Wednesday, June 4, 2008

History Of Modern Messianic Judaism

History Of Modern Messianic Judaism Cover
The recent roots of Messianic Judaism date from the mid 19th century. Many Jews in Britain who had accepted Christian beliefs questioned why they were expected to forfeit their Jewish heritage and identity in order to accept the Messiah. The Hebrew Christian Alliance and Prayer Union of Great Britain was formed in 1866 to promote the combination of Jewish heritage and Christian theology. A similar group, The Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA) was organized in the U.S. in 1915. 5 Additional groups were formed elsewhere in the world during subsequent decades. The International Hebrew Christian Alliance (IHCA) was organized in 1925. It has become the International Messianic Jewish Alliance (IMJA). 6 The International Alliance of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues was organized in 1986 "as a fellowship of Messianic congregations or synagogues under the auspices of the MJAA." 7

"By the end of 1993 there were 165 independent Messianic Jewish congregations world-wide, and a similar number of Jewish ministries and fellowships." 8 These congregations are usually affiliated with associations such as:
- Canadian Fellowship of Messianic Congregations and Ministries
- Fellowship of Messianic Jewish Congregations, a non-charismatic group
- International Alliance of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues. (IAMCS) This started as a charismatic outgrowth of the MJAA.
- Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA). This was the original American alliance.
- Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship
- Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC) This is an independent charismatic group.

Some groups restrict membership to those who are children of a Jewish parent or who are married to a Jew. Some organizations admit individuals who do not qualify for full membership to join as associate members.

Although some refer to their members as Jewish Christians, their preferred term since World War II has been Messianic Jews. There are about 100,000 Messianic Jews in the United States. There are over 200 Messianic congregations in the U.S., about 50 in Israel and many others in other countries. 9 Some Christian-Jewish inter-faith couples find a Messianic Jewish congregation to be a religious environment in which both can feel comfortable.

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