I know that most Messianic Jews speak Hebrew, but besides that is there any difference between a Christian and a Messianic Jew? Do they have any significant differences in faith or hope!
- Anybody can ask a question
- Anybody can answer
- The best answers are voted up and rise to the top
The term Messianic Jew refers to Christians who identify as Jewish, as compared to those who identify as Russian, English, Thai etc. Most of them are of Jewish descent, though there are some who are not but have chosen to identify themselves as Jewish.
Most Messianic Jews believe there is a very strong continuity between the Hebrew scriptures and Christianity. Many uphold the Mosaic Law and, for example, celebrate its festivals. They believe that Jesus is the fulfilment of many of the prophesies of the Hebrew scriptures, just as Christians do. In general their beliefs are likely to be largely the same as other Christians, though there's also just as much diversity among them as there is the rest of us.
There are also Christians who are of Jewish descent but who do call themselves Messianic Jews. Jewish identity is more complex than other ethnicities as it may involve an identification with the Jewish people, their history, their culture and the religion of Judaism, or it may involve an identification with only some of those things. These people may acknowledge their Jewish descent but not strongly identify with the Jewish culture or religion, perhaps because contemporary Judaism has significant differences from how it was practiced in Biblical times.
I was born and raised an orthodox Israeli Jew, and was an orthodox Rabbi for many years before becoming Messianic in 2008. The main body of beliefs are the same for Christians and Messianic Jews. However, the way we interpret scripture, and practice our faith can be very different indeed. Shabbot shalom to you all.