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A Christian Perspective
Why the Jewish Interpretation is Important
By: Frank L. Hoffman
I am writing this brief article from the perspective of a Jewish - United Methodist Pastor, who has encountered many misconceptions over the years. And to answer the question that is probably buzzing in your head: Yes, a person can be both a Jew and a Christian at the same time. That's exactly what the first followers of Jesus were. They were Jews who came to believe in Jesus as their Messiah. That recognition didn't make them less Jewish, it actually enhanced their faith in God, as Jews.
Unfortunately, many Christians, teachers and pastors included, don't fully understand the Jewishness of the New Testament. They get side tracked by the fights and debates between the Jewish leadership (Nicodemus and Joseph being the exception) and those Jews who believed in Jesus as Messiah. They fail to see the complete picture. The basic argument was over whether Jesus was who He said He was. It was not an argument over being Jewish. They threw the followers of Jesus out of the Temple because they considered such belief to be a heresy, and because it challenged the leadership's authority. But, Christianity is now and has always been a "sect" of Judaism; that is, from a belief standpoint, if not from an acceptance point of view.
It is important for all of us to understand the Jewish-Christian connection. We need to understand the meaning of the Jewish festivals. Christians need to understand the Biblical context of compassion for both people and animals, and that it's really a sin to take pleasure in the death of anyone, whether a human or an animal. And, as vegetarian and vegans we need understand our Hebrew heritage of returning to God's original intent so that we can help others come to this compassionate understanding. Thus, we are including several Jewish perspective articles on this all-creatures.org Web Site.
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