What define a person as a Jew instead of a Gentile or vice versa?

Today we have so much time being consumed in our world about who is Jewish and who is not.  I would like to invite all especially those who consider themselves to be Jewish to define what makes a person Jewish.  And in case someone says because Abraham was jewish I want a definition of what makes Abraham Jewish instead of a gentile.  I would like this discussion to be civilized and in an orderly fashion, this is a fact finding mission that will hopefully clear up any mis conception or confusion into who is who.

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Thank you Daniel I too know Abraham was not Jewish, he was a gentile. I do believe there are many Jewish people who are not aware of this or chose to ignore that information. Personally I don’t believe since the way was opened to allow gentiles in the kingdom that it matter whether we are Jew or Gentile so what I cant understand is all the fuss and energy being wasted by my black brothers about who is really Jewish and who is not. Once we get into the Kingdom I don’t believe it is going to matter where we are Jewish, Gentile, Black, White or whatever.

We should be working on ensuring we get into the kingdom instead we have people worrying about whether they were the original Jew or not.

Abraham was the Father of all nations which means jews and gentile alike so really why some people or so bothered about whether they are real Jew or not I don't know .
FYI . . . .

A Semite (or, "Shemite") is someone descended from Shem, one of the sons of Noah. A Hebrew is someone descended from Heber (or, "Eber"), one of the great-grandsons of Shem. So all Hebrews are Semites, but not all Semites are Hebrews.

Six generations after Heber, Abraham was born to his line, so Abraham was both a Hebrew and a Semite, born of the line of Heber and Shem.

Isaac was born of Abraham; then Jacob of Isaac. Jacob's name was changed to "Israel," and he fathered 12 sons. His sons and their descendants are called Israelites, and they would be both Semitic and Hebrew. However, this would not make either Abraham or Isaac "Israelites." Some, who interchange the words "Jew" and Israelite, call Abraham a Jew, even though Abraham was not even an Israelite, and the word "Jew" is not used in the Bible until 1,000 years after Abraham.

One of Jacob-Israel's children was Judah (Hebrew - Yehudah). His descendants were called Yehudim ("Judahites"). In Greek this reads Ioudaioi ("Judeans").

The confusing factor is that almost all Bible translations employ the word "Jew," which is a modern, shortened form of the word "Judahite." Every time you come to the word "Jew" in the Old Scriptures, you should read "Judahite;" and every time you come to the word "Jew" in the New Scriptures, you should read it as "Judean."

Once you have those proper translations in mind, then we have to interpret those words further, because they can have more than one meaning, depending on the context. In the Old Testament, the word "Judahite" has three distinct usage's:

1. one who is of the tribe of Judah in a racial sense;
2. one who is a citizen of the southern "House of Judah," including the tribes of Benjamin and Levi. Thus, this word can be used either tribally (racially) or geographically (nationally).
3. This is also used in a religious sense of those who followed the religion of Judah. At the time of Esther, many non-Israelites "became Jews" (that is, Judahites) as the result of the Judahite victory (Esther 8:17).

In the New Testament, the Greek word Ioudeos should be translated "Judean." Again, this term was used in the same manner:

1. one who is of the tribe of Judah in the racial sense;
2. one who is a citizen of the province of Judea (as opposed to Galilee and Samaria), as is shown in John 7:1. This usage is geographical, and it applied also to the non-Israelite citizens of Judea who had been incorporated into the nation in 135 B.C.; and
3. a follower of the religion of Judah as given by Moses and the prophets. This usage is found in Romans 2:28 and 29.

Therefore, we can say:

1. All Israelites are Hebrews and Semites.
2. Only a few of the Israelites were called Jews (or, Judahites, Judeans).
3. Many non-Israelites were called Jews (Judahites, Judeans) simply because they lived in Judah or claimed to follow the religion of the Judeans.
  /ˈhibru/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [hee-broo] Show IPA
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1. a member of the Semitic peoples inhabiting ancient Palestine and claiming descent from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; an Israelite.
2. a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic family, the language of the ancient Hebrews, which, although not in a vernacular use from 100 b.c. to the 20th century, was retained as the scholarly and liturgical language of Jews and is now the national language of Israel. Abbreviation: Heb
3. Hebraic.
4. noting or pertaining to the script developed from the Aramaic and early Hebraic alphabets, used since about the 3rd century b.c. for the writing of Hebrew, and later for Yiddish, Ladino, and other languages.
bef. 1000; ME Hebreu, var. (with H- < L) of Ebreu < OF < ML Ebrēus for L Hebraeus < LGk Hebraîos < Aram ʿIbhraij; r. OE Ebrēas (pl.) < ML Ebrēī
Daniel I pray you continue your teaching on the subject
As sure my sister as molasses belongs upon bread I shall
Sis Angela,

This discussion brought englightment to all involved. I think it's amazing how God gives each of us little bit of truth in order to keep up seeking and depended on the other. At the end of the day I'm thankful that I have been given access through Yeshua!
Sister Sonya I pray by the end of this discussion we will all have learned a lot more especially the history that will aid us more in our biblical understanding, with some Hebrew thrown in but more importantly that we will all come to the realisation that in Christ Jesus we are all one so it no longer matter whether we are Jew, Gentile, Black or White
I think you have lost me Pastor Michael because I am certainly not in dispute with Daniel, I am not sure what give you that impression and why you believe my eyes need to be opened. If you read the tread of conversation before making your comment you would have a better understanding of what is being said Pastor I do believe Daniel is stating the same as me that theimportant thing is whenwe are in Christ it does not matter whether we are Jew or Gentile
it is of interest to me and keep teaching I am here to learn and want to learn
Well, here's the thing. When Paul references the term "Jew" as well as most of the NT they are not talking about the TRIBE of Judah, but a RELIGION later called Ju-daism from which we get the modern term "Jew". Today, a Jew is someone who follows the RELIGION of the "Jews".

John 7:13 - Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.

John 9:22 - These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Messiah, he should be put out of the synagogue.

John 11:8 - His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?

In John 11:8 does it really sound like his disciples were Jews? If they were Jews would they refer to other Jews as such? That would be like a Christian saying "the Christians were trying to assassinate you". So we have to establish what "Jew" actually means before coming to a correct understanding of who is a Jew and what qualifies a person to be such.

John 11:54 - Yeshua therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.

Now Yeshua was surrounded by Jews and most people assume he was "Jewish". That is because the term has since been applied to all Israelites. Why? And is that right? These things should be questioned. If valid, then believe. If not valid, reject. The only ones who had any interest in redefining the entire nation after their own tribe was the stiff-necked leaders of the tribe of Judah who made the tradition of their tribal elders into what became their own religion. Remember... RELIGION, according to James, is a "way of life", not an organization. Those who followed the way of life as described and culturally accepted and legally enforced were "Jews". Those who didn't go along with it or who did it only out of convenience so they wouldn't get in trouble were not. And study shows that the Jews religion.... their tribal "takanots" were such a heavy burden that many people simply stopped trying. And so, through their RELIGION, they were shutting the gates of heaven, not allowing anyone to enter nor entering in themselves because they were hypocrites. Jewish was never really a national identifier. People who wanted it to be obviously made it so as history often favors those who win and are considered on top.



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