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 FrogO_Oeyes
Joined: 8/21/2005
Msg: 151
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Are Messianic Jewish people still Jewish ? Page 3 of 10    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)

1) Jews are a race

Simply put - this is wrong. Not false, just plain wrong. To further comment on this...


once a Jew, always a Jew.
Just like being any other nationality.

Yes...and you could call Jews a nation. But "nation" and "race" are very much different concepts. A "Brit" or a "Jew" may be white or Asian, but a white Brit is not the same race as an Asian Brit, while an Asian Jew and an Asian Brit are the same race. The term "race" has various definitions, but they all include a concept of distinctive features and relatedness. All members of a race are more closely related to each other than to any member of any other race. This cannot apply to Jews. Genetically unrelated peoples, including blacks and Asians have converted to Judaism over the millenia. Likewise, some descendants of the first Jews have converted to Christianity, Islam, etc. Thus: some of those with Jewish ancestry are not Jews. By definition, they would be racial Jews. Many of those who are Jews do not have that original ancestry. By definition they would be Jews, but not racial Jews. Two violations of the concept of "race". Among humans, we typically recognize three or four races. Among other organisms, we would consider these to be subspecies or species, though this is both politically and socially unacceptable where humans are concerned, as well as taxonomically flawed. Caucasians, Mongoloids, and Australasians form physically and genetically distinct and identifiable lineages more or less unique and separable from all others. Although blacks [negroids] are usually recognized as a race, they are actually the one group which cannot be recognized as a race. The reason being, the other three races are all derivatives of Africans. By recognizing them separately, what remains of the Africans is a large number of separate, distinctive physical and genetic groups, each one equal to the other three races. "Negroid" would be a catch-all for multiple biological races. Treating them as one would necessitate including whites, Asians, and aboriginals...which would be exactly the same as calling them "human". Similarly, calling Jews a race would necessitate chopping Caucasians into a large number of smaller "races" of equal genetic and physical status. That's IF Jews were a homogeneous group, which they are not. So no, not by any stretch of the imagination a race. "Nation" if you must.
Talmud - out of my league. Sounds good.
Etymology - The specifics are largely out of my knowledge base, but I would agree with the argument.

To the ACTUAL topic...
I would have to say that 2000 years ago, one would consider a Messianic Jew to be Christian. However, what Christianity is now is distinctly different from messianic judaism, and to use the term Christian would be highly misleading. It would seem that there is actually very little to separate a messianic Jew from other Jews, so considering them as such would seem most appropriate. It doesn't sound to me like there's actually ANYTHING to disqualify them as such. All Jews believe in a messiah, do they not? His coming is expected, but since that is considered to be a future event, then the established writings could never account for his arrival, at any time. So long as one follows Jewish teachings, there's nothing to preclude the follower of any messiah being Jewish.

Besides, many would seem to argue that there are only two choices - Jewish or Christian. Christian Jews are called Christian. Mohamadan Christians or Mohamadan messianic Jews are called Moslems. Maybe messianic Jews are not Christian, not Jewish, but messianic Jews...or just Messianic. "Yeshuite" might be confused with "Jacobite" or "Jesuit" though.
 Raveninns
Joined: 7/19/2005
Msg: 152
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Are Messianic Jewish people still Jewish ?
Posted: 10/29/2007 5:26:43 AM

Real Jews still believe the messiah is coming and that it will mostly likely be someone of Davidic descent.


I must admit that I know very little of this subject.

But this little tidbit piqued my interest. Can someone tell me if Jewish people keep family trees that clearly show David's bloodlines? Can a contemporary today claim to be a descendant of David? If the descendant of David finally shows up, how will he prove it? Or is it understood that the entire Jewish contingent is by default a descendant of David?

I am truly not trying to be contentious here. Just want to know a little more.

Cheers, Raven
 grin2cu
Joined: 7/19/2007
Msg: 153
Are Messianic Jewish people still Jewish ?
Posted: 10/29/2007 6:45:54 AM
Judaism in it's entirety is not descended from David.
But it would make little difference to most Jews. Messiah does not mean the same thing within Judaism as it has come to mean within Christianity. Within Judaism it means "anointed one", and has a connotation of governmental authority. It does not connote divinity. This connotation comes from Greek and Hellenistic sources.
The claim of governmental authority, or kingship was what the Romans were concerned with. Being pantheistic, they couldn't have cared less with one more god.

Since Jesus spent His entire time on earth as a devout Jew, and Christianity started after His time, there is some question as to what claim He was making. Please note I'm not trying to be disrespectful to Christianity. What Jesus taught was mostly within mainstream Judaism.

Anyway, in answer to your original question, I don't know of any families keeping family trees back that far, but with modern DNA testing it probably would not be an impossible task to establish this. DNA testing has proven, for example, the continuity of the priestly line, the Levities, and of the Cohen's, the High Priests.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 154
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Are Messianic Jewish people still Jewish ?
Posted: 10/29/2007 5:47:35 PM

But this little tidbit piqued my interest. Can someone tell me if Jewish people keep family trees that clearly show David's bloodlines? Can a contemporary today claim to be a descendant of David? If the descendant of David finally shows up, how will he prove it? Or is it understood that the entire Jewish contingent is by default a descendant of David?
Not me personally, but I have heard of people who have a full record of their lineage on both paternal and maternal lines, and some of these people have a full paternal line going back to King David. My father's family have detailed their lineage going back about 12 generations. My mother's family goes back about 5 generations. Most Jews I know of, are proud of their family history, and take great pride in knowing who they are descended from, and who they are related to. With most Jews I have met and known, the only game more popular than "who are you related to?" is Jewish Geography aka: "do you know so-and-so? he lives in your town."
 FrogO_Oeyes
Joined: 8/21/2005
Msg: 156
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Are Messianic Jewish people still Jewish ?
Posted: 10/29/2007 9:14:14 PM

That should be enough to put to rest the point of religion and race

Sorry, it is not. One or two genetic markers specifically sought do not make a race. These genetic studies only seek markers within the target population. They do not seek markers in outside populations, nor do they seek other markers FROM outside populations. Thus, they do not show overall relatedness, either within the study group, or between the study group and outgroups. The studies have an inherint bias, they do not evaluate overall relatedness, and they don't use adequate data to reach a conclusion of race [the studies themselves only conclude "line of descent", which is a far cry from "race"]. There's more, but basically, the conclusion is so far off the mark that I lose track of which flaws are forefront in my mind.

Your first link contains no science and is irrelevant.
Your second link starts with a summary which does a great job of showing that jews are not a distinct and homogeneous group. To whit:

Eastern European Jews have a significant Eastern Mediterranean element which manifests itself in a close relationship with Kurdish, Armenian, Palestinian Arab, Lebanese, Syrian, and Anatolian Turkish peoples

None of these are races, and there is no indication that any are distinct - only that all are closely related.

the Y-DNA haplogroups J and E, which are typical of the Middle East, are so common among them

IE, not unique, and widely shared with the neighbors.

At the same time, there are traces of European (including Western Slavic) and Khazar ancestry among European Jews. Ethiopian Jews mostly descend from Ethiopian Africans who converted to Judaism, but may also be related to a lesser extent to Yemenite Jews

IE, not a unique or homogeneous group.

What we can say for sure is that Jewish Y-DNA tends to come from the Middle East

IE, not unique and endemic to the groups. Not distinct from the neighbors.

studies that take into account mtDNA show that many Jewish populations are related to neighboring non-Jewish groups maternally

Again, not unique or endemic, as well as being strong evidence of outcrossing into adjacent cultures...which is the same trend suggested by Y chromosome haplotypes. mtDNA is only really useful to demonstrate strongly UNrelated groups. No matter how much inbreeding takes place, ONE outside female with female descendants will leave a pattern of outside mtDNA, and ONE outside male with male descendants will leave a pattern of outside X chromosomes. A six-foot population with blonde hair, blue eyes, which includes but ONE 5 foot person with black hair, roman nose, and brown eyes can easily leave NO trace of the the out-stock's genes after a couple centuries. If that one person was female though, and all females in the population descend from her...they will have her mtDNA. A comprehensive study will show that the strongest ties are with other blue-eyed blonde-haired groups. The mtDNA will create an illusion of strong ties with black-haired brown-eyed groups. It's an illusion borne of not understanding the data.

comparisons with living populations appear to be adequate to trace geographic roots

IE, they're Caucasians, more or less in the strictest sense. The "Kurdish, Armenian, Palestinian Arab, Lebanese, Syrian, and Anatolian Turkish peoples" might take exception to being called the "Jewish race", a definition necessitated by this highly flawed use of the data. All of these are, however, definitively part of the Caucasian race
The remaining sections of that site refer to a large number of traits which are not unique to Jews, but are shared with various other neighboring ethnic groups [ethnic does not equal race, though they are often subsets OF a race]. It actually refers specifically to jewish lineages which are NOT "pure".
The third site refers to the markers in a general sense, noting their persistance after 3000 years. It emphasizes genetic cohesiveness, but that does not define a race on its own. There are many genetically cohesive groups of varying size, but only the largest and most distinctive, with shared genes and physical features and a common geography and ancestry dating back tens of thousands of years. In this case, "race" is a deliberate obfuscation. The word is used outside it's normal definition, leading to a false equating of several related ethnic groups with large biogeographical entities. In other words, it's a lie.
Your next link reiterates the data again. Argumentum ad nauseum fallacy - repeating the data doesn't make it any more useful.. Be that as it may, once again, the very article you cite points out that male and female Jews have different ancestries! Either way you look at it, this is a problem. It shows that the data set is too small to draw comprehensive conclusions, and it shows a minimum of TWO origins. Thus, these data not only fail to support the conclusion [half of the data disagrees with the other half], but they point to a contradictory conclusion [two origins rather than a shared origin].
The last link is mainly a database of sources. Good place to search for sources, but not a source in itself, and thus of rather limited value here. Handy to post as a link if you expect no-one will look at it. Argumentum ad meritoriam, perhaps?
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
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Are Messianic Jewish people still Jewish ?
Posted: 10/30/2007 6:25:44 AM
I looked up "race" on Wikipedia. Seems there are many viewpoints on what defines a race, and each argues with the others.
So I looked up the definition of race on the Web, and this is what I found.
Race:
* people who are believed to belong to the same genetic stock; "some biologists doubt that there are important genetic differences between races of human beings"

Now, to me, people who are believed to belong to the same genetic stock, can only ensure that they belong to the same genetic stock by mostly ensuring that their parents belong to that same stock, too.
Of course, having 100% genetic stock that is the same over many generations is not realistic. But as long as the majority belong to the same stock, and the minority of different genes are absorbed into the majority, I see every reason why the majority genes should be dominant and those are the genes that are expressed.

However, a lot of people might disagree for a few reasons:
1) A lot of people classify race in terms of skin colour, simply because it's easier to pick them out: white for Caucasian, yellow for Asian, and black for Negroid.
2) Jews seem to have a lot of different appearances that are very close to the peoples of the countries that they live in. This causes a lot of people to believe that Jews bred with a lot of non-Jews.
3) It's estimated that about 10% of children in marriage are children of a different father than the husband, so a lot of people assume that Jews do this, too.

Analysis of these reasons:
1) Personally, I don't think this fits at all, because I've met Moroccans who lived there all their life and were blond-haired and blue-eyed. Skin colour is only a few genes out of millions that could be different. It's picking the most obvious, not the most accurate. It also doesn't account for the records of blacks being integrated in England in Victorian/Georgian times, who were present in the records, had children with white men & women, yet they seemed to disappear within a few generations. By the 50s, it seems that the only coloured & black people were immigrants from Jamaica, India, Africa and other countries. But the original immigrants from a hundred years before ceased to exist.
2) Jews appear to have a rare genetic abnormality: they appear to change skin colour and outward physical appearance. Their outward physical attributes seem to adapt very quickly to their environment. I've seen this first hand, in children of immigrants in Israel, who share the same genes as their parents, but don't share the same physical appearance. The differences between generations in immigrants appear to me to be far above normal.
3) Many religions are very active in trying to convert as many people as possible to their cause, which causes intermixing of genetic stock in people of the same religion. Also, these same religions often have a rule of defining lineage through paternity, but this has been impossible to establish except through DNA-testing, which was unavailable until recently. Usually skin colour was used to establish paternity, although this was problematic, as it often turned out that if one parent had one ancestor who was of a different race, there would sometimes be a "throwback", a revival of that ancestor's genes. The woman was often blamed with horrible results.

Jews work according to a different system: they discourage converts wherever possible. In addition, due to the denigrating way in which Jews have been treated, there have been very few converts throughout history, so the number of converts have always been in the minority compared with the main stock of Jews.
Also, Jews define lineage as through the mother, so defining a Jew was always easy, as a mother would be there at the birth of her child. She cannot miss that one. But some very important other differences exist: one is that many religions define a child as "illegitimate" if the child was born out of wedlock. This caused many women to attempt to be without child until they got married, and then to have affairs. Jews regard a child born out of wedlock exactly the same as a child born in marriage, so there is no stigma on the child.
However, if a child is born out in marriage and the father is not the husband, then the child is a "mamzer", and cannot marry another Jew, unless that Jew is also a mamzer or a convert. If a mamzer hides his/her identity and marries another Jew who is neither a convert of a mamzer, the child is a mamzer too. Some mamzers did hide who they were, and it turned out in later years and caused innumerable problems to the mamzer, because other Jews no longer trusted the mamzer. So Jews do whatever they can to ensure the father of a child born in marriage is the husband.
Also, Jews were so denigrated by the surrounding peoples of the areas that they lived in, that in many societies, Jews were "untouchables". If a non-Jew was found to be having relations with a Jew, the non-Jew as not "patted on the back", but condemned and ostracised by his community. There are rare accepted cases, but by and large, it was not the norm, and in all of those cases, the other religion claimed the child, so the identity of the child was lost to other religions, but the genetic stock of the Jews as a group was not usually confused any more than it was.
Also, Jews are a very community-oriented society. Even in our multi-cultural society, Jews in every area usually have group events, that run at least once a week. They invite each other for dinner. They discuss business at these events. Their inability to work on the Sabbath causes plenty of problems for having working business relationships with non-Jews who want to do business on the Sabbath. They eat different food. They have restrictions on their clothing. Most of the religious and cultural practices of Jews are inherently self-reinforcing. So Jews who have relationships with non-Jews tend to find themselves in a very uncomfortable position. The non-Jews in these relationships see little reason why they should be uncomfortable, so they usually pressure the Jews in these relationships to stay away from their community. Usually, the children of these relationships end up mixed into the general community, and away from the Jewish stock. When they return, paternity is assumed to be of a non-Jew, and the maternal line is easy to determine. For this reason, Jews tend to seek other Jews. It's easier to be in the community if both are Jewish, and easier to be outside of the community if one is not.
Also, Jews tend to make very bad casual partners, such boyfriend & girlfriend, but excellent long-term partners. So the majority of non-Jews who have relations with Jews tend to end up in long-term relationships, such as marriage. So kids usually result from such partnerships. As the children of male Jews who have relationships with non-Jewish women are not Jewish, and not accepted by the community, Jewish men who do date non-Jewish women tend to keep clear of the community. Jewish women tend to only want to date Jewish men, because of all of the problems caused by having a non-Jewish man who is not accepted by the community. In the rare cases of Jewish women who date non-Jewish men, they tend to avoid the community too. Sometimes, the children seek out the community for a sense of identity and belonging, and often similar values as the child was raised. However, in these cases, the children quickly become so engrossed in the Jewish community that they seek to define themselves in the community, and end up being quite straight about their parental origins. Even if they lied about it, it would make little difference, because Jews keep track of who attended what functions and why. We have a tracking system through the social events of the community. A tiny trickle escapes awareness, but this is less than 1%, and is a very small minority.

All of these reasons and more tend to cause Jews to have children with other Jews, when children of Jews and non-Jews exist, they tend to keep away from the community or be known to those in the community. So the genetic stock tends to be preserved very clearly. In fact, the reason that Jewish history mentions so often when such intermingling occurs, is precisely because Jews want to know if a parent is Jewish or not. So when any mingling occurs, it is noted. So most Jews know if they are Jewish or not, and if they have any genes in them of another stock altogether.

I myself know that of my ancestors, one of my great-grandparents was a convert from Scotland. I also know of one of my cousins who married a Roman Catholic for a while, but they divorced without children. Apart from that, the rest of my family line is Jewish through and through.

Jews are the most family-centric, children-centric and lineage-centric group that I know of. So we are unlike most peoples in this respect. We know where we come from. So if we say we're mostly the same stock, we are.
 FrogO_Oeyes
Joined: 8/21/2005
Msg: 158
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Are Messianic Jewish people still Jewish ?
Posted: 10/30/2007 9:50:24 AM

So if we say we're mostly the same stock, we are

Which is fine, as it is. That agrees with the data. It simply does not coincide with normal concepts of a race, for reasons I've outlined.



1) A lot of people classify race in terms of skin colour

That's true, but skin color is only one feature, and skin color alone is not used to define a race. There are a wide range of traits, and they tend to coincide with both overall nuclear DNA data as well as mtDNA data, making them real biological entities. For reasons already outlined, negroids are not a single definable race, despite the widespread perception based largely on skin color. Likewise, "brown people" are not a race, nor are Amerindians - these are subsets respectively of Caucasoids and Asians [I'm avoiding "mongoloid", which too often carries undesireable connotations], each including a number of ethnic groups. In fact, Amerindians are related to no less than five separate groups of Asians, a phylogenetic nesting which precludes recognition as a single race. That's the same situation Jews are in, but without the depth of the Amerindian family tree.


1) Personally, I don't think this fits at all, because I've met Moroccans who lived there all their life and were blond-haired and blue-eyed

Bad choice of evidence. First, because a single data point does not refute an overall trend, and second because most North Africans are caucasoid. While blonde hair and blue eyes are more common in northern ethnic groups, they're still traits which are pretty much confined to caucasoids. The example has caucasian traits because the example is caucasian. The same traits occur sparingly in central Asia, but in this case it's because the populations are of mixed Asian and Caucasian ancestry. I don't understand the point of your other example. Minority genetic traits will quickly be swamped by the dominant gene pool, if not completely erased, unless they offer a selective advantage. Y-chromosome genes and mtDNA may persist if there is a continuous lineage of one gender. The former will leave few if any identifiable physical traits, while the latter will leave none and is only identifiable biochemically.


2) Jews seem to have a lot of different appearances that are very close to the peoples of the countries that they live in.



2) Jews appear to have a rare genetic abnormality: they appear to change skin colour and outward physical appearance



children of immigrants in Israel, who share the same genes as their parents, but don't share the same physical appearance

These are closely related points. First, Jews are mostly caucasian, and mostly live in countries which are mainly caucasian. They have few, if any, distinctive features of their own, and most features will be shared with related ethnic groups. That was well-demonstrated by the genetic studies cited earlier. Jews don't stand out because there's very little unique about them! Second, there's no evidence of this "chameleon" gene. It's mythical, wishful thinking. Last, generational differences, what few there are, can likely be attributed to climate. If most Jews have a middle eastern caucasian ancestry, then when they grow up in the middle east, they're going to look more middle-eastern. This will mostly affect skin and hair color, which tend to darken in warm-climate caucasians. These are traits which are widespread around the Mediterranean, regardless of ethnic group. The argument here seems to be: Jews are a distinct biological group, even though the genetic evidence we cite actually shows Jews do not have a shared origin. Jews are distinct, but don't look distinct because they are soooo distinct they have a gene that makes them blend in. A gene for which there is no evidence.
To be magnanimous, it's a pretty weak argument.


3) It's estimated that about 10% of children in marriage are children of a different father than the husband, so a lot of people assume that Jews do this, too

I won't dispute your lengthy argument, as it does make sense. Regardless of the percentage though, outbreeding happens. The genetic data show that. This also has no influence on the fact large numbers of Christians and Moslems originated from Jewish populations, and Jews themselves drew from surrounding groups. Even with complete isolation [which most definitely isn't the case], that's only 5000 years or about 200 generations for Jews AND all their offshoots. It's only 2000 [80 generations] for those who descend from original Christians, and no more than that for Moslems. One of the most significant flaws in the race argument is the fact the term "Jew" is normally taken to refer to a culture, ethnic group, and religion. By adding race to the mix, everyone who shares a genetic history would now be called jewish. That includes many Christians and Moslems. The genetic group does not equal the cultural, religious, ethnic group. You have a choice: "Jew" can mean a biological group which includes many but not all of the Jewish faith, as well as many of Christians and Moslems. Or "Jew" can mean a small number of ethnic groups with a common culture and religion, and a fair amount of shared genetic history. Logically, you cannot have it both ways, as it would imply that all who shared the genetic history also shared the race, culture, religion, and ethnic groups, which is false. It also would imply that all who share the culture, religion, and ethnic groups also share exclusive gene pools, which is equally false. I am allowing for polyphyly [multiple origins, but each line is effectively complete], but not paraphyly [some descendants of the same ancestor are specifically excluded from the group]. There's some play in this because we are dealing with populations of a single species, but the principles hold because a genetic race is analogous to a subspecies or species. Trust me on this - we're now mired deep in one of my areas of expertise, and increasingly far from the topic, as interesting as it is.

It is quite possible to show a shared continuous lineage without being able to demonstrate a homogeneous and exclusive gene pool, and the genetic data provided on the Jewish websites actually proves both continuous lineages AND lack of an exclusive gene pool.

Can someone perhaps offer further insight on messianic jews? Or have we exhausted the actual topic? Oh..here's an idea...how do messianic jews relate genetically to non-messianics? Do they tend to carry the same family markers, or possess unique ones?
 romanticoptimist
Joined: 10/1/2007
Msg: 159
Are Messianic Jewish people still Jewish ?
Posted: 10/30/2007 10:03:17 AM
I'll fore-go all the arguments about race, genetics, etc. --maybe my visit to Dachau makes me overly sensitive to such discussion regarding "Jews"!! -- and stick to the question asked.

YES! Messianic Jews are by self-definition "Jewish". To them Jesus is the Messiah and the fulfillment of Jewish prophecy and expectations. Thus they are both "Jewish" and "Messianic". The question posed at the end of "he believes in Christ and his teachings....how is that Jewish ?" is unfair. You presume that the one (believes in Christ and His teaching) mutually excludes the other. It doesn't. Look to the very first ones who "believes in Christ and His teachings". Most of them were "Jewish"! And before anyone runs "Jewish practices' or "Jewish beliefs" up the flag pole, I don't care. What one group of Jewish theologians believes in regard to another group is of no matter. Who are they to judge who is or isn't a "real" Jew?

When a Jew believes and accepts Jesus as Messiah that Jew becomes a "Messianic Jew" (their own description). Discussions about whether they are entitled to the "Jew" part of their self-description are offensive.
 romanticoptimist
Joined: 10/1/2007
Msg: 160
Are Messianic Jewish people still Jewish ?
Posted: 10/30/2007 2:05:51 PM

If he accepted Jesus as his savior doesn't that make him a Christian by definition?

Yes. But you seem to be under the misconception that "Christian" and "Jew" are mutually exclusive. they're not. If you believe they are maybe you can tell me what you are going to do with the original disciples and apostles (all "Jews" and "Christians"), the converts on the day of Pentecost (mostly "Jews" and "Christians"), the various members of the churches throughout the early church world, many of whom were "Jews" and "Christians". Should I add more groups, or have I made my point?
 themadfiddler
Joined: 10/16/2006
Msg: 161
Are Messianic Jewish people still Jewish ?
Posted: 10/30/2007 11:21:42 PM


When a Jew believes and accepts Jesus as Messiah that Jew becomes a "Messianic Jew" (their own description). Discussions about whether they are entitled to the "Jew" part of their self-description are offensive.


How do you figure?

If being Jewish is about following the precepts of Judaism and/or if the largest amount of the majority gets to determine what the group or the culture's determining factors are, then how is it offensive if the cultural group itself sets the bar for what constitutes a "Jew"? And if that is the case and the majority of Jews decide that you need to have been born of a Jewish mother at the least and not following the precepts of Christianity to be considered Jewish, then how is that in any way offensive?

It seems to me that in this case, with all due respect, Christians and those Jews who have become Christians want to do an end run around what the definition of the cultural group on the whole has decided and selectively redefine themselves.

Well they may well call themselves whatever they like I suppose. But in the end, all that really matters is how does their peer group view them. By and large, the majority of Jews who espose Judaism do not view Messianic Jews as anything other than Christian. Unless the law has changed recently, the state of Israel doesn't regard them as Jews for the Right of Return.

from the wiki article on Messianic Judaism...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messianic_Judaism


Identity
Although words used to identify aspects of Messianic Judaism are frequently disputed and sometimes contradictory, the term itself generally describes a belief that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and that obedience to the Scriptures is the proper expression of faith. Adherents are described as Messianic believers or Messianics for short.[17][18] Messianic Judaism is a relatively new term, coined as recently as 1895 to help separate the practices of its followers from those of common Christianity as a whole, and in order to more closely align its faith with that of biblical and historical Judaism.[19]

While Messianics describe Messianic Judaism as being Jewish,[17] Jewish denominations, Jewish groups, national Jewish organizations, and others reject this classification and regard these groups as Christian.[6][10][7][14][12]

Messianics believe that the first followers of Jesus of Nazareth were called Nazarenes (in Hebrew, Notzrim; "נצרים") or simply the Way.

The congregations often ask members to convince other Jews to come to their belief. Mainly studying the New and Old testements for "Proof Texts" to help "Save Jewish souls".


[edit] History
At its 1996 annual meeting, the Southern Baptist Convention resolved to focus on converting Jews -- specifically to "direct our energies and resources toward the proclamation of the Gospel to the Jews." This year's meeting afforded a look at how the SBC goes about evangelizing the Jews through the Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship.

The "messianic" -- Jesus worshipping -- congregations endeavor to appear "Jewish" in order to provide a reassuring display of Jewish symbols to potential converts. Rabbis contacted for this report deemed the Jewish facade deceptive.


During its annual meeting in San Antoinio, a meeting that dovetailed with the SBC's annual meeting, the Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship (SBMF) heard a representative of the SBC say that the fellowship needed to expand to reach all the Jews in the United States. The SBC's Baptist Press reported:

... Aslam Masih of the North American Mission Board [of the SBC] addressed the group about how they can better reach Jewish people with the Gospel. Masih is a national church planting missionary for Middle Eastern and southern Asian people groups. Masih pointed out that the United States has the largest number of people groups in the world and that success in winning the lost at home translates into reaching the world for Christ -– because those people will take the message to friends and family in their native lands.

The Jewish population in the United States numbers than 6 million, Masih said, and there are only 15 Messianic Southern Baptist churches.

Does that mean the Southern Baptist Convention wants to empty Judaism of all 6 million Jews and put them all into the messianic Southern Baptist faith? JewsOnFirst asked both the SBC and Masih.

John Revell, director of the SBC's Office of Convention Relations, told JewsOnFirst that the SBC "has not targeted any particular group" for evangelizing. Revell added: "the goal is not to get someone to abandon their faith, but to recognize who Jesus is."

Aslam Masih, who made the statement about six million Jews, professed not to immediately know what he had meant by it. Reached at his home on June 22nd, Masih took several minutes to open the web page of the Baptist Press report about his speech and locate his statement, saying that he needed to see "the context" of his statement.

As he seemed to be perusing the statement, JewsOnFirst asked: "Did you mean that all six million Jews should be removed from Judaism and converted to the messianic Southern Baptist faith?" Masih replied, "No, no, I did not say 'converted.' What I'm trying to say here, I'm trying to understand who was there. I still need to look at it in what context I said it. Let me check it out and see what context it was in."

After several more requests to comment on the statement were met with the same reply, JewsOnFirst asked Masih if his remarks had been written or off-the-cuff. He said he had not written his remarks.

According to the SBC-controlled Baptist Press: "The Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship was created in 1990 by a group of Southern Baptist leaders seeking to reach out to Jewish people with the Good News of the Messiah from a biblically Judeo-Christian perspective."

See: http://www.jewsonfirst.org/07c/baptist_messianic.html


How much of the Messianic Jewish religion has emerged only recently as part of the SBC's attempt to specifically target and missionize the Jews whom they previously spoke of and regarded as being "in spiritual darkness" and bound for the pits of Hell...they simply reserve that fate now for Islamics, Hindus, new agers and other non-Jews or Christians.

Is it offensive for the majority of a cultural group to set its own parameters of what it considers relevant to being a member of that culture. For instance, as a Caucasian man, can I simply put on a Daishiki and a beaded cap and call myself an oppressed African American man simply because I got dressed up, started playing the djembe, and maybe started practicing the West African religion?

Would THAT not be considered highly offensive as well as just plain absurd?
 romanticoptimist
Joined: 10/1/2007
Msg: 162
Are Messianic Jewish people still Jewish ?
Posted: 10/31/2007 9:41:26 AM
I said
When a Jew believes and accepts Jesus as Messiah that Jew becomes a "Messianic Jew" (their own description). Discussions about whether they are entitled to the "Jew" part of their self-description are offensive.

themadfiddler said
How do you figure?

Because when a word is in dispute, how the group using it defines it is the best guide. If they define themselves as still entitled to use "Jew" in the description of their faith, who are you -- or some council or group -- to reject them? If you don't understand that simple precept I can't help you.
 themadfiddler
Joined: 10/16/2006
Msg: 163
Are Messianic Jewish people still Jewish ?
Posted: 10/31/2007 11:57:00 AM


Because when a word is in dispute, how the group using it defines it is the best guide. If they define themselves as still entitled to use "Jew" in the description of their faith, who are you -- or some council or group -- to reject them? If you don't understand that simple precept I can't help you.


Well that is the question, isn't it. Is it only a "council" or group. How obscure is the Supreme Court of Israel, the bulk of worshippers of Judaism and their ruling council...are they not allowed to define what constitutes a member of their own peer group?? If being a Jew is primarily a function of the Jewish religion which is strictly a monotheistic one as expressed in the Sh'ma, how does doing a trinitarian end run around it some how make you Jewish? Answer: it doesn't. Certainly not according to the bulk of Jews who believe in the religion of Judaism...but I guess according to you they somehow don't count?

They (Jews practicing Judaism) ARE the primary and majority group using the term. The Messianics are the johnny-come-lately's appending the term for a purpose driven agenda which is pretty clear to anyone who can observe the words and work of groups like the SBC. If you don't understand that simple precept, I don't think I can help you either.
 romanticoptimist
Joined: 10/1/2007
Msg: 164
Are Messianic Jewish people still Jewish ?
Posted: 10/31/2007 12:39:37 PM

are they not allowed to define what constitutes a member of their own peer group?

Sure they can. I'm ot saying they can't. I'm saying that if Group A group uses a word for their self-description, Group B cannot claim that because they have it Group A cannot use it. it might help you if you actually read what I say instead of assuming what I say.
HAND
 themadfiddler
Joined: 10/16/2006
Msg: 165
Are Messianic Jewish people still Jewish ?
Posted: 10/31/2007 2:21:19 PM
Respectfully, I don't mean to make assumptions about what you are saying specifically, but rather the assumptions about the Messianic Jewish Group and their claims to the use of the word "Jew". In my humble opinion, if the word "Jew" has carried with it the meaning for at least a millenia or two prior to the arrival of Christianity that these were people following Judaism, and primarily afterwards, people following Judaism, even if a very small minority of people born of Jewish mothers decided to leave their original religion in apostasy and join a new religion that embraced polytheism, incarnated deity, and vicarious atonement (and that is really what it is about is essentially Christianity by another name) you may call yourself a Jew if you like, but to the majority of people who use that term, you won't be considered one.

To suggest that it is "offensive" to at least question their use of the term, when the majority who use that term do question it is at the least needless hyperbole and at the worst laughable.
 romanticoptimist
Joined: 10/1/2007
Msg: 166
Are Messianic Jewish people still Jewish ?
Posted: 11/1/2007 10:21:49 AM

anyone that wanted to become a Christian in the first years had to become a Jew first

Not so! Paul specifically speaks out against "the Judaizers", those who wanted to make the Gentiles Jews first. Any teaching that Gentiles had to become Jews first was quickly confronted and tossed. the Pauline Epistles are constantly referencing the fact that a Gentile DID NOT have to become a Jew first.
 themadfiddler
Joined: 10/16/2006
Msg: 169
Are Messianic Jewish people still Jewish ?
Posted: 11/25/2007 1:11:02 AM
Frankly I am not sure what the kafuffle is...

If you accept the notion that G-d becomes incarnate in the form of a man, call him Yeshua or Jesus, and dies for the sins of the world, this makes you a Christian. Not a Jew as the majority of Jews use the term. You may choose to call yourself a Jew if you like but the overwhelming majority of the people who use the term Jew will not recognize you as one because the theology of Judaism does not allow for such beliefs. Judaism recognizes one G-d singular...no incarnation in human form, no vicarious atonement by any man or god-man, no matter how sinless or perfect he claims to be, no messiah or Moshiach dying for the sins of the world - because in Judaism that is strictly NOT part of the plan, period - don't ask me, ask any rabbi worth his yeshiva education.

Really the simple answer to this question is a resounding NO...not as the majority who use that word choose to define themselves.

If a group of people who disagree choose to call themselves whatever they want, they can do so and believe whatever they want but they will be out of step with the majority of religious (and likely secular) Jews and the state of Israel.

If they feel that gives them even greater reason - through a self-defined martyr complex - to feel even more justified in their beliefs, then big hairy deal...there are plenty of rubber rooms lined with people of equal merit and equally reasoned argument who feel the exact same way. Enjoy...and mazeltov.

I for one, will side with those Jews who by religion and culture maintain their Jewish faith in the one G-d of Israel and do not identify with Christianity by any other name as Christianityhas been desperate to make them do for two millenia and killing them when they resist, driving them from their homes, property, and lands and generally persecuting them for the dubious crime of deicide, all for failing to convert to their splinter religion.

I'll take a pass on that thanks.

Let the Jews be Jews.
 bear45408
Joined: 7/30/2007
Msg: 170
Are Messianic Jewish people still Jewish ?
Posted: 11/25/2007 10:49:12 AM

If a group of people who disagree choose to call themselves whatever they want, they can do so and believe whatever they want but they will be out of step with the majority of religious (and likely secular) Jews and the state of Israel.
That's exactly what's happened. As I mentioned, Messianic Jews consider themselves to be Jewish. Almost all of the rest of Judaism would not consider them to be Jewish, because of their explicit acceptance of Christianity.

However, I don't think they're hurting anyone, so I'm fine with them. If they wish to consider themselves Jewish, OK by me. I hope they'll excuse me if I respect them, as I do all religions, but do not consider them Jewish.

They do, in most cases, appear to be somewhat supportive of the rest of Judaism. A lot to be said for that. Judaism, as I've mentioned is more about actions than beliefs. If they're acting properly, then they're a lot farther ahead than most.
 themadfiddler
Joined: 10/16/2006
Msg: 171
Are Messianic Jewish people still Jewish ?
Posted: 11/25/2007 1:18:11 PM


However, I don't think they're hurting anyone, so I'm fine with them. If they wish to consider themselves Jewish, OK by me. I hope they'll excuse me if I respect them, as I do all religions, but do not consider them Jewish.


And I agree with you to teh point of as long as no one is getting hurt...by that same token, I include aggressively missionizing Jewish people however as something negative, especially if people are being misled, not given factual or being given incomplete or outright wrong information.

To me that stretches the boundary of "hurt" somewhat.

But otherwise I do agree with you. If people make "informed" and adult choices to believe in whatever they want and informed is the key word, then in a free society, they should not only have the right to do so but that right should be protected.
 bear45408
Joined: 7/30/2007
Msg: 172
Are Messianic Jewish people still Jewish ?
Posted: 11/25/2007 2:36:39 PM

And I agree with you to the point of as long as no one is getting hurt...by that same token, I include aggressively missionizing Jewish people however as something negative, especially if people are being misled, not given factual or being given incomplete or outright wrong information.
I would agree on that. Evangelizing Jewish people, particularly while claiming to be Jewish, would in my mind constitute harm, and I would in fact consider itparticularly malicious, considering that it's contrary to the whole Jewish idea that one is judged by actions not by beliefs.
 themadfiddler
Joined: 10/16/2006
Msg: 174
Are Messianic Jewish people still Jewish ?
Posted: 11/27/2007 2:17:05 AM


All Jews remain Jews even if they later believe in another religion, don't confuse what a person believes with birth right.


Jews can return to their Jewish faith at any time but according to the Jewish faith are NOT considered Jews if they accept Christianity as their belief. This is not a negotiable consideration to the majority of the people in the world who use the self-designation of Jew no matter what some minority, cult or splinter-group or Gentile Christian might choose to call them.



Gentiles are NOT completed until they receive Yeshua, as a completed gentiles, but Jews are complete at birth.

If every aka Christian believe something else ,nothing in the 66 books would change, if every Jew became an aka Christian everything in the 66 books would be a 100% LIE.


Sorry, what?

According to what criterion? According to whom?

According to Judaism, Gentiles need not accept Yeshua at all. I don't know what religion it is that you are preaching but it is not Judaism. According to Judaism, Gentiles need only follow the 7 Noachide Laws to be considered "righteous" but will not be condemned to an eternity of hell in any case for failure to worship Hashem out of ignorance of his existence.

What you are suggesting or implying is essentially Christianity by another name...not Judaism. While you are entitled to your belief, the majority of the world's Jews do not recognize it as a part of their beliefs no matter what you choose to call it. Your claims to some kind of "birthright" are a part of a belief that you are attempting to foist on the issue via some Christian belief and frankly have nothing to do with Judaism at all.

If you intend to make a statement about Judaism and the Jewish people it might behoove you to actually learn something about the subject from beyond a Christian perspective or that of the Messianic Jewish movement which is essentially Christian with the outward or cultural trappings of Judaism but none of the central teachings adhered to.
 Soul Union
Joined: 6/9/2007
Msg: 176
Are Messianic Jewish people still Jewish ?
Posted: 12/24/2007 8:26:11 PM
Jesus is Jewish . . . ~ pef459(d937578)

> This business about Jesus being a Jew is a huge lie.
> How could Jesus have been a Jew when He didn't have an earthly father?
> If Jesus was a Jew, and He wasn't, why did he expend so much energy attacking them? Jesus called them [the Jews] liars and murderers and sons of the Father of Lies - the devil. He also pointed out how they act as their evil nature dictates. Let us quote from the Bible, the only source worth quoting: "Jesus said to them: 'If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of My own accord, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him'."[ John 8:42 ]
> Jesus was a Judean, not a Jew.
> Incidentally, have you read the Jewish holy book, The Talmud, and what they think of Christians and how they are encouraged to behave towards Christians?
> Peter.
 themadfiddler
Joined: 10/16/2006
Msg: 179
Are Messianic Jewish people still Jewish ?
Posted: 12/26/2007 9:01:16 PM


Incidentally, have you read the Jewish holy book, The Talmud, and what they think of Christians and how they are encouraged to behave towards Christians?


This is quite clearly a blatant troll from a fundamentalist anti-Semite who knows less than nothing about Jews, Judaism and real world history, let alone the viewpoint of theology from beyond a narrow "fringe" point of view.

If they think, for instance, that the Talmud is the primary holy book of the Jewish faith, you have just spotted an anti-Semite...and someone either deliberately or ignorantly spreading misinformation about Judaism.

The next step will be to expect a flood of misquoted or out of context information from the Talmuds to attempt to paint Jews or Judaism in a negative light. The person quoting, of course, neither speaks nor understands Judaism, nor has likely read an actual responsible translation of the Talmud themself and is just parroting material from either a bigoted fundamentalist hate site or worse still, a white-supremacist site like Stormfront with a specifically anti-Jewish agenda as such sites tend to promulgate and spread such misinformation freely.

Best ignored or reported as to attempt to discuss anything with such a bigot will result in a tiresome game of ring-around-the-forum. Don't give them the time of day that they don't deserve.

If it continues, there are sources of accurate Talmud translation on the web to easily dismiss such idiocy.



Jewish is a race like being black, for example.
One can be Jewish by race and by religion as well.


Before stating an opinion like that, maybe you ought to take the time and read the thread...just because you may think it's that cut and dried, respectfully, it does not mean that it is.
 trippy_hare
Joined: 5/30/2006
Msg: 181
Are Messianic Jewish people still Jewish ?
Posted: 12/26/2007 10:02:30 PM
Disam has a point: there is a traceable genetic pattern attributed to semitic peoples, and Judaism is indeed a bona fide religion. I wouldn't say that the source cited is adequate enough to make that statement definitively.

There's some decent summaries on about.com, though more technical info can be found here: http://www.khazaria.com/genetics/abstracts.html

or here: http://www.freemaninstitute.com/Gallery/lemba.htm

I will admit that I am nowhere near an expert on the subject, certainly not on the level of others here on the forum. But there does seem to be some evidence of a specific sequence of genetic markers that would suggest a common ancestry. That, in itself, is an intriguing phenomena.
 FrogO_Oeyes
Joined: 8/21/2005
Msg: 182
view profile
History
Are Messianic Jewish people still Jewish ?
Posted: 12/27/2007 1:35:17 AM
The markers are shared with other groups of people from the same regions and do not show Jews to be in any significant way distinct from other religions or cultures in the same places of origin. There is no validity to calling Jews a "race". Use of the term "race" also implies equal status with other groups which ARE considered races. That implied status is false, as most Jews are a subset of a subset of a subset of the Caucasian race. Others belong to one or more of the many African races. Caucasians are an identifiable geographical, morphological, and genetic group. Mongoloids and Australasians are also geographically, morphologically, and genetically identifiable. Africans meet these criteria as well, but as several groups, not one. Jews are only somewhat identifiable genetically, and those genetic traits are not significantly exclusive to Jews.

It really opens a can of worms to consider Jews a race, as it invites many other religions and cultures to call themselves Jews. Can't have your cake and eat it too. Pick one or the other, or you won't be able to maintain either. Most will pick "religion".
 Ravenstar66
Joined: 8/27/2007
Msg: 183
view profile
History
Are Messianic Jewish people still Jewish ?
Posted: 12/27/2007 11:23:04 AM
Oh.. THANK YOU Frogo!!!!

I have been saying this for years.... there are only 3 MAIN races: Mongoloid, Caucasoid, and Negroid, with subsets within them. As far as I understand only a very few subsets are considerewd basically "pure" (for what that's worth) A small tribe in south america, the bushmen of africa and the pygmies. I could be wrong about the subsets but as far as semitic and such, there has been so much moving, migrating and intermixing in the middle east and India and North Africa that the peoples are incredibly genetically related. Are the Semitic peoples descendants of the Indo-europeans or Aryans?.. I'm not sure. anyway... I'm blathering...sorry.

Anyway.. thank you. I have this argument about racial types everytime someone tries to tell me that Arabs, Persians, Israelites or East Indians are not Caucasian... because they are "brown" (grrrrrrrrrrrrr) sheesh
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