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Anti-Semitism in the Church
A Required Response to the Charge
that Messianic Judaism is Apostasy

by Messianic Pastor/Theologian Ari Levitt
MA, MDiv, ThM, ThD, DMin, MBA, NS, CNHP
Page 1

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Ms. Nero’s Article From Her Website My Response
Judaism? Messianic Judaism?
(August 15, 2001)

The Church[1] was purchased with the precious blood of Jesus[2] Christ[3], and before Him there was no church,[4] it was Judaism [sic].[5] It took Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and the dispatching of His Holy Spirit for the full birth or delivery of The Church in the natural. It was but one Church that Jesus built[6] and it was built in one format only,[7] and with the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ Church is not Judaism.[8]


In her very first paragraph, Ms. Nero uses several terms that demonstrate a gross ignorance of the Scriptures and of the true history of the so-called “church.” First, lets start with a brief examination of the vocabulary in this paragaph.

[1] [82] Church: It is my personal belief that the word “church” is a deliberate anti-Semitic misrepresenta-tion (in no way can it be accurately called “a translation”) of the Greek word ekklesia (ekklesia), which is made up of the two words ek (ek), which means “out of,” and kaleo (kaleo), which means “to call.” The word ekklesia (ekklesia) therefore means “called out” or “the called out ones” when used with the definite article (“the”). This concept carries with it the idea of being “elect” or “chosen,” and it should be properly translated as “called out” or “the called out ones” — or at the very least as “congregation” or “assembly.” Other than the religious bias of the translators and the traditions that were started by the apostate Roman cult, there is absolutely no grammatical reason for this word to be translated “church.” [Return to 82]

The Hebrew word arqm (miqra) carries exactly the same meaning as the Greek word ekklesia, is used in the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible that Yeshua and the Shliachim [Apostles] used) to refer to the “holy convocations” of Israel, and can readily be translated as “called out” or “called out ones” with the definite article. Thus it is my personal belief that, since the two words are exactly the same, the arqm (miqra) of the Tanakh [or erroneously-called “Old Testament”] and the ekklesia (ekklesia) of the Apostolic Writings [erroneously called the “New Testament”] refer to exactly the same group of humanity — God’s elect or “called-out ones.”

This group of people, also called “the Elect,” consists of those physical descendants of Avraham (Abraham), Yitzchak (Isaac), and Ya'akov (Jacob) who, like their father Avraham, “believed ADONAI and it was credited to [them] as righteousness,” — and also includes those from among the nations (all the rest of the family of man) whom ADONAI has chosen to be adopted or “grafted into” the “family tree” of Ya'akov, whom God re-named Yisrael [Israel]. [See Where Did the Word “Church” Come From?]

[2] Jesus: The word “Jesus” is a false English transliteration of the Greek transliteration of the Messiah’s name. The name which the angel told his parents to name him was emphatically not “Jesus” or even “Iesus” or “Iesu.” The angel specifically instructed his parents that he was to be named “Yeshua,” which means “ADONAI is Salvation” or “ADONAI’s Salvation” or simply “Salvation” (depending upon where one adds the vowel points.)

“But while he was thinking about this, an angel of ADONAI appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Yosef, son of David, do not be afraid to take Miryam home with you as your wife; for what has been conceived in her is from the Ruach HaKodesh. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Yeshua, [which means “ADONAI saves”] because he will save his people from their sins.’” (Matt. 1:20-21 CJB)

“The angel said to her, ‘Don’t be afraid, Miryam, for you have found favor with God. Look! You will become pregnant, you will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Yeshua. [Salvation].’” (Luke 1:30-31 CJB)

Not one single person who ever knew Him in the flesh ever called Him “Jesus” because, stated in the simplest possible terms, that was never His name at any time in the past, nor is it His name now. [See “The Name That is Above Every Name”]

[3] Christ: Here again we have a transliteration into the Roman alphabet of a Greek translation of a Hebrew word. The Hebrew word mashiach means “anointed,” and with the definite article HaMashiach means “The Anointed One.” The Israelites anointed three classes of leaders: prophets, priests, and kings. Yeshua serves over His chosen people as all three, hence he is “The Anointed One.”

The Greek word for anointed is cristoß (christos), or with the definite article ho Cristoß (ho christos). If one absolutely must insist on using the Greek form of His name and title (and there is certainly no compelling reason for anyone to do so), the proper form would not be “Jesus Christ” in any event; it would be “Jesus the Christ” with the definite article.

[4] As I pointed out above and in the referenced article, there was no “church” at all until the beginning of the fourth century. Prior to that time, the movement of believers in Israel’s Messiah was (and still properly is) called Ha Derek (The Way), Nazarene Judaism, or Messianic Judaism. Under the Roman empire, Judaism was an “approved religion.” Gentiles who were followers of the Jewish Messiah were tolerated by Rome only because they were part of Judaism, met in Jewish synagogues on the Sabbath (the 7th day of the week, not the 1st day), and lived Torah-obedient lifestyles.

[5] “It was Judaism.” ... Excuse me, but what was Judaism? To what does the dangling “it” refer? To the only true form of worship acceptable to the one true God … the God of Avraham, Yitzhak, and Ya'akov … the God Who never changes?

[6] As pointed out above [1], “Jesus” did not “build” a “church.” From the time of Ya'akov (whom the Most High renamed “Yisrael”) onward, Israel is repeatedly referred to as God’s bride. If Yeshua is Who He claimed to be — that is, the God of Avraham, Yitzhak, and Ya'akov — then Israel is His Bride. Beginning with Avraham, Yeshua “called out” for Himself a people to be His “Bride” and that invitation was extended “to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Gentile). Therefore, if “the church” is the Bride of Yeshua and is not part of Israel, then Yeshua is a bigamist, having two “Brides.”

“You people don’t know what you are worshipping; we [that is, we Jews; Yeshua identifies Himself as a Jew] worship what we do know, because salvation comes from the Jews.” (John 4:22 CJB)

“For I am not ashamed of the Good News, since it is God’s powerful means of bringing salvation to everyone who keeps on trusting, to the Jew especially, but equally to the Gentile.” (Rom. 1:16 CJB)

[7] The only “format” upon which the Holy Community, the Miqra of Yeshua HaMashiach, was built was the format of the Synagogue. Yeshua was a Torah-observant Jew all the days of His life, as were all the Shliachim (Apostles) and all the other authors of Scripture, including both the Tanakh and the Apostolic Writings. It was Yeshua’s custom to worship in the Synagogue every Shabbat (confirm at Luke 4:16), and so did the Shliachim. They didn’t start a new form of worship, they only explained what the existing forms meant! Shliach Sha'ul (the Apostle Paul, emissary to the Gentiles) even interrupted one of his missionary journeys to return to the temple to make sacrifices … over 20 years after the death and resurrection of Mashiach and after the imparting of Ruach HaKodesh and the supposed forming of “the Church.” (Acts 21:21-26)

In fact, the writer of the letter to the Hebrew Believers cautions them to not forsake Synagogue attendance. In the phrase “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,” (Heb. 10:25) the word that is translated as “assembling” is actually ejpisunagwghv (episunagoge), from which is derived the English word “synagogue.” So the phrase could actually be correctly interpreted as “Not forsaking our own synagogue.”

Additionally, the Jerusalem Council’s decision to accept Gentile Believers into the Messianic Community without first going though a formal conversion to Judaism (including circumcision) is based largely on the fact that if they would refrain from idol worship and gross immorality (Acts 15:20) they could be accepted into fellowship and then be allowed to gradually learn through their Synagogue attendance how to live holy lives in obedience to Torah (Acts 15:21).

[8] It is unfortunately true that “Jesus’s church” is not Judaism, and that is their misfortune, and that is their sin [that is, the sin of the Gentile church]. In departing from Yeshua’s teaching they have become the “congregation in Laodicea” [meaning justice or government of the people, i.e., managed according to the will of the people as opposed to the will of God] that make Him want to vomit (literal translation of Rev. 3:16), because they have fallen away from the way He intended for them. But Yeshua’s true Miqra most certainly is very Jewish. The only way that salvation is, or ever has been, offered to a Gentile is through being “grafted into” the Olive Tree [Israel], who alone is the object of all the Covenants that God has made with man since the Noahic Covenant. All of the Covenants of the Bible that are found in or after the 12th chapter of Genesis are made by God with Avraham, Yitzhak, Ya'akov, and their descendants forever. If you are not born or adopted into the family of Avraham, you have no part in any of God's everlasting Covenants.

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Page originally posted on 30 August 2001
Page revised on Friday, 13 September 2019

Page last updated on Saturday, 03 July 2021 12:38 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return