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"Introduction to Messianic Judaism": An Approach to the Bible and Christianity That Relates to Judaism and Jewish Ethnicity

Categories New Testament

9780310330639Perhaps you are like me and are largely unfamiliar with the deeply historic movement of Messianic Judaism. In his introductory essay to Introduction to Messianic Judaism, David Rudolph explains this movement in this way: "When we speak of Messianic Judaism in antiquity and in the modern era, we are referring to a religious tradition in which Jews have claimed to follow Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah of Israel while continuing to live within the orbit of Judaism." (21)

One approachable, comprehensive starting place for better acquainting yourself with Messianic Judaism is this book. It will help you discover that the significance of the movement is much broader than merely how Jews maintain their ethnic identity while worshiping Yeshua as the Messiah of Israel.

As co-editor Joel Willitts explains in the video below, the book "isn't just relevant to the discussion of Messianic Judaism. The approach we take [in the book] is illustrating how one can read the New Testament in a way that complements an ethnically distinct Jewish expression of Christian faith."

He goes on to say that their approach in this book toward Messianic Judaism better addresses the Jewish evidence in the New Testament, offers a better method of joining the Old and New Testaments, and provides a more robust theological vision of the Church that redeems, rather than erases ethnicity.

This approach goes by the name of "post-supersessionist readings." Supersessionism carries the idea that the largely Gentile Church has replaced Jewish Israel as God's covenant people. Willitts deftly explains below why such a view isn't helpful, as well as how the essays in the book help explicate the relationship between Israel and the Church and what it requires to be part of the people of God.

As an editor of this book, Willitts believes this post-supersessionist approach is better on a number of fronts and is thrilled to provide one of the first attempts to bring together a number of scholars who are working from the post-supersessionist position.

Watch the video below to better equate yourself with this movement and then buy the book to dive deeper into this important conversation.

(Can't see the video? Watch it, here)

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