Dauermann on Jewishism vs. Judaism

My new job with MJTI is a bit of a blur at the moment. We are about to launch a web network that will have a tremendous amount of content. I am bringing together oodles of last-minute details to make it all happen. And that means scores of excellent articles and papers are passing me by, each one of them worthy of contemplation, but each one getting at the moment only passing consideration.

Here is an old thought from Stuart Dauermann, the Senior Scholar of MJTI, something he wrote way back in 2004 (does anyone even remember 2004?).
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Commenting on Numbers 9:15-23, where the text repeats again and again that the Israelites followed the pillar of cloud whenever it directed them to move, Rabbi Dauermann points us to a deeper sense of commandedness:

What do you notice from this text about what it was like for the Jewish community to live with God in the wilderness on a day by day basis? Their relationship with God was based on responding to God’s intiatives, His commandments, His covenant. Their spirituality was about knowing the will of God and doing it—it was about learning to make His will their own will. It seems to me that this is why the text is so VERY redundant about who was taking the lead and who was following whom!

This passage has much to teach us about the difference between Messianic Judaism and Messianic Jewishism. Messianic Jewishism is about shtick—it is about adding Jewish decorations to our bodies, our homes, our services. You see Messianic Jewishism in too many congregations where the objects and practices of Jewish life are used inappropriately and on a whim, where following a sense of personal leading is approved of, but where following a Torah-based way of life may even be regarded with suspicion or hostility, and where just a little bit of Torah life is good, but any more is surely going overboard. In many cases, Messianic Jewishism even embodies a mindset that is fundamentally secular or pop-culture-religious, coating it over with a thin veneer of Jewish looking stuff. But such a road does not lead to the mindset, the heart-set, the life-set of our ancestors. How could this ever be what God has in mind for Messianic Judaism?

In contrast to Messianic Jewishism, Messianic Judaism is, will be, and indeed must be a religion that goes against the grain of our 21st Century, self-centered, individualistic perspective. We would rather call the shots, do our own thing, be free to do exactly as we please, answerable to no one, and above all, we want to minimize inconvenience to ourselves. And in our religious lives we tend to remain in the center, doing only what we “feel led” to do.

This is not the faith of our fathers—this is not the road to which Yeshua calls us.

It is crucial that we wrestle with this and resolve this issue deep in our hearts. Is our religion simply about getting God to do our bidding? Is it about Jewish shtick? Is it an elite religion that makes us feel special because we attend its services? Is it about “What I get out of it?” Is it about “Meeting my felt needs?” Is it simply about my feelings? Or shouldn’t it be more about responding to a God who is “out there” and has not been silent?

About Derek Leman

IT guy working in the associations industry. Formerly a congregational rabbi. Dad of 8. Nerd.
This entry was posted in Bible, Judaism, messianic, Messianic Jewish, Messianic Judaism, Stuart Dauermann. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Dauermann on Jewishism vs. Judaism

  1. Gene Shlomovich says:

    “You see Messianic Jewishism in too many congregations where the objects and practices of Jewish life are used inappropriately and on a whim, where following a sense of personal leading is approved of, but where following a Torah-based way of life may even be regarded with suspicion or hostility, and where just a little bit of Torah life is good, but any more is surely going overboard. In many cases, Messianic Jewishism even embodies a mindset that is fundamentally secular or pop-culture-religious, coating it over with a thin veneer of Jewish looking stuff.”

    I believe that the reason for the above is not just secularism, but the Evangelical culture that most of the MJ congregations still embody – with the corresponding hostility toward Law and tradition. In this culture, doing “Jewish” stuff is seen primary as an evangelism tool. The Jewish veneer also makes the participants feel good about finally doing something to preserve their identity – and not so much because they have a zeal for Torah.

    Another reason for being cautious when it comes to observing traditions and even Torah in MJ congregations is the fact that these positive things have become a magnet for Gentile believers. Many of these well-meaning non-Jewish people think that to really honor G-d they need to take on the yoke of the commandments as given to Moses and Israel. As a result they start dressing up and acting like Jews, which is quite offensive to most Jews and non-Jews outside of MJ. Some Jewish leaders react by discouraging this behavior – but this affects BOTH Gentile AND Jewish members of the congregation (who should really be following the Torah as given to Moses) – everybody becomes “equally” non-observant.

  2. timgrandstaff says:

    Great Post. I had a question about maybe a future post. I am reading N.T. Wright “Surprised by Hope” I grew up in a fundamental background where we were taught for 4 days on pre-trib and one day on why the rest are wrong. I am not trying to get into some “end times” discussion, but simply trying to see the view and insight that you or other Jewish people see and what Scripture brings that to light.

    Thanks.

  3. Tim:

    It happens that I wrote a book on a similar topic to Dr. Wright. Mine is called The World to Come and it is available on amazon.

    Judaism traditionally has spoken of 2 ages to come: the Age of Messiah and the World to Come. Just as in the Bible, some texts in the rabbis run these two together and some distinguish them.

    I and several other Messianic Jewish leaders I know am what would be called Pre-Millennial but not Pre-Tribulational.

    The important thing about Pre-Millennialism is the idea that there is an Age of Messiah before the World to Come (New Earth). The promises of the Torah and prophets to Israel are repeated in the New Testament and there must be a time when they come to pass. Amillennialism has a tough time doing justice to the Torah and prophets or even Revelation.

    Hope this gives some perspective.

    Derek

  4. Nate says:

    Dauermann’s insights are on point, but I thought what he was describing is called Christianity. It seems to me that he’s describing the Gospel accurately lived out, and condemning mediocre application of the gospel message and the godly way.

    Last time I checked to call that Messianic Judaism was anachronistic. Whether it’s “church with a tallit” or KJV-Only style fundamentalism, if it misses the Way through ignorant zeal or lackadaisical complacency it’s off-target. But it’s still the Church, and ever since about 35 CE in Antioch that’s been called Christianity. Like Augustine said, “The Church is a whore, but she is my mother.”

    I’m increasingly convinced that calling Messianic Judaism today is a misnomer that confuses the faithful. Is there a technical argument for calling it precisely accurate? Sure. Is it realistic or tactically sound to do so? No.

  5. Gene Shlomovich says:

    “Dauermann’s insights are on point, but I thought what he was describing is called Christianity. It seems to me that he’s describing the Gospel accurately lived out, and condemning mediocre application of the gospel message and the godly way.”

    Must disagree with you here, Nate. You seem to view MJ as redundant and confusing at best, and a diversion from the “true” faith at worst. However, please remember its sole reason for existence is to serve the Jewish people who want to worship the Jewish Messiah in a Jewish context and among their own people. I do not expect many non-Jews to understand this need – most simply dismiss it.

    Dauermann is addressing a problem very specific to Messianic Judaism and Jews who practice it, and not the historical Christianity or the wider body of Messiah (the ekklesia). In complaining that “the objects and practices of Jewish life are used inappropriately and on a whim”, he’s calling Jews to return to the genuine faith of our fathers and not to redefine that faith or even its traditions at will.

    Let me see if I understand you correctly – what you Nate would probably like to see happen is for Messianic Judaism to be replaced with what you might call a “Biblical Judaism”. This so called new “Judaism” would be free to strip away the Jewish tradition (and “ignorant zeal” that goes with it), do away with Jewish-specific community life based on Messiah and instead reinterpret the faith so that it can be more “accurately” lived out by all, Jews and Gentiles alike (and not be centered on a particular ethnic group).

    Please correct me if I misunderstood what you’re trying to say.

  6. louismmvii says:

    Since i would love to be a part of this wonderful discussion I’ll jump in right here.

    Gene, in regards to your opposition to Nate’s thoughts or vision it seems as though ritual and practice is the main concern. Is it cultural identity in question here? Could it be that Israel/Judah have paid a high price for being the Earthly selection of HaShem? And should focus on separation and honor for this afflicted role? This suggests selfishness and self centeredness.

    I also have this simple question. How long will it take for saved Jews to decide on a cultural code to live by because you’re holding up the Messianic Age? This seems to be the discrepancy that no one person has an answer for. So, as with Christianity and all her denominations so shall it be for faithful Jews? Why can it not be simple and agreeable? I mean the Law should be inscribed on you hearts, with your conscience being the judge. All the bells and whistles maybe nice but not required. What does Jeremiah 31:31 foretell?

    What are your opinions on this? (In the beginning)If HaShem needed to refine and civilize Israel He would have needed immediate respect. Hence the hard demanding laws. Stern and foot down. Thus scaring Israel to keep and do these tough laws. Well once ingrained and trained The Magnificent One may have just realized that He really created ROBOTS that did his orders yet failed to really LOVE Him.However, Rabbi Hillel found this Love and Yeshua took it to the World. Fortunately for Israel He did too! Does not Christianity honor and respect Israel, even love her ???? Just think if they didn’t. Yeshua saved Israel more than she thinks.

    And one more thing, tell me the truth! Is not Israel even slightly flattered at this love and admiration from Christianity? Be honest!. Perhaps something else to blame on Yeshua!

    Like I said, Derek you have an interesting blog here and your charisma is amazing. You make me tired just reading about your endeavors……

    Louis

  7. Nate says:

    Gene, yes you’re misunderstanding me. The term “Biblical Judaism” would be another way to refer to the faith that has persisted ever since God appeared to Abram. However, to call it so today would be, as I said, anachronistic.

    Similarly, to use the term “Messianic Judaism” today is likewise misleading (though I can understand the appeal, particularly for Jewish believers in Jesus). The term used by the early pioneers like Theodore Lucky, Joseph Rabinowitz, Philip Levertoff, etc. is much preferable. It refers to the same faith practiced by all who believe (whether Jew or Gentile), yet practiced in a Jewish cultural context. Absolutely nothing wrong with this.

    Dauermann says, “In contrast to Messianic Jewishism, Messianic Judaism is, will be, and indeed must be a religion that goes against the grain of our 21st Century, self-centered, individualistic perspective.” but that is not just true of Messianic Judaism, it is true of Christianity. And that is my point. When Messianic Judaism begins to be thought of as a substitute for Christianity then it is misleading. I don’t believe that is the intent of most who write about Messianic Judaism, but it has certainly been a primary effect. Particularly among Gentiles drawn to “Messianic-ness” the attitude of superiority and divisiveness that using the term “Messianic” or “Messianic Judaism” has bred is regrettable.

  8. Louis

    “Gene, in regards to your opposition to Nate’s thoughts or vision it seems as though ritual and practice is the main concern. Is it cultural identity in question here?”

    No, covenantal faithfulness of Israel to her G-d is at issue here.

    “Could it be that Israel/Judah have paid a high price for being the Earthly selection of HaShem? And should focus on separation and honor for this afflicted role? This suggests selfishness and self centeredness.”

    First of all, to say that Israel is G-d’s “Earhly” selection speaks volumes at how you personally view and how much of Christendom (and some so called “Two-house” folks) view Israel. It also reminds me of classical Dispensationalism view of Israel vs the “Church” – I have posted some quotes by fathers of this movement here which you may find interesting: bethavinu.org/forums/index.php?topic=22.0

    Israel being chosen as a nation is foremost a spiritual selection of G-d. However, not being Gnostic, we recognize that G-d operates in both spiritual and physical realms, instead of just spiritual.

    What you seem to be implying is that Israel and Jews (and Messianic Jews in particular) have an unjustified persecution complex for which they demand recognition and restitution from Christendom. We demand no such thing – I worship G-d as a Jew in a Messianic Jewish synagogue – and, there are quite a few Gentiles who have chosen to join us. In fact, Messianic Jewish Congregations probably provide a better picture of what it means to unite Jews and Gentiles than most churches are!

    I am not affected by how Christian denominations choose to view themselves in relation to Israel, how they view Messianic Judaism, although it saddens me. We do encounter some opposition or misunderstanding from Christians, but this comes either from latent anti-semitism within the Church (you can thank Luther and others for that) or misinformation given to Christians (that derides Torah/Law). I am sure that for a FEW Christians their own self-centered/selfish desire to see Israel be ‘unchosen” and to feel special/chosen themselves (e.g. replacement theology) plays some role.

    Let me remind you that it’s Christendom that did away with much of the Jewishness of Christianity and made Jews (including messianic ones) it’s enemies. Christendom was it was filled with pride when it saw the temporarily fallen Jewish condition. Christians viewed themselves as having replaced Israel and were filled with arrogance against it. Appostle Paul had a warning for such mistaken thinking:

    Romans 11:18 “do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you…”

    Some strong words, right? Incidentally, Jews are not given the same admonition.

    “And one more thing, tell me the truth! Is not Israel even slightly flattered at this love and admiration from Christianity? Be honest!. Perhaps something else to blame on Yeshua!”

    I am not sue what love and admiration you’re talking about? For much of Christian history, Jews were hated and persecuted, and killed in the name of Christ and “Church”. This applies to Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Protestants. It’s only since founding of Israel 1948, and specifically since the capture of Jerusalem in 1967 that Evangelical Christians have developed some admiration of Jews and Israel (but not so much for the Messianic Jews). Before that time, most Christians viewed Jews simply with pity.

    Shalom…

    Gene

  9. Nate…

    “Similarly, to use the term “Messianic Judaism” today is likewise misleading (though I can understand the appeal, particularly for Jewish believers in Jesus). The term used by the early pioneers like Theodore Lucky, Joseph Rabinowitz, Philip Levertoff, etc. is much preferable. ”

    Let’s examine this…

    Philip Levertoff, for example, donned Anglican priestly alb during his services in addition to his Chassidic garb. Joseph Rabinowitz accepted the Christian position that the Jewish Law was done away with (Christian interpretation of “made complete” in Christ), but should be used as needed not to alienated other Jews who have not come to the same conclusion. Theodore Lucky also viewed (strong) Jewish identification of “Hebrew Christians” primarily as an evangelism tool, and not as a part of overall Jews’ faithfulness to the Covenant G-d made with them.

    We are thankful to the pioneers (whether or not the current Messianic Movement has directly benefited from some of them is debatable), but many of them saw Gentile Christianity as having prevailed over Judaism and as THE LONG-TERM answer to the Jewish people. Many of them utilized “Jewishness” so long as it helped them lead Jews to Jesus and ease them into Christianity – a TEMPORARY NECESSITY.

    Messianic Judaism rejects the above view. We view Israel’s Covenant with G-d as irrevocable and believe in being covenantally faithful. We proclaim Yeshua as Israel’s Messiah and ourselves as part of Messiah’s Body with other believers (Jew or Gentile), but do not seek to become part of the historic Christendom, be it Catholic, Protestant, or Eastern Orthodox.

    “When Messianic Judaism begins to be thought of as a substitute for Christianity then it is misleading. I don’t believe that is the intent of most who write about Messianic Judaism, but it has certainly been a primary effect.”

    Messianic Jews view Messianic Judaism as an expression of faith primarily for the Jewish believers. Our main calling is for Israel to worship their Messiah – at the same time we call for the nations to acknowledge Yeshua as such. Some Gentiles have come to view MJ as a replacement of Christianity or at least a restoration of the early “church” – perhaps they draw this conclusion by looking at the history of Christianity and it’s theological and physical treatment of the Jewish people. I understand their thinking, but I do not agree with their conclusions.

    I do not view MJ as replacement of Gentile forms of worship – this is because I do not believe that G-d has called Gentiles to become Jews or to worship as Jews. Gentiles can come to G-d as they are, and this in turn means they are free to develop their own traditions and expressions of faith (as they clearly have) and worship G-d as Gentiles. By the same token, Jews are free to worship their G-d as Jews – and those Gentiles who love Israel and want to worship together with us are welcome!

    Shalom,

    Gene

  10. Nate says:

    I didn’t say that those early pioneers had their theology perfectly correct (who among us does?). But I do believe that “Hebrew Christianity” is a preferable term for referring to “an expression of faith primarily for the Jewish believers.”

    Here is just one reason: you mentioned replacement theology, the Church/Israel dichotomy of dispensationalism, and perhaps other theological aberrations. So long as we permit ourselves to be relegated to “those Messianics” or to “Messianic Judaism” we will lack “oomph” in our efforts to correct Christian theology. “You believe what?! Oh…you’re one of those Messianics; well that’s ok, you can believe what you want, but Christian theology says…”

    No; we are part of the body and the Spirit is using us (Jew and Gentile who are plugged in to the Jewish Roots of the biblical faith) to restore some truths that have been often lost among His Body.

    I wish it were the case that a majority of those who view themselves as part of Messianic Judaism believed they must be covenantally faithful. In my experience a majority view themselves as culturally Jewish but not covenantally obligated to kashrut, observance of the Sabbath, or any other signs of the covenant.

    Though many Christians do not, all Christians should believe Israel’s Covenant with God is irrevocable and believe in being covenantally faithful, as fellow adoptees in the “Commonwealth of Israel” by virtue of having believed.

    “We proclaim Yeshua as Israel’s Messiah and ourselves as part of Messiah’s Body with other believers (Jew or Gentile), but do not seek to become part of the historic Christendom, be it Catholic, Protestant, or Eastern Orthodox.”

    This goes to the heart of my point. “Messiah’s body” and “Christianity” are one and the same thing. One cannot be a part of one and not the other. If Messianic Judaism wants to be another denominational preference, even one that is ethnically focused, I have no issue with that. If it presents itself as the true body, the preferred body, or the body (as opposed to part of the body) that is problematic.

    “Christendom” is another matter entirely as that refers to political domination by “Christian” kingdoms, meaning “Christian” as opposed to Muslim, Jewish, or pagan kingdoms, but not necessarily to disciples of Yeshua. Woe betide us that so much of “Christian” history is besmudged by those who claimed the name of Christ but not His character.

  11. Nate says:

    P.S.

    Gene, that’s about all I have to say on the topic. I think we’re pretty much on the same page, but are quibbling over whether “Messianic Judaism” is the preferred terminology, and I doubt I’ll convince you ;-).

    Feel free to respond; I’m not trying to shut you down, just saying I probably don’t have anything else to add.

  12. Nate…

    “Gene, that’s about all I have to say on the topic. I think we’re pretty much on the same page, but are quibbling over whether “Messianic Judaism” is the preferred terminology, and I doubt I’ll convince you ;-) .”

    As you said, we are probably on the same page on much, but I would like to point something out:

    Messianic Judaism views itself as the continuation of the Jewish faith of our Jewish fathers (Judaism), and NOT of another religion supposedly started by Jesus (who, btw, himself continued to stay within the framework of Judaism as did his disciples). As such, we need not seek to find another name for our faith or adopt one that Gentile believers have historically adopted for themselves. We call it what it is to us – Judaism. We choose to add the word “Messianic” only because we want others to be sure that we are Jews who worship Yeshua as Messiah. We are not a denomination of Christianity (although Jews who reject Yeshua view us as such – does it mean that Christians should do the same?).

    As much as some would try, it’s impossible to separate the term “Christianity” from its history. Not that this term even originated in the scriptures – as you may recall in the NT the Jewish believers were instead known to others in Israel as followers of “The Way” (Acts 9:2). They were still viewed as a “sect” (albeit “heretical”) within Judaism, and not part of some other faith.

    I understand your position when you say that “Messiah’s body” and “Christianity” are one and the same thing. “- I would agree that this has been the case AFTER the first few centuries when Jewish believers were rejected by the “Church” and BEFORE Messianic Judaism came along. After and Before the above times time the Jews had no part in the Body unless they gave up their identity, rejected the covenant that G-d has made with Israel, and were fully and completely absorbed within the Gentile part of the Body, i.e. they effectively becaming Gentiles in their subsequent generations and thus lost to Israel for all practical purposes.

    To me the Messianic Judaism is prophetic restoration of the Jewish part of that SAME Body. It coincides with restoration of Israel as a nation and the whole Body looking toward the return of the Redeemer.

    Nate, I know that you wish Messianic Jews well – and I appreciate it. I just wish that you and other Christians would also support the Jewish believers in their desire to worship as Jews for the first time since the first century, and not stand in opposition. Messianic Judaism is not an “error” – for those Jews who have found it, it’s truly a breath of fresh air, a miracle from G-d himself. Nate, please support it and tell other Christians to do the same, lift it up in your prayers, tell all the Jews you meet about it – tell them that they will find their JEWISH messiah there.

    Your brother in Messiah,

    Gene

  13. warland52 says:

    Very interesting discussion. I am very close to some aspects of Gene’s ideas (as close as a Catholic can get and be a faithful Catholic). For example, I agree with Gene that for a Jew who enters the mystical body of Messiah (I would just call it the “Church”), that they retain their Jewish Identity period. I don’t think it is “erased” even if it is transformed. The election is not only irrevocable, it is indelible. Grace perfects our particular nature, it does not destroy it. We are transformed, like the catepillar to a butterfly (ok- rough and imperfect analogy). In a Jewish person’s case, their identity as a Jew is sublated into something more universal but is not erased or eliminated. I believe that Jews outside the Church retain some sort of particular role (apparently they must as the election is irrevocable) in salvation history – even if I don’t know all that such a role may entail or “how it works”. To me it follows that Jews inside the Church would also retain a particular role as Jews inside the Church. Again, I don’t pretend to fully understand what that role may entail. Perhaps it doesn’t entail being observant in matters such as kashrut – but I don’t begrudge observant Messianic Jews or Jews in the Catholic Church who feel a personal obligation to be observant (exactly how “stringencies” and “leniencies” work as transformed in the Messiah is a thorny problem I am glad I don’t have to work out. I only note that a less novel version of these problems also are worked out even in normative Judaism). I also don’t think Jewish Identity is simply a matter of “customs” in the sense that various Christian ethnic groups have customs, i.e. simply a matter of “ethnic customs”. It is ontological. Jewish Identity is a mysterious operation of the Divine. We don’t know the ultimate inner reasons of why God elected the Jews as a chosen people. But we do know that He did.

    Todd

  14. Todd…

    I will not claim deep understanding of the various Catholic dogmas. but every time I read your comments, I am amazed at the fact you as a Catholic have a better grasp on Jewish identity and continuing purpose within the Body than most Evangelicals do (who claim great affinity to the Jewish people). At the same time, it seems to me that you yourself are going against the grain of your own Church, as I have not seen many Catholics, be they clergy or laity, advocating views similar to yours.

    Do you often have disagreements with your Church’s positions on various issues, or do you accept its (Papal or otherwise) catechisms, rulings and official views as coming directly from G-d or more like educated opinions of men? Just curious.

    I fully agree with you that the Jewish identity is not a matter of customs. Otherwise the Jews whom G-d has preserve, regathered and still regathering in the Land of Israel (who are mostly secular or very lightly observant) would not be counted as Jews at all. Growing up I had a VERY strong sense of my Jewish identity, but my family (as were most of the Jewish families in the Soviet Union at that time) kept very few Jewish customs (except for matzo on Passover, which had to be smuggled in from outside). After I came to faith, I also came to understand that the supernatural preservation of the Jewish people in the face of extermination or assimilation relies solely on the mercy of G-d, and not on the acts of human beings – otherwise we’d all be wiped out long ago for our disobedience.

    Shalom,

    Gene

  15. warland52 says:

    Gene – I would not dissent from the Church’s Dogmas. I would also assent to authoritative although less than dogmatic pronouncements. The area of the “theology of Israel” is fairly well undefined and there is room for various speculations until the Church more clearly defines certain things. There is also a distinction between disciplines and doctrines. It is not clear that various statements from medieval and earlier times constitute some sort of core doctrine rather than addressing something particular to their time and place (that doesn’t mean that these canons and the like didn’t need to be obeyed in their time and place).

    My views are very much informed by the views of Father Elias Friedman, founder of the Association of Hebrew Catholics. His book Jewish Identity (a difficult read in its own way) is available in pdf at the AHC website. His book received a “nihil obstat” which means it is at least free from doctrinal or moral error. Of course that refers to his book, not the expressions of my thoughts. But my intent is to be in conformity with the Church.

    Todd

  16. louismmvii says:

    Again, gentlemen, I apologize for barging in on your thread! But since it does seem as though your discussion has been resolved I hope it is OK if I continue.

    Gene, thanks for your insight and view on dispensationalism. And this is surely the dilemma holding up the age. If only the original MJ’s or Miriam of Magdala would have been a greater force than Rome Christendom would be totally different.
    Since this is a rather broad matter with many points of perspective I would like to convey what I gather.

    First you have mentioned dispensation within Christendom which is absolutely correct however the fact that it is a part of the 3 Judaic based religions as a whole. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. I see it as mere G-d stealing and childish, and, if everyone is a child of G-d then it makes clear sense. I am not so sharp on Islam but I’m sure they may proclaim that this One G-d has a special promise just for them too. But the deep seeded jealousy of Ishmael over Isaac probably created the fertile ground for the propagation of anti-semitism and dispensationalism. The same maybe true for Christendom. Envy and jealousy and perhaps some anger caused the creation of the levers that would be used against Israel. I say anger because there have been many Truly faithful Christians whom feared that the Jews were not going to make it there because they did not have Yeshua. And all the rumors that arose through out the centuries with the most potent being that “The Jews killed their promised Redeemer” I believe this gave rise to the RT and extra-biblical prophecy. Which are the levers and needles to help balance the envy and love for Israel. What most of Christendom really wanted was that Israel would embrace accept love and believe in Yeshua.

    Many Christians probably do not realize that there was a portion of Israel that did believe. They were put away, tortured, killed or converted to Rome’s will. Seemingly vanished until the 19th century. This is where I am in my personal investigation of history. Who carried this fine thread of Messianic Judaism through the ages?

    So, I do not agree with RT, never did. I have argued with born again Christians for creating these Stories that were not exactly borne of correct interpretation of the literal. Yeshua was the last Prophet as G-d stated, He marked the condition of the times when he would return for his wife and his crown. And his wife was Mary of Magdala. So instead of the Church assuming that they are His bride, they should probably look closely to see if Mary is on the scene because “Everywhere that Mary went the lamb was sure to go”.

    This brings me to my final thought, and it also could be filed under dispensationalism depending on which definition you use. But what about Mary? The Church has commited atrocities against her! I hope Messianic Judaism realizes that she was the wife of Yeshua, His queen. That he never had children with but, probably wanted to. Yet the Church disgraced her, threw her out and thought it had the right to call itself his bride. So who is the real harlot?

    So, gentlemen, your thoughts on that fine thread keeping messianic Judaism alive and Mary, the wife of Yeshua would be nice to hear!! And Gene I checked out that thread you gave me the link to, thanks, it was informative.

    Louis

  17. Nate says:

    Gene, well so now you have given me something to say ;-). However, I feel strange about propounding a view that is in direct opposition to Derek’s position on his blog. So I’ve responded in the most recent post on my blog. You can get there by clicking on my name.

    I would be happy to continue a dialogue with you there.

  18. Louis…

    Thank you for your input, although I am not sure about something you said and would like your clarification: how do you figure that Mary of Magdala was Yeshua’s wife (what supporting evidence can you present), and if she was or wasn’t, why should it matter to people today? Do explain.

    As far as the Bride, I believe that the New Jerusalem that will come down from Heaven is the Bride – Revelation 21:2 – (and ALL of the righteous, from all ages will live in or visit it – and not just the people who make up the Christian Church that started after first century).

    Shalom,

    Gene

  19. louismmvii says:

    Hopefully Derek doesn’t mind the discussion on his blog getting off topic, and I hope perhaps he might go a diggin’ for some literary works on some of the topics and discussions on the floor. With all due respect…..

    Gene, before I present my thoughts we need to see if we’re agreeable on some things.

    First, let’s take a look at history. And the concept of time. History is our only source of information that we have to gain knowledge of humanity, right? What if I was to say that those whom recorded it did so with interpretation. Therefore everything known as truth is actually gray. With an unknown percentage of absolute truth. For this I believe humanity has truly created it’s own illusion, thus making everything seemingly so subjective. And to throw time into the equation is like humanity coming in in the middle of a fantastic movie trying to figure out the beginning. No real solid foundation to stand on, mostly guess work. With the One who started it all showing up as the biggest fantasy of all. Amazing. The Ironic Magnificent Shem. Which brings us to the proverbial truth in irony, that requires wisdom to bring the hidden ironic secrets into focus. And 99% of wisdom is understanding, which humanity has seemingly lost. I attribute this to the new wisdom, where wisdom is measured in gold(cash) Ironic? Humanity has mislead itself. Not everyone, but those who control this world.

    I see it like this. Strangely enough that HaShem set wisdom in the earth, however, he left knowledge up to man(leaving knowledge out was to provoke the search for the light switch, or the scientific quest. In those biblical times man was more wiser because of the lack of knowledge, and as knowledge became more abundant wisdom receded. Irony. Now keep in mind that this is a big picture perspective. Ruminate on it, irony. Compare biblical times to now, mankind has made it seem as though G-d lived so long ago and then disappeared, it is amazing to think He was alive then and, is alive right now as we speak. This is the mystery of time and subtly ironic.

    Now on to Mary………

    First, the discovery of Mary’s testimony may very well be controversial, but the fact that it was missing pages and omitted by the Vatican lends proof that there was some cover up. And the fact that women of the time were considered inferior does present the possibility of suppression. That the disciples, so I’ve read, were a bit jealous over the very fact that Yeshua may have loved Mary more than them could very well lead one to a plausible conclusion that perhaps He didn’t love her more but differently. Such as a way a man loves a woman and vice versa. Very simple, and by not considering the probability would be foolish. And trust me, the “Da Vinci Code” has nothing to do with my reservations or convictions.

    Why should it matter to people anyway? Well, Gene, this is a very,very cold question. Brrrrrr…. Yeshua laid his life down for man. In doing this he gave up everything, including his love Mary. Don’t you unselfishly think she was hurt more than anyone?? Left to live out her days cluttered with smoke and dust hoping to see her love again. If anyone could even attempt to put their self in her poor shoes, they would understand. This probably hurt Yeshua just as much didn’t it? That booked ended wrong. What’s a King without a great Queen? This is what second chances just might be about. Messianic Jews claim to believe in the return of the King right. Do they consider the possibility of irony? And Yeshua wanting to fulfill his promise to Mary would probably be close to number 1 on the to do list. Sort of picking up where He left off.

    So, in conclusion the World could use a beautiful romantic love story that is like really true yet unbelievable to fall into. A fairy-tale of the ages that would warm the hearts of all who believed. But of course humanity would not let that happen because they are too self centered and selfish. Yet another irony of the closed hearts and minds……..

    Call me a heretic if you will, but at least this belief doesn’t jeopardize hopes or souls. Purely based on love being the thickest vein in the body of humanity.

  20. Louis…

    Thanks for your reply.

    You’re entitled to your beliefs, as bizarre as I may find them. Personally, I see no evidence in the scriptures to support your views and neither have you offered any, other than your personal feelings and “what ifs”- but it may make for yet another fiction book that deals with supposed romance of Yeshua.

    Shalom… and be careful what you feel your mind with.

    Gene

  21. louismmvii says:

    Gene, I will say that the use of the word wife may be a stretch, according to text. Simply because there is no reference. However according to Mary’s gospel the disciple’s stated Yeshua’s affection for her and she appeared everywhere Yeshua was. You would have to take a look at her Gospel. From what I know her gospel was not found in the Nag Hammadi Library, so, it’s association with the Gnostic is unlikely.

    Also:

    “Raymond E Brown, readily acknowledged by most theologians today as America’s foremost Catholic Scripture scholar.” At one time, Brown did argue that the Fourth Gospel was authored by John of Zebedee (1966: xcviii). “However, Brown has since changed his view on this because he found that there was little evidence to support Johannine authorship of this Gospel (1979: 33).”

    “Mary Magdalene is posited as the author of the Fourth Gospel in the sense in which antiquity defined authorship (Brown 1990: 1051-1052).” Browns research on the Johannine Community is the most in depth. Yes, the possible author of the fourth gospel is Mary of Magdala. Along with Ramon K. Jusino, M.A.
    who continued the search for the author built an interesting thesis based on R.E Brown’s work.

    Jusinos assertions that a name change for cover up purposes makes absolute sense. Discrimination. So wife to Yeshua is totally out of the question for then. But this time around she will be his wife. :)This is probably what is holding up the age! I better put this in my epic saga i’m currently writing;)

    Anyway, I appreciate your concern for me, that I should be careful feeling with my mind, and I will. Can you answer this question for me?

    Why is it that Pauline Christianity became mainstream instead of certain popular Gnostic organizations that held to mostly the same beliefs(1st-5th cen.)?

    Louis

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