Referenced Messianic Jewish Review Blog

The official blog of the Referenced Messianic Jewish Review. The Referenced Messianic Jewish Review studies the history, composition and theology of the Messianic Jewish movement.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Messianic Protestantism

For years, I have been online with my website and blog stating that the Messianic movement is a form of Protestant Christianity. I found that the British Messianic Jewish Alliance agrees with me. The BMJA, the umbrella body of most Messianic congregations in the UK spells it out bluntly:

"The Messianic movement is a Protestant phenomenon. It does what all Protestant protest movements have done, but with a Hebrew accent."

In case you want to read more, here is the link to the article which is aptly titled, "The Messianic movement in the Protestant continuum." The quote comes from the right side of the page under "Messianic Protestantism."

Monday, April 12, 2010

They Are Not Details

While looking at this past week's Torah portion, Parashat Shmini, I was reminded of a past conversation with a Messianic missionary. The missionary presented Jesus as a sacrifice. I began to go over the laws of sacrifice from Leviticus, demonstrating how Jesus did not match sacrifical law. For instance, Jesus was not sacrificed by the High Priest at the Holy Temple. He was killed by the Romans away from the Temple. The missionary said to me that I was getting caught up in "details." I was infuriated at his statement. I told him, "they are laws, not details."

In Parashat Shmini, we read about the deaths of Nadav and Avihu, the two sons of Aaron. Their tale is told in Leviticus 10. They went and attempted to offer a "strange fire" to G-d, which G-d had not commanded and were killed for this transgression. Surely, we see here that laws are not "details." Nadav and Avihu did not follow the laws of G-d regarding offerings and subsequently died. Not so incidentally, sacrifice is a form of an offering.

The word in Hebrew that we use for Biblical law is "Mitzvah." The root of the word, "Tzav", means "command." The laws of the Bible are not trivial but are G-d's commandments. Each and every law is valuable. By definition, not a single one is a "detail" that can be brushed aside or ignored. Jesus' death could not have been a Biblical sacrifice since it did not follow the Biblical law of sacrifice. As we learn from Parashat Shmini, these laws are of the utmost importance. They are laws, not details.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Do You Eat Jesus?

There is are two more key issues that Messianics miss when claiming that Jesus was a Passover sacrifice. Both of these issues can be found in the commandments regarding the Passover sacrifice in Deuteronomy 16: 5-7. First, as we seen in verse 5-6, the Passover sacrifice can only be offered at the place where G-d will "cause His name to dwell in." The place where G-d's name dwelt was the Holy Temple. Jesus was not killed at the Holy Temple. Second, in verse 7 we see the commandment to roast and eat the Passover sacrifice. Jesus died on the cross, where Romans sent to death people accused of crimes such as trying to overthrow the Roman empire. Jesus was not roasted nor eaten (nor would it have been permissible under Jewish law to eat a person). As such, we again see that according to the Bible, Jesus could never have been considered the Passover sacrifice.