Modern Day Judaism

  • Many students of the Bible are often confused by the diversity of beliefs found in modern day Judaism.
  • The Jewish faith of biblical times was radically changed in 70 A.D. when the Romans destroyed the temple in Jerusalem. From that point on the sacrificial system of Old Testament Judaism was no longer the focal point of the religion.
  • Today there are three main branches of Judaism: Orthodox, Reform, and Conservative.
  • Orthodox Jews believe that by strict adherence to the Mosaic Law one can remain close to God. Orthodox Jews believe that the Jewish Messiah is yet to come and that the temple in Jerusalem will one day be rebuilt and the sacrificial system restored.
  • Reform Judaism (or Liberal Judaism) can be seen as an attempt to adapt the Jewish faith to the modern world. Reform Judaism is primarily concerned with maintaining Jewish cultural identity. Ethical and moral practices are emphasized over ceremonial religion.
  • Conservative Judaism can be understood as a “middle ground” between the two branches mentioned above. Conservative Jews value divine revelation and tradition, but they would say our interpretations of these can change depending on the cultural context.
  • When witnessing to a Jewish person the most important thing to do is point them to the Jewish Messiah, Jesus Christ. Walk them through the numerous Old Testament prophecies pointing to Jesus, show them how Jesus was the perfect sacrificial lamb of God, and then highlight the truth that Jesus is a risen savior.

For more information on Judaism and witnessing to those of the Jewish faith, please check out the new CSB Apologetics Study Bible for Students, available in our online store.