Friday, December 21, 2007

Selah

This blog will now be resting until 2008. As you remember the birth of a Jewish baby in the town of Bethlehem, remember to pray for the salvation of the people to whom he first came, and for whom his heart still yearns.

The politicisation of Christmas and the demonisation of Israel 2

Hijacking Christmas (from Richard Gibson's column in the British Church Newspaper, 21 December 2007)

It is bad enough when secular Britain hijacks Christmas for commercial reasons, it's unforgivable when Christians hijack it for political ones. Garth Hewitt's unquestioningly pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel Amos Trust is selling an alternative Nativity set. The promotional blurb states it's " a nativity set with a difference - this year the wise men won't get to the stable." The Nativity model has a separation barrier between the wise men and the manger. Sadly both size models have already sold out. One wonders why the Amos Trust is selling and Christians are buying an item that Adolph Hitler would have delighted in purchasing. The Nazification of Liberal Protestantism in Hitler's Germany sought the theological and social demonization of the Jews in order to grease the wheels of the Holocaust. Organisations such as the Institute for Study and Eradication of Jewish Influence in German Church Life were formed (see Betrayal by Ericksen & Heschel). How easily British Christians have forgotten the sins of our Continental European brethren as they theologically colluded with the Holocaust. Such ill advised actions by the Amos Trust must cause deep pain to those who remember the last time the person and story of Jesus was hijacked and utilised to rid another region of the world of six million Jews.

What ever your stance on the Middle East conflict, leave the birth of Jesus out of it.

[JM note: of course, since the wall is to the West of Bethlehem and the wise men came from the East, they would still be able to see Jesus today. But why let that leaven of dullards, "the facts", get in the way of anti-Israel polemic?]

Monday, December 17, 2007

Praying for Israel

My Aussie mate Rory Shiner, the only person I know who has named his blog after a song by The Smiths (and is therefore by definition a man of good taste) posts on this vitally important topic here.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The politicisation of Christmas and the demonisation of Israel

Honest Reporting on the media's annual "let's blame Bethlehem's plight entirely on Israel" scrum. The piece is also worth reading for its commentary on the radically anti-Zionist (and sometimes plain anti-Semitic) Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, an organisation which is given patronage by Western Evangelicals Stephen Sizer and Gary Burge.

When anti-Zionism becomes anti-Semitism

Honest Reporting UK on the Abrahams-Mendelsohn-Labour party-Zionist-Jewish conspiracy. It was nothing to do me with me, honest!

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Longest Hatred 23

Concerning report regarding increased levels of antisemitic incidents in Australia, here;

more encouraging report regarding the participation of British Muslims in Holocaust Memorial Day, here.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Annapolis

I'm praying that the Annapolis discussions between Mahmoud Abbas and Ehud Olmert will lead to a long-overdue just peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Honest Reporting have drawn up this helpful guide to the key issues.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Longest Hatred 22

A nationwide survey released on 1st November by the US-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reveals that 35 million Americans hold blatantly anti-Semitic views. Commenting on the high levels of Hispanic anti-Semitism, ADL Chairman Abraham Foxman said, "We believe that the strong anti-Semitic views held by one of the fastest growing segments in America is no doubt a reflection of what is being learned about Jews in the schools, churches and communities of Latin American countries, which is anti-Semitism at its most basic."

The survey also found that 32% of African-Americans hold strong anti-Semitic beliefs, more than three times the 10% for whites. The ADL survey concluded that the more educated a person is, the less likely he or she is to be anti-Semitic.

It is a sad reflection that anti-Semitism is flourishing in ethic communities that are home to high percentages of church-goers. There is still much to be done to undo the easy transition that is made from theological anti-Judaism to common anti-Semitism.

from Richard Gibson's column in the British Church Newspaper

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The true path to peace

For a whole host of reasons, I'm sceptical about the prospects of the Israeli-Palestinian peace conference, scheduled to start in Annapolis tomorrow, to bring peace (not least the disastrous legacy of the Oslo Agreement and the candid statements of even "moderate" Palestinian leaders that Israel should not be recognised as a Jewish state). I pray that I'll be mistaken.

God's path to peace, however - the gospel - has a proven track record in bringing peace between the most irreconcilable of enemies - even Jews and Arabs:

Richard Gibson writes here on our part in reconciling Jew & Arab in Israel;

whilst I today received the following prayer requests from the Arab General Secretary of the Fellowship of Christian Students in Israel, which unites Jewish and Arab students in gospel witness:

  • Praise the Lord for two student conferences last month (October): Arabic speaking conference in Bet-Jala (Near Bethlehem) from 10-13 October with the topic "Be zealous and repent" (Revelation 3:19), about 40-50 students took part. There was also a chance for some students from the Palestinian Authority areas to join. The Hebrew speaking conference took place in Sde Boker in Southern Israel (11-13 October), main teaching was from Ephesians, 80-100 students took part and also had the chance to explore nature around.
  • The academic year "started" more than three weeks ago with a strike by the senior lectures in the universities, this means that most courses are not taking place in universities while colleges are working as usual. In addition a strike by the high school teacher has been going for more than one month with no solution yet. Please Pray for the whole education system in Israel in this crisis. Pray for decision makers both in the government and from the teachers/lectures side to find fair solutions. Pray also for students so that the strike will not affect their studies, especially that this strike comes 6 months after a long student's strike!!
  • As to the student groups some groups were able to start while other the strike affected and they could not start, but praise the Lord for the groups (Some locations have more than one group) in: Jerusalem, Beersheba, Carmiel, Haifa, Netanya and Tel-Aviv.
  • Please pray for the student groups and their witness in campus/dorms, for students to grasp the vision in each group and be light and salt.
  • Pray for FCSI as a whole to be effective in supporting the students and for wisdom in future decision making.

The One-State Solution: Advocating Israel's Destruction

From www.honestreporting.com

Is this thinly veiled strategy for destroying the Jewish state resurfacing in the mainstream media? As the US-sponsored peace conference in Annapolis draws near and prospects for new negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians continue to improve, the enemies of peace and normalization are renewing efforts to scupper progress. While Hamas, Hezbollah and the Iranian regime openly declare their intentions to destroy Israel violently, others advocate a more subtle approach to achieving the same goal.

One such method is the so-called Palestinian "right of return", which would see Israel flooded with Palestinians ultimately leading to the end of Israel through demographic means. Those who advocate the Palestinian return to Israel know that Israel's Jewish character would not survive the influx of several million Palestinian refugees.

While there is a virtual consensus among world leaders for a two-state solution, another "solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, insidiously sold in the language of peace, is the "one-state solution" or "bi-national state", as laid out in the op-ed columns of Australia's The Age. Sonja Karkar, president of Women for Palestine, responds to an op-ed by Colin Rubinstein (which was itself a rebuttal of a previous op-ed by Ghada Karmi):

While Dr. Karmi does say that Israel - as a "Jewish state" that necessitated the removal of the indigenous Arab population - should never have been created, she does not suggest that present-day Israelis must be removed. Instead, she argues that a single state, that is secular and democratic for all its citizens, offers much more hope for peace than a state based on Jewish exclusivity next to a truncated and utterly unviable proposed Palestinian state under Israel's vice-like control.

The solution Dr. Karmi proposes shows remarkable magnanimity considering the terrible human cost of Israel's venture. Her vision is to bring Palestinians and the now established Israeli-Jewish community together in one state so that justice can be served for both sides.

Accepted diplomatic efforts for peace are centered around a two-state solution - Israel and a Palestinian state existing side-by-side in peace and security. Yet, Karmi and Karkar's op-eds, along with a now canceled Oxford University Debating Society debate on the one-state solution, may indicate the beginnings of a new campaign to radically alter the dynamics of the Israeli-Palestinian discourse.

Why then is the one-state solution unacceptable?

  • At its most basic level, the one-state solution denies the right of Jews to self-determination in their historical homeland and calls into question the very legitimacy of Israel as a state.
  • A bi-national state would have the same consequence as the "right of return" - the negation of Israel as a Jewish state. Palestinians, by virtue of a higher birthrate, would turn Jews into a minority before voting in favor of another Muslim Arab state in place of Israel.
  • The one-state solution is therefore simply a thinly veiled strategy for destroying the State of Israel and questioning its right to exist. As Sol Stern and Fred Siegel have written in the New York Sun:

The "one state" solution is a euphemism for the destruction of the Jewish state - a trope of the most extreme rejectionist elements within the Palestinian movement and their allies in Syria and Iran. Terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah want to create an Islamic Republic in place of Israel.

Alan Dershowitz adds:

The one-state solution proposal now being made by Palestinian lawyers and some anti-Israel academics is nothing more than a ploy. It is designed to destroy the Jewish state of Israel and to substitute another Islamic Arab state. Those who advocate the single state solution would never do so with regard to India, the former Yugoslavia, or other previously united states which have now been divided on ethnic or religious grounds.

  • On a practical level, a one-state solution is simply unworkable. As Palestinian columnist Ray Hanania writes:

the two-state solution will always be the only option because the premise of "one state" where Christians, Muslims and Jews can live side-by-side and with equality, is fundamentally flawed.

It is a fallacy that can never be achieved not just because Israelis won't support it. The Arab and Islamic World don't practice it. Exactly where do Jews and Christians live in the Islamic World today side-by-side with equality? We don't even live side-by-side with equality in the Palestinian Diaspora.

  • The one-state solution is also proposed by those who refer to Israel as an "apartheid" state. Drawing upon this comparison, the example of post-apartheid South Africa is held up as a model for a bi-national Israeli-Palestinian state. However, former anti-apartheid activist Benjamin Pogrund explains in detail, examining issues of economy, religion, third-party intervention, political culture, violence and leadership, why the South African model does not fit the Israeli-Palestinian situation.
  • While there are those who advocate a one-state solution as a means to destroy Israel, they are also aided by naive idealists. But, in a world where ethnically mixed states such as Yugoslavia have broken down in bloodshed, and Muslim states such as Saudi Arabia claim Muslim Arab exclusivity, why does the only Jewish state have to be the test case for a far-fetched utopian experiment? Why is Jewish self-determination in a state of their own illegitimate?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Jewish New Testament and Jewish New Testament Commentary

My friend Christopher Skinner has kindly allowed me to reproduce his review of these two books.

The Jewish New Testament (JNT) and it's companion volume The Jewish New Testament Commentary (JNTC) by David H. Stern is a very valuable work in Messianic circles today. The authors intention is to restore the Jewishness of the New Testament and he has supplied a work which is very much needed. This short review is going to review both positive and critical aspects to this volume.

As an observation, The JNT is not a strictly literal translation and there is nothing wrong with that. Stern informs us that his approach to translation was that of dynamic equivalence. This approach aims to translate the thoughts of the writer rather than a word by word translation. Dynamic equivalence is also used by the NIV, The Message and The Life Application Bible. Those desiring a more literal-grammatical Messianic translation should check out the Hebrew Names Version (HNV) which is authored by a completely different party. The JNT and JNTC assumes knowledge of the Hebrew words and phrases such as Tanakh, Ruach HaKodesh etc which will make it more difficult for some readers, although it is worth doing some homework and receiving the blessing from reading it.

A strength of the JNT and JNTC is it's explanation and specific translation of the words usually translated "Jew" and "Jews". Various passages in standard translations of Johns gospel been used to justify anti-Jewish feeling in religious people. This has given ammunition to critics who charge the New Testament writers with anti-Semitism. In John 5:19, The JNT makes it clear that it is the Judean Jews (and not the Jews as a whole) which harassed Yeshua. The same is the case in his comments on 1 Thessalonians (where it is often dreadfully mistranslated "The Jews, who killed the Lord Jesus"). Stern's discussion of the famous words of the mob "His blood be upon us and upon our children" and Yeshuas prayer "Father forgive them" is both reasonable and sensible. Any believer who wants to stem the tide of theological antisemitism will find these volumes very helpful.

Another good feature of the JNT is the exposition of Pardes, the Rabbinic method of expounding the Tanakh as employed by the New Testament writers. Many standard evangelical commentaries are at a loss to explain apparent misquotes from the Old Testament (such as Matthew 2:15 "out of Egypt I called my Son"). Sterns understanding of first century Jewish interpretation is very helpful to the student of Scripture here. The Jewish context and background of the New Testament is brought out in many ways.

On the critical side, Stern allows his own theological bias to influence the resultant translation and this is evident in some places. This is most evident in his discussions of Torah observance and it's place today. His comments have very practical implications, especially in the areas of observing Intermarriage, Shabbat and Kashrut.

Stern believes that the Law of Moses is still effective and attempts to deal with his "problem passages" but, in my opinion, unconvincingly. My views on the law of Moses concur with that of The Association of Messianic Congregations which states that "The Law of Moses as a rule of life has been fulfilled in the Messiah and therefore believers are no longer under its' obligation or condemnation. While the Law of Moses is no longer obligatory for believers, the Law has much to teach us regarding a joyfully Jewish way of life. Both Jewish and non-Jewish believers have the freedom in Messiah to maintain any aspects of the Law of Moses which do not violate the entirety of the rest of scripture" 1. This clearly shows two different views amongst Messianic believers.

Sterns translation of Romans 10 verse 4 reads that "the goal at which the Torah aims is the Messiah". This brings out a meaning to the passage that fits very well into the wider context of Romans 10, and about the purpose of the Law. The standard versions (eg. NIV, KJV etc) read that "Christ is the END of the Law". Stern states that his translation is a correction of the mainstream versions here. In fairness, I believe both renderings of this verse are correct. The Greek word for "end" is "telos" and it can have both meanings - "goal" and "end". Vine's Expository Dictionary and Vincents New Testament Word Studies give both meanings equal weight, whilst Thayers Greek-English Lexicon gives the primary meaning as "end". Even if the primary meaning was "goal", as Stern believes in relation to this verse, an "end" is implicit as you don't carry on with something once the "goal" has been reached. Stern usually translates "telos" as "end" in numerous places (including Matthew 10:22, John 13:1 and 1 Cor 1:8) but insists that it exclusively means "goal" in Romans 10v4. This translation is favoured in order to preserve the doctrine of Torah observance. There is no reason for making Romans 10:4 an exception to the usual rule, nor is there any reason to restrict the term "telos" exclusively to "goal" in one verse. Stern states that the standard Christian theology based on this verse is anti-semitic but this accusation is extreme and unnecessary. Whilst Stern does a good job in fighting real antisemitism, he occasionally throws the accusation too easily and unfairly.

Overall, the JNT and the JNTC does a good job in achieving it's central aim - restoring the Jewishness of the New Testament. On peripheral matters he expounds the various different points of view before giving his own (and he does so in a way that is humble and not offensive to others who disagree). Such issues as this include the debates over spiritual gifts, eschatology, women in leadership, eternal security and the Calvinist-Arminian controversy. Most readers will probably disagree with some of his views on peripheral matters. The accommodation of different views adds value to a work of this nature as it serves to unite Jewish believers rather than divide. I hope the JNT and JNTC will have wide appeal.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Longest Hatred 21

Melanie Phillips writes with characteristic brilliance on modern British antisemitism here

"in Britain and elsewhere, anti-Semitism has mutated again, its target shifting from culture to creed to race to nation. What anti-Semitism once did to Jews as people, it now does to Jews as a people. First it wanted the Jewish religion, and then the Jews themselves, to disappear; now it wants the Jewish state to disappear. "

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Longest Hatred 20

A disturbing post from the Engage site on antisemitic abuse at English football grounds. Let's stand and pray against it - whoever we support.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Triumph of PLO Anti-Zionist Propaganda: How the West was won

Mike Moore, General Secretary of Christian Witness to Israel, here

Palestinian Christians

A friend alerted me to this very disturbing letter from a Palestinian pastor: http://maoz.convio.net/site/PageServer?pagename=_printer_printer_friendly&JServSessionIdr011=ozoff7zn32.app1a

October 25, 2007

Attention: To Whom it May Concern

My name is Isa Bajalia. I pastor in the city of Ramallah and have been ministerially active there since 1991. Most recently, over the past two months, I have been facing severe persecution from two men whom I know.

This letter is not for the purpose of just writing a story, nor is it to complain against the Palestinian Authority. This letter is a heartfelt appeal for help. There are two men: One is named Abdullah Kustandi Abu Bishara. The second one is a Palestinian Authority Officer with the Tunzim*[a terrorist organization] in Ramallah and his name is Nader Dahoud Abu Dahoud.

As a pastor, I have been receiving threatening phone calls starting August of 2007 up to the present. Both of these men have said openly to me that they will "get me", whether I was here or in the United States. They are threatening to break my ams and legs, and besides the fact that I have a visual impairment, they said they would make sure that I never walked again.

A few days ago, Nader Dahoud showed up at my friend's home in search of me, wearing a militia uniform and a weapon on his side. I am aware of the intention of these two men, and it is not good.

I went to three Palestinian Authority officials in order to request their help. The first one said that he "did not want to get involved." The other two requested money in order for them to help me. They said if I pay them $5000, they would make sure I was protected.

I retained a lawyer for personal services, concerning my land in Ramallah; and he was also threatened by these same two men. The demands being made by these men include $30,000 in cash and that I register my personal property in their names. As a minister I have pastoral duties that must be carried out; I must be in Ramallah beginning next Monday on the 29th of October, 2007. At this point I do not know what will happen to me.

I know this matter can be solved if pressure is placed on the Palestinian Authority officials to tell these two men to stop harassing me. However, if anything should happen to me physically during my visit in Ramallah next week, let it be known these two men are directly responsible.

My telephone number is 054.205.1910. From the states you would dial 001.972.54.205.1910.

Again, please help as soon as possible.

Sincerely,
Pastor Isa

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Longest Hatred 19

A Messianic Jewish friend has kindly allowed me reproduce this sickening anecdote of his. Sickening but, sadly, not surprising, since, as I too have experienced, Jew-hate is alive and well among some who attend evangelical churches.



Anti-Semite in Coeur D’Alene

It was my understanding that the virulent anti-Semitism thriving in Haden Lake, by Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, had been dealt with. Richard Butler et. al. were gone. Until today. (Click here for information on Coeur D’Alene’s history with anti-Semitism).

Emboldened by my misapprehension, I did away with the baseball hat, that often conceals my Kippah. That was when, outside Coeur D’Alene’s Office Depot, I locked my keys in the rental car. There was nothing for it but to call for a locksmith, and I quickly found one, listed under ‘Locksmiths’ in the Yellow Pages, with the simple descriptor, ‘Car Door Unlocking.’

How interesting to find, after he unlocked my car, that this was a Christian. In fact, he had spent a couple years distributing Bibles, etc. with the Gideons in Russia, Hungary, etc.
It didn’t take long before he began to express his displeasure at
Michael Savage and Savage’s alleged attitude of ’superiority’ as a Jew, and his supposed disdain of Gentiles. It went on from there. The Jews should have defended themselves during the holocaust. If they had, so many wouldn’t have died, he alleged. My protests and attempted corrections of his ignorance were to no avail. It wasn’t just the Jews who died in WWII (duh) - so were many others. (He was clearly moving towards blaming Jews for complaining too much about the holocaust), etc. etc.... All he wanted was to rant on… Clearly he was a problem. I tried to bring it home to him, telling him that I knew hundreds of Gentiles, and none of them had such strongly held anti-Jewish attitudes as he did. (How can you tell I was sensing I was under attack as a Jew?). This is when he asserted that all the Gentiles I know were ’sucking up’ to me (thus suggesting that my dear friends are hiding their true thoughts in order to please me). I was aghast. I hate conflict, but I made the point - he was an anti-Semite, and I had no time for him. My ten-year-old son, Sammy, was already in the car. He had figured the atmosphere was getting hot!

Time for me to get in the car. By this time I had a raving, shouting, gesticulating lunatic on my hands. What sadness I had, as we drove off, and I had to explain what had happened to my son - who hadn’t missed much, anyway.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Criticism gone too far

I've posted before on the tricky question of when, and how, Christians should criticise the state of Israel, here, making clear the point that legitimate criticism of Israel cannot be considered as antisemitic. This of course very much begs the question of what constitutes "legitimate" criticism of Israel. I would suggest that the denunciations of Israel by Naim Ateek of the Sabeel Ecumenical Palestinian Liberation Theology Center, some of which are outlined below in Jeff Jacoby's Boston Globe article, cross into the area of illegitimate criticism of Israel, if not outright antisemitism. Not content with unjustly denouncing Israel as an apartheid state, Ateek also invokes one of the standard tropes of antisemitism, namely the false deicide charge that "the Jews killed Jesus". He has likened Israeli counterterrorism measures to Herod' slaughter of the innocents and to the tomb placed on Jesus' tomb.

I should add that members of Sabeel have expressed heretical and blasphemous views of the Old Testament, for example declaring the God of the Old Testament to be a "genocidal maniac" and that we must "liberate" God from the Old Testament; for further examples see here.

Strangely, this does not stop Rev Stephen Sizer. a professed evangelical who has publicly written that he dearly loves the Jewish people and desires to repudiate antisemitism, from reproducing, without any qualification, entire Sabeel statements in his book on Christian Zionism; speaking at Sabeel Conferences; and writing in books edited by Naim Ateek. (Rev Sizer's website is here: much of it, in particular anything he says on the politics of the Arab-Israeli conflict, need to be taken with a very large pinch of salt; I hope to elaborate on this in future posts.) The burden would seem to fall upon Rev Sizer to explain the apparent dichotomy.

Criticism gone too far By Jeff Jacoby The Boston Globe
October 21, 2007

IN CIVILIZED circles it is considered boorish to speak of Jews as Christ-killers, or to use language evoking the venomous old teaching that Jews are forever cursed for the death of Jesus. Those circles apparently don't include the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, an anti-Israel "peace" organization based in Jerusalem, or its founder, the Anglican cleric Naim Ateek.

Sabeel and Ateek are highly regarded on the hard-line Christian left, and regularly organize American conferences at which Israel is extravagantly denounced by numerous critics. So far this year, such conferences have been held in Cleveland, Berkeley, Calif., and Birmingham, Ala.; another begins Friday at Boston's Old South Church.

Just as critics of the United States are not necessarily anti-American bigots, critics of Israel are not necessarily biased against Jews. But Sabeel and Ateek's denunciations of Israel have included imagery explicitly linking the modern Jewish state to the terrible charge of deicide that for centuries fueled so much anti-Jewish hatred and bloodshed.

"It seems to many of us that Jesus is on the cross again with thousands of crucified Palestinians around him," Ateek has written, envisioning "hundreds of thousands of crosses throughout the land, Palestinian men, women, and children being crucified. Palestine has become one huge Golgotha. The Israeli government crucifixion system is operating daily."

In a sermon titled "The Massacre of the Innocents" Ateek similarly condemned the "modern-day Herods" in Israel - a reference to the evil king who the New Testament says slaughtered the babies of Bethlehem in an attempt to murder the newborn Jesus. In another sermon, Ateek portrays Israelis as having "shut off the Palestinians in a tomb . . . similar to the stone placed on the entrance of Jesus' tomb."

In Ateek's metaphorical telling, in other words, Israel is guilty of trying to murder Jesus as an infant, of killing Jesus on the cross, and of seeking to prevent his resurrection. To use "this imagery in reference to the Jewish state is inexcusable," says Dexter Van Zile, a layman in the United Church of Christ who serves on the executive committee of Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East. Millions of Christians would doubtless agree.

Writing in the Journal of Ecumenical Studies in 2004, Adam Gregerman observed that "liberation theologians" like Ateek "perpetuate some of the most unsavory and vicious images of the Jews as malevolent, antisocial, hostile to non-Jews. . . . As such, liberation theology impedes rather than fosters any serious attempt at understanding or ending the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians."

Exemplifying Sabeel's grotesque demonization of the Jewish state is the theme of its Boston conference: "The Apartheid Paradigm in Palestine-Israel." It is hard to imagine an uglier slander.

Apartheid was the racist system through which South Africa's white minority government ruthlessly repressed the country's large black majority, denying them political rights and relegating them to third-class education, housing, and employment.

Israel, by contrast, is a flourishing democracy based on tolerance, individual liberty, and the rule of law. Israeli citizens of every race, ethnicity, and religion - and both sexes - exercise the right to vote and enjoy identical civil and political liberties. Within Israel's parliament, about 1 member in 10 is Arab; there is even a mosque within the Knesset for the benefit of Muslim parliamentarians.

Arabs and other non-Jews serve in Israel's government ministries and foreign service, on its courts, and in the military. From the Arab beauty who was crowned Miss Israel to the country's Arab soccer stars to the Arab students in Israeli universities, the evidence of Israel's democratic equality is overwhelming and ubiquitous.

It is true that in response to deadly terrorist attacks by Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza, Israel has been forced to adopt stringent security measures, such as the protective fence between the West Bank and Israel proper, or the checkpoints at border crossings. These are unpopular and inconvenient, but they have saved many Israelis, Arab and Jew alike, from being murdered or maimed. Checkpoints and fences can always be removed when the bombings and incitement end, but lives lost to suicide bombings can never be replaced.

This is not to say that apartheid doesn't exist in the Middle East. In some Arab and Muslim countries, harsh discrimination against non-Muslims, women or homosexuals is enshrined in law. But rather than explore that all-too-real apartheid, Sabeel's conferees instead denounce the freest nation in the Middle East. As they gather in Boston this week, they might reflect on the words of Martin Luther King:

"I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world," King declared in 1968, "and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy."

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Longest Hatred 18

The Times has helpfully compiled this list of Mahmood Ahmadinejad's various calumnies against Israel and the Jewish people. Amongst other things, he clearly believes Israel has no right to exist (and would therefore prefer to see another area of the world free of 6 million Jews); believes that the Holocaust never took place and, even if it did, was nothing to do with the Palestinians (therefore displaying culpable - or deliberate? - ignorance of the collaboration with Hitler of the Palestinians' wartime leader, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem); that Zionists are "are an organized minority who have infiltrated the world. They are not even a 10,000-strong organization"; and that Zionists are "are the true manifestation of Satan". However, as one Times reader comments, "At least he speaks his mind, which is more than can be said the Zionists and Neo-cons who rule this world through stealth and deception." Are there REALLY people who think like that?

Martyrdom in Gaza

A friend sent me the following report earlier in the week.

MARTYRDOM IN GAZA:

“…and that they loved not their lives, even unto death” (Revelation 12:11b).

The small Christian Arab community in Gaza was badly shaken last Sunday (Oct 6th) when Rami Ayyad, a 30 year old believer who ran a Palestinian Bible Society book shop in Gaza City was found slain after having been kidnapped from near his home the previous day. He had been stabbed and shot. He had been tortured before he died. Rami had received numerous threats before and after his shop was firebombed last spring. He is survived by his pregnant wife and two young children.

It is estimated that there may be up to 3,000 Christians in Gaza, in a sea of some 1.5 million Muslims. Most are Greek Orthodox; there are around 100 Baptists. Christian Arabs have a very difficult time in all of the areas under Muslim Palestinian control — those who have converted from Islam are especially targeted. In Gaza, since the takeover by the radically religious Hamas element, the threats and incidents of violence have begun to increase alarmingly (Hamas is an Arabic anagram — but in Biblical Hebrew, the word means “violent cruelty”, cf. Psalm 25:19).

A dear friend who is closely connected with the believers in Gaza reports that as always, fear is the weapon which the enemy is counting on most to further his work. The believers, trying to be strong, are under a barrage of fear — many are terrified to come out of their homes (“It’s not like they can go to Egypt and lie low for two months — they can’t go anywhere, but must just sit and see what happens”).

They also must battle the implications drawn from the facts that the murderers would have acquired Rami’s cell phone with the numbers of all of his friends, that there is no way of knowing how much information concerning his associates may have been forced out of him before he died, that no organization has come forward to claim responsibility, suggesting that they may have other incidents planned before doing so. Yet, a friend close to Rami’s widow shared with our friend how she expressed to her amazement at the grace she senses covering her during this time.

PLEASE PRAY:

* For the widow of Rami Ayyad, angelic protection over her heart, spirit and body…her two children and the little one still in her womb.

* For the Father of mercies and God of ALL true comfort (II Cor. 1:3) to shelter this family and the believing community around them under His wings.

* Over the minds of Believers in this community, that they will be protected from the enemy’s attempts to plant and rerun images of what might have taken place in their minds. Phil 4:6-7 speaks of the necessity of God’s ineffable Shalom guarding our hearts and minds in Messiah Yeshua (Jesus). A Scripture which we are praying for the loved ones is Ps 25:5, “Guide them in Your Truth and teach them, for You are God their Saviour.

* Acts 4:29-30 over Palestinian Arab believers throughout Gaza, Judea and Samaria: that God will take note of the threats and grant that His bond-servants may speak His word with all confidence, while He extends His hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of His holy servant Yasuah (Arabic--Hebrew: Yeshua; English: Jesus). Pray that the power of the Holy Spirit would break out through all denominational and religious boundaries in the brothers and sisters and vindicate the Name to the Muslim community in goodness, and mercy and power. That what Satan meant for evil in Gaza, the LORD will use to further His Kingdom of love and hope and life in this dark and despairing place.

* For the Body of Messiah in Israel… that as these things increase we will be sober-minded yet not fear the fire — that Jewish and Arab believers will be joined together in the unity of Yeshua’s love and that “those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:3

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Christians in Gaza

Following on from my previous post, a friend sent me this report from Compass Direct regarding a Bible Society Bookstore Manager Murdered in Gaza. We must continue to pray for our Palestinian brethren in the faith as they suffer!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Christians in Gaza

With her usual perceptiveness, Melanie Phillips comments on the sufferings of Christians in Hamas-ruled Gaza and Iraq; and the typically spineless response of the Anglican hierarchy.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The eloquent lies of Edward Said

The late Edward Said was probably one of the best-known advocates of the Palestinian cause in the West. As this article by Cameron Brown shows, this is unfortunate because, "In addition to his unending bias, Said's work is filled with constant historical distortion, a decetifully poor choice of historical texts, and, worst of all, the author butchers quotations and clearly ignores others - all in order to fit his political ideology." It's a lengthy article (30-odd pages) but worth taking the time to read; unsurprisingly, Said's flawed work is nevertheless quoted approvingly in much Christian anti-Zionist "scholarship".

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Letter to Evangelicals Now

I sent this letter to the editor of Evangelicals Now earlier today in response to an item in their October edition. Please pray that it will be published and will prompt British Christians to pray intelligently for Israel.

Dear Sir

Missions in Israel

October’s Evangelicals Now featured a News In Brief item (p. 11), drawn from the Religion Today website, regarding American missionary Ron Cantrell, who has recently been ordered to leave Israel after two decades. Whilst the details regarding Mr Cantrell are not in dispute, neither EN nor Religion Today is correct to suggest that Israel “bans” missionary activity. Israel’s constitution provides for full freedom of religion, including the freedom to evangelise. The only restrictions are on offering financial inducement to change religion, and on evangelising minors without parental consent. Although in practice, Christians do often face discrimination and harassment, the National Evangelistic Committee unites Messianic Jews and Arab evangelicals in open evangelistic outreach. Various foreign-based missions operate in Israel, including Jews for Jesus, Christian Witness to Israel and The Church’s Ministry among Jewish People.


As Mike Moore’s encouraging article on Jewish mission on p. 18 of the same edition indicates, there is now an unprecedented openness to the gospel among Israelis. There are today more Jewish believers in Jesus (10-15,000) in the land of Israel than there have been at any other time since the days of the apostles. Along with Arab evangelicals, they are surely in need of our prayers and support.

Yours sincerely,

Monday, October 01, 2007

Challenging supersessionism

Ive posted before on my view that theological supersessionism - i.e. the view that the church is the "New Israel" - is unhelpful, potentially damaging to the cause of Jewish mission, and unbiblical: here

The best stuff I've so far read speaking against the view is the great chapter on "Jew and Gentile in the NT" by Sydney evangelical and former Moore College lecturer Don Robinson in his book Faith's Framework, available free online here. More recently, I have seen a preview of a chapter of Barry Horner's book Future Israel: Why Christian Anti-Judaism must be challenged. I'm hoping that it will soon be available on Amazon; in the meantime, the whole book is available in PDF form (a mere 400+ pages!) here. The chapter on Israel - and comtemporary anti-Judaism in the UK will be of particular interest to UK readers.

The Longest Hatred 17

I'm pleased to see that the campaign by a small minority of members of my union, the University and Colleges Union, to instigate a boycott of Israeli academics, has failed: here

I previously posted on the proposed boycott here and here

Also interesting to note in passing that Richard Dawkins, more usually known for venomous attacks on Biblical creationists, is now apparently propagating the antisemitic myth that Jews disproportionately influence American foreign policy: here and here.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

List of Messianic Jews and Hebrew Christians

My friend Richard Gibson contributed many of the names to this impressive and moving list of Messianic Jews and Hebrew Christians. Previously the list was on Wikipedia but was removed after a campaign which labelled the list as "pointless propaganda"! I am preserving it here, links and sources attached.

Messianic Jews

  • Rabbi Daniel Zion - Born in 1883 in Bulgaria, became the Chief Rabbi of Bulgaria. Rabbi Zion had a vision of Yeshua and subsequently believed in him as the Messiah of the Jewish people. He remained the Chief Rabbi in Bulgaria as a Messianic Jew until 1949, a period in which Bulgaria's Jews miraculously escaped the Holocaust. In 1949, Daniel Zion made aaliyah, and became the leader of a synagogue in Jaffa. He died in 1979, aged 96. The Bulgarian Jewish community of Israel gave him full military and state honors. His bier stood in the center of Jaffa with a military guard and at noon was carried by men all the way to the Holon cemetery on foot.
  • Haim (Haimoff) Bar-David - Born in Doupnitza, Bulgaria, 10 May 1905. Lived in Mandatory Palestine working as an agricultural labourer and became a volunteer in the Jewish self defence group Mishmar Ha’am. Pioneer of the Israeli Messianic Movement Haimoff was elected President of the Hebrew Christian Alliance of Israel from 1957 to 1958.
  • Hillel Pokrzywa - Born in 1904 to a Jewish family in Lodz, Poland. For several years he was vice president of The French Alliance of Messianic Jews.
  • Johanna Ruth Dobschiner - Holocaust survivor and author of Selected to Live.
  • Erez Soref - President of Israel College of the Bible.
  • Shmuel Suran - Pastor of Kehilat Brit Yerushalayim, a Messianic Congregation in Jerusalem.
  • Pamela Suran - Jerusalem based Messianic Jewish artist.
  • Zvi Randelman - Pastor of Succat David Assembly, a Hebrew speaking Messianic Jewish congregation in Jerusalem.
  • David Lazarus - Pastor of Beit Immanuel in Tel Aviv, one of the oldest Messianic Congregations in the State of Israel.
  • Jonathan Bernis - Executive Director of Jewish Voice Ministries International and Messianic Rabbi of Shema Yisrael Messianic Congregation in Rochester, New York from 1984-1993.
  • Ron Cantor - Works for Tikkun International in Israel.
  • Joel Chernoff - General Secretary of the MJAA and former President of the International Messianic Jewish Alliance, and lead singer of the music group "Lamb".
  • Aviad Cohen - music entertainer who sometimes uses the stage name "50 Shekel"
  • Ray Comfort-Native of New Zealand. Born to a Jewish mother. Became a Christian in 1972 and is the founder of Living Waters Publications and The Way of the Master tv show and ministry with Kirk Cameron.
  • Jamie Cowen - President of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations and Rabbi of Tikvat Israel in Richmond, VA.
  • Stuart Dauerman Messianic Jewish theologian and rabbi of Congragation Ahavat Zion in Los Angeles.
  • Mitch Glaser - President of Chosen People Ministries. Author of The Fall Feasts of Israel
  • Marty Goetz - singer/songwriter and pianist, leader of worship.
  • Rick Gozhanskij - Founder of Powered By HaDavar in Watson, Louisiana.
  • Asher Intrater - Formerly known as Keith Intrater, Leads Revive Israel Ministries which is affiliated with Tikkun International. Contributor to Seeking and Pursuing Peace: The Process, the Pain, and the Product
  • Art Katz - Jewish minister and founder of Ben Israel, a community of end time training and refuge for Jews in flight.
  • Daniel C. Juster - Messianic theologian, first President of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations, and founder of Tikkun International.
  • Rabbi Isaac Lichtenstein (1824-1909) - A Rabbi in Tapio Szele, Hungary. He became a follower of Jesus in his middle-years.
  • Netzer (band) - Messianic Jewish rock band
  • Michael Nowell - Soldier in the United States Army, martial artist, and pro wrestler.
  • Alicia Glass - Medical Assistant.
  • Josiah Rosen - singer/songwriter, founder and former member of Augustana (band)
  • Sid Roth - evangelist, and host of Messianic Vision, a daily radio show. Author of Something for Nothing, The Spiritual Rebirth of a Jew.
  • David H. Stern Messianic Jewish theologian, and author, currently living in Israel.
  • Martin "Marty" Waldman - past president of UMJC, founder of Toward Jerusalem Council II (TJC II), Congregational Leader of Baruch HaShem Messianic Synagogue] in Dallas, Texas.
  • Paul Wilbur - singer/songwriter
  • John Fieldsend - Escaped to England from Nazi Europe on the Kindertransport. Author of Messianic Jews, Challenging Church and Synagogue (1993 Monarch Publications).
  • Rachmiel Frydland - Born to an Orthodox Jewish family near Chelm in the Lublin district of Poland. Died in 1985. Author of What the Rabbis Know About the Messiah (Messianic Publishing co, Ohio and his biography When Being Jewish Was a Crime
  • Sam Nadler - Born to Jewish parents in Queens, New York, President of Word of Messiah Ministries and author of several books including Messianic Wisdom and The Messianic Answers Book. Leader of Hope of Israel Congregation.
  • Burt Yellin - Born and raise to an Orthodox family in New York, he is Messianic Rabbi of Congregation Roeh Israel in Denver USA and author of Messiah, A Rabbinic and Scriptural Viewpoint (1984 published by Congregation Roeh Israel
  • Victor Buksbazen - Author of The Gospel in The Feasts of Israel (1954, CLC)
  • Solomon Ostrovsky - Born in Tagancha, Ukraine and pioneer of the Israeli Messianic Jewish community and author of books in Hebrew and English including Moses on The Witness Stand.
  • Paul Liberman - Born to Jewish parents in America. He is current Executive Director of the International Messianic Jewish Alliance and one of the leaders of Ohav Shalom Messianic congregation in California. He is author of The Fig Tree Blossoms, Messianic Judaism Emerges. (Fountain Press, 2005 reprint)
  • Lydia Buksbazen - Born to Jewish parents and author of They Looked for a City.
  • David J. Rudolph - Author of Growing Your Olive Tree Marriage, a guide for couples from two traditions and The Voice of the Lord Messianic Jewish Daily Devotional.
  • Dr Louis Goldberg - Author of several books including Our Jewish Friends, Are There Two Ways of Atonement?, The Practical Wisdom of Proverbs,. Was Professor of Theology and Hebrew Studies at Moody Bible Institute Chicago.
  • John Fischer - Messianic Rabbi of Ohr Chadash, Clearwater, Florida also Vice President of the International Messianic Jewish Alliance. His books include The Olive Tree Connection, Siddur for Messianic Jews and Messianic Services for Festivals and Holy Days.
  • Dr Gershon Nerel - Israeli born Messianic Jew who prefers the title 'Yechi' - Yehudim Hasdei Yeshua: Jewish Followers of Yeshua. Served on the committee of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of Israel. Contributor to How Jewish is Christianity, 2 Views on The Messianic Movement. (Zondervan, 2003, edited by Louis Goldberg)
  • Joseph Shulam - Born to Jewish parents in Bulgaria in 1946. His parents immigrated to Israel in 1948. He is leader of Kehillat Roeh Israel in Jerusalem. He has co-written The Jewish Roots of Romans and The Jewish Roots of Acts.
  • Sha'ul Zuela - Born in Israel in 1951 in a tent in Hadera to Orthodox Jewish parents from Iraq. Leader of Israeli Messianic Jewish congregation. (source: Twelve Jews Discover Messiah, Ben Hoekendijk, Kingsway Publications 1992, p.51)
  • Menachem Benhayim - Born in America to Orthodox Jewish parents immigrated to Israel in 1963. Was Israel Secretary of the International Messianic Jewish Alliance till his death. He authored Jews, Gentiles and the New Testament [1] and Bound for the Promised Land, [2]
  • Israel Harel - Born in Israel to Jewish parents in Kibbutz Chulda. Messianic Jewish teacher in Israel.[3] [4]
  • Ilan Zamir - Born in Israel to Jewish parents. First chairman of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of Israel (1994-1999). (Zot HaBrit Messianic Jewish Alliance of Israel journal August 2001)
  • Boaz Fastman - Born in Israel to Jewish parents. Current General Secretary of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of Israel. [5]
  • Moshe Emmanuel Ben Meir - Born in Israel in 1905 to Orthodox Jewish parents. A pioneer of the Israeli Messianic Jewish movement. His autobiographical journal From Jerusalem to Jerusalem was published in Hebrew. He was founder and editor of Tal (Dew) the third Messianic Jewish journal in Hebrew in Israel.[6]
  • Ze’ev Shlomo Kofsman - Born to Jewish parents and pioneer of the Israeli Messianic Movement. In 1960 he co-founded the second Messianic journal in Hebrew called Ha Lapid. (Zot HaBrit journal Spring 2000 - “HaLapid “(The Torch): The Second Journal of Messianic Jews in the State of Israel)
  • Dr. Michael Schiffman - Born to Jewish parents in America. Author of Return of the Remnant-The Rebirth of Messianic Judiasm.[7][8]
  • Elie Nessim - Born to Jewish parents and leader of Kehillat Tsion in Vancover, Canada.[9]
  • Russell Resnik - Messianic Rabbi and author of Gateways to Torah - Joining the Ancient Conversation on the Weekly Portion, The Root and the Branches: Jewish Identity in Messiah and is Executive Director of the USA based Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations.
  • Bruce Cohen - Messianic Rabbi of Congregation Beth El of Manhattan [10]
  • Ted Simon - Messianic Jewish Rabbi of El Shaddai Congregation [11] and broadcaster of the daily Messianic Minutes radio show.[12]
  • H. Michael Weiner - Messianic Jewish Rabbi of Shomair Yisrael Knoxville. [13]
  • Shlomy Abramov - Israeli hard man, once bodyguard to Ariel Sharon. Author of Shalom at Last: An Israeli's Journey to Jesus. [14] [15]
  • Oded Shoshani - Israeli Messianic Jew. [16]
  • Seth Ben-Haim - Israeli Messianic Jew. [17]
  • Calev Myers - Israeli Messianic Jew. Israeli Lawyer and director of the Jerusalem Institute of Justice which fights for the human rights of Messianic Jews in Israel. [18]
  • Ken Alpren - Messianic Jewish Rabbi/Pastor of Kol Dodi Messianic Congregation, Nashville, USA. [19]
  • Joseph Azriel - Son of a Rabbi in Casablanca Morocco.
  • Gideon Levytam - Born to Jewish parents in Jerusalem on May 14, 1955.
  • Avi Mizrachi - Israeli born Messianic Jew.
  • Natalio Krauthamer - President of the Argentina Messianic Jewish Alliance and vice-president of the International Messianic Jewish Alliance.
  • Malvern Jacobs - Born to Jewish parents in Toronto, studied theater under Lorne Greene and John Drainie in the Lorne Greene Drama Workshop, and appeared on and directed stage, film television and radio productions. Was a "founding father" of the Canadian Messianic movement.
  • Cal Goldberg - President of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of Canada.
  • Nate Seitelbach- Messianic Jewish Rabbi/Pastor of Adat Hatikvat Tzion of Omaha, Nebraska and host of a weekly show on KCRO.

Hebrew Christians/Jewish Christians

(Some may well have called themselves Messianic Jews if the term was current in their day.)

  • Michael Adam Born in Zurich, Switzerland in the 16th century. Translated into Judaeo-German: "Josephus' War", the Pentateuch the five Megillot, Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes and Esther. (Jewish Witnesses for Christ by A. Bernstein. p.75)
  • Rev. J Adler born in Basel, Switzerland. Translated the New Testament into Yiddish ) (Jewish Witnesses for Christ by A. Bernstein. p.75)
  • Daniel Alexandersson - born in Holland, baptised in 1621. Published a confession of faith in the rabbinic language of Syriac. (Jewish Witnesses for Christ by A. Bernstein. p.91)
  • Dr Joiachim Heinrich Biesenthal born in Posen, 1804. Scholar of the Talmud, Biesenthal also mastered grammatical Hebrew, and studied Latin, Greek and German history. He worked as a missionary for 37 years in Berlin and Leipzig (1844-81). In addition to his native Polish, Biesenthal spoke Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Syriac, Chaldee, Arabic, Ethiopic, Samaritan, French, German, Spanish, Italian and English. d.1886. (Jewish Witnesses for Christ by A. Bernstein. pp.119-130)
  • .. Jacob Gartenhaus - Born in Austria in 1896 into a strict Orthodox Jewish home. Author of Traitor?: A Jew, a book, a miracle : an autobiography. [20]
  • Samuel Schor - Born to Hebrew Christian parents in Jerusalem in 1859. From 1923 till 1925 he was in charge of the Barbican Mission to the Jews in Britain and president of the Hebrew Christian Alliance and Prayer Union of Great Britain (BMJA today) [21], which was founded in the end of 1901. Author of several books including The Everlasting Nation and their Coming King, London and Edinburgh [1933] and Palestine and the Bible. Illustrating the manners and customs of the people in the Bible lands, 19th edition, Book Society, London 1931.[22]
  • Rabbi Samuel Griess - Rabbi of Rivington-Street Synagogue USA 1886. [23]
  • Hermann Warszawiak - Born 1865 in Warsaw, Poland, grandson of the Lipnoer rabbi. [24]
  • Niels Bohr - Danish physicist; (raised Lutheran; mother Jewish)
  • Paul de Burgos - Spanish Jewish convert to Christianity. Most wealthy Jew of Burgos, and was a rabbi and an excellent scholar of the Talmud. He came to believe in Jesus after reading the works of Thomas Aquinas. Appointed as keeper of the royal seal by King Henry III of Castile in 1406.
  • Juan de Torquemada - Spanish converso, famed defender of the converso community in Spain. Worked for Pope Eugenius in Germany and France.
  • Fernan Diaz - Secretary to King Juan II. Nicknamed the Relator; famous defender of the conversos in 15th century Spain. Argued that Spaniards converted to a Jewish religion (Christianity), not Jews converting to a Spanish religion. [25] see point #22
  • Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield - First and only British Prime Minister of Jewish descent (1868; 1874-1880) (raised as an Anglican)
  • Malcolm Fraser - Prime Minister of Australia (1975-1983) (raised Presbyterian; mother Jewish).
  • Christian David Ginsburg (1831-1914), Jewish scholar, was born in Warsaw, Poland. When he converted to Christianity he took on "Christian" as his name in place of his given-name "David". He wrote several important works on the Tanakh (Old Testament), and essays on many subjects including: the Essenes, the Kabbalah, and the Karaites.
  • Jamie Glazov , Russian-Canadian cyber-journalist (Jewish father & maternal grandfather, raised Christian; identifies as a Christian Jew)
  • Douglas Gresham, film producer and son of Joy Gresham (q.v.)
  • Joy Gresham, American writer and wife of C.S. Lewis. Author of Smoke on the Mountain.[26]
  • Josh Groban Famous American singer/songwriter. Has a Jewish father, yet raised as Anglican-Episcopalian following his father's conversion to Christianity.
  • Helen Harris - founder member of Spiritual matters for women and their families; second generation Messianic Jew.
  • Jak√≥b Jocz - Lithuanian Jew who became a Christian and became Professor of Theology in Toronto.
  • Timothy Laurence - Princess Anne's husband (descended from the Levy family of Iraq).
  • Isidore Loewenthal - orthodox Jew born in Germany, grew up in Poland, graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary - New Jersey. He became an Evangelist missionary in Afghanistan under the auspices of the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions. Here he translated the New Testament in Pashto and embarked upon compiling a Pashto dictionary before he died at age 37. [27]
  • Jean-Marie Lustiger - Catholic Cardinal and Archbishop of Paris
  • Alexander Men - Russian Orthodox priest and martyr.
  • Felix Mendelssohn - composer (1809-1847)
  • Bernard Nathanson - former abortionist turned pro-life activist. Converted to Catholicism.
  • Robert Novak - journalist; convert to Catholicism; calls himself a "cultural Jew."
  • Harry Oppenheimer - South African billionaire (converted to Anglicanism)
  • Howard Phillips - American conservative activist; founder of U.S. Taxpayers Party / Constitution Party
  • Jay Sekulow - Runs conservative legal group ACLJ.
  • Vladimir Spivakov - Russian conductor and violinist.
  • Karl Stern - neuropsychiatrist and author, convert to Catholicism. Author of Pillar of Fire (1951).
  • Stan Telchin - Author of best selling Betrayed [28] also Abandoned: What Is Gods Will for the Jewish People and the Church? [29] and Messianic Judaism Is Not Christianity: A Loving Call to Unity. [30]
  • Richard Wurmbrand - Romanian underground church leader; founder of Voice of the Martyrs.
  • Yochanan Ben Yehuda - A Nashville, TN based Italian Jewish producer, founder of Galilee of the Nations.[31]
  • David Levy Yulee - U.S. Senator from Florida; the first person of Jewish descent to serve in the Senate. (source)
  • Dr. Max Wertheimer - born in Germany, went to Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. Served as rabbi for ten years in Dayton Ohio, USA
  • Michele Guinness - Brought up in an Orthodox Jewish family in England. Author of a number of books including Child of the Covenant (1985, Hodder and Stoughton)[32] and Woman: The Full Story - A Dynamic Celebration of Freedoms.[33]
  • Michael Solomon Alexander - born in 1799 to an Orthodox Jewish family in Scholanke in the Grand Duchy of Posen. He was Orthodox Rabbi of Norwich and then Plymouth in England. He became convinced that Jesus was Messiah and was consecrated as first Reformed Bishop of Jerusalem in Lambeth Chapel November 17th 1841 and arrived in Jerusalem January 21st 1842. As a Jewish Christian he caused considerable controversy. He died in Ras-el-Wady on November 26th 1845.
  • Tom Sangster-Wilson - born to a Jewish mother in Liverpool, England. Former Jewish gangster and co-author of Sons of Israel, Sons of God (1987, Marshall Pickering).
  • Leopold Cohen - Established the American Board of Missions to the Jews in 1894.
  • Dr Richard Ganz - Born in New York to an Orthodox family, now pastor of Ottawa Reformed Prebyterian Church and author of a number of books including Psychobabble: The Failure of Modern Psychology & The Biblical Alternative. [34]
  • Joseph Wolff - Born 1795 at Welersland in Bavaria, son of the village Rabbi.[35] [36]
  • Auguste Neander - Born David Mendel to Jewish parents at Gottingen 10th January 1789, descendents of Moses Mendelsohn the great Jewish reformer. Became a great Church historian with his magnum opus the General History of the Christian Religion and the Church.
  • Isaac Da Costa - Dutch poet born January 14th 1798 in Amsterdam.
  • Alfred Edersheim - Born to Jewish parents in Vienna March 7th 1825, author of numerous books, the best know being The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah.[37] [38]
  • Dr Ferdinand C. Ewald - Born to Jewish parents September 14th 1801 at the village of Maroldsweisach near Bamberg in Bavaria. Missionary to North Africa
  • Paulus Ewald - Brother of Ferdinand C. Ewald and pastor of the Lutheran Church in Merkendorf in Bavaria.
  • Aaron Stern Born to Jewish parents on 11th April 1820 at Unterreichenbacn in the former Duchy of Hesse Cassel. Jewish Christian missionary to Baghdad, Constantinople and Ethiopia. Imprisoned for four and a half years by King Theodor of Ethiopia.
  • John Moses Eppstein - Born to Elijah and Rose Levi at Memel in Prussia on February 24th 1827. Moved to Jerusalem aged nine to study in a Yeshiva. He was a Jewish Christian missionary in Baghdad and Smyrna and respected for his Talmudic knowledge and was a great linguist.
  • Dr Paul Cassel - Born Selig Cassel to Jewish parents at Glogau in 1821. One of the most eminent theologians of the German Reformed Church in the nineteenth century and a notable writer. He was an outspoken opposition to Stoker and Wagner, the fore-runners of Hitler. The Jewish Chronicle wrote "Though he has left us, he is by no means our enemy. He still fights against those who hate the Jews." (p.58 Jewish Christian Leaders by George H. Stevens, 1966, Oliphants Ltd)
  • Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky - Born to Jewish parents in the Russian Lithuanian town of Tanroggan in 1831. Jewish Christian missionary to China. In 1879 he became Bishop of Shanghai. He translated the Old Testament into Mandarin for the first time. See: The Jewish Bishop and the Chinese Bible: S.I.J. Schereschewsky (1831-1906). Studies in Christian Mission, vol. 22, Irene Eber. Leiden: Brill, 1999. [39]
  • Isaac Hellmuth - Born in Warsaw 14th December 1820 to strict Orthodox Jewish parents. He became Bishop of Quebec in 1846 and was professor of Hebrew and Rabbinical Literature at Bishop's College, Lennoxville. Later he was Bishop of Huron and Assistant Bishop of Hull. He authored many scholarly works including The Biblical Thesaurus in 1884 and The Divine Dispensation, a critical commentary on the Hebrew Scriptures.
  • Mizra Norollah - Born to Jewish parents in Teheran, Persia, his father was court physician to the Shah. He was a Jewish Christian missionary who played a large part in the establishment of the indigenous church in Persia (Iran) still in existence today.
  • David Baron - Born to Orthodox Jewish parents in 1855 in Russia and brought up in the Russian Polish town of Suvalki. Entered Rabbinical College aged 10. Author of many books including Rays of Messiah's Glory, The Servant of Jehovah, The History of the Ten "Lost" Tribes and Ancient Scriptures and the Modern Jew. Several of his works are available on Wikisource. Others, are available in the form of modern reprints.[40]
  • Sir Leon Levison - Born in Safed in Galilee in 1881 and son of respected Rabbi Nahum Levison. He was the first president of the International Hebrew Christian Alliance in 1925. During the 1914-1918 war he raised over £200,00 for the Jewish Relief Funds and for valuable work for the Secret Service he was Knighted by the King of England.
  • Elijah Bendor-Samuel - Born of Orthodox Jewish parents in Lithuania. His great grandson Paul Bendor-Samuel is the International Director of Interserve.
  • Theodore Bendor-Samuel - Was director of the Messianic Testimony in the UK.
  • Harcourt Samuel O.B.E - Was General Secretary of the International Hebrew Christian Alliance and Pastor of Ramsgate Baptist Church ,1934-49 and of Birchington Baptist Church, 1951-78. [41]
  • Arnold Frank - Born to Jewish parents in the Slovak village of Suja in the Carpathian mountains. He edited Zion's Freund with a readership of 40,000 but was closed by the Nazis in 1936. He was elected the second president of the International Hebrew Christian Alliance in 1937. Biography Arnold Frank of Hamburg by Robert Allen. [42]
  • Isidor Loewenthal - Born of Jewish parents in Posen, in Prussian Poland, in 1826. Jewish Christian missionary to Afghanistan who translated the New Testament into Pushtu.[43]
  • Ridley Haim Herschell - Born 7th April 1807 to Orthodox Jewish parents in Strzelno, Poland. Once deacon of the short lived Hebrew Church in London. One of the founders of Britain's Evangelical Alliance. All Love, A biography of Ridley Herschell by Geoffrey Henderson HTS Media, 2007.
  • Erasmus Simon - Born in Poland, Haim was the son of Rabbi Abraham Simon, known simply as Judah. Founder of the Hebrew Church in London. (Source: All Love, page 35-6)
  • Aaron Levita - Bishop of the short lived Hebrew Church in London 1831. (Source: All Love, page 46)
  • Elias Lebenheim - Secretary of the Hebrew Church in London. (Source: All Love, page 46)
  • Rabbi Haham Ephraim - Tiberius Rabbi and Dayan who died in Jerusalem aged 70 on 30th August 1930. He opened the Beth Doresh Emeth, the House of Seekers After Truth in Jerusalem conducting all the services in Hebrew.
  • Solomon L. Ginsberg - Born to Jewish parents in Suwalki, Poland and died April 1st 1927. He was a pioneer Jewish Christian missionary to Brazil who was considered so dangerous that the authorities paid Antonio Silvino a notorious bandit, to kill him but Ginsberg led him to faith in Jesus instead! It was said that his ministry read like a modern edition of the Acts of the Apostles, in Brazil.
  • Martin Goldsmith - Born to assimilated Jewish parents in England. Author of several books including Don't Just Stand There,[44] Matthew and Mission,[45] Islam and Christian Witness and Jesus and His Relationships.[46] He authored his biography Life's Tapestry [47]
  • Dr Bernard Jean Bettelheim - Born to Orthodox Jewish parents in Pressburg, Hungary in 1811. He was proficient in 28 languages and made the first translation of parts of the Bible into Chinese and Japanese, also compiling a Japanese grammar and dictionary. On May 18th 1926 57 years after his death a monument was errected to his memory in Ryuku, Japan.
  • Arthur W. Kac - President of the Hebrew Christian Alliance of America (1956-1961) and vice-president of the International Hebrew Christian Alliance (1960-1961). Author of several books including The Death and Ressurection of Israel, The Messianic Hope The Spiritual Dilemma of the Jewish People and The Messiahship of Jesus.
  • Heinz W. Cassirer - Philosopher born to Jewish parents in Germany on 9th August 1903. He fled Hitler's German to England where he lectured in Philosophy at Glasgow University. and also at Corpus Christi, Oxford University. He wrote several books including Grace and Law: St. Paul, Kant and the Hebrew Prophets. His labour of love not published till after his death was God's New Covenant, A New Testament Translation.[48]
  • Sam Rotman - Born to Orthodox Jewish parents in 1950 in the USA. Concert pianist who studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. [49]
  • Samuel Wiseman - Born to Ultra-Orthodox Jewish parents in Tiberius 25th September 1835.
  • Joseph Samuel Frey - Born in 1771 to Orthodox Jewish parents in Germany. He was the only Hebrew Christian missionary to the Jews in the world in 1805. 1808 he co-founded The London Society for Promoting Christianity Among the Jews. He moved the the USA founded The American Society for Meliorating the Conditions of the Jews. He authored The Divinity of the Messiah.[50]
  • Adolph Saphir - Born to Jewish parents in Hungary in 1831. Author of several books including Christ and Israel, Divine Unity of the Scriptures, The Lord's Prayer and The Good Shepherd Finding His Sheep. [51][52]
  • Hegesippus - According to Eusebius he was born of Jewish parents in Judea and lived in Rome around 150 A.D. He is the father of Church history and wrote Hyponymata Pente of which only fragments remain in Eusebius's History iv and Photius Bibliotheca (page 232).
  • James - half brother of Jesus. Hegesippus says he was martyred while praying in the Temple in Jerusalem.
  • Paul of Tarsus - Early missionary in the Christian Church
  • Symeon - Jewish Christian Bishop of Jerusalem around 62 A.D.
  • Justus I - Jewish Christian Bishop of Jerusalem 64 A.D.
  • Zacchaeus- Jewish Christian Bishop of Jerusalem 112 A.D.
  • Tobias - Jewish Christian Bishop of Jerusalem 114 A.D.
  • Benjamin - Jewish Christian Bishop of Jerusalem 116 A.D.
  • Justin - Jewish Christian Bishop of Jerusalem 118 A.D.
  • Matthias - Jewish Christian Bishop of Jerusalem 120 A.D.
  • Philip - Jewish Christian Bishop of Jerusalem 122 A.D.
  • Seneca - Jewish Christian Bishop of Jerusalem 125 A.D.
  • Justus II - Jewish Christian Bishop of Jerusalem 126 A.D.
  • Levi - Jewish Christian Bishop of Jerusalem 128 A.D.
  • Ephres - Jewish Christian Bishop of Jerusalem 130 A.D.
  • Joseph - Jewish Christian Bishop of Jerusalem 132 A.D.
  • Jude - Jewish Christian Bishop of Jerusalem 133 A.D. (Jewish Witnesses for Christ by A. Bernstein. p.11)[53]
  • Epiphanius of Salamis - Born to Jewish parents in Roman Judea in 315, became Bishop of Constantia and died in 403 A.D.
  • Paul Philip (Feivel) Levertoff - Born to a Hasidic Sephardi family in Orshal, Belarus in 1878. He helped translate the Zohar into English for Soncino Press [54] and was a descendent of Rabbi Schneur Zalman.[55]
  • Isaac Salkinson - Born to Jewish parents 1820 in Vilna, Lithuania. Translated the New Testament from Greek to Hebrew, published in 1886.[56]
  • Dr. Ginsberg - Born to Jewish parents in Warsaw, Poland 25th December 1821. Translated the New Testament into Hebrew with Salkinson. Ginsburg also published Hebrew text of the T'nach, with his translation of Elias Levita's Massoreth ha-Massoreth and Jacob ben Hayim's Introduction to the Rabbinic Bible.[57]
  • Ernest Lloyd - Emeritus Vice President of the British Messianic Jewish Alliance was also President of the International Hebrew Christian Alliance in 1984. (Source: The Importance of Being Ernest, by Mike Moore, Christian Focus Publishing 2003, ISBN: 1 85792 806 7. [58]
  • Mark Kagan - Born 1885 in Riga Latvia, son of a Rabbi. [59] He was a well respected preacher in Britain and wrote a critique of British Israelism.[60]
  • Jeffrey Seif - Born to Jewish parents, went to Yeshiva and now host of the Zola Levit show. [61] [62] [63]
  • Baruch Maoz - Pastor of Grace and Truth Congregation in Israel. Opponant of the Messianic Movement and author of Judaism is not Jewish. [64] considered by some to mark the boundary between Messianic Judaism and Jewish Christianity. [65]
  • Randy Newman - Author of Questioning Evangelism. [66]
  • Katlin Eva Kalafoni - Born 16 June 1920 in Budapest, Hungary. Holocaust survivor and author of Forgiving Hitler. [67]
  • Jerry Marcellino - Pastor of Audubon Drive Bible Church in Laurel, Mississippi. [68] [69]
  • Rose Price - Holocaust survivor from Skarzysko, Poland. Author of A Rose from the Ashes. [70]
  • Fred Wertheim - Holocaust survivor. Booklet: I Escaped from Hitler Twice: The Fred Wertheim Story [71]
  • Charles Barg - Author of Between Two Fathers. [72]
  • David Rothstein - Brought up a Reform Jew and award winning artist. Author of Drawn to Jesus: The Journey of a Jewish Artist. [73]
  • Eddie Spirer - Jewish Lutheran minister. Autobiography titled Eddie Spirer: The Little Minister. [74]
  • Jack J. Sternberg - Author of Healing The Healer: A Jewish Doctor Finds Jesus. [75]
  • Ernest Cassutto - Dutch Jew who wrote his biography The Last Jew of Rotterdam.[76]
  • Susan Perlman - Co-founder of Jews for Jesus. Author of Loss To Life: A Jewish Woman's Journey to Messiah. [77]
  • Karol Joseph - Author of Nothing to Fear. [78]
  • Bob Mendelsohn - Author of Whoever Heard of a Jewish Missionary? [79]
  • Moshe Radcliff - Free Church of Scotland minister. [80]
  • Steve Schlissel - Pastor of Messiah's Covenant Community Church [81] [82] in Brooklyn, New York. Author of Hal Lindsey and the Restoration of the Jews. [83]
  • Hugh Montefiore - Anglican Bishop of Birmingham. [84] Author of many books including On Being a Jewish Christian: Its blessings and problems. [85]
  • Marvin Olasky - Born to Jewish parents in Boston, USA. Historian and Journalist. [86]
  • Rosa Palay - Born 22nd December, 1922 to Jewish parents in Chernigov, Ukraine. [87]
  • Ruth Nessim - Born to Jewish mother in London. Author of Messianic poetry book Musings From Galilee [88][89]
  • Albert Nessim - Born to Iraqi Jews in Kobe, Japan, on April 3, 1933. [90]
  • Alan Hirsch - A significant figure in the emerging missional church movement in Australia. Books include The Shaping of Things to Come [91] and The Forgotten Ways [92]
  • Hyman G. Rickover - famous U.S. Admiral; born to Polish Jews in 1900; converted to Chrisianity upon marriage to an Episcopalian

Messianic Jew-Christian

(Persons who use both labels to describe themselves)

  • David Brickner — Current executive director of Jews for Jesus
  • Michael Brown Author of four volume work Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus (Baker Book House)
  • Arnold Fruchtenbaum — theologian, founder of Ariel Ministries author of several books including Israelology: The Missing Link in Systematic Theology Biblical Lovemaking: A Study of the Song of Solomon and Hebrew Christianity: Its Theology, History and Philosophy.
  • Zola Levitt — author and televangelist
  • Steve Myers — conservative political commentator, founder of and, and publisher of Page One News and From Here to Reality. Once trained as a rabbi; became Christian in 1982.
  • Moishe Rosen - — founder of Jews for Jesus
  • Ceil Rosen - Wife of Moishe Rosen founder of Jews for Jesus and author of Then I Met Messiah.
  • Stuart Sacks - born and raised in an American Orthodox Jewish family, author of books including Hebrews Through a Hebrew's Eyes (1995,Lederer) and Revealing Jesus as Messiah (1998, Christian Focus Publishing).
  • Richard S. Harvey - Tutor, Hebrew Bible and Jewish Studies, All Nations Christian Collage in England and joint vice-president of the British Messianic Jewish Alliance - working on PhD on Messianic Jewish Theology
  • Mark Greene - Currently Executive Director of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity and previously Vice Principal of the London School of Theology. He is an author of several books including Thank God it's Monday.
  • Tom Mayr-Lori - Born to Jewish parents in Israel. Current President of the British Messianic Jewish Alliance.
  • Michael Nessim - Messianic musician based in Israel.
  • Steve Maltz - Born to Jewish parents in England. Author of Land of Many Names, People of Many Names and The Truth Is Out There.
  • Stephen F. Gutmann - Baptist minister and British Messianic Jewish Alliance committee member.
  • Charles Halff - Converted to christianity in 1948 in San Antonio, Texas. Author of What It Cost A Jew to Become a Christian and many booklets. Host of the radio program The Christian Jew Hour. Founder of the Christian Jew Foundation.

Source Books

  • A. Bernstein, Jewish Witnesses for Christ, Keren Ahvah Meshichit, Jerusalem, first publised 1909. ISBN 965-447-041-1
  • Dr. Henry Einspruch, Would I? Would You?, Lederer Foundation 1970, ISBN: 1-880226-13-8
  • Henry & Marie Einspruch, Raisins and Almonds, Lederer Foundation 1967, ISBN: 1-880226-10-* George H. Stevens, Jewish Christian Leaders, Oliphants Ltd, London 1966
  • Ben Hoekendijk, Twelve Jews Discover Messiah, Kingsway Publications 1992, ISBN: 0 85476 332 5
  • John Fieldsend, Messianic Jews: Challenging Church and Synagogue, Monarch/Marc Publications 1993, ISBN-10: 1854242288
  • Dr. Jacob Gartenhaus, Famous Hebrew Christians, International Board of Jewish Missions, Inc.