by John D. Garr, Ph.D.

As we search diligently to discover the truths that will reconnect us with the Jewish heritage of our Christian faith, we are discovering that virtually every area of our lives is enriched by the nourishing sap that we draw from the roots of the olive tree. It is by no means an exaggeration to affirm that every authentic expression of Christian faith rests on the foundation of the Judaism in which Jesus and the apostles lived and practiced their faith. The converse is also true; practices which are not grounded in the Hebraic heritage of the faith of Jesus are not authentically Christian. They represent accretions which have been added from cultures which were founded on philosophies that are incompatible and inimical to the holistic world view and mind set of the Biblical Hebrews.

The negative results of Christianity's severing its rootedness in the olive tree of Judaism is immeasurable. In many cases it has resulted in the preaching of another Jesus and another gospel that are foreign to the historical Jesus and the gospel of the kingdom which He and the apostles preached. Christians everywhere and in every century since the first have been victimized by the loss of their Judaic legacy. They have been forced by tradition and ignorance to believe and practice concepts that are not grounded in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Being ignorant of our roots is no fault of our own. The ignorance of Christians has been purposely orchestrated by a church that has historically sought to distance itself from its Jewish background, even choosing to define itself vis-a-vis Judaism rather than in the context of Judaism as would have reflected intellectual and historical honesty. It all began in the last part of the first century as the church became more and more dominated by Gentiles in demographics, in philosophy of ministry, and in theology. It was insured in 325 C.E. when Constantine the Great issued the imperial edict that the church should thenceforth have nothing more in common with Judaism and the Jewish people. Even Protestant Christianity has violated its sacred grammatico-historical hermeneutic by wresting the New Testament from its inherent Hebrew idiom and thought and from its historical Judaic context.

If being ignorant is not our fault, remaining ignorant in the face of the growing international movement of restoration must be attributed to our charge. The Holy Spirit is moving the body of Christ around the world to create a fresh awareness of the Hebrew foundations of Christian faith and a renewed understanding of our roots that makes it possible for believers in any communion to reclaim and practice their own inherent Jewishness in faith and in heritage.

Reconnecting the severed roots of our faith requires intense research to discover Christianity's Biblical foundations. Fortunately, God has strategically positioned men and women of insight in virtually every denomination who have been given a stewardship of the grace of God - a vision to engage in excavation and restoration. Scholars from around the world have come to conclude that when rightly expressed Christianity is unmistakably a Hebrew faith, rooted in Judaism.

What is needed now is unwavering commitment from believers everywhere to rise up and claim the legacy which centuries of Judaeophobia and anit-Semitism have denied them. It is time to reconnect our faith with its root system in order to restore spiritual health and maturity to the body of Christ. It is time for Christians to wean themselves from concepts that are rooted in Greco-Roman philosophy and to begin to practice a faith that is authentically Biblical.

We must imagine ourselves as carefully reattaching ourselves to the Jewish roots of our faith severed so many centuries ago. The place to start is recognizing the Jewishness of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and the Jewishness of our Book, the Bible. How could a faith that was founded by a Jewish man upon the principles of a Jewish book not be a Jewish faith?

This issue helps us to understand our faith more fully. We are challenged to honour the King of the Universe by Dwight Pryor's "Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh."
Dr. Terril Littrell gives us insight into Chrisitian unity in "God's Answer to Christian Unity."
Rev. Isaac Rottenberg helps us face the church's ongoing problem with the Holocaust in "They Just Don't Get It: Christian Reaction to the Holocaust."
"Your Jewish Connection" is Dr. Howard Morgan's instruction to the church on its proper relationship with Israel and the Jewish people.
Dr. Brad Young offers clear evidence of the connection between Judaism and the parables of Jesus in "Jewish Grace in Jesus' Parables."
Dr. E. William Bean gives us the "Key to Crossing Over" a Hebrew word study that illuminates our faith.
Dr. Kirk Gullege offers Biblical insight into issues and problems in the field of gerontology in his "What Ever Happened to Wisdom?"
Dr. Karl Coke challenges us to the importance of learning Biblical Hebrew in order to understand the Scriptures more fully. In "Blessing Israel Really Pays Off," Rev. Claudio Divino offers insights into the foundation of revival in the nation of Brazil.

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