Talking to Jews

Main literature

  • The Torah, which is the first five books of the Old Testament or the Pentateuch.
  • The Nevi’im which are the books of the prophets.
  • Ketuvim which are the remaining writings.
  • Talmud.

5 things they believe

  1. Jesus was not the Messiah – they are still waiting for the Messiah to turn up for the first time.
  2. The Old Testament (Hebrew) scriptures.
  3. The God of the Bible.
  4. Keeping the faith and the Law for salvation.
  5. Christianity is a cult/sect.

5 typical characteristics

  1. Men tend to wear skull caps on their heads.
  2. Won’t tend to marry into Gentile families.
  3. Will not work on the Sabbath – from 6pm Friday evening to 6pm Saturday evening.
  4. They have to follow 613 commandments given in the Torah.
  5. Will not write out the word ‘God’ as God, but rather as G-d.

5 typical responses

  1. Arrogance – they rely on their ‘chosen people’ status, and believe that God will bring them into Heaven simply because they are Jews.
  2. Hatred – they really hate Jesus, and can also feel the same way towards Christians.
  3. Ignorance – most Jews have not read the New Testament, and don’t know about Jesus.
  4. Impatience – they don’t tend to listen carefully or genuinely when you try to talk with them about God.
  5. Hypocrisy – they say they are waiting for the Messiah, but when you try and talk with them about Jesus, they are not willing to listen.

7 verses (or combinations) to use

NOTE: The underlines have been added as suggested words to emphasise within the verse, but go as the Lord leads you!

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth … And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth … Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. – Genesis 1:1, 26, 11:7

NOTE: God in verse 1 is ‘Elohim’ (a Hebrew plural noun), which is why God writes as ‘Let us’ and ‘our likeness’. God is ONE God, but revealed to us in three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. – Deuteronomy 6:4

NOTE: The ‘Shema’.

And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. – Mark 12:29-30

NOTE: Jesus refers to the ‘Shema’.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. – Matthew 1:21-23

NOTE: The fulfilled prophecy of the birth of the Messiah, and His name would mean ‘God with us’.

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. – John 8:58

NOTE: Jesus referred to Himself as ‘I AM’ – the Name of God given to Moses in Exodus.

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. – 1 Peter 2:24

NOTE: Another fulfilled prophecy by Jesus dying on the cross at Calvary.

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. – Luke 4:16-21

NOTE: The coming of the Messiah was fulfilled when Jesus walked the earth.

Additional information

In their synagogues, Isaiah 53 is NOT read out, so point them to that chapter, along with Psalms 22, which shows Jesus the Messiah.