Q: What is Messianic Judaism?
A: Messianic Judaism is a movement of Jewish people who believe that Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew) is the promised Jewish Messiah and Savior to Israel and the whole world. (See Statement of Faith)
Q: So a Messianic Jew is a Jew who has converted to Christianity?
A: Actually, a Jewish person who believes in Yeshua (Jesus) is not converting to Christianity, but accepting the blood atonement of their Jewish Messiah as prophesied in Scriptures. Sometimes Jewish people refer to themselves as Jews who are completed.
Q: Doesn’t a Jew stop being Jewish if they believe in Jesus?
A: Interestingly enough, after Yeshua’s commission to His disciples—His Jewish disciples—to go into the world and preach His Good News (Gospel), most all believers in Jesus were Jews. In fact, at that time some Jewish believers thought Gentiles (non-Jews) should convert to Judaism. As these Jewish disciples brought more and more Gentiles to faith in Jesus, some didn’t understand the Jewish roots of their faith and God’s eternal covenant with Israel. A “de-Judaizing” of the Bible and faith in Jesus eventually separated Jews from the new faith. This faith became the second wing, Christianity.
Q: What is the difference between Messianic Judaism and Christianity?
A: Most important are the similarities: Christianity is also faith in the Jewish Messiah Yeshua. Typically, people who call themselves Christians are non-Jewish. As mentioned above, the first believers in Jesus were Jewish. Yeshua wanted us to be one in Him—Jew and Gentile, one in the Messiah.
The most distinct difference between Messianic Judaism and Christianity is our expression of faith. Messianic Judaism is a return to the Jewish roots of the faith. This takes the form of observance of Biblical feasts and holidays, and other traditions not in conflict with Scriptures. (See FAQ about the Biblical Feasts)
Q: Isn’t that salvation through works, not faith?
A: No! Salvation is through faith, not of works (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Q: Isn’t God finished with Israel and the Jewish people?
A: Nothing could be further from the truth. We believe that God is omniscient (all-knowing), therefore when He pronounced His covenants and other promises toward Israel and the Jewish people, He knew the events to come—including many in Israel not believing that Yeshua was the Messiah as foretold by the Jewish prophets.
Q: Why do you use the name “Yeshua” rather than “Jesus”?
A: Yeshua is His Hebrew name! Jesus is the Hellenized-anglicized form of Yeshua, which means Salvation (Matthew 1:21; Luke 2:30). By the way, when His mother called Him in for dinner, she called, “Yeshua!”
Q: What is the difference between the name Christ and Messiah?
A: Christ is not a name it is a title—just like president or king. The title in Hebrew is Mashiach or Anointed One. The English translation is Messiah. In the Greek, Anointed One is Christos, which was later anglicized to Christ. Which is why Messianic Jews use Messiah—it’s part of our language.
Q: Do Messianic Jews celebrate Christmas or Easter?
A: Most Messianic Jews do not celebrate Christmas or Easter. There are no Scriptural mandates to celebrate Yeshua’s birth or resurrection in the New Testament. The early believers in Yeshua—Jew or Gentile—didn’t celebrate these days or follow the typical traditions of Christmas trees or Easter eggs. Having said that, we rejoice in Yeshua’s birth and resurrection—without it there would be no salvation and atonement for our sins.
Q: What is “Davidic” Praise and Worship?
A: Scripture speaks of worshipping God as an action of joy as well as reverence to Him. Davidic praise and worship is modeled after King David whose worship was both physical and spiritual—music, psalms, singing, clapping, lifting up of hands, processions, unified dance—in other words, great joy. Modern day “Davidic” praise and worship is one of the defining elements of the Messianic movement.
Q: Where can I learn more about Messianic Judaism?
A: There are several publications that can help (see Resources). Also there may be a Messianic congregation in your area (see Messianic congregations). And you can attend one of our Messianic Events (see Events).