If you ask contemporary Rabbis the answer is yes. Why? Their point of reference is the Talmud that was intact going back to the 5th Century C.E. where the rabbis could comment on the Christian assertion that Yeshua was the promised messiah. The behavior of Byzantine and Western Christians against the Jews solidified this point of view. In the 11th Century this perspective was reinforced by the most important of rabbinical sages Moses Maimonidies. His work can be found in the back of the Talmud where it is known as the Mishneh Torah. Continue reading
For Jewish people, the rubber meets the road when it comes to Jewish identity. For the better part of 2,000 years, the Rabbis have insisted that Jews who accept Yeshua as the Messiah are no longer Jewish. First let’s try to determine what they mean by the term Jewish. In the days of Yeshua, he was Jewish because he was a descendent of Judah, son of Jacob (Israel), son of Isaac, son of Abraham and born in Bethlehem of Judea. He was also a Nazarene and Galilean because he was raised in Nazareth of Galilee. The Apostles, except for Judas were all Galileans because they were from Galilee; they were never referred to as Jews. Continue reading
Admittedly as I began to conceptualize how I would write this book I knew that I was behind the eight ball when it came to traditional Jewish sources especially as it related to Christianity and apologetics in general. My starting point was David Klinghoffer’s book “Why the Jews Rejected Jesus”. If his sources were good enough for him then they should be good enough for me. Of course I did not want to limit myself to his sources. So I researched another book written by author Roy Schoeman “Salvation is from the Jews”. My hunch was right. Schoeman provided a broader set of sources. While I was compiling these sources by either buying new books or researching on-line I met a man named David who was Orthodox Jewish. David gave me context concerning my sources. We e-mailed for over one year. My exposure to David and what he shared put the material that I was reading into sharp focus. Being hospitable I invited David to my home, but David told me that he could not expose himself or his family to my idolatry (New Covenant scriptures and belief in Yeshua as the Messiah). After I finished my first draft of the book I knew that I needed someone from a Jewish background to make sure that I presented all of the Judaica accurately. At this point while on an email distribution for items relating to the Middle East I met Steve Daskal. While reading one of his posts he spoke about being raised in a traditional Jewish home, but not being in complete agreement with rabbinical opinions. His search led him to read the New Covenant scriptures as a skeptic or one who could prove that these scriptures were a material misrepresentation of the Torah, Writings, and Prophets. Instead Steve, the traditionally raised Jewish man, discovered his messiah. I thought Steve may be open to read and edit my book. Steve was more than happy to make sure that I correctly represented the rabbinical facts in presenting both sides of the issue. Today Jewish Steve and Italian Joe are brothers in every sense of the word.