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Postmissionary Messianic Judaism: Redefining Christian Engagement with the Jewish People Paperback – November 1, 2005
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The author argues that a careful study of the New Testament reveals that both Jesus (Yeshua) and his disciples not only followed the commandments (mitzvot) of the Torah (Old Testament), but taught that all Jewish followers of Jesus were obligated to observe the commandments, also. The early community of Jewish believers in Jerusalem made it clear that Gentile followers of Yeshua were not required to observe the commandments that had been especially reserved for the Jewish people. Dr. Kinzer further explains that by the beginning of the 2nd century CE, the largely Gentile Christian church began to teach that it had superseded Israel as the new people of God, and that observing the Torah was contrary to New Testament teaching -- even for Jewish believers in Yeshua.
Dr. Kinzer argues that a proper understanding of New Testament teaching would correctly view the Jewish people as still being the people of God, and that through Yeshua the covenants first made with Israel have been expanded to include Gentile Christians. But in order to understand their proper relationship to the Jewish people, there must also exist a bridge between the two, which is made up of Jewish believers in Yeshua who retain their ties to the rest of the Jewish community by remaining Torah observant, and tied to the Gentile Christian community by their faith in Yeshua.
Dr. Kinzer's book provides a way for both a fresh and timely way of bridging the schism that remains between Judaism and Christianity.
Post-missionary does not mean we Messianic Jews have no message for our Jewish people. It is a term urging the Christian community to take a different stance toward the Jewish people. Instead of "we're right-you're wrong-so listen to what we have to say," Kinzer argues that Christian should support a Messianic Jewish model of promoting Jesus from within Judaism rather than from the outside. (A practical example might be a Christian introducing their Jewish friend to a Messianic Jewish community rather than presenting Jesus as calling for conversion away from Judaism and assimilation into Christianity).
The premise of the book sounds radical to those unfamiliar with Judaism, to Christians who assume Judaism is a false religion, and to many Messianic Jews who reject Jewish tradition. Kinzer's argument is very tight. This book may change your paradigm.
To see more about this book, you may wish to read an article from my blog called, "Post-Missionary Messianic Judaism, 3 Yrs Later," [...]
The title itself means that Messianic Jews have been encouraged - in the past - to maintain their Jewish connections as a way to evangelize ("missionary"). Modern Messianic Judaism tends to now advocate maintaining ones Jewish roots because this is right and good - not for pragmatic or evangelistic reasons.
The book's strong suit is its argument that the early Jewish Christians retained their Judaism. He also demonstrates (from a few selections by key church fathers) that the early church chose to separate itself from its Jewish roots because of persecution directed by the Romans toward the Jews.
Mark Kinzer's main thesis is that, "the New Testament teaches a bilateral ecclesiology in solidarity with Israel." He in essence argues for a Jewish church whose members are Torah observant, remain involved within the Jewish community and synagogue, while also fellowshipping with gentile believers who are thusly connected to Israel through these Jewish believers.
As far as proving this proposition, the author does a pretty good job. Beyond this, however, the book becomes questionable at best.
What's wrong?Read more ›
That's what I look for in a good book. I want a book that challenges my theology and other beliefs in the respectful, comprehensive way Kinzer does.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Contextual and challenging. As a non-Jewish Messianic student, the reorientation toward bilateral ecclesiology that brings satisfaction to calling to distinction. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Superbly argued and contracted. Kinzer makes plain with sophisticated exegesis and theological reasoning why Jews who believe in Yeshua Messiah ought to remain Jewish as a matter... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Andrew
A very informative, eye-opening, tearing jerking, penetrating book about Messianic Judaism I have ever read. Read morePublished on June 14, 2013 by Kathy
Mark Kinzer brilliantly suggests a new paradigm for understanding the relationship of the Jewish people and the historic Church. Read morePublished on August 4, 2009 by Amazon Customer
Argues convincingly that Yeshua-following Jews are called to be Jewish because God commanded them to be and not for any missionary motivation. Read morePublished on March 5, 2008 by Joseph