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Messianic Jews and their Holiday Practice

History, Analysis and Gentile Christian Interest


Evert W. Van de Poll

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 19 th 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.
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For our study, we have consulted the following literature. Footnotes with respect to references and quotes in the text only mention author and title in short.

Early Church and Holidays

Beckwith, Roger T., Calendar and Chronology, Jewish and Christian: Biblical, Intertestamental and Patristic Studies, Leiden: Brill, 2001.

Boon, Rudolf, De joodse wortels van de christelijke eredienst, Amsterdam: Gerard van der Leeuw-Stichting, 1970.

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