The Third Temple  The Center for
Messianic Learning 

Unapologetically Pro-Torah
Unashamedly Pro-Israel
Irrevocably Zionist
“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)
Jew and Gentile (Synagogue and Church), one in Messiah. (Ephesians 2:14)
“For He is our peace, Who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition, …”

If your life is not in jeopardy for what you believe, you’re probably on the wrong side!
If you don’t believe Genesis 1-11, how can you possibly believe John 3:16?
“Indeed, all who want to live a godly life united with the Messiah Yeshua will be persecuted.” (2Tim 3:12)
It is what you actually believe that determines how you walk out your faith, “but avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, quarrels and fights about the Torah; because they are worthless and futile.” (Titus 3:9)

What is Messianic Judaism?

Rabbi Jason Sobel ( answers briefly

Messianic Judaism 101
The MJ 101 series is a foundational set of teachings on Messianic Judaism from Rabbi Greg Hershberg of Beth Yeshua International Messianic synagogue in Macon, Georgia. The series covers Torah, Shabbat, kosher, replacement theology, and tradition. This series is a basic introduction, and is by no means an exhaustive study. It is, however an excellent series. Lessons in the series are:

  1. Torah! Torah! Torah!
  2. The Joy of Shabbat
  3. Holy Cow! Does It Really Matter What We Eat?
  4. Replacement Theology
  5. Tradition! Tradition!
  6. Messianic Judaism: Back to the Future

Old English capital letter With a very few exceptions that might be considered in the “ultra-Orthodox” camp, the ultimate goal of the Messianic Restoration is the reunification of the twelve tribes of Israel into a single nation — the Commonwealth of Israel — which recognizes Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth as Mashiach (Messiah) and Malekh (King), with those who wish to do so living securely within the borders of her original land grant from God, and for non-Jewish Believers in the Mashiach who have a confirmed call to participate fully in the life and destiny of the Jewish people to join with them as a unified Body of Mashiach.[1]

Modern Messianic Judaism is not a “denomination,” it is the revival of a prophetic movement that began at the Resurrection of Yeshua, but was driven into dormancy by persecution. It was miraculously revived by God in 1967 when Jerusalem was back in Jewish hands for the first time since Israel was driven from her land in 70 CE.

Modern Messianic Judaism is the fulfillment of that which was spoken of by the ancient Prophets: a Restoration Movement of Jewish people who believe that Yeshua of Natzeret (Jesus of Nazareth) is the promised Messiah of Israel, and the Savior of the world. He is the One Whom the prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures told us was to come. Messianic Jews have not stopped being Jewish to become “Christians,” but neither did Yeshua or His disciples. On the contrary, our personal relationship with Messiah Yeshua makes us even more truly Jewish in our identity and lifestyle.

Messianic Judaism is actually almost 2,000 years old, dating back to the time of Messiah Yeshua. Yeshua was born into a Jewish home. He was raised in a Jewish family. His parents were Jewish, His brothers and sisters were Jewish. All His uncles, aunts, and cousins were Jewish. He grew up to become a Jewish rabbi who taught Jewish people in a Jewish land — Israel — about the God of Avraham, Yitz’chak, and Ya`akov (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: the Jewish patriarchs). Yeshua’s Shliachim (Apostles or Emissaries) were all Jewish. The writers of the Apostolic Writings (a.k.a. B'rit Chadasha, Renewed Covenant Scriptures, or erroneouosly-called “New Testament”) were all Jewish, and for a long time (nearly 300 years) “The Faith” was almost exclusively Jewish. There were tens, or perhaps hundreds, of thousands of Jewish people who believed that Yeshua was the Messiah in the first century following His resurrection (see Acts 2:37-42; 4:4; 21:20), and every single one of them died still a Jew. And guess what … when Yeshua returns He will return as the Jewish Emperor of the whole world!

“Messianic Judaism really began to flourish in the year 1967. That was the same year that Jerusalem came back under the control of the Jewish people for the first time in almost 2,000 years. A coincidence? Absolutely not! God’s time for the Jewish people had begun. The age of the Gentiles (Goyim) was drawing to a close as prophesied in the New Covenant: ‘…Yerushalayim will be trampled down by the Goyim until the age of the Goyim has run its course.…’ (Luke 21:24)” [Lash, p.13.]

The modern Messianic Jewish movement is many things, but one of its key elements is the work to restore the lost Hebraic nature of the true Biblical faith. Sometimes this is called returning to our Jewish roots; and so, in part, it is. But it is much more. The Most High gave an eternal style to our ancient faith that would be unmistakable in the world as belonging to Him. His people were to be His own and to be His unique witness to the world. We are to be a chosen people, a kingdom of priests, a holy [set apart] nation.

One of the worst things that could happen to the people of Adonai is to assimilate into the world’s fashion: to think like the world thinks and to follow the world’s lead. Our purpose is to lead the world to worship and obey the Almighty. With such a task before us we must be assimilation proof. We must reflect the ancient ways He gave us, else how can we show that we have something different and better to offer the world.

This website is certified Assimilation Proof

Today there are nearly 1000 Messianic Jewish congregations in at least 25 countries (with at least 200 congregations in Eretz Israel!)[2] most of which are composed of both Jewish and non-Jewish people who believe in Yeshua as Israel’s Messiah and as their personal Savior, who understand the Jewish roots of true Biblical faith, and who wish to express that faith through living a Torah-observant Jewish life-style. By some estimates there have been more Jewish people world-wide come to faith in Messiah since the appearance of the modern Messianic Jewish Movement in 1967 than in the 1,897 years from the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE through 1966 combined! Surely this is the final ingathering of the Faithful Remnant that the prophets predicted would occur just before Messiah’s triumphant return to establish His Kingdom in Jerusalem. Baruch HaShem!

Three “Types” or “Expressions” of Messianic Judaism

Karaite[GN] Jewish Scholar Nehemia Gordon ( identifies three “types” or Expressions of Messianic Judaism.

Three Messianic Expressions

Messianic Type 1

The first “expression” of Messianic Judaism he describes as emulating “rabbinical Judaism to create a comfortable context for Jewish believers in Jesus.-- [Their] main objective is to convert Jews.”

I personally have nothing but disdain for this group and do not consider them “Messianic” at all, in that they clearly do not understand the goals and objectives of Messianic Judaism and their motives are clearly fraudulant, a “bait and switch” tactic, in direct contradiction to the teaching and practice of Yeshua and His Apostles. In this class I would put “Jews for Jesus” and many mainline Christian denominations that have established “Jewish Outreach Messianic Synagogues” or other “Jewish Outreach” ministries. They claim to be “Messianic” but they totally ignore the fact that the first and second century Messianic Jews did not “convert” to Christianity, because “Christianity” and “the Christian Church” did not exist until the fourth century CE. Until the reign of Constantine and the Church councils of the fourth century, Jews who came to faith in Yeshua as the Jewish Messiah did not ”convert” to anything; they simply became Jewish disciples of Yeshua. The very idea of wanting Jews to convert to Christianity is in direct violation of God’s instructions in the Tanakh that Jews are to retain their Jewish identity. (Exod 19:5; 31:13-16; Lev 23:1-44; Deut 14:2; 26:18; Num 15:38-39; 1Kings 8:53; Jer 31:31-36; Titus 2:14; 1Pet 2:9;  watch the video “Tradition! Tradition!”)

Messianic Type 2

He describes Messianic Type 2 as “Emulat[ing] (rabbinical) Judaism to live as Yeshua lived and in accordance with His teachings.-- Main objective is NOT to convert Jews.”

I personally believe that most Messianic Synagogues in America fall under this category. However, they do not seem to understand that Yeshua and His disciples did not conform to rabbinic Judaism. Yeshua repeatedly and blatantly violated the “Tradition of the Elders” and rebuked the Pharisees for their takanot. After the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE, Rabbinic Judaism evolved out of the sect of the Pharisees, and modern rabbinic Judaism is essentially Pharisaism reborn in that it places the “Tradition of the Elders” as codified in the Talmud as above the Tanakh in authority. However, as Gordon correctly observes, their main objective is NOT to convert Jews, but to provide a community in which Jewish disciples of Yeshua can fully embrace both their Jewish tradition and their Jewish Messiah, and non-Jewish disciples of Yeshua can enjoy the full benefit of being citizens of the Commonwealth of Israel.

Messianic Type 3

And finally, he describes Messianic Type 3 as “Liv[ing] in accordance with the Tanakh and New Testament (largely) independent of rabbinical Judaism.”

This is my personal interpretation of Messianic Judaism and I consider it to be Messianic Karaite Judaism. The word Karaite is derived from the Hebrew word kara, which is another name for the Tanakh, so a Karaite is one who follows the written Scriptures only. The Karaite website [accessed 31 July 2022] defines Karaite Judaism as follows:

Karaites (Karaim/Qaraim) are followers of the Hebrew Scriptures (Miqra/Mikra). We use Peshat (Plain Meaning) to interpret the Miqra. This does not mean we are strictly literalist but are contextualist. We study and interpret the scripture based upon the context in the scripture, the historic context and a language context. Not all Karaites interpret the Miqra exactly the same but we are dedicated to the following of YHWH and him alone. There is no other Elohim (God) but him.
   Being a Karaite Jew means we only recognize the Miqra or Tanakh as divinely given. Thus, while we don’t out right reject the Oral traditions of the Rabbis we consider them as commentary and judge them in view of the Written Tanakh.

Unfortunately (for them) the website goes on to say, “Additionally, we do outright reject the New Testament (NT) in any form and its messiah/teacher (Jesus/Yeshua/Yahshua etc…). No person who accepts either the NT or its messiah/teacher can be a Karaite Jew.”

Those of us who emulate Gordon’s description of “Messianic Type 3” are far closer to Karaite Judaism than we are to Rabbinical Judaism in that, like the Karaites, we:

We would never try to “convert” any Jewish person to anything. Yeshua certainly never “converted,” nor did any of His Jewish disciples. Nor did they ever attempt in any way to “convert” anybody to anything! They all lived in Torah communities and died as Jews! We are, however, dedicated to leading as many people as possible, including Messiah Yeshua’s kinsmen, into a relationsip with Him, and to lead as many Gentile Christians as possible out of their pagan practices back to the Torah so that all disciples of Messiah may be one in Him (Galatians 3:28) and one in the Commonwealth of Israel.

Messianic Judaism, Rabbinic Judaism, and the Church

The relationship between the Messianic Judaism, Rabbinic Judaism, and the Christian Church is expressed this way by the Union of Messianic Congregations (UMJC):

Jewish life is life in a concrete, historical community. Thus, Messianic Jewish groups must be fully part of the Jewish people, sharing its history and its covenantal responsibility as a people chosen by God. At the same time, faith in Yeshua also has a crucial communal dimension. This faith unites the Messianic Jewish community and the Christian Church, which is the assembly of the faithful from the nations who are joined to Israel through the Messiah. Together the Messianic Jewish community and the Christian Church constitute the ekklesia, the one Body of Messiah, a community of Jews and Gentiles who in their ongoing distinction and mutual blessing anticipate the shalom of the world to come.
   For a Messianic Jewish group 1) to fulfill the covenantal responsibility incumbent upon all Jews, 2) to bear witness to Yeshua within the people of Israel, and 3) to serve as an authentic and effective representative of the Jewish people within the body of Messiah, it must place a priority on integration with the wider Jewish world, while sustaining a vital corporate relationship with the Christian Church.
   In the Messianic Jewish way of life, we seek to fulfill Israel’s covenantal responsibility embodied in the Torah within a New Covenant context. Messianic Jewish halakhah is rooted in Scripture (Tanakh and the New Covenant writings), which is of unique sanctity and authority. It also draws upon Jewish tradition, especially those practices and concepts that have won near-universal acceptance by devout Jews through the centuries. Furthermore, as is common within Judaism, Messianic Judaism recognizes that halakhah is and must be dynamic, involving the application of the Torah to a wide variety of changing situations and circumstances.
   Messianic Judaism embraces the fullness of New Covenant realities available through Yeshua, and seeks to express them in forms drawn from Jewish experience and accessible to Jewish people.
   [UMJC Theology Committee; affirmed by delegate vote, July 20, 2005.
(Defining Messianic Judaism — Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations ( accessed 23 March 2023.]

For the “definition” of the Messianic Movement according to the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America, GO HERE.

For more information on Messianic Judaism please see David Chernoff’s excellent article HERE.

On that day, the “Root of Yishai,” Which stands as a banner for the peoples, the Goyim will seek Him out, and the place where He rests will be glorious. On that day ADONAI will raise His hand again, a second time, to reclaim the remnant of His people who remain from Ashur, Egypt, Patros, Ethopia, 'Eilam, Shin'ar, Hamat, and the islands in the sea. He will hoist a banner for the Goyim, assemble the dispersed of Isra'el, and gather the scattered of Y'hudah from the four corners of the earth … There will be a highway for the remnant of His people who are still left from Ashur, just as there was for Isra'el when he came out from the land of Egypt. (Isaiah 11:10-12,16, CJB)

 1. For example, the “Basic Statement” of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations defining Messianic Judaism reads: “The Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC) envisions Messianic Judaism as a movement of Jewish congregations and groups committed to Yeshua the Messiah that embrace the covenantal responsibility of Jewish life and identity rooted in Torah, expressed in tradition, and renewed and applied in the context of the New Covenant. Messianic Jewish groups may also include those from non-Jewish backgrounds who have a confirmed call to participate fully in the life and destiny of the Jewish people. We are committed to embodying this definition in our constituent congregations and in our shared institutions.” (accessed 23 March 2023) [BACK]

 2. These statistics are as of March 2023. Beth Yeshua International serves as the umbrella for at least 300 messianic congregations in India and a similar number in Kenya (including Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda & The Congo) and Ethiopia. These are growing so rapidly under local leadership that not even BYI can stay current with the statistics. By comparson there is this article dated April 20, 2021.

“There are 350-400 Messianic Jewish congregations in the US. Similarly, there are 350-400 congregations in Russia. There are also up to 5,000 Christians and Jews gathering in Messianic Jewish congregations in Germany, mostly Russian-speaking immigrants from the former Soviet Union. The largest congregation of Messianic Jews in the world is currently in Kiev, Ukraine with over 2,000 members, about half of them being Jewish. There are Messianic groups in South Africa and other places in Africa and Asia. The numbers of all these are increasing rapidly within a relatively short period of time.” (“Messianic Jews in the World Today,”, accessed 22 March 2023.) [BACK]

Page last updated on Friday, 22 September 2023 03:54 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return

Blue Letter Bible Search Tool

Range Options:

e.g. Gen;Psa-Mal;Rom 3-9