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 1:1-11:32, 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)

Please Note: Absolutely nothing on this website should be taken as anti-Church or anti-Rabbinic. I am not anti-anything or anyone. I am only pro-Torah and pro-Truth (see “Philosophy”), but sometimes the Truth upsets our long-held beliefs. I know it certainly upset mine! For example, see “Why Isn’t My Theology Consistent Throughout the Website?”

Questions that
Non-Jewish People
Frequently Ask

In this article:

 1. Should I try to persuade my Jewish neighbor to believe in Yeshua (Jesus)?

 2. Why do Jews, especially non-religious ones, reject Yeshua?

 3. Should I invite my Jewish neighbor to my church?

 4. What is a Messianic Congregation?

 5. Why do Messianic Jews still keep parts of the Law of Moses; after all, wasn't the Law done away with?

 6. What theology do Messianic Jews follow, Covenant Theology or Dispensational Theology?

 7. Do Jewish people use the Old Testament, or is their Bible different from ours?

 8. What is the Talmud?

 9. Is there any relationship between the Jewish customs and the Christian ones?

10. Should Christians celebrate Passover or any of the other Jewish holidays?

Should I try to persuade my Jewish neighbor to believe in Yeshua (Jesus)?

Yeshua commanded us to go out into all the world and make talmidim (disciples) (see Matt. 28:19-20), beginning in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria (Acts 1:8). Even Rabbi Sha'ul (Paul), who was called “the apostle to the Gentiles,” said that the Good News of Messiah should go to the Jew first and also to the Greek (Gentile) (Rom. 1:16). Sha'ul was so convicted by the need for Jews to receive salvation that he was willing to give up his own salvation if this would have brought salvation to the Jewish people (Rom. 9:2-4). The salvation of the Jewish people was a priority in the lives of both Sha'ul and Yeshua, and it should be a priority in the life of every Believer. It is every Believer’s duty to share the Good News of Yeshua with their Jewish neighbor. Rabbi Sha'ul said that “it is by means of their [the Jews] stumbling that the deliverance has come to the Gentiles, in order to provoke them [the Jews] to jealousy” (Rom. 11:11, CJB). Every Believer is called upon to make the Jewish people jealous, so that they will want to hear the Good News. For more detailed information, see You Bring the Bagels, I'll Bring the Gospel: Sharing the Messiah with Your Jewish Neighbor, and Complete Jewish Bible. Messianic Jewish Manifesto offers an ideology, theology, and program for Messianic Judaism. — A challenge to both Jews and Gentiles who honor Yeshua (Jesus) as Israel’s Messiah and others involved with the movement catch the vision for its destiny, which is to heal the split between the Church and the Jewish people.

Also see my articles on the subject: Witnessing to Jewish Friends and Words to Avoid.


Why do Jews, especially non-religious ones, reject Yeshua?

It is a common misconception that Jewish people are experts on the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible or so-called “Old Testament”) and that after much study they have decided that Yeshua is not the Messiah. The truth is that most Jewish people know far less about the Bible than the average Christian. In fact, most don't even study the Bible at all except for the Torah portions (from the first five books of the Bible, or the Pentateuch) that are read every Shabbat. In most cases, if they study at all, what they study is the oral tradition, or Talmud. Those who reject Yeshua do so primarily because of the way in which He has been portrayed by the Church down through the centuries. There has been so much persecution of Jews by so-called “Christians” (e.g., the Crusades, Inquisition, Holocaust, “Christian anti-Semitism,” “replacement theology,” and modern-day white supremacist groups) that the Jewish community has rejected Yeshua without even knowing what He taught. For more detailed information, see Our Hands are Stained with Blood, and Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus.

I am convinced that very few Jewish people have ever been introduced to the real, historical, Jewish Yeshua HaNatzret (the Nazarine). The “Jesus” presented by the Church in general is a terribly distorted Gentile caricature of the Historical Yeshua, and is considered by good Jewish Bible scholarship a false prophet who can certainly not be the Messiah of Israel. See Jesus Christ the False Prophet.

Another extremely serious issue is the gross anti-semitism exhibited (sometimes unintentionally, but usually intentionally) by most church members. See Anti-Semitism in the Church. It is relatively common for a well-meaning church member, upon finding out your guest is Jewish, to blurt out something like “unless you repent and accept Jesus as your Savior, you are going to go to hell.” And immediately the mental and spiritual door is slammed shut and locked!


Should I invite my Jewish neighbor to my church?

I used to say yes, but now I feel we need to be very careful in that area. If your church presents a distorted (anything other than clearly Jewish) image of Yeshua, has members who are going to confront your guest (see the section immediately above), will attempt in any way to “convert him/her” to Christianity, or teaches that the Law has been done away with or any form of Replacement Theology (almost all churches do), I would strongly recommend against inviting your Jewish neighbor to church. You will very likely only drive him/her farther away from Messiah Yeshua.

What would be better would be to locate a nearby Messianic Jewish congregation and invite your Jewish neighbor to attend services there with you. If there is no Messianic congregation near you, invite your neighbor to watch an online Messianic Jewish worship with you at Beth Yeshua International. Their services begin at 10:10 every Shabbat (Saturday) morning. (When there is a fifth Shabbat in the month, the service is only “praise and worship.”)

If you decide to invite him/her to church, before you do so you will need to build some bridges and develop sensitivities toward the Jewish people. You Bring the Bagels, I'll Bring the Gospel is an excellent book that contains detailed information on this subject. For information about why your friend might not want to attend worship services with you, see Our Hands are Stained with Blood, and Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus.


What is a Messianic Congregation?

“Messianic congregations are a recent phenomenon on the pages of ecclesiastical history, but they have a heritage that extends back to the earliest period of the New Covenant faith. … Messianic congregations are part of the ecclesia [a Greek word meaning ‘called out ones,’ referring to the gathering together of believers in the Messiah]. However, they refer to themselves as congregations or synagogues to reflect and communicate the Jewishness of the Messianic faith to a people [the Jews] who have mistakenly come to associate belief in Jesus the Messiah with anti-Semitism.” (Excerpted from Return of the Remnant: The Rebirth of Messianic Judaism.) [See also David Chernoff’s excellent article “What is Messianic Judaism?”]

If you would like to see what a Messianic Jewish worship service looks like, visit Beth Yeshua International’s online service. Their services begin at 10:10 every Shabbat (Saturday) morning. (When there is a fifth Shabbat in the month, the service is only praise and worship.)


Why do Messianic Jews still keep parts of the Law of Moses; after all, wasn’t the Law done away with?

Part of the problem with understanding the answer to this question is a misunderstanding of the word “Law” itself. The Hebrew word that is commonly translated as “Law” is “Torah,” which is better translated as “loving instruction.” It was the “legalism” of the first-century Jewish leaders that was done away with, certainly not God’s loving instruction to His covenant people. When a Jewish person becomes a follower of Yeshua, he does not cease being a Jew. Yeshua said that he did not come to do away with the Torah, but to fulfill it (see Matt. 5:17-19). Yeshua also said that Torah is for all time. … I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud [the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet] or a stroke [of any individual letter] will pass from the Torah — not until everything that must happen has happened (Matt. 5:18).

In addition, Ya'akov (James) and the elders of the congregation in Jerusalem told Rabbi Sha'ul (the apostle Paul) that many tens of thousands [“ten thousand” was the largest number in their vocabulary] of Jewish people had believed in Yeshua and were zealously following Torah[1] (Acts 21:20). Thus, the early Jewish believers (approx. 30 years after Yeshua's death and resurrection) were still “zealously” following Torah. See also Is Obedience to Torah for Today? and Torah-Keeping in Messianic Judaism. For more detailed information, see Torah Rediscovered: Challenging Centuries of Misinterpretation and Neglect.


What theology do Messianic Jews follow—Covenant Theology or Dispensational Theology?

Although some Messianic Jews follow one or the other of these two theologies, many follow neither. Although Messianic Judaism has not yet clearly developed its own formalized theology [I am personally attenpting to develop one HERE], most Messianic Believers extract truths from both of these theologies. Detailed information can be found in Messianic Jewish Manifesto, and in condensed form in Restoring the Jewishness of the Gospel.


Do Jewish people use the Old Testament, or is their Bible different from ours?

Almost all Jewish people, and many Messianic non-Jewish people, actually object to the term “Old Testament” because of what the term implies. “Testament” means “covenant” and “old” means something that is obsolete, has been replaced, and is no longer of any value. The covenants that God made with Israel are everlasting, and will therefore never be “old.”

The Hebrew Bible is called the Tanakh (or TNK), an acronym for Torah (Pentateuch), Nevi'im (Prophets), and Ketuvim (Writings). The contents of the Tanakh are identical with the so-called “Christian Old Testament.” However, the order in which the books appear are different, and the chapter and verse divisions are sometimes different by a verse or two. The order in which the books appear in the Tanakh is based upon the Hebrew text, whereas their order in in the “Christian Old Testament” is based on the Greek translation (the Septuagint) of the Hebrew text. The Complete Jewish Bible includes both the Tanakh and the Apostolic Writings (so-called “B'rit Chadasha” or “Renewed Covenant,” also called the “Apostolic Scriptures” or “New Testament”) with the books of the Tanakh in their original Hebrew order and with their original Hebrew titles.


What is the Talmud?

The Talmud consists of the Mishnah and the Gemara. The Mishnah is a compilation of the Jewish Oral Law (or Oral Torah) that was codified in 220 CE. Orthodox Judaism believes that the Oral Law (corresponding to what the Apostolic Writings [the so-called “New Testament”] call “the tradition of the elders”) was given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai. The Gemara completes the Talmud by providing commentary on the Mishnah. It was compiled between the second and fifth centuries CE. The English-only version of the Talmud (by Soncino Press) contains 20 volumes. Most Messianic Jews do not accept the Talmud as the authoritative Word of God, but rather as a valuable commentary that is of significant value in the interpretation of the inspired Text. There are a number of excellent books available that will provide an introductory knowledge of the Talmud.


Is there any relationship between the Jewish customs and the Christian ones?

There are only two Christian customs that are directly derived from Jewish customs. The Christian custom of “communion,” or the “Lord’s Supper” comes directly from the Jewish custom of Kiddush and the Christian custom of baptism comes from the Jewish custom of self-immersion (t'vilah) in “living water” or in a special pool of water (mikveh). Also, some Christian liturgy may be derived from Jewish traditional liturgy. For more detailed information on Jewish customs, see God’s Appointed Customs and God’s Appointed Times, below.


Should Christians celebrate Passover or any of the other Jewish holidays?

Absolutely! The term “Jewish holidays” is actually a misnomer. Nowhere does Scripture refer to “Jewish Holidays,” but rather to the “Feasts of ADONAI” (the “Feasts of the LORD”). Thus the feasts and festivals that are described in the Scriptures are not Israel’s feasts, but rather they are God’s feasts to which He invites all His covenant people, whether “natural born” or “grafted in.” Yeshua observed the biblical holidays during his earthly life, and since He also observed the traditional (extra-biblical) Feast of Dedication or Hanukkah (John 10:22), it’s probably safe to assume He also observed Purim.. In addition, Rabbi Sha'ul (the apostle Paul) exhorted the Corinthian Believers (there were many non-Jews in that synagogue) to celebrate Pesach (Passover) (1 Cor. 5:8). The biblical feasts were given to teach, in a practical way, more about the nature of God and his plan for mankind. For example, Passover is rich in the symbolism of the Messiah’s death, burial, and resurrection. Take Hold: Embracing Our Divine Inheritance in Israel presents information about how if you are a follower of Israel’s Messiah, you are absolutely entitled to fully participate in the people, the land, and the Torah of Israel as a full-fledged citizen of the Commonwealth of Israel. For more detailed information, see God’s Appointed Times: A Practical Guide for Understanding and Celebrating the Biblical Holidays and God’s Appointed Customs: A Messianic Jewish Guide to the Biblical Lifecycle and Lifestyle, plus these other books about the Feasts of ADONAI.

In my personal opinion (and you are certainly welcome to disagree), Christians should celebrate all the Feasts of the Lord and refrain from celebrating any “Church” holidays, as they are all rooted in paganism. At the very beginning of human history, God ordained that the seventh day of the week, the Shabbat (Sabbath) should be set aside as a day of rest and fellowship with Him; He promised His undivided attention in a very special way on that day, and He has never abolished or changed His Sabbath. In the fourth century, the Roman “Church” decreed that worshiping on the seventh day of the week was a crime, because the first day of the week was “the Venerable Day of the Sun” (for the pagan worship of Roman sun god), and all Romans were required by law to worship the sun god on that day. The Roman Catholic church is eager to point out that the only reason that Protestants worship on Sunday is in obedience to the authority of the pope; there is absolutely no biblical reason for doing so. One can't use the excuse that Sunday worship honors the resurrection, because Yeshua’s resurrection did not happen at dawn on Sunday morning, rather it was shortly after sunset Saturday evening, the “beginning of the first day of the week” according to the Hebrew calendar. The holiday of Easter is the pagan Feast of Ishtar (whose symbols were eggs and bunnies), also known as Inanna, Venus, Diana, Sumer, Astoreth, Aphrodite, Queen of Heaven, and others, and has nothing to do with Yeshua’s crucifixion (which occurred on Passover) or His resurrection (which occurred on First Fruits). The Christmas holiday (December 25) is simply a new name for the Roman feast of the god Saturn, or Saturnalia, and has absolutely nothing whatever to do with the birth of Yeshua, Who was actually born during the Feast of Tabernacles in the fall. See “Yeshua’s Birth Date Calculated From Scripture” and “Babylon’s Mystery Religion: The Source of All False Religions.”

Go HERE for more about the Moadim (Feasts and Festivals). A list of their dates is HERE.


Recommended Reading List

Click on the book title to read a description in the Bibliography. There you will find a link to purchase the book, if desired. [I receive no commission from book purchases.]

  1. Unfortunately the Greek word μυριάδες (myriades) is mistranslated in most English versions of the Apostolic Writings. The word actually means “a group of ten thousand, a ten thousand. From μυρίοι murioi; a ten-thousand; also used for a very large number, innumerable.” The Complete Jewish Bible correctly translates the passage: “On hearing it, they praised God; but they also said to him, “You see, brother, how many tens of thousands of believers there are among the Judeans, and they are all zealots for the Torah.” The population of Jerusalem at the time of this event was about a hundred thousand. One or two myriads would not be referred to as “how many myriads,” but three or four myriads (or more) might be, and three or four myriads would represent, as an absolute minimum, between 30 and 40 percent of the population of Jerusalem at the time. I can assure you, that is a far higher percentage of Believers than can be found in any city in the United States today! [BACK]

Page last updated on Monday, 02 October 2023 04:32 PM
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