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Messianic Judaism is a movement of Jewish people who believe that Jesus is the Messiah.

In practice, Messianic Judaism combines Christianity with elements of Judaism and Jewish tradition. By convention, the Jews believed that the Messiah would arise out of one of several traditions in Judaism. By the time of Jesus, many Jews believed that the Messiah would be a powerful king who would conquer the Romans, while others were looking for a Messiah who would bring a new heaven and a new earth, with Israel at the center. Few anticipated a messianic king who would suffer and die.

The early Christians were mostly Jewish people who accepted Jesus as the anticipated Messiah. However, they seen combined with Gentile converts and became Christians.

The Messianic Judaism category could be placed in the Christianity category as it is decidedly Christian in doctrine, but made up of people who consider themselves to be Jewish, most of whom are ethnically Jewish, and who adhere to many practices of orthodox Judaism.

Most Messianic Jews argue that the movement is a Jewish sect, referring to themselves as believers (maaminim) rather than converts, and as Jews (yehudim) rather than Christians (notzrim). Other Jewish denominations disagree, and the official position of the State of Israel is that Messianic Judaism is a Christian sect.

Most Messianic Jewish congregations are members of the International Association of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues, which is an arm of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America. Others belong to the Union of Messianic Congregations or to Tikkun International.

Until the late 19th and early 20th centuries, ethnic Jews who were converted to Christianity assimilated into Christian culture, joining one or another of the existing Christian denominations.

Early organizations that attempted to create congregations and associations of Jewish converts to Christianity were short-lived, or affiliated with other Christian denominations.

The Hebrew Christian Alliance of Great Britain, founded in 1866, is now known as the British Messianic Jewish Alliance. A congregation of Jewish converts to Christianity was established in New York City in 1885, and others were created in the 1890s. However, other missionary groups accused their members of being Judaizers.

The modern Messianic Judaism movement began in the 1960s, growing rapidly through an active social movement among youth, a cultural trend toward ethnic pride, and the Arab-Israeli war of June 5 to June 10, known as the Six-Day War, which was viewed as a fulfillment of the prophecy of Jesus.

While accepting that Jesus was the Messiah of Jewish prophecy, converts wanted to retain their Jewish identity and to pass their Jewish heritage down to their children.

The tenets of Messianic Judaism vary from one congregation to another, but Messianic Jews generally view God as omnipotent and omnipresent, eternal, and existing outside of creation, although Messianic Jewish viewpoints differ on the doctrine of the Trinity. Jesus is accepted as the Jewish Messiah, although views on the divinity of Jesus also vary.

With few exceptions, Messianic Jews differ from most other Christian denominations in their belief that Jesus taught and reaffirmed the Torah, but that it remains fully in force. The Tanakh and the New Testament are considered to be divinely inspired, although Messianic Jews are more receptive to criticism of the New Testament canon than most Christian denominations. Other generally accepted Christian doctrines may also be viewed as open to interpretation, including those involving sin, atonement, faith, and works.

Messianic Jews believe that the Children remain the Chosen People of God and that they are central to His plans. Messianic believers from other nations are also considered part of the People of God, although Messianic converts are not automatically considered Jewish.

Messianic Jews tend to believe that the Apostle Paul (Sha'ul) remained a Jewish Pharisee even after his conversion, as he claimed in Acts 23:6 and that he continued to observe the laws and traditions of Judaism throughout his life.

There are a variety of practices within the various Messianic Jewish groups as to the strictness of observance of the Torah, but most believe that Jesus did not abolish the Torah for Jews, and observe many of the same religious practices as orthodox Jews.

Messianic Judaism usually avoids common Christian terms, such as Christ and the cross, preferring to use Hebrew terms. Almost exclusively, Messianic Jews will use Yeshua, the original Aramaic/Hebrew name for Jesus.

Messianic Jewish hymns are not evangelical Christian in nature. Many of them relate to the role of Israel in history, speak of messianic hope, and refer to Yeshua as the Savior of Israel.





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