Are Messianic congregations necessary or should Jewish believers be incorporated into the Gentile church? The question of how Christian Jews relate their Jewish practices and customs to the church has been an issue within Christianity since the first century. Contemporary contributors who have lived and wrestled with this issue present informed arguments and counter-arguments. The book concludes with a chapter on the future for Messianic Jews and a directory of messianic movement organizations.
“It means that those practices that some Messianic Jews emphasize so strongly are the very things that can often lead to self-righteousness and actual loss of the real knowledge of the Messiah. While many today want to find their identity in ‘Jewishness,’ Paul found his identity in the Messiah.” (Page 37)
“Jewish Christianity is certainly not a modern phenomenon, but has existed since the first century. As an identifiable movement within the church, however, it ceased to exist by the sixth century a.d.5 A renaissance came during the nineteenth century, when literally thousands of Jewish people came to faith in Jesus as Messiah.” (Pages 31–32)
“2. The idea that Messianic synagogues are a more effective witness to the Jewish community ignores historical realities” (Page 46)
“As my own chapter will show, I fully agree that the law of Moses came to an end at Messiah’s death as a mandatory rule of life. This includes the two elements that Varner mentioned: the dietary restrictions and the festival observances (page 41). But is it wrong to continue dietary restrictions and the festivals, even if they cannot be followed in the exact format required by the Mosaic law? Does a Jewish believer have to eat the ham sandwich? Is it a sin for a Jewish believer to observe the Passover? Here again it seems to me we have ‘the baby with the bath water’ motif repeating itself.” (Page 68)
“Paul states that two main categories of the Mosaic law—dietary restrictions and festival observances—as important as they were to the Old Testament Israelite, were intended to be temporary from the very beginning. They were only shadows, cast by the Messiah backward in time. Now that we have the ‘substance’ (the reality, the fulfillment of the type), why would anyone encourage others to continue to practice the shadow?” (Page 41)
Louis Goldberg (ThD, Grace Theological Seminary), general editor, served on the faculty of Moody Bible Institute for thirty years and was the author of Our Jewish Friends, Are There Two Ways of Atonement? and other books.