21 Differences between Christianity and Nazarene Messianic Judaism
At the time, year 2016, we published this article showing “10 differences” between Christianity and Messianic Judaism Netzarim. Such analysis is still very popular on the Internet and Social Networks. Many questions and doubts arose thanks to the general public, so we decided that it needed to be expanded and explained. Today, year 2019, we detail 21 differences between both religious trends. We do not wish to be a cause for division, but we do want these differences to be clarified.
Differences of Interpretation and Doctrine between Christianity and Netzarim Messianic Judaism
1.DIFFERENCE: WHO IS YHWH THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE AND WHO IS JESUS (YESHUA)?
-CHRISTIANS: Believe in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, three persons in one True God (Doctrine of the Trinity).
-NETZARIM JUDAISM: We have the Father, YHWH, as the One Elohim and Creator of the Universe, the center of our worship (Det 6:4-9). We do not believe in the trinity. Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel, Prophet and Son of God, who fulfilled Zechariah 3:9, by the hand of YHWH. The Spirit of Elohim is the force or manifestation of the Power of YHWH.
2.DIFFERENCE: IS YESHUA GOD?
-CHRISTIANS: They believe that Jesus is God and is part of a set of three manifestations of one God.
-NETZARIM JUDAISM: Jesus (Yeshua) IS NOT God. Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel promised in the Tanack, a descendant of David, through his biological father Yosef. He is divine in nature, because He is the Word (Word) of YHWH, resurrected through God, and in him lives all the fullness of the deity (Col 2:9). We believe that Yeshua is the author through YHWH of eternal salvation for the one who believes in him (Heb 5:9-10) and was declared by Elohim High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek.”
3.WHO SHOULD WE WORSHIP?
-CHRISTIANS: They believe in Jesus as God, and therefore worship him.
-JUDAISM NETZARIM: Only Elohim we worship. Yeshua Himself said about worshipping YHWH, our Elohim
Yohanan (John) 4:23-24 “But the hour is coming, and now it is, when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father also seeks to worship Him. Elohim is Spirit; and those who worship him, in spirit and in truth, must worship.”
Revelation 4:10-11 “The twenty-four elders shall prostrate themselves before the one who sits on the throne, and worship the one who lives forever and ever, and place their crowns before the throne, saying, ‘You are worthy, O Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by your will they existed and were created!”
4.DIFFERENCE: IS VIRGIN BIRTH TRUE?
-CHRISTIANS: They believe the virgin birth, without the intervention of Yosef’s sperm their father.
-JUDAISM NETZARIM: Yeshua was a direct descendant of the house of David by his father Yosef. There was no virgin birth. In Matthew 1:18-25, Miriam thought she was already pregnant by the Spirit of Elohim (18), when she told Yosef on the day of her marriage, he thought the worst (19), but by dream he was persuaded that he should take Miriam (20-24), and that the Spirit of Elohim would bless the child to conceive (25). Also the “virgin birth” appears only in Matthew, but not in Luke.
5.DIFFERENCE: SHOULD ALL THE COMMANDMENTS OF YHWH EXPLAINED IN DETAIL IN THE TORAH (Pentateuch) BE FOLLOWED?
-CHRISTIANS: They claim not to be under the Law, but under grace. The New Testament is the authority of conduct and life because it is the New Covenant. Salvation is only by grace through faith.
-NETZARIM JUDAISM: We believe that we are under grace, which makes it easier to understand and apply the Law of Elohim in the Tanack and salvation for the unborn of a Jewish mother, is only by grace through faith in Yeshua. We are Observants of the Torah (Laws of Moses given by YHWH (God) because Yeshua affirms so in 1 John 5:2 “In this we know that we love the children of Elohim: when we love YHWH and keep His commandments” (His Law).
6.DIFFERENCE: WHAT IS THE SABBATH?
-CHRISTIANS: They believe in Sunday as the Day of the Lord, the day when Jesus Christ rose from the dead.
-JUDAISM NETZARIM: The Sabbath is Saturday (Shabbat). Exodus 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy.” Exodus 20:9-11. The same text in Isaiah tells us that in the future everyone:
Isaiah 66:23-24 “And it shall come to pass that from new moon to new moon and from Sabbath to Sabbath, every mortal will come to prostrate himself before me,” says YHWH.”
7.DIFFERENCE: SHOULD WE FULFILL THE FESTIVITIES IN LEVITICS?
CHRISTIANS: All Jewish holidays were overcome by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The Christian church is not obliged to keep the Jewish holidays which passed along with the Law.
-NETZARIM JUDAISM: We celebrate the three great annual feasts, Passover, Pentecost, and Cabins, and the weekly shabbat/Sabbath, all scriptural, not “for the Jews,” nor “Jewish feasts” but “solemn feasts of YHWH.” Levitic 23
8.DIFFERENCE: SHOULD THE ORIGINAL HEBREW NAMES BE USED?
CHRISTIANS: They use the words “Jesus”, “Christ”, “Saint John”, “New Testament”, “Old Testament”, “Apostle Paul”, “Palestine”, “cross”, “church”, “converted”, “Christian”.
-NETZARIM JUDAISM: We use the biblical Hebrew names: Yeshua, Moshiach, Yonathan, Nazarene Texts, Tanack, Shaul, Israel, Madero, Kehila, Goy. Yet many also use Spanish names. But the names of biblical people as they were are always better.
9.DIFFERENCE: WHO IS OUR TRUE NEIGHBOR?
CHRISTIANS: The Christian Church recognizes the neighbor, as anyone who lives in this world.
NETZARIM JUDAISM: We recognize that in the Torah when it refers to “neighbor” it means the “Practitioner of the Torah” who lives near us, not anyone who lives in this world. In the parabula of the Good Samaritan, Yeshua shows three Jews, and like the last, the Samaritan (also a Jew) practiced the Commandments of Elohim in the Torah corresponding to the help (zedakah) of the orphan, widow and the poor among us. He himself proved it by saying that his relatives were the ones who followed him, and not his family (mother, brothers and sisters who did not follow him).
Matthew 12:48-50 “But He, answering the one who spoke to him, said, ‘Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?’ And extending his hand upon his disciples, he said, Behold my mother and my brothers, For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father, that is my brother and sister, and mother.”
10.DIFFERENCE: SHOULD WE FOLLOW THE HEBREW CUSTOMS OF YESHUA?
CHRISTIANS: Christianity believes that what Nazarene Judaism is doing is “Judaizing” and “going backwards, toward Judaism.”
NETZARIM JUDAISM: Netzarim Messianic Judaism is restoring what has been lost, the translations, the true Judaism of Rabbi Yeshua, its cultural, idiomatic and theological context.
11.DIFFERENCE: SHOULD WE FOLLOW THE BIBLICAL DIET (KOSHER)?
-CHRISTIANS: They mistakenly believe that you can eat everything, without any problem for the Christian.
– NETZARIM JUDAISM: We believe that Elohim never told Peter to eat everything (Acts 10:14-15), but told him that there was no difference between a Jew born of a Jewish mother and a Gentile Netzarim Messianic Jew (Acts 10:28).
12.DIFFERENCE: WAS EKLESIA CREATED AT PENTECOST?
CHRISTIANS: They believe that the New Covenant has been instituted and the Church supplants Israel.
– NETZARIM JUDAISM: We believe that Eklesia already existed as “The Tabernacle of Meeting” in the time of Moses, according to Exodus 16:10 “And it happened that as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the children of Israel, they looked into the wilderness, and behold the glory of YHVH in the cloud!”
Moreover, Israel will always be the chosen people according to 2 Samuel 7:24 “And you have established your people, Israel, as your people forever, and You, O YHVH, have become their Elohim.”
13.DIFFERENCE: DOES ORIGINAL SIN EXIST?
CHRISTIANS: They believe that Original Sin comes from Adam.
– NETZARIM JUDAISM: We believe that “Original Sin” does not exist in the Biblical Text. It is a false doctrine.
14.DIFFERENCE: IS THE SUBMISSION OF THE WOMAN FALSE?
CHRISTIANS: They believe that women are submissive to their husbands, and that they should remain silent in some cases in congregations. The woman is conjugated as inferior and is not allowed to be a Shepherdess, although when she is prepared and married, as The Letter of Titus says.
– NETZARIM JUDAISM: In Netzarim Messianic Judaism the woman takes the place next to her husband, having the same anointing as her pastor husband. Yeshua the Messiah allowed the woman to participate in His earthly ministry. Elohim gives a woman the same right as a man to divorce because of adultery or verbal, physical or sexual abuse.
15.DIFFERENCE: ARE THE COVENANTS OF ELOHIM PERPETUAL?
CHRISTIANS: They believe that the New Covenant has been instituted, eliminating all the others.
– NETZARIM JUDAISM: We in Netzarim Judaism affirm that all the Covenants are still in force and that the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31:31-34 has not yet come true.
16.DIFFERENCE: HAS THE NEW COVENANT ALREADY BEEN INSTITUTED?
CHRISTIANS: They believe that the New Covenant has been instituted.
– NAZARENE JUDAISM: We affirm that the New Covenant written in Jeremiah 31:31-34 and named in Hebrews 8 has not yet been given, Yeshua brought a renewal of the Covenant of Moses with different priestly laws.
Hebrews 8:8-13 “For rebuking them he says, Behold, days come, says Adonai, when I will establish with the house of Israel and the house of Judah a new covenant; Not like the covenant I made with their parents, the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; Because they did not remain in my covenant, and I disregarded them, says YHWH. Therefore, this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel (10 Tribes of Israel) After those days, the Lord says: I will put my laws in their minds, and upon their hearts I will write them (IT HAS NOT HAPPENED); And I will be to them for Elohim, and they will be to me as a people; And no one shall teach his neighbour, nor shall any of his brother, saying, Know YHWH; because everyone will know me, from the youngest to the oldest of them. ( IT HASN’T HAPPENED.) For I will be propitious to their injustices, and I will never again remember their sins and their iniquities. In saying, “New covenant,” he has given up the first as old; and what is taken for old and old, is about to disappear.”
None of this has happened, so the New Covenant is something that will happen when Yeshua returns to the world.
17.DIFFERENCE: WHO SHOULD GIVE TITHING, OFFERING, AND ZEDAKAH?
CHRISTIANS: They believe that we all have to give Tithing and Offering.” But if you do not believe in the Commandments of Elohim given to Moses, because they have been eliminated, how can you ask your disciples for something that you eliminated?
– NETZARIM JUDAISM: Only Netzarim Jews and Messianic Jews should abide by the commandments of Tithing, Offering and Zedakah (Works of Righteousness), because we believe that Yeshua said that they remain in force until the End of Time.
Matthew 5:17-19 “Do not think that I came to abrogate the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abrogate, but to comply. For truly I say unto you: Until heaven and earth pass, in no way shall a jot pass, nor a stroke of the letter of the Law, until everything has been fulfilled (At the end of times). Therefore, whoever suppresses only one of these smaller commandments, and thus teaches men, very little will be called into the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches them, he will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
18.DIFFERENCE: SHOULD WE CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS?
CHRISTIANS: They believe that there is no problem in celebrating the pagan holiday known as “Christmas”.
– NETZARIM JUDAISM: We do not participate in the pagan holiday called Christmas, because it is not found in the Biblical Text and because it only associates us with non-recommended practices.
19.DIFFERENCE: SHOULD WE PREACH TO THE JEWS?
CHRISTIANS: They believe that it should be preached to all people, especially those born of a Jewish mother, or Israelites.
– NETZARIM JUDAISM: We do not preach to the Jews, because in the New Testament, Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel, calls us to disciple only Matthew 15:24 “He answered, said, I was not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Also as it says in Romans 9 to 11, example: Rom 11:26 “then all Israel will be saved, as it is written: The Deliverer will come from Zion, Who will remove ungodliness from Jacob.”
20.DIFFERENCE: ARE NETZARIM JEWS RECOGNIZED BY ORTHODOX JUDAISM?
CHRISTIANS: Orthodox Jews recognize “Christians” as a religion separate from traditional Judaism.
– NETZARIM JUDAISM: On the other hand, Orthodox Jews recognize that Netzarim Messianic Jews do not believe that Yeshua is God, and that we are Torah observants. Many Orthodox Rabbis consider us Jews, or at least part of Judaism.
21. IS JERUSALEM OR MOUNT ZION THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE?
CHRISTIANS: “Christians” believe that the Church is the center of the universe and that all Scriptures speak of and prophesy about it. Some support Israel, but claim that if the Jews convert, the messiah Jesus will come faster.
– NETZARIM JUDAISM: We believe that all prophecies talk about what is going to happen in Jerusalem, Mount Zion, the Valley of Jehoshaphat (Last Judgment), the Third Temple and the Jewish People and those who are Torah Heart Watchers.
As you can see there are very notable differences between Christianity and Netzarim Messianic Judaism.
A thousand blessings and shalom to all.
Rabbi Yosef Ben Marques © 2016 (Updated 2019)
Messianic Rabbi Yosef Ben Marques © 2016
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