Should Christians Evangelise Jews?

Yes we should share our faith with everyone, including Jews:

Most biblical Christians would think the question above is a no-brainer: ‘Well of course we should – all people need to hear the gospel.’ That is obviously my view as well. But surprisingly, many other people calling themselves Christians do say that we should not be evangelising Jewish people.

They offer various reasons for this, often stating that the Holocaust was so horrible (and it certainly was) that we have no right to any longer tell them about Jesus. As but one example, a gal just sent in this comment to my article on replacement theology.

To be honest, I am opposed to any attempt to evangelise Jews.  Granted, some voluntarily do convert to evangelical Christianity or Catholicism, but I have problems with the concept that Jews are only ‘complete’ if they adopt the belief that Jesus is their Messiah. To be frank, the shameful millennia of Christian anti-Semitism, culminating in the Holocaust, seem to indicate that whatever Christian denomination we belong to, we must not romanticise our past. Certainly, we should be grateful for those who did speak out, even at the cost of their lives, against the evil of Nazi Germany, but so many others did not. We have a responsibility to face up to our past and take anti-Semitism seriously now. I’m a World War Two baby- one of my uncles was in the British Army and he saw for himself the barbarism and demonic horror that Nazism had wrought in Auschwitz.

Sadly there is some unhelpful conflating of issues here. It is always vital that we seek to offer mental and moral distinctions on matters such as this. So let me first give a few replies to her and folks like her, and then look at what some other believers have said on this matter.

Have Christians – and non-Christians – often been antisemitic and opponents of the Jews over the centuries? Of course. Antisemitism and Jew-hatred has always been with us, and sadly too many Christians have been engaged in this. So yes of course, we must take responsibility for this and ask forgiveness for it.

In this regard Christians are encouraged to grab some books penned by my friend Michael Brown. He is an American Messianic Jew who has written a number of important volumes on this topic, including the five-volume set, Answering Jewish Objections To Jesus.

But folks should pick up his 2021 volume, Christian Antisemitism: Confronting the Lies in Today’s Church (Charisma House). They also should be aware of his book, Our Hands are Stained with Blood: The Tragic Story of the Church and the Jewish People (Destiny Image Publishers, 1992, 2019).

Image of Christian Antisemitism: Confronting the Lies in Today's Church
Christian Antisemitism: Confronting the Lies in Today's Church by Michael L. Brown PhD (Author) Amazon logo

So yes indeed, Christians have a lot to answer for here. And as someone with a Jewish background, Michael knows all about this. But he NEVER would go on to say that we must stop evangelising Jews. Quite the opposite. So let me go on to look at a few obvious facts:

Jesus ‘evangelised’ Jews, as did the disciples, as did Paul, and as did Christians for the past 2000 years. Sure, gentiles were also added to the mix of those being reached. But reaching Jews with the gospel has always been part of the Christian mission. To recklessly claim we should never evangelise them shows that we really are lacking in God’s love for our Jewish neighbours.

It also implies that those who say this in fact think they are wiser, more moral, and more loving than God, Jesus, the Twelve, Paul, and everyone else. That is not a good place to be in! When God commands us to do something, we should do it, and not argue with him or pretend that we somehow know better.

And try telling the many Messianic Jews who are out there (people like Brown), that Christians should not evangelise Jews. They would either laugh at you or get angry with you. As mentioned, I know many of these people. They are SO very thankful that Christians loved them enough to share their faith with them.

How can any person really believe that heading to a lost eternity is somehow a good thing, and we should just let people die without Christ? Good grief, what a poor view to hold to. No one claiming to be a Christian can hold to that. Simply reading from the Apostle Paul should put an end to this nonsense.

A good place to begin would be Romans 10. Verses 1-4 put it this way: “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”

And in verses 9-17 he continues with these words:

[I]f you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”


How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

There is Paul the Jew telling us to reach other Jews – and gentiles of course. He was divinely inspired as he wrote this, and he did NOT add a caveat such as, ‘However, if Jews are treated too poorly in the future, then we should just stop trying to reach them.’

Now, is tact, prudence and care needed in evangelising Jews – and anyone else for that matter? Sure. Just after WWII one could make a case of being even more discerning and cautious and Spirit-led as Christians shared with the Jewish people. So no one is denying that we need to be wise and loving in our approach. But we still are under obligation to share the gospel with all people, including the Jews.

Let me bring in just a few other voices here. The Lausanne Movement on global evangelisation reminds us that “Sharing the gospel with Jewish people was the beginning of world evangelism.” They go on to say this:

Today less than two percent of the world Jewry believe Jesus to be Israel’s Messiah. Jewish evangelism is an essential part of world evangelism. If Jesus is not the Messiah for all, he is not the Messiah at all. For different reasons, many Christians today do not see the need for Jewish evangelism. Some believe that the church has lost its right to proclaim the gospel to Jewish people because of church history, especially the Holocaust.


Others read the Bible to say that Jews have their own way to God and therefore do not need to hear or believe in Jesus as their Messiah and Saviour. Still others see God’s mission as starting only with Jesus and the New Testament, failing to see the New Testament story as the continuation and fulfilment of what God has done with and through the history of Israel and the Jewish people.


The Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism (LCJE), an issue network of the Lausanne Movement, seeks to bring together both Jewish and non-Jewish believers involved in the field of Jewish evangelism to share information and resources and to strategize on a global level, so that more Jewish people will hear and consider the good news of Jesus.

They go on to quote from the October 2010 document, The Cape Town Commitment:

We affirm that whereas the Jewish people were not strangers to the covenants and promises of God, in the way that Paul describes the Gentiles, they still stand in need of reconciliation to God through the Messiah Jesus. There is no difference, said Paul, between Jew and Gentile in sin; neither is there any difference in salvation. Only in and through the cross can both have access to God the Father through the one Spirit.

Dr. Mitch Glaser, president of Chosen People Ministries, in a piece titled “Why Is Jewish Evangelism Important?” says this in part:

Remember Jesus’ statement in Matthew 23:37-39? Jesus is weeping over Jerusalem. At the end of His reflection, Jesus says, “O Jerusalem, O Jerusalem. How I wanted to gather you like a hen gathers her chicks.” You see, the Lord loves the Jewish people. He wants to fulfill His promises and protect the Jewish people and gather them in His embrace. Jesus explains He could not gather them because the Jewish people kept rejecting the prophets that foretold Him as their Messiah. He then goes on to prophecy the destruction of the Temple and says He will not be seen again until they proclaim, “Baruch haba b’shem Adonai” (literally, “blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”).


There is also a promise of hope. The day will come when the Jewish people will call out to Jesus as their Messiah. This is similar to the tradition at a Jewish wedding, when a rabbi calls out to the bridegroom, “Baruch haba b’shem Adonai!” The day is coming when the Jewish people will receive their true bridegroom—Jesus the Messiah. In scripture, the Lord has linked the second coming of Jesus with the salvation of Israel. The Apostle Paul had this understanding when he wrote Romans 1:16. And we need to have this understanding as well.


My hope is that Jewish evangelism will always be a priority in your life, just like the kingdom of God.

Finally, Michael Brown puts it this way:

How can the Church disavow Jewish evangelism and be true to its mission? After all, Jesus was born King of the Jews and died King of the Jews. And after His resurrection, He opened His disciples’ minds so they could understand that He was the prophesied Messiah of Israel. And He sent them to start their mission in Jerusalem, reaching their fellow-Jews. In fact, all of Yeshua’s first followers were Jews, and the Apostle Paul, who wrote almost half of the New Testament, was himself a Jew. And it was Paul who taught that the gospel was “to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile” (Romans 1:16).


But not only is it a fundamental contradiction of the gospel to withhold the message of the Jewish Messiah from the Jewish people. It is also a cruel thing to do, since Jews need Jesus as much as anyone else.  I for one might not have made it to my 18th birthday (due to foolish drug abuse) had not Christians shared the good news with me. And I cannot thank God enough for changing my life through the death and resurrection of my Savior.


And I can point to multiplied tens of thousands of Jews around the world today who are thrilled that Christians shared their faith with them. They are thrilled with their relationship with God and have found something they never found within their own traditions. Really now, how can a Christian withhold the water of life from a Jewish person? How can they have God’s heart and not tell everyone – including their Jewish friends and neighbors – about Yeshua, the Savior and Lord?

See also a 70-minute video interview he did on this topic:

[2020 words]

10 Replies to “Should Christians Evangelise Jews?”

  1. We certainly must evangelise the Jews (for some reason I do not like this phrase) since the commandment is to the Jew first.
    I have sat under the teaching of representative of Jews for Jesus and they made it very clear that standard approaches that we use in the West are familiar with are not the way to go. The simplest example is the way Jesus used the scriptures. Especially when he astounded the scribes. The West is typically of a Greek mindset whereas Jews are typically from a Hebrew mindset. A detailed explanation or exposition is found here:,activity%E2%80%94the%20coming%20together%20and

    So if we were to approach a Jew with the gospel using Greek methodology then we should expect to come up against a brick wall. Kind of like two computers communicating but one is using Cobol and the other Fortran.

  2. Isaiah 9

    6 For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be on His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

    7 There is no end of the increase of [His] government and peace on the throne of David, and on His kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and with justice from now on, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

    8 The Lord sent a word to Jacob, and it has fallen on Israel.

    9 And all the people shall know, Ephraim and the people of Samaria, who say in pride and hardness of heart,

    10 The bricks have fallen down, but we will build [with] cut stones; the sycamores are cut down, but we use cedars instead.

    11 And the LORD shall set up the foes of Rezin against him, and spur on his enemies;

    12 the Syrians in front and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand [is] stretched out still.

    13 For the people do not turn to Him who strikes them, nor do they seek the LORD of hosts.

    14 And the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, [in] one day.

    15 The elder and honorable, he is the head; and the prophet who teaches lies, he [is] the tail.

    16 For the leaders of this people led [them] astray; and their guided ones [are] swallowed up.

    17 For this the Lord shall not rejoice over their young men, nor shall He have mercy on their orphans and widows; for everyone [is] a hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaks foolishness. In all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand [is] stretched out still.

    18 For wickedness burns like the fire; it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall roll upwards [like] the lifting up of smoke.

    19 Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts is the land scorched, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire; no man shall have pity on his brother.

    20 And [he shall] cut off on the right hand and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left, and they shall not be satisfied. Each man shall eat the flesh of his own arm;

    21 Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh; [and] they together [shall be] against Judah. In all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.

    Obviously God’s hand is outstretched to the Jews through calamity and as the body of Christ, the Messiah, so should our hand be. There are NT prophecies that can help the Jews understand why these things are happening to them.

    Whether people join with God’s program or not, there will be Jews saved, especially towards the end and those who have been ashamed of God’s Word will God also be ashamed of.

    It may even be that God allows persecution of Christians, specifically in the sight of Jews, to help the foretold joining together but the scriptures are clear about the saved from the tribes of Israel and those singing the songs both of Moses and of the Lamb. All people and all nations will need to pick a side and there will be no middle ground.

  3. There’s a fundamental problem here. Practicing Jews will tell you that Jesus cannot be the Messiah because he was not of the Davidic royal male line. There are very different geneologies between Matthew and Luke, and even different identities for Joseph’s father. Various Christian apologists have attempted to explain these anomalies but the arguments aren’t too convincing.

    I’m a Christian because of my upbringing, although I have studied some theology. But if I was a serious student of Scripture I might have some questions about whether I’m on the right track. Jews take Scripture much more seriously than most Christians, even evangelicals.

    In summary, I don’t think Jews are convertable.

  4. Thanks Roger. But the actual fundamental problem is whether we agree with God and go along with the record of history. Um, Saul/Paul was certainly convertible. Peter was convertible. The 12 were convertible. Most of the early Christians were of course converted Jews! There were thousands upon thousands of converted Jews in the early church. And I mentioned contemporary Jews like Michael Brown who were also fully convertible, by God’s grace.

    As to the objection about genealogies, that is easily enough answered, and it has been answered quite often, along with hundreds of other objections. As I say, those wanting detailed discussions of these things can start with the 5 volumes by Brown.

    And it is exactly because most Jews have NOT really taken their own scriptures seriously enough that they missed their promised Messiah. As Jesus told the Jews of his day in John 5:39-40, “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”

  5. Thanks Patricia. Sure, and they will laugh at you if you say Jesus is the Messiah, and so on. In the same way, Joe Pagan will laugh at you if you say he is a sinner who needs to repent, or that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave, and so on. But so what? Christians already know that all sinners trapped in their unbelief and selfishness will find the entire gospel message to be foolish and off-putting. The Apostle Paul even told us that 2000 years ago, as in 1 Corinthians 1:23, “but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles.”

    So there is nothing new here – it’s been happening for 2000 years now! But caring Christians will keep prayerfully proclaiming the good news about Jesus to a needy world, whether folks like it or not, or think it to be laughable. If a neighbour has his house on fire, but he does not know it or cannot see it, he will laugh at those who seek to warn him about it. The most loving thing to do is keep sounding the alarm until he finally becomes aware of his precarious situation.

  6. The disciples were mostly simple fishermen who couldn’t read. The modern educated Jew is well read in the Scriptures. Much more difficult to convert, and the arguments they make against Jesus being the Messiah are confoundingly difficult to counter with logic. In practice, it is not as simple as claiming the Scriptural problems are easily dismissed.

  7. Thanks Paul. But your namesake the Apostle Paul was one of the smartest and most highly educated Jews around, and most of the others had sufficient learning and reading skills. They quoted from the Hebrew Scriptures all the time. And many ‘modern educated Jews are NOT so well read in the Scriptures,’ often being secular and unfamiliar with their own Bible. I have talked to some of them myself, having to inform them of what their Scriptures in fact say. This is basically true of most Westerners who know little of the New Testament Scriptures as well.

    But your main error here is twofold: you have left God out of the picture altogether, and you suppose that Christianity is just another philosophy or ideology that can simply be argued for. You seem to think that if we have enough logic and great debating skills, we might win some of them over. While the Christian faith certainly is logical and rational, it is much more than just that. It is the power of God unto salvation. Consider just three passages from the Apostle Paul on these very issues:

    Romans 1:1 – For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

    1 Corinthians 2:1-5 – And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

    Philippians 1:3-11 – For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

    And that is what makes it all the more remarkable. These men (uneducated slobs as you seem to think) could turn the world upside down, and leave a lasting legacy for 2000 years now. Not bad for a bunch of “fishermen.” So the biblical Christian seeks to reach ALL people with the help of good apologetics and so on, but primarily with the help of the Holy Spirit. It is God who ultimately saves people, not us and our lofty arguments or great learning.

  8. Bill, the genealogy issue might be “easily answered” by Christian apologists for a Christian audience, but Jews treat Scripture very differently. This is a huge issue for them and indeed might be described as the fundamental reason why Judaism still exists. For Jews, Jesus Christ cannot possibly be the promised Messiah, because he didn’t meet the criteria in Scripture. This objection cannot simply be dismissed in a cavalier fashion.

  9. Thanks Frank. But it is not as if only Jewish folks have questions, objections, and problems with the Christian faith. EVERYONE does. Non-Jews ask just as many hard questions, raise just as many objections, and make just as many claims about Christianity being irrational, contradictory, full of mistakes and errors, and just plain unbelievable as Jews do.

    And of course Christian apologists do NOT write just to a Christian audience. They write to one and all. While some Jews might think the world is divided up between Jews and non-Jews (gentiles, or Christians), and Muslims might think the world is divided up between Muslims and non-Muslims (Christians and Jews), the reality is this: the world is really divided up between true Christians and all the rest. All people are sinners in need of salvation, be they Jews, Muslims or secular Westerners. So the real Christian is one who has said no to sin and self and said yes to Christ as the one who can make us right with God – not just someone who happens to have been born in the West who is not a Jew or a Muslim.

    But the Christian contends that whoever we are speaking to and sharing the gospel with, the real problem is NOT really intellectual. It is not as if there is no evidence. It is not as if the Christian faith is illogical or lacking in intellectual substance and coherence. The real problem is moral. Both Testaments make this quite clear. People do not want to come to God because they prefer their sinful and selfish lifestyles, and they do not want to bow down to a god other than themselves. Those who are really seeking God and truth will find ample answers – and intellectually satisfying answers. Those who just want to keep living as they are will be convinced by nothing – not even if Jesus died and rose from the dead.

    As to Messiah, there are some main views or criteria in the Hebrew Scriptures of what he would be like: a conquering king who would kick Roman butt (and that of other gentile rulers), and a suffering servant. Most Jews latched on to the first while ignoring the second. That became a stumbling block for them. ‘God hanging on a tree? – No way!’ And the dozens of Hebrew scriptures perfectly fulfilled in the life and work of Jesus is part of how we see his Messianic credentials being established.

    But as I keep saying, there are many great resources out there for people who wish to explore this much further – if they are not just asking rhetorical questions, but are seriously seeking. But thanks for your thoughts.

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