Apologetics is a branch of Christian theology that helps provide reasons for belief in the explanatory power of Christian theism. It is true that other faiths attempt to provide reasons for justification for their own truth claims.
One apologetic method that is a bit unfamiliar but is not entirely new is what is called Messianic Apologetics.
Messianic Apologetics is not new because it deals with many of the same objections that Jesus and His followers encountered in the first century. Messianic Judaism pertains to those who are Jewish and have come to faith in the promised Messiah of Israel. Yeshua is the Hebrew name for Jesus, and means “Salvation.” Jesus was actually called Yeshua, a Jewish man living in the land of Israel among Jewish people.
In his book Jesus and the Victory of God,Christian Origins and the Question of God, Volume 2, author N.T.Wright says that the historical Jesus is very much the Jesus of the gospels: a first century Palestinian Jew who announced and inaugurated the kingdom of God, performed “mighty works,” and believed himself to be Israel’s Messiah who would save his people through his death and resurrection. “He believed himself called,” in other words says Wright, “to do and be what, in the Scriptures, only Israel’s God did and was.”
Anyone who has read the Gospels will see that Jesus’ ministry was to the lost sheep of the house of Israel precisely, because he is the good shepherd who came to gather the renewed Israel around himself and to launch their trajectory into the world with the healing grace God always intended to flow through his chosen people. Jesus ministered to the Jews for the Gentiles. But did Jesus fulfill the role of the Messiah? Does the Hebrew Bible really speak about the coming of Jesus? The majority of the Jewish community says no. The Messianic and Christian community says Jesus did fulfill the messianic task. Who has it right?
With these thoughts in mind, I am so happy to announce Ratio Christi at The Ohio State University will be having Dr. Michael Brown on the campus on Sept 26th, 2013 to lecure to do a lecture called “is Jesus the Jewish Messiah?” The lecture will be at 7:00 pm in the Ohio Union at The Great Hall Meeting Room, 1739 N High St.
Dr. Brown has a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He has debated many rabbis on shows such as Phil Donahue, and Faith Under Fire. Dr. Brown is a Jewish believer in Jesus and is visiting professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Fuller Theological Seminary. His website is at http://askdrbrown.org. You can see him walking down the streets of New York discussing the Messiah issue here:
Dr. Brown has written a five set volume called Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus:
Vol 1 is called General Objections/Historical Objections
Vol 2 is called Theological Objections
Vol 3 is called Messianic Prophecy Objections
Vol 4 is called New Testament Objections
Vol 5 is called Traditional Jewish Objections
Christians can be fairly shocked to see five volumes had to be written to cover the objections to Jesus by the Jewish community. But anyone who has studied the history between Judaism and Christianity knows it is rather messy. Some common objections by Jewish people are the following:
1. If the Messiah has come, where is the peace?
2. The Messiah is not supposed to be divine!
3. Jewish people don’t believe in a dying Messiah!
4. Jewish people don’t believe in a virgin birth!
5. Christianity is more about the creed, while Judaism is about the deed!
Most of Dr. Brown’s books dive into these issues. To read why many traditional methods utilized by Christian apologists won’t go very far with most Jewish people, click here:
I hope you can make it to this event. Invite a friend! All are welcome!