Jew — Nationality or Religion?

Question from a Site Viewer
Is there a difference between a Jew and Jewish religion? Is there a Jewish nationality and then a Jewish religion? Here’s an example. I am a Christian and believe in the Bible. If I had grandparents that were Jews and followed the Jewish religion would I be able to say that I have Jew in me?

Tim’s Answer
Thank you for your question. Yes, there is a difference between being a Jew and being of the Jewish religion. Being a Jew has to do with one’s ancestors. Being of the Jewish religion has to do with one’s beliefs. Some would argue that one is not a true Jew if one is not both Jewish in race and in religion. However, this is simply not true. There are many Jews in Israel today that profess no religious faith. They are secular Jews.

There are also many people of Jewish descent who follow Jesus, who also was a Jew. All of Jesus’ early disciples were Jews, including Peter and Paul. I have close friends who are Jews and who are Christians.

Ultimately, however, our confidence and boast is not that we are Jews, or Greeks, or Americans, or any other nationality. Ultimately, our confidence is that we are all children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. Paul, who was very Jewish, said that though he may have reason to have confidence in his Jewish credentials, he chose to place his confidence solely in Christ (Philippians 3:4-8) and to boast only in the cross of Jesus (Galatians 6:14). He sets a good example for us.

May the Lord Jesus continue to guide you into love for Him and for all people.

a fellow servant,

tim

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Jews & Gentiles

One thought on “Jew — Nationality or Religion?

  1. graham

    The “Jewish gene” does not exist solely within the Jewish people.Therefore it is not a hard and fast indicator.People might be of Jewish DECSENT,but that does not make them a jew.If your descendants immigrated to a country you are not also of that original country.

    Reply

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