All posts tagged: Messianic Jews

Survey: How many Messianic Jews are there in Israel?

Israel Today recently interviewed David Serner and Alexander Goldberg, the authors of Jesus-Believing Israelis: Exploring Messianic Fellowship, published by Jerusalem’s Caspari Center in 2022. In their book, the two reported on the results of their survey that set out to discover how many Messianic Jews there are in Israel.

Does the discovery of a second synagogue in Migdal refocus our attention on the unusual nature of the first one?

Archaeologists working with Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) have found a second synagogue dating to the time of Jesus in the town of Migdal also called Magdala. It was a prominent town in Jesus’ day. And most believe that the last name of Mary Magdalene, one of Christ’s most famous female followers, indicated that she came from this community, located on the Northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, a short walk from Capernaum. This was an area where Jesus ministered extensively. 2 as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out. (Luke 8:2 NASV) It is the second synagogue dated to Jesus’ day found in the town. Synagogues played an important role in Jewish society. It was here they gathered to read the Torah, as Jesus did at the synagogue in Nazareth (Luke 4:16-21). It would have also served as the location for communal gatherings. The recently discovered synagogue is square-shaped, with a large central room where the Jews gathered on …

Joseph and Mary traveling to Egypt by Gentile da Fabriano (1370-1427) Credit: jean louis mazieres/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Jewishness of Christianity

Two recent articles speak to a divide, that exists in some parts of Christianity. The first involves the Mayor of the Norwegian town of Strand, Irene Heng Lauvsnes, who asked the Klippen Pentecostal Church to take down the star of David that was on display as part of its Christmas celebration in a local municipal park. The church has held ceremonies in the park for years and traditionally used the Star of David to symbolize the star that informed the magi of the birth of Christ. But this year, the mayor asked the church take it down because the Star of David symbolized the state of Israel and the Jews, and apparently some were offended. Writing for the Dagen Daily, editor Vebjorn Selbekk noted: “Municipal Christmas bureaucrats obviously do not want a Jewish or Israeli mark on their Christmas. Then we almost have to remind them of some key facts about why we celebrate Christmas at all. [Christmas] is marked by the fact that a Jewish boy was born to a Jewish mother in a …

All Israel will be saved?

I recently read an article on Charisma News by Ron Cantor, a Messianic Jew living and ministering in Israel of how Jews are starting to accept Christ as their Messiah. Israel has a population of just over nine million people with nearly 75% Jewish, 17% Muslim and the remainder a mixture of Christian 2%, Druze 1.7% (Arab non-Muslims) and others. According to Cantor, there are about 200 Messianic congregations in Israel with over 20,000 people attending. These are Jews who believe Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and are in addition to non-Jewish Christians living in Israel. But the purpose of Cantor’s article was to report on a shift he believes is taking place in Israel. Cantor points out that Paul writes in Romans 11:25 that there was a “partial hardening” of the Jew’s heart, that led to a powerful move of God among the gentiles. During Paul’s ministry, there came a moment when he purposefully shifted his ministry to the gentiles. That took place at Corinth. When Paul arrived, as was his tradition, he went …

All of Israel will be saved. Photo: Haifa, Israel at sunset -- Dan Zelazo/Flickr/Creative Commons

What is the Biblical relationship between Israel and the church?

According to an article in Israel Today, just before Christmas the second most visited Hebrew internet site in Israel, Walla! News, started running a series of interviews with Messianic Jews. They had planned upwards of 24 interviews including one with a well-known Israeli actress. Even as the series started there were those such as Eitan Bar, who was also being interviewed, asking for prayer as they expected a strong reaction from Ultra-Orthodox Jews. Perhaps not surprisingly just after Christmas, Walla! News stopped the series after threats of a boycott and law suit by Ultra-Orthodox Jews. It is illegal in Israel to advertise any missionary activity and some believed these interviews broke this law. The website removed any reference to Messianic Jews as well as interviews previously posted. In many ways it represents the strained relationship that remains to this day between the Church and Israel. What is the Church’s position on Israel? One of the more prominent views, Replacement theology, believes the church replaced Israel as God’s chosen people. When Israel refused to accept Jesus …

Young Messianic Jew’s tax evasion causes a stir in Israel

Israeli custom officer Yigal Malka was so shocked by the telephone call, he contacted a major Israeli newspaper — Yedoit Aharonot — about what happened. At the end of October 2013, a young Messianic girl bought a Samsung Galaxy S4 cellphone while travelling in India. Messianic Jews believe Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and include Jesus and the New Testament in their Jewish faith. There are about 20,000 Messianic Jews and 150 congregations in Israel. When the young woman returned to Israel via the Jordan River border crossing, she failed to declare her purchase. In Israel all purchases made outside the country are taxable. These purchases must be declared at the border and taxes paid.