Messianic Jews and their Holiday Practice

History, Analysis and Gentile Christian Interest

by Evert W. Van de Poll (Author)
©2015 Monographs 323 Pages
Series: Edition Israelogie, Volume 9


Celebrating Biblical and Jewish holidays is most characteristic of the Messianic Jewish movement, and it arouses much interest among Gentile Christians. This practice arose in the struggle of Hebrew Christians in the 19th century against «Christian assimilation». From the 1970s onwards, a new generation of Messianic Jews identified strongly with their people’s socio-cultural heritage, including the practice of Sabbath, Pesach and other Jewish holidays. A thorough analysis of calendars, reinterpretations, observances and motives shows that this is a novel, Christian-Judaic practice. Why and how do Gentile Christians adopt it? To return to «Jewish roots»? What does this term stand for? As the author takes up these questions, he shows that this is rather a contextualisation of the Gospel.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Editor’s Foreword to the series Edition Israelogie
  • About the author
  • Table of contents
  • Introduction
  • 1. Hebrew Christians and the Feasts of Israel
  • 1.1 Hebrew Christians and the quest for identity
  • Yet another, surprising response
  • ‘Hebrew’ Christians
  • Ways of expressing identity
  • Affinity groups
  • Congregations in the Diaspora
  • Debate on a ‘Jewish’ style of worship and conduct
  • 1.2 Jewish Christian holiday observance
  • The ‘Messianic’ approach
  • Hebrew Christian congregations
  • Maximalist and minimalist views
  • Pragmatic view
  • Interest in Jewish (biblical) holidays: reinterpretation
  • ‘Observance’ of Jewish holidays: a new phenomenon
  • The development of a Jewish Christian Seder
  • Sunday, Sabbath and the question of dates
  • 2. The Messianic Movement: General Picture
  • 2.1 Emergence and spread
  • A new generation of believers
  • Spread
  • Categories of affiliation
  • What’s in a name?
  • Messianic congregations
  • Gentile membership
  • Objections and questions
  • 2.2 Identity and cultural affinity markers
  • Identity markers
  • Cultural affinity markers
  • Rejection and acceptance
  • Messianic believers in a pluralist Jewish community
  • Contextualisation
  • Differences between the Diaspora and in Israel
  • 2.3 The issue of liturgical style
  • Defective traditional practice
  • What liturgical style?
  • 2.4 Messianic Jewish theology
  • Evangelical framework, three strands
  • Messianic Judaism: three foundational elements
  • The issue of rabbinic tradition
  • The position of Messianic Judaism
  • Different views on Gentiles and Torah observance
  • 3. Practice of Biblical and Jewish Holidays
  • 3.1 Development in the Diaspora
  • Major element of ‘Messianic’ religious practice
  • 3.2 Development in Israel
  • 3.3 What about Christian holidays?
  • 4. When? Liturgical Calendars
  • 4.1 ‘Biblical’ appointed times, which ones?
  • All or some ‘appointed times’?
  • Integration of ‘Judaic’ holidays
  • 4.2 A comparison of calendars
  • 4.3 Ambivalence with respect to the Church Year
  • Sunday
  • Christmas
  • 4.4 Dual identification
  • 4.5 Variety and discrepancy of calendars
  • 5. What? Holidays Reinterpreted
  • 5.1 Blending of interpretative traditions
  • Hebrew Christian interpretation of biblical holidays
  • Elements from Talmudic Judaism, sometimes reinterpreted
  • Jewish reinterpretation of Christian feasts
  • The Messianic ‘blend’
  • 5.2 Sabbath
  • 5.3 Pesach
  • 5.4 Other holidays
  • Historical meaning
  • Typological meaning
  • Spiritual meaning
  • Eschatological meaning
  • 5.5 The threefold ‘story’ of Messianic holidays
  • 6. How? Blended Celebration
  • 6.1 Selective use of different traditions
  • Old Testament – indications for today
  • New Testament – a ‘New Covenant way’ of celebrating holidays
  • Judaism – selective usage
  • Evangelicalism – the ‘problem’ of liturgy
  • 6.2 Sabbath and Siddur
  • The general picture
  • A closer look
  • Worship service – on Sabbath or Sunday?
  • Liturgical styles
  • Siddur
  • Synagogue worship
  • Examples of synagogue oriented Messianic liturgy
  • 6.3 Pesach and Haggadah
  • The general picture
  • A closer look at the Jewish Seder
  • Messianic Seder, a comparison
  • 6.4 Other Holidays
  • Shavu’ot
  • Sukkot and related holidays
  • Matsot, Rosh Hashanah, Chanukkah, Purim, and other holidays
  • 6.5 A new, hybrid holiday tradition
  • 7. Why? Motives
  • 7.1 General religious motive
  • (1) Discipleship motive – serve Christ and express belonging to his Body
  • 7.2 Identity related motives
  • (2) Personal motive – express Jewish identity
  • (3) Socio-cultural motive – identify with the Jewish community
  • (4) Educational motive – learn and transmit essential values
  • 7.3 Missional motives
  • (5) Evangelistic motive – communicate the Gospel in a Jewish context
  • (6) Restoration motive – connect the Church with Jewish roots and Israel
  • (7) Eschatological motive – connect the end-time Church with the Jewish nation
  • 7.4 Vocational motive
  • (8) Calling of Israel motive – fulfilling the covenant obligation of Israel
  • 7.5 The motivation divide
  • 8. Factors of Variety, Common Denominators
  • 8.1 Variety
  • Different contexts
  • Different cultural Jewish backgrounds
  • Different theological views
  • Difference of liturgical preference
  • 8.2 Worship between Church and Synagogue
  • (1) A minimum liturgical calendar
  • (2) A threefold ‘story’
  • (3) A mix of Evangelical worship and Judaix liturgical traditions
  • (4) The intention to express identity and to convey a message to their people
  • (5) The logic of worship and celebration between Church and Synagogue
  • 9. Missiological Assessment
  • 9.1 ‘Jewish culture’ and subcultures
  • 9.2 Contextualisation – a scale of models
  • Different models
  • The models described
  • 9.3 Applied to Messianic worship and celebration
  • Lifestyle and inculturation
  • Congregations; from indigenisation to inculturation
  • Correlation?
  • On a evangelistic level, correlation indeed
  • What about transformation?
  • The general picture
  • 9.4 Holiday practice: a major form of inculturation
  • 10. Restoration or Contextualisation?
  • 10.1 Two influential voices
  • The vision of Dan Juster
  • The thesis of David Stern
  • 10.2 What do ‘Jewish roots’ stand for?
  • Judaic lifestyle of Jesus and the apostles
  • First century Judaism, as reflected in early rabbinic writings
  • Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament)
  • Hebrew substratum of the New Testament
  • 10.3 A restoration of the Jewishness of the Gospel?
  • Return to the mitzvot of the Tanakh?
  • Return to first century Judaic practice?
  • Return to a ‘New Covenant’ observance?
  • Adopting rabbinic customs
  • What is actually being restored?
  • Missiological rationale for connecting with Jewish roots
  • Not so much restoration as inculturation
  • 10.4 Boundary marker or cross-cultural worship?
  • Messianics try to blur the boundary between Christianity and Judaism.
  • Messianics create new boundary markers
  • Liminality
  • The distinction between ‘Jewish’ and ‘normative Jewish’
  • Cultural affinity marke, also boundary marker?
  • (1) In relation to the Christian world
  • (2) In relation to the Jewish world
  • 10.5 Indigenous worship and related concepts
  • ‘Missionary liturgy’
  • ‘Indigenous worship’ or ‘ethno-worship’
  • Applied to Messianic holiday practice
  • (1) Evangelistic outlook
  • (2) Calendar and mission
  • Culturally Jewish worship and celebration
  • 11. Gentile Christian Interest in Biblical and Jewish holidays
  • 11.1 Various kinds of interest
  • Typological approach
  • Historical approach
  • Dialogical approach
  • Practical approach
  • 11.2 Practical interest, a closer look
  • Gentile members of Messianic assemblies
  • Churches keeping Biblical holidays
  • Gentiles celebrating Biblical holidays occasionally, as special events
  • Publications on the practice of Biblical and Jewish holidays
  • 11.3 Motives
  • (1) Discipleship motive – serve Christ and express belonging to his Body
  • (2) Personal motive – express Jewish identity
  • (3) Socio-cultural motive – identify with the Jewish community
  • (4) Educational motive – learn and transmit essential values
  • (5) Evangelistic motive – communicate the Gospel in a Jewish context
  • (6) Restoration motive – connect with Jewish roots and with the Jewish nation
  • (7) Eschatological motive – connect the end-time Church with the Jewish nation
  • (8) Vocational motive – obeying a Biblical mandate
  • (9) Renewal motive – return to Biblical practice
  • 11.4 Restoration or Reorientation?
  • 12. General Conclusions
  • (1) These Holidays serve to express the identity of Jewish believers as belonging to the Chosen People
  • (2) Messianic Jews are developing a novel holiday tradition
  • (3) Messianic holiday practice is inculturation in the current Jewish context
  • (4) Messianic holiday practice is more than ‘just’ a matter of Jewishness, it has a missiological undertone
  • (5) The ‘vertical’ dimension of Messianic holiday practice cannot be dissociated from the missional dimension
  • (6) The principal context for Messianic holiday practice is the relationship with the wider Jewish community
  • (7) Messianic holiday practice in the context of the Church should not be used as a pretext for separatism
  • (8) Gentile Christians should recognize the need for a Jewish expression of the Gospel
  • (9) Messianic holiday practice can serve as an instructive example of contextualised Gospel communication, especially for believers and evangelists in a Muslim context
  • (10) The relevance of Messianic Jewish holidays for Gentile Christians is a subject that calls for research and theological reflection.
  • (11) Gentile Christians interested in Messianic holiday practice should realize that its principal intention is not reformist
  • (12) Messianic holiday practice ‘is’ a threefold message.
  • 13. Comparative Table: Calendars, Holidays
  • List of Tables
  • Bibliography
  • Early Church and Holidays
  • Judaism, holidays and calendar
  • Hebrew Christianity and Messianic Movement
  • Holidays, Biblical and Jewish – Hebrew Christian authors
  • Holidays, Biblical and Jewish – Messianic authors
  • Holidays, Biblical and Jewish – Gentile Christian authors
  • Missiology


Since its emergence in the 1970s, the Messianic Jewish Movement has aroused considerable interest among Gentile Christians worldwide. This is especially true among Evangelicals, which is not surprising, given their close affinity with this movement in the areas of theology and spirituality. But at the same time, it distinguishes itself from its larger Evangelical surroundings by its overtly Jewish character. Precisely because of this ‘otherness’ it intrigues sympathetic observers.

There is great variety in the way believers express their Jewish identity. What allows us to speak of a movement is the overriding concern for a ‘Jewish’ expression of the Gospel that is in keeping with the cultural and religious heritage of their people. For that reason, believers of Jewish descent increasingly identify themselves as ‘Messianic’, instead of designations like Jewish or Hebrew Christian. Even so, when it comes to putting this concern in practice, in the area of worship and daily life, there is considerable variety.

One of the most significant elements of a ‘Jewish’ style of worship and conduct is the observance of what Messianic believers invariably call ‘biblical holidays’. This is the subject of our study.

Of course, Messianic Jews do not set apart particular days and seasons, just for the sake of it. Keeping these sacred times is, for them, a way of worshipping and serving the Holy One and his Anointed. It is an expression of their faith. As they keep their holidays, they worship and serve God in a certain manner. Their holiday practice is liturgy, ‘holy service’. Moreover, through this specific religious practice they convey a message, take up a position and show their colours.

When talking to Messianic Jews, one is struck by their attachment to the Sabbath and the Jewish festivals. These are the holidays of their people, the feasts of Israel, and a key element of a heritage to which they are proud to belong. But there is more. Many Messianic Jews will point out that these are ‘biblical holidays’, given by God to his people as a means of maintaining a distinctive national identity among the nations.

From a Jewish point of view, this is just a matter of evidence. But outside the Messianic movement, however, there is much ignorance about what this holiday practice really involves and what it means for the believers concerned. The preference for Jewish above Christian holidays is not always understood, let alone ← 13 | 14 → appreciated on its own merits. It easily arouses suspicions of legalism at best, backsliding into Judaism at worst.

Inversely, some Evangelical circles tend to idealise the Messianic movement. They put it on a pedestal; considering it a guide that will lead the Christian Church back to its Jewish roots – notably in the areas of Sabbath and festival.

In both cases, there is a need for exact information. Our study will provide just that, as it seeks to clarify the historical context in which Messianic Jewish holiday practice came about, and what it actually involves. Our aim is to describe its development, to analyse its different aspects, and to assess it from a missiological point of view.

A study like this is all the more relevant when we take into account that the Messianic Jewish practice of celebrating the so-called ‘biblical’ holidays’ arouses considerable interest among Evangelical Christians, as can be seen from the growing number of publications devoted to the meaning and the observance of the feasts of Israel. New titles are constantly being added to the list. Moreover, a certain number of Gentile believers join their Jewish brethren in keeping ‘biblical’ holidays, and in some cases they celebrate them in their own churches and organisations. This is a collateral phenomenon of Messianic Jewish holiday observance. While it is not the principal object of our investigation, we have taken it into account as a secondary field of interest. An analysis of what the Messianic Jewish practice involves will also shed light on the participation of Gentiles.

This study was originally a doctoral dissertation defended at the Evangelical Theological Faculty in Leuven, Belgium (Sacred Times for Chosen People, see the bibliography). Given the interest for the subject, not only among Messianic Jews but also in Christian circles at large, I decided to prepare a revised and updated version. The description of the history of Hebrew Christians was considerably abridged. On the other hand, I have added a new chapter dealing with the interest of the Gentile Christians in Jewish roots in general and in the Messianic practice of holidays in particular.

As I present our investigation and conclusions, it is my hope that they will contribute to the development of the Messianic Movement, its spiritual growth, its theological reflection, its unity with other members of the body of Christ, and its testimony to Israel and the nations.

1. Hebrew Christians and the Feasts of Israel

Nowadays, it is commonplace to consider the ‘Messianic’ movement of Jewish believers in Jesus as a fairly recent development. Its origins are often linked with the upsurge of the Evangelical youth movement in the turbulent 1960s and 1970s. Ruth Fleischer, who leads the London Messianic Congregation, deplores the fact that many of those involved in this movement ‘genuinely believe that it has its modern origins in events dating from the late 1960s’. She goes on to say: ‘this is not so much arrogance as ignorance, ignorance of the ways in which God works, plans, and prepares, and ignorance of their own history.’1

As Ruth Fleischer rightly points out, there is an historical continuity between the current movement and preceding developments. Certainly, during the last forty years or so, this movement has not only shown remarkable numerical growth but also manifested a concern for identity that caught the attention of both the Christian and the Jewish communities. However, this phenomenon is not as unprecedented as some observers would have it. Rather, it is an acceleration of a process that already began about two hundred years ago, during the Emancipation.2

1.1 Hebrew Christians and the quest for identity

In Jewish historiography the ‘Emancipation’ refers to the social liberation of European Jewry in the wake of the Enlightenment. As one author defines it, ‘this was a time when Christian pluralism, secular revolution and liberal concepts of social order and individual rights were spreading throughout Europe.’3 As a result, legal discriminations were lifted and Jews were relieved of the inequalities that had disqualified them from full participation in society. Although often ← 15 | 16 → associated with the French Revolution, the Emancipation was a process lasting about two centuries which extended over all Europe.

Hailed as the light that has chased the darkness of marginalisation, the Emancipation was at the same time a challenge: How to adapt to the new circumstances? What does it mean to be a Jew in a world that no longer obliges him to live in segregated communities? Responding to this question was not always easy, as Hagner indicates: ‘The Jews were ill equipped for the new opportunities that were presented to them, and they often found it hard to face the social demands outside the ghetto.’4

To whatever extent the Jews benefited from the Emancipation, they all had to find an answer to the fundamental question: what does it mean to be a Jew in a world that has accepted us as full citizens? What is our raison d’être? Are we a nation, or a religion, or a culture group, or all of that at the same time? What is precisely our Jewish identity? Do we have to maintain our distinctive identity, and if so, how should we express it? This question has preoccupied the Jewish world up till the present day.

There were various responses to the challenge posed by the Emancipation. Firstly, full assimilation into the dominant culture in society. In many cases, assimilation meant the abandonment of all religious practice, giving rise to the phenomenon of the acculturated, secularised Jew – a novelty in Jewish history! Others assimilated to the Christian religious world. Baptism served as ‘a passport to society’, as the expression went. One of the results was a rising number of mixed marriages. This led to an almost equal loss of identity.

Diametrically opposed to any form of assimilation stands the orthodox response. Midway between these responses was a third one, i.e. moderate assimilation along the lines set out by the Haskala movement that strove for a renewal of Jewish life. It consists of a combination of privatised religious practice and integration into modern Western society, following Moses Mendelssohn’s maxim: ‘be a Jew at home, be a human being outside’.5

Yet another, surprising response

While these responses to the challenge of the Emancipation are generally recognised, there is yet another one that usually escapes the attention of Jewish historiography. Nonetheless, it deserves a mention: the growing number of Jews who accepted Jesus as the Messiah of Israel. For them, the answer to the question ← 16 | 17 → of Jewish existence in a modern world is found in him. This response should be distinguished from the move towards Christianity for reasons of assimilation and expediency mentioned earlier. Granted, it is almost impossible to draw an exact dividing line between joining the dominant world view in a given society in order to gain acceptance on the one hand, and a real step of faith on the other; in other words, between acculturation and genuine conversion. All that we can say is that many were sincerely convinced that Jesus is the Messiah.

This was a surprising turn of events! With the obtaining of civil rights, the relation between the Church and the Jews was fundamentally changed. Gradually the ideal of the separation of throne and altar was implemented. Although still influential in some countries, the Church was no longer in a position to enforce a policy of legal discrimination and social marginalisation. In other countries she even became a minority herself!

Moreover, conversion to Christianity and membership of the dominant confession was no longer the only way for Jews to leave the ghetto and have access to all spheres of society. A new situation emerged, in which Jews could practice their religion and get fully involved in the affairs of their country.

One would have expected that they would no longer take any notice of him in whose name they had been harassed for so many centuries. However, what happened was that large numbers of Jews came to faith in Jesus, voluntarily and with conviction, on a scale that had not been witnessed since the apostolic era. Although exact figures are impossible to obtain, given the large number of ‘conversions’ for assimilation reasons, it cannot be denied that there was a considerable number of genuine conversions.6

Before the Emancipation, conversion to Christianity amounted to a disavowal of one’s ethnic and cultural background. These ‘conversos’ or ‘new Christians’ received a new identity, quite often a new name, and in some cases even the patronage of a Christian family. After the Emancipation era, Jewish believers in Jesus were no longer forced to deny their origins. More often than not their faith in Jesus Messiah was an affirmation of their Jewishness.

At the end of the nineteenth century, historian De le Roi estimated that the number of Jews being baptised during the preceding century was as high as 224.000.7 However, he does not distinguish between transfers to Christianity for assimilation purposes and resulting from mixed marriages on the one hand, and genuine faith conversions on the other. Another historian, A.E. Thompson, has ← 17 | 18 → concentrated on the impact of evangelistic outreach. Writing at the turn of the twentieth century, he calculated that since the beginning of the Evangelical missions there had been a total number of 204.540 recognised baptisms.8

We have to take these and other figures on the ‘results’ of Jewish evangelism, with considerable caution, because they do not single out the factor of mixed marriages and second-generation believers. However, we can safely assume that these figures include at least a certain number of conversions based on a personal faith conviction. It must have been a phenomenon of non negligible proportions, as we can gather from the written testimonies of ‘converted Jews’ that were published during the nineteenth and early twentieth century, as well as the response to the message of Jewish evangelists aimed at taking a faith decision for Jesus the Messiah.

‘Hebrew’ Christians

As an increasing number of Jews accepted Jesus as their Messiah and joined a church, the problem of ‘Church assimilation’ became all the more acute. Contrary to what had happened in the past, when believers were encouraged or even forced to denounce their ethnic background and adopt an altogether new identity, missionary societies had placed Jewish descent in a positive perspective. Rather than a nuisance, it was considered a privilege. Even so, the pull towards Church assimilation was still very strong. How should these believers maintain their sense of identity? How should they express it?

This question was bound up with the general problem of the Jewish communities in post Emancipation societies: how to define and express their identity as a minority group in a pluralistic, i.e. multicultural and multi-religious society, where they are no longer compelled to live in segregation?

The concern to maintain a distinguishable Jewish presence, within the context of the Church at large, sparked off the movement of the so-called ‘Hebrew Christians’. As believers became more conscious of the value of their Jewish identity and heritage, they were less satisfied with the traditional terminology that presupposed a dichotomy between Christian and Jewish identities. From the mid 19th century onwards, they gradually opted for the designation ‘Hebrew’ Christian. This was not just a matter of semantics. ‘Hebrew’ stood for the heritage they wished to preserve and their resolve to express their ethnic identity.9 ← 18 | 19 →

In other countries, ‘Hebrew Christians’ as an auto-designation did not catch on. There, the classic designation ‘Jewish Christians’ remained in use, but with a stronger emphasis on the adjective. As time went on, alternatives like ‘Christian Jews’, ‘Christians from Israel’ or ‘Messiah confessing Jews’ proved to be more and more attractive. During the latter half of twentieth century, the designation ‘Messianic’ became widely used. In this way, they wished to express their specific position, distinct from other (non Messianic) Jews, as well as other (non Jewish) Christians.10

For the purposes of our study, we want to ask look at three aspects of the Hebrew Christian (or Jewish Christian) movement: how they expressed their ethnic identity, their community development, and their call for a Jewish style of worship and conduct.

Ways of expressing identity

For these believers, being Jewish was not so much a matter of customs and rites as a deeply rooted awareness or consciousness of belonging to this particular people It was a matter of self-designation, hence their preference for terms like ‘Hebrew’ Christian, ‘Jewish’ Christian, ‘Messiah confessing Jew’ and so on. The Hebrew Christian was proud to belong to the people that God had chosen so long ago, and was persuaded that his people still had an important role to play in the outworking of God’s salvation plan.

An important expression of this awareness was their keen interest in the Hebrew Scriptures, in particular the many Messianic prophecies and (types –not sure what you mean) that it contains. They were at pains to show, to Jews and Christians alike, that Jesus is the fulfilment of the prophetic promises, the Messianic King of Israel, the hope of Israel.

Of course, this affirmation put them in opposition to Orthodox Judaism, since they denied that Judaism was normative and therefore did not have the right to exclude them from the community for the sole reason of their confession that Jesus is Israel’s Messiah. Making a distinction between the religion of ancient Israel on the one hand and rabbinic Judaism on the other hand, they argued that…

…the first leads directly to Him whom God has made Lord and Christ at his right hand, while the second is the invention of Pharisaic rabbis and lawyers intended to keep Israel ← 19 | 20 → in ignorance of Him. The New Testament and not the Talmud is the true continuation of Moses and the Prophets.11

This distinction allowed them to counter the classic idea that a convert to Christianity was a renegade to the family, the culture and the faith of his people. In order to show the contrary, Hebrew Christianity asserted that faith in Jesus was by no means a renunciation of one’s previous loyalties. Upon accepting Christ a Jew becomes a ‘completed’ or a ‘fulfilled Jew’, as the favourite expression went.

Flowing from this understanding is a second way in which Hebrew Christians manifested their identity: a concern for the propagation of the Gospel among their people, in which Jewish believers played a predominant role. This was more than just a matter of obedience to the missionary mandate; this was an expression of the awareness that they belonged to the nation who still remained the first addressee of the message of Jesus. Paul’s dictum ‘to the Jew first’ played a key role in their evangelistic outreach. Hebrew Christians considered themselves to be the first fruits of a harvest yet to come, the believing remnant holding out the promise of a full-scale restoration, a witness and a sign portending the future salvation of ‘all Israel’.

Thirdly, Hebrew Christians identified with their people through practical solidarity. In order to be well informed about the things that went on in the larger Jewish community they read magazines and books aimed at a Jewish public. More concretely, they took part in their struggles and supported their causes.

Particularly, they took a strong and public stance against anti-Semitism. The persecution by the Nazis and their collaborators only strengthened their sense of identification with their physical brethren, because this had made them aware, in a frightening way, that they were primarily Jews. Certainly, the Nazis distinguished them from non-baptised Jews, but only for tactical reasons. The bottom-line was their ethnic identity, and for that ‘crime’ they were eventually treated like all the others.

Moreover, Hebrew Christians rallied behind the ideals of the Zionist movement – despite the reluctance of Zionist organisations to recognise the support of Hebrew Christians. Already in 1897, one year after the famous first Zionist congress in Basle, Leopold Cohn wrote that the return to the Land is an important phase prior to the return of the Messiah, and that believers should therefore support the Zionist ideal.12 ← 20 | 21 →

Since 1948, Hebrew Christians in and outside the Land have been most ardent supporters of the state of Israel – despite the difficulty of Diaspora believers emigrating under the Law of Return. Embracing Zionism was one very practical way in which Hebrew Christians made it clear that the Christian faith is not a threat to Jewish existence but rather a solid basis for maintaining it.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2015 (January)
Messias Feiertag messianisch-jüdische Bewegung
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2015. 323 pp.

Biographical notes

Evert W. Van de Poll (Author)

Evert W. van de Poll teaches Religious studies and Missiology at the Evangelical Theological Faculty in Leuven (Belgium). He is a pastor working in the Federation of Evangelical Baptist Churches in France. His recent research has resulted in the publication of Europe and the Gospel: past influences, current developments and mission challenges. All the while, he has taken and still takes a special interest in the Jewish Christian relations, especially in the movement of Jesus-believing Jews of which he is a keen observer.


Title: Messianic Jews and their Holiday Practice
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