Judeo-Christian Studies

The Festivals of Hanukkah and Christmas

4. The Judeo-Christian values which were at stake redeemed.

(1) The Chosen People' - cradle of Christ and Christianity

Q: Could we say that the Jewish ideology for which the Maccabees fought and succeeded, constitute our Judeo-Christian values?

EDB: The Maccabees recaptured the Holy City and reconsecrated the Temple. Had the House of God remained a pagan shrine, Hebrew prophecy concerning Messiah coming in person to His Temple, could not have been fulfilled. Jesus came to His Temple "to fulfil the Law and the Prophets," as He affirmed. (Matthew 5:17-18)

(2) The Holy Scriptures of Old Testament - basis of New Testament

The Maccabees preserved the Hebrew Holy Scriptures from total obliteration. The Dead Sea Scrolls are a confirmation of much of our Old Testament today.

Had Antiochus' effort at genocide succeeded in the extermination of the faithful remnant, Jesus would not have had a Jewish virgin of the royal House of David for a channel from divinity to humanity. Herman Wouk was correct when he wrote: "Had Antiochus succeeded in obliterating Jewry a century and a half before the birth of Jesus, there would have been no Christmas. The feast of the Nativity rests upon the victory of Hanukkah."

If the faithful remnant in Jewry had been destroyed, we would not have had the Jewish Apostles of Jesus to bring the good news of the God of Israel to the Gentile nations of the world. We would not have a New Testament nor Christianity in the purest Biblical sense of the word.

In a very real way, the faithful Jewish remnant existing at the time of Jesus in the Holy Land, served as the cradle of the Christ child' - the Jewish Messiah and universal Saviour.

The Hebrew Scriptures of the Old Testament constitute a subject of intensive study in our time, especially since the Dead Sea Scrolls' were discovered.

(3) The Holy City and the Temple - centre of Christ's ministry

The New Testament serves as a continuity of Jewish history in the first century. We see Jesus' Jewish Apostles visiting the synagogues of Asia Minor, Europe, Greece, Rome. In every synagogue there were Gentile proselytes or adherents to the Sovereign Creator of the universe and moral Governor of mankind. The Mother Church' of Jerusalem originally was made up of a majority of Jews. Jewish believers were known as "Meshihiim" while the Greeks called believers, first in Antioch of Syria, by the term "Christianoi". In both languages, the terms mean followers of the Messiah' or the Christ'. (Acts 11:26; 26:28; I Peter 4:16)

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