Bible believers often forget that the Bible is a Jewish book. The writers of the Bible were Jews, with the exception of Luke who was a Greek (some think he was also a Jew). The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, the New Testament in Greek, but both are mainly about history that took place in Israel.
# 1. Our roots. So with our roots firmly established in Jewish soil, it is obvious that our loyalty is also with God’s chosen people. God is never going to reject Israel, since He is not interested in divorce (‘I will betroth you to me for ever….’).1 Even though many Jews reject Jesus, it is no reason for us to reject them.
# 2. Culture. Since the Bible is about Jews, it is obvious that the Jewish culture of those days is important. The following two examples in the Complete Jewish Bible 2 give us a feel of the Jewishness:
- Isaiah 2:3 in the NIV says, ‘The Law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.’ Stern translates it, ‘For out of Tziyon (Zion) will go forth Torah, the Word of Adonai from Yerushalayim’ (Yesha’yahu 2:3).
- Matthew 10:1,5, in the NIV says, “He called His twelve disciples to Him and gave…. These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans.’” Stern’s translation is, “Yeshua called His twelve talmidin and gave…. These twelve Yeshua sent out with the following instructions: ‘Don’t go into the territory of the Goyim and don’t enter any town in Shomron’” (Mattityahu 10:1,5).
# 3. Jesus. Nobody can deny that Jesus spent most of His short life in Israel, in the vicinity of the Sea of Galilee and Jerusalem among other places. Jesus was a Jew, and to all understanding, is still a Jew after His resurrection.
# 4. Jerusalem. David’s city will be important in the new heavens and earth: And I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 In the new city that we hope to be part of,
- The names of the twelve Jewish tribes will be written on the gates. 4
- The names of the twelve apostles will be written on the twelve foundations. 5
Since Jesus is our Messiah and He is a Jew, we should take time to ponder the miracle that God chose such a small country and the small ‘family’ of Jesus and His disciples to construct the biggest family of all times.
- Hosea 2:19
- Complete Jewish Bible, translated by David H Stern, Jewish New Testament Publications, 1998
- Revelation 21:2
- Revelation 21:12
- Revelation 21:14