The stated mission of Messianic Apologetics is: “Addressing the Theological and Spiritual Issues of the Broad Messianic Movement.”
Throughout the history of Messianic Apologetics (and its predecessor, the Theology News Network/TNN Online), we have had to field many, many questions. These questions have served as the basis for various articles, newsletters, books, commentaries, and an extensive FAQ database.
What is today’s Messianic movement? What are the issues involving Jewish outreach and evangelism? Why are so many non-Jewish Believers being guided into a lifestyle of Torah observance? The list of potential inquiries goes on and on…
The following volume is a paperback compilation of all of the significant Frequently Asked Questions that we have featured on our website from 2000-2018. We trust that this reference source will serve as a welcome edition to your home or congregational library!
unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are from the 1995 New American Standard Update (NASU)
All FAQs are downloadable in PDF format
What do you believe the Abomination of Desolation will be? Do you believe the Temple will be rebuilt?
I have heard that it would be improper to view the Ethiopian whom Philip encountered in Acts 8 as a “eunuch,” and instead that we should think of him as a “believer” from the Aramaic Peshitta, given how the Torah prohibits a eunuch from approaching the appointed place. Can you assist me with this?
Going to Heaven makes no sense in light of the doctrine of resurrection. What is the point of the future resurrection if Believers just go to Heaven when they die?
Is it not true that an afterlife in Heaven before the resurrection, would subtract from the significance of death?
What is the appropriate way for me to approach the issue of drinking alcohol, not only in terms of Biblical ethics, but also in terms of the whole issue of “kosher”?
In what way is Yeshua the Messiah the Alef and the Tav? Some interesting teachings circulate around the Messianic movement about the first and last Hebrew letters, and their association with Yeshua.
Do you believe that the condemned suffer eternal torment in the Lake of Fire or are destroyed?
Who do you think the antimessiah/antichrist is?
Do you believe that the antimessiah/antichrist makes or confirms the covenant with Israel?
What can you tell me about the anti-Semitism of Martin Luther? Is it true that Luther said some ungodly things about the Jewish people, actually having advocated violence against them?
What is your position concerning the Apocrypha?
I know that the Apocrypha is not considered canonical Scripture by Jews or Protestants, but I am interested in finding a suitable modern English translation to use for reference. Which one(s) can you recommend?
What is your opinion of the Aramaic Peshitta New Testament? Do you think that the Peshitta New Testament might be more original than the Greek New Testament?
What do you think end-time Babylon is?
Do you believe that men should wear beards?
Is there any specific Bible version that you recommend that I use? I am new to the Messianic movement.
I have seen a variety of Messianic Bible versions on the market. Is there any particular one that you recommend? What is your opinion of them?
What is your opinion with the various calendar issues that seem to be dividing the Messianic community?
I am a non-Jewish person involved in the Messianic movement. I get a little nervous when I see some Messianic Jews talk about how Biblical faith is Judaism. Do you think that Biblical faith is Judaism?
Do you think that Christians should observe the feasts/appointed times, the moedim, of Leviticus 23?
Do you believe it is wrong for Messianic Believers to practice birth control?
When should Messianic Believers remember Yeshua’s birth?
To what degree do you think the human consciousness is reliant upon the body and the brain?
If humans and animals have the “breath of life,” would it not seem logical that both experience the same kind of death?
Why do you not call the New Testament the B’rit Chadashah as some other Messianics do?
Does your ministry have a position on Calvinism or Arminianism?
I am very concerned about the wide number of Messianic men and women I see in their twenties and thirties (and even forties) who are unmarried. What are they going to do if they are unable to find a spouse?
In what way did Antiochus Epiphanes commit the “Abomination of Desolation”? I thought this was a future event.
What can you tell me about the Feast of Dedication being celebrated in place of Sukkot by the Maccabees when they rededicated the Temple?
Where can I find information about the menorah being lit for eight days, on one cruse of oil, following the Maccabees’ rededication of the Temple?
Why is there a nine-branched menorah used for Chanukah, when there was a seven-branched menorah used in the Temple?
What is the whole issue of eating cheese that is “kosher”? One set of opinions I read says that most processed cheese is not kosher, and another set of opinions says most processed cheese is just fine.
Do you believe everything in Christianity is pagan?
Why does today’s Messianic movement generally frown on the works of Christian Biblical scholarship?
Is it true that the early Believers did not call themselves “Christians”?
Are Christian people who do not keep Torah hopelessly lost? I notice that your ministry freely, and sometimes liberally, quotes Christian Bible scholars. There are a great number of people in the Hebrew Roots movement who think that they have a corner on the “truth,” and that everyone else is in error.
Do you celebrate it?
Should I attend Christmas dinner with my extended family?
What is your opinion of the writings of the “Church Fathers”?
As post-tribulationists, how do you respond to the fact that the word “church” does not appear after Revelation 4:1? This means that the Church is missing and has been raptured to Heaven.
I have heard that the English word “church” is of pagan origins. Is there any substantiation to support this?
I heard a Messianic teaching which advocated that it was not a “cock” or “rooster” crowing, which was supposed to make a noise after Peter denied Yeshua, but rather a Temple-crier functioning in his duties. This was used to support an original Hebrew New Testament. Can you help me with this?
In examining some Messianic Jewish teaching materials, they explained to me that the Commonwealth of Israel is made up of both the Jewish people and the Church, sort of like the British Commonwealth. They have actually said that as a non-Jewish Believer, I am really not a part of Israel, only the Commonwealth. Does this viewpoint have any legitimacy?
Do you think that Messianic congregations should practice communion with bread and wine on a regular basis? I have noticed that some do, and some do not.
Can you explain to me what a “concubine” is in the Bible?
I have heard liberal Bible scholars teach that 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 allows for homosexuality. Is this at all true?
How can you say that the Law of Moses is still to be followed by Christians today, when it is quite clear that all things are now lawful?
I am a non-Jewish Messianic Believer, and have been told that my calling as a “Messianic Gentile” is to go back to a church, and not become Torah observant. I am told that I must follow “Paul’s rule,” and that seeking to live more like Yeshua and His Apostles would violate both it and my distinct “calling,” and likely nullify God’s special calling on the Jewish people. I should instead simply help Christians in church, not too interested in their Hebrew Roots, be more favorable to Israel and Jewish issues. Can you please help me?
1 Corinthians 14:34-35 are very confusing verses for me. They say that women are to stay silent in the assembly, yet women at our Messianic congregation speak freely to the group. Also, where in the Torah does it say anything about women being silent?
What do those who believe in psychopannychy/soul sleep do about 2 Corinthians 5:8, and in being absent from the body and present with the Lord after death?
What is the Messianic position on Creationism, or the basic orientation found to Genesis chs. 1-11?
I have heard some Messianic teachers say that Yeshua was not crucified on a cross. Can you clarify this for me?
I have been told that because I am now pursuing a Messianic walk that I have joined a cult. How do I counter these claims?
I have heard it said that Yeshua was present with the three men in the fiery furnace. To what degree might this be true?
Death is described as a sleep in the Bible. Would this not imply complete unconsciousness until the resurrection?
What do you believe happens when born again Believers die?
Why do you think there are people in the Messianic movement today, who are denying Yeshua as the Messiah?
I heard a Messianic teacher say that if I keep the Torah perfectly not only will I be able to be saved, I will also be able to never get sick or die of diseases like cancer. Can you help clarify this for me?
Can you recommend any specific Hebrew and Greek dictionaries or lexicons I can use in my Bible studies?
I am non-Jewish, but I am very interested in the possibility of there being some Jewish ancestry in my family line. I am planning to get a DNA test. What does it mean if I have some Jewish markers in the results?
I have encountered some teachings from Messianics which condemn the usage of modern medicine. What is your opinion on this? Do you have a problem with Believers consulting modern medical doctors?
Is it not true that the idea of an intermediate afterlife in Heaven or Hell is predicated on dualism? Is it not true that dualism was a philosophical view that originated with the Greeks, and not with Scripture?
Do you celebrate Easter?
Does acceptance of an egalitarian ideology for men and women as co-leaders, inevitably lead to an acceptance of homosexuality and gay marriage?
I have heard that there really is no such thing as “the Church” in Scripture, and that the Hebrew and Greek terms used in the Bible can support this. Can you help me with this issue?
I have heard that the Torah actually composes the “elemental things of the world”? Is there any truth to this claim?
Do you believe that there will be a massive end-times revival before the return of the Lord?
How can you say that the Law of Moses is still to be followed by Christians today, when it is quite clear that the Law of commandments has been abolished?
I heard a Messianic teacher say that the armor of God is not the armor of a Roman soldier, but really the garments of a Levitical priest serving in the Temple. Do you have an opinion about this? Is this a valid understanding?
Is it not true that possessing eternal life means being physically alive forever?
Can you summarize for me the debate over when the Exodus took place? Did it occur in the Fifteenth or Thirteenth Century B.C.E?
What can you tell me about the controversy surrounding the numbers of the Exodus?
Exodus 1:8 says that a Pharaoh came to power in Egypt who did not know Joseph. How is this possible when the final part of Genesis says that Joseph was made second only to Pharaoh? How did the Israelites find themselves enslaved by Egypt?
What do you think is the correct route of the Exodus taken by the Ancient Israelites?
I have encountered some teachers who have made false predictions on the end-times and have not been held accountable. What should I do about this?
What would be an appropriate framework for me to understand fasting?
Do you believe we are the final generation?
Do you think the reference seen in Scripture to “fire baptism” is to something good or something bad?
What are some important guidelines regarding what fruits and vegetables may be considered kosher?
Proponents of the Two-House teaching commonly claim that the “fullness of the Gentiles/nations” in Romans 11:25, is the same as that prophesied by Jacob in Genesis 48:19. Is there any merit to the “fullness of the Gentiles/nations” being those of the Lost Tribes of Ephraim?
How can you say that the Law of Moses is still to be followed by Christians today, when it is quite clear that we are no longer under a tutor?
I have encountered a Messianic Jewish teaching that states that only the Jewish people are obligated to keep Torah, because they are circumcised. Is this what Galatians 5:2-3 really communicates? I am confused.
Is gelatin considered to be kosher? I have seen some people say that it is, and others that gelatin has to be kosher-certified.
I have heard that there is some kind of controversy concerning the genealogical lists of Genesis 5 and 11. Can you explain this?
How am I to approach the whole issue of genetically modified foods? Are they kosher? Many people in my Messianic congregation only eat foods that are certified “organic.”
I am a non-Jewish Believer in the Messianic movement, and I am a bit disturbed at how I have encountered various Jewish Believers in my midst use the term “Gentile.” I am not at all trying to be ethnically or culturally Jewish in following Torah, even though I respect my fellow Jewish brothers and sisters, but I get a sense that the term “Gentile” is being used with some negative or pejorative sense. Is it not true that the term “Gentile” can actually mean “pagan”? Can you help me?
What is “glatt kosher”?
I am a non-Jewish Believer, and I have encountered some Messianic Jews who consider me as some sort of “God-fearer” in their midst. What is this supposed to mean? Even with our natural differences and distinctions, I thought we were supposed to emphasize one another as fellow brothers and sisters.
Why does your ministry use the terms “God” and “Lord” for YHWH, when these are well documented terms used in ancient paganism?
I have been reading through your Messianic Kosher Helper, and was surprised that among all of the Bible passages addressed, I did not see Yeshua’s parable about the good fish and bad fish mentioned. Do you not think that this is a description of kosher and non-kosher fish being separated out?
What do you think about Messianic people eating Islamic halal meat? Is this something acceptable, or is it tantamount to eating meat sacrificed to idols?
Do you believe it is acceptable for Messianic men to wear a kippah or yarmulke, when Paul says that it is a dishonor for men to have their heads covered? How do you interpret 1 Corinthians 11:4-16?
Do you think that the righteous in Heaven offer prayer covering for those of us who are on Earth?
Is there any academic validity with Hebrew letter pictures, i.e., interpreting various Hebrew words through the representations of each letter in its spelling?
I heard a Messianic teacher call Hebrew the “pure language.” Can this at all be substantiated? He used this to discredit the inspiration of the Greek New Testament.
I saw a teaching that discussed the “Hebrew versus Greek mindset.” What does this mean?
I heard a teaching that said that the author of Hebrews got it all “wrong” when it came to the ordering of the Tabernacle furniture as seen in the Torah. Can you at all help me with this? I have to believe that the Book of Hebrews is inspired Scripture!
What does your ministry think about the metaphorical view of eternal punishment? Could you explain this view to me more fully?
I have been told that because I am Messianic and Torah observant that I am a heretic. How do I respond to this claim?
How do you, as post-tribulationists, respond to the fact that Believers are spared from “the hour of testing,” i.e., the Tribulation period?
Is it at all acceptable to hunt for game, given the Torah’s regulations about animal blood?
What is the correct approach, either informed from the Torah or kosher traditions, regarding drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and heroin? I realize that these drugs are dangerous and illegal, but how should Messianic people think about them?
I heard a Messianic teaching that advocated human beings were not made in the image of God? Can you explain this?
Is it not true that the image of God placed upon humans is just the capacity to rule Planet Earth?
In various sectors of the independent Messianic community, and/or Hebrew/Hebraic Roots movement, I have heard that non-Jewish Believers in Israel’s Messiah will (all) be granted permanent residence in the Holy Land when Yeshua returns. Is this or is this not, true?
I once heard a Messianic teacher say that Isaac was actually sacrificed by Abraham, and then resurrected. Do you have any opinion about this?
I heard a Jewish anti-missionary say that Isaiah 7:14 has been purposefully mistranslated with “virgin” in Christian Bibles, to fit a pagan concept of a virgin giving birth, specifically to Jesus.
What am I to make of Isaiah 24:5? Are Gentiles responsible for violating the Mosaic covenant every bit as much as the Jews? Or, does Isaiah 24:5 only speak of the Noahdic covenant?
Why do you call the brother of Yeshua, “James,” when his name was clearly Ya’akov or “Jacob”?
What is your position on the Book of Jashar? I have seen that some Messianics consider it to be legitimate, perhaps even Scripture. This disturbs me.
What do I do when I encounter the JEDP documentary hypothesis in various books and materials? I am confused about what to do.
As a Messianic ministry, how can you be post-tribulationists? Certainly you have heard about the Jewish Marriage Analogy where Believers as the Bride of Messiah are to be raptured up to Heaven prior to the Tribulation to experience the wedding feast.
I heard a Messianic teaching that dealt with “jots and tittles” in the Hebrew text of the Bible. It claimed that these markings were written by Moses, and that Yeshua actually referred to them in Matthew 5:17-19. Is there any validity to this teaching?
What is your opinion of the Jewish Kabbalah?
What is your opinion of Karaite Judaism?
Do you believe that the Torah or Law of Moses is binding on Christians?
What does it mean to be “least in the Kingdom”?
What is “the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees” that Yeshua warns about? Are the numbers twelve supposed to relate to the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and seven to relate to the seven laws of Noah? How am I supposed to approach this?
How can I determine what is, and what is not, kosher for the Passover season?
Can you explain to me what levirate marriage is?
Does the Torah actually teach that by keeping its commandments, a person can earn eternal life?
What do you think about the use of Hebrew liturgy in Messianic congregations?
I have had a number of interactions with people who identify as adherents of the “Two-House teaching.” They claim that Yeshua (Jesus) only came to save people designated as “the lost sheep of the House of Israel,” meaning the Ten Lost Tribes of the Northern Kingdom. Can you help me with this?
What do those who believe in psychopannychy/soul sleep do about the parable of Lazarus and the rich man?
What do you think of the Lunar Sabbath theory?
How can your ministry be egalitarian, meaning that both men and women share leadership roles equally, when Scripture says that the man is to be the head of the woman (Ephesians 5:23)?
What does it mean that “Jesus declared all foods clean”? Does this mean that the kosher dietary laws were abolished by the Messiah? I am confused.
What do you believe the mark of the beast is, or will be?
How can you say that the Law of Moses is still to be followed by Christians today, when it is quite clear that “Jesus fulfilled every jot and tittle of the Law.”
How can your ministry adhere to an ongoing punishment for the condemned in the Lake of Fire, when Yeshua Himself clearly says that the condemned will be destroyed?
I understand that your ministry denies the existence of the Church, as a second body of elect. How do you approach Jesus’ explicit words to Peter that He would build His Church?
How do you respond to the teaching which says that the Messiah confirms the covenant of Daniel 9:27?
What does it mean to be “Messianic”?
What do you think about Leviticus 19:19 and Deuteronomy 22:11 and wearing clothes of mixed fibers? These Scriptures do not seem very clear.
Do you honestly believe that Moses wrote the entire Torah or Pentateuch? How could Moses have written that he was the “humblest man who ever lived,” or have written about his own death?
Are mushrooms “kosher”?
What specific verse in the Tanach says that Yeshua will be called a “Nazarene”? I could not find any.
Who do you believe that the Nephilim of Genesis 6 were? Do you believe that these were fallen angels who had sexual relations with human females?
Do you believe that Messianic Believers should keep the New Moon?
Do you believe that the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew? It seems that many within today’s Messianic movement believe the New Testament was written in Hebrew, but they lack substantial proof for this.
I really do not get the “Messianic movement.” Jesus said that He came to bring us all new wine, and told us that you can’t put new wine in old wineskins. The old way of Judaism has been replaced by the new way of Christianity.
Can you tell me anything about the laws of niddah?
I have been told by some Messianics that the only commandments that Gentiles are supposed to follow are the seven Noahide laws. I have then been told by other Messianics that the seven Noahide laws are an invention of later Judaism, and were not from the Biblical period. Can you please help me with this?
In various sectors of the independent Messianic community, and/or Hebrew/Hebraic Roots movement, I have heard that non-Jewish Believers in Israel’s Messiah will (all) be granted permanent residence in the Holy Land when Yeshua returns. Is this or is this not, true?
What can you tell me about what a non-profit organization is?
Do you follow the method of the Pharisees or Sadducees for the counting of the omer to determine Shavuot? It seems that most in the independent Messianic movement follow the counting method of the Sadducees.
What do you think about those who advocate a belief in Jews and Christians becoming “one new man”? This seems to be connected to groups who support Israel, but who consider the Torah to not be that important.
Is it true that the order of the books of the Bible used today, for both the Tanach and Apostolic Scriptures (Old and New Testament), is not the original order?
I have heard it said that you do not believe that Christmas and Easter are pagan holidays. Could you please explain?
Can you explain to me the four levels of Hebraic Scripture interpretation?
Should we eat lamb as Messianics during Passover? Is it true that the Jews do not eat lamb during Passover?
Why do Jews have an egg on their seder plates? Does this not come from Easter?
Is it true that there are some substantial objections to the Last Supper being a Passover meal? If there are any, how do you respond to these arguments?
Where did the traditions from the seder meal employed during Passover come from?
Why do you call Rav Shaul the Apostle Paul?
I am having difficulty understanding the writings of the Apostle Paul. In my spirit, I believe his letters to be inspired of the Holy One, but in reading them I sense that they might be opposed to Torah. Can you help me with this?
I heard a Messianic teacher say that Paul was not a “tentmaker,” but instead fashioned tallits or prayer shawls. Is there any proof of this?
What do those who believe in psychopannychy/soul sleep do about Philippians 1:23, and with Paul desiring to depart and be with the Messiah?
Have you ever studied Scripture concerning a Torah observant plural marriage covenant?
What is your opinion of preterist eschatology?
Why does it seem that a concept like psychopannychy is growing in adherence in today’s Christian and Messianic world?
What does your ministry think is the main reason(s) why some people are motivated to believe or advocate a doctrine of psychopannychy/soul sleep?
What does the term “psychopannychy” mean?
Do Messianic people who keep kosher eat out at public restaurants?
Do you think that all Messianic Believers should celebrate Purim?
Why are there so many leaders in the Messianic movement who call themselves “rabbi”? Yeshua explicitly forbade this in Matthew 23:8.
What is your rapture position? Pre-, mid-, or post?
What is your opinion on the Protestant Reformation?
Is it, or is it not, true, that the doctrine of resurrection developed rather late in Judaism?
Is it really true that Yeshua was resurrected on Sunday? Does a Sunday morning resurrection of the Messiah at all validate the common Christian observance of Sunday as “the Lord’s Day”?
Which is the correct reading of Revelation 22:14, “Blessed are they who keep His commandments,” or “Blessed are they who wash their robes”?
I have heard liberal Bible scholars teach that Romans 1:26-27 allows for homosexuality. Is this at all true?
How can you say that the Law of Moses is still to be followed by Christians today, when it is quite clear that Jesus terminated the Law, being its end?
Why does the Jewish community call Yom Teruah “Rosh HaShanah”? I thought the Biblical New Year began in the Spring.
Is not keeping the Sabbath the mark of the beast?
To what extent, if any, do you believe that we should follow Jewish tradition in our Sabbath observance?
I have encountered statements to the effect that the Sabbath was not actually something prescribed by God for Ancient Israel, but instead something that Ancient Israel adapted from Ancient Near Eastern paganism. Can you help with this?!
How do you respond to the various claims that Yeshua broke the Sabbath?
Do you believe that there will be animal sacrifices during the Millennial Kingdom? If so, would these sacrifices be an affront to the final sacrifice of the Messiah?
Can you give me some basic guidelines for interpreting Scripture?
It seems to me as though many Messianic Bible teachers rely on sensationalism. Can you explain why this might be the case?
Why do you consult the Septuagint frequently?
Would it be actually unkosher, and not just unhealthy, to smoke tobacco?
How do I celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles? My Messianic fellowship is going away to a large gathering of thousands of people and I cannot get off work.
What is your position concerning the Talmud?
Do you believe that Messianics should wrap tefillin (phylacteries)?
I have heard you use the term “textual criticism” before. What is this?
Do you believe that Messianic Believers in the United States should celebrate Thanksgiving Day?
What am I to do with what is communicated in 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16? Does Paul really say that the Jewish people are responsible for the Messiah’s death?
What can you tell me about tithing from a Messianic perspective? How am I to honor God with my money and resources today?
What do you believe about speaking in tongues? What occurred on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out?
I have heard many Messianic Believers claim that the Torah existed before Mount Sinai, and that Abraham kept it. To what degree is this actually true?
In Deuteronomy 4:2 we are told not to add commandments to those of the Torah, yet in Judaism, and in the Messianic movement today, we have many people who follow traditions of men that some claim are “commanded,” or at least authorized by God. I am confused.
How am I to appropriately understand the division of the Torah’s commandments?
How do you respond to the claim that Christ has done away with the ceremonial law, but that the moral law of God remains?
I have spent some time around “Messianic Believers,” and all they seem to be focused on is the Law of Moses—yet they tell me that they are trying to live “fully Biblical” lives. Is it true you just focus on the Torah in your Bible studies?
I heard a Messianic Bible teacher say that Yeshua was the Torah made flesh. I do not understand this concept. Can you please explain?
What role, if any, do you believe tradition should play in our examination and application of Scripture, particularly the Torah?
Do you believe in the Trinity?
Where does your ministry currently stand in regard to the Two-House teaching?
Do you believe that Messianics should wear tzitzits/fringes/tassels?
Are there any instances where it is acceptable to eat unclean meats?
How can today’s Messianic movement widely advocate that the Law of Moses is still valid, when the Bible is clear that Christians are not “under the Law”?
Do you think that Messianic Believers should participate in Valentine’s Day?
I am having difficulty approaching the word that “the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.” Does this mean that the Kingdom of Heaven is supposed to be a violent force? Has this not been abused in past history by the Church?
What is your position on women in ministry? Should Messianic women be allowed to be teachers, pastors/rabbis, or occupy positions of leadership?
I have heard a teaching which stated that the term “works of the Law” actually refers to Rabbinical extra-Biblical commandments? Is there any substantiation for this?
How do you, as a post-tribulational ministry, respond to the fact that we are spared from God’s wrath? Does this not mean that we are spared from the horrors of the Tribulation period?
Does your ministry believe that Yeshua the Messiah is Divine, meaning God in the flesh?
Are you against using the proper name of God? Are you for using it?
I heard a Messianic teacher say that the Divine Name YHWH was spelled out on the writing above Yeshua’s cross. Is this true?
Where is the command in Torah to fast on Yom Kippur? I thought it only said that we are to afflict our souls.
How close do you believe we are to the Biblical year 6,000?
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