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Whether more Jews are accepting Jesus remains a matter of debate. But more American Jews seem to be increasingly accepting of other Jews who accept Jesus.

A Pew Research Center study released in October reported that 34 percent of American Jews ...

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George Babbitt

January 14, 2014  12:17pm

I am amazed at any Christian who accepts any words from a modern Jew as a person of authority in any matter relating to truth of God's revelations to mankind. Until they fully accept the Gospel truth, they are blind to all spiritual matters and should not be listened to for any reason other than for the process of them converting to Christianity. They are dead in their ways, dead in their Law, dead in their walk and have nothing to offer a Christian until they are a Christian themselves. Cast out these unbelievers from our midst and shun their deceptions until they come into a right understanding of God's truth.

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audrey ruth

January 13, 2014  10:38pm

Well said, Cedar Washington. You saved me some time. :) I've read several books by Jewish Christians in recent months. All of them were born Jewish, into Jewish families. All of them at some point received Jesus as their Messiah, the One foretold by Jewish prophets and whose disciples and apostles were Jews. As an aside, I noticed this on the list of "essentials": Caring about Israel. A dear Jewish friend with whom I've worked for several years cannot understand why so many Jews voted for Obama since he does not have an Israel-friendly track record. She does care about Israel, passionately.

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Cedar Washington

January 13, 2014  12:54pm

Respectfully, this article is based on a misunderstanding about Judaism. Someone who is born Jewish can *never* be considered a Gentile under Jewish law. A Jew can become an atheist, a pagan or a Christian. These are all heresies (for Jews), but the person is still a Jew. Nothing the person does or believes can change this. The children of any woman born Jewish will also be Jews, even if they are raised as Christians. The descendents of this maternal line can rejoin the Jewish community at any time -- as they are already Jews. Those who said that people can believe in Jesus and still be Jews are those who understand Jewish law. It has nothing to do with acceptance. Most Messianic Jews have no Jewish ancestry and thus they will never be Jews, no matter how many Jewish rituals they enact. (I can eat Sushi but it does not make me Japanese.) Some do have maternal Jewish ancestry and they will remain Jews regardless of what they believe.

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editor UNITYINCHRIST.COM

January 10, 2014  8:45am

Hal Halverson, check out John 8:58 and see whom Yeshua claimed to be (cross referenced with Exodus 3:13-15). Jesus claimed he was none other than the God of the Old Testament. So if you are a Bible believing Christian who believes the New Testament is true, you have to accept who Jesus claimed he actually was. If you are a non-believing person who is Jewish, naturally you don't accept that. That's one of the reasons Jesus was crucified, for claiming to be the very God of the Old Testament, Yahweh.

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editor UNITYINCHRIST.COM

January 10, 2014  8:41am

Shalom Akiva Cohen. Technically you have it totally correct, and all the Gentile Christians should take note of that. Does a Greek lose his ethnicity by becoming a Christian when he was a pagan before? no. Then why should a Jew by ethnicity, race, loose his being Jewish by becoming a Messianic believer? No way. And actually, the early Christian church for at least 300 years was more Jewish in makeup than Gentile. The only thing I disagree with, and I know it goes back into longstanding Jewish custom, it the part where an ethnic Jew has to have a Jewish mother to be counted as a Jew, but it doesn't count if a person has a Jewish father, with a Gentile mother. There are some genuine Jewish holocaust survivors from the death-camps that cannot claim citizenship in Eretz Yisrael because they have a Jewish father, but a Gentile mother. I hope the Israeli supreme court overturns this unequal law.

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SCOTT MOORE

January 09, 2014  8:58am

In the first century, there was a great dispute about whether Gentiles could become part of the Messianic community without converting and becoming Jews. In Acts 15 the decision was final, and it was confirmed by the witness of the Holy Spirit. In Acts 21 the decision was affirmed, stating that Jews who believed were zealous for the law, but Gentiles who believed had a few constraints that would allow them full access to fellowship with Messianic Jews. So how did we get to the point where believing Gentiles are deciding that Messianic Jews are not supposed to be zealous for the law? While I appreciate the list of cultural markers that define Jewishness, there were some important items left off: Jewish birth (or valid conversion), connection to Torah, connection to the land of Israel, hope for Jewish unity, acknowledgment of the Jewish Messiah, and desire for Tikkun Olam. And Gentiles who believe ought to have a core love for the Jewish people, as part of their identity.

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James Cowles

January 09, 2014  8:26am

To be fair, one needs to ask BOTH the following questions: (1) are Jews who accept Jesus as Messiah still Jews? ** BUT ALSO ** (2) are Jews who accept Jesus as Messiah Christian? The answer to both should be "Yes" ... unless you are willing to argue that those Jews alluded to in the concluding verse of Mark who, after accepting Jesus as Messiah, were found in the Temple worshipping God were neither Jewish nor Christian. Were the Jesus-accepting Jews in Jerusalem prior to the great Jerusalem council & prior to Paul's mission to the Gentiles Jewish? Christian? The answer is "Yes ... both". A lot of energy & good will are being wasted bandying labels.

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George Babbitt

January 07, 2014  1:32pm

If you do not die to your old self, including your Jewishness, just as Jesus did, then you are living a lie. A Messianic Jew is like an alcoholic who goes and drinks at the meetings. Jews were cut off from the vine, and if they wish to be grafted on, it will not be done at the same location from where they were cut off. Jesus was the only Jew who lived perfectly under the Law. Then He died, body and soul, and was given new life as a new creation. You can't put new wine into old wine sacks. The old wine sack is the Old Covenant which is broken and obsolete. The new wine, new creation, can only go into a new wine sack, that is the New Covenant. Whatever promise that you can find in the OT that speaks of eternality has not been forgotten, it has been realized in Jesus Christ. But when you move into the house that God has built for you, you can't bring all your rotten trash that you hoarded from your days of death and sin under the Law.

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Akiva Cohen

January 07, 2014  10:47am

I'm sorry, but as a religious Jew, I hate to tell you this, but you are badly misinterpreting the Pew results. The question was not "is it OK to believe in Jesus if you are Jewish," but "can you be Jewish and believe in Jesus". The folks who said yes answered yes interpreted it as asking "does a Jew who believes in Jesus lose their status as a Jew?" Why did 35% of Ultra Orthodox Jews answer the question affirmatively? Because they interpreted the question as above, and understand that from a halachic (Jewish law) perspective, Jewishness is defined by being born from a Jewish mother (or conversion), and that there are no "out cards" from Jewishness. If you are born Jewish, you remain Jewish all your life, with all the obligations and prohibitions that entails - even if you eggregiously and deliberately violate them every day of your life. Are Messianic Jews Jewish? Yes. Are Jews for Jesus Jewish? Yes (at least, the Jewish members). Does that mean their beliefs are Jewish? No.

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William Halverson

January 07, 2014  4:50am

Christians have learned to accept the Jesus of the New Testament over the God of the Old Testament. Messianic Jews understand how the Old Testament ties into the New Testament. So while many Christians dismiss the Old Testament, both the Orthodox and Messianic Jews embrace it. John 16:13 However,when He,the Spirit of truth,has come,He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority,but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. Galatians 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. Psalm 51:11 Do not put me away from before you, or take your holy spirit from me. 2Ch 16:9 For the eyes of Jehovah run to and fro in all the whole earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward Him.

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editor UNITYINCHRIST.COM

January 07, 2014  4:06am

Janice, times have changed. There used to be a lot more opposition from Jewish friends, family and business associates. The pastor/rabbi of the congregation I attended was kidnapped by these Jewish thugs hired by his parents, who, for two weeks tried to "deprogram" him from believing in Jesus. He finally escaped after two weeks. He co-authored the book "KIDNAPPED FOR MY FAITH" with Cell Rosen, wife of the founder of Jews for Jesus. His name is Ken Levitt, and the book may still be available as a used book on Amazon.com. There is still a lot of opposition to Messianic Jewish evangelism in Israel itself. My webhost is an Israeli Messianic Jewish believer and lives near Haifa. Take advantage of the friendly atmosphere while it lasts. I was just attacked on my site's Guestbook by an irate Sunday-keeper for admitting that I had gone back to Sabbath/Holy Day observance. There will always be more persecution on our side of the fence, even though the early Church was Judio-Christian.

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janice scott

January 06, 2014  5:08pm

Thankful and humble to be both chosen to be part of the Jewish heritage and chosen by God to know Jesus as Messiah! I have also found that saying I am Messianic to a Jewish person is much more well accepted than any other phrase and has the potential to open conversation.

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editor UNITYINCHRIST.COM

January 06, 2014  3:50pm

The real Messianic Jewish movement (of God calling ethnic Jews to believe in Yeshua haMeshiach as their Messiah) began in the early 1970s with Martin Chernoff, and his sons, Joel and Michael. Home fellowships, and then whole Messianic Jewish synagogues/churches sprang up across the US, and then the world as a result, but more as a result of God's direct calling through the Holy Spirit (Ruach Hokodosh, hope I spelled it right:). Really, the fact that there may be anywhere from 100,000 to 500,000 ethnic Jews who believe Jesus is their Messiah is a direct move of the Holy Spirit, and probably a move to restore the Jewish Branch of the Body of Christ before the 2nd coming. Paul in Galatians showed there was a Jewish and a Gentile Branch of the Body of Christ in the 1st Century Church. That got destroyed in 325AD--now God has restored it. Gentile Christianity ought to take serious heed to the times we are living in right now. The early Christian Church was Jewish and Judeo-Christian.

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William Goldman

January 06, 2014  3:49pm

Yes - as if helping people and loving them are wrong!

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Brady Boyd

January 06, 2014  12:55pm

I love this strategy - "the missionaries will, as she told The Times of Israel, "make inroads because they are offering free services to the community and unconditional love." Sounds like Jesus to me.

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