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.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Muslim vs. Messianic

While reading a recent news article, I thought about how Messianics present themselves as still being part of Judaism despite the fact that Messianic "Judaism" is a branch of Christianity, created by Christianity.

So, let's compare their statements to an item in the news. Sean Stone, famous producer Oliver Stone's son, converted to Islam. He stated to the Agence France Presse: "The conversion to Islam is not abandoning Christianity or Judaism, which I was born with. It means I have accepted Mohammad and other prophets."

Now, does anyone think that he has NOT abandoned Christianity or Judaism now that he has embraced Islam? Of course he has abandoned them for Islam. By that same rationale, Messianics who were born Jewish abandoned Judaism once they embraced the Christian beliefs of Messianic "Judaism."

Monday, February 13, 2012

Genesis 18....and 19.....

I find that many Messianics often get confused by Genesis 18. In the story, Abraham is approached by three unknown men. In Genesis 18:3, he refers to them as "Adonai", which can be translated as "lords" or "L-rd." The first translation implies that he is just using the term to honor his guests, who are angels. However, most Christians, including those in Messianic "Judaism", believe that the correct translation is "L-rd" and that this is an example of G-d coming as a man. So, which one is true? Are these angels or G-d as a man?

Well, first we have to remember that in multiple sections of the Bible, G-d states that G-d is not a man (e.g. Numbers 23:19, Hoshea 11:9, Psalm 146:3-5). Second, we just need to go to the beginning of the next chapter of Genesis for the answer. In chapter 18, one of the "men" tell Abraham that he is going to have a child, then disappears. The other two then go with Abraham to Sodom and Gemorrah. In Genesis 19:1, the remaining two men are identified as angels. In Genesis 19:2, Lot refers to the two angels as "Adonai", which is translated as "lords." Just like Abraham in chapter 18, Lot asks them to stay and offers to wash their feet. In light of Genesis 19, it is clear that the "men" of chapter 18 were angels and the proper translation of Adonai is "lords."