What is Messianic Judaism?


I’m often asked how old Messianic Jewish movement is.  I always respond, “It started in the first century”.  It turns out that both Jewish and Christian academics are in the constant process of discovering how true that is.

One example is the well-known Jewish scholar Daniel Boyarin, who, in his new book The Jewish Gospels, uncovers evidence that the first century Messianic Jews were seen as fully Jewish.  He also recognizes a first century Jewish stream of thought that expected a divine Messiah.

So what then is Messianic Judaism?  In a few words, it is a living vibrant community of Jewish people who acknowledge Yeshua (Jesus) to be the Jewish Messiah and saving Arm of Adonai (L-rd) who came as a suffering Messiah to provide atonement for sin and will come again as the reigning King of peace.

Messianic Jews recognize that one of the roles of the Messiah is to be a light to the nations (Isaiah 49:6) and hence it is because of Yeshua that the Gentiles have the G-d of Israel and the Tanach (Old Testament).  But they also recognize the need for Jewish community for Jewish believers.  Gentiles who are called can also adhere to these communities, but the Messianic Jewish synagogues (of which there are an ever growing number) are defined by the Jewish believers in their midst and by Jewish identity and observance.