During my tenure as a baker in a Jewish kosher bakery in 1982, I had occasion to speak with Jewish rabbis and tourists from Israel who frequented our business. Being a young Jewish Christian, I enjoyed meeting and conversing with those of my own race. We would often get into conversations and impromptu debates about whether Jesus was the Messiah; and each time I managed to gain the upper hand in the argumentation. This contributed to my having an unrealistic opinion of my doctrinal expertise. Little did I know just how soon my theological bubble would be popped. One day a Jewish rabbi offered to pay my tuition for a class called "Judaism versus Christianity: The parting of the ways," which was being taught by Motti Burger (who was head of the Baltimore branch of Jews For Judaism at the time) at a local synagogue. I gladly accepted the offer, viewing it as a ripe opportunity for evangelism.  

As I registered in the lobby, Motti introduced himself to me. He was a very likable person. When he learned I was a Christian, he took the right approach for anyone professing to teach the truth. Hoping to convert me, he encouraged me to attend. During the first class, Motti brought up numerous "contradictions" in the New Testament. Even as a young believer, I was able to see through most of the attacks that were being made on the inspiration of the New Testament. (I knew, even then, that there were tougher alleged contradictions in the Old Testament.) Emboldened by this, I conversed with Motti afterward. I brought up the standard proofs of Jesus' Messiahship that I had used so successfully before, expecting Motti to be bowled over like all the rest. But, was I in for a surprise. He had an answer for everything I brought up! And to make matters worse, I had no answers for the affirmations that he made. I left the synagogue feeling totally defeated. I recall telling the minister of our church, "I certainly have a lot to learn." He replied, "Good. Now you are really in a position to learn." He decided to send Mark, a brother older and more knowledgeable than I, with me to the next class. However, my warnings to Mark about Motti's abilities went unheeded as he proceeded to meet the same fate. We quickly realized that we were outclassed. So we resigned ourselves to asking questions.

This experience was the catalyst that sent me down a long soul-searching road of Scriptural investigation. Was Jesus the long awaited Messiah as I had supposed? Or had I erred in accepting Jesus as the true Messiah on the flimsiest of evidence? I had to know! I can honestly say that if I had not found sound rational answers to the many points Motti, and other learned Jewish apologists like him, brought up against my position, I would have rejected the New Testament claim that Jesus is the Messiah. However, during the Messianic odyssey that led to the writing of this book, I discovered that the arguments for Jesus' being the Messiah couldn’t be refuted when properly presented and defended.

As I read through different anti-missionary books, I discovered that they often did not present the best arguments that Christians have. They will present the Scriptures we use, but seldom do they present our counter arguments to their rebuttals for the reader to honestly evaluate. I decided that I would not do that. I will present the best of the anti-missionary argumentation that I could find, leaving no stone unturned.

I will be critiquing several Jewish sources. The most prominent are: Samuel Levine's book: You take Jesus and I'll take God; Faith Strengthened by Isaac Troki, hailed by many Jews as the premier anti-missionary apologetic; and Gerald Sigal's book, The Jew and The Christian Missionary A Jewish Response to Missionary Christianity. (Actually, I found Sigal's book much more challenging and comprehensive than Troki's.) I shall also be closely critiquing the argumentation of Jews For Judaism. Jews For Judaism bills itself as the only full time anti-Missionary organization in North America. They are extremely active in opposing Christian missionaries both here and abroad. Personally, I am thankful for their existence. I am grateful for their willingness to discuss things privately in a gentlemanly and courteous fashion and for their openness in giving me all their written papers free of charge. They encourage the Jewish people to read the Scriptures and to arm themselves for doctrinal exchanges with missionaries. The Christian missionary has everything to gain within such a scenario if, and only if, he is fully prepared! If he is not prepared, the Christian, particularly the Jewish one, is in grave danger of having his faith shipwrecked by these zealous anti-missionaries as the following warning voiced by a Messianic Jewish Christian demonstrates:

Lately, Jews For Judaism has begun a letter writing campaign, trying to undermine the faith of believers with questions. The campaign has been successful in part. Some have been disillusioned enough to renounce their faith in Jesus and return to Judaism. The problem is that we are losing people. The Jewish community has mounted an offensive, they are more prepared. We should not underestimate their potential to reach into the ranks of Jewish believers. Each one of us should refuse to meet with any counselor if we discover that the counselor is, in fact, an anti-missionary (Jewish Press).

Would Paul or any of the early Christians have advised their followers to cower behind locked doors for fear of the anti-missionaries? Certainly not! Paul "...confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that Jesus is the Messiah" (Acts 9:22). Apollos "...vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Messiah" (Acts 18:28). Peter exhorted the early Christians to "...always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear..." (1 Peter 3:15).

Thus, the primary purpose of this work is to prepare the missionary (If you talk to Jews about their salvation, you are considered one by the anti-missionary.) to answer each and every argument of consequence that the Jewish apologist has presented. If every single argument and nuance made by the anti-missionaries were pursued, this volume would contain a thousand pages or more. But to get this book into the hands of as many as possible, I have chosen to keep it concise. If you wish get down deeper into some of these issues, I would recommend that you purchase Michael’s Brown’s excellent 1200 page, four volume series: Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus (Baker Books, P.O. Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI, 49516-6287.)

The majority of the arguments made by the anti-missionaries are, to be frank, very weak. For example, Samuel Levine says Jesus could not be "the judge of Israel" because Jesus said "judge not, so that ye be not judged" (Levine pg. 35). This excerpt was taken completely out of context. Just a casual reading of Matthew 7:1-5 reveals that Jesus was telling his followers not to be hypocritical judges. He encouraged them to be sure to remove sin from their lives before moving in judgment against their brother's sin. This example is but one of hundreds that could be cited. I will deal with relatively few from this class. The arguments that I will address primarily are the ones that I feel the novice could not answer without assistance. There are numerous objections that fall under this classification. These are the arguments that I had to answer in order to hold on to my belief in Jesus. And it is this class of argumentation that I shall endeavor to answer exhaustively.

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