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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MESSIANIC JUDAISM AND CHRISTIANITY, 3 Oct. 2005
By 
FERGUS A. RYAN (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Messianic Judaism is Not Christianity: A Loving Call to Unity (Paperback)
Telchin's book addresses the various distinctives and emphases of those communities of Jews who believe Jesus (Yeshua) to be the true Messiah, and the approaches which these communities take in relating to wider Judaism and to Christianity. His particular focus concerns "Messianic Synagogues" in the United States which have adopted post-New Testament rabbinic forms and practice which Telchin believes to be at variance with the Bible's (New Testament's) own teaching of the unity of Jesus' Jewish and Gentile followers, hence the title "Messianic Judaism is not Christianity". For non-Jewish readers the book is lacking in clarity as to what "rabbinic" practices actually are, although Telchin does point out that in many of Messianic fellowships the majority of adherents are in fact sympathetic Gentile believers. The book's analysis of the attitudes of Messianic Jews is rather anecdotal, and I would have liked to see a more thorough theological handling of Biblical passages of relevance. Telchin gives little indication that amongst Christians there are some different understandings of how Israel fits into God's purposes, and his treatment of Romans 11's "all Israel will be saved" gives no indication of interpretations other than his own. NT Wright's commentary of Romans has an in-depth presentation of an alternative approach. As with many books published in North America it largely ignores the situation in the rest of the world, although - in fairness - the United States is the principal location of Messianic congregations outside Israel. The book was helpful as an insight into some of the questions which are being addressed by Jewish believers in Jesus, and I would recommend it, but I found myself unsatisfied by the writing style and wanting a more thorough exploration of the Biblical values which Telchin, himself a Messianic Jew, holds. For myself, there is no divine covenant with Israel that does not include a saving relationship with Messiah Yeshua, Abraham's 'seed'. For Paul, the 'olive tree' that is the only true Israel of God is even now being formed of 1) Jews who continue in God's true covenant fulfilled and made 'new' through Jesus the Messiah and 2) Gentiles who have believed in Jesus, the Christ. By this process 'all Israel' will be saved. As Paul says, not all who are descended from Israel are 'Israel'.
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Messianic Judaism is Not Christianity: A Loving Call to Unity
Messianic Judaism is Not Christianity: A Loving Call to Unity by Stan Telchin (Paperback - 1 Jan. 2004)
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