The Rebirth of Messianic Jusaism

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The Rebirth of Messianic Judaism

The sudden surge in the number of Jews recognizing the Messiah of Israel has created a stir in the traditional Jewish community. It also has been the source of much excitement among true believers in the Messiah. During the first century, Messianic believers were practically all Jewish. [MUCH MORE HERE] Messianic Judaism flourished during the next 300 years, then laid virtually dormant until the Arab-Israeli Six Day War in 1967.

The end of that war was the beginning of a greater Jewish consciousness among Jews themselves, and it has swept across nations. It also marked the time when Jews who accepted the New Testament no longer wished to be absorbed into traditional church institutions. Such Jews preferred to be called Messianic Jews. This is a departure from the past, but it does not represent any biblical inconsistency. In recent years this desire to maintain a Jewish identification has intensified.

If 1967 was the birth date of modem Messianic Judaism, then 1975 was the year the movement officially began to blossom. For some decades, Jewish believers in the Messiah were content to be trophies on the shelf of traditional church institutions. Today this is no longer the case. The new Jew, armed with the truth, has the burden of bringing the Messianic message to other Jews (and non-Jews) throughout the world.

In mid-1975, about 600 Messianic Jews met at a national conference called Messiah '75. There, leaders from all over the United States, Europe, and Israel discussed the role of Messianic Jews in relation to traditional Judaism.

It became apparent during the conference that the story of Messianic Judaism needed to be told in clear, uncomplicated language. Up until then, dozens of books had been written on related subjects. None of them, however, comprehensively explain what the movement was all about.

It also has become obvious that events are moving rapidly and theologians will be investigating and dissecting this new phenomenon for years, or perhaps decades. In the meantime, it seems necessary to present a broad brush panorama of these new and exciting developments. ...

This is not to say that the movement lacks scholarship.

Indeed, Messiah '75, among other things, showcased a wealth of theological talent. The many lectures given during this week-long conference attest to this. They were extremely helpful in the preparation of this book.

One lecture especially worthy of mention was given by Arnold Fruchtenbaum. Much of chapter IV of this book,* “Early Messianic Jewish History,” has been based upon his presentation.

Many of the other chapters express thoughts or facts that are common knowledge among Messianic Jews. They are offered here, hoping to provide fresh insight for believers in the Messiah and for those who have not yet accepted the Messianic fulfillment.

Much of the terminology used herein emphasizes the Jewishness of the New Testament. In a similar vein, every scriptural quotation is from the Harkavy edition of the Jewish Bible published by the Hebrew Publishing Co.


* Quoted from the Preface to The Fig Tree Blossoms: Messianic Judaism Emerges, by Paul Liberman. Indianola, Iowa, Fountain Press, 1976. [Currently out of print, but you may be able to find a copy HERE or HERE.]

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