“MESSIANIC JEWS” IS AN UN-BIBLICAL TERM
Thursday, January 19, 2017
1. Christians are New Covenant followers of Jesus Christ, the Hebrew Messiah. As such they should refer to themselves in the terminology used by the New Testament.
- The O. T. word, “Messiah,” is Hebrew for “anointed.” Its New Covenant equivalent in Greek is “Christos,” or “Christ.”Therefore, post-Calvary born-again New Covenant Christians should prefer to be called “Christians.” This is evidenced in the New Testament in Acts 11:26.
- There are 27 inspired “books” in the New Testament. 23 of them are inspired epistles in the post-Calvary section of the New Testament. Not once is the phrase “Christian Jews” (the Greek equivalent of Messianic Jews) found in the Bible. Therefore, since Christians should be “people of the book,” this fact should compel Christians to refer to themselves simply as “Christians.”
- Christians are never called “Jews” or even “spiritual Jews” in the Bible. It is very evident from Romans 2 that Paul was only addressing Gentiles (pagans, heathen, Greeks) from 1:18 to 2:16 and is only addressing Jewish Hebrews from 2:17 to 2:29. When Paul wrote in Rom 2:28-29, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God” –– he was only speaking to Jews!! In the eyes of God, the true Jew among all literal physical Jews is the spiritual Jew.
- Also, Christians are never called “Israelites” in the Bible. The same logic used to understand Romans 2:28-29 applies in Romans 9:6-7; Paul was only addressing fellow Israelites who had accepted Christ. “Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.” Again, in the eyes of God, the true Israelite among all literal physical Israelites is the spiritual Israelite.
- Galatians 6:16 does not qualify either. “And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.” First, if this included Gentile Christians, it is very unusual and stands alone. Second, the final “and” signifies a second group. Paul was including Jewish Christians in his farewell.
- “Messianic Christians” makes no sense; Messianic Jews know that because the two words mean the same thing: one is Hebrew and the other is Greek.
- While it is biblically unsupportable to call Christians “Messianic Jews,” “Messianic Israelites,” or “Messianic Hebrews” — it is correct to call Christians “Abraham’s seed” instead of Israel’s seed (Jacob) or Jews (Judah). This is what Paul clearly teaches in Galatians 3:26-29 “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
- Messianic Jews want all Christians to replace Spirit-inspired post-Calvary New Testament terminology with that of the Old Testament. (1) The Holy Spirit nowhere inspired New Testament writers to use the name, Yahweh. (2) Uncircumcised Abram knew God as Yahweh Elyon, GOD Most High (Gen 14:22). (3) “Most High God” was a title for God used by both Hebrew and Gentile in the Old Testament. (4) In the New Testament God reaches out to all nations and peoples and identifies Himself as “Most High” (Mk 5:7; Lk 8:28; Acts 7:18; 16:17; Heb 7:1).
- Ephesians 2:12-22 does not unite Hebrews and Gentiles by making everybody spiritual Israelites and Jews. Read it.
(1) 2:12 The Law forbade Israel from making covenants with Gentiles (Ex 23:32; Deut 7:2).
(2) The Abrahamic covenant of promise (not the law) included Gentiles (Gen 12:2-3).
(3) 2:13 Hebrews and Gentiles are “made night” “by the blood” of Christ – not by the Law.
(4) 2:14-15 The “middle wall of partition” which was “broken down” is the Law itself which excluded Gentiles!!! (Heb 8:13)
(5) 2:16 Again, the cross (not the Law) joins both Hebrews and Gentiles.
- Colossians 2:11-23 does not unite Hebrews and Jews by making them spiritual Israelites or Jews.
(1) 2:11 spiritual circumcision makes the believer dead in Christ and to the Law (Rom 7:4).
(2) 2:12-13 Spiritual circumcision buries the believer in Christ. The Law cannot tell a dead and buried person what to do!
(3) 2:14 Law ordinances which formerly condemned believers were especially nailed to the cross.
(4) The believer is now under the “law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1-3). He/she obeys God because he/she is a “new creation” in Christ and the new nature from the indwelling Spirit desire to obey God (2 Cor 5:17).
(5) 2:16-17 The entire Law was only a “shadow of things to come” (Heb 10:1). Messianic Jews cannot comprehend this truth.
- Using the term “Messianic Jews” reveals an ignorance of God’s Word. I prefer to be called “Christian.”