Who Are the Jews? Defining Judaism Part 9

Joseph married Asenath, an Egyptian princess and daughter of a priest, Genesis 41:45, she bore him two sons Manasseh and Ephraim; Moses married Zipporah, the daughter of Reuel (also called Jethro) a Midanite high priest, Exodus 2:21, she bore Moses two sons: Gershom and Eliezer, Exodus 18:3-4. During the reign of the Judges, the Israelites intermarried extensively with the surrounding nations, Judges 3:5-6. Jesse’s wife, Nitshevitz-the mother of the great king David, was like Jesse’s mother, a Moabite; David took the daughter of the king of Geshur while Solomon was notorious for the number of wives he had. Other kings of Israel and Judah married Edomites, Zidonians, Hitittes, Ammonites, and daughters of the Phonecians, namely Jezebel. Now talk to me about a pure race of people!!
It would not be an exaggeration to say that out of Judaism and Hellenism, which, more than anything turned the Jews into a dynamic, propagative religion for more than 300 years, the number of Jews of that day would be roughly the same as the number of Samaritans. Hellenism altered and invigorated the high culture of the kingdom of Judea. This historical development enabled the Jewish religion to mount the Greek eagle and traverse the Mediterranean world. The conversions carried out by the Hasmonean kingdom were only a small part of a far more significant phenomenon that began in the early second century B.C.. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hyprocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” Matthew 23:15 The pagan world was already beginning to rethink its beliefs and values when Judaism launched its campaign of proselytization and became one of the factors that prepared the ground for the great Christian revolution of the first century A.D.. Christ began His kingdom by professionalizing His evangels, the apostles, using a technique no other religion had done before His day. This professional evangelist allowed Christianity to master the communication of the message to the finest degree ever seen among men, it was as “an apostle spoke” that became the watch word of the times.
The expulsion of Christians from the synagogue is seen in the oldest Palestinian version of the 12th century benediction of the Prayer of the Eighteen Benedictions, now known to us through the findings in the Cairo Geniza. “Now may the Christians, perish in a moment, be blotted out of the book of life, and not be written with the just.”
So, what is a Jew? As defined by their own writings, it is a person who has a Jewish mother or who converted to Judaism in conformity with Halacha, Jewish religious law. Judaism does NOT seek converts, but those who do convert are accepted on a basis of equality. Some of the most eminent and respected rabbis were converts to Judaism. Jewish parents throughout the world bless their children every Sabbath and holiday eve, as they have done it in the same way for millennia. If the children are boys, the blessing is: “May God let you be like Ephraim and Menashe.” If they be girls; “May God let you be like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah.” Not one of these matriarchs were born a Jewess!! The Tenach, the holy writings of the Jew, contains the book of Ruth. It is read annually on the eve of holiday commemorating the giving of the Torah, and describes her conversion to Judaism. There is no way to prove ancestrally they are Jews, the only way they can claim Judaism is to trace the religious affiliation through their mother, their parents or grandparents. Their lineage and faith has been altered. They no longer trace their religion to a man, they trace it through a woman. Their writings go back only to the 2nd century A D, and their priesthood comes not by birth, but by conversion. They have a strange commonality to the Seventh Day Adventist: both were started by women and both assemble on Saturdays, yet they claim originality with God!! Which of these assertions can we believe???

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Joe David Wilson

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