could - Jews for Jesus

Who is Jewish?
– This seems like a simple question but the
answer often isn't so simple
– Who wants to know?
• The Jewish community
• The Rabbis in the community
Where to look for the answer
• What the Bible says about who is Jewish
– Covenants (Aramaic, Davidic, Mosaic)
– The Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob
– Leviticus (the law and the priesthood)
• What the Rabbis say about who is Jewish
• What the Jewish people say about who is Jewish
Jewish Culture Invades Our Culture
Where do the Jewish people live?
Israel – 5,703,700*
United States – 5,275,000
France – 483,500
Canada – 375,000
United Kingdom – 292,000
Russian Federation – 205,000
Argentina – 205,000
Germany – 119,000
Australia – 107,500
Brazil – 95,600
Ukraine – 71,500
South Africa – 70,800
Jewish Communities of the USA
New York City
Washington D.C.
Hartford, CT
Cleveland, OH
Los Angeles
Las Vegas
What Jewish People Look Like
What Jewish People Look Like
What Jewish People Look Like
“It’s funny, you don’t look Jewish”
You’re Jewish?
How to be Jewish
• Culturally
• Religiously
• Or “being Jewish” vs. following Judaism
Religious Jewish Expression
• Most Jews (in this country) live in various
types of unbelief:
– Secularism
– New Ageism
– Atheist
– Agnostic
– Jewish and (Buddhist, Hindu etc.)
Branches of Judaism
– Orthodox
– Conservative
– Reform
Orthodox Judaism
• Practices relate back to the 2nd through 5th
• Seeks to preserve traditional Judaism
• Torah Observant
• Represents 14% US Jewish Population
What the Orthodox Believe
Torah is the truth
Oral and written law are both divinely inspired
God is spirit (in form)
God is personal
– Omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, eternal and
• Do not believe in original sin, but personal sin
can be absolved through prayer and practicing
the Law
What the Orthodox Believe (cont.)
• Messiah is personal. He is like a superhuman
with God like qualities but not God.
• Messiah will restore Israel and execute
• Believe in the resurrection of the dead.
Righteous will live forever with God in the
Garden of Eden and the unrighteous will
suffer for their sins.
Conservative Judaism
• Emerged out of 19th century Germany
• Middle ground to the extreme assimilationist
movement of the Reform Jews
• Maintain the basic traditions while adapting
to modern life
• Represents 40% of the US Jewish population
What Conservative Jews Believe
• The Bible is the word of God and man and is
dynamically inspired
• Divine revelation is ongoing
• God is ineffable and impersonal
• God concept is flexible and less dogmatic
What Conservative Jews Believe
• We can sin personally or morally but they do
not believe in a “sin nature”
• Salvation can be achieved through maintain
Jewish identity and doing good works
• Messiah is not personal but there is a
messianic age
• No life after death
Reform Judaism
• Following the 18th century after emancipation
from the ghetto
• Modernization of Judaism in order to be more
practical and avoid total assimilation into the
daily life in Germany
What Reform Jews Believe
• Torah is a human document preserving the
history, cultural, legends and hope of a
people. Its value is in preserving moral and
ethical insights.
• God is concept with a wide latitude for
mystical interpretations
• “The truth is that we do not know the truth”
What Reform Jews Believe (cont.)
• There is no “original sin”. Sin is reinterpreted
as the ills of society
• Salvation is attained through the betterment
of self and the betterment of society
• There is no personal Messiah but a movement
that are are already in towards a Utopian age
• No life after death. We live in in the memories
of our loved ones
Affects of Modernism and Post
Modernism on the Jews
• Diaspora
• Assimilation and Intermarriage
• Secularism and unbelief
What’s the Good News?
• Here are some key spiritual truths to hold
– The gospel is a present priority (Romans 1:16)
– Salvation is from the Jews and for the Jews (Jn
4:22, Rom. 10:4) and for everyone
– At present we see a remnant chosen by
grace(Rom 11:5)
– All Israel shall be saved! (Zach 12:10, Rom.11:26,
Isa. 59:20-21, 27:9)
Why Jews don’t believe: Part 1
Problems Facing Jewish Evangelism Today
Replacement Theology
Dual Covenant Theology
General apathy towards evangelism
Lack of opportunity
Why Jews don’t believe: Part 2
Jewish Reaction to Evangelism
Fear of the loss of Jewish identity
Self preservation
Hardened hearts
Spiritual blindness in part
Jewish objections to the gospel
Top Three Jewish Objections to the
1. Unwritten social contract, “you can’t be both
Jewish and believe in Jesus”
a. Self preservation
b. Need for Jewish identity
c. “Us and Them” concept
Jewish Objections (cont.)
2. “We believe in one God not three!”
a. Incorrect estimation of who the trinity is
b. Support the oneness of Echad vs. the
“threeness” of the trinity (Deut. 6:4)
Jewish Objections (Cont.)
• “I’m no sinner. Now Hitler, he was a sinner!”
a. No belief in original sin
b. Not a strong belief in personal sin
c. Personal sin can be absolved by works and
d. Unclear picture of judgment/afterlife
Reasons Jews Should Believe in Jesus
Jesus was Jewish (and he eats Kosher)
Jesus Fulfills the Law and the Prophets
Reconciled to God only through Jesus
Being Jewish and Believing in Jesus
makes you a…
You could be Jewish without believing
in Jesus. But who’d want to?
Want More?
• Online:
• Dial up: 415-864-2100
• Visit our booth!
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