Messianic Judaism and the Hebrew Roots Movement: A Numbers Game

How are any of us supposed to reckon with the large numbers of non-Jewish Believers being drawn into the Messianic movement? Messianic Apologetics editor J.K. McKee addresses how the Messianic Jewish founders of the 1960s and 1970s set up a movement focused on: Jewish outreach, Jewish evangelism, and Israel solidarity. Messianic Jewish congregations could be places where Jewish Believers in Yeshua did not have to assimilate into the Christian world, with their children and grandchildren forgetting their heritage. Jewish Believers in Yeshua did not have to give up on being Jewish, and they could indeed live as Jews in fellowship with the wider Jewish world.

In the 1990s and 2000s, many non-Jewish Believers began to embrace their Hebraic Roots in the Torah and Tanach, and Jewish Roots in the Second Temple Judaism of Yeshua, in tangible ways. This was responded to both positively and negatively, some of it leading to the rise of the Two-House sub-movement and other associated groups. Today, if social media numbers hold true, the relatively independent Hebrew/Hebraic Roots movement is roughly ten to fifteen times the size of Messianic Judaism. While there is little doubting how this sector is bereft with hype, sensationalism, and opportunism–there should also be little doubting that God has moved on the hearts of many individual people and families, some of whom have not found a place in Messianic Judaism.

What are we supposed to do about some of these numbers? While we should be supportive of the original Messianic Jewish vision of Jewish outreach, evangelism, and Israel solidarity–how might such a vision need to be emendated, to account for something more also occurring?