Good friend and fellow sojourner, Ken Rank of United2Restore, has written a terrific article that sums up a lot of history and the quandary that Christendom is in as they try to reach the Jews. But maybe, just maybe, we’ve been looking at this all wrong because we have used the wrong lens (paradigm) to understand Scripture.
This is a terrific read that is well worth your time and may challenge your thought process in several important ways! Enjoy!
Ephraim’s Shifting Paradigm
Most historians believe that a good solid understanding of history is the best guide in terms of understanding the future. History often stands as a beacon of things to come because humanity has not always excelled at not repeating its mistakes. And so it has been between Christian/Jewish relations for the last 2000 years. Where these two peoples should stand more united against their common foes, they remain at odds usually over poor conclusions, bad definitions, and false assumptions. This has been a two –sided coin in terms of fault, but it also might be safe to say that the coin lands on one side more often than the other. Though the Christian means well, his evangelical paradigm brings with it a line in the sand which he uses to determine who he can and can’t call brother. Couple this with the fact that most Christians tend to live out of the “New Testament” (NT) and don’t study the Tanach or “Old Testament” (OT) as much, it then becomes easier to understand why these two people who have far more in common than they realize seem to stand at odds with each other more often than not.
Whether Christians realize it or not, Christianity began as a sect of Judaism. There was a Jewish rabbi, a teacher, whose name was Yehoshua (Yeshua being the short form, commonly known today as Jesus) and he had many followers. He taught from the Torah (the law, God’s instructions), and he was believed to have walked out the contents of the Torah to perfection, as intended by the author. The book of Acts declares that as many as 20,000 or more Jews believed that Yeshua was messiah and, though this may come as a surprise to some, many people now believe that the Jews were not necessarily his main target audience. While his message and work would appear to apply to all, the weight of his message was aimed specifically at the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel. What has been widely misunderstood for a very long time is just who the lost sheep of the House of Israel are.