Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Douglas Balzer, DMin
Nijay Gupta, PhD
Historically and culturally, there is a deep divide of misunderstanding and feeling of mistrust between the Jewish people1 and the religious organization of Christianity and its adherents. This rift is directly responsible for a significant portion of the past two thousand years of Jewish suffering and Christian misunderstanding as well as the current divide between the two faith traditions.2 Contemporary efforts to missionize Jewish individuals as part of the Great Commission has only further hindered relationships deeper than a superficial secular connection. In the early life of Christianity, however, there were more similarities than differences to the point where one would struggle with telling the two apart.
Both traditions, by and large, work independently to improve the world and provide for those less fortunate, often overlapping with a resulting stop-gap. If the two groups could work together, the possibility greater long-term good will result, both practically and spiritually. A co-led “bridge ministry” can address misunderstandings and conflicting theologies to find an amenable solution that is holistically biblical and consistent.
Section 1 describes the problem in further detail. Section 2 examines different potential solutions. Section three examines Judaism and Christianity in greater detail to
1 For the purposes of this dissertation, “Jewish people” refers to both those who are of Jewish heritage and/or ethnicity as well as those who subscribe to the basic precepts of Judaism as defined by the Thirteen Principles of the faith by Maimonides. Further, it should be noted that some Orthodox Jewish authorities assert that being Jewish is not based off ethnicity or genetics but rather by religious observance. As such, even conservative or reform Jews are not considered Jewish. This also precludes cultural Jews.
2 Historical documents at Yad Vashem clearly indicate poor Jewish-Christian Relations as the source of most anti-Semitism from the advent of the Catholic Church up to the Holocaust of World War II. It is only a recent trend to have anti-Semitism untangled from the Christian religion, and even then many who are anti-Semitic have an association to the Christian religion.
offer a conclusion. Section 4 is a description of an artifact that employs the thesis solution. Section 5 discusses the specifications of the artifact. Section 6 is postscript. In the Appendix is the artifact itself (sitemap, links, screenshots, and descriptions).
Esterman, Jonathan, "YidBrik: Historical, Practical, Relational, and Theological Concepts and Challenges in Jewish-Christian Relations" (2019). Seminary Doctoral Programs. 320.