Missionary Claims: Conclusion

What Do They Claim?

This is the concluding post that discusses about missionary claims about Judaism. For the other posts, refer to Jews For Judaism

Conclusion

One thing upon which the entire Jewish community and several Christian denominations agree is that “Hebrew Christian” movements are not a part of Judaism. To be a “Jew for Jesus” is as absurd as being a “Christian for Buddha” and as ridiculous as “kosher pork;” it is an obvious contradiction. To paraphrase Elijah, if you are a follower of Jesus, call yourself a Christian. If you are a Jew, practice Judaism. Don’t deceive yourself; you can’t be both.

In reality, Judaism is a most beautiful and spiritually fulfilling path to serving G-d with all your heart, soul and might.

The Book of Proverbs 3:17-18 describes the Torah in these words, “Its ways are ways of pleasantness, and its paths are peace. It is a tree of life to those who lay hold of it.” The best defense against the growing onslaught of missionary propaganda is a deep commitment to Judaism and a thorough understanding of the missionary arguments and the relevant Jewish responses.

1. Missionary training manuals encourage use of the expressions believer rather than Christian; Messiah instead of Christ; tree instead of cross; and New Covenant instead of New Testament, to promote a more Jewish-sounding message.

2. In their attempt to justify their Jewishness, certain “Hebrew Christians” have labeled Rabbinic Judaism a cult since they claim that it “follows the words of men rather than G-d.” Besides being false, this statement is also hypocritical since “Hebrew Christians” use these very same rabbinic traditions to lend their practices a guise of Jewishness.

3. For a more detailed explanation of the Seven Universal Laws of the Children of Noah, see The Path of the Righteous Gentile in the Suggested Reading List.

4. The word “ka’ari” clearly means like a lion, as evident from its use in Isaiah 38:13

5. The Torah, G-d’s original Covenant, is eternal and the Jewish people are obligated to keep it. Free will enables them to choose between observing or not observing the Torah. The “New Covenant” that Jeremiah speaks of does not replace the original, but strengthens it. In the Messianic age, G-d will give us a “new heart,” thereby removing our temptation to do evil. From this point on, the Jewish people will serve G-d with all their heart and will never again break the original Covenant. (Jeremiah 32:38-49, Ezekiel 11:9-20. Ezekiel 36:26-27)

6. Missionaries are wrong when they argue that the use in Deuteronomy 6:4 of the Hebrew word for One (Echad– ), rather than the word unique (Yachid–), teaches that G-d is a “composite unity” instead of an “absolute unity.” They claim that the Trinity is a composite unity just like a physical object that includes many different individual aspects (e.g.: one pen, composed of ink, plastic and metal). This reasoning is incorrect, since physical objects that exist within the context of time and space cannot be used to describe G-d who transcends these dimensions. Prior to Creation, G-d was alone and concepts of time, space and the plurality of numbers did not exist. The term unique (Yachid– ), correctly describes G-d’s existence prior to Creation since it indicates the absence of any plurality, or of rapport with any created object.

The Shema utilizes the word “Echad” rather than “Yachid” for the following reason: We live in a physical world created by G-d and perceive finite objects, limited to time and space, that have a rapport with one another. This perception of plurality and the existence of numbers, which is the direct result of the process of Creation, can mistakenly cause us to think that G-d is not the only true existence. The Shema serves to proclaim that G-d is the only true existence despite the apparent contradiction brought about by Creation. To accomplish this, a cardinal number, like “one,” is required since it specifies the correct number to the exclusion of all others, as in the verse “there is “one–” not “two– .”” (Ecclesiastes 4:8) As finite beings, it would be inappropriate to describe our perception of G-d in the world utilizing the word unique (Yachid–), which describes G-d as he transcends time and space. By utilizing “One” in Deuteronomy 6:4, instead of the word “unique,” the verse not only affirms the absolute oneness of G-d, it refutes all other perceived possibilities.
7. Missionaries incorrectly claim that Genesis chapter 18 indicates that when three men appeared to Abraham, one of them was G-d in bodily form. A careful reading of this chapter, along with chapter 19, clearly indicates that these “men” were really angels. The Bible has many stories of angels taking on human form, and often refers to them with the name of G-d to indicate that they are His exalted messengers. This is similar to the common usage of one of G-d’s names as part of the name of a holy individual or place. For example, in Hebrew, Daniel means “G-d is my Judge,” Hezekiel means “strength of G-d,” and in Jeremiah 33:16, Jerusalem is called “the Lord is my Righteousness.”