How to Answer Christian Missionaries

Edited by Gary Sokolow from  Internet sources and the teachings of Rabbi Tovia Singer (Outreach Judaism)
This is a short summary of things you will hear from Christian Missionaries. Remember these people may be your friends and mean well.  They don't have to have your beliefs but they should not make you uncomfortable about yours.  They have certain beliefs that make it important to try and convert Jews to their beliefs.  The missionaries believe that the entire the Hebrew Scriptures (Tanach, or Old Testament) is the word of G-d.  We Jews do not accept the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) as any authority to us.  This is fine  to the Christian missionary,  they firmly believe that Jesus is actually predicted in the Hebrew Scriptures.  The following points will state their arguments and our Jewish answers.  Remember, this is a short summary but much more can be found at some of the Internet sources listed below:

Internet Sources

  • Refuting Missionaries
  • Outreach Judaism
  • Jews for Judaism
  • Truth Page
  • Their Hollow Inheritance A Comprehensive Refutation of Christian Missionaries
  • Shomrai HaBrit-Keepers of the Covenant: Links

  • Isaiah Chapter 53

    Who is the Lord's Suffering Servant?

    Christians will point to Isaiah Chapter 53 as the best proof that Jesus is predicted in the Hebrew Scriptures.  Please read and note the following:
    You must ask, "Who is the Servant?" - See the chapters in Isaiah leading up to Chapter 53 (Isaiah 44:21 & 49:3). In these the people of Israel are named as this servant. Perhaps  Is this speaking of the many Jews that died on the cross, or during the Crusades, or the Nazi holocaust? Read it and see what you think.
    Who is speaking in Isaiah 53? See Isaiah 52:15 for the answer.  It's the Kings of the other nations when they realize how they have done wrong to the Servant. This is not the Jewish people talking, as missionaries would like you to believe. Also see Isaiah 41:11 and Micah 7:15 for a description of the same event where the Gentile nations realize their wrong treatment of the People of Israel.

    Whatever is important is repeated in the Bible

    The importance of honesty, protecting the widow, and obeying the Torah are repeated many times in the scriptures. This is the way important concepts are taught.
    How many times does the Jewish Bible state that we need to accept the Messiah?  The answer is "none". In the Christian Bible read John 3:36,"He that believe on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believe not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of G-d abideth on him".
    It is a bit strange that our Scriptures that go into great detail on how to do many things such as what to eat and drink, and even tells us  not to mix cotton and wool would leave something out that is supposed to be that important?
    Why doesn't our Bible ever tell us we need accept the Messiah?
    The answer is, that according to the Tanach, when the Messiah comes, the world will accept him. This is because of the signs in the Bible. One of the signs of the Messiah is that the Nations of the world will accept the belief in the Torah and it's principles.
    Zechariah 8:23 "At that time, ten men from different nations (in Hebrew goyim-gentiles) will come and take hold of a Jew (some Christian Bibles translate this as "Judean" but the Hebrew word is "Yehudi" - Jew) by his coat.  They will say to him, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that G-d is with you.'"
    Isaiah 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
    Micah 4:2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
    Also note that the Law is mentioned here.  Some Christians say that Jesus fulfilled and ended the law.  If that is true than it goes against what is in the Scriptures.

    Christians believe the only way to forgiveness is the blood sacrifice made by Jesus . They will point to Leviticus 17:11 as their proof of this.

    "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul."

    Here is Leviticus 17:11 in context:

    "And whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn among you, who consumes any blood, I will set My face against that person who consumes blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul. Therefore, I say to the children of Israel, `No one among you shall consume blood, nor shall any stranger who sojourns among you consume blood.'"
    This is really a statement prohibiting the consumption of blood. Look at where the blood sacrifice is described in .Leviticus 4, and Numbers 15:22-31 and you see the blood sacrifice was only intended for unintentional sins. Sacrifices did not help to atone for sins that were done intentionally (Leviticus 4, and Numbers 15:22-31).
    The Bible is very clear that Jesus' crucifixion could not be a Blood Sacrifice because they had very exact rules on these rituals. The Scriptures are very clear as to how the blood was to be treated in order to be a sacrifice. And this form of guilt offering was never a human sacrifice. In addition the blood had to be offered on a specific alter. Jesus' sacrifice could never be the guilt sacrifice.

    The Jewish concept of forgiveness (Teshuvah - Return)  is  universal and mentioned in the Bible many times. It is available to all religions, (read the Book of Jonah).

    For You do not delight in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of G-d are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart. These, O G-d, You will not despise." (Psalms 51:16-17)

    "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return to the L-rd, and He will have compassion on him; and to our G-d, for He will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:7).

    "I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, `I will confess my transgressions to the L-rd', and You did forgive the guilt of my sin." (Psalm 32:5).
    "By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for..." (Proverbs 16:6).

    Quotes that point to the Unity of G-d