Jewish Evangelism? Did it exist?


Short thought. Was there such a thing as Jewish evangelism? Did it seem odd, at the time, for Jesus to send to Apostles out to make disciples of all nations? After all, wasn’t Judaism as much an ethnicity as a religion? It’s not like we can go out and make Chinese out of all nations, right? Not that there is anything wrong with being Chinese, BTW. What seems so normal now must have seemed VERY strange to the Gentiles.

Jews? Teaching Gentiles about God? :eek:

Off Topic:: You can spend your entire life in China and you will never be Chinese. But, with only an oath, you can become American, no matter where you are from or who you are. Send a prayer up for our men in uniform that died to keep it that way. :thumbsup:


I don’t have an answer to your question, but I do have a related question for consideration.

The OT refers often to the Jews being a light to the Gentiles.

If Jesus was NOT that light (as the Jews claim), then who/what was?


Note that the Temple contained a Court of the Gentiles where non-Jews could worship. Jesus anger at the money changers was that they had taken over that court and there was no longer room for the gentiles to worship. I think that those gentiles who worshiped so were called “God Fearers” There are references to “those who fear the Lord” as a separate category in several of the Psalms. Note also Matthew 23:15

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you traverse sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.

where Jesus criticizes the Pharisees for their errors in training converts.


There was a brief period of time shortly after the period of the Macabees that I understand there were evangelical efforts by a small sect of Jews, but it was never really a part of the religion…GOD called people to the covenant, and the Jews were never instructed in the Law to evangelize. Today the closest thing to evangelism in Judaism is the Chabad movement, they reach out (almost) exclusively to non-religious and semi-religious Jews…and then to Reconstructionist, Reform and Conservative Jews.


The first 8 or 9 chapters is about Jewish Evangelism, by Jewish Chrisitans to Jewish People. Then Acts 9 to the end is about Evangelism that includes the gentiles. So, yes there was a peroid of strickly Jewish evangelism.


Note Acts 6:5 re the first seven deacons:

And what they said pleased the whole multitude, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Proch’orus, and Nica’nor, and Ti’mon, and Par’menas, and Nicola’us, a proselyte of Antioch.

I think he was a proselyte to Judaism.


The TORAH, The Torah Observant Jews are that light to the nations. I


Looking at this from my perspective as a former project manager (now retired), I have to ask another question.

How well has that worked? Would you say it has been overwhelmingly successful in terms of leading people to God?


That brings up an interesting point. I seem to recall having someone explain to me once that folks who came to monotheism and worshipped at the Temple as was provided for, were welcomed as being enlightened or righteous, but were not “ingrafted” so to speak into Israel. I am not sure, but I don’t think they were expected to observe the law in the same way.

Anyone have more info?


ricmat, When the Jews accepted the Torah at Mt. Sinai, they became the chosen people whose role and responsibility was to bring a God-given code of morality to the world. They were to be “the light unto the nations” in the words of prophet Isaiah.

Would you not agree that people everywhere know this code? The 7 Noahide laws. Now whether they want to follow this light given to them is their choice.


Also, might I add the following:

How can the tiny Jewish nation be a catalyst for world repair? **Christian scholar and historian Paul Johnson wrote in his bestseller, “History of the Jews”: **

One way of summing up 4,000 years of Jewish history is to ask ourselves, what would have happened to the human race if Abraham had not been a man of great sagacity; or if he had stayed in Ur and kept his higher notions to himself, and no specific Jewish people had come into being. Certainly the world without the Jews would have been a radically different place.

All the great conceptual discoveries of the intellect seem obvious and inescapable once they have been revealed, but it requires a special genius to formulate them for the first time. The Jews had this gift. To them we owe the ideas of equality before the law, both divine and human; of the sanctity of life and the dignity of the human person; of the individual conscience, and so of personal redemption; of the collective conscience, and so of social responsibility; of peace as an abstract ideal, and love as the foundation of justice; and many other items which constitute the basic moral furniture of the human mind.


Zahava, as a Catholic Christian, I have a great deal of respect for the Jews. How could I not?

Of course, as a former Christian, you know that the “new Jerusalem” spoken of in the Jewish scriptures actually turns out to be the Church.

Yes, you are right about Abraham, etc. But my question - to perhaps be a bit more blunt, is - “Well, what have you done lately?”

My answer is that the Catholic Church took the baton from the Jews at the time of Christ, and brought many many people to God. And did many other wonderful things as well (of course there were some bad guys too). “How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization” goes through this and is quite readable.

God bless you!


Is that so? Please give your source(s) from TaNaCH.

I betcha My G-d is bigger and better than your god - have a laugh :slight_smile: :wink: :smiley: :stuck_out_tongue:


I betcha My G-d is bigger and better than your god - have a laugh :slight_smile: :wink: :smiley: :stuck_out_tongue:

You misunderstand what I meant. It is not obvious to Jews. It is only obvious to Christians.

Actually, our God is the same God as yours!


RICMAT TYPED: You misunderstand what I meant. It is not obvious to Jews. It is only obvious to Christians.

Actually, our God is the same God as yours!

So you can not give source from TaNaCH, is that correct?


Yes. Considering it is responsible for bringing monotheism to the Gentiles through the development of Christianity, I’d say it has been overwhelmingly successful. Of course, there remains room for improvement.


So you can not give source from TaNaCH, is that correct?

Lighten up! I’m too lazy to get into a verse slinging contest.

I was just curious if you had that understanding of Christianity before you became Jewish.

I do remember that there are several references where God says to the Jews something like - “If you don’t accept my salvation(? etc?) then I’ll take it away from you and give it to somebody else.”

And of course there are many references to a New Covenant in the Old Testament. I don’t recall offhand exactly how much of the Christian OT overlaps with the Tanach.

Some things become obvious only in retrospect.

On a lighter note, perhaps you could help me with something. How do you pronounce Pentateuch?



There’s a midrash about how God first offered the TOrah to all the other nations before Israel. I believe that is what you are referring to?

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