Why should God let you into Heaven?

Do you know the answer? Are you confident in your salvation?

Find out!

Is God Jewish?

Was God Jewish? To answer that question, we must ask, “What does it mean to be Jewish?” Being “Jewish” is a combination of one’s ancestry, culture, and religion.

The people called “Jews” in the Bible were from two of the twelve tribes of Jacob (Israel). At first, all the twelve tribes were called Israelites. Later, the country of Israel was divided into two nations: Israel and Judah. At that point, the tribes of Benjamin and Judah (where Jerusalem was) were called Judeans and formed the Kingdom of Judah. The ten tribes in the break-off nation of Israel were still called Israelites.

The Assyrians defeated Israel and carried the Israelites off into exile. We have no record that those ten tribes ever returned to Israel.

Later, the Babylonians defeated Jerusalem and carried the Judeans into exile. The Babylonians called them ” Yehudain,” and that word eventually became “Jew.” These Judeans (or Jews) continued worshiping God (Yahweh) and kept their ethnic identity. The Jews eventually returned to Jerusalem and resettled the region that is southern Israel and Jerusalem today. So, that’s the ancestral or ethnic part of what it means to be Jewish.

But it gets a bit more complicated. The Jewish people in Judea had multiple invasions by the Greeks, Romans, and Muslims. During those violent times, many fled to other places over the next two thousand years. Eventually, more Jews were living in Europe, North Africa, Australia, and North and South America than there were in what was once Judea (today’s Israel). However, these Jews living abroad maintained their culture, and many kept the Jewish religion. Thus, Jews today would say that being “Jewish” involves ethnic background, culture, and religion. However, one can be an atheist or even a Christian today and still be considered “Jewish” based on ancestry. One can also convert to the Jewish religion and be a “Jew” without having any Jewish ancestors.

What is the Jewish name for God?

The Jews had (and still have) several names for God. Elohim was used in the Old Testament almost 2,600 times. This name doesn’t exclusively mean the God but can refer to other gods.

The most common word in the Old Testament for God is YHVH (Jehovah or Yahweh). This name is only for the one true God. It was for the God of Israel. Modern Jews use this name, but they believe it is too sacred to say out loud, so they will say Adonai instead. YHVH means Creator, Infinite One, Promise-Keeper, Redeemer, and Unchanging One.

Adonai sometimes appears by itself in the Old Testament and often appears as YHVH Adonai. Adonai means “Lord.”

Modern Jews also use HaShem, which means “the NAME.” They will use this rather than YHVH so they don’t use the Lord’s name in vain.

What ethnicity is God?

The word “ethnicity” means a group of people with the same cultural background or ancestors. An “ethnic group” identifies with each other based on the place their ancestors came from. They feel their ethnicity sets them apart from other people. Ethnicity also includes language, traditions, shared history, common religion, and so on.

OK, so what ethnicity is God? Is He Jewish? God transcends ethnicity. To have an ethnicity, you must be a person. God is the Creator of all people. He created the world and the humans that inhabit it. He is not a person Himself. He is God. Thus, He cannot have an ethnicity. He doesn’t have a “home” country or a native language.

Just like God transcends ethnicity, the people who worship Him and follow Him come from all ethnicities. They come from every nation, people, language, and tribe.

Yes, in the incarnate form of Jesus, He did walk this earth as a person and have an ethnicity. We’ll get to that shortly.

Was God born in Israel?

That’s like building a house, and then someone asks, “Were you born in this house?”

No! God was not born in Israel. God was not born anywhere. He always existed. He created everything, including the land upon which the nation of Israel sits today.

Yes, Jesus was born in the Roman province of Judaea. So, in a sense, we can say that God’s incarnate form was born in Israel. However, Jesus existed as part of the Trinity from before the beginning of time.

  • “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:1-3)

Was Jesus a Jew?

Yes. As a man, Jesus was a Jew by ethnicity, culture, and religion. Of course, as God, He transcends all of that. Yet, He humbled Himself and became a man.

  • Who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Philippians 2:6-7)

His earthly mother, Mary, was Jewish. Jewish halakha law says that a person born to a Jewish mother is automatically a Jew. Mary (and her husband, Joseph) followed Jewish law (Leviticus 12) with Jesus when He was a newborn.

  • “When the eight days until His circumcision had passed, He was named Jesus, the name the angel had given Him before He had been conceived.” (Luke 2:21)
  • “And when the time of purification according to the Law of Moses was complete, His parents brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord: “Every firstborn male shall be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer the sacrifice specified in the Law of the Lord: ‘A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.’” (Luke 2:22-24).

Jesus celebrated the Passover in Jerusalem with His earthly parents (Luke 2:41-49). He continued going to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover as an adult. He attended synagogue, the Jewish place of worship, and was asked to read from the Jewish scriptures (Old Testament) (Luke 4:16-21).

What do Jews believe about God?

That depends on the Jew. As mentioned earlier, a person can be an atheist and still be considered a Jew (by ethnicity). Also, just as Christianity has diverse groups, like Protestants and Evangelicals, the Jews have three major groups with vastly different beliefs about God. None of these groups (as a whole) accept Jesus as God Incarnate or as Savior.

  1. Orthodox Jews believe God dictated the Torah (the first five Old Testament books) to Moses. They believe the Biblical stories are true and God’s laws must be followed. They believe that the Messiah will come from King David’s descendants. They believe God will resurrect the dead and create a new heaven and earth.
  2. Reformed Jews don’t believe God inspired the Tanach (Old Testament). They don’t believe in the Messiah or the resurrection of the dead. They no longer follow the dietary laws of the Torah or practice circumcision. Only about 10% of Reformed Jewish rabbis in the U.S. (40% in Israel) actually believe in God in the traditional sense. Most Reformed Jews are agnostic. They don’t outright deny that God exists but don’t think anyone can know Him. 
  3. Conservative Jews are somewhat in the middle. They don’t follow the ultra-strict (stricter than what the Bible actually says) laws that the Orthodox Jews do. Still, they follow some Biblical laws, like the dietary laws. They don’t believe God inspired the Torah, but they do think it is sacred and chant from it at their services. They still believe in God as the eternal and loving Creator.

Why do I need to believe Jesus is the Messiah?

Your eternal future depends on it. Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament’s messianic prophecies, such as from Psalm 22:

  • “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” (verse 1)
  • “All who see me mock me; they sneer and shake their heads: ‘He trusts in the LORD, let the LORD deliver him; let the LORD rescue him, since He delights in him. (verse 7-8)
  • “They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” (verse 18)

Another (among many) compelling prophecies fulfilled in Jesus is Isaiah 53:4-7.

  • “Surely He took on our infirmities and carried our sorrows; yet we considered Him stricken by God, struck down and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

We all like sheep have gone astray, each one has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid upon Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth.”


Jesus is the Messiah! In Jesus, we have a genuine hope that through His atoning death, we can be cleansed from our sins and enter into a mind-blowing relationship with God. Jesus is our Great High Priest, always interceding for us.

  • “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)
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