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This is a site about the good news of the New Covenant (Brit Chadasha). But this is not a site about Christianity. I make this distinction for several reasons.

First, as explained in About Me, this Good News changed my life and drew my interest. Christianity has never affected me in the same way. Thus it has not raised my interest and study as the Covenants revealed in Tanakh and Brit Chadasha have. Since I can only write about what has touched me, I limit this site to the Tanakh and Brit Chadasha.

Perhaps you are wondering about the difference between the two. You might think of it as similar to the distinction between being a Jew and being an Israeli. Many think that these two are the same, i.e. all Jews are Israelis and all Israelis are Jews. But many Jews are not Israelis, being citizens of other nations such as USA, Canada or France. And many Israeli citizens are not Jews, ethnically or religiously. Over 20% of Israelis are Arab (Muslims, Christians and Druze). The world Headquarters of the Bahai religion is in Haifa, Israel. Of course is overlap and influence between Jews and Israel. Israelis have explicitly built their society as a Jewish one. Non-Israeli Jews often have a special affinity and interest in Israel. There is overlap and influence one upon the other – but they are not the same.

Origin of Christians

So it is with the good news of the New Covenant and Christianity. There are many things, beliefs and practices in Christianity that are not part of the other. For example, there are the well-known celebrations of Easter and Christmas. They are probably the most well-known representations of Christianity. These festivals remember the birth and death/resurrection of Yeshua (Jesus Christ), the central person in the Brit Chadasha.  But nowhere in the Brit Chadasha do we find any reference or command to do with these celebrations. Christian clergy removed Easter from its original Passover calendar around 300 CE. So its connection to Passover of Exodus 12 is lost to everyone. I enjoy celebrating Christmas and Easter. But so also do many of my friends who have no interest in the Good News of G-d’s covenants.

So there is much overlap between the two – but they are not the same. In fact, the whole Brit Chadasha mentions the word ‘Christian’ just three times. In its first occurence it indicates that pagans of that day invented the word as their name for the disciples of Yeshua.

So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.

Acts 11:26

Development of Christianity

Christianity was seen as a Jewish denomination in those first days. But almost 300 years later, under the Roman Emperor Constantine, Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire. With the alliance of Church and State, it became a powerful institution with popes, bishops, rituals, and customs. Christendom then split between the Roman Catholic Church of Western Europe and the Orthodox Church of Eastern Europe. This occurred in an event called ‘The Great Schism‘ in 1054 CE. Then in the 1500’s with the advent of the Protestant Reformation, the church in Western Europe again split. The various Protestant denominations like the Anglican Church, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Wesleyans, Baptists came from that Reformation movement. Along the way, there was regular anti-semitic persecution of Jews by Christians.

Christianity now has a long history of institutions, patriarchs, archbishops, monasteries, priests, pastors, monks and cathedrals across Europe and around the world, including in Israel. Those people who practice their Christian faith today often do so by attending church on Sunday, getting baptized, performing the eucharist or the breaking of Bread. They go to confession, or even go on pilgrimages to venerated locations. Others give generously to church or other worthy causes or even buy indulgences.

The Gospel: Explicitly for Jews

These practices and institutions, though culturally important to their adherents, are not what the Good News is about. So just like one can be an Israeli without being a Jew, one can also receive the Covenants given by Yeshua without becoming Christian. As stated in the Brit Chadasha:

For I am not ashamed of the Good News, since it is God’s powerful means of bringing salvation to everyone who keeps on trusting, to the Jew especially, but equally to the Gentile. 17 For in it is revealed how God makes people righteous in his sight; and from beginning to end it is through trust — as the Tanakh puts it, “But the person who is righteous will live his life by trust.”

Romans 1:16-17

In fact, one of the most unfortunate by-products of the growth of Christianity is that both Christians and Jews have lost sight of the Jewishness of the ‘New Testament’ (Brit Chadasha). Few know that its name is rooted in promises given through Jeremiah in the Tanakh. All the books in Brit Chadasha (with possible exception of Luke/Acts) were written by Jews, describing Jewish Festivals like Passover, First Fruits, Shavuot, Hanukkah. The central character, Yeshua of Nazareth, was a Jew. The first sentence of the Brit Chadasha emphasizes this:

This is the genealogy of Yeshua the Messiah, son of David, son of Avraham

Matthew 1:1

The central question/debate that this sentence raises: ‘Was Yeshua really the Messiah?’ is certainly a Jewish question if it belongs to any group. So, let’s explore, consider and reflect on this and other questions that were first brought to mankind by the Jews. One possible place to start is at the very beginning, with the creation account in the Torah, when G-d created mankind in His image.