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Jewish Christians: Messianic Judaism Essay

1623 words - 7 pages

Messianic Judaism
During the 1970s, in the United States, there was a rise in the movement of Jewish Christians known as Messianic Judaism. Messianic Judaism was formerly known as Jews for Jesus, which was organized by a man named Moishe Rosen. The primary focus of Rosen’s group was to focus on expressing their beliefs in Jesus. Messianic Judaism was created as this “exciting vision of Christianity that worked around traditional views of a faith alien to Jews” (Ariel 319). Like Rosen’s movement, Jews for Jesus, Messianic Judaism’s intention is to present Jesus as the Messiah. Not only do they want to show their attitudes towards Christianity, but they also want to identify themselves as the first Jewish followers of Jesus. Considering themselves as evangelical premillennialists, their view has proven them that they are the Chosen People of God.
Many Jews and Christians have reacted negatively towards this movement. These groups find it strange to have both a Christian and Jewish approach. Furthermore, they each state that they are having difficulty maintaining Jewish identity, “Messianic Jews are not only crossing established religious boundaries, but are seen to be allowing themselves to be fundamentally affected by a context of organized social relations” (Kollontai 198). Traditional Jews feel that Messianic Jews cannot commit to two faiths because of how different each one is. The main problem is “it struggles in its years to secure its legitimacy within the larger evangelical movement” (Ariel 320).
It is believed that in Messianic Judaism’s doctrine, Jesus is the Messiah of Israel, the savior of the world, and the Son of God (Loren), also known as Yeshua. The background history of Yeshua is that he was of Jewish descent, who lived a Jewish lifestyle (e.g., going to the synagogue). Eventually he became a rabbi who performed miracles for those in Israel. It is known that the Messianic movement dates back 2,000 years and that followers of the Messianic movement obey the teachings of Yeshua taught through the Torah (the study of sacred texts). Messianic Jews accept the fact that Yeshua is faithful to biblical Judaism because his teachings closely follow the Torah. The people of Israel who believed in the Messiah followed this message “following [the Messiah’s] death and resurrection, many of the questions that plagued the Apostle Paul and early followers of the “Way” (Acts 9:2) had to do with the applicability of Torah (law) to Gentiles who were coming to faith (Acts 15; Galatians 2-3)” (Yangarber-Hicks 128). The words of the Messiah were those of Adonai, also known as God. Yeshua is clearly the representation of God who has delivered his teachings to the people of Israel. Yeshua was Adonai’s “perfect lamb” meaning he was the perfect sacrifice for mankind. This sacrifice evidently displayed Yeshua as the absolute authority of God. Since Yeshua was used as Adonai’s sacrifice for sins, Yeshua became known as the Son of God. Therefore, this is...

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