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Ask Pastor Reuben

Why do some leaders

in the Messianic Jewish Movement

say they are a rabbi or

a Messianic Rabbi?


S H A L O M !


Biblical Question:

Why do some leaders in the Messianic Jewish Movement say they are a rabbi or a Messianic Rabbi?

Our Question:

Dear Pastor Reuben,

Why do some leaders in the Messianic Jewish Movement say they are a rabbi or a Messianic Rabbi?  Isn't this a Jewish term highly regarded and special in the Jewish Community worldwide?

 Many I see aren't even Jewish born!  How can this be?  I hope you can help.

Thanks, Greg

Pastor Reuben's Answer:

Shalom Greg,

I appreciate your note and sincere questions.  I do not believe that we in the Messianic Movement should use the "Rabbi" title due to it being one originally developed and acquired by unbelieving people.  It means confirming an ancient scholarly position within Judaism after usually very demanding scholarly work over 4-10 years of prescribed study and testing.  Also, it is not a title we can just use, take upon ourselves, just because it is "cool".  It certainly doesn't make us more Jewish nor authoritative in Jewish life. In fact it drives a wedge between us and the unsaved Jewish community who laugh and scorn such as being a lie, deceit and proof that "Christians" will do anything to try to win a convert.  After 46 years in mission work among Jewish people this has been one of the most difficult fences to overcome in witness of the Gospel. We have to agree with them.

  Some justify this rabbi title usage by saying that the word merely means teacher or that Yeshua (Jesus) was referred to as such, so they can as teachers and Believers in Jesus take the title.  Well, first off the word means much more than just teacher (see above comments) and the fact is that God (Jesus) certainly can take the title; He is the Rabbi!  No one as His talmidim (disciples) can just assume such a Jewish knowledge base and position. Personally, I use the title of Messianic Pastor. I take Torah as being the total Bible; Old and New Covenants.  I am observant of it all as the Lord commanded, and I hold to faith versus works in a Messianic Jewish life for myself.

May God bless you,

Pastor Reuben

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