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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They were Jews because of the Nation of Judea or kingdom which made up the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi. Those Tribes were considered Jews. Paul was a Jew from Tarsus. A Jew is an Israelite, but an Israelite is not neccessarily a Jew. There were Edomites who called themselves Jews because of Judaism. Herod was an Edomite or Idumaean who called himself a Jew. The Edomite Jews are the Jews in the land today. The Jews of the Bible are in captivity after the sac of Jerusalem is 70AD by General Titus of Rome.
It is important that people understand the contest and struggle between Yeshua and the Jews in its proper CONTEXT so that you do not stray from the path of righteousness that Yeshua taught thinking that all things Jewish are wrong or not needed unless you're a Jew. Theirs was a "way of life". They didn't have their own bible, necessarily. They used the OT and added on to it the traditions of their elders. This would equate to a bunch of pastors writing books and gluing the pages of those books onto the bible. Or even less dramatic than that, people simply relying so much on their pastor that he might as well preface every thing he says from the pulpit with "thus saith your pastor". This is how people get led astray, when the image of MEN become larger than the image of YHWH.

John 18:14 - Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.

What we see from the Jews is a bunch of religious non-thinkers who could not tolerate the very MIND of Yeshua, not simply because they were opposed to his ideas (because they were not new) but because they opposed him, as a MAN, and the authority which was in competition to theirs. Had he been a Jew then he probably would not have had any problem with them. It is because John the baptist was an Essene that they asked him who gave him the authority to baptize. I recommend investigating the Essenes which probably later grew off a Nazarene offshoot. The Essenes were mainly the ones who were not going with the flow or the status quo. They would not integrate and chose to remain set apart in their own communities. While the rest of the nation became hellenized they represented a kind of purity that would have obviously been a threat to any Israelite of the tribe of Judah wishing to wield power because essentially the Jews represented an earthly power while the Essenes who were trying to stay true to far more ancient traditions represented a heavenly power.

Many pastors today teach falsely, saying that all the Jews were lost because they did not believe. To that I say, read the NT. For example:

Acts 11:19 - Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.

Prior to Acts 11 and during the ministry of Yeshua they were ONLY going to Israelites and taking the word to members of that nation. Add up the number of converts in Acts 2-10 and you will see that this was not a fruitless exercise. Now.... did all those "Jews" who converted give up their identity? Their label? We get mostly the views of Paul. Paul said this about himself:

Acts 22:3 - I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward G-d, as ye all are this day.

What we have is not one side (the gentiles) converting the other or the (jews) converting the gentiles.

Acts 18:4 - And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.

They were BOTH being persuaded because they were BOTH in error. Their "way of life" was in error. It's just like the rich young ruler (the tribe of Judah was equivalent). He kept the law in letter but he failed to keep the law in spirit. And so he had to change but he wasn't willing because he was so rich (or thought he was). And that was the condition of many Jews in high society who had gotten their position by getting along with their Roman conquerors; Stockholm syndrome on acid. They were reaping the benefits while the people suffered and that is why the zealots wanted freedom from Rome at all costs while they (Jews) were doing nothing to be free.

Before the Jews... what was the religion of the bible called?


Read the OT. Not a single name for any religion is mentioned. You don't even have YHWH dealing with churches and other organizations. You only see him dealing with individuals, with families, with families of families (a.k.a nations). A religion is an ARTIFICIAL organization or grouping of human beings. YHWH does not have to recognize it. Those who YHWH recognizes as "ISRAEL" are those he chooses. Still ONE family, because he is the FATHER to them all. When YHWH is your father THEN do you become BROTHERS and SISTERS with Yeshua and therefore one family.

Romans 2:17 - Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,

Listen... when we hold up these MAN-MADE religious titles we are BOASTING of G-d as if we own him, have title to him, like he's in our corner, a member of our country club. This makes us big and G-d small. And it is inevitably a deception because YHWH did not create nor authorize any religion. We are his servants or we are nothing at all. We are his sons or we have no relationship at all. We must be in HIS corner. We should NEVER expect him to be in ours. Oh yes, his promises are true but when has HIS NATION kept their end of those promises? And where did he go on record making individual promises to you? The best way to be included in on his promises is to be his child and hold up that child's end of the promises by keeping the commandments of YHWH which Torah says is the "WHOLE DUTY OF MAN".

Romans 2:28 - For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

Romans 2:29 - But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of G-d.

In other words, it is a SPIRITUAL CONNECTION that makes you who you are. You cannot BOAST to THE ALMIGHTY that you are a member of the First Church of Holy Rolling Missionary Baptist African Methodist Gosh this Title is Long (insert Jesus name somewhere) Church and expect YHWH of hosts to be like "okay, you're on my list since you have the right affiliation". No, YHWH who sees the heart, judges the heart and not any of your stats on paper that make you look good in front of other people. Half of the people running around here would not even be where they are if they were not supporting an IMAGE. Everybody's trying to be perceived as that "Good Christian" while inside they are full of dead men's bones.

The invitation of Israel is one of joining the family of YHWH. It's not about religion. It's not about something external. It's not about who has the bomb website or who is what elder and how many "churches" there are and what yall do on shabbat. It's sad that many people don't even know what shabbat is, don't even know the most basic of things even though they've been in "A" church for most of their lives because RELIGION has blinded them. It's like a commercial trying to persuade and convince you that you need it when yesterday it didn't even exist and you survived just fine. There was no religion in Abraham's house. There was just his family. There was no religion in Noah's house. There was just his family. There was no religion in the mouth of Yeshua! There was only the FAMILY of YHWH. And ALL of you need to get IN that family. Jew... Gentile....? It's about being ONE with Yah, our Father and finding the same oneness with each other so that we can live together in love and harmony. Please excuse the length of my response.

Good teaching Bro. Zealot.
I want to add my two cents as well, but I must first ask a question: will this discussion stay within the range of spiritual context, or physical bloodline?

I ask because that makes a BIG difference.........
Trevor I am not sure why it would make a difference knowning this before you answer because most people answer the question starting on the physical and ending on the spiritual depending on their mode of thought. The question ask what define a Jew or a gentile so depending on your view you would either end up on the spiritual side or the physical unless your answer is similar to the Pastor who says they is no such thing as a Jew or Jewish, frankly I don’t know where he is coming from as the Bible clearly recognise there is Jews..
Sister it is because you use the English Bible that uses the term .. you should try to get a Hebrew edition and learn to translate he he he (Then you will have the same stress as me ha ha ha ha!!!! )

Yes many of the Hebrew persons now embrace the term "Jew" as do other nations . I will not demean any by resiting all and any term used towards these nations .. but I will throw the hint one more time .. does the letter "N mean any thing today? Same as the "J" word.
Properly we are Hebrew .. As uncle Sam is American! Properly we have African, Russian, Italian, Hatian... but some do not use proper English !
Who translates your bible ?? Men who in spite of reforming still harbored very bad thoughts towards The Children of God ! In History Martin Luther had a good idea of bringing scripture to the language of his people (Germans) but it is recorded he was just as cruel and unaccepting towards the "Juden" as were the Papists.
Still today we have segregation, and intolerance even among the as you call them "Jews" which to me is as Anti Torah as any who do not keep Shabbot. Where can we stop this or at least control this behavior? I feel if perhaps we return to the "proper" terms and abandon slang maybe (not completely as man will be man) then we can begin to dialogue in a more acceptable format

Just a thought


(ye-HOO-dee) n./adj. Jewish; Judean; Jew. From Greek Ioudaios, someone from Judea or "Judah." The word "Jew" comes from the Hebrew name of the ancestor Judah, whose name also came to designate the tribe and tribal district in which Jerusalem was located; thus the inhabitants of Judah and members of the tribe of Judah come to be called "Judahites" or, in short form, "Jews." Later this terms was used for anyone descended from Israel. In modern usage, according to halakhah, one is a Jew if one has Jewish parents (at least a Jewish mother), or has undergone conversion in accordance with Jewish law.

Source: Hebrew for Christians
I asked for a specific reason: it seems that this conversation has been focused mainly on the physical bloodline, and I didn't want to drift from the context of the conversation. Its just as bad as drifting from the context of scripture in my book.


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