ADVERTISEMENT

God Squad has it wrong when it comes to Jews

As the rabbi of a Messianic Synagogue in the Buffalo area I must take serious issue with the many falsehoods and misleading conclusions presented in a recent answer appearing in “God Squad.”

While the answer may fit the traditional template of both Jews and Christians, this template is foundationally flawed. Rabbi Marc Gellman, wanting to sound so pluralistic and egalitarian asserts: “However, no one has the right to define a religion according to his or her own personal beliefs.”

Yet, that is exactly what he hypocritically does by defining the Messianic Jewish faith. Historically, academically and biblically, faith in Jesus (Yeshua) has always had its roots in Judaism.

The very first followers of Jesus were Jews one and all and they never “converted” to another religion. These faithful Jewish men brought a Jewish redemptive message of a Jewish Messiah to all the nations.

Their actions were well in keeping with the purpose and mission of Israel to be “a light to the nations” and to be a blessing “to all the families of the earth.” Furthermore, the New Covenant is a Jewish New Covenant, made with the people of Israel. (Jer.31:31, Heb. 8:8).

And, concerning the statement: “Believing in Jesus as the Messiah is a wonderful Christian belief that does not fit into Judaism,” I would encourage Rabbi Gellman to resist the standard template by examining modern Jewish scholarship on the matter. Jewish Talmudist and scholar Daniel Boyarin’s “The Jewish Gospels” is a great place to start.

The truth of Jesus’ messiahship must be looked at in its proper context. Unfortunately, that context has been marred by 2000 years of Crusades, Inquisitions, pogroms, Nazism and much more. However, the fact remains, if Jesus is not the Jewish Messiah, then he’s nobody’s Messiah.

Rabbi Frank Lowinger

Amherst