- Preaching the Living WORD through the Written WORD - 2 Tim 4:2 -
I.†††† CHRISTIANITY AND ANTI-SEMITISM
A.††† The Reality of Anti-Semitism
1.†††† The reality of Anti-Semitism is accepted almost universally. Those who deny it do not fully understand history or the Bible.
2.†††† Anti-Semitism is hostility toward or
discrimination against Jews as a religious or racial group. The term
anti-Semitism was coined in 1879 by the German agitator Wilhelm Marr to
designate the anti-Jewish campaigns underway in central
3.†††† Some see the beginnings of Anti-Semitism
as far back as 162 B.C. when Antiochus Epiphanes
dismantled the walls of Jerusalem, burned the city, carried away the Temple
treasures, and sacrifieced a pig upon the altar,
known as the ďabomination of desolation.Ē It was at this time that the
Samaritans denied any Jewish relationship and began to worship on
4.†††† The Jews were expelled from
5.†††† Extreme instances of Anti-Semitism include the German Crusade of 1096, the expulsion from England in 1290, the Spanish Inquisition, the expulsion from Spain in 1492, the expulsion from Portugal in 1497, and the most infamous, the Holocaust under Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany. Under the Nazi Regime (1939-45) about 6 million Jews, including 1.5 million children, were systematically killed from.
6.†††† Anti-Semitism continues today with graffiti on synagogues, racial slurs, and the political Anti-Zionism (ideology that rejects a homeland for Jewish people).
B.††† True Christianity is not Anti-Semitic
1.†††† Unfortunately, much of Anti-Semitism has come in the name of Christianity. Evangelism can sometimes be next to impossible (humanly speaking) because of the barriers that have been built.
2.†††† However, true Christianity, such as was in the New Testament, and the Christianity that Paul wrote about was not Anti-Semitic.
a)††† Paul had a great zeal and burden for his own people (Ro 9:1-3; 10:1).
b)††† Often, believers desired to minister the gospel to the Jews first and then to the Gentiles (Ro 1:16 cp. Ac 9:20; 13:5; 14:1; 17:1).
c)†††† The apostles were all Jewish and dealt with Jewish issues (Ac 15:5-6ff).
d)††† Jesus Himself was a Jew, born of the lineage of David (Mt 1:1, 6, 17; 2:2; Lk 1:27; 2:21-22, 27) and lived the perfect Jewish life under the Law (Mt 3:15; Ga 4:4).
e)†††† Christians believe that the Lord gave the Old Testament to the Jewish people, which is included in the Christian Bible (Ro 3:2; 9:4).
f)†††† Many Christians are pro-Israel and pro-Zionist because of the Abrahamic Covenant (Ge 12:7; 13:14-15; 15:7; 17:8).
g)†††† Many Christians believe that God will fulfill His future covenant (Je 31:31).
3.†††† Though Christians have been guilty of Anti-Semitism, it would be fallacious to label all Christians, especially true Christians, as Anti-Semitic.
C.††† Christianityís Doctrinal Defense
1.†††† In addition, it would be wrong to classify Christianity as Anti-Semitic on the basis that it defends Christian doctrine.
2.†††† All religions defend their own doctrine, or at least they used to, including Judaism. Comparing Christianityís doctrine with Judaismís doctrine is no different than comparing its doctrine with another Christian church or sect.
3.†††† In fact, the Scriptures, both OT and NT, exhort the people of God to distinguish between true and false doctrine (Dt 18:20-22; 1Jn 4:1), guard doctrine (Dt 4:5-10) and preach doctrine (Ps 40:9; Is 53:1; 61:1-3; 2Ti 4:1-4; Ti 1:9).
4.†††† The true Christian can know that he is not Anti-Semitic just because he follows the tenets of Christianity, compares his doctrine with other doctrines, and evangelizes because he believes that his doctrine is the true one.
II.††† CHRISTIANITY AND JEWISH DOCTRINE
1.†††† First the Christian must understand that there are three branches of Judaism:
a)††† Orthodox Judaism - strict Judaism in its observance to the Law of Moses.
b)††† Reform Judaism - liberal Judaism of mere ethics and principles.
c)†††† Conservative Judaism - middle-ground Judaism between the two
2.†††† Secondly, it is vital in the evangelism to the Jews that Christians understand the beliefs of Judaism.
3.†††† It is therefore imperative that the Christian knows the Old Testament, New Testament, and the apologetical arguments concerning Judaism (Hebrews, Romans, Galatians, etc.).
1.†††† The Orthodox Jew believes that the Torah (Pentateuch) is inspired by God and has a higher place than the rest of the OT. The Reform View holds that the OT is a human but religious product whereas the Conservative View holds that the OT is inspired only when God reveals something out of it (Dynamic Inspiration).
2.†††† The Christian belief in the infallible, inerrant, and inspired word of God (OT and NT) is the basis for all Christian doctrine.
3.†††† 2Ti 3:16 defines what is meant by ďinspiration.Ē The word, "inspired," is the Greek word, theopneustos and literally means, "God-breathed" (theos - God & pneustos - spirit or breath). The idea is that the Scriptures have been God-breathed which means they originate from God and comprise His inerrant Word of God.
a)††† The OT claims that it is inspired by God in its entirety.
(1)†† The Law of Moses (Torah, Pentateuch) claimed divine inspiration (God - Ex 34:1; Moses - Ex 34:27; Dt 31:9).
(2)†† David claimed divine inspiration in the Psalms (2Sa 23:2; 1Ch 28:19).
(3)†† The Major Prophets claimed divine inspiration (Is 6:7-9; 30:8; 55:8-11; Ezek 1:3).
(4)†† The Minor Prophets claimed divine inspiration (Ho 1:1-2; Joel 1:1; Ha 2:2).
(5)†† Man is not to add to Godís Word in reference to the Law of Moses (Torah, Dt 4:2), Wisdom Literature (Pr 30:5-6) and the New Testament (Re 22:18).
b)††† Jesus claimed that the OT was inspired by God (Mt 23:35).
(1)†† Jesus claimed the Torah was inspired (Gen 2:24; Mt Dt 8:3).
(2)†† Jesus claimed the Psalms were inspired (Mk 12:10 cp. Ps 118:22; Jn 13:18 cp. Ps 41:9).
(3)†† Jesus claimed the Prophets were inspired (Lk 4:21 cp. Is 61:1-2; Mt 21:13 cp. Je 7:11; Mt 26:31 cp. Ze 13:7).
(4)†† Jesus claimed the Law and the Prophets were inspired (Mt 5:17; Lk 24:27).
c)†††† The apostles claimed that the OT was inspired by God.
(1)†† Paul called the OT the Holy Scriptures (Ac 17:2, 11; Ro 1:2; 15:4; 2Ti 3:15)
(2)†† Peter believed the OT Scriptures and prophecies were under the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures (2Pe 1:20-21; and NT (2Pe 3:16).
C.††† Original Sin
1.†††† None of the branches of Judaism (Orthodox, Reform, or Conservative) believe in the doctrine of Original Sin.
2.†††† The doctrine of Original Sin can be defined as, Because of the fall of Adam, man possesses a sinful nature that is passed on from our parents and has corrupted manís entire nature and propensities.
3.†††† Sin for the Jew is violating the Ten Commandments, committing immoral acts, or being guilty of social ills.
4.†††† The Old Testament is clear in defending the doctrine of Original Sin.
a)††† The Psalmsí assert that manís sinful nature is passed on at birth (Ps 51:5; Job 25:4).
b)††† Ro 3:10-18 quotes OT passages to prove manís nature has been corrupted in every aspect:
(1)†† Manís nature (Ro 3:10 cp. Ps 14:1).
(2)†† Manís understanding (Ro 3:11 cp. Ps 14:2).
(3)†† Manís morality (Ro 3:12 cp. Ps 14:3).
(4)†† Manís speech (Ro 3:13-14 cp. Ps 5:9; 140:3)
(5)†† Manís attitude (Ro 3:14 cp. Ps 10:7).
(6)†† Manís actions (Ro 3:15-17 cp. Isa 59:7).
(7)†† Manís spirituality (Ro 3:18 cp. Ps 36:1).
c)†††† Additional passages affirming manís original sin (Ge 6:5; Je 17:9; 13:23)
5.†††† Paul concludes that every mouth under the Law is stopped and all the world is accountable to God (Ro 3:19).
1.†††† Even to the Orthodox Jew, salvation is not necessary because Jewish people presume a favored standing with God (Ro 2:17-20). Salvation to others comes from keeping the Law and repentance.
2.†††† The other branches maintain that salvation is obtained through the betterment of self, society, and Zionism.
3.†††† However, the Old Testament reveals that all have sinned and are not deserving of salvation.
a)††† All (including Jews) who sin under the Law shall be judged by the Law (2Ch 19:7; De 10:17; Ps 62:12; Ez 18:4 cp. Ro 2:11-13, 21-23).
b)††† All (including Jews) have sinned and are guilty of the whole the Law (Job 9:2; Ps 143:2; Ec 7:20; De 27:26 cp. Ja 2:10).
1.†††† According to Richard Robinson, the Orthodox View holds that the Messiah is a human being who is not divine. He will restore the Jewish kingdom and extend his righteous rule over the earth. He will execute judgment and right all wrongs. (CRI article, ďUnderstanding Judaism: How to Share the Gospel with Your Jewish FriendsĒ).
2.†††† The Conservative and Reform Views hold
that the Messiah is a Ö concept of a Utopian age toward which humankind is
progressing, sometimes called the "Messianic Age." (ibid.). Some believe that the Messiah is
3.†††† The Old Testament is very clear in describing the Messiah.
a)††† The Messiah would be a prophet (De 18:15, 18).
b)††† The Messiah would sit on the throne of David (Is 9:7 cp Lk 1:32).
c)†††† The Messiah would be righteous (Is 53:11).
d)††† The Messiah would be God (Isa 40:3 cp. Mt 3:3; Ps 45:6 cp Heb 1:8).
4.†††† The Old Testament is very clear in identifying the Messiah.
a)††† The Messiah would be of the lineage of Abraham (Ge 22:18 cp. Ga 3:16) and David (Ps 132:11 cp. Ro 1:3; Josephís genealogy - Mt 1:1-1:16 cp. Maryís genealogy - Lk 3:23-38).
b)††† The Messiah would be born of a virgin (Is 7:14 cp Mt 1:22-23; Lk 2:7).
c)†††† The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem of Judea (Mic 5:2 cp. Mt 2:1).
d)††† The Messiah would be anointed by the Spirit (Is 11:2 cp. Jn 1:32-34).
e)†††† The Messiah would perform miracles (Is 35:5-6 cp. Mt 11:4-6).
1.†††† Judaismís view toward atonement is optimistic about manís efforts being capable of earning Godís approval. Man is considered able to fulfill Godís desires for manís conduct. (Moshe, Beth, Judaismís Truth Answers the Missionaries, pg. 6).
2.†††† The Old Testament unequivocally reveals that the Messiah would make atonement for man.
a)††† The Messiah would be crucified (Ps 22:16 cp. Jn 19:18).
b)††† The Messiah would be pierced (Ze 12:10 cp. Jn 19:34-37).
c)†††† The Messiah would be die and make atonement (Is 53:5-8, 12 cp. Mt 27:50; Jn 19:30).
d)††† The Messiah would be buried with the rich (Is 53:9 cp. Mt 27:57-60).
e)†††† The Messiah would be resurrected (Ps 16:10; Is 53:10 cp Ro 1:4; 1Co 15:4-8).
f)†††† The Messiah would justify many by faith (Is 53:11; Ps 32:1-2; Ge 15:6 cp. Ro 4:3-8; 23-25).
g)†††† The Messiah will come again and
III.† CHRISTIANITYíS PRESENTATION OF JEWISH EVANGELISM
A.††† Christians must be respectful about Jewish sentiments regarding Anti-Semitism.
B.††† Christians must know that they are not Anti-Semitic just because they embrace and promote Christian doctrine.
C.††† Christians must take an interest in Jewish affairs.
D.††† Christians must be mighty in the Scriptures (Ac 18:24-28).
E.††† Christians can use the following guidelines:
††††††††††††††† 1.†††† Know and share the defense of Christianity through the Scriptures in OT and NT (See notes above).
2.†††† Establish friendships and show the love of Christ.
3.†††† Patiently respond to their objections being ready to teach
4.†††† Realize Jewish Christians become ostracized