The following is adapted from the introduction to the inaugural edition of Messianic Jewish Issues.

Let’s face it: we all have issues—some of us more than others—and the sooner we admit it, the better! Of course, I am poking fun at the title of our new publication, Messianic Jewish Issues, which was deliberately named for its double meaning. Indeed, we all trip and stumble in our walk with Yeshua, primarily because of our own issues. But we also have legitimate questions about living the Messianic Life, and we need clarity and direction if we are to be effective people of God. Messianic Jewish Issues exists, then, for this very purpose: to begin to deal with the issues that affect us as disciples of Messiah in and around the enigma that is the Messianic Jewish Movement… and to do it with the same Scriptural integrity and honest exhortation that Perfect Word has always endeavored to employ. Read more

Q: Dear Kevin, an old friend of mine discovered that he and his family were actually descended from Jewish bloodlines, and he dropped out of the Gentile churches and became a Messianic Jew. He suggested that I myself may also be descended from Jewish roots. In fact, he seems convinced that I am, based upon the calling and anointing that he sees in my life. I prayed about this issue, then slowly but surely, the “Jewish-magnet” began pulling on my heart. I would not want to pretend or assume to be something or somebody that I am not. But if I am, in fact, Jewish, and not Gentile, then I would be honored and rejoice with great joy! What would you suggest that I do at this point? Read more

According to present-day halachah, in order for a Jew to make aliyah (emigrate) to the State of Israel, he must have at least one Jewish grandparent. While traditional halachah does not carry any divine authority, in this case, it does agree with the pattern of Scripture. Assuming other factors (i.e. a living heritage passed down generationally), Scripture appears to qualify a person as a Jew who is (genetically speaking) ¼ or 25% Jewish (see graphic, right)—that is, he has at least one fully Jewish (statistically-significant) grand-parent or equivalent lineage.

Why is this important? For Jews whose heritage has been obscured from them, it aids in the restoration of their birthright as sons or daughters of Israel. For Gentile believers in Yeshua who may otherwise be tempted to covet Jewishness (see “Am I Really a Gentile?”), it helps to affirm their birthright as the recipients of the blessings of Israel (Genesis 12:1-3), and keeps them strong in their identity as fellow-citizens with Jewish believers in the Household of God (Ephesians 2:19).

This “Fast Foundations” article was originally published in Messianic Jewish Issues.