This article 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.
We could go on and on for many more pages discussing how there were problems in the First Century and how many of those problems are now manifesting themselves, in various forms today, in distinct sectors of the broad Messianic movement. But this would only stir up negative emotions. We have to understand why there are problems, so that we might properly counter them.
What would happen if your Messianic congregational leader, or rabbi, asked the congregational constituents why they believe that Yeshua the Messiah is God? What would be some of the reasons given? Would they encounter dogma or doctrine? Would people express a principled set of reasons for affirming Yeshua’s Divinity, or would they only express a dogmatic “you have to believe” reason, without any real substance? Many might indeed affirm something having to do with only God being able to redeem human beings from their sins (Psalm 49:7, 15), or explicit claims made by Yeshua (i.e., John 8:58). But, how many people would not really know what to say? Do we even want to know some of the reasons why people might believe that Yeshua is God?
To many people in today’s broad Messianic movement, the issues involving the place of husbands and wives in the family, as well as men and women in the local assembly, is a done deal. Husbands lead the family, and wives abide by their husbands’ decisions. Men lead the congregation, and women are there to help facilitate congregational functions. Any position about men and women in the Body of Messiah which might invoke terms such as co-equal, shared responsibility, and mutual submission are often viewed as compromise with the prevailing culture at best, or capitulation to liberal theology at worst. You do not just throw around the term “egalitarian” in the Messianic movement, unless you really are willing to experience some blowback.
Having a Torah foundation requires Bible students to encounter some uncomfortable and controversial matters. Ancient Israel was commanded to annihilate the Canaanites. Man and woman before the Fall were equals.
Messianic people all claim to have a Torah foundation. Yet when confronted with difficult issues such as slavery, the ethics of lying, or the presence of animal sacrifices–gloss over these matters in the Pentateuch. How do we approach issues such as these?
How do modern Believers approach the Torah for the post-resurrection era? Significant Torah issues, with lasting effects on society at large–involve our approach to humans made in the image of God, and the Torah penalties for murder.
Today’s Messianic movement is in broad agreement that Believers need to have a “Torah foundation.” But what does this actually mean? What does this actually involve?
There are different spiritual and theological “camps” in today’s Messianic Jewish movement. And beyond this is a Hebrew Roots movement ten to twenty times its size! How do individual Messianic people and families maneuver their way around some of this, as they seek to humbly serve God and His Kingdom?
The Messianic movement of the 2020s will have no choice, but to confront issues of modernity and post-modernity—if it truly intends to survive and not lose the next generation.
Many people in the Torah movement have lost sight of the most significant event in human history: the death, burial, and resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah. They frequently deny that we live in a post-resurrection era, with some new spiritual realities.
There are different groups which one will encounter today, who use the term “Messianic” in some form or fashion. What do each of these groups really stand for, in terms of their mission and theology? How challenging is it, to perhaps find a diversity of people attending your local Messianic congregation—without even realizing it?