Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Beliefs Of Messianic Judaism

Beliefs Of Messianic Judaism Cover Most believers would probably accept the definition of a Messianic Jew as "a person who was born Jewish or converted to Judaism, who is a 'genuine believer' in Yeshua [Jesus], and who acknowledges his Jewishness." 1
- "A tenet of Messianic Judaism asserts that when a Jew accepts a Jewish Messiah, born in a Jewish land, who was foretold by Jewish prophets in the Jewish Scriptures, such a Jew does not become a Gentile. In fact, he becomes a completed Jew -- a Jew who believes Jesus is the Messiah." 2
- Those of the "Evangelic" wing of Messianic Judaism hold theological beliefs which are essentially identical to those of Evangelical Christianity, including: G-d as a Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; the virgin birth; sinless life; resurrection; ascension and future second coming, salvation , inerrancy of the Bible, etc. 3,4
- They believe that their religious practices and beliefs are very similar to that experienced by a 1st century CE Jewish Christian movement (also known as The Way or the Nazarenes). This was one of about two dozen religious movements which were active at the time, including the Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots, followers of John the Baptist, Essenes, Gnostics, Herodians, Pauline Christians, etc. The Jewish Christians was composed of Jewish reformers; their group was founded by Jesus' disciples, lead by James -- the brother of Jesus, -- and largely concentrated in Jerusalem. Historians and theologians differ in their beliefs about the 1st century Jewish Christians:
- Many religious liberals believe that the Jewish Christians considered themselves to be a reform movement within Judaism. They sacrificed in the Temple, observed all of the Jewish holy days and dietary restrictions, and circumcised their male children. They worshiped G-d as a unity, and viewed Jesus as a human prophet and teacher, not a deity or part of a deity.
- Evangelical Christians generally believe that the Christian movement centered in Jerusalem differed little from the Pauline Christians, except that the former circumcised their male children, observed Jewish dietary laws, and worshiped in the Temple. They viewed Jesus as the Son of God, as one personality within the Trinity, as the Messiah, and as their savior.

Messianic Jews generally pattern their beliefs after the Evangelical Christian view of the 1st century Jewish Christians. For this reason, they are generally considered to be Christians by the larger Jewish community.
- Some believe that Yeshua will return to earth in the "Second Coming" only when a sufficient number of Jews accept him as their Messiah and Savior. Others believe that Jesus may come at any time.

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