Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between Torah, Tanakh and Talmud?

    The Torah the is collection of the first five books of Moses; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus Numbers and Deuteronomy. At the same time, the word Torah is sometimes used as a pars-pro-toto for the entirety of Jewish laws and stipulations. The Tanakh is a term in Judaism for what in Christianity is called the Old Testament. It is a Hebrew acronym of the first letters of the three main parts of the Old Testament: Torah, Nevi'im (prophets) and Ketuvim (writings). The Talmud is the most important commentary on the Scriptures by rabbis from antiquity.

  • Why do you use bilingual Bibles?

    Jewish communities can be found all over the world. Many of them grow up speaking the native language of the country where they live. It is not very common for Jewish people who live outside Israel to have their own copy of the Tanakh and certainly not in their own language. Hence, we offer the bilingual Tanakh with the original Hebrew on one page and a native language on the opposite page. Many of the New Testaments we distribute have the same design so that one can continue reading effortlessly. Here the Hebrew is a translation of the original Greek text.

  • Why do you print the Tanakh and New Testament separately?

    We are convinced that the Tanakh and the New Testament are inextricably linked. But there are several situations in which we give only one of the two. For example, most Israelis already receive a Tanakh in school or in the army. It is often easier for them to accept a small New Testament on the street. Conversely, outside Israel we also meet many religious Jews for whom accepting the New Testament is too big of a step. Offering them the Tanakh separately allows them to read the Messianic prophecies for themselves. But if we have the opportunity, we prefer to give a Tanakh and New Testament together.

  • Is the New Testament also Jewish?

    The New Testament truly is a Jewish book. Paul says that to them are entrusted the words of God" (Rom. 3:2). Luke is the only writer whose Jewishness is debated. But the setting of the New Testament is also typically Jewish. Like the Tanakh, it begins with a genealogy, and it is largely set in and around the Temple and synagogue. The Tanakh is also frequently quoted.

  • Surely God has an everlasting covenant with the Jewish people, why then is Jesus necessary?

    Even Abraham was not justified on the basis of the covenant, but on the basis of his faith (Gen. 15:6). Salvation based on the covenant would mean salvation based on pedigree. John the Baptist clearly contradicts that, "And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father..." (Mat. 3:9). The apostles later put their own lives on the line to reach their peers with the message of Jesus the Messiah. They were imbued with the need to do so, for they were there when Jesus said, "I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6).

  • After the Holocaust, are we still allowed to speak of Jesus to the Jewish people?

    As Christians, we must be well aware of the atrocities that the Jewish people have suffered in the name of Christ. At the same time, there are countless examples of Christians who put their lives on the line to save Jews. The Holocaust therefore also holds up a mirror to us and asks us the question of which line we want to stand in: that of Christians who looked away or that of Christians committed to the Jewish people? We must ask ourselves whether human actions can affect the power and importance of the Gospel. Paul calls himself "the chief of sinners" because he was a blasphemer, persecutor and oppressor (1Tim. 1:12-16). His past spurred him all the more to bring the precious message of the gospel. We realize that this does not fully answer the question. If you want to read more about this subject, we recommend the book Jews Don't Need Jesus. . .and Other Misconceptions: Reflections of a Jewish Believer by Avi Snyder, available here.

  • Why love the Jewish people?

    God chose the people of Israel because He loved them (Deut. 7:7-8). We see the same love with Jesus: He is moved by them and weeps for them (Matt. 9:36, Luke 19:41). And like the Messiah, Paul was willing, if possible, to risk his own salvation for their sake (Rom. 9:1-2). It is the love of Christ that compels us today to reach out to the Jewish people.

  • Jews already have a Tanakh, the Old Testament, don't they?

    In Israel, almost everyone is given a Tanakh in school or in the army. However, religious Jews are more likely to read the Talmud and other rabbinic writings. Only 14 percent of Jewish Israelis say they regularly read the Bible or Talmud. Outside Israel, owning a Tanakh is uncommon. People are more likely to read the Tanakh in synagogue rather than at home. So giving a Tanakh is their native language is very important.

  • Are you allowed to evangelize in Israel?

    Yes, but there are two restrictions: You may not evangelize among minors and not through bribery.

  • Do you ever get negative reactions?

    It happens from time to time. But as we already see in Acts, the gospel message has always been faced with resistance. But fortunately, there is also another side, because most people we meet actually respond very kindly.

  • All of Israel will be saved, right?

    Paul says that in the future "all of Israel will be saved" (Rom. 11:26). But a few verses earlier (vs. 14) he writes that he is trying to "save some." Apparently, verse 26 is talking about the people living in the future.

  • Surely there is a covering and a hardening on the Jewish people? Does it make sense then to proclaim the gospel?

    On the contrary, Paul says that the covering is nullified in Christ (2 Cor. 3:14). Concerning the hardening, he says that came in party upon them (Rom. 11:25). So this is a partial and temporary situation. The Messianic Jews and Paul himself are proof of this!

  • Do you also sell Bibles?

    No, the Bibles are developed specifically for the Jewish people. Any Bible we sell we cannot give away. We recommend purchasing an interlinear Bible for language study, together with a solid introductory course in ancient Hebrew.

  • Do you work together with other Israel organizations?

    As long as we can bring the gospel together, we are happy to do so. So we work with several organizations worldwide. Learn more here.

  • Where do you find Jewish communities in the world?

    The short answer is: Everywhere. But outside Israel, the largest communities are found in Europe and North and South America. There are still small Jewish communities in parts of the Arab world, but most have largely migrated to Israel.

  • Why don't you help Jewish people return to Israel?

    We focus on Bible distribution, wherever they live. Our prayer and desire is that they come home to their Messiah.

  • What about all the Hebrew language variants?

    The Tenach, the Old Testament, is largely written in Hebrew. Rabbinic writings such as the Talmud also use what is known as classical or Talmudic Hebrew. The language is actually still only used by religious Jews for study, prayers and other religious purposes. Based on classical Hebrew, Elijah Ben Yehuda (1858-1922) developed Ivrit or modern Hebrew. This is the language spoken in Israel today. Because of the developments of the modern industrial world, the language needed many new words, but the sentence structure is also different. Hence, it is often very difficult for non-religious Israelis to understand classical Hebrew.

  • Are you still Jewish if you believe in Yeshua?

    It is sometimes said that being Jewish is incompatible with believing in Yeshua. A strange proposition, considering the fact that most of Yeshua's early followers were in fact Jewish, and stayed Jewish for the remainder of their lives. Today there are many Jewish believers in Yeshua who see no contradiction between their Jewish identity and their belief in Yeshua. On the contrary, consider Avichai, who says: "I knew for sure that according to God's Word I was Jewish, and always would be. Because to me, being Jewish means being connected to the culture and the people. It means keeping God in mind and acknowledging all that He has done for His people. Yes, I'm Jewish because I'm a descendant of Israel, but believing in the Jewish Messiah makes me completely Jewish. Or Loren, who says that, "If a Jew follows the King of the Jews, it is the most Jewish thing he or she can do. It does not matter what other people or the leaders of the community say, it matters what God says is the truth. And the truth is that Jesus is the Messiah, and that He can completely fulfill our Jewish identity."

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