Questions That Jewish People Frequently Ask

h¹b
This day in Jewish History ABOUT THIS WEB SITE - THINGS YOU SHOULD PROBABLY KNOW
You will need to download and install the free Greek &
Hebrew fonts
to properly view and print from this site.

Search our Site 

Bookmark and Share

If your life is not in jeopardy for what you believe, you’re probably on the wrong side!
Thousands of Deadly Islamic Terror Attacks Since 9/11

Questions That Jewish People Frequently Ask

 1. If I believe in Yeshua, won’t that mean I'm no longer Jewish? 

 2. If Yeshua is the Messiah, then why don’t the rabbis believe in Him?

 3. If Yeshua is the Messiah, then why didn’t He bring peace to the world?

 4. If I accept Yeshua, won’t I have to worship three gods as do Christians?

 5. How can a man (i.e., Yeshua) become God?

 6. If there is a God, why did He allow six million Jews to die in the Holocaust?

 7. Why should I read the New Testament?—it’s anti-Semitic!

 8. I’m not a bad person, so why do I need a mediator to atone for my sins?

 9. Why should I become part of a group of people (i.e., “Christians”) who hate and persecute the Jews?

10. Why should I risk being disowned by my family and rejected by my friends and associates?


1. If I believe in Yeshua, won’t that mean I’m no longer Jewish?

Not at all. If a person is Chinese and believes that Yeshua is Israel’s Messiah, he/she does not cease to be Chinese. If a person is Eskimo and believes that Yeshua is Israel’s Messiah, he/she does not cease to be Eskimo. If a person is African and believes that Yeshua is Israel’s Messiah, he/she does not cease to be African. If a person is Arabic and believes that Yeshua is Israel’s Messiah, he/she does not cease to be Arabic. Then how can it possibly be true that if a person is Jewish and believes that Yeshua is Israel’s Messiah, he/she ceases to be Jewish?

A person’s Jewishness is determined by birth (i.e., whether or not one is a physical descendant of Avraham, Yitzhak, and Ya`akov), not by one’s religious beliefs. Just look at how many people who consider themselves Jewish are “secular” or even atheists. This demonstrates that even total rejection of the God of Israel (a totally radical belief) does not cause a Jewish person to stop being Jewish. Even if a person decided he (or she) did not want to be Jewish anymore, one can not do anything to change one’s ancestry.

Israel’s “Law of Return” defines a Jew as anyone who is (a) born of a Jewish mother, or (b) converted to Judaism, and (c) not converted to any other religion. Since the Tanakh always lists the person’s genealogy through his or her father, and not through his or her mother, we can safely assume that in spite of the “Law of Return” as defined by the State of Israel, The Holy One obviously considers a person to be Jewish if his or her father is Jewish. However, according to the rules of heredity and biology, a person is biologically Jewish if either parent is biologically Jewish.

Contrary to what many rabbis teach, simply acknowledging the historical fact that Yeshua is Israel’s Messiah does not mean “converting” to another religion. When correctly understood in its historical context, what Yeshua and his Emissaries taught is completely Jewish and in total and absolute agreement with the Torah and the entire Tanakh.

Yeshua was born of a Jewish mother [see Galatians 4:4 in the Apostolic Scriptures (B'rit Chadasha, the Renewed Covenant, or so-called “New Testament")] and lived a completely Torah-observant Jewish lifestyle. He consistently followed the Jewish traditions and taught others to do so, whether He agreed with them or not (see Mattityahu 5:17-19 and 23:3). The early followers of Yeshua (called talmidim, or “disciples”) worshipped daily in the Jerusalem Temple (Acts 2:44-47 and 3:1). The Apostolic Scriptures were written by Jewish authors (except possibly Dr. Luke, who was almost certainly a Jewish proselyte if not a natural-born Jew) as a midrash (commentary) on the Tanakh, to explain Jewish teachings to a Jewish audience. For nearly a hundred years following His execution and resurrection, Yeshua’s talmidim were almost exclusively Jewish, and until well into the third century, Messianic Judaism (or “The Way”) was considered a fifth sect of mainstream Judaism, along with the Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots, and Essenes. All the Messianic Believers (both Jewish and non-Jewish) worshipped in the same synagogues alongside their non-Messianic Jewish brethren. Believing in Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah, is a very Jewish thing to do.

Back to top


2. If Yeshua is the Messiah, then why don't the rabbis believe in him?

Not all rabbis, either past or present, have rejected Yeshua. For example, Orthodox rabbi Isaac Lichtenstein and Reform rabbi Dr. Max Wertheimer believed in Yeshua, as did a large number of the kohanim immediately following His resurrection. In fact, I believe it can be demonstrated that within just a few years after the resurrection, as many as 30 to 40 percent (or more) of the population of Jerusalem believed that Yeshua was their Messiah.

So the word of God continued to spread. The number of talmidim in Yerushalayim increased rapidly, and a large crowd of cohanim were becoming obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:7).

“On hearing it, they praised God; but they also said to him, "You see, brother, how many tens of thousands of believers there are among the Judeans, and they are all zealots for the Torah. (Acts 21:20)

The Greek word incorrectly translated “thousands” in most English Bibles (Acts 21:20) is “myriads,” which is the word for “ten thousands,” not “thousands,” and was the largest number in their vocabulary at that time. By most estimates, the population of Jerusalem at this time was about a hundred thousand. One or two myriads would not be referred to as “how many myriads,” but three or four myriads might be, and three or four myriads would represent between 30 and 40 percent of the population of Jerusalem at the time.

If Yeshua is truly rejected by the rabbis, then He is in good company: the prophets in the Tanakh were also rejected by the Hebrew people. It was also predicted by the Prophet Yesha'yahu (Isaiah) that Messiah would be rejected by His people (Yesha'yahu 53:3). Remember, rabbis are only human; they are not infallible. The final authority for the identity of the Messiah must rest with the Tanakh, not with the rabbis. In fact, there have been enough rabbis that have believed in Yeshua that several books have been written about them.

There is one other critical factor to be considered in answer to the question why the rabbis reject the “Jesus” that is presented by the Church. The “Jesus” of the Church is a grossly distorted charicature of the historical Yeshua.

The “Jesus” that is portrayed by the Christian Church simply never existed! He is a false messiah created by Gentile revisionist historians to “prove” the superiority of Gentiles over Jews. He bears extremely little, if any at all, resemblance to Rabbi Yeshua ben Yosef who appears in the pages of the Apostolic Writings as Adonai Melech haMashiach, the Son of God, Israel’s Messiah and Savior of the World, Who will soon return in glory to reign over the world from his throne in Jerusalem. Maranata!

The “real Jesus” of history and of the Bible was a Jewish rabbi named Yeshua ben Yosef. Nobody who knew Him in the flesh ever called him “Jesus,” for that was simply not His name. He was born, lived, and died as a Torah-observant Jew, worshipping in either the Temple or the synagogue nearly every Shabbat of His life. He personally practiced in His daily life exactly those things that many in the Church find so repulsive, and He taught his Talmidim (Disciples) and Shliachim (Apostles) to obey and practice those things as well.

 MORE HERE about the false Mashiach presented by the Church.

Back to top


3. If Yeshua is the Messiah, then why didn’t he bring peace to the world?

Before there can be peace in the world, all people must recognize their sinful condition and repent (Yirmeyahu 3:13-18). Messiah Yeshua will not force peace upon the world, regardless of its spiritual condition. Yeshua came in a humble fashion (Zekharyah 9:9) to die as an atonement for sins (Yesha'yahu 53). He will return to rule, at which time we will recognize him as the one who was pierced, the one who died as an atonement for sin (Zekharyah 12:10). At his return, he will usher in the Messianic Age—a time that everyone has been waiting for; a time of true peace in the world (Yesha'yahu 11). Additional information can be found in The Death of Messiah, Volumes 1 and 2.

Back to top


4. If I accept Yeshua, won't I have to worship three gods — as do Christians?

Not at all. Actually, although most Christians get it wrong when they try to explain it, Biblical Christianity (as opposed to apostate Christianity) teaches that there is just one God — the God of Avraham, Yitzakh, and Ya'acov, the Creator of the universe. In fact, when Yeshua was asked what the greatest commandment is (Markos 12:28-30), He quoted the Sh'ma (Devarim 6:4; “Sh'ma, Yisra'el! ADONAI Eloheinu, ADONAI echad [Hear, Isra'el! ADONAI our God, ADONAI is one]). However, this one God is a compound unity, as hinted at in the Sh'ma. The Hebrew language has two words that can be translated “one”: echad and yachid. Whereas yachid refers to the number one (i.e., absolute unity), echad refers to a composite unity. An example of this is in Beresheet 2:24, where it says that a couple joined together in marriage shall become one (echad) flesh. Since the Sh'ma uses the word echad, not yachid, it is reasonable to say that God’s essence or nature is that of a composite unity. That is why the Tanakh uses the plural titles Elohim and Adonai for Him. Additional information can be found in the book A Way in the Wilderness: Essays in Messianic Jewish Thought See also Is the “Trinity” Biblical? and What Does the Star of David Mean?

Back to top


5. How can a man (i.e., Yeshua) become God?

He can’t! No man can become God (Yesha'yahu 43:10). Yeshua did not become God; rather, HaShem became a man (Yeshua). Although at first glance this may seem like a concept foreign to Judaism, a deeper look reveals that HaShem appeared in human form a number of times in the Tanakh (e.g., Beresheet 18:1-14 and 32:24-30; Sh'mot 24:9-11; Mishle 30:4). [See Theophany and  Is the “Trinity” Biblical?] Thus, HaShem came to earth in the form of a man—Yeshua the Messiah. After all, He’s God so he can do anything. In addition, the Messiah is referred to in Scripture (Yesha'yahu 9:6) as being divine. He is called “the mighty God, the everlasting Father.” Additional information can be found in The Death of Messiah, Volumes 1 and 2.

Back to top


6. If there is a God, why did he allow six million Jews to die in the Holocaust?

This is a difficult question that has no easy answers. However, rather than think of the six million killed, think of the twelve million left alive. The Holocaust was an attempt by HaSatan to thwart the purposes of HaShem with regard to the Jewish people. If Hitler had had his way, there would be no Jews left alive today. But HaShem has preserved the Jewish people through almost four thousand years of history, as he promised (Devarim 4:31). HaShem has been active in the lives of the Jewish people throughout their history, and even in our own generation He has demonstrated his love of the Jewish people by bringing them back to Aretz Israel. HaShem gave man the ability to choose love, peace, and humility; but unfortunately, man preferred hatred, war, and pride. HaShem mourns over these poor choices but does not override our ability to decide.

Another way to ask this question is, “Where was HaShem when six million Jews died?” The answer is simple. He was in exactly the same place that He was when His own Son died on the tree for our redemption!

Back to top


7. Why should I read the New Testament — it’s anti-Semitic?

Not at all. Actually, the Apostolic Scriptures are very Jewish—written by Jewish rabbis (except possibly Dr. Luke, see above), to Jews, about Jewish concepts (including the Messiah), and very probably written in Hebrew. (See Evidences for a Hebrew Source of the Apostolic Scriptures.) An examination of the Apostolic Scriptures clearly shows that the charges of anti-Semitism are false. Actually, the Apostolic Scriptures elevate and honor the Jewish people and their place in HaShem’s program (Yochanan 4:1-26; Romans 3:1-2; 9:1-5, and 11:26-27). We suggest that you start reading the book of Mattityahu (the first book of the Apostolic Scriptures in the Complete Jewish Bible, a relatively new (1998) translation by Dr. David Stern. You will immediately be struck by the Jewish tone of the book. Additional information can be found in the book A Way in the Wilderness: Essays in Messianic Jewish Thought. (see image above)

Back to top


8. I’m not a bad person—so why do I need a mediator to atone for my sins?

No one said that you were a bad person. However, everyone has committed at least one sin against HaShem (Tehillim 14:3; Kohelet 7:20). Avraham (Beresheet 12:10-20), Moshe (Bamidbar 20:7-12), and even King David (Shemu'el Beit 11:1-6; 12:1-14) sinned against God. Yesha'yahu went so far as to say that even our righteous deeds are like shmattes (filthy rags) to God (Yesha'yahu 64:6). Our rabbis call this sin nature of man the yetzer hara (evil inclination). Every one who has ever committed a sin needs to have atonement made for that sin. In other words, since sin is rebellion against God—even if it’s just a little white lie—we need a way to set things right with God. Otherwise, the consequences of sin are separation from God (Yesha'yahu 59:2; Yirmeyahu 31:30; cf. Daniyel 12:2). Yeshua serves as mediator between man and God—much like Moses, the Prophets, and the Priests did (Sh'mot 20:18-19; Bamidbar 17:9-13 [16:44-48 in some translations]). Thus, by believing in Yeshua the Messiah’s atonement for sin, God forgives our sins and we are at one with God once again. Additional information can be found in  The Death of Messiah, Volumes 1 and 2 and Are There Two Ways of Atonement?

Back to top


9. Why should I become part of a group of people (i.e., Christians) who hate and persecute the Jews?

Before we can address this issue, we must deal with the common misconception among Jewish people that all Gentiles are Christians. This could not be further from the truth, even if the Gentile in question attends church regularly. Just as being born into a Jewish family does not make one an observant Jew, so being born into a Gentile family does not make one a follower of Yeshua (i.e., a “Christian”). A genuine “Christian” is one who has made a commitment to Yeshua as Israel’s Jewish Messiah (Yochanan 3:16-18 and Ephesians 2:8-9). This commitment means trusting in Yeshua’s atonement for sin as the only means of being “saved” (made righteous) and going to heaven. In other words, one can no longer trust in his or her own ability to make atonement and receive forgiveness from God by doing good deeds (mitzvot). This faith commitment results in a changed nature (2 Corinthians 5:17). Many people who are called “Christians” and attend churches have never experienced this spiritual transformation (often referred to as being “born again”).

Yeshua commanded his followers to love everyone, even their enemies (Mattityahu 5:44). Therefore, any person who hates or persecutes Jews is not a Christian at all. He is a an unbeliever who only calls himself “Christian” and who actually hates and persecutes Yeshua (Mattityahu 25:31-45).

And, by the way, the term “Christian” is normally used to refer only to Gentile followers of Yeshua. We Jews who follow Yeshua’s teachings usually refer to ourselves as Messianic Jews.

Back to top


10. Why should I risk being disowned by my family and rejected by my friends and associates?

When a Jew becomes a follower of Yeshua, he or she should maintain his or her Jewish identity, as well as his or her commitment to family, friends, and the Jewish community. This is facilitated by the Messianic congregational movement. Thousands of Messianic congregations have sprung up over the last three decades. For a list of Messianic congregations in or near your city, please check our Messianic links page. These congregations usually consist of a mixture of Jews and Gentiles who desire to worship God in a Jewish context. Even though a Jewish believer in Yeshua may continue to live a Jewish lifestyle, some of his family and/or friends may still reject him—at least initially. Keep in mind that Yeshua said we would be persecuted (Yochanan 15:20 and Mattityahu 5:11), and that if we reject Him before men, that He will reject us before God (Mattityahu 10:33). In other words, there will be a price to pay for becoming a follower of the Jewish Messiah Yeshua, but it’s well worth it.

Back to top

Page last updated on Wednesday, 03 August 2016 11:21 AM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes after May 3, 2015 are identified as "Revisions”)