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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.
If you like books that may intellectually place a challenge before you this may be the book for you. It is written to challenge Christian assumptions and traditional Jewish beliefs.
Christians: Many assume if you were born into a Christian family then you can call yourself Christian, but is this belief supported by scripture? One who is truely Christian has made a commitment in the service of the Messiah. That person must come to realize that only by God’s grace has this opportunity been afforded to the “adopted” sons and daughters of Abraham. This faith has NOT replaced the Jewish people who are God’s chosen and the apple of his eye . According to Gen. 12:3 those who bless the Jewish people will be blessed and those who curse them will be cursed. Never forget that the Jewish people gave us the Bible and the Messiah. The non-Jewish followers of the Jewish Messiah must realize that those who experience a change of heart and live for the Messiah have life in his name not because of what we have done but because of what he did for us through his sacrifice.
The Jewish People: The traditionally held belief is that the Jewish Bible (Tenackh) places its emphasis on Torah observance. According to the rabbis this occurs through adherance to the Talmud which explains how the Torah is to be observed and obeyed. In fact in the books of Moses it explains the blessings and curses the Jewish people will experience according to their adherence to or disobedience in obeying what Yahveh commands in the Torah. What is missing from the promises that Yahveh makes to the Jewish people is the promise of eternal life. Since that promise was not made in the Torah are we to assume that eternal life can be earned through Torah observance? “The Jewish People and Jesus” poses the following question. Does Torah observance through the Talmud lead to eternal life or could it be that the Tenackh (Torah, Writings, and Prophets) all point towards the Jewish Messiah and that the key to life eternal can only be found in and through him?