Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Who are Messianic Jews?

Who are Messianic Jews?

The term Messianic Jew and Messianic Believer has been co-opted by a number of groups, and what is meant by the term depends on who is using it. The scriptural use of the term is pointed out by Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum, as stated in his book, "The Remnant of Israel; The History, Theology, and Philosophy of the Messianic Jewish Community", (Page 8).

Jewishness Defined

Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum shows that a Jewishness is scripturally defined as follows:

"From the Abrahamic Covenant a simple definition of jewishness can be deduced. It lies in the repeated statement that a nation will come through the line of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and thus defines Jewishness in terms of nationality." (Gen 12:1-3, Gen 15:4-5, Gen 26:2-5, Gen 26:24, Gen 28:13-15)

Gen 12:1-3 The LORD had said to Abram, "Go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land I will show you. (2) "I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. (3) I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."

Gen 15:4-5 Then the word of the LORD came to him: "This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir." (5) He took him outside and said, "Look up at the sky and count the stars--if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be."

Gen 26:2-5 The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, "Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. (3) Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. (4) I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, (5) because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions."

Gen 26:24 That night the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham."

Gen 28:13-15 There above it stood the LORD, and he said: "I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. (14) Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. (15) I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."

Messianic Defined

Dr. Fruchtenbaum shows that a Messianic Jew is scripturally defined as follows on page 15:

"What then is a Messianic Jew? If a Jew is a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, which we believe to be the proper definition, then a Messianic Jew is a Jew who believes that Yeshua/Jesus is his or her Messiah. By faith Messianic Jews align themselves with other believers in Yeshua/Jesus whether Jews or Gentiles, but nationally they identify themselves with the Jewish people."

Paul agrees with this definition in Romans 11. He defines the Remnant of Israel who are today's Messianic Jews as "his people" (vs 1), the present time "Remnant chosen by grace", who are believers in Messiah (vs 5), who are the branches still attached to the root (vs 17). Today's Messianic Jews are the Remnant of Israel, ethnically, and consist of all 12 tribes (Act 26:7).

Rom 11:1-5 I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. (2) God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don't you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah--how he appealed to God against Israel: (3) "Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me"? (4) And what was God's answer to him? "I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal." (5) So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.

Rom 11:17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root,

Act 26:7 This is the promise our twelve tribes are hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly serve God day and night. King Agrippa, it is because of this hope that these Jews are accusing me.

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