Judaic Worldview Analysis APOL 500, Week 6 Student Name Professor Robinson 03/05/2012 TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION………………………………………………………………………………... 3 BASIC SUMMARY……. ………………………………………………………………………... 3 FLAWS OF THE BELIEF SYSTEM………. ……………………………………………………. 4 PROPOSED EVANGELISTIC PLAN……………………………………………………………6 CONCLUSION……………………………………………………………………………………7 BIBLIOGRAPHY…………………………………………………………………………………8 INTRODUCTION Judaism is the religion and culture of the Jewish people.

The word “Judaism” derives from the Greek Ioudaismos, a term first used in the Intertestamental Period by Greek-speaking Jews to distinguish their religion from Hellenism. The unifying principles of Judaism are an identity by covenant with God as His “chosen people” based on the Bible (Old Testament) and a unifying expression of this relationship through prescribed tradition. Judaism and Christianity share some commonalities in that both worldviews believe in the monotheistic God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the inspiration, authority, and inerrancy of the Hebrew Scriptures.

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Both worldviews also believe in Creation and the coming of a Messiah. Although Judaism and Christianity share some commonalities, they are two entirely different worldviews. This paper will identify the basic beliefs and flaws of the Judaic worldview while also proposing an evangelistic plan to win Jewish people to Jesus Christ. BASIC SUMMARY Jewish beliefs are very diverse. There are many categories of Judaism such as: Orthodox, Ultraorthodox, Conservative, and Reform.

Devout Jews have two components of authority for truth, life, and teachings: (1) the written law, known as the Torah or Tanakh, and (2) the oral law, known as the Talmud and Mishnah. According to the teachings of Judaism there is no set of beliefs upon the acceptance of which the Jew may find salvation. Judaism places a high level of importance on ethical values and performance of good deeds and actions. Judaism holds that people are basically good because they bear God’s image. Judaism believes that man does not possess a sinful nature, but possesses the capacity to choose sinful acts.

Although Judaism as a whole does not officially have a set of beliefs, the Orthodox branch of the community has a set of beliefs put together by Rabbi Maimonides in the 12th century. These beliefs are known as the “13 Articles of Faith. ” The summation of the “13 Articles of Faith” is there is only one God and He is unique and eternal; Moses was the greatest of all the prophets and both the oral and written Torah were given to him; God knows man’s deeds and thoughts; there will be a day when the Messiah will return and there will be a resurrection of the dead.

Contemporary Judaism often speaks of four foundational pillars of the Jewish faith, each interacting as a major force as part of the covenant: (1) the Torah, always a living law as the written Torah is understood in light of the oral Torah; (2) God, a unity (one), spiritual (not a body), and eternal; (3) the people (Israelites/Jews), called into being by God as members of one family, a corporate personality, a community of faith; and (4) the land (known today as Erez Yisrael), a bond going back to Abraham, the “father of the Hebrew people” (Gen. 17:7-8). FLAWS OF THE BELIEF SYSTEM

The Judaic worldview is incompatible with the Christian worldview in many ways. For one, Christians cannot accept the Jewish view of humanity as basically good. Christians can affirm humanity was created in God’s image, but must also affirm humanity’s fall (Gen. 3) and its need for salvation. The major flaw with this Jewish line of thought is that it hinders Jewish people from recognizing sin has separated them from God. As a result, they do not see their need for salvation. Romans 3:23 (KJV) clearly states: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The psalmist wrote in Psalms 51:5 (NIV): “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. ” Another major flaw of Judaism is its views of Scripture. Jews only believe in the Old Testament. Christians affirm belief in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. This is important because the New Testament presents Jesus as the incarnate Son of God which died and was resurrected for the sins of the world. Christians who examine the Jewish views of Scripture must [also] question the equal authority assigned to God’s written law and the interpretations and commentaries later added by rabbis.

This has resulted in a constantly shifting body of teachings that are based on human traditions. 2 Peter 1:20-21 debunks this Jewish reasoning when it declares: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. ” The most fatal flaw of Judaism is that it universally rejects the New Testament’s declaration that Jesus is the Messiah of Israel, much less the Son of God. As a matter of fact, Judaism denounces the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).

The Jewish people are still awaiting the Messiah. The Jewish people believe the Messiah will be God’s anointed human representative. They do not believe that Messiah will be a God-man. This Jewish teaching is in direct opposition to John 3:16-17 (KJV): “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. ” Jesus is indeed the Messiah. PROPOSED EVANGELISTIC PLAN

My proposed evangelistic plan would include focusing on the commonalities between the Judaic and Christian worldviews. Paul argued that Jews who had accepted Jesus were worshiping the God of their forefathers – the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I would highlight the shared orthodox understanding that God is the Creator and Sustainer and that He is holy and personal. I would also use Maimonides’ “13 Articles of Faith” as a launching point to bring up Christ. At least 12 of the Articles of Faith can be applied to Christianity, as well as Judaism.

After identifying commonalities between the two worldviews, I would then focus on the specifics of Christianity. I would explain to my Jewish brothers and sisters about the core essentials of Christianity, such as Jesus’ virgin birth, sinless life, vicarious death, bodily resurrection, provision of salvation by grace, and imminent return. I would then walk my Jewish brothers and sisters through Genesis and remind them God formed man in His image and likeness (1:27) because He desired to have a lasting relationship with man. I would show them that relationship was severed by Adam’s fall in Genesis 3.

Next, I would ask my Jewish brothers and sisters to read Romans 3:23 so that they could see all mankind has sinned and are sinners. I would then share with them how in the Gospels Jesus came to restore the broken relationship between God and man by His virgin birth, incarnation, crucifixion, and subsequent resurrection. I would ask my Jewish brothers and sisters to read John 3:16 and also Romans 10:9-10. Afterwards, I would tell them that salvation can be achieved by anyone who acknowledges he/she is a sinner and confesses and believes that Jesus is his/her resurrected Lord and Savior.

CONCLUSION Judaism and Christianity are two major worldviews with some commonalities. Both worldviews believe in the monotheistic God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the inspiration, authority, and inerrancy of the Hebrew Scriptures. Both worldviews also believe in Creation and the coming of a Messiah. Judaism is flawed in many areas, though. A few flawed areas of Judaism are its views on humanity, Scripture, and Jesus. The good news, though, is that the Jewish people still have time to accept God’s free gift of salvation, offered through Jesus Christ.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Caner, Ergun. When Worldviews Collide. Nashville: LifeWay Press, 2009. Caner, Ergun and Hinson, Ed. The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics. Eugene: Harvest House Publishers. Elwell, Walter. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, Second Edition. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001. Schwartz, Don. “The Limits of Orthodox Theology: Maimonides’ Thirteen Principles Reappraised. ” Review of Rabbinic Judaism 8, (January 1, 2005): 329-331. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed March 05, 2012). ------------------------------------------- [ 1 ]. Ed Hinson, Ergun Caner, The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics (Eugene: Harvest House Publishers, 2008) 297. [ 2 ]. Ergun Caner, When Worldviews Collide, (Nashville: LifeWay Press, 2009) 109. [ 3 ]. Walter Elwell, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, Second Edition (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001 ) 637. [ 4 ]. Dov Schwartz. “The Limits of Orthodox Theology: Maimonides’ Thirteen Principles Reappraised. ” Review of Rabbinic Judaism 8, (January 1, 2005): 329-331.

ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed March 05, 2012). [ 5 ]. Walter Elwell, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, Second Edition (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001 ) 638. [ 6 ]. Ergun Caner, When Worldviews Collide, (Nashville: LifeWay Press, 2009) 108. [ 7 ]. Ergun Caner, When Worldviews Collide, (Nashville: LifeWay Press, 2009) 112. [ 8 ]. Ed Hinson, Ergun Caner, The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics (Eugene: Harvest House Publishers, 2008) 300. [ 9 ]. Ergun Caner, When Worldviews Collide, (Nashville: LifeWay Press, 2009) 108.