is to state their view and say it is a view rejected by Judaism. This way, we don't get into what other individual Jews may believe. The other way to handle it is to say "most Jews" (or something apparent) but make it apparent we are not referring to a dissent in Judaism but to the mindset of a certain ethnic group. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 02:03, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Based on Seraphim's sources, though, isn't that inconsistent with treating the group's claims as if they're plausible? Mackan79 02:22, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
J4J's views are not even a viewpoint within Judaism. Even if they were, and they're not, they would qualify as an extreme minority view. WP:NPOV says that we don't represent extreme minority views in articles. But in any event, the viewpoint of a Christian evangelical group created by a Baptist missionary simply aren't relevant to Judaism. Feel free to stick their views in the Christianity article, if you must. Jayjg (talk) 03:18, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Jayjg, the policy I believe you are referring to is WP:NPOV, which states "views that are held by a tiny minority should not be represented except in articles devoted to those views." Is this not such an article? Mackan79 03:25, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

(indent reset) I would agree-this is the article about JfJ, in which their views are relevant. No one is advocating inserting JfJ's views into either the Judaism or Christianity articles. Seraphimblade 03:37, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

You can certainly state J4J's views about Judaism in this article, but you cannot reframe Judaism's views through the prism of J4J's views, regardless of which article it is in. Judaism's views of Jesus don't suddenly become "the views of many Jews" just because this happens to be an article about J4J. Feel free to state that J4J disagrees with Judaism, but you can't say Judaism disagrees with itself on this. Jayjg (talk) 03:47, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
How about we simply refrain from arguing in the narrative that JfJ's arguments are incorrect, and instead cite these arguments to the groups who make them? Mackan79 04:08, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Which specific part of "the narrative" are you referring to? Jayjg (talk) 04:24, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
The whole section on "Jews for Jesus' beliefs and Judaism," for one, is simply an argument for why JfJ's beliefs aren't Jewish. My proposed edits are here: [[17]] Mackan79 05:40, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Normally I don't like the block quotes, but I think in this case, that edit could be a solution. It removes the discussion of Judaism, and focuses it on individual thoughts. I don't have a problem with it. Ramsquire (throw me a line) 17:40, 3 January 2007 (UTC)