My entire life I have heard the incongruous phrase “Judeo-Christian.” People talk about Judeo-Christian ethics, values, political views, etc…
I would like to propose a banishment to this phrase. Obviously there is some overlap between modern-day Judaism and contemporary Christianity. However, there is no Biblical basis for the distinction and reunion of Judaism and Christianity.
First, Christianity is a term applied to Christ-followers by non-believers. Second, Jesus (and Paul, for that matter) saw themselves as completely within the Biblical (read: Israelite) tradition. Gentiles are actually joined to the promises of God which He made to the Israelites. Paul also makes it clear that ethnicity is not the determination of genuine ‘Jewishness.’ The Biblical definition of Jewishness (according to the Hebrew Prophets and the New Testament Apostles) involves consecration by the Spirit of God (i.e., spiritual circumcision).
Back to my main point: Scriptures (Hebrew and Greek… and Aramaic) are clear that ethnicity, tradition, and morality are not the basis of one’s relationship to God. God relates to all people on the basis of their faith in Him. The term “Judeo-Christian” is confusing because it strips the gospel (i.e., the saving work of Jesus) from behavior. “Judeo-Christian” outreach relates on the lowest common denominator of behavior. I believe Christians should work for the good of all people, but ‘good’ behavior will not get me closer to God but is (rather) a demonstration of the grace that God has show toward me in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
10 thoughts on “Judeo-Christian”
I agree with your reasoning, but people need titles to express their identity. For this reason I think a title will is needed. Do you have any suggestions? It could be a totally new word like Kodak was when Mr. Eastman formed his company in place of borrowed terms that confuse or limit the meaning.
I understand why terminology is employed. I am ok with calling oneself a “Christian.” However, being a Christian involves continuity with the Hebrew Bible.
I guess my point is that “Christians” are actually reading the Hebrew Bible the way it was intended. Modern day Judaism is reading the Hebrew Bible in a legal fashion which neglects the intention of its writers (e.g., Moses, prophets) when they emphasized faith!
No lie, one day later we are talking about this in Theology 1 with McKinon. Weird.
Oh, and not only did they emphasized faith, they also included the nations, whereas Judaism was more about their own community, i.e. their hatred of Samaritans.
A person born Jewish who comes to know Jesus as their Messiah has a Judeo Christian spirituality. They can remain a Jew and still have a full belief in Jesus being their Messiah along with Judeo Christian values. The Old Testament holidays and customs are still valued along with the two main values as decreed by Jesus. Love G-d with all your heart and mind and body and love your neighbor as yourself. What is most important is the belief that Jesus died on the cross for our sins by the Grace of The Father. We must also repent of our sins and have a new heart that allows us to live our lives as G-d would like us to.
“The Seed of Abraham the Son of G-d a Jew Can Believe” is a book I wrote several years ago regarding this subject. It is on Amazon.com. If you like the book all I ask is that you read it and then pass it on to someone else. Thank you.
“A person born Jewish who comes to know Jesus as their Messiah has a Judeo Christian spirituality.”
I completely disagree with that statement. I believe you are conflating ethnicity and heritage with a Biblical understanding of true “Jewishness” (see Paul in Romans 2-3). Also, the point of the Old Testament was never the “holidays” and “customs.” Again, read a much more famous Jew on this point (see Paul in Colossians 2:16-19).
Thanks for stopping by.
I completely disagree with your statement. I have been raised a Jew since birth. Since I was in grade school I always wondered who was correct about Jesus, the Christians or the Jews. After many years of searching the Bible, reading literature and listening to Christian and religious programming I made up my mind. I was a Jew always, but I believe that Jesus is the Messiah and that He died for my sins. Jesus too was always a Jew. He too was raised in a Jewish home with Jewish traditions. However, His purpose was to fulfill the law Matthew 5: 17-18 not to abolish it. I never said the point of the Old Testament was holidays and customs. However, there are customs and holidays that as a Jew I (just as Jesus did) continue to celebrate. For example, Passover. I realize that what Jesus did was to bring Jews and Gentiles alike to a new and greater spiritual awakening. There is no longer a need to sacrifice animals for sin and what enters your mouth is not as important as what comes out of it. However, remaining a Jew is very important to me and many others who have come to know Jesus as their Messiah and savior. I am proud to be part of a group that was chosen by G-d Himself to spread His Word. I am also just as proud to confess that I repent of my sins and G-d’s laws are in my heart and not just written laws. I believe that Jesus died for our sins and this is the only way to His Kingdom. I still believe that I am a Jew with Christian values. Call it what you want.
If you feel it is important to hold onto a particular heritage, that is fine. It is not, I would say, Biblical. It is cultural. You make the call.
Good discussion, by the way.