The Role of Messianic Jews in Europe Today
Convinced that European Jewish believers in Yeshua have a significant role to play in Europe, it was our pleasure to convene the second European Messianic Jewish Theological Symposium (EMTS) in Berlin, from 25 to 28 February 2013.
Across Europe, the Messianic movement has rapidly grown and matured in recent decades. With the resurgence of Jewish community across the continent and significant Jewish migration following the collapse of the former Soviet Union, significant numbers of European Jews have accepted Yeshua of Nazareth’s Messiahship. Although small, this community is significant not only to Europe, but to the Messianic movement worldwide.
Europe was once home to a community of Jewish believers noted for its contributions to Christian theology. It was in Europe that the Messianic movement was born in the nineteenth century. After the Shoah, it was barely twenty years before the movement came to life yet again from centres in the New World.
European Messianic theologians inevitably have a contribution to make to the Jewish world, the Christian world, and the New Europe. It was the purpose of this second symposium to explore the ways in which that can be done.
The EMTS is a forum where European Messianic thinkers and theologians can interact. It is a place to address theological concerns specifically relevant to the European Messianic community in a European way.
The unity and progress of the Messianic movement in Europe can only be enhanced by collaboration and dialogue. It was in the spirit of collaboration then that this second symposium addressed The Role of Messianic Jews in Europe Today.
Soteriology in Post-Holocaust Europe
"As we turn to Messianic Judaism, we recognise several streams of theological reflection within the movement. The issue of soteriology has become a key concern, and a recent issue of Kesher reports on two Messianic theological consultations which discussed the issue, the Borough Park Symposium (October, 2007) and the Theological Forum on Soteriology (March 2008) hosted by the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC)." - Dr Richard Harvey
Nowhere do Harvey's words ring more true than in Europe, the home of the Shoah, a holocaust perpetuated in a purportedly 'Christian' part of the world.
Papers were delivered on the following topics:
- The Hebrew-Christian Shoah and its Soteriological Legacy
- Mapping Post-Holocaust Messianic Soteriology
- Biblical Foundations for Post-Holocaust Messianic Soteriology
- Jewish and Historical Foundations for Post-Holocaust Messianic Soteriology
- Practical Foundations for Post-Holocaust Messianic Soteriology
Select papers and/or responsa are listed to the left of this page.
Messianic Jews Discuss Salvation
The first European Messianic Jewish Theological Symposium met in Berlin, 23-25 February, 2011 to discuss soteriology in Post-Holocaust Europe.
Messianic Jews are Jewish people who accept Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah promised in the Hebrew Scriptures and revealed in the New Testament. As a Messianic movement within Judaism, they stand in continuity with their people. At the same time they are a Messianic Jewish part of the Christian community. Soteriology is the branch of theology that explores the nature of the God who saves; the manner of his saving activity and the benefits of his salvation.
Messianic Jews today echo the prayers of their spiritual ancestors, the previous generations of Jewish believers in Yeshua before the Holocaust and the many who perished in it. They longed for the spiritual and national restoration of their people.
The presentation of the Good News of the Messiah is the primary means by which God brings humanity into a right relationship with himself. God’s sovereign freedom determines those who are redeemed. Whilst Scripture affirms that one day ‘all Israel will be saved’, the only sure way to receive this salvation is through faith in Yeshua.
In the light of the unspeakable horror of the Holocaust, only the message of the Messiah can bring hope, healing and reconciliation to Jew and German alike. This evidence of a loving God who saves is Good News for people of all nations. Our Messianic Jewish soteriology is grounded in God whose compassion for the suffering of his people is expressed through the suffering of his Son.
The Symposium, a positive contribution to the growing theological maturity of the movement, will continue to construct a distinctive Messianic Jewish theology that is both biblically based, and relevant to the cultural and historical context of post-Holocaust Europe.
Across Europe, the Messianic movement has rapidly grown and matured in recent decades. With the resurgence of Jewish community across the continent and significant Jewish migration following the collapse of the former Soviet Union, significant numbers of Jewish people have become followers of Messiah Yeshua. It is this continent that was once home to a community of Jewish believers noted for its contributions to Christian theology. More immediately, it is this continent where the Messianic movement received its first great impetus, rapidly echoed in America.
Today the world of Jewish believers in Yeshua finds its theological centres in Israel and America. As European Jewish believers, with our potential to make a significant contribution, we need a forum where Messianic thinkers and theologians can interact. Further, we need to address theological concerns specifically relevant to the European Messianic community in a European way. It is with these concerns in mind that the European Messianic Theological Symposium has been convened.