Attractions and Hindrances in the Proclamation of the Gospel to Jews

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This study explores the attractions that make for a successful ministry among Jews, and the hindrances that have impeded, and continue to impede, that mission. It begins with an overview of the theological, historical and missiological frameworks of this ministry, and then introduces the results of fieldwork done in Israel through interviews, case studies, observations, focus groups, and surveys, supplemented by other relevant literature that, altogether, forms a data base for strategizing future missionary work.

Non-believing Jews and Jews who had accepted Yeshua—so called Messianic Jews were asked what motivated them to either accept Yeshua as the Messiah or to reject him. From their responses the researcher has established a list of eighty-seven attractions. Among the most important inducements to conversion are: reading the New Testament, discovering Yeshua the Jew, and a witnessing friend or family member. Parallel with this list of attractions, the researcher has compiled a list of forty-five hindrances (theological, historical and sociological), among which are, most importantly: family opposition, fear of giving up one's Jewish identity, Christian doctrines (trinity, supersessionism…) and the Church's traditional anti-Judaism.

A second focus is on leadership. Here the researcher explores the differences between a secular and religious leader; the necessity of an effective training; and the need for contextual preparation, in which the Mission to the Jews is undertaken by persons who are equipped to effectively lead in a cross-cultural ministry and contextualized congregations.

This leads us to our third focus, on contextual issues. A ministry among Jews must be a contextualized ministry. It is supported in this study by a presentation of a positive view of Jews and a friendly Christian theology based on the awareness of the Jewishness of Yeshua, which is one of the first attractions for Jews.

This study concludes with recommendations and applications to leaders of the World Jewish Adventist Friendship Center, which minister to Jews. Jews don't lose their own Jewish identity in accepting Jesus but fulfill themselves in the Messiah, which, pragmatically, means retaining Jewish rituals that are compatible with Yeshua's message.

Mentor: Wilbert R. Shenk

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Doctor of Intercultural Studies

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Shenk, Wilbert R.

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Missions to Jews, Seventh-Day Adventists


Missions and World Christianity


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