Confronting Issues

The following are some mini-books produced by Messianic Apologetics, specifically designed to address controversial theological topics facing a widely divided Messianic movement.


Confronting Critical Issues

Today’s Messianic movement has arrived at a very important theological and spiritual crossroads. Much of our long term viability and effectiveness as a faith community will be determined by what takes place in the 2010s, and by our approach to a series of important issues surrounding the nature of the Messiah, the reliability of Holy Scripture, our communication style, and whether we want to see all people included and welcome within our assemblies or not.

Confronting Critical Issues is an important compilation book of some of Messianic Apologetics’ key Confronting Issues booklets, as well as some major articles of substance. These are bound to answer some significant questions and controversies that all of today’s Messianic Believers have encountered within their fellowships, congregations, and personal Bible studies. This publication is also bound to stir some of its own controversy, as it inquires how we can be a mature, growing Messianic movement which is able to accomplish all that our Heavenly Father wants us to achieve—or whether those among us are going to disregard our spiritual potential to make a difference.

Some of the subjects addressed in Confronting Critical Issues include:

  • urban legends present in the Messianic movement
  • the Divinity and Messiahship of Yeshua
  • the Shema and the plurality of God
  • potential paganism witnessed in the stories of Holy Scripture, and how we are to avoid liberal theology
  • the origin of the Apostolic Scriptures and English Bible versions
  • the negative influence of Jewish mysticism on the Messianic movement
  • the Divine Name of God (YHWH/YHVH)
  • a proper, edifying communication style for today’s Messianic Believers
  • the equality for Jewish and non-Jewish Believers, and both men and women in the Messianic community

This massive powerhouse of material is a must for every Messianic Believer’s library!

414 pages


$25.99 plus $4.01 U.S. shipping and handling

 $9.99

 20-page excerpt


Confronting Yeshua’s Divinity and Messiahship

There is no more pressing issue for Believers in Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), than understanding who their Lord actually is. There are many statements appearing in the Apostolic Scriptures or New Testament, which give witness to who He is. Yeshua is the Word made flesh (John 1:1, 14), He is the Lamb of God (John 1:29, 36), He is One who had the audacity to say “before Abraham was born, I am” (John 8:58), and He is One “existing in the form of God” (Philippians 2:6). Yeshua is the Savior of the world, whose sacrifice for human transgressions provides permanent atonement and forgiveness. Yeshua the Messiah of Israel is the One “of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote” (John 1:45). Yeshua the Messiah is One who the Scriptures definitely regard as no ordinary man, as He performed miracles, had control over the weather, and who was recognized as unique by the forces of evil. He is “the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13).

While there is much about the nature of the Messiah that is difficult for mortals to fully comprehend, He is portrayed as the One in whom “

all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Colossians 2:8), and He is “our great God and Savior (Titus 2:13). He is the prophesied Messiah of Israel, and He is God made manifest in the flesh. Recognizing Yeshua as God, and as the prophesied Messiah from the Tanach or Old Testament, are two concepts that have been under continual attack by many outside and inside forces in today’s broad Messianic movement—and the attacks continue to grow in intensity. There are people who have been caught easily unaware by poor arguments against Yeshua’s Divinity and Messiahship. There are answers to the claims against these foundational truths that are available for those who need an immediate shoring up of their faith.

Confronting Yeshua’s Divinity and Messiahship has compiled a number of key articles, which are intended to directly combat errant ideas that circulate here and there within sectors of the Messianic community. Common claims that are issued against Yeshua being the Divine Savior, and Yeshua being the Messiah, are directly responded to with poignant observations and exegetical detail. If you have been in a situation where a rogue individual you have encountered makes a statement or two against who Yeshua is, as communicated to us in the Holy Scriptures, then this publication should serve as some useful ammunition against those claims. The most frequent statements that one will hear, which are made against Yeshua’s Divinity and Messiahship, are directly confronted and responded to.

154 pages




$12.99 plus $2.01 U.S. shipping and handling

 $7.99

 20-page excerpt


To Be Absent From the Body

Without any doubt, one of the most uncomfortable subjects that any human being has to confront in life is death. You do not have to be that well versed in reading the Bible, to adequately understand that death is a part of living. With the possible exception of those who will actually be alive at the moment of the Second Coming, the biological life functions of each and every one of us will cease. A mainstay, of both Judaism and Christianity, is the firm belief in the future resurrection of the dead. A Scripture passage like Daniel 12:1 unambiguously tells us, “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake…” Everyone in today’s broad Messianic movement would rightfully agree that the deceased from all ages will have their physical remains reanimated and resurrected to new biological life.

Yet for many Jews, and many more Christians, questions abound about what is to occur between the moments of physical death and future resurrection. What happens to people? Do people somehow go into absolute unconsciousness, only to then be somehow recreated? Is the death of a human being little different than the death of an animal? Is the death of a human being much different than the death of an animal, with the consciousness of mind, memory, experience, and creativity—often more called in the vernacular to be a “soul”—temporarily held in another dimension until the resurrection?

This installment of the Confronting Issues series by Messianic Apologetics, To Be Absent From the Body, has brought together some important information and critical FAQ entries from the Messianic Apologetics website. There are definite questions of human dignity and worth to be evaluated regarding the intermediate state. This volume addresses this subject quite well. If you have a relative, a friend, or another loved one who has passed away knowing the Lord—you can be assured that he or she is consciously in His presence right now—but is also quite eager to return to the Earth to see His Kingdom restored!

212 pages




$12.99 plus $2.01 U.S. shipping and handling

 $7.99

 20-page excerpt


Why Hell Must Be Eternal

While it is unfortunately very true that there is a level of controversy present in today’s theological studies, over what happens to the deceased between death and resurrection—a much higher debate takes place regarding what occurs to unrepentant, unrighteous sinners. Do these people experience a never-ending, ongoing eternal punishment? Or, do these people experience an obliteration from existence? Strong and firm disagreements between those who affirm some sort of ongoing eternal punishment, versus those who believe in annihilationism, have been present in Christian theology for the past century. These debates have been taken up by many people within the broad, contemporary Messianic movement—with more than a few not quite knowing what to believe.

This volume of Messianic Apologetics’ Confronting Issues series, Why Hell Must Be Eternal, necessarily takes up some of the uncomfortable discussion that has gone on in evangelical Christian theology regarding eternal punishment, and how it affects our contemporary Messianic faith community. Annihilationism is not a viable form of eternal punishment, as it constitutes the same basic belief of any atheist or agnostic, who thinks that after death he or she will enter into total nothingness. At the same time, there have undoubtedly been exaggerations and over-exaggerations of hyper-literal models of eternal punishment that exclusively focus on descriptions of it being fire and smoke, as opposed to outer darkness or banishment from God’s presence. How should today’s Messianic Believers approach the widespread, metaphorical view of eternal punishment, present in theological studies since the Protestant Reformation—but not often known to the normal layperson?

This volume should hopefully stimulate some critical thinking and evaluation, regarding the uncomfortable subject of eternal punishment—and above all motivate each and every one of us to see that none of our fellow human beings has to experience it!

172 pages




$12.99 plus $2.01 U.S. shipping and handling

 $7.99

 20-page excerpt


English Bible Versions and Today’s Messianic Movement

What English Bible version should you use as as a contemporary Believer? This is a topic that can not only be rather confusing, but is something that can also evoke some rather strong emotions. Very few English Bible readers, who are committed to a steadfast faith in God, ever stick with one single Bible version or translation to employ in their studies. At the same time, though, it might also be said that various Bible readers can get a bit too comfortable examining a particular version, because they just get too familiar with it, or they are too stuck reading a particular Bible with their personal notes in it, or they get too acclimated to a particular version for some other sentimental reason.

Today’s Messianic people are widely astute and aware of how each English Bible version, whether it be Jewish or Christian, is going to have some kind of translation bias to it. Jewish versions of the Tanach in English are not likely to translate various Messianic passages in support of the Messiahship of Yeshua of Nazareth, whereas Christian versions will. Various Christian versions of the Apostolic Scriptures, or New Testament, will not typically translate various passages about the Torah or Law of Moses in favor of its continued validity in the post-resurrection era. Yet, both Jewish and Christian Bible versions are used and employed by the broad Messianic movement. And, the Messianic movement itself has produced several Bible versions of its own which are employed within its ranks. Today’s Messianic versions tend to widely uphold the Messiahship of Yeshua and the validity of the Torah, but may have other limitations.

This analysis will attempt to explore some of the key details which today’s Messianic people need to be aware of when they encounter various English Bible versions. We will be reviewing some of the contemporary Jewish and Christian versions which are used in sectors of the Messianic movement. Also important will be a review of some Messianic Bible versions, particularly of the Apostolic Scriptures, which tend to be encountered.

58 pages




$5.99 plus $4.01 U.S. shipping and handling

 $2.99


The Hebrew New Testament Misunderstanding

Over the years, Outreach Israel Ministries and Messianic Apologetics have had to field the question, Do you believe that the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew? many, many times. Given the complicated spiritual and theological dynamics present within the Messianic movement—one has to really have some courage to say, No, we do not believe that the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew. There is, to be sure, no Hebrew New Testament document or fragment of any kind from the broad Biblical period. This stands in stark contrast to the fact that the Greek New Testament, and fragments of the Greek New Testament, are the most widely attested and accessible work of antiquity—even more so than the classical works of Greece and Rome.

The claim that the Gospel of Matthew was originally written in Hebrew, has actually been disregarded by many in Biblical Studies. The idea that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of colloquial Hebrew expressions or Hebraisms contained in the New Testament, so-called proof of a written Hebrew original, can be contested. Ultimately, because of much of the Messianic movement’s leaders’ lack of homework—there are many ideas circulating about a presumed “Hebrew New Testament” which cannot be substantiated.

Sorting through this, sifting through data and noise, and evaluating what is fact and what is fiction—is by no means something easy. While seeking to maintain the inspiration, integrity, and reliability of the Greek Apostolic Scriptures—no one wants to be perceived as somehow trying to discount the veracity of the Hebrew Tanach, Hebrew language studies, or even studies in Judaism as somehow illegitimate. Yet, there are ideological questions to be asked about the existence of the Greek Apostolic Scriptures, historical questions to be asked about the logic of Hebrew New Testament proponents, and other significant side-issues to be evaluated. As we seek some resolution to these issues, we should each be asked to prayerfully and thoughtfully consider the following statement from Proverbs 18:17:

“The one who first states a case seems right, until the other comes and cross-examines” (NRSV).

Many of you are likely to have heard some teachings or statements on the origin of the Apostolic Scriptures or Messianic Writings—which have made some presumed “sense” to you. It may be time for you to perhaps consider another opinion as it involves the origins of the New Testament. This publication offers you some information, which you are going to have to weigh into your evaluations, as we consider some of the documented facts regarding the origin of the New Testament or Apostolic Scriptures.

168 pages




$12.99 plus $2.01 U.S. shipping and handling

 $7.99

 20-page excerpt


What Does “Under the Law” Really Mean?

One of the reasons why there can be problems between Christians and Messianics is because many Messianics do not know how to properly defend their faith and practice. This is most evident when Christians who oppose the widespread Messianic conviction that the Torah or Law of Moses is valid instruction for today, claim that we are “under the Law”—and that this is not a position in which born again Believers should want to find themselves. Sadly, much of the Messianic handling of this one phrase has been rather underwhelming. We must be able to better see how it is used in the New Testament, and what “under the Law” really means.

This publication addresses the clause “under the Law” (Greek hupo nomon), how it is used, and what it means in its appropriate context in view of what both the Tanach and Apostolic Scriptures tell us about the significance of God’s Torah. It examines Yeshua’s words on the matter of the Law of Moses. It considers, in detail, how a variety of Christians and Messianic teachers have handled this term, defending the view that “under the Law” means being subjected to the Torah’s condemnation upon sinners—which born again Believers have obviously been redeemed from.

112 pages




$5.99 plus $4.01 U.S. shipping and handling

 $2.99


The Top Ten Urban Myths of Today’s Messianic Movement

For well over a decade (2000-present), the Messianic movement has been able to grow in leaps and bounds. New people are coming to a revelation of their Hebraic Roots and congregations are budding. But the theology of the Messianic community and our Biblical Studies have largely not been able to keep up with the growth. As a result, this has led to a significant number of concepts and ideas floating around that are not only non-Scriptural, but also non-factual.

What are some things that have been permitted to circulate in the Messianic movement that classify as being non-factual, and at best someone’s opinion? What are some of the areas where we need to progress in order to become a mature and stable move of God? What are some of the challenges before us?

In a detailed yet pragmatic way, Messianic Apologetics editor J.K. McKee tackles the challenges of the “top ten” urban myths floating in our midst. He encourages a positive change on behalf of Messianic Believers so that we can be empowered by the Lord to make a significant difference in our local communities and the world at large.

82 pages




$5.99 plus $4.01 U.S. shipping and handling

 $2.99


Are Non-Jewish Believers Really a Part of Israel?

The composition of the people of God, as broad and deep as this sector of theology is, is a definite place where some important, imperative, and critical thinking and reflection are surely needed by today’s Messianic Believers. Ecclesiology is not an area of theology that enough Messiah followers adequately understand or appreciate the importance of. To far too many, it is just a big word without a great deal of significance. Yet, given what many of today’s Messianic Believers, Jewish and non-Jewish, are convicted of, have read in Scripture, and have had the witness of the Holy Spirit regarding the likely future of the still-emerging and still-developing Messianic movement, ecclesiology is something very important.

Ecclesiology widely affects a person’s eschatology, or approach to end-time events that are supposed to occur prior to and subsequent to the Messiah’s return. For today’s Messianic movement, ecclesiology affects how Jewish and non-Jewish Believers read the Bible, and the instructions that God wants us to follow. Ecclesiology undeniably affects the unity of Jewish Believers and Believers from the nations as one in the Body of Messiah.

What does this mean in terms of the ekklēsia? Is the ekklēsia an actual separate entity known as “the Church”? Or, is ekklēsia no different than the assembly of Israel itself—which takes Bible readers back to the mixed multitude of physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the welcomed persons from the nations, who received His Ten Words and Instruction at the base of Mount Sinai (cf. Exodus 12:38)? Did Yeshua the Messiah come to found a separate group of elect called “the Church,” or did He come to rebuild and restore His Father’s assembly of righteous ones (cf. Matthew 16:18; Jeremiah 33:7, LXX), restoring the Kingdom to Israel (cf. Acts 1:6)?

Regardless of where you stand on Jewish and non-Jewish Believers in the Kingdom of God, a wide range of changes are approaching our Messianic faith community—which are going to leave a demonstrable impact on all of us, as we approach the final stages of time before the Messiah’s return. The basic choices of ecclesiology we have are stark: either God (1) has two groups of elect, or sub-peoples: Israel and “the Church”; or God (2) recognizes us all as a part of an enlarged Kingdom realm of Israel. How are we to approach non-Jewish Believers in the Messianic movement, and things like the Commonwealth of Israel (Ephesians 2:11-13), the Israel of God (Galatians 6:16), or being grafted-in (Romans 11:16-18)? Will the Messianic movement emerge into something that tends to be exclusive or inclusive? There is much that we need to be considering from the text of Scripture, and what many have said and are likely to say, as we evaluate what our future beholds.

224 pages




$12.99 plus $2.01 U.S. shipping and handling

 $9.99

 20-page excerpt


Biblical Equality and Today’s Messianic Movement

Galatians 3:28 is one of the most important verses not only in the Apostolic Scriptures, but in the entire Bible. This one verse written by the Apostle Paul speaks of a new status for human beings that has been inaugurated via the sacrificial work of Yeshua, as God’s people are to be united in Him, actively accomplishing His tasks in the Earth. At times, we do find Galatians 3:28 quoted among those in our Messianic faith community, but its ramifications are not often fully considered or probed for their significant spiritual power. Current and severe developments in the Messianic movement in our day—with the future steadily looming—require that we take a fresh look at this verse, what its message of equality means for us, and things that we are certainly missing as we seek to be those who are useful in the Lord’s work. This single verse asks us many difficult questions about both Biblical equality and why the Messianic community seems to have less unity and more rivalry.

42 pages




$5.99 plus $4.01 U.S. shipping and handling

 $2.99


The Effect of Mysticism and Gnosticism on Today’s Messianic Movement

As today’s Messianic community strives to return to the First Century faith of the Disciples and Apostles, we will not just be facing “common problems” like adultery, idolatry, or even sins such as lying. We will also contend with some of the very specific religious problems that the First Century ekklēsia faced. Very few when examining Scripture, unfortunately, consider it in its historical context. Many do not have an understanding of First Century Judaism, Greco-Roman religion, Second and Third Century Christianity, and the various mystery religions and cults that existed. Too many fail to consider the gross religious errors that were circulating throughout the First Century that affected the early Believers in Yeshua—and how some of these same errors are affecting Believers today.

Have you encountered any current Messianic teachings that relate to Jewish mysticism, Kabbalah, numerology, Hebrew letter pictures, the Bible code, or the Gnostic Scriptures? Do you ever question where these things actually originate and where they are seen in religious history? Are you wondering if these things have any Biblical basis and true spiritual value? Messianic Apologetics editor J.K. McKee directly addresses the problem of mysticism and Gnosticism in the Messianic movement, and how we need to be aware that these things are being used by the enemy to draw many people away from the truth of the gospel and mission that God has for us beyond some of the extremes we often face.

80 pages




$5.99 plus $4.01 U.S. shipping and handling

 $3.99


Approaching One Law Controversies: Sorting Through the Legalism

A definite controversy that has been present in the Messianic movement, is whether non-Jewish Believers are at all supposed or anticipated to keep (any of) the Torah or the Law of Moses. Many have committed themselves to a Messianic walk of faith, wanting to live more like Messiah Yeshua, in obedience to the Father’s commandments. They have taken a hold of things like the seventh-day Sabbath/Shabbat, the appointed times of Leviticus 23, and eating kosher, as a means of grace, approaching these practices as being an important part of maturing in faith.

There are Messianic Jewish leaders and teachers who do not believe that non-Jewish Believers are to follow the Torah, there are others who are more open to it, and then again there are others who believe that all of God’s people should be striving to adhere to Moses’ Teaching via the direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Within the 2000s, and now into the 2010s, divisions have been witnessed in various sectors of the Messianic world, per what has been commonly labeled as the “One Law” issue. At much of the center of the discussion, involves quotations from Torah passages such as Exodus 12:49 or Numbers 15:29. They have been frequently invoked by non-Jewish Believers to emphasize that within the community of Ancient Israel, both the native and welcome sojourner were supposed to adhere to the same basic Torah instruction.

For many adherents of a “One Law” theology, the emphasis is on today’s Jewish and non-Jewish Believers both taking instruction from Moses’ Teaching, and being united together in Israel’s Messiah as brothers and sisters, as fellow members of the Commonwealth of Israel (Ephesians 2:11-13; 3:6). Many have used Torah passages emphasizing “one law” or “one statute” to stress the equality of God’s people (cf. Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11), and how a relatively uniform standard of jurisprudence for all within the community of Ancient Israel, was certainly contrary to the different law codes of the Ancient Near East.

In practice, however, the One Law/One Torah sub-movement is not broadly facilitating assemblies and fellowships where study of the Torah and being discipled in its precepts—as a person grows in the Messiah and His love—is what is emphasized. What people too frequently encounter from the One Law/One Torah sub-movement, is a great deal of legalism, judgmentalism, pride and superiority, a condemnatory spirit, and stifling environments widely devoid of the presence of God’s grace. Assemblies where “one law” or “one statute” is emphasized, hardly tend to be places where the Holy Spirit can easily write the Torah’s commandments on hearts and minds at the Holy Spirit’s pace onto a redeemed man or woman (cf. Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:25-27). This resource hopes to provide some fair examination of the different Torah passages employing the terms “one law” or “one statute,” while at the same time stressing that we do indeed live in a post-resurrection era with some new spiritual realities.

208 pages




$12.99 plus $2.01 U.S. shipping and handling

 $7.99

 20-page excerpt