It's easy for believersboth Jewish and Gentileto get lost among the various "Messianics" out there. This handbook is a friendly, reliable, spiritual Baedeker. Edited by veteran Jews for Jesus staffer Rich Robinson, it deftly steers readers through a vast and often confusing realm. Not everything called "Messianic Jewish" is either Messianic or Jewish. There are many Gentile pretenders, some of whom don ritual Jewish garb, including the yarmulke (skullcap) and tefillin (phylacteries).
The Field Guide offers a concise yet informative history of the Messianic movement and its educational and evangelistic institutions. A section delineates the disagreements Jewish believers in Jesus have with Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, who heads an organization, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, that gladly receives financial contributions from evangelicals, but that also sternly rejects any notion of Christians' witnessing to Jews.
The heavily sourced Field Guide is a detailed and useful primer. It is a must-read for those who want to understand the nature of Messianic Judaism today.
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Also posted today is:
All in the Family | Unraveling the church's confusion about Messianic Jews.
The Messianic Movement: A Field Guide for Evangelical Christians is available from Jews for Jesus.
More on Messianic Judaism includes:
Jacob vs. Jacob | Jewish believers in Jesus quarrel over both style and substance. (Feb. 8, 2005)
Elephant in the Room | Messianic Jews seem to be an embarrassment in an otherwise thoughtful dialogue. (May 18, 2004)
University Forbids 'Offensive' Tracts | Messianic Jew sues University of New Orleans over ban. (Sept. 17, 2003)
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Messianics for Evangelicals
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