Judaism and Christianity Today

Judaism and Christianity Today

Dr. Jim Denison

Introduction

According to 2008 statistics, the world Jewish population numbers about 13.3 million. About 5.5 million live in Israel and 7.7 million live in the Diaspora, with 5.5 million in the United States. That means that about 41.3 percent of the world Jews now live in the Jewish state.

Most Jews in the U.S. are “Ashkenazim,” descendants of Jewish communities in central and Eastern Europe. Others are “Sephardim,” descendants of Jews from Spain, Portugal, other Mediterranean countries, and the Middle East. Nearly all of them reject the Christian claim that Jesus is their Messiah and our Lord.

History

The Jews trace their beginnings to Abraham (ca. 2000 B.C.). The Lord promised him, “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:2-3).

The Hebrew nation is traced from Abraham through Isaac to his son Jacob and his twelve sons (the “twelve tribes of Israel”). The Jewish people spent 400 years enslaved in Egypt, before God liberated them through the parting of the Red Sea and the Exodus. They eventually conquered the land of Canaan, the Holy Land today.