Apr 06, 2020


Biographies of most famous Jews known to have believed in Messiah

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A List of Most Famous Messianic Jews

ABU’L FARAJ, Gregory, (1226-1286)
Also called BAR-HEBRAEUS, he was born in Melitena, as the son of Aaron the Jewish physician who cured Saurnavinus, a Tartar general from a disease. Master of Greek, Syriac and Arabic, student of philosophy, theology and medicine, he became an Anchorite in Antioch and ordained Bishop of Gubos at the age of twenty by Mar Ignatius, Patriarch of Saba, then again Maphrian of the Eastern Church at forty. From then on, he was known as Bar-Hebraeus. As bishop of the West Syrian Jacobite church, he was renowned for his justice, integrity, great learning and cosmopolitan leadership. His writings span a wide sphere including commentaries on Scripture, moral treatises (Ethikon), on commerce, science, astronomy, medicine, logic, philosophy, history, poetry, humorous fables and devotions. While clear and resolute on matters of church doctrine, he shunned ecclesiastical disputes as an abomination. “During his forty years’ episcopate he was never known to have received a farthing from anyone …like Paul, he sought to be chargeable to no man and therefore supported himself by his own scholastic ability, giving his labors freely to the cause he loved. Churches were erected wherever he went. Even the Mohammedan body who would be naturally opposed to his belief held him in great respect. At his death, none were found in the Jacobite church to equal his spiritual stature. He was appropriately named Abu’l Faraj, meaning “father of comfort.”

ADLER, Mortimer.
Author of numerous books on philosophical topics, he became a Christian in 1986 at age 84. A long-time professor at the University of Chicago, he pushed for a "great books" and "great ideas" curriculum and wrote semi-popular works such as How to Read a Book (1940), The Common Sense of Politics (1971), and Six Great Ideas (1981). He wrote an autobiography in 1977, Philosopher at Large, and another 15 years later A Second Look in the Rearview Mirror: Further Autobiographical Reflections of a Philosopher at Large that explains his conversion to Christianity. "We have a logical, consistent faith," he says. "In fact, I believe Christianity is the only logical, consistent faith in the world." But that doesn't mean that Christianity is without mystery. Adler asks, "What's the point of revelation if we could figure it out ourselves? If it were wholly comprehensible then it would be just another philosophy."

ALEXANDER, Michael Solomon (1799-?)
German rabbi baptized in 1825 after concluding that rabbis had concealed the truth about Jesus; seven years later he became Professor of Hebrew and Rabbinical Literature at King's College, London. He translated the Anglican liturgy into Hebrew, headed a list of sixty Messianic Jews who lodged a formal protest against the Blood Libel. His name came first on the long list of those who signed a "protest of Jewish Christians in England" against the accusation that Jews used Christian blood in Passover rites. When the British Parliament endowed the position of Bishop of Jerusalem, the appointment went to Alexander; in Jerusalem, he built Christ Church in 1849, next to the British Consulate near the Jaffa Gate. Then he opened both an institution for the training of Jewish Christian missionaries and a hospital for poor, sick Jews. Thirty-one Messianic Jews honored him at his funeral in Jerusalem in the nineteenth century. He erected the fist protestant Church in the Middle-East.

ALON, Gil.
Israeli-born (sabra) Jewish seeker of enlightenment became a student of Oriental philosophy and acupuncture. He found Messiah at last. His testimony is available here.

Formerly Petrus, Cardinal PIERLEONI (?-1138), was from a famous Italian Jewish Christian family. Installed as Pope by the cardinals who complained that Innocent II was elected hastily, and contrary to proper canonical fashion. This led to a schism which forced Innocent II to flee North. There, Bernard de Clairvaux was asked to judge between the two and decided in favor of Innocent II. Using rumors of Anacletus II's descent from a Jewish convert to blacken his reputation succeeded in weakening his position and left him with few patrons. At his death Innocent II returned to Rome and the schism ended. Now, he is historically referred to as the Anti-Pope. More here.

ANGEL, Bernhard (1860-1929)
Born in Bucharest, Romania, went to Jewish Seminary in Hanover, Germany, traveled to the United States, and married a Catholic wife whom he met in transit. They both agreed to keep their faiths separate, but when a Christian missionary visited her after an illness, she accepted Christ as her personal savior and began to share a faith with her husband. At first reluctant, he soon found all his questions answered by investigating the Scriptures with A.F. Schauffler, an English pastor. Baptized, in 1887, he became a Chicago Seminary student, then Superintendent of the Chicago Hebrew Mission and later worked with the New York City Mission Society for thirty years, reaching out to the Jews there.

AUGUSTI, Friedrich Albrecht.
A learned Jewish convert (early 18th century)

BAR-DAVID, Hayim Joseph.
See HAIMOFF, Hayim Joseph.

BARON, Andrew Mark.
Aerospace engineer Andrew, raised in Conservative Judaism, comes to faith in Christ in 1982. He writes that in college "I believed God existed because of the phenomenal order to the universe, yet I felt human beings were far too miniscule for His notice." Reading the New Testament helps him to see that God "constructed us with souls that can be fed only by His own hand. Believing God cares is not intellectual suicide; believing that He doesn't care is spiritual starvation."

BARON, David (1855-1926)
David Baron and his Hungarian friend C.A.Schonberger found the Hebrew Christian Testimony to Israel in London in 1893. Born from a Russian family in Poland, David studied the Talmud and was told that Jesus was a liar and charlatan, but after emigrating to England he read the New Testament for himself, became a missionary to his own people and also to British church leaders, whom he often finds to be ignorant of the Old Testament and thus presenting a shallow gospel. He edited the Scattered Nation, wrote The Visions and Prophecies of Zecharia, The Shepherd of Israel, The Servant of Jehovah, Anglo-Israelism Examined, and The History of Israel. When the Zionist Congress began in a rented casino in Basle, Switzerland, David attended. Timing his continental tours to include the annual conference in his itinerary each year, as a reporter David obtained a permit to sit in with the delegates. He personally knew Theodor Herzl, the visionary and chairman of the congress. At one conference, a delegate stood and began to vent his spleen on Christian Jewish missionaries. Herzl's response was to quietly leave the rostrum and come down and seat himself by the side of Mr. Baron and a few of his fellow missionaries. In 1911, he used the term ‘Messianic movement’ to describe a belief among Hebrew Christians that: “It is incumbent on Hebrew Christians, in order to keep up their "national continuity," not only to identify themselves with their unbelieving Jewish brethren, in their national aspirations—as expressed, for instance, in Zionism and other movements which aim at creating and fostering "the national idea" and regaining possession of Palestine—but to observe the "national" rites and customs of the Jews, such as the keeping of the Sabbath, circumcision, and other observances, some of which have not even their origin in the law of Moses, but are part of that unbearable yoke which was laid on the neck of our people by the Rabbis.” He disagreed with this "rather grand-sounding designation [which] does not describe any movement of Jews in the direction of recognizing our Lord Jesus Christ as the Messiah, but an agitation on the part of some Hebrew Christian brethren, who have evidently yet much to learn as to the true character of their high calling of God in Christ Jesus, supported by a few no doubt well-meaning excellent Gentile Christian friends, who…do not understand the real tendency of this 'movement'." Messianic congregations have multiplied throughout the earth, and his negative judgment may have been too hasty, but his warnings have merit in view of some heretic fringes of the Messianic movement which at times de-emphasize Yeshua’s central role and Divine sonship. For his testimony click here.

BEHR-SIGEL, Elizabeth (1907-)
Born of a Protestant father and Jewish mother in Strasbourg, France, she was among the first women to be admitted to the theology faculty at the University of Strasbourg in 1926. She continued her studies in Berlin and Paris where she first encountered the Orthodox Church and was received in it by Fr. Lev Gillet. She became close friends of Russian Orthodox clergy Sergius Bulgakov, Nicolas Berdiaev, Mother Maria Skobotsova and lay theologians, Paul Evdokimov and Vladimir Lossky. She was allowed to officiate as a lay pastoral officiate during WWII due to a severe shortage of clergy. She published essays on the Russian Orthodox spiritual tradition and did her doctorate on 19th century Russian theologian Alexander Bukharev. Commenting on Gal 3:27, “There is no such thing as Jew and Greek, slave and freemen; male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”, she wrote, “This proclamation of Paul, which does not abolish the differences but does away with all the contempt and enmity that may exist between them, has resounded through the centuries… But you will ask, what about the empirical realities in our so-called Christians societies and nations? As Orthodox Christians, together with other baptized Christians, we cannot but confess, collectively and individually, our infidelity to the ‘celestial vision’. This is the tragedy of our historical existence that is not yet transfigured by the light of Christ, though already recipient of the first fruits of the new life.”

BEN MEIR, Moshe Yimanuel.
Orthodox Israeli whose journey in faith to Yeshua at the beginning of the twentieth century is told in his autobiography From Jerusalem to Jerusalem here. He is one of the pioneers of the Messianic Jewish movement in Israel. He established with Hyman Jacobs and Dr. Arne Jonsen, a Norwegian missionary, the first independent Messianic Jewish congregation in Jerusalem between 1925-1929 referring to the congregants in Hebrew as “Yehudim Meschichiim” or Messianic Jews. This term would not be the definition of choice for Jewish believers in Yeshua until 1975 in America, then was officially adopted in May 1997 at an international conference in Mexico. As they were accused of “Judaizing tendencies,” the first congregation only lasted 4 years. Then in cooperation with the International Hebrew Christian Alliance (IHCA) of London, they formed the Hebrew Christian Fellowship of Palestine, but still used the term “Messianic Jews” in Hebrew texts. Their professed aim was to achieve an interdenominational fellowship that would “unite the Messianic Jews in Palestine and Syria; establish and support urban branches; witness corporately to both synagogue and church concerning the fulfillment of Israel’s messianic hope in Jesus; to introduce Jewish thought to Gentile Christians and the Gospel to Jews; …” in 1933, the Fellowship changed its name to The Hebrew Christian Alliance of Palestine and the Near East. He also created a Messianic Sabbath liturgy and a Messianic Jewish Haggadah, combining Jewish tradition and biblical texts in order to find some common ground with normative Judaism. He is also the apologist for what is now called “the minimalist creed” of seven word length “I believe with a perfect faith in Yeshua the Messiah the Lord.” (Ani Ma’amin Be-emuna Shelema Be-Yeshua Hamashiach Haadon). He explains it thus, “If our seven-worded creed causes offense, misunderstanding, and suggests some doubts as to our orthodoxy or fundamentalism, it is not our fault. The fault lies at the door of the so-called ‘Church Fathers.’ The creed that we, Messianic Jews, repeat is the rock-bottom foundation of the Church of God. Formulated by St. Peter under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, it was ratified by our Lord Himself. Turn to Matt 16:15. The Hebrew concept expressed by the word HaMashiach is the seed-plot of all saving faith and saving truths. This word covers and includes every detail in the divine plan of Redemption, each and every fact and truth that should and must be believed with the heart in order to be saved.” This seems to contrast but not contradict Haimoff’s views on the subject which could be termed ‘maximalist’ (Ref. Haimoff). Ben-Meir also taught along with Kofsmann, Haimoff, Poljak and Ostrovsky that full Jewish hegemony in Jerusalem meant the end of the “Time of the Gentiles.” They raised the post-1948 Jewish remnant in Israel into developing a strong patriotic Zionism as part of their eschatological theology. They also stressed that Israeli believers should serve in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as loyal citizens of the State, and if competent, even as officers. More in Gershon Nerel’s article “A Messianic Jewish Church in Eretz Israel?” in Mishkhan, Issue No. 29, 1998, when you click here.

Messianic Rabbi of Ohr Yeshua Messianic Synagogue in Florida. See testimony here.

Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1927. The French philosopher is initially influenced by mechanistic writers like Spencer, Mill, and Darwin, but breaks away in books like An Introduction to Metaphysics (which develops a theory of knowledge in which intuition is key) and Creative Evolution (which concludes that Darwinian mechanisms cannot explain life's expansiveness and creativity). During the 1920s Bergson becomes a Christian, and in his final book, The Two Sources of Morality and Religion, describes Judeo-Christian understanding as the culmination of human social evolution. In 1937 he explains that his reflections led him to Christianity, "in which I see the complete fulfillment of Judaism," but he was reluctant to convert because he was foreseeing "the formidable wave of anti-Semitism which is to sweep over the world. I wanted to remain among those who tomorrow will be persecuted." Suffering from rheumatic pains he put the Nazi occupiers of Paris to shame when he was 81 years old by asking them to give him a badge for his arm to identify him as a Jew.

BERMAN, Harold J. (1918-2007)
Jewish Harvard Law professor for 37 years. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, he graduated from Dartmouth, then Yale (M.A. History). He served the U.S. Army as a cryptographer from 1942-1945 and received a Bronze Star medal. Then he completed a law degree at Yale and began his Harvard career in 1948. At the age of 67, he joined the Faculty of Emory Law School for another two decades. He died a short time after his 60th anniversary as a law professor and is best known for his book Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition (1983), of which the American Political Science Review said, "This may be the most important book on law in our generation." His main contention is that law is a foundational principle of Western society that derives its moral and religious dimension from God as the first lawgiver. When he was twenty-one years old, he was in Europe studying history at the outbreak of World War II. While he visited Germany, Hitler announced on the radio that Germany had invaded Poland. "Many of us fled to France. ... The earliest train I could catch left at midnight. I thought that Hitler's invasion would lead to the total destruction of human civilization. I felt as one would feel today if all the major powers were to become involved in a full-scale nuclear war. I was shattered-in total despair. There, alone on that train, Jesus Christ appeared to me in a vision. His face reminded me of one of the Russian icons that I would later see-heavily scarred and tragic-not suffering but bearing the marks of having suffered. I suddenly realized that I was not entitled to such despair, that it was not I but another, God himself, who bore the burden of human destiny, and that it was rather for me to believe in him even though human history was at an end. When the train arrived in Paris early that morning, I walked straight to the Notre Dame cathedral and I prayed a personal prayer to God for the first time in my life. My wife, who is a Protestant, asks me how I could become a believer in Christ without having read the Gospels. My answer is that that is how the first disciples became believers." Here is an article he wrote on "The Holy Spirit:The God of History." That encounter with Jesus never altered his appreciation of his Jewishness. Edward McGlynn Gaffney, Jr., law professor at Valparaiso University, recalls, "To Jews troubled by his acceptance of Jesus, he could offer the reassurance that he was never a supercessionist. He did not imagine that the newness of the covenant into which he entered by becoming a Christian was defined by nullifying the older alliance between the divine and the human called the people of Israel. ... No bigot could safely utter a word of contempt or scorn for Jews in the presence of this great Christian." When the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) invited Berman in 2005 to co-author a brief to the Supreme Court, it was not a shot in the dark. The ACLJ wanted Berman because he was a prominent legal historian. The brief in Van Orden v. Perry argued that the State of Texas had the constitutional right to display a monument of the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the State Capitol. The high court upheld the constitutionality of the display. When Jay Sekulow received it, there was no need for any editing. "You don't want to do any correcting of what Harold Berman wrote," he explained. Sekulow, who like Berman is a Jewish believer in Jesus, explained the basis of the Supreme Court decision: "The fact that the Commandments hold a religious meaning for many does not render them unconstitutional. The Texas decision recognizes that the Commandments have played a vital role in the development of Western Law." The courts have used Berman's legal histories to support similar judicial writings about church-state relations. In 2003, upholding a Ten Commandments monument outside a Pennsylvania courthouse, a panel of the Third Circuit referenced Berman's statement that English common law, on which American law is based, was founded on the Ten Commandments. Sekulow has continued Berman's legacy in the case of Summum and the Ten Commandments. Summum Bonum Amen Ra, born Claude Nowell, said he was visited by extraterrestrials in 1975 and wanted to post his "Seven Aphorisms" alongside a Ten Commandments monument in a public park in Pleasant Grove, Utah. Chief Justices, John Roberts and Ruth Bader Ginsburg asked Sekulow why the display of the Ten Commandments in the public park is not a government endorsement of religion. Sekulow noted that the Supreme Court building displays Moses holding the Ten commandments with the words written in Hebrew and that it was representative of history. When the attorney for Summum argued that the park was a public forum, so everyone should be allowed a display, Chief Justice Roberts replied, "How far do you push that? I mean, you have a Statue of Liberty; do we have to have a statue of despotism? Or do we have to put any president who wants to be on Mount Rushmore?" Sekulow's argument won out. Harold Berman delivered a series of lectures at Boston University in 1973 which were published as The Interaction of Law and Religion. Author Kelly Monroe one day approached him as a 28-year-old young man in his office at Harvard to ask him to contribute to his collection of stories, Finding God at Harvard (IVP, 2007). This is where his powerful testimony of his vision of Jesus Christ while fleeing Germany on a midnight train is found. (Extracted from Matt Sieger's article "Answering to higher authority: The life and legacy of Harold J. Berman" in Issues, Vol. 17:9, 2009).

BETTELHEIM, Dr. Bernard (1811-1870)
Orthodox Hungarian Jew, linguist, and physician, he was also a teacher and translator of parts of the Bible in Chinese and Japanese.

BIDA, Alexandre (1823-1895)
Famous Orientalist French Jewish Christian painter, who studied under Delacroix and borrowed from Descamp precision of line drawing, He also taught Jean-Paul Laurens. He was considered one of the greatest draftsmen of the nineteenth century. Theophile Gautier wrote, “He does not paint, it is true, in the sense that he does not use a brush; but colored drawings like his are equivalent to the hottest paintings, and we do not hesitate to place them among the canvases.” (in Le Moniteur Universel(11 June 1859?) as reprinted in W. Drost, Exposition de 1859, Théophile Gautier(Heidelberg, 1992), 51.) He made several trips to the Middle East and chose to draw scenes from the customs and mores with great historical detail. In 1850 he spent several months in Egypt in spite of the cholera epidemic that raged in Cairo and published in 1851 his Souvenirs d’Egypte. Other trips included Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, and Palestine. From 1867 to 1880, he presented his works at the salons of Paris, including the Exposition Universelle of Later many of his engravings and watercolors were used to illustrate famous religious works and he is now remembered as the greatest illustrator of the Bible. He is known especially for his illustrations of the life of Jesus Christ, which are gathered together in Edward Eggelston’s volume Christ in Art, or, The Gospel of Jesus Christ, (New York: Fords, Howard & Hulbert, 1874) and The Bible and its Story Taught by One Thousand Picture Lessons, edited by Charles F. Horne and Julius A. Bewer, published by Francis R. Niglutsch, New York, in 1910. Some of these can be seen online here.

BIESENTHAL, Joachim Heinrich Raphael.
Began 37 years of missionary work to German Jews in 1844. He used the knowledge gained in Talmudic academies and while earning a doctorate at the University of Berlin to write commentaries on many New Testament books as well as a History of the Christian Church that shows the Jewishness of the early church.

BIRNBAUM, Solomon.
was appointed director of the Jewish Mission Course at Moody Bible Institute, in the Fall of 1922. He did the pioneering work for training missionary volunteers for the Chicago Hebrew Mission and the American Board of Missions to the Jews. The Moody Bible Institute considered the program of Jewish evangelism to be an integral part of its mission and took pride in it. In the early 1930s, the Institute advertised the program proudly in its bulletin, featuring a photo of Solomon Birnbaum, the professor of Jewish evangelization, with the twenty students who were enrolled in the department at the time. The photograph was accompanied by a short paragraph entitled “Debt to the Jew”: “The Jewish nation gave to the world the Messiah, and yet that nation remains blind to the glorious fact that Jesus of Nazareth is indeed He of whom the prophets wrote. The Moody Bible Institute has formally recognized, by the maintenance of a Jewish Missions Course, the debt that the Christian world owes to the Jewish race. Christian Jews, and such Gentile Christians as desire training for introducing Christ to the 'lost sheep of the house of Israel,' are in the course instructed in a number of subjects additional to the regular subjects of the General Course.” The Jewish missions program continued at the MBI throughout the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s with little change. In addition to the general course (the basic curriculum for all students) and Jewish studies, the school added an additional course of studies of English for newly arrived immigrant students. The studies at the Moody Bible Institute not only gave prospective missionaries a good preparation for a career of spreading the Christian message among the Jews but also enabled them to become acquainted with the evangelical world. In 1940, Solomon was succeeded in this role by Max Reich, while he became a full-time missionary with the ABMJ.

BLOCK David, Dr.
A professor of Applied Mathematics and Astronomy in South Africa, became a believer in Christ. He wrote, "I'd listen in shul as the rabbis expounded how God was a personal God and how God would speak to Moses, to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob, and wonder how I fit into all of it. And by the time I entered university I became concerned over the fact that I had no assurance that God was indeed a personal God.... Where was the personality and the vibrancy of a God who could speak to David Block? If God is truly God, I reasoned, then why had he suddenly changed his character?" A Christian colleague told Block that a minister would be able to answer his questions; he reported, "My parents had taught me to seek answers where they may be found, and so I consented to meet with this Christian minister. [He] read to me from the New Testament book of Romans where Paul says that Y'shua (Jesus) is a stumbling block to Jewish people, but that those who would believe in Y'shua would never be ashamed. Suddenly it all became very clear to me: Y'shua had fulfilled the messianic prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures, such as where the Messiah would be born and how he was to die.... I knew that Jesus was the Messiah and is the Messiah. And I surrendered my heart and my soul to Him that day." He concluded, "It might seem strange to some that a scientist and a Jew could come to faith in Jesus. But faith is never a leap into the dark. It is always based on evidence. That was how my whole search for God began. I looked through my telescope at Saturn and said to myself, Isn't there a great God out there? The logical next step was to want to meet this Designer face-to-face." See more here

BOHR, Niels.
Winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics for his theoretical work on atomic structure in 1922. Born of a Christian father and a Jewish mother, he affirms Christianity but also becomes known for semi-enigmatic sentences such as, "Every sentence I utter must be understood not as an affirmation but as a question." In 1939 he visits the United States and spreads the news that German scientists are working on splitting the atom. The United States responds with the Manhattan Project, from which the atomic bomb emerges. In 1942 he escapes from German-occupied Denmark via a fishing boat to Sweden, and leaves there by traveling in the empty bomb rack of a British military plane. He makes it to the United States and works on the atomic bomb at Los Alamos.

BRENNER, Yoseph Chaim (1881-1921)
Ukrainian born Jewish novelist, pioneer of modern Hebrew literature. Born in Novy Mlini in the Ukraine in 1881 to a traditional Jewish family. He received a formal Jewish education which included studies at a yeshiva. In Gomel, Brenner became active in the Jewish labor movement. At the turn of the century he lived in Bialystok and Warsaw where he made a living by teaching Hebrew. In 1901 having recently written his first short story, he was drafted to the army but with the outbreak of the Russian¬-Japanese war he was smuggled out of the country. He settled in London where he worked in a print shop and became active in the infant Po'alei Zion movement. Out of the Depths or "Out Of A Gloomy Valley", Brenner's first book is a collection of six short stories about Jewish life in the diaspora. It was published in Warsaw 1900. He immigrated to Palestine in 1908 during the 2nd aliyah (1904-1914), eager to put his Zionist ideology into practice. He soon gave up farming and started teaching at the Gymnasia Herzliyia in Tel Aviv. He was particularly critical of Jewish life in the Diaspora and had little patience for the rabbinic world which he felt had strangled Jewish creativity in the Diaspora. During the early period of the Third Aliyah (1919 ¬ 23) he joined the Gedud Ha'avodah (Labor Battalions) and worked in the Galilee in road construction. He was also active in the founding conference of the Histadrut (Labor Federation). He is known for this quote: "The New Testament is also bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh." Unfortunately, he was murdered in May 1921 during anti-Jewish Arab riots. Kibbutz Giv'at Brenner was named after him. More here

Trained while a student at the Chicago Hebrew Mission, later became the director of Peniel Community Center, working under the Presbyterian Board of National Missions to the Jews. He wrote Peniel Portrait in 1943, a memoir of his work there. The Center's compassionate conservatism includes sponsorship of after-school programs, athletic competitions, summer camps, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, parties for mothers, English and citizenship classes, and discussions of religious topics.

BURGOS, Abner.
See HALEVI, Solomon, Rabbi, Archbishop of Burgos

BUSKIN, Norman.
A Michigan policeman who comes to believe in Christ while working as security at a Billy Graham rally in 1976: "I told my partner what had happened, and he loaned me a Bible. I drove home in tears and with one thought on my mind: Jesus! Jesus was the Jewish Messiah and I was determined to investigate what that should mean to me." Buskin begins reading the Gospels: "'Here it comes,' I thought, 'swell stories about popes, assorted saints and Roman burial sites.' I was amazed to find that all the main characters in this book were Jewish." He becames a policeman in Davie, Fla., where four other Jewish policemen also embraced Jesus as the Messiah.

A descendant of Portuguese Jews who escaped persecution to Holland, he became acquainted with Christ as His savior upon reading Isaiah 53. He was part of the Dutch circle of Isaac Da Costa, a friend from early childhood and became a doctor.

CASPARI, Karl Paul (1814-1892)
Began to teach in 1847 as professor of theology at Christiana, Norway. Carl Caspari was born of Jewish parents in Dassau, Germany, in 1814. As a young man he studied Hebrew and Arabic at the university of Leipzig, producing an Arabic grammar which for many years was the standard work in its field. While at the university, he was powerfully confronted with the claims of Jesus Christ as both Lord and Messiah. Caspari found the evidence irrefutable: in 1838, on the day of Pentecost, he was formally baptized and took on the baptismal name of Paul. Caspari continued his studies in Berlin until the year 1847, when he was urged by Gisle Johnson, a visiting young scholar from Norway, to apply for a vacant chair as lecturer at the University of Oslo. He did so, was appointed, and spent the rest of his life as a lecturer and professor of the Old Testament. In 1861, Carl Paul Caspari became the first chairman of the Committee for the Mission among the Jews, which had been established in Oslo that year. Caspari’s work as a scholar and a believing Jew served to enrich three generations of Norwegian pastors, bringing the Psalms and Prophets to light in a fresh, dynamic way. His pioneering research into the history of the early Christian Creeds virtually established this specialized field of research as a new discipline. It is in his honor that the Caspari Center for Biblical & Jewish Studies was named in Jerusalem in 1982. See the website here.

CASSEL, Paulus Selig (1821-1892)
German writer, Orientalist, professor and pastor. He became a member of the Prussian Parliament while preaching to large audiences of Jews and Christians. His greatest achievement was breaking down the prejudice of educated German Jews against Christianity, Christian missionaries to the Jews and against Hebrew Christians. He also became a champion of equal rights for Jews and against virulent attacks from the antisemitic party. In 1849, he becomes a conservative Berlin journalist and soon editor of the influential Erfurt Zeitung. Realizing that political differences often have religious roots, he starts exploring the connection of Christianity and conservatism. In the course of his research he studies the New Testament and becomes a believer in Christ. He is a popular writer and lecturer, as a biographer notes: "He liked to arouse curiosity by announcing [lectures] under peculiar titles; but he always endeavored, no matter what his subject might be, to lead his heroes from it to Christ. [He] gave to many, both Jews and Christians, the first impulse towards serious thought, which brought them in the end to the knowledge of the Savior." Elected to the Prussian parliament, Cassel later serves as a pastor, and develops a vision of how to be most effective that differs from the conventional. He writes that evangelizing visits to Jews are of little use: "Public lectures were much more to be depended on; and these must not obtrude their missionary character, but must be of a kind to interest Jews and Christians alike.... Tracts must be written on subjects connected with all departments of life, in order to bring the Jew by various paths to face the one great question." Cassel in the 1870s and 1880s defends Jews against anti-Semitic attacks, and even the Jewish Chronicle, normally critical of converts, reports that "a genius like Cassel is always an honor to his former brethren in the faith."

First trained at the Chicago Hebrew Mission, he was ordained pastor and later became the missionary director of the New York Jewish Mission.

CERULLO, Morris.
Spent his early childhood in an Orthodox Jewish orphanage, but converted in 1961 and organized Morris Cerullo World Evangelism, headquartered in San Diego.

CHRIST, Jesus.

CHRISTFELSS, Phillip Ernst.
(formerly Mordechai ben Shemaya) in the wake of the 17th century Shabbatai Zvi debacle, converts to the "true Messiah, Jesus."

CHRISTIAN, Paul (Malachi ben Samuel)
A Polish rabbi, converts in 1621 several years after being impressed by a Yiddish translation of the New Testament. He is particularly surprised that marginal references to the Hebrew Scriptures are not distorted, as he had been told they would be. He writes, "My heart became full of doubt. No man can believe the pain and ache that assailed my heart. I had no rest day or night.... What should I do? To whom should I speak of these things?" He finally feels he has no choice but to cross over.

CHRISTIANI, Friedrich Albrecht.
He was stunned to find himself believing in Christ in 1666. The Hamburg resident, educated in the Talmud, says, "I was so zealous for my Jewishness that had someone told me then of my prospective conversion, it would have appeared as strange to me as it seems incredible to others." But finding himself unable to refute Esdras Edzard's arguments, he decides to go with what his mind, rather than tradition, tells him, and takes the last name "Christiani."

COHEN Hermann (1821-1871)
Born in Hamburg, Germany, pianist virtuoso Franz Liszt’s favorite pupil followed a dissipate life in the gaiety of Paris. At the age of 26 in May 1847 the idea to become Catholic dawned after experiencing a strange agitation and compulsion to bend towards the ground during communion at the Sainte-Valère Church in Paris. Attending mass produced an interior joy that absorbed all his faculties. Eventually, he was overwhelmed with repentance for his dissolute life, and placed himself under Father Legrand who connected him with Father Theodor Ratisbonne. He was baptized at the chapel of Our Lady of Zion in 1947, spent the next two years paying off his debts. In July, 1849 he entered the Monastery of the Order of Mount Carmel, where he became known as Father Augustine Mary, a famous preacher throughout Europe from 1852 until his death. Read more here

COHN, Leopold, (1862-1937)
Hungarian rabbi who came to believe that Jesus is the Messiah. The outraged Jewish community forced him to flee, so he studied at a divinity school in Scotland, emigrated to the United States in 1892 with his family, and opened a storefront classroom/church in a heavily Jewish section of Brooklyn. On weekday evenings Cohn provided free English lessons, using the New Testament as a text; on weekends he preached. Later he opened a medical clinic and a kosher food kitchen, and delivered free coal to the Jewish poor, telling each person he helped, "Receive this in the name of Jesus." He also opened a sewing school at which over 200 girls and their parents hear about Christ, with many coming to believe. In 1894, he founded the Brownsville Mission to the Jews later continued as Chosen People Ministries. The work was continued by his son Joseph Hoffman Cohn (1886-1953).

COMFORT, Ray. (1949-)
Open air-preacher and evangelist, born of a Jewish mother in New Zealand on Dec 5, 1949. Comfort was raised with next to no religious experience; in his words: "I went through life without any Christian instruction at all. I think I went to church about three times in about twenty years. I hated it. I found it an insult to my intellect. I remember joking, 'If I couldn't sleep one night, I'd employ a preacher to come preach to me; and it would send me off.' I was serious; it seemed to me to be completely boring, except for one church, where they had communion; and they brought around real wine." He became a Christian on April 25, 1972, "... at 4:00 A.M. in the morning," at the age of twenty-two. For many years, he served as an itinerant minister and associate pastor in his former hometown of Christchurch, teaching around New Zealand and Australia. In the 1970s, he began open-air preaching, which he has since done several thousand times. Comfort has no theological degree and has had no formal training. Around 1981-1982, he started using the principles of what he calls "Biblical Evangelism" (see below) after reading Charles Spurgeon and the New Testament books of Romans and Galatians. He has designed dozens of gospel tracts since the 1970s, leading to the tract ministry of Living Waters currently selling millions of tracts each year. In 1989, he accepted an offer from Hosanna Chapel (of the Calvary Chapel fellowship) in Bellflower, California, to begin full-time ministry in the United States. He now co-hosts the award-winning TV show “The Way of the Master” which airs in more than 70 countries worldwide. He is the author of over 40 books, including The Evidence Bible—a 2002 Gold Medallion Award finalist. He has also challenged Richard Dawkins to a debate but has only received insults in return. Since then, he has published the book, Nothing Created Everything:The Scientific Impossibility of Atheistic Evolution. His ministry Living Waters has been commended by Franklin Graham, John MacArthur, Josh McDowell, Ravi Zacharias, David Wilkerson, Norman Geisler, David Wilkerson and many other Christian leaders. He also founded and directs with Kirk Cameron the School of Biblical Evangelism. More than 7000 from over 20 countries have enrolled in the school. He is famous for devising a short tract called the hundred million dollar bill. This tract has the Gospel message written around the border on the back of the bill, here. His online bio is there.

A learned Jewish convert (early 18th century)

(Orthodox Jew born in Czarist Russia) was a novelist, playwright and poet who included in his biography An Open Letter to Jews and Christians, “To be a true Jew is to be a Messianic Jew. To be a true Christian is to recognize the Jewishness of Christianity. The fate of Judaism and Christianity hangs together…I know a number of Jews who believe as I do, who believe that it is time that we Jews reclaimed Jesus, and that it is desirable that we should do so.”

DA COSTA, Isaac, (1798-1860)
Descendant of the famous Jewish hero and Martyr Uriel Acosta, he is considered the greatest poet of Holland next to Bilderdijk. Baptized in 1822 in the Protestant Reformed Calvinist faith with his wife Hannah, and his friend Abraham Capadose, a leading physician. He became a leading figure in the Réveil Movement, a noted scholar, theologian and historian as evidenced in his work Israel and the Gentiles published in 1855. da Costa's short book, Accusations Again the Spirit of the Century, attacks the rationalistic materialism that is coming to dominate Holland and demands that Christ again become the center of national life. Da Costa writes often of Christ and also his Jewish heritage: "In the midst of the contempt and dislike of the world for the name of Jew I have ever gloried in it." The Jewish Encyclopedia comments about him, "His character, no less than his genius, was respected by his contemporaries. To the end of his life he felt only reverence and love for his former co-religionists."

DAVIDMAN, Joy Gresham.
meets C.S. Lewis at Oxford in 1952. She comes to Christianity from a Jewish background after years in Marxism; he comes to love from an academic background after decades as a bachelor. They marry in a registry office in 1956 and again at her bedside in 1957, this time with a clergyman presiding; she is suffering from cancer, and after a period of remission dies in 1960.

DELITZSCH, Franz (1813-1890)
German Christian Hebraist and orientalist scholar who translated the New Testament in Hebrew (now available online here); born at Leipsic Feb. 23, 1813; died there March 4, 1890. He was not of Jewish descent; although, owing to his rabbinical learning and his sympathy with the Jewish people, and from a misunderstanding of his relation to his Hebrew godfather (whom he called "uncle"), a Jewish ancestry was often attributed to him. He is listed here to help dispel the confusion about his roots and at the same time highlight God's impartiality in gifting, historically evident at times in very close connections between spiritual brothers and brothers in the flesh as co-inheritors in the New Covenant, whether Jewish or gentile. His Hebrew translation in 1877 of the the Brit Hadashah (New Testament)is actually the first attempt at a retroversion (reverting Greek translations back into their Hebrew original) that strived to be as close to the biblical Hebrew as possible. It is remarkable that these editions were composed before the modern revival of Hebrew, but the translation still remains fresh and alive for readers today. Later translations focused on modern Israeli which differs slightly from ancient biblical Hebrew. It is still considered the standard New Testament edition in Hebrew and in its 10th Edition it was revised by a young Arnold Bogomul Ehrlich at Delitzsch's insistence. He also wrote a multivolume commentary known as the Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament now available from BibleSoft in CD Rom here and works on Jewish antiquities, biblical psychology, Christian apologetics, and a history of Jewish poetry. His services to Hebrew philology and literary history and to Biblical exegesis were important and his legacy is appreciated by both believing and non-believing Jewish scholars today. We honor Franz Delitzsch as an example of a righteous gentile not just for for his massive contribution to Jewish scholarship, but also for his dedication to the proper training of missionaries, his love for the Jews and his continuing struggle against every form of anti-semitism. Unfortunately, his son Friedrich Delitzsch (1850-1922) did not follow in his father's footsteps. He became a scholar specializing in Assyrian texts and his scholarly critique of the Biblical Old Testament fueled a new form of scholarly antisemitism. In a 1902 controversial lecture titled "Babel and Bible", Delitzsch maintained that many Old Testament writings were borrowed from ancient Babylonian tales, including the stories of Creation and the Great Flood started the Babel-Bibel controversy. Friedrich Delitzsch published the two-part Die große Täuschung (The Great Deception), which was a critical treatise on the book of Psalms, prophets of the Old Testament, the invasion of Canaan, etc. which questioned the historical accuracy of the Hebrew Bible and placed great emphasis on its numerous examples of immorality. Although Delitszch's proposal to replace the Old Testament with German myths did not extend to its revision, his student Paul Haupt was one of the major advocates of the thesis of the Aryan Jesus. We recommend Hermann Gunkel's work Israel and Babylon for a biblically-reasoned scholarly response to Friedrich Delitzsch's position.

DISRAELI, Benjamin, Lord Beaconsfield (1804-1881)
British statesman and writer, was elected Prime Minister of Britain in 1868. Both the Conservative Party leader and the author of popular novels such as Sybil, emphasizes Christianity's dependence on Judaism: "In all church discussions we are apt to forget the second Testament is avowedly only a supplement. Jesus came to complete the 'law and the prophets.' Christianity is completed Judaism, or it is nothing. Christianity is incomprehensible without Judaism, as Judaism is incomplete without Christianity." He hopes that Jews "will accept the whole of their religion instead of only the half of it, as they gradually grow more familiar with the true history and character of the New Testament." Queen Victoria once asked Benjamin Disraeli, the 19th-century British prime minister, about his “real” religion. “You were born a Jew and you forsook your great people,” she said. “Now you are a member of the Church of England, but no one believes that you are a Christian at heart. Please tell me, who are you and what are you?” “Your Majesty,” Disraeli famously replied, “I am the blank page between the Old Testament and the New.” With the support of the Rothschilds he had the Suez-canal built.

DUFF-FORBES, Lawrence (Zvi Ben Abraham)
An Australian Jewish Christian and renowned scholar of Scripture, credited for popularizing the term Messianic Judaism in the midst 20th century.. He pastured the Kehilaat HaMachiach Betoch Israel, in Whittier, CA. He also created a radio ministry in California called “Treasures from Tenach” and wrote numerous books to bridge the gap between Judaism and Christianity. His delight was to make the gospel easy to understand in Jewish terms within the larger context of God’s purposes for Israel through Jewish history. For example, here is an excerpt of a conversation he had on a plane with David, a Jew making aliyah:
“D. - God is in history?
Z. - Of course. How can you ask such a question? God's providence can be detected in history. Permissive, directive and overruling, but always advancing to the ultimate goal when 'the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea'.
D. - Sure it's not wishful thinking? What of the wars and the gas-chambers?
Z. - I know . My heart aches with yours. I can never forget. Yet God even overrules wars and gas-chambers to produce effects to advance his ultimate beneficent purposes.
D. - Hard to see...
Z. - That's because you view the events at too close a range. History is like a master's canvas. You must take the long range view of it to capture the true picture in correct perspective.
D. - What's the correct perspective on wars and gas-chambers?
Z. - Hateful and ghastly-yet it is due to wars and gas-chambers that you are now in this plane en route to the new nation of Israel for permanent residence there.
D. - Explain, please.
Z. World War One prepared the LAND for the people by the issue of the Balfour Declaration and the events which followed.
D. -Yes, I think I see that clearly. And World War Number Two?
Z. - World War Number Two prepared the PEOPLE for the land...Without world War Number One the LAND would probably not have been returned to the people, and without World War Number Two, the PEOPLE would probably not have been so determined to return to the land...”
(Duff-Forbes, Lawrence. Out of the clouds. Whittier, CA: The author, 1957.)

After studying at Union Theological Seminary, he wrote Proselytes of the Ghetto in 1909, a novel that depicts the difficulty for Jews of embracing Christianity. He wrote two other novels, one entitled, When Mr. Thompson Got to Heaven and The Rivals: A Tragedy of the New York Ghetto.

EDERSHEIM, Alfred, (1825-1889)
An Orthodox Austrian Jew, born in Vienna, he became a missionary of the gospel to the Jews of Romania and finally settled in Scotland as a Presbyterian minister. He is remembered as an eminent scholar, a voluminous writer and remains unrivaled in his contributions to the knowledge of Jewish life and customs of the times of Jesus the Messiah. After seven years of labor, he finished in 1883 his The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, which became a standard work. His other works, The Temple: Its Ministry and Services, and Bible History Old Testament became popular tools of Bible study. He also served as a lecturer/preacher at Oxford, with his most productive time spent (as he writes in the preface to his masterwork) "in a remote country parish, entirely isolated from all social intercourse." He notes that "if any point seemed not clear to my own mind, or required protracted investigation, I could give days of undisturbed work to what to others might seem perhaps secondary, but was all-important to me." More here.

EDZARD, Esdras (1629-1708)
He grew up studying Hebrew and the Talmud, and then studied in Leipzig, Wittenberg, and Basel, earned a doctorate in 1656 and began working among the Jews of Hamburg. He provided free instruction in Hebrew, helped the poor, and explained to all the gospel. From 1671 to 1708, Edzard led 148 Jews to baptism in his church. He emphasized post-baptismal teaching and counseling, and almost all of those baptized persevered in faith. During his fifty years as a Jewish missionary among the Jews of Hamburg, he was called “a veritable apostle to the children of Israel. He left a sum of money for the benefit of proselytes and Jews, which fund still had its beneficiaries in the 19th century. In the years 1671 to 1708 the Jewish congregation in Hamburg was glad to have him live there. His presence to them was holy.

Austrian Jew who translated the NT into Yiddish, connected with the Chicago Hebrew Mission and became the Superintendent of the Salem Hebrew Lutheran Mission of Baltimore, MD.

Executive director of HaOr Ministries, Inc (“The Light”). Located in Brooklyn. Graduate of Biola University and Talbot Seminary, ordained pastor since 1967. He earned his Doctor of Ministry degree at the Western Conservative Baptist Seminary, Portland, Oregon.His dissertation was titled A Biblical View of Demonology and the Jewish People. From 1967-71, he served a 1500 member Baptist congregation in Covina, CA as minister of outreach. Then he received a call to become the minister in charge of the headquarters for the ABMJ/Chosen People Ministries in New York City (1972-76) Later he was a minister to the Jewish people with the Christian and Missionary Alliance in specialized ministries working out of the First Alliance Church of New York. He is also certified as a Correctional Chaplain in the state of New York, and has written various books including The Book of Daniel: A Well Kept Secret, Beyond and More. He has dedicated most of his life to sharing the gospel with the Jewish people.

ELIAKIM, Ephraim Ben-Joseph.
Also called Hacham Ephraim, a rabbi in Tiberias, Palestine, who after studying biblical prophecies believed that Jesus is the Messiah. Eliakim underwent tremendous harassment from his former colleagues. He awakened some other rabbis in Jerusalem where he died and was buried next to another brother in Messiah, of Arabic race (30th August 1930) in Jerusalem. One reporter noted that "Jew and Arab were laid one beside the other, and Jews and Arabs were standing with bowed heads by the two open graves, touched and softened the one toward the others."

Epiphanius is supposed to have been born of Jewish parents in Besanduk, near Eleutheropolis, Palestine and to have embraced Christianity in his sixteenth year. A legend asserts that, before his conversion, Epiphanius was adopted by a rich Jew named Tryphon, who died soon afterward, leaving his fortune to Epiphanius. After passing four years in Egypt in a monastery, Epiphanius returned to his native village, founding there a monastery of which he became abbot. In 367 he was elected Bishop of Constantia, in Cyprus, and became a zealous defender of orthodoxy. Trained early in monastic circles, he combated nearly 80 Jewish and Christian heresies in his Panarion, among them the Gnostics of Egypt and the Ebionites. He was versed in several languages including Hebrew, Syriac, Egyptian, Greek, and Latin. In 394 AD, he denounced the use of images painted on a cloth in a church in Jerusalem. When Theophilus, Bishop of Alexandria out of jealousy tried to embroil him in discrediting John Chrysostom, the popular Bishop of Constantinople, he refused to press charges which could not be proven and left, charging the proceedings of the court as hypocrisy. Epiphanius and Hegesippus are the only early church fathers considered to be of Jewish origin.

Appointed A.D. 53 in the time of Claudius Caesar by Apostle Peter as bishop of Antioch until his martyrdom in A.D. 68.

Martyr and bishop of Rome circa 100 AD (Liber Pontificalis).

FOLDES, Lawrence David.
Jewish filmmaker who produces and directs films with Christian values. His Christian faith was inherited through his dad’s vow to a righteous Gentile: “During World War II in Hungary, most of the family was killed—most of them were sent to Auschwitz. My mother survived in the underground in Budapest during the war because she dyed her hair blonde and she wore a big wooden cross whenever she would come out to get food. My father was captured and put into a work camp. All the workers had to wear different colored stars, the yellow star if you were Jewish, and a different colored star if one parent was Jewish and one was not. One day my father's star came off, and at the end of that day, the soldiers came and put all the prisoners into a pure Jewish group, half-Jewish and so forth. My father stepped into the pure Jewish group, and a half-Jewish person he had befriended noticed that my father's star was gone. At the last second he pulled my father out of the Jewish group and put him into the half-Jewish group. The people in the pure Jewish group were all killed, but my father survived. He eventually escaped back to Budapest. My grandfather was trying to get papers to get the family out of the country, to get false papers to be able to get out. He went from church to church asking the priests and ministers if they would give him Christian papers, and none of them did—except for one Lutheran minister, who gave these papers to my father and said, "If you survive, there's only one thing that I ask—that you convert to Christianity." They did survive the war, and then communism came in. During the communist period and the uprising in 1956, my parents and grandfather escaped and came out to the U.S. Everybody in my family changed to Christianity at the time because my father said, "I made a promise, and I'm going to keep my word." He's kept it to this day.

FELIX, John (Seelig Bunzlau)
A revered German rabbi, announces in the synagogue that he is converting, and makes a dramatic exit by coach (1758).

FLUSSER, David, (1917-2000)
Orthodox Jewish scholar, co-founder of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research with Robert Lindsey with whom he collaborated since 1961 [Robert Lindsey was a Baptist pastor, scholar and missionary to the Jews in Jerusalem, in whose church on Narkis St. the gospel was preached in Hebrew]. In the first chapter of his book Jesus (p. 22), Flusser states his intention to "apply the methods of literary criticism and Lindsey's [synoptic] solution to unlock these ancient sources [i.e., Matthew, Mark and Luke]." Flusser was born in Vienna, but because of food shortages caused by the First World War, his family relocated to the small Catholic, Bohemian town of Pribram, Czechoslovakia. As a young man Flusser studied at the University of Prague. While a student there he met Josef Perl, a pastor and member of the Unity of Bohemian Brethren. It was Perl who stirred the young Flusser's insatiable curiosity. The many evenings that he spent in conversation with Perl spawned what became an enduring interest in Jesus' teachings and the Jewish origins of Christianity. Because of his positive experience with Josef Perl and the Bohemian Brethren, Flusser would later write: “Later in life I became interested in the history of the Bohemian Brethren, and I discovered links between this group and other similar movements in the past and present. I have since had the honor to become acquainted with members of one such movement having spiritual links to the Bohemian Brethren–the Mennonites in Canada and the United States. When my German book on Jesus was first published, a leading Mennonite asked me if the book was Christian or Jewish. I replied, "If the Christians would be Mennonites, then my work would be a Christian book." What I have set out to do here is to illuminate and interpret, at least in part, Jesus' person and opinions within the framework of his time and people. My ambition is simply to serve as a mouthpiece for Jesus' message today (From the Preface of Jesus, p. 17). On the eve of World War II, Flusser left his native Eastern Europe for the Middle East. He arrived in Palestine in 1939. In 1957 he received his doctorate from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he later taught in the Comparative Religions department for many years, training several generations of scholars. For example, Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research members, Professors Brad Young and Steven Notley, wrote their doctoral dissertations under his supervision. A member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Flusser was frequently recognized for his scholarship: he was awarded the Israel Prize (1980), the State of Israel's most prestigious honor, as well as the Rothschild Prize for Jewish Sciences (2000). He was a recipient of honorary doctorates from, among others, the Catholic Faculty of Theology of Lucerne, Switzerland (1989), and Hebrew Union College (2000). He became a professor of Early Christianity and Judaism of the Second Temple Period at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, but is also acknowledged as one of the principal contributors in the Jewish-Christian dialogue. Lawrence Schiffman, chairman of the Skirball department of Hebrew and Judaic studies at New York University, credited him for pioneering "the modern study of Christianity in the state of Israel in a scholarly context." Flusser has published over 1000 articles in Hebrew, German, English, and other languages. Fluent in nine languages, he could read literature in an additional seventeen. Applying his skills in Torah, Talmud, to the study of ancient Greek, Roman and Arabic texts as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls, he scrutinized the ancient Jewish and Christian texts for evidence of the Jewish roots of Christianity. While critically distinguishing the historical Jesus from the visionary portrayal in the Gospels and other Christian writings, Flusser advocated Jesus as an authentic Jew, though misunderstood by his non-Jewish followers. David Satran, a professor of comparative religion at Hebrew University, said, "Dr. Flusser was rather remarkable in his strong insistence that not only was Jesus a Jew from birth to death, but that Jesus did nothing that could be interpreted as a revolt or questioning of the basic principles of the Judaism at the time." Flusser pursued his research at a time when many Jews blamed Christianity for Nazism. During the trial, the Gestapo officer Adolf Eichmann refused to take an oath on the New Testament, insisting he would only swear "in the name of God." Flusser commented in an editorial in the Jerusalem Post: "I do not know who is the God in whose name Eichmann swore, but I am certain that it is neither the God of Israel nor the God of the Christian church. It should now become clear to the strongest Jewish opponents of Christianity that Christianity per se imposes limitations, and that the greatest crime against our people was not committed in the name of the Christian faith." According to Jewish sources, personally, Flusser viewed Jesus as a tzadik with keen spiritual insight and with a "high self-awareness" that near-contemporaries similarly expressed, such as Hillel in the Talmud and the "Teacher of Righteousness" in certain Dead Sea Scrolls. But the question of whether he believed Yeshua is the Messiah is still the topic of quiet inquiry. In his review of Brad Young's book Jesus and the Jewish Parables, Flusser wrote: “There is no need to fear Jesus’ Jewishness. Paul has written with great insight “that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy” (Romans 15:8-9). This statement not only fits the “history of salvation,” but also expresses the ties between Jesus’ Jewish learning and the Jewish character of the Christian message.” Paradoxically, his book Jesus has been translated into eleven languages, but not into Hebrew. This may be because of statements such as this one in Chapter 11, where he wrote, “I am convinced that there are reliable reports that the Crucified One "appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time… Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles." Last of all, he appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus (1 Cor. 15:3-8). When Jesus answered the high priest's question about his Messiahship with the words, "From now on the Son of man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God," did he believe that he, too, would escape the fate that threatened him. Or, as it more likely, did he believe that he would rise from the dead? In any event, the high priest correctly understood that by Jesus' words he was confessing that he was the Messiah.” Flusser’s wide-reaching academic influence on the re-reading of the New Testament and his great ability to gather friends around the world are honored in the Festschrift "The New Testament and Christian-Jewish Dialogue," Immanuel 24/25 (1990), edited by Malcolm F. Lowe. Included is the only existing comprehensive bibliography of his prolific work. He died in Jerusalem on September 15, 2000, on his 83rd birthday. More is available on him here (+ links) and here (+ links) He is survived by his wife, Chana, and two sons, Yochanan and Uri, and seven grandchildren.

FOLDES, Lawrence David.
Jewish filmmaker who produces and directs films with Christian values. His Christian faith was inherited through his dad’s vow to a righteous Gentile: “During World War II in Hungary, most of the family was killed—most of them were sent to Auschwitz. My mother survived in the underground in Budapest during the war because she dyed her hair blonde and she wore a big wooden cross whenever she would come out to get food. My father was captured and put into a work camp. All the workers had to wear different colored stars, the yellow star if you were Jewish, and a different colored star if one parent was Jewish and one was not. One day my father's star came off, and at the end of that day, the soldiers came and put all the prisoners into a pure Jewish group, half-Jewish and so forth. My father stepped into the pure Jewish group, and a half-Jewish person he had befriended noticed that my father's star was gone. At the last second he pulled my father out of the Jewish group and put him into the half-Jewish group. The people in the pure Jewish group were all killed, but my father survived. He eventually escaped back to Budapest. My grandfather was trying to get papers to get the family out of the country, to get false papers to be able to get out. He went from church to church asking the priests and ministers if they would give him Christian papers, and none of them did—except for one Lutheran minister, who gave these papers to my father and said, "If you survive, there's only one thing that I ask—that you convert to Christianity." They did survive the war, and then communism came in. During the communist period and the uprising in 1956, my parents and grandfather escaped and came out to the U.S. Everybody in my family changed to Christianity at the time because my father said, "I made a promise, and I'm going to keep my word." He's kept it to this day.

FRANK, Arnold.
Ordained in 1884 as a Presbyterian minister, serves in 1934 his 50th year as a missionary to Jews in Hamburg, Germany. During that time he establishes not only a thriving church but a clinic, hospital, home for the elderly, and a retreat center. Following the ascent of the Nazis he advises Jews to leave and points out that Jewish Christians in Germany are considered Jews by Nazis, traitors by Jews, and dangers by gentile Christians. He is arrested by the Gestapo in 1938 but eventually allowed to leave for London. A biography of Dr. Arnold Frank is accessible from Messianic Good News in South Africa.

FREY, Joseph Samuel Christian Frederick (1771-1837)
A former Hebrew teacher, cantor and shochet (certified in the practice of biblical kosher butchering) of Germany, he was baptized in the Lutheran Church in 1798, joined the United Brethren then the non-denominational Berlin Missionary Seminary. He organized the London Society for Promoting Christianity Among the Jews as well as the London Jews Society in 1808. He later came to the United States and continues missionary efforts. He was ordained in 1818 as a Presbyterian minister. Finally he was immersed as a Baptist in 1827. His experience is representative of the discomfort Jewish believers often felt with finding a fit in the denominationally split Church. He was later involved in a resettlement project of European Jewish Christians in America as farmers called the American Society for Meliorating the Condition of the Jews (ASMCJ). The first American immigrant and ASMCJ worker David C. Jadownicky completed his college education, enrolled in a seminary and left the ASMCJ to work as a missionary in Jerusalem.

A Jewish evangelical Christian, one of the most active and persistent members of the Confessing Church in Berlin. She was the driving force behind many social, charitable and theological initiatives. A close colleague of the Spandau Superintendent Martin Albertz, a man of integrity and thoroughness, she acted more or less as the “business manager” for the directors of the Confessing Church. In the autumn of 1941, there was reason to fear she would be deported. At the intervention of Bonhoeffer, among others, it proved possible through Swiss “church channels,” especially at the request of Karl Barth, to provide her with a visa for travel abroad. In the meantime, however, a law was enacted that forbade Jewish persons top leave Germany for any reason whatever, so her visa became useless. From the beginning of 1942, she was compelled to live in a Jew House, and to expect deportation as inevitable. At Bonhoeffer’s request, she was placed under military protection by Hans von Dohnanyi, and that enabled her name to be stricken more than once from the “orderly list” of those deported. Then they devised and set in motion a hazardous plan, called Operation Seven to make it possible for her and six others to leave Germany “legally” via Switzerland to South America as “V-agents of military intelligence.” In all, fourteen Jews were rescued from the jaws of genocide between September 29 and mid-December 1942, and Bonhoeffer’s intermediation was decisive for one of them, namely Charlotte Friedenthal. Both Hans von Dohnanyi and Dietrich Bonhoeffer were arrested the following year, on April 5, 1943 and executed on April 9, 1945 in two separate camps.

Conservative Catholic friar who opposed the Society of Saint James, an organization formed by the Hebrew Catholics in 1957. He believed in the unique calling of the ‘remnant of Israel” that would become a spiritual nucleus bridging “synagogue” and “church,” and even a spearhead for combating idolatrous and apostate theologies that had infiltrated the “Ecclesia ex Gentibus” [lat., church of the nations]. He also held to Israel remaining the ‘elect nation’ according to God’s plan, with a universal mission to influence the Gentiles. But he did not expect all Jews to return to the Land, only a small minority. He used the term Catholic Zionism to propagate an ideology dealing with Hebrew Catholics belonging to a revived “Hebrew branch of the Church” with no less spiritual authority than the first apostles in Jerusalem. The Holy Land would become the “national Vatican City of Israel.” He supported the verdict of the Israeli Supreme Court in 1962 that formally denied Hebrew Catholic Oswald Rufeisen’s Jewishness according to the Law of Return, saying Rufeisen (alias for Daniel Stein) had lost his Jewish identity and now become “a Christian Israelite.” Yet, both of them strongly objected to the total assimilation and disappearance of the Jewish remnant within the Catholic Church. See this biography of Rufeisen

FRUCHTENBAUM, Arnold G. (1943-)
Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum was Born September 26, 1943 in Russia, after his father was released from a Communist prison. The Fruchtenbaums escaped from behind the Iron Curtain with help from the Israeli underground. They resided in Germany from 1946 to 1951, where Arnold received orthodox Jewish training. The Fruchtenbaums immigrated to Brooklyn in 1951, where they first came in contact with the American Board of Missions to the Jews (now Chosen People Ministries). At age 13, Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum became a believer in the Messiahship of Jesus. Arnold's father strongly opposed his beliefs, however; he allowed Arnold to continue associating with and learning from other Jewish believers until the family moved to Los Angeles in 1958. Once in Los Angeles, Arnold was forbidden to read the Bible, attend Christian meetings, or have anything to do with Messianic Jewish groups. Arnold, however, continued to maintain contact with Jewish believers and to walk with the Lord as best he could. Upon his graduation from High School, he was informed by his father that he would have to leave home because of his beliefs. In 1962, Arnold began undergraduate education at Shelton College. In 1966 He transferred to and graduated from Cedarville University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hebrew and Greek. He moved to Israel that July, and studied archaeology, ancient history, historical geography, and Hebrew at the American Institute of Holy Land Studies and at the Hebrew University. In September 1967, Arnold enrolled at Dallas Theological Seminary. He also began working as a missionary with the American Board of Missions to the Jews. He graduated in 1971 with a Master of Theology degree. In June 1968, he married Mary Ann Morrow. In 1971, they moved to Israel, settling in Jerusalem. They worked with the local messianic congregation training young Israeli believers for service. His activities for Messiah drew the anger of the religious authorities in Jerusalem, finally forcing them to leave Israel in 1973. For the next two years he was a minister for the American Board of Missions to the Jews, and editor of The Chosen People. In 1976, he joined the staff of The Christian Jew Foundation as Associate Director of the largest Messianic Jewish broadcasting ministry in the world. In the summer of 1976, Arnold, along with others in Jewish missions, discussed the lack of discipleship and intensive biblical and theological training of Jewish believers. The early concepts of Ariel Ministries were born at that time. In December 1977 Ariel Ministries became a reality based on the principles of evangelism and discipleship. Arnold now serves as the director of the ministry. In 1989, Arnold completed his Ph.D. at New York University. He is the author of several books and has contributed articles in a number of books and journals. Frequently in demand as a conference speaker and teacher, he has traveled throughout Europe, Asia, Israel, and the United States, becoming intimately acquainted with the Messianic Jewish movement. He is the author of many books such as Israelology, Footsteps of the Messiah, Messianic Christology, Messianic Jewish Epistles, etc.

GANZ, Richard.
A brilliant psychoanalyst who saw Jesus in the Hebrew Scriptures. His online testimony is here.

GARAWAY, Noah. (1947-1997)
Born in Brooklyn, New York January 15, 1947, Noah became a messianic believer in 1973. Seven years later he took up a calling to bring the light of Messiah to the nations and trained as a jungle pilot toward ministering in remote regions of the earth. Noah and his wife Gila made aliyah (immigrated) to Israel together with their four children in 1983. Beginning nine years later, Noah and Gila embarked on a number of mission trips to India, China and Africa, and worked for one year in Rwanda where Noah served as Country Director of Food for the Hungry. In 1997, Noah returned to the Great Lakes region of Africa on an outreach together with another Israeli Believer Boaz Falco. They were headed to a remote mountain village in South Kivu, D.R. Congo (formerly Zaire) for a time of ministry among indigenous tribal groups. As they flew into the village together with 18 local African pastors, their plane crashed leaving no survivors. Gavriel Gefen, his son, writes, “Every ministry calling upon his life had been leading toward that moment—a call to ministry, to mission, to return to Israel, to be sent from Israel to the nations. The people and the place could not have been a more perfect fulfillment of the kind of place and kind of people he had always spoken of being called to—tropical, tribal, isolated, undeveloped. This was everything he had worked for, and the moment he arrived there he died together with these 18 pastors. He was gone and, yet, he had reached the summit. His life had become as a seed of the restoration of Israel's calling to the nations.” (see GEFEN, Gavriel) Source.

From Austria, where he was employed by the Chicago Hebrew Mission while a student at the Moody Bible Institute, he went to the Southern Baptist Seminary, Lousville, KY. There he assumed directorship of the Jewish Department of the Southern Baptist Convention's Home Mission Board in 1921. The SBC abolished its Jewish Department in 1949, but Gartenhaus persevered with his work.

GEFEN, Gavriel. (1966- )
Gavriel was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on the Jewish feast of Shavuot. The son of Noah & Dr. Gila Garaway, he came to faith in 1973 together with his parents. They immigrated to Israel as a family from the U.S. in 1983. Gavriel went on to minister among Ethiopian Jewish immigrants for 13 years, establishing six Amharic-speaking home congregations for Messianic Jewish immigrants from Ethiopia. Walking in his father's footsteps, Gavriel works to revive Israel’s missionary calling to the nations from the Land of Israel. In 1999 in the city of Yafo, he gathered several Messianic Jewish leaders to share his vision of sending out Israeli emissaries to the nations. He wrote, “Why is the Lord bringing us back to Israel? Is it simply to gather us into one place to reveal Himself to us and end the story? Will the end result be that He pours out His blessings upon us, and we just lie at ease in Zion and grow fat on His blessing? No, He is bringing us home for the sake of the nations. Our God will bless us that we might bless others. Ultimately, He will reestablish this land and this people as channels of blessing. He will bless the nations through us … Part of the very process of coming to maturity is learning to give. If we are not faithful with little, we will not be faithful with much. Yes, the needs in this land are great, but the needs of most peoples in most countries are even greater.” He is the founding director of Keren HaShlichut the first Israeli missions agency based in Jerusalem for the purpose of fulfilling Israel's calling—to be a blessing, a light, a kingdom of priests, and of taking the Word of the Lord to the last of the unreached peoples in the name of Messiah Yeshua. Gavriel has ministered in over 50 countries, and is also the leader of Chasday Adonai, a Messianic Jewish congregation in Jerusalem. (see GARAWAY, Noah). Source.

GEFFIN, Sarah.
A British Jewish New Ager and potter, Sarah allowed the Master Potter to reshape her... She is now a missionary in St. Petersburg. Her testimony is available here.

GERSON, Christian.
A German pawnbroker, in 1600 reads out of "curiosity" a New Testament one of his customers was pawning. Seeing that the New Testament relies heavily on the Hebrew Bible, he repeatedly reads his new book "in secret so that my wife should not notice ... my heart was troubled and anxious for weeks, food or drink had no taste for me." Gerson feels he must convert and does so, but at a heavy cost: "My wife, with whom I had lived in marriage, with love and fidelity, and with whom I had two sons, I left at her request ... all my Jewish neighbors and acquaintances ... have become implacable enemies."

GINSBURG, Christian David, (1821-)
British theologian.

GINSBURG, Solomon L.
Orthodox Polish Jew who became a missionary and left an indelible mark worthy of the book of Acts as he faced murderous mobs in Brazil with the Gospel of Messiah. until he died in 1927. One day, Solomon began reading chapter 53 of Isaiah. "Who is this talking about?" he asked his rabbi father. To his surprise, his father snatched the scroll from his hand and slapped his face. Later, without consulting him, Solomon's father arranged his son's marriage with a twelve-year-old girl. Her wealthy parents would support Solomon for seven years while he, too, studied to become a rabbi. Fifteen-year-old Solomon rebelled at this commercial arrangement. Fleeing home, he made his way to London, where he worked for an uncle. There a Christian Jew invited him to a gospel meeting, promising to explain Isaiah 53. Intrigued, Solomon went and heard the prophecy of Christ's crucifixion explained. Thrown out of his home, he resisted family enticements and promises of money, becoming a notable evangelist to Brazil instead. He was beaten many times, but always rejoiced that he could suffer for Jesus. The converted Jew also escaped several assassination attempts, winning his would-be killers to Christ by kindness and godly speech. Thousands were converted under his faithful ministry.

GITLIN, Moses.
First trained at the Chicago Hebrew Mission, he later became Principal of the Radost Bible School in Poland.

GITTEL, Immanuel.
First trained at the Chicago Hebrew Mission, he later took charge of the Hebrew Community Center, a branch of the Presbyterian Board of National Mission in Los Angeles.

A California-born engineer, he became professor of Jewish evangelization at Moody Bible Institute in 1965. Over the years he argued that new groups such as Jews for Jesus should be accepted by evangelists.

GOOTFRIED, Johann Adam (early 18th century)
A learned Jewish convert.

GROSS, Wilhelm (1883-)
Wilhelm Gross, young Christian sculptor of Jewish heritage belonged to a group of artists who were producing religious works marked by honesty and integrity. In 1931 Gross hailed the approaching Third Reich as a solution for the events following Germany’s humiliation in the Versailles Treaty. By 1933 he had sculpted “Christ in Gethsemane,” an outstanding work that Max von Schilling displayed in his gallery at Berlin’s Parisier Platz, near the Brandenburg Gate. One of Gross’s art students was Eva Dittrich, a talented young woman, sister of Annelise Dittrich, one of the four teachers of St. Stefan’s in Bremen who had been arrested for helping Jews. Eventually Eva married Paul Leo a prominent Jewish Christian who had become a pastor in the Lutheran Church. When Gross entered an exhibition in Frankfurt am Main, his piece was awarded the first prize and declared best work of the exhibit. But when asked to come forward, the judges, perceiving that Gross was Jewish, held a hurried consultation and declared there had been a mistake. They awarded the prize to an Aryan artist instead. Oppression quickly spread against Jewish artist, and Gross was forced to go underground. As a Jewish Christian of the Confessing Church, he served on its board of directors for the Berlin-Brandenburg Church. Since he could no longer execute large sculpture projects, he began to produce woodcuts. One of these is a portrayal of Amos, Old Testament prophet of social justice. The facial features are identical to Otto Dibelius, the ousted superintendent in Brandenburg. This portrait became a symbol of the resistance movement and was displayed in underground centers of the Confessing Church. Gross survived WWII. He remained in Potsdam under the Soviet rule and continued to produce woodcuts, which were smuggled out of East Germany. His student Eva Dittrich Leo (she had married Paul Leo) sold these works in the United States and sent the proceeds to Gross in Potsdam to aid in the struggle for existence under the Communist regime. (From GREEN, Lowell C. Lutherans Against Hitler: The Untold Story. St. Louis: Concordia, 2007. More on Wilhelm Gross here.

HAIMOFF, Hayim Joseph.
Early pioneer of the Messianic Jewish movement in Israel who refused to be evacuated to Scotland in 1948. He taught along with Kofsmann, Ben-Meir, Poljak and Ostrovsky that full Jewish hegemony in Jerusalem meant the end of the “Time of the Gentiles. They raised the post-1948 Jewish remnant in Israel into developing a strong patriotic Zionism as part of their eschatological theology. They also stressed that Israeli believers should serve in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as loyal citizens of the State, and if competent, even as officers. He changed his last name to Bar-David in the seventies. In the fellowship that gathered in his home in Ramat-Gan, Haimoff taught that the entire body of verses scattered throughout Scripture should be regarded as a “comprehensive creed and thus resisted the formulation of a particular creed limited solely to a few sentences. However, he regarded the creation of separate Sabbath Jesus liturgies as unbiblical. All seven children of the family remained committed believers though the early beginnings marked a time when the faith of the first believers was severely challenged. More in Gershon Nerel’s article “A Messianic Jewish Church in Eretz Israel?” in Mishkhan, Issue No. 29, 1998, here.

HALEVI, Solomon, Rabbi,(1351-1445)
Later known as Archbishop of Burgos and a respected physician. After reading Thomas Aquinas’ treatise De Legibus, examined the Messianic prophecies of the OT and the Pauline Epistles of the NT. He was baptized at the age of 31 and then studied theology. He was renamed Pablo de santa Maria and became Archbishop of Burgos. Author of Minchat Ḳena'ot, he was considered a Jewish apostate by the 14th century Jewish philosopher, Ibn Pulgar who had been his friend until his conversion. Later he became Archdeacon of Trevino, then Bishop of Carthagena. The King of Spain on his deathbed appointed him Keeper of the Royal Seal and Tutor of his infant son and successor, John II. He was made member of the Regency Council with the Queen-Mother and the Infante during the king’s minority. Finally he became Archbishop of Burgos and is known today as Paul de Burgos. He wrote several Hebrew and Spanish books for the conversion of the Jews. Influenced by the Pugio fidei contra Mauros et Judaeos (1280) of Raymond Martin, a polemic work by a Christian using Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic name science and sefirotic science to support the notion of the Trinity, he produced similar proofs, greatly desiring to use this system to convert Jews. Under the name Alfonso de Valladolid he wrote “More Zedeq” (Mostrador de justicia), “The teacher of Righteousness.” He wrote an exposition on Ibn Ezra’s commentary on the Ten Commandments and a Concordia legum of Judaism and Christianity. His four sons followed his example worthily, the second was raised to the bishopry after him. Pope Eugenius IV remarked “that in the presence of such a man, he felt ashamed to be seated in the chair of St. Peter. It is true that Abner did everything in his power to combat rabbinic Judaism, which prevented the Jewish people from hearing the gospel. Unfortunately, he also became known among Jewish circles as the most virulent representative of anti-Judaism, “initiating the intensified persecution of the Jews in Christian Spain during the 14th and 15th centuries by formulating a complete theory which claims the necessity for, and justification of, such persecution. He advised the abolition of Jewish autonomy, arguing that the Messiah would not come to the Jews ‘until the Jews possess no authority, not even such petty authority as is exercised over them by their rabbis and communal wardens who … hold vain promises to them in order to keep them under constant control. Only with the elimination of these dignitaries and judges and officers will salvation come to the masses" (polemical tract, Baer, op. cit., 350). In the name of "many discerning Jews," Abner blamed the Pope and Christian monarchs for failing to oppress the Jews adequately. The conditions of salvation for the Jews would come only "when many Jewish communities are massacred and the particular generation of Jews is thereby reduced in numbers, some Jews immediately convert to the dominant Christian faith out of fear, and in that way a handful are saved ... and the pain of impoverishment will lead to an increase of shamelessness among them, that is, they will no longer be ashamed to profess the truth openly and convert to Christianity’ (Baer, op. cit., 353-4).” Other so-called apostates accused of anti-Judaism were Nicholas Donin in France, Pablo Christiani, and Hieronymus de Sancta Fide (Joshua Lorki) in Spain, and Petrus Nigri (Schwartz) in Germany. Today, misrepresentation of the entire context of Judeo-Christian polemics in the 14th century has contributed to the stigmatization of all Messianic Jews as apostates. Modern anti-missionaries claim falsely that all Jewish believers in Jesus are anti-Jewish apostates, “They are victims of Christian love. They are Jews who sold their birthright for a bowl of Christian pottage. As Jews they felt inferior to their Christian friends in a predominantly Christian environment. They were ashamed to be Jewish, so they looked for identity and acceptance among the goyim. They are fully baptized Christians, only in name are they different. They love it when other Jews join their ranks and so they spread their poison throughout the Jewish community.” The virulence of attacks against Messianic Jews is not new, as seen here.

HALFF, Charles.
Baptist minister of San Antonio founds in 1948 an organization named, with Texas bluntness, the Christian Jew Foundation, and sponsors a radio show, The Christian Jew Hour, that includes Hebrew Christian gospel music and a sermon. He writes that when he became a Christian his father filed an insanity charge against him and had him jailed, and later offered him $85,000 to recant. The radio program, now called Messianic Perspectives, is still on the air.

Johann Harzuge printed in Cracow, Poland, in 1540 a New Testament with a Hebrew translation. In the next several years Paul Halicz, Paul Emulio, and Michael Adam also produced Hebrew and Yiddish translations of the New Testament.

A Nazarene Christian, he was the first church historian. Unfortunately most of his writings (Hypomnemata (Ὑπομνήματα; "Memoirs" or "Memoranda") have been lost, except eight passages concerning Church history quoted by the Church Father, Eusebius. Through the latter, we also know that Hegesippus was also known to Jerome, who reported that Hegesippus "wrote a history of all ecclesiastical events from the passion of our Lord down to his own period... in five volumes", which has established the Hypomnemata as a Church history. Hegesippus appealed principally to the tradition as embodied in the teaching which had been handed down through the succession of bishops, thus providing Eusebius information about the earliest bishops that otherwise would have been lost. It is probable that Eusebius borrowed his list of the early bishops of Jerusalem from Hegesippus. Eusebius also says that Hegesippus was a convert from Judaism, learned in the Semitic languages and conversant with the oral tradition and customs of the Jews, for he was acquainted with the Gospel of the Hebrews and with a Syriac Gospel, and he also cited unwritten traditions of the Jews. Hegesippus lived in the East, but also traveled to Rome through Corinth. He quoted largely from the Gospel to the Hebrews, as the final authority on the life and teaching of Jesus and stated that certain books of the Apocrypha had been forged during his own lifetime. He is credited as the source of a description of the martyrdom of James the Just, "the brother of the Lord", the election of his successor Simeon, the summoning of St. Jude, brother of Yeshua to Rome and St John's exile at Patmos during the persecution of Emperor Domitian. To read more go here.

HEINE, Heinrich (1797-1856)
German Jewish Romantic poet, journalist, satirist, cultural critic and philosopher of the European Enlightenment. Born Harry Heine in Düsseldorf, he was the son of Samsom Heine, a middle-class cloth merchant. He was apprenticed first to a Frankfurt bank in 1815, then his uncle Salomon Heine, a wealthy banker in Hamburg who exercised a formidable influence on Heinrich for most of his life set him up in 1818 with a cloth business ‘Harry Heine & Co.’ By 1819, he took over his father’s business due to his father’s illnesses and his uncle stepped in to pay all the debts and liquidate the badly run ‘Harry Heine & Co.’, thus freeing Harry to pursue university studies. He enrolled in Bonn in 1819, switched in 1920 to Göttingen where he discovered Shakespeare, and settled in 1821 with Berlin University which proved decisive for his later decision to pursue his true vocation as a writer and poet. His first volume of verse, Gedichte/Poems, appeared 1821, followed by Lyrisches Intermezzo (1823). He was more interested in literature than law, although he eventually completed a law degree in 1825. He also changed his first name from Harry to the more Germanic Heinrich. However, he never practiced or held a position in government service. While a student in Berlin, he became a friend of Hegel, frequented literary circles and became a member of the Association for the Culture and Science of Judaism, where he met jurist and philosopher, Eduard Gans German poet and philosopher. Both drew from Hegel’s history of philosophy the basis for how Judaism could be modernized without being abandoned, with minority rights guaranteed in a modern constitutional state whose moral political ideal was freedom as self-determination. Jews were subject to severe restrictions in many of the German states at that time. They were forbidden from entering certain professions, including university lecturing, which was a particular ambition for Heine. The ideal of Jewish emancipation was then proffered by German rulers, but with pressures to conform and assimilate in the modern world. Pro forma conversions were necessary in order to be accepted in academic or civil careers. When the German King abolished the entire edict of Jewish emancipation to prevent Gans from taking the post of Professor of Law at the University of Berlin, Gans “pro forma converted,” and the professorship became his. Heine also officially converted to Protestantism on June 28, 1825. At first, it was a cynical gesture. As Heine said in self-justification, his baptism was "the ticket of admission into European culture." In a letter to his friend Moser in January 1826, he wrote, “I am now hated by Christian and Jew. I very much regret having been baptized; I see no signs that things have gone better with me since then. On the contrary: I have experienced nothing but misfortune from that day on.” However, during the remainder of his life, he never recanted his baptism. His interest in the meaning of history led him to trace in Hegelian fashion the development of Christianity and how it led to German philosophy. Rather than seeing Christianity as the ‘consummate religion’ of freedom, as Hegel had done, Heine saw the “genuine Idea of Christianity” as being that of a kind of sickness, the roots of which lay in the early church’s implicitly having internalized the ideas of Gnosticism, which it then turned around and condemned as heresy: body and soul are separate and the pleasures of the body are evil, the province of Satan, while the soul is pure and can rise aloft, all the more nobly, into the lucid sky, into the bright kingdom of Christ.” Why, Heine asks, could such a religion that inflicts such pain on people, take hold? The answer he gave was that Christianity found its value in “taming the strong, strengthening the tame’ and offering the downtrodden the consolation of reward in heaven. It is only when Luther in his “divine brutality” broke with the established Church and established the rights of the claims of reason on Christianity that “we see the Jewish-Deistic element again on the rise. Evangelical Christianity emerges.” With that the principle of freedom of thought arises, and as the new Idea worked itself out, it in turn established the primacy of the universities in Protestant life. So he concludes that the triumph of Protestantism is not, as Hegel seemed to think, the supremacy of the Protestant Christian Church as the only genuine modern (rational) religion, but simply the prosaic fact of European modernity itself: the advent of industrialization, the aftershocks of the French Revolution, the coming to power of the merchant class, and the condition in which “the authorities have collapsed; reason remains the one lamp of humanity, and one’s conscience is the only staff in the dark labyrinth of life,” such that “now individuality and skepticism predominate.” Seen in this light, it was the Jewish reverence for the law that made Jews, not the Christians, the first truly modern people, and it is that reverence for the law that was now being realized in modern Europe. This assessment proved prophetic as humanist philosophies took hold and led academic institutions towards increased secularism. This modern secularism would prove to be both an opportunity and a snare for alienated Diaspora Jewry. Heine was not afraid to say that Christianity in Germany had ceased to be the actual religion in German life. Rather, Heine wrote, “No one says it, but everybody knows it; pantheism is the open secret of Germany … Pantheism is the clandestine religion of Germany.” With the arrival of Kantianism, “Our heart are full of compassion – it is Jehovah who is readying himself for death – … Do you hear the bell ringing? Kneel down – Sacraments are being brought to a dying God.” In Heine’s account, the death sentence passed on God went into its final funereal march to the gallows when Kant destroyed all prior metaphysics. The nail in the coffin was Kant’s own substitution of human spontaneity and “the kingdom of ends” for religion. The denouement came with Fichte who, by generalizing the problem in Kant’s philosophy about self-legislation into a universal problem for all normative authority, solidified the Kantian revolution into a system. All the shackles of practical thought are thrown off: if the subject of thought and action “I” is to be the final source of all normative authority, then it must somehow authorize itself to bestow authority on other things, it must posit that there is something external to itself, “not-I,” to which it answers for its authority. In 1827 Heine visited England, from where he returned disappointed and horrified by formality of behavior and bourgeois materialism. In the third volume of Reisebilder (Die Bäder von Lucca), Heine satirized the poet August von Platen, who had attacked him on his Jewish origins. This act damaged Heine's reputation, and in 1831 he went to Paris as a journalist, to write newspaper articles about the development of democracy and capitalism in France, just as anti-semitism began to rise in the aftermath of Napoleon’s defeat in Russia. He decided Paris would be a safer home for him than Berlin or Göttingen. In 1834 he fell in love with Crecence Eugénie Mirat ('Mathilde' in his poems), an illiterate salesgirl, whom he married seven years later. Mathilde was a spendthrift but during Heine's eight-year-long illness she nursed him faithfully and tenderly. Heine reported on French cultural and political affairs, wrote travel books and works on German literature and philosophy, besides publishing poetry. At that time, Paris was the cradle of new ideas: Victor Hugo had published Notre Dame de Paris, Balzac's and George Sand's first novels had appeared, Delacroix and Delaroche were the centers of art salons. Heine made an art of commenting on the modern urban experience. From what might be called a progressive perspective, and in the feuilletonistic style of which he was a pioneer, he examined the “social significance” of all manner of phenomena, from major political occurrences, as the July Revolution of 1830, to the arrangement of fancy new commodities in shop windows. In Paris he wrote penetrating political essays and turned towards satire. In 1835, the Prussian government had banned his works. In late 1836, the pope announced that many of Heine's works were now banned, forbidding all faithful Catholics to read his texts. After a visit to his home country in defiance of German censors in 1843, Heine published a long verse satire, Deutchland: Ein Wintermärchen (1844), an attack on reactionary circles. Near the end of the poem, the patron goddess of Hamburg, reveals a vision of Germany's future to the poet-narrator in a chamber pot. In the same year the Silesian weavers protested violently against intolerable working conditions and Heine sided with them in his poem. His exile was sealed that same year as the Prussian government issued an order for Heine’s arrest if he ever set foot on Prussian soil again. His Atta Troll (1847) where he satirized the utopian politics of the opponents of the regime in Germany has been described as ‘the swansong of Romanticism.’ In Paris he wrote, “As Henry IV said, ‘Paris is worth a mass’; I say, 'Berlin is worth the sermon.’” For much of the rest of his life, Heine wrestled over the incompatible elements of his German and his Jewish identities. Heine's uncle died in 1844 and left him a small pension; he also accepted a pension from the French government. After 1844 he suffered financial reversals and a physical deterioration. According to some suppositions, he suffered the beginnings of what would become either congenital neuropathy or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease). From 1848 until his death he lay paralyzed, partly blind and heavily sedated on his "mattress grave," but wrote one of his finest collection of verse, Romanzero (1851). The “last king of Romanticism” had a love-hate relationship with German Romanticism and during his last years, Heine was interested in combining elements of Christianity and pagan sensualism. After he had recanted his views on religion in 1848, and having become disenchanted with Hegel, Heine revealed how he had understood the Hegelian philosophy of religion to be really just a form of atheism. Hegel’s twin doctrines of the superiority of Protestant Christianity, and the assumption (and subordination) of religion into natural philosophy to be an overall argument to the effect that religion per se really did not count any more. Once one had had fully understood that religion was only an intuitive, pictorial presentation of the deeper conceptual truth about freedom as the basic “norm” of modern life, one simply did not need religion any more. Thus his observations of religious hypocrisy could have tempted him towards religious skepticism, except that he had doubts as to whether the replacement of the Christian religion with the new philosophy would produce something which could in fact play the same role in the social whole as Christianity had done. Indeed, his works conclude with some well-known and often-cited dark warnings about the German love for battle and conquest, all of which have since been taken as fearsome premonitions of the Hitler nightmare yet to come. The term Germany could well be substituted with modern Europe and even the postmodern West: By disposing of tradition and prior metaphysics too readily, the “Naturphilosoph” freed from the moral constraints of Christianity “will enter into association with the original powers of nature. He will be able to conjure up the demonic forces of old-Germanic pantheism, and … a play will be enacted in Germany which will make the French Revolution look like a harmless idyll.” After his physical breakdown that left him in pain and paralyzed until his death in Paris in 1856. He made a very public return to a form of religion, to a personal God, rejecting Germanic pantheism. Many have tried to identify what this form of faith was, though it is generally agreed it must have been a distillation of the highest ideals in both Christianity and Judaism. It was not orthodox Judaism, yet he said, he had never left it. Alienated by the conditions of injustice in modern industrial society, he sought the promise of restoration, justice, freedom, equality and solidarity. His influence on Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, the latter having translated one of his poems and corresponded with him, guaranteed that the poet became one of the most studied in Communist countries. Since Heine had only contempt for atheism, it is reasonable to assume his “personal” encounter of faith with his “personal” God may have centered on the image of the Jewish Messiah of Christian faith whose vision, in his poem “Peace”, impressed him so much. This points to a return beyond pro forma conversion to Protestant Christianity from which it must markably differ. His early admiration of Spinoza as “a cousin of Christ” places Heine in the line of Jewish intellectual spiritual seekers in the “modern Jewish reclamation of Jesus” project. Heine must have been acquainted with Moses Mendelssohn, who extolled Jesus as paragon of Jewish ethics. Also, while rejecting Spinoza's pantheist metaphysics, he must have accepted Moses’ characterization of ancient Israelite social order as a theocracy, positively pictured as a relatively tolerant society, that instilled civic virtues and punished only sacrilegious behavior, rather than unbelief, as Christianity had done regarding the Jews. Heine said on his deathbed “God will forgive me; it's his job.” Is that presumption, or is it personal assurance based on a relational transaction of faith? Only a Jewish understanding of Messianic forgiveness (Luke 5:24) can warrant such a hopeful declaration. The best biography of Heinrich Heine in English is still Jeffery L. Sammons, Heinrich Heine: A Modern Biography. Manchester: Carcanet New Press, 1979. The most comprehensive study of his life and work is Anthony Phelan, Reading Heinrich Heine, Cambridge University Press, 2007. The great scholar of Heine’s works is Siegbert Prawer (The Tragic Styrist, 1961; Heine’s Jewish Comedy, 1983; Frankenstein’s island: England and the English in the writings of Heinrich Heine, 1986). The ban from the Vatican was lifted in 1867, ten years after he died. However, long after his death, Heine’s work continued to stir controversy in Germany, and proposals to erect his statue led to riots. Because of Heine's Jewish background, the Nazis insisted that the poet's songs should be marked 'author unknown' in poetry collections. He is interred in the Cimetière de Montmartre. The Walhalla temple in Bavaria plans to add Heine's bust to its collection in 2009. His lyrics have inspired such composers as Mendelssohn, Schubert, and Schumann. In the 1890s, amidst a flowering of affection for Heine leading up to the centennial of his birth, a plan was enacted in Düsseldorf to honor Heine with a memorial statue. The activism of some German Americans, including Carl Schurz, aided in its relocation across the Atlantic in the Bronx, New York. In Israel, the attitude to Heine has long been the subject of debate between secularists, who number him among the most prominent figures of Jewish history, while the religious who consider his conversion to Christianity to be an unforgivable act of betrayal. Due to such debates, the city of Tel-Aviv was very late in naming a street for Heine, and the street finally chosen to bear his name is located in a rather desolate industrial zone rather than in the vicinity of Tel-Aviv University. A Heine Appreciation Society is active in Israel, led by prominent political figures from both the left and right camps. His quote, “When books are burned in the end people will be burned too” is prominently displayed at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem.
Main Source: Heine, Heinrich. On the history of religion and philosophy in Germany, and other writings. Edited by Terry Pinkard ; translated by Howard Pollack-Milgate; other sources garnered from the internet.

HELLER, Henry Leon (1880-)
Born in Odessa, Russia, he was raised in an Orthodox family and sent to rabbibical in Western Russia. At sixteen , he lost his zeal and left for London in quest for work and from there to Glasgow where he found Yeshua as his Messiah. He then went to Canada where he entered the Bible Training School at Toronto, then Westminster College in St. Louis, MS where he graduated in 1910. In 1911 as a student of Princeton Theological Seminary he published From the rabbis to Christ: a personal narrative suggesting the kind of gospel that will appeal to the Jew.

HERSCHEL, Haim Ridley (1807-1864)
As a sixteen-year-old in Poland in 1823, he became anxious at Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) services saying as he joined, "We have now no temple, no high priest, no altar, and no sacrifices." He eventually moved to London and founded the British Society for the Propagation of the Gospel Among the Jews. He taught numerous Bible classes for both Jews and non-Jews. Along with Joseph Frey, he inspired the London Society and the British Society to promote evangelism among the Jews, in a time when the Church was awakening to the need of Christ in far off lands, but the apostolic order “to the Jew first” had so far touched few Christian consciences. When he died in 1864, 300 policemen for whom he had held a weekly class were in the funeral procession. From 1846 to the end of the century the Society's foreign agents were mostly in Germany, Austria, Russia, Poland and Turkey, but during the 1920s the Haifa Mission became the principal foreign operation, with a staff of ten by 1925. The book depot there, shared with the BFBS, distributed 25,000 texts in Hebrew, Arabic, Yiddish, Russian, German and English during 1927-8, some of it in Baghdad by the hand of the indomitable colporteur Yusuf Abdullah. In 1936, the year of the Arab Strike and the Anschluss, extracts from foreign journals ceased abruptly, and they were only partly restored in the bad years which followed. Two years later the Society quit Vienna. In 1976 the Society united with the Barbican Mission to the Jews to become Christian Witness to Israel. An almost full set of Annual Reports is kept at their premises in Sevenoaks, Kent. At least a quarter of a million Jews were became believers as a result of his influence in the Nineteenth Century.

HERSCHEL, Sir William, (1738-1822)
English astronomer. Using a telescope he constructed, he discovered the planet Uranus in 1781. Herschel also fixed the positions of 2,500 nebulas, of which only 103 had previously been known. He infered the existence of binary stars, and then identified 209 such pairs of stars that revolve around a common center. He discovered the infrared rays of the sun, defined and explained the composition of the Milky Way, and made many other discoveries. He was also a famous musician and to this day his compositions–particularly those for wooden instruments are being played till this day,

HERTZ, Gustav Ferdinand.
Hertz (born David Gustav Hertz) a lawyer becomes a municipal official in Hamburg, Germany, in 1859 and holds various positions over the next 45 years. He works for reform of the justice and prison systems.

HERZ, Henriette, née De Lemos (September 5, 1764 – October 22, 1847)
She is best known for the "salonnieres" or literary salons that she started with a group of emancipated Jews in Prussia. She was the daughter of a physician, descended from a Portuguese Jewish family of Hamburg, Benjamin de Lemos (1711–1789) and Esther (1742–1817), née Charleville. Henriette Herz had grown up in the Berlin of the Jewish emancipation and had shared tutors apparently with the Mendelssohn's daughters. At age fifteen, she married a physician, twenty years her senior. Dr. Markus Herz had studied medicine at the University of Königsberg, one of only three universities that accepted Jews -- but only in its medical faculty. She was said to be an extremely beautiful woman. After a few years the salon split in two, a science-seminar led by her husband and a literary salon by Henriette herself. Most notable men and women in Berlin were said to have attended her salon. Among her friends and acquaintances were Dorothea von Schlegel, Jean Paul Richter, Friedrich Schiller, Mirabeau, Friedrich Rückert, the Danish Barthold Georg Niebuhr, Johannes von Müller, the sculptor Schadow, Salomon Maimon, Friedrich von Gentz, Fanny von Arnstein, Madame de Genlis. Alexander von Humboldt often visited and even received Hebrew lessons from Henriette. The theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher was another frequent visitor. After the death of her husband she came under the powerful influence of Schleiermacher and converted to Protestantism.

HERZL, Hans,
Son of Theodore Herzl, (founder of modern Zionism). He committed suicide in 1930 after growing up at an Orthodox Jewish boarding school, coming to faith in Messiah, undergoing tremendous abuse, and then retreating to liberal Judaism. The Baltimore Jewish Times honestly reports that "when Herzl's son became a convert to Christianity-not for material gain, but because he believed that if the idea of Jewish nationalism is thought to its final conclusion one can be a Christian Jew-he was read out of Jewry. The death of ... Herzl reminds us that in many instances we are ruthless fanatics." His death comes on the same day as the funeral of his sister, Pauline, a drug addict.

Jewish Patriarch whose deathbed confession of Christ was witnessed by his rabbinical student Count Joseph as well as his secret immersion (baptism). After his death, Joseph found among his effects a Hebrew manuscript of Matthew, and a Hebrew translation of John and the Acts of the Apostles, and was himself convinced of the truth of Messiah Yeshua. See JOSEPH, Count, below.

HOWARD Phillips.
Former Nixon administration chairman of the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity, leaves the Republican Party and founds the Conservative Caucus in 1974. While looking into arguments against socialized medicine he runs across biblical perspectives on public policy, and that leads to his theological conversion. He says, "I began to spend more time studying the Scripture, both Old and New Testament, and began to come to grips with the constantly mentioned subject of blood sacrifice as the basis for atonement for sin where God was concerned. The ultimate blood sacrifice for sin, obviously, is Jesus Christ. I committed my life to Him as Lord and Savior and subsequently realized that there could be no disconnection between the Christian worldview, based on blood sacrifice and redemption, the scriptural testimony to this event, and one's commitment to impacting the culture for Christ, inside and outside of the political and activist arenas." Phillips founds the U.S. Taxpayers Party in 1992 and becomes its presidential candidate.

HUSSERL, Edmund Husserl (1859-1938)
Was baptized at age 27 in 1886 in Vienna's principal Lutheran church, but feared that a deeper commitment to following Christ would alienate his students from him. A half-century later he declared, "From the days of my youth I have struggled against all forms of vanity, and now I have almost overcome them-professional vanity, too, the respect and admiration of pupils, without which no young teacher can work." In the 1930s, barred by Hitler's edict from universities, along with other Jewish professors, he found refuge in a Catholic convent. His last words in 1938, to a nurse were, "I have seen something wonderful. Write it down quickly." The nurse returned with a notebook, but Husserl was dead.

HYAMS, Marie & Sheila.
Two successful businesswomen who could not escape Jesus. This tale of two sisters can read online here

ISAAC, Johannes & Stephan.
In 1546 Johannes and Stephan Isaac, father and son, convert to Lutheranism but have trouble afterwards deciding between it and Roman Catholicism. Both become Catholics, with Johannes becoming a professor of Hebrew at the University of Cologne and Stephan a priest, but in 1582-1583 Stephan delivers sermons opposing the worship of icons and saints and soon afterwards becomes a Protestant once again.

Zev Isaacs, the son of a Holocaust survivor, raised in Montreal's Jewish community, began his search for God while completing his degree in International Relations at York University in 1987. During his search, he was challenged by his mother's new faith in Jesus (Yeshua), and by his Jewish friend's conversion to Orthodox Judaism. Confused, Isaacs began to meet and discuss the objections to the Messianic prophecies with Jews for Judaism and Aish HaTorah. On Saturday mornings he would meet with a Messianic Rabbi to learn about Yeshua and the validity of the Messianic interpretation. After more than one year of studying the Messianic prophecies and struggling through the objections, he finally realized that Yeshua was the promised Jewish Messiah. Isaacs was determined to one day publish a Bible that would expose the truth of the Messianic prophecies. Isaacs founded The Messianic Times newspaper in 1989 and resigned in 2002 to devote himself fully to the work of the Bible Project and the Messianic Evangelistic Association. For more, Go to his website

JACOBS, Abraham.
in 1769 publishes an autobiography in which he writes how he obtained a New Testament from a Lutheran pastor who came to study Hebrew with his father, a Frankfurt rabbi. Jacobs reads several pages a night, after his parents have gone to bed, and begins visiting the pastor's house. His father discovers him one night reading the New Testament and hits him. When Jacobs says he wants to convert, he is thrown out of the house, and eventually has to head to England.

JACOBS, Hyman.
Established with Moshe Immanuel Ben-Meir and Dr. Arne Jonsen, a Norwegian missionary the first independent Messianic Jewish congregation in Jerusalem between 1925-1929 referring to the congregants in Hebrew as “Yehudim Meschichiim” or Messianic Jews. This term would not be the definition of choice for Jewish believers in Yeshua until 1975 in America, then was officially adopted in May 1997 at an international conference in Mexico. As they were accused of “Judaizing tendencies,” the first congregation only laster 4 years. Then in cooperation with the International Hebrew Christian Alliance (IHCA) of London, they formed the Hebrew Christian Fellowship of Palestine, but still used the term “Messianic Jews” in Hebrew texts. Their professed aim was to achieve an interdenominational fellowship that would “unite the Messianic Jews in Palestine and Syria; establish and support urban branches; witness corporately to both synagogue and church concerning the fulfillment of Israel’s messianic hope in Jesus; to introduce Jewish thought to Gentile Christians and the Gospel to Jews; …” in 1933, the Fellowship changed its name to The Hebrew Christian Alliance of Palestine and the Near East.

JACOBY, Hilla & Max.
German Messianic Jews and photographers. Their work, The Jews, God's People, Photographs by Hilla and Max Jacoby originally in German with Hänssler Verlag and reprinted in English by Daybreak Books, Zondervan Publishing House in 1983, earned them four medals. The preface of this heavy-weight color portraits book is by Max Moshe and the introduction is by Hilla: "The Greatest gift to the whole world is THE KING OF THE JEWS, "YESHUA HAMASHIACH." Born in 1919 in Koblenz, Germany, Max died on March 15 2009 in Berlin as a Messianic Jew. His wife Hilla who worked together with him still lives in Berlin.

JACOBY, Ludwig S., (1813-1874)
German Jew of polish descent, he sought Lutheran baptism for worldly advancement and emigrated to Cincinnati, Ohio where he was awakened spiritually in a German Methodist church. He became a missionary in Missouri and later also in Germany and Switzerland. He began the first Methodist church west of the Mississippi in 1841, surviving pistol-firing, rock-throwing ruffians. He later returned to Germany to become a professor of Theology at the theological Seminary in Bremen, where he was editor to several religious newspapers, ran the bookstore and printing office, and headed the mission work. But then he made it back to St. Louis and died there in 1874. His last word was, "Hallelujah."


JOCZ, Jakób (1906-1983)
Born in Vilnius, Lithuania, to a believing Jewish cabinetmaker and his believing wife. Early on Jakob also became a committed disciple of Yeshua and turned to writing, teaching, and speaking to Jewish communities in Poland. Eventually, he immigrated to England then to Canada, where he became professor of theology. In 1949 he published his monumental The Jewish People and Jesus Christ: The Relationship Between Church and Synagogue. Before his death in 1983, he wrote an impassioned sequel in light of the events of the Holocaust and modern Jewish and Israeli efforts to study Jesus on their own terms. It's entitled The Jewish People and Jesus Christ After Auschwitz. More on The legacy of Jakob Jocz.

JOHN, Theodore of Prague.
In 1692 during the Shabbatai Zvi aftershock, he converted because "vain waiting for a messiah" made no sense to him "when really He is come long ago." For more, go here.

JONAS, Giovanni Baptista (1588-1668)
Jew from Safed, Palestine who became assistant rabbi in Hamburg. He was baptized in Poland in 1625. He went to Italy where he became professor of the University of Pisa, and later, one of the Vatican Librarians. He made a Hebrew translation of the Gospels and compiled a Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon.

JOSEPH, Count.
Called the Apostate by the unbelieving Jews, he was met at the end of his life by Epiphanius who recounts his story: he was a rabbinical student who became a believer through his teacher Hillel II (see below). He escaped attempts on his life twice for his faith for which he was rewarded by Emperor Constantine with the title of Count of the Roman Empire. He built churches in towns with large Jewish populations, like Tiberias, Nazareth and Sepphoris as evidenced in remaining inscriptions. At the end of his life, the anti-Jewish policy of the Church began to manifest itself more and more so that Constantine’s initial decree of protection of the “Baptized Jew” became swallowed up by prevailing anti-Jewish sentiment inside the churches where Jewish seekers inquired.

JOSEPH, Rabbi.
A famous rabbi of Amsterdam who testified of his secret faith in Christ in the Jewish Intelligence, 1857, p.49. He spoke also of his grandfather who had heard the gospel from a Moravian brethren Jewish evangelist called “Rabbi Shemuel” from Zeist and who had suffered such persecution for his Christian faith that he disappeared from Amsterdam without a trace…

JOSEF, Raphael.
baptized in 1749, credits his first step toward conversion to buying what he thought was a Jewish book and finding that it is a copy of the New Testament in Yiddish. He decided to read it with the goal of refuting Christianity, but it filled him with doubts about Judaism.

JULIAN, of TOLEDO, St. (642-690)
He was the last great Spanish theologian of the seventh century in Visigothic Spain and ruled the Toledan episcopate with zeal and wisdom. According to the Mozarabic Chronicle, he was of Jewish parentage. Some of his writings were directed toward the conversion of the Jews. His De Comprobatione Sextae Aetatis is a treatise in which he rebuts the Jewish objections to recognizing Jesus Christ as the Messiah announced by the prophets especially as embodied in the Talmudic doctrine that the Messiah will come on the stroke of the sixth age of the world and usher in the Messianic Age. In opposition to the current trend, it is believed that Julian maintained a good relationship and did not accept the typically severe religious zeal against the Jews. His fundamental attitude and his writings were not anti-Judaic. His most important work is the Prognosticum Futuri Saeculi (Foreknowledge of the world to come) on the situation of the soul after death and before resurrection, which originates in his dialogue with Idalius, Bishop of Barcelona who was in Toledo to attend the Fifteenth Council (688). The most interesting contribution of the Prognosticum consists in the important structural distinction of a double phase of Christian Eschatology: the intermediary phase or Eschatology of the soul or individual, and the final one, or collective Eschatology, of the final eschatological events of the history of salvation. He asserted the possibility of a spiritual refining of the disembodied souls by fire in the intermediate state after their death and before their physical resurrection. Crucial to this understanding is the biblical exegesis of 1 Cor 3:11-15; Matt 25:41,46 to illustrate the distinctions between two types of eschatological fire, one prior to final salvation and the other for the punishment of the damned. While the just obtain their reward immediately, the delay of the eschatological reward of some deemed not ready or too imperfect to enter the kingdom of God assumes an interval of maturation during which God brings them to the right condition for obtaining perfect beatitude. They are thus purified of their moral lapses and spiritual imperfections while in the terrestrial life. This supplement of sanctifying grace through an integrative path of soul purification for many of the deceased, is secured by the insistent prayer of believers on earth for the dead. This doctrine finds its origins in St. Gregory's Dialogi and some of Augustine's writings but is for the first time clearly elaborated in the Prognosticum, 500 years before its adoption in the 12th century as 'purgatory.' The influence of this work would be notable upon the early medieval theology and in the Counter-Reformation, when it became a reference work for Catholic theologians in their disputes with the Reformers. More here

Israeli soldier. Hearing that his father-in-law, Jewish chess champion and a gambler had died a Christian believer in the USA, he started investigating... His testimony is here.

A convert of the Chicago Hebrew mission followed Solomon Birnbaum as director and missionary of Immanuel neighbourhood House in Baltimore, under the Presbyterian Board of National Missions. Today it is the Emmanuel Messianic Jewish congregation of Columbia, Maryland. See its online history here.

KLYBER, Arthur B. (1900-)
U.S. Navy seaman, was baptized in 1920. He went on to found Remnant of Israel, a missionary group, and also Catholics United for Life, which points out Hitler's opposition to abortion for Aryans but support of it for Jews, Gypsies, Poles, and other "inferior" groups. He served as a priest for 65 years before retiring to a nursing home at the age of 96.

KOFSMAN, Ze’ev Shlomo (?-1976)
Immigrated in 1948 after the State was established. He was an early pioneer of the Messianic Jewish movement in Israel who refused to be evacuated to Scotland during the War of Israel’s Independence in 1948. He co-founded with Eva Kronhaus, Rina Preiss, Yvette Kofsman (his wife), Izidor Wolf, Abraham Fried, Avraham Zuhokowitch Ruth Appel, Shmuel Ekroth and Rachel Greenberg the “Israeli Messianic Assembly – Jerusalem Assembly,” (Kehila Meshihit Israelit – Kehilat Yerushalaim) which was the first indigenous Messianic Israeli congregation to be nominally registered with the Ministry of the Interior in 1958 as an Ottoman Society. They claimed continuity with the first Messianic Jewish assembly and asked the founders to recognize their civilian right under the Declaration of Independence of Israel with these words, “We are an assembly of Messianic Jews who believe in Yeshua the Messiah who came in the past and will return in the future as the Almighty promised in the Old Testament. We neither converted our religion or our faith since the Messiah himself said ‘I did not come to abolish the Torah but to fulfill it.’” They also expressed that 2000 years ago, Messianic Jews were part and parcel of the Jewish Nation in Jerusalem, and together with their people went to the Diaspora, suffered expulsions and wanderings. Now Jewish believers in Yeshua were returning to the Land with the ingathering of the people according to biblical prophecy. They emphasized that, “out of belief in Messiah in our thoughts and deeds we share the destiny of our people” (letter 23-2-1957). Two days laterm they received a positive reply and became a legitimate entity with the declared aims of providing a framework for common worship (Avodat Adonai) for the Messianic congregation in Israel. It did not become as originally intended a national body representing the consensus of Messianic Jews in Israel, but functioned as a local congregation in Jerusalem that aimed to “revive the characteristics of the first-century Jerusalem congregation. Kofsmann taught along with Haimoff, Ben-Meir, Poljak and Ostrovsky that full Jewish hegemony in Jerusalem meant the end of the “Time of the Gentiles.” It would not be until 1980 that the mandatory Regime’s Rule for Ottoman Society would be cancelled and replaced by the Israeli Amuta structure that provides a legal framework for non-profit and charitable Associations. He published 10 articles of faith in Shalom, a magazine edited by French Pentecostals and edited Halapid (The Torch) the official organ of the Assembly, with the help of Ben-Meir, RabbiGoldin and Rina Preiss. Halapid only had 4 issues in Hebrew from 1960-1962. The motto of the editors was to restore the characteristics of the 1st century Jerusalem congregation. They wrote, “exactly as the Jews do not come to this land as foreigners or invaders, but to inherit the patrimony of their forefathers, so we do not come to the Israeli Messianic Assembly as proselytes, but rather we ho are saved return to our spiritual possession.” Unfortunately the Assembly had no “satellite fellowships” as it originally expected to develop. But the Assembly survived, moved location and new leaders joined the Kofsman couple. They carefully avoided reference to the traditional ecclesiastical creeds, preferring the simple NT phrases to frame christological issues. Kofsman’s vision to establish a “Messianic Jewish community” (Eda Meshihit), expecting to achieve rights as given to the other recognized religious communities in Israel like, for example, the Karaites, was not realized. If however such a move had been successful, it probably would have caused the statutory incorporation of Jewish Believers in Yeshua as a Christian denomination in Israel, alongside the other churches, and thus would have affected the development of a Jewish identity and witness. He died in 1976 and was buried in the Central Jewish Cementary of Givat Shaul in Jerusalem. More in Gershon Nerel’s article “A Messianic Jewish Church in Eretz Israel?” in Mishkhan, Issue No. 29, 1998, here.

Imprisoned in a Soviet concentration camp in 1953 for political subversives, talks with a devout Christian and comes to believe in Christ. He tries to help starving prisoners by refusing to sign papers that will send them to their deaths, and he reports to the camp commandant an orderly who is stealing food from prisoners. One day he talks at length about Christ with a patient who has just been operated on for cancer. That night the orderly has his revenge and Dr. Kornfeld is murdered, but the patient ponders his words, becomes a Christian, and eventually writes about Kornfeld and conditions in the Gulag. The patient's name: Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

KUDLOW, Lawrence.
Expressed faith in Christ in 1997 after emerging from a battle with cocaine addiction. A fervent 1980s supply-sider as undersecretary of Ronald Reagan's Office of Management and Budget, in 1994 The New York Times published a full-page article, "A Wall Street Star's Agonizing Confession," about Kudlow's life and addiction to cocaine. He resigned from his $1-million-a-year job as chief economist at the Wall Street firm of Bear Stearns and later said, "As I hit bottom, I lost jobs, lost all income, lost friends, and very nearly lost my wife. I was willing to surrender and take it on faith that I had to change my life." He remembered one thing from the prep school he attended: "We had to say the Lord's Prayer in homeroom. Every morning at your desk you put your head down and say the Lord's Prayer. I was there grade seven through 12, so it's something you remember. When I was going into this dark abyss with alcohol and cocaine, after some terrible binge, I can remember lying in bed desperate and I started saying the Lord's Prayer. What made me do that? Just-I was desperate, I was trying to ask for help. You know, who was going to get me out of this? I started searching for God." Then, "All of a sudden it clicked, that Jesus Christ does not want me to touch alcohol or drugs because I wreck my body and I wreck His body and I wreck my life. Jesus died for me, too." Kudlow became chief economist for CNBC and a frequent writer of articles that make the dismal science of economics understandable to magazine readers.

In 1916, Joseph Landsman, a Polish-born Talmud scholar who emigrated to England, stresses the importance of Jewish Christians helping other Jews to become Christians: "Jewish believers ought to be one with the Gentile believers. But we have still another duty to perform, and that is to ... be better able to remove the stumbling block from before our own nation.... Has God opened our eyes and brought us out of bondage into liberty, out of darkness into His marvelous light, in order that we should leave our nation in its spiritual darkness, without knowledge of Messiah? ... If we do not care, who should?"

A Jerusalem tailor and Talmudic scholar baptized in 1863, is almost killed by his own people, angered that someone well educated in Jewish tradition should become a Christian. His beliefs begin to change when he finds upon the street a page in Hebrew torn from a book. He loves what he reads, and when he later finds out that it is the Sermon on the Mount, he thinks differently about Jesus than he did before. When he tells all that he believes Jesus is the Messiah, his wife leaves him, one fanatical group puts spikes in his hands, and another tries to bury him alive. He finally moves to New York City and, with a wealth of Talmudic knowledge and a humble spirit, moves many to consider Christ.

LEMANN Augustin & Joseph.
Jewish twins from Lyon, France who became Catholic Priests. A biograohy was written by Father Theotime de St. Just, Les Frères Lemann: Juifs convertis (Paris: Librairie St. François, 1937) They worked tirelessly for the cause of the Jewish people within the Catholic Church. They wrote, La cause des restes d’Israel introduite au Concile Oecuménique du Vatican (Paris: Lecoffre, 1912) and Valeur de l’Assemblée qui prononça la peine de mort contre Jesus-Christ (Villegenon: Ed. Ste Jeanne d’Arc, 1997) Read more here.

LEVERTOFF, Paul Phillip (1878-1954)
Late 19th and early 20th century pioneering Hebrew-Christian scholar and leader. Much about his life has been brought to light by J. Quiñónez's article, now online here. Born in Orsha, Belarus, as Feivel Levertoff, of a Sephardic background whose religious persuasion was Hassidic. Attended the Volozhin Yeshiva, a Lithuanian Jewish prominent Rabbinic seminary. He was baptized in 11 August 1895 in Königsberg, where he was pursuing University studies. Seeking employment as a missionary on 11 December 1896, he applied for a position with the London Jews Society (L JS). He was accepted and soon worked full time in his new vocation. In 1901, having joined the staff of the Hebrew Christian Testimony to Israel (HCTI), founded by David Baron and Charles Andrew Schönberger in 1893, he served as their principal translator and writer. He published numerous articles in the Scattered Nation between 1901-1909 and traveled throughout the Mediterranean as one the most active missionaries. [Read more] Levertoff’s book on Jesus in Hebrew, Ben ha-Adam, “The Son of Man” predated Joseph Klausner’s own book on Jesus, Yeshu ha-Notsri, by over 17 years, which itself is generally considered the first book written on Jesus and Christianity’s early beginnings by a Jewish scholar in Modern Hebrew. It has been reprinted in Israel Jerusalem: Dolphin (1968). He also authored Viduyei Augustinus ha-Kadosh (“The Confessions of St. Augustine”), the first translation into Hebrew of a major work by a Latin Church Father. In 1910, he was appointed as Evangelist in Constantinople by the United Free Church of Scotland Jewish Committee, met his Welsh future wife there, and returned to England where they got married. He was appointed to the position of teacher of Hebrew and Rabbinics with the Institutum Judaicum Delitzschianum (IJD), a postgraduate institute for Jewish missions founded by Franz Delitzsch in Leipzig, Germany. He relocated from Warsaw to Leipzig on 1 April 1912, to take over the teaching position at the IJD, which had been left vacant by the death of Jechiel Zebi Herschensohn-Lichtenstein. A year later, Levertoff and a colleague posthumously published Lichtenstein’s revised Matthew commentary in Hebrew. The IJD’s class schedules from 1912 to 1917 (published in its journal Saat auf Hoffnung) have Levertoff teaching a variety of courses. He was commissioned by the University [of Leipzig] to write three books: The edition and German translation, with commentary, of the Pesikta Rabbati, a collection of ancient Synagogue homilies never before translated into any language, a German translation of the whole of the Palestinian Talmud [Talmud Yerushalmi], with commentary, “Die religiöse Denkweise der Chassidim” – the first systematic treatise on intellectual Jewish mysticism. The first and third of these works were produced. But for lack of funds, only the third was published. The Talmud… never reached the public…[because of] the advent of a new “race-cultured” system in Germany… render[ed] its publication impossible. Levertoff eventually made an English adaptation of this third work that he later published as Love and the Messianic Age. It was recently republished by First Fruits of Zion. It was his attempt in exploring similarities between Hassidic and New Testament theology. Impoverished by WWI, Levertoff and his family returned to his wife’s native Wales, where, between 1919 through 1922, he held the position of librarian at St. Deiniol’s Library, Hawarden (Flintshire County). During this time, he was also ordained by the Archbishop of Wales into the Church of England. In 1923, he became Director of the East London Fund for the Jews and took over Holy Trinity, a church in Shoreditch while making his residence in Ilford. While in this position, he published the quarterly The Church and the Jews. He followed in the tradition of Joseph Rabinowitz and Hayyim Yedidyah Pollak, to establish an independent community and congregation of Jewish believers. Levertoff appealed to “… those Jews who are not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ and of their Jewish origin … to unite as a community … and institute Jewish Christian services of worship which would present our Faith in terms of the rich background of devotional and mystical Jewish traditions.” To that end in 1925, Levertoff published his Hebrew liturgy Meal of the Holy King. Levertoff read from a Torah scroll with tallit and kippah as part of the Hebrew services at Holy Trinity. Levertoff himself mentions his involvement with the IHCA’s Hebrew Christian Church Commission in 1932 in his publication, The Church and the Jews. In the same space, he presents his own draft for the “The Ten Principles of the Faith of the Hebrew Christian Church” much of which was later incorporated into the final version as “The Proposed Articles of Faith for the Hebrew Christian Church.” In 1933, along with Harry Sperling and Maurice Simon, he helped translate the Zohar into English for the first time for Soncino Press. During his tenure as the priest at Holy Trinity, in addition to leading a small community of Jewish believers, Levertoff assisted everyone from Hans Herzl, also a believer and son of Theodore Herzl, to provide succor to refugees from Austria and Nazi Germany. One intriguing work by Levertoff that unfortunately seems lost is Christ and the Shekinah, which Lev Gillet, a friend of Levertoff, first mentioned in 1939. Levertoff considered it his magnum opus. Gillet explains “…[Levertoff] understood the importance of an intellectual appeal and the necessity of expressing the theological concepts of Christianity in Jewish terms (according to him, along the lines of the Shekinah teaching and of Hasidic mysticism).” Levertoff lived in the twilight of the Haskalah and died 31 July 1954, at the dawn of the modern Jewish state. He is today perhaps more relevant to us than he was 75 years ago when he seemed nothing more than a fringe theological curiosity. (Source:adapted from From Mishkan #37, Fall 2002. © J. Quiñónez). The following are samples of his works available online at the Vine of David Repository: Meal of a Holy King, St. Matthew, 1932, 1938 and 1954 issues of the journal The Church and the Jews, The Messianic Hope (1938) and a contribution by his daughter Olga called The Wailing Wall.

Founder and head of the International Hebrew Christian Alliance, rallied Jewish Christians to oppose Hitler in 1933. Levison stated that there are 2.35 million Jews in Germany: 600,000 still identifying with Judaism and "one and three-quarter million Christians of Jewish descent who go back to the second, third and fourth generation." Both groups, he notes, "are treated as Jews and are subject to vicious discrimination." Jewish Christians also face discrimination from their own people: "If they apply to Jewish Relief agencies, they are told they must abandon their belief in Jesus."

Initially worked 13 years with the Chicago Hebrew Mission, then branched out on his own for another 13 years. Then he was called by the Christian Missionary Alliance to direct the work of its mission in New York City, “Beth Dor She Emeth” and act as its missionary.

LIBERMANN, Jacob (Francis) (1804-1852)
Born in Alsace, son of a rabbi, in 1826 converted and was renamed Francis Libermann. In 1840 after a visit with Pope Gregory XVI, he founded the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to send apostles to the Negroes of Mauritius, Haiti and Africa. Source.

LICHTENSTEIN, Isaac, Rabbi (?-1909).
A Hungarian Rabbi, he preached Messiah Yeshua to his Jewish hungarian congregation in Tapio-Szele who refused to dismiss him in spite of persecution for years, saying “I shall most willingly retract if you can convince me that I am wrong.” Later witnessed in many parts of the European for twenty years about the truth of Yeshua til his death. He died on Oct. 16, 1909, leaving writings explaining how he read a copy of the New Testament after 40 years of work as a rabbi in Hungary and was impressed by "the greatness, power, and glory of this book, formerly a sealed book to me. All seemed so new to me and yet it did me good like the sight of an old friend.... I had thought the New Testament to be impure, a source of pride, of selfishness, of hatred, and of the worst kind of violence, but as I opened it I felt myself peculiarly and wonderfully taken possession of. A sudden glory, a light flashed through my soul. I looked for thorns and found roses; I discovered pearls instead of pebbles; instead of hatred, love; instead of vengeance, forgiveness; instead of bondage, freedom." A letter to his son, a doctor, reports that "From every line in the New Testament, from every word, the Jewish spirit streamed forth light, life, power, endurance, faith, hope, love, charity, limitless and indestructible faith in God." Others, hating the idea of a long-term rabbi turning "renegade," attack Lichtenstein. His reply: "I have been an honored rabbi for the space of 40 years, and now, in my old age, I am treated by my friends as one possessed by an evil spirit, and by my enemies as an outcast. I am become a butt of mockers, who point the finger at me. But while I live I will stand on my watchtower, though I may stand there all alone. I will listen to the words of God." Source More on him at Messianic Art Profiles in Faith.

LICHTENSTEIN, Leopold, (1813-1882)
Chazan of Habscheim at age 16, in Alsace, he came to faith in 1834 and had to flee persecution for it. He later became a pastor, writer and missionary to New York, and Cincinnati, Ohio.

LICHTENSTEIN, Yechiel Tzvi, Rabbi
Yechiel Tzvi Lichtenstein was a late nineteenth century Jewish believer from a Chasidic background. While in Yeshiva, he became a disciple of Yeshua of Nazareth. He served at the Institutum Judaicum Delitzschianum as a professor of rabbinics and wrote several books and commentaries including refutations of anti-missionary works. His works, Chizzuk Emunat Emet ("True Faith Strengthened") and Limudei haNeviim (Teachings of the Prophets) are available online at the Vine of David Repository. He is not to be confused with the Hungarian rabbi, Isaac Lichtenstein.

LOANS, Jechiel.
personal physician of Emperor Frederick III who ruled from Linz in Austria. He was so good a physician that the emperor knighted him, a unique fate for a Jew in the sixteenth century. He conformed to Christian life and agreed to teach a Gentile, the famous German Hebraist Reuchlin Hebrew. This Reuchlin later produced a Hebrew grammar, and stimulated Christian academic study and reading the Bible from the original Hebrew. He also led the humanist resistance to obscurantism and, in a pamphlet war, defeated Pfefferkorn (a radical Jewish convert who pushed publicly for the burning of all Jewish books to facilitate the assimilation of all Jews to Christianity).

LOEB, Ludwig and Jenny.
a Jewish married couple, convert to Catholicism in 1906. Ludwig Loeb becomes a mining engineer and emigrates to the Dutch East Indies where five of the eight Loeb children are born. They return to Holland, and of the six older children three become monks and three become nuns. The Loeb parents have both died by the time World War II begins, and those six children all die at Nazi hands.

born in Germany, and trained in Orthodox Yeshiva in Poland, graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary, went to Afghanistan (1855-1864), one of the first missionaries there under the auspices of the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions. He translated the New Testament into Pushtu, had it printed, and compiled a Pushtu dictionary. He spoke with many Muslim leaders and advised British officials following the 1857 Sepoy Rebellion where he translated the N.T. in Pushtu. But he was shot and killed accidentally by his own chowkeydar (watchman) and died at age 37, just a year after one of his friends, Rev. Levi Janvier, a missionary doctor in India was murdered by a Sikh fanatic. He had spent only seven years in Peshawar, yet in that brief period he had made himself acquainted with the Pushtu, and had translated into this difficult language the whole of the New Testament, and put the same through the press. He had also nearly completed a Pushtu dictionary. He could preach with facility in the Pushtu, Persian, Hindustani and Arabic languages. It has been said that probably no other foreigner at that time in India, had so thorough a knowledge of Asiatic literature and so intimate an acquaintance with the manners and customs of the people of the land and with Oriental politics as he. He had a thorough knowledge of the religious system of the people, and as a disputant with Mohammedans and other religionists he was a master. His library, which filled the four sides of his study, the higher shelves reached by a ladder, contained the rarest books and most ancient manuscripts to be found in any private library in India.

LOPEZ, Rodrigo.
A refugee from the Inquisition in Portugal to England in 1559, he became a believer and rose to become Physician to Queen Elizabeth in 1586. Such favor aroused a great deal of jealousy and soon he was accused of being a spy and traitor to the crown. Without a shred of evidence, he was arrested, put on trial and condemned in 1594. The queen hesitated, but finally signed the death warrant after three months. To his death, he maintained his innocence and loyalty to both the Queen and Jesus Christ.

LUCKY, Hayim Yedidiah, (1854-)
Also known as Theophilus Lucky. He was a Jew, born in Galicia near Stanislau who came to faith while he was studying in Berlin in the mid-1870s while studying Delitzsch’s Hebrew translation. He was in the USA for some years during the 1880s where he served as co-editor of the English periodical The Peculiar People and editor of the all-Hebrew Eduth leIsrael (Testimony to Israel) before returning to settle in Stanislau in Galicia. In 1916 he set off for the USA again to renew his citizenship there. He led a movement of orthodox Jewish believers and was the focal point of an active movement made up of Rabbis, writers and others who sought to restore Jesus in the Jewish framework. Many of his followers accepted the Messiahship of Yeshua without severing their ties to the Jewish community and died in Hitler’s Holocaust. You can download from the Vine of David Repository issues (PDF) of Eduth leIsrael, the first Hebrew periodical published in America and Eastern Europe.

LUSTIGER, Jean-Marie, Cardinal (1926-)
Born of a Polish Jewish family in France, his parents were deported during the Nazi occupation while he lived with a Christian family in Orléans. He was Baptist Catholic at the age of 13, became a priest in 1954, Bishop of Orléans in 1979, Archishop of Paris in 1981 and elevated to Cardinal in 1983. He gave an address on “Jews and Christians Tomorrow” at the 1998 Nostra Aetate Awards now online here.

MAIER, Christophorus Paulus.
Formerly known as Solomon ben Maier of Frankfurt, he turned to Christ in 1673 after being disappointed by the false messiah Shabbatai Zvi.

MARCUSSON, J.W. (d. 1913)
Born in Scalat, in Galicia, Austria, son of Herman Ben Fion, a learned Jewish scholar. The family moved to Odessa, Russia where they met Rev. W.G. Schauffler who became their lifelong friend. Deep searchings in the Scriptures led to his father’s conversion and separation from his family. They moved to Constantinople where his father was baptized and changed his name to Marcusson. By the age of 14, J.W. had learned Russian, German & French at his grandfather school in Odessa, and desired to become a merchant. But his mother died and at the age of 18 joined his father in Constantinople where he found and read the New Testament. He realized the crucified one was indeed the promised Messiah of the Jews. The influences of the lives of Dr. Schauffler and his father impressed him deeply. After the death of his mother, his father remarried and moved to Jerusalem in 1845 where J.W. attended an Episcopal College. He was baptized by Dr. Nicosayson and studied Arabic in preparation for ministry. But instead he returned to Constantinople and resolved to go to America where he completed his training as missionary to the Jews at the Willington Preparatory School of East Hampton, Mass. He was then appointed to the new ABCFM Salonica mission which soon was transferred to the Church of Scotland and labored there for three years. Returning to America, he filled several pulpits and became associated with the Chicago Hebrew Mission, becoming its Superintendent and pastor in 1895 where he became affectionately known as “Father Morrison”. He served the mission for 25 years before his untimely death.

Son of a German chief rabbi, converts to Christianity in 1522 and soon writes Der ganz Judisch glaub (The Entire Jewish Faith), a critical examination of Jewish customs and community structures.

MARGOLIOUTH, Moses (1818-1881)
Jewish Historian.

MEDICI, Paolo (17th century)
Converted after he came to believe that the long list of false messiahs "accepted and credited" by Jews showed they were missing the truth.

Converts in 1676 with his family because "Shabbatai Zvi, for whom we had waited for a whole year with fasts and mortifications, was all lies."

MEN, Alexander (1935-1990)
“Father Men was the eastern CS Lewis”, a brilliant thinker and kind spiritual mentor capable of communicating abstract theology in the language of the common man. The ancestors of Fr Alexander Men came to Russia in the 18th century from the West, together with hundreds of thousands of their compatriots (German Jews). He was the son of Wolf Men, an engineer and Yelena Semyonovna, also Jewish. In 1935, his mother and her new-born son Alexander were baptized by Fr Seraphim Batyukov who spent his life in clandestine conditions in order to escape the GPU (security police)... . [Read more] A woman with a strong gift of faith, she thus joined that part of the Russian Orthodox Church which was called the Catacomb Church. The Catacomb (underground) Church consisted of those priests and lay people who managed to remain alive having refused to collaborate with the atheistic authorities in the bloody persecution of the faith and the Church. Later the Catacomb Church joined the Moscow Patriarchate. From childhood Men wanted to be a priest but first he decided to get a secular education. He was greatly fond of biology and studied it in an institute; but he was expelled before graduating exams when it was discovered that he took part in the Divine Service as a minister. Meanwhile, Men's Jewish origin and intellectual level were quite uncommon and could serve as obstacles to his desire to become a priest. But these were overcome by the new wave of persecution that was organized against the Church by Khrushchev. In a state of constant risk of being exterminated, Church authorities became more tolerant to such "extravagances" as unusual blood and mind. In 1958 Men was ordained a deacon, and in 1960 a priest. His friends Gleb Yakunin (whom Men had helped to come to Christ) and Dmitrii Dudko were ordained in 1970s -- both became famous religious dissidents. Alexander Men’s early works were addressed to unbelievers and struggled first of all against the atheistic myths of Soviet propaganda. In contrast to some Western editions of his books, in Russian they are written with a nice Russian language, with a profound knowledge of the psychology of the "Soviet" human type and its main superstitions. He has also written a multi-volume dictionary on the Bible (still unpublished) and organized translations of a great amount of Catholic and Protestant books and their circulation in samizdat (clandestine publishing). From his ordination to his death Fr Alexander had a clear idea of his aim, hierarchy of values and methods. Foremost was the creation of a parish, of a flock, of a church society. That's why he preferred not to risk political activities: he created human persons while others struggled for human rights. He didn't publicly criticize church authorities for their policy of compromise, suggesting that it was of no practical purpose: church authorities couldn't do anything if there were no active church people, whom he tried to establish. The head is weak without a body. In order to create such a body of church people Fr Alexander took from the West a tradition of catechizing (previously absent in Russia) and of Bible-reading-and-praying seminars. He recommended reading the books of great Russian Christian thinkers - Solovyov, Berdiaev, Bulgakov - the last step of cultural tradition broken in 1917. His parishioners actively reprinted both Russian and Western theological literature by clandestine methods. Beginning in 1988, Fr Alexander had the opportunity to preach to large masses of people - as much as any other person speaking on religious matters in a country long spiritually-starved. The difference between Fr Alexander and other preachers was that people came to hear him a second time! He was not dull, he was distinctively "Russian." Alexander knew better than other Russian Orthodox priests the spiritual needs of his compatriots, especially of Moscow intellectuals and their specific ways of communicating and understanding. His audience consisted mostly of teachers, engineers, and students. He not only "converted" many to Christ but helped them to begin a full-scale life in the Church. The word "help" is of a great importance. There are a few active priests in Russia and in Moscow particularly who are similar to Fr Men in their energy (although his was the greatest) but different in pastoral style. They prefer to have strict and constant control of the spiritual life of believers, leading them by the hand to the eve of the tomb. Many people enjoy this sort of church slavery: seeking not spiritual guidance to Christ but a kind of spiritual slavery to a priest. Moslems leave their boots upon entering a mosque - Christians often tend to leave their will and brains upon entering the Church. This all-human tendency is a special temptation in Russia, with its long tradition of ideological dictatorship. The method of Fr Men was to help a person to find freedom in Christ and to teach him to stand on his own feet. His contribution to Russia's spirituality was and is significant. Shortly before his death, his name and voice were well-known to Moscow and Russia beyond through well-publicized radio and television broadcasts. His parish church was constantly full, during and between services as he preached, performed ritual and counseled intellectuals, peasants, poets, and babushki. Father Men was, however, an intensely controversial figure, a curse which followed him to his grave, as debates about his work raged after his murder. When religion was presented as subversive superstition, Men preached a wise, sensitive Christianity. When, during glasnost', Orthodoxy returned as a powerful nationalistic force, Men preached a tolerant, ecumenical vision of God's religion. His kind wisdom repeatedly caused conflicts with those at the top but transformed the lives of the people. Although Men has written many essays and sermons, probably his favorite work was his biography of Christ, Son of Man. His first book, The Son of Man was written as a "key to the New Testament" for the thinking person. Later this book became the seventh and final volume of his study of world religions, the series In Search of the Way, the Truth and the Life, thus making the point that the coming of Christ was an event of world significance for all mankind, and the answer to the search of all great faiths. Son of Man represents the combination of accessible religion and conscientious scholarship. It is important both as a rich religious treatise and as a snapshot of the religious history of a nation with a complex legacy. This conversation between a priest and his parishioners speaks much of the worldview of the people. He was open to any truth from other branches of Christianity and other religions. On the question of his attitude to Catholics and Protestants, he said,"The walls we erect between ourselves are not high enough to reach up to God". Immediately after the revolution emancipated Jews, Jews who abandoned their own tradition, were the most valuable agents in the Communist attempts to destroy the Church. Fr. Alexander Men once said: “When a Jew betrays his dedication to God he betrays himself and easily finds himself in the power of dark forces. Being chosen is a great and terrible responsibility.” (Vestnik RHD 117, 1976 p 113). Gregory Benevitch in his web article The Jewish Question in the Russian Orthodox Church acknowledges that “OUR CHURCH SHOULD NOT ALLOW TO USE HER HOLY NAME IN THE STRUGGLE FOR POWER, IN THE IDEOLOGY. She should not allow to declare Russia as the only one true Orthodox country in the world… If now we return to the Jewish question, one may acknowledge that as usual, attitude towards the Jews may serve as a touch stone of spiritual health (now of the Church).” With the liberty granted by perestroika, Alexander Men began increasingly to sense that his time was short and not a moment should be lost. In his last two years Fr. Alexander's efforts entered a new phase - that of preaching Christ's Gospel openly. He gave a lot of lectures in institutes, clubs and before various audiences. He initiated many good works directed to charity, education and much more. It was proposed that he become a preacher on Russian television and dean of the Theological University. Fr Alexander can be called the architect of Christian renewal in Russia, a renewal which has implications for all Christians as we enter the twenty-first century. He was a beloved pastor who baptized thousands while serving at a village church thirty miles outside of Moscow. He was confidant and advisor to people ranging from Andrey Sakharov and Alexander Solzhenitsyn to the simplest of believers. Fr Alexander was a man rooted in Russian 0rthodoxy whose vision was open to other traditions, embracing all Christians as brothers and sisters, and all of humanity for Christ. Bishop Seraphim (Sigrist) has said: "Christianity today cannot be understood without understanding the life and work of Fr. Alexander Men." On Saturday, September 8, 1990 Fr Alexander went to Moscow after the Divine Service and read a lecture entitled "Christianity". More than 600 people gathered in a so-called "club" in the center of Moscow to listen to him. This lecture was the last in a series on the history of religions that Fr Alexander read in the spring of 1990. Besides lecturing himself, some of his parishioners assisted him by lecturing on religious philosophy, church history, etc. The next morning, as on every Sunday, Fr Alexander departed his house at 6:30 for the temple. Somebody was waiting for him on the wooded path. Fr Alexander was killed by a blow of an ax to his head. His death became a political event. He was mourned popularly and the announcement of his death met with ambiguity in government and ecclesiastical hierarchies. Practically everybody was sure it was a deed of the KGB and compared this murder with that of the Polish Catholic priest Jerzy Popeliushko. Some suggested that Fr Alexander was killed not by the officers of the KGB themselves but by some pro-fascist people whom the Communists had inspired and supported for a time. The killers have never been found, but significantly the KGB declared that most probably Fr Alexander was killed by his opponents within the Church--monks with anti-Semitic views. Fr Alexander’s murder, still unsolved, marks an epoch: the last martyrdom of the Soviet period just as the door was opening towards the future. His work lives today through an ever-broadening circle of spiritual children and people drawn to his legacy: and that not only in Russia and not only among the 0rthodox, but among Christians of all traditions, east and west. It was significant that the funeral of Fr. Alexander took place on the day consecrated to the beheading of John the Baptist. Sources: here; Yakov Kratov’s account.

Baptized as a child, wrote his overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1826. The great composer who catapulted Bach to fame, he brought new public attention to Bach's music, composed the St. Paul oratorio and his final, the Elijah oratorio, as well as the Wedding March performed everywhere to usher the bride. He aroused the resentment of anti-Semites by helping Jewish musicians. He composed the music to "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" and harmonized "Now Thank We All Our God," among other hymns. He was a Jewish Christian, the son of another Jewish Christian, Abraham and grandson of Moses Mendelssohn, considered the Father of the Jewish Renaissance, a famous German Jewish philosopher. A few more words about his illustrious grandfather are in order: In October 1763, the king had granted Moses the privilege of Protected Jew (Schutz-Jude)--which assured his right to undisturbed residence in Berlin. His German translation of the Pentateuch and other parts of the Bible (1783) had made Moses the Martin Luther of the German Jews. From it, the Jews learned the German language and imbibed culture; with it there came a new desire for German nationality; he became the first great champion of Jewish emancipation in the 18th century. He had also been the best friend of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, the son of a clergyman, the author of theological writings and a sharp critic of antisemitism, which caused many Jewish families to adopt the name Lessing. Moses’ own descendants—Joseph, Abraham, Nathan, a brilliant circle, of which the musician Felix was the most noted—each left the Synagogue for the Church. Among his numerous works there is also his Reformation Symphony. Felix died before completing his Christ oratorio.

see Yeshua HaMashiach

MEYER, Louis (1862-1912)
Born in Civitz, Germany and raised with a secular education, went to medical school and started his studies to become a surgeon at the Royal Surgical Hospital at Halle where he contracted blood poisoning. This forced him to go abroad and he resolved to finish his studies in Cincinnati, Ohio, but changed his mind after accepting Jesus as his savior through Rev. J.E. Smith (Reformed Presbyterian Church) in 1891 and baptized in 1892. He then pursued theological studies and graduated from the Reformed Presbyterian Seminary in Allegheny, Pa. in 1897. He studied the effects of evangelism upon Jews, contending that even those who reject Christianity benefit: They have learned to think for themselves instead of merely accepting "the teachings of the rabbis." He becomes a pastor and one of the editors of The Fundamentals, the 90 essays produced between 1910 and 1915 to explain the difference between Christianity and modernism. Rev. Smith’s oldest daughter became his wife in 1898 and became the first Jewish Christian Minister of that denomination. In 1900 he transferred to a pastorate in Hopkinton, Ia, lecturing at the local Lenox College, then served the Chicago Hebrew Mission as General sec’y, editing The Jewish Era. He traveled thousands of miles, giving lectures in the US and abroad, recognized as a master statistician with a storehouse of missionary intelligence concerning the Jews.

MEYER, Theodore Jonas (1819-1894)
German scholar who journeyed through orthodox Judaism, atheism, back to Judaism which he studied zealously. An earnest inquiry into the New Testament came to faith. While a Hebrew tutor in Scotland, he was selected to be the missionary to the Jews at Galatz, Moldavia, then Austria, Bohemia, Hungary. Finally as Presbyterian missionary in Italy, he nurses those dying in a cholera epidemic until he also falls prey to the disease in 1866. Barely surviving, he rushed to the aid of the Italian Protestants during a massacre at Barletta. As he becomes a peacemaker between Catholics and Protestants, his presence changed the climate of despair and persecution into one of hope and recognition of Italian Protestants whose rights were officially vindicated. Later he writes about what his own background taught him about justification by faith: "I was brought up in the fear of God by my parents, who were pious rabbinical Jews.... I sought to appease Him, and to earn His mercy, by work and prayer.... But with all this I still felt uneasy, and always believed that I had not done enough." He spent the remainder of his life as a missionary to the Jews in Amsterdam and in London.

MONIS, Judah Rabbi.
After becoming the first Jew to receive a college degree in America (M.A., Harvard, 1720), he publicly embraced Christianity in 1722 and joined the faculty at Harvard as a Hebrew teacher. Even though his stipend would never go above that given to the janitor, he remained there, enduring derision from his students for the rest of his life, yet develop friendships with such as Increase & Cotton Mather. He published an appeal to his fellow Jews called The Truth around 1730. In 1735, aided by a loan from Harvard, he published a Hebrew Grammar, the first to be published in America.

MONTEFIORE, Claude J.G. (1859-1939)
Published the first Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels (1909) from a Jewish perspective and for Jewish readership and interest.

MONTEFIORE, Hugh William. (1920-2005) Progressive Anglican theologian and bishop who spoke up for literary freedom, women priests and the environment. Read more here

Aunt of Baron Moses Montefiore (1784-1885). Raised in an Orthodox Jewish family, she visited America, and some countries of Europe and finally settled in Marseille, France until her death. One day, she received a Jewish visitor who read Isaiah 53 and declared Jesus was the promised Redeemer who fulfilled these prophetic verses. She was angry at first, thinking highly of her Jewish identity. Her main difficulty was that understanding how a Jew who believes in Jesus can still be an Israelite. She was told that such a Jew never ceases to be an Israelite, just as Jesus himself remained an Israelite. She received many visits insisteing that all she wanted to know was the truth and that she would receive nothing unless she saw it plainly revealed in the Bible. During a short absence, she wrestled alone with the Scriptures and began to pray for personal forgiveness from the Anointed One (Jesus) saying, “If I I have done or said anything against, pardon, oh pardon me, for I did it in ignorance.” She read the Brit Hadashah, and said, “The more I read my Bible, the more I am beginning to feel my being born a Jewess can never save me: I must have something better than my fastings and prayers.” In October 1854, at the age of 82, she wrote to her niece, a Jewish believer who had sent her letters and prayed for her conversion a letter in which she said, “Ishall not be happy until I am baptized.” She was baptized on January 18th, 1855 at the age of 83. Finally, she did not fear to have all the world know of it and wished all her relatives to be brought to the knowledge of the truth as she had.

MORITZ, (Moses) Johann Christian (1786-1864)
Born at Bernstein (Pomerania). At the age of four, his mother died giving him a blessing as she expired, “You will see the advent of the Messiah. Remain steadfast in the faith of your forefathers, that you may have a rich share in their kingdom.” These words were realized by him in a different manner than his mother expected. He began to doubt the divine origin of his Talmudic education. He went to Berlin at the age of 16 to an uncle, and in 1807 to London with a recommendation to rabbi Dr. Herschell who warned him of the missionary Frey. The quiet Sunday in England impressed him, and asking his fellow Jews about it, he was impressed by their answer, “If we Jews should keep the Sabbath holy, as the Christians here do their Sunday, the Messiah would soon come.” He then got a New Testament and read day and night, comparing it with the Old. He felt his sins and took refuge in Jesus by faith, which he at once confessed to the Jews. They reported it to his father who came to dissuade him, in vain. He was disinherited. He went then to the German pastor Dr. Steinkopf who instructed and baptized him. In 1811 he resided in Gottenburg, Seden and in 1817, he met his Swedish future wife and married her in 1818, then was called by Czar Alexander and labored in Russia until 1825. Thereafter, he joined he London Jewish Society and was sent as a missionary to Hamburg, making frequent journeys to Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Bavaria, Würtenberg and finally settled in Gottenburg until 1868 where he died in the Lord after 42 years of service.

MOROSINI, Giulio (17th century)
Converted saying that his faith did not depend on Jewish messianic failure, but was strengthened by it.

MOSES Sephardi (1062-1110)
Physician in ordinary to the King of Aragon under the name of Petrus Alfonsi, author of Disciplina Clericalis. Sent to England to become the personal physician to King Henri I, taught astronomy to Walcher, prior of Malvern introducing Arab scientific reckoning into the traditional latino-ecclesiastical traditions of the West.

Dr. former student of Karl Stern, runs in New York City the largest abortion clinic in the world, and co-founds the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Law in 1969. After being involved directly or indirectly in over 75,000 abortions (including one of his own child) and seeing his political goals achieved with the Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade decision that legalizes abortion nationwide, he comes to understand that he has been killing human beings. In the late 1970s he becomes a leading pro-life advocate and produces an effective video, The Silent Scream. Contact with Christian pro-life workers gets him thinking about the source of their dedication: "They prayed, they supported and encouraged each other, they sang hymns of joy.... They prayed for the unborn babies, for the confused and pregnant women, and for the doctors and nurses in the clinic.... And I wondered: How can these people give of themselves for a constituency that is (and always will be) mute, invisible, and unable to thank them?" Nathanson in the 1990s became a Christian.

NEANDER, Johann August Whilhelm (1789-1850)
Was born David Nendel but adopted the name Neander “new man” at the time of his baptism in Hamburg in 1806. His teacher Schleiermacher recommended him to the chair of the newly founded University of Berlin in 1810. One observer commented on the "sad and singular sight" of "Schleiermacher, a Christian by birth, inculcating in one lecture room with all the power of his mighty genius, those doctrines which led to the denial of the evangelical attributes of Jesus." Meanwhile, in another room "Neander, by birth a Jew, preached and taught salvation through faith in Christ the Son of God alone." He becomes a professor of theology in 1812 at Heidelberg. Neander wrote many scholarly books, including the multivolume General History of the Christian Religion and Church. He is best remembered as a church historian and for His Life of Christ. Before his death in 1850 he went blind, but dictated notes for the last section of his church history on the last day of his life.

Trained in Talmud and Rabbinics, he subsequently became a believer and pastor within the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., joining its Board of Foreign Missions in 1849.

NOVAK, Robert.
Teamed up with Rowland Evans 1963 to write a column on Washington politics, "Inside Report." It became one of the longest-running syndicated columns in the United States, known for its scoops and feisty analysis. Novak continued the column after Evans's death in 1993, became a television regular as well, and became a Roman Catholic.

OESTERREICHER, Johannes (February 2, 1904 – April 18, 1993)
was born a Jew in Stadt Liebau (now Město Libavá) in Moravia (then part of Austria and now the Czech Republic). He was a convert to Catholicism who became a Roman Catholic priest in 1927. He served as a chaplain in Gloggnitz and there he founded the local Scout group and served at its chaplain. He was active as an anti-Nazi activist in the 1930s. In 1934 he founded the newspaper Die Erfüllung ("The fruition") in order to improve the relation between Judaism and Christianity and to fight against antisemitism. He founded together with Georg Bichlmair SJ the Pauluswerk in Vienna. The Pauluswerk was a community for Converts from Judaism to Roman Catholicism and prayed for Christianization of Jews. After the broadcast of Schuschnigg's resignation, Johannes Österreicher went to his office and burned all the correspondence, because he was aware, that the Gestapo would scan him, his office and home. So he saved quite some people who were involved in the Jewish-Christian understanding. John M. Oesterreicher said "Maybe Iniitzer would have been more successful, when the told Hitler "I am here to pay respect to you, but I will not hand the Austrian church over to you", as the Gestapo rewarded when people did not show fear. His parents Nathan and Ida Oesterreicher, b. Zelenka were caught by the Nazis and died in Theresienstadt and Auschwitz. He fled Austria at the time of the German Anschluss, or annexation of Austria, in 1938. Based initially in Paris, he condemned the Nazis in weekly broadcasts and writings. He fled to the U.S. after the German invasion of France in 1940. Oesterreicher founded the Institute of Judaeo-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University in 1953. He was appointed a Papal Chamberlain, with the title of monsignor, in 1961. In the 1960s, Oesterreicher was in a group of 15 priests who petitioned the Vatican to take up the issue of antisemitism. He is known for saying, "Nobody says anything against the Egyptian authorities for oppressing the Coptic Christians. No one protested vehemently against the forced closing of St. Joseph's College years ago in Iraq, nor against the laws in Jordan prior to 1967 which prohibited Christians from acquiring new property. If Israel did any of these things, everyone would cry bloody murder, from the authorities in Rome to Catholics all over the world... This is prejudice." (quoted by James C. O'Neill, Our Sunday Visitor, July 10, 1983. Oesterreicher is probably best known for his involvement in drafting Nostra Aetate.The statement rejected antisemitism and repudiated the notion that Jews were responsible for the persecution and death of Jesus Christ. It stated that even though some Jewish authorities and those who followed them called for Jesus' death, the blame for this cannot be laid at the door of all those Jews present at that time, nor can the Jews in our time be held as guilty. The statement thus repudiated the historic charge of deicide, which is a basis of antisemitism. It stated that "the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God." Oesterreicher was strongly pro-Israel and advocated improved relations between Catholics and the Jewish state. However, he was not always a supporter of Israeli government policies. He was the author of several books and numerous scholarly articles. His books include The New Encounter Between Christians and Jews; 'Racism, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Christianism; and God at Auschwitz?'' From Wikipedia

OLASKY, Marvin.
Born in a Jewish-American family, Marvin declared himself an atheist at 13 and remained so for the next decade. Then followed three transition years that ended with his becoming a Christian at age twenty-six. A renowned syndicated columnist, he is a professor of Journalism at the University of Texas in Austin and the editor-in-chief of World, America’s fourth most read newsweekly. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post, Fortune, National Review, and many other leading publications. The author of eighteen books on History, Philanthropy, Journalism and Religion and Society, he is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Michigan. His books include Standing for Christ in a Modern Babylon, Whirled Views, Turning Point: A Christian Worldview Declaration and The Religions Next Door : What the Reporters are Missing.

Early pioneer of the Messianic Jewish movement in Israel who refused to be evacuated to Scotland in 1948.

OTTO, Julius Conrad.
A learned Jewish convert (early 18th century)

PALGRAVE, Sir Francis Cohen (1788-1861)
Jewish Christian Historian.

PASTERNAK, Boris Leonidovich (1890-1960)
Russian Poet whose novel Doktor Zhivago, a novel of disillusionment with the Russian Revolution, brought him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958. Boris Pasternak was born into a prominent Jewish family in Moscow, where his father, celebrated painter Leonid Osipovich Pasternak, who converted to Orthodox Christianity was a professor at the Moscow School of Painting. His father's conversion naturally affected Pasternak deeply, and many of his later poems hold overtly Christian themes. His mother, Rosa Kaufman, was an acclaimed concert pianist. Their home was open to such guests as Sergei Rachmaninoff, Aleksandr Scriabin, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Tolstoy. Inspired by Scriabin, Palsternak entered the Moscow Conservatory, but gave up suddenly his musical ambitions in 1910. He then studied philosophy under Prof. Herman Cohen at the Marburg University in Germany, and returned to Moscow in the winter of 1913-14. Pasternak's early verse cleverly dissimulates his preoccupation with Kant's ideas. Its fabric includes striking alliterations, wild rhythmic combinations, day-to-day vocabulary, and hidden allusions to his favourite poets - Lermontov and German Romantics. During World War I he taught and worked at a chemical factory in the Urals; this undoubtedly provided him with material for Dr. Zhivago many years later. Unlike his relatives and many of his friends, Pasternak didn't leave Russia after the revolution. He was fascinated with the new ideas and possibilities the revolution had brought to life. Pasternak spent the summer of 1917 living in the steppe near Saratov, where he fell in love with a Jewish girl. These passions resulted in the collection My Sister Life, which finally appeared in 1921, the book had revolutionary impact upon Russian poetry. It made Pasternak the model of imitation for younger poets, and decisively changed the poetic manners of Osip Mandelshtam and Marina Tsvetayeva, to name only a few. Following My Sister Life, Pasternak produced some hermetic pieces of uneven quality, including his masterpiece, a lyric cycle entitled Rupture (1921). Such various authors as Vladimir Mayakovsky, Andrey Bely, and Vladimir Nabokov applauded Pasternak's poems as the works of pure, unbridled inspiration. In the later 1920s, he also participated in the celebrated tripartite correspondence with Rilke and Tsvetayeva. His early poetry, though avant-garde, had been successful, but in the 1930s a gap widened between his work and officially approved literary modes, and he supported himself by doing translations. By 1932, Pasternak strikingly reshaped his style to make it acceptable to the Soviet public and printed the new collection of poems aptly entitled The Second Birth. Although its Caucasian pieces were as brilliant as the earlier efforts, the book alienated the core of Pasternak's refined audience abroad. He simplified his style even further for the next collection of patriotic verse, Early Trains (1943), which prompted Nabokov to describe Pasternak as a "weeping Bolshevik" and "Emily Dickinson in trousers". During the great purges of the later 1930s, Pasternak became progressively disillusioned with the Communist ideals. Reluctant to publish his own poetry, he turned to translating Shakespeare (Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear), Goethe (Faust), Rilke (Requiem für eine Freundin), Paul Verlaine, and Georgian poets favoured by Stalin. Pasternak's translations of Shakespeare have proved popular with the Russian public on account of their colloquial, modernised dialogues, but the critics accused him of "pasternakizing" the English playwright. Although he was widely panned for excessive subjectivism, Stalin is said to have crossed Pasternak's name off an arrest list during the purges, saying "Don't touch this cloud dweller." Several years before WWII, Pasternak and his wife settled in Peredelkino, a village for writers several miles from Moscow. There he wrote the novel Doctor Zhivago (1957; film, 1965), an epic of wandering, spiritual isolation, and love amid the harshness of the revolution and its aftermath. He was filled with a love of life that gave his poetry a hopeful tone. Pasternak’s love of life is reflected in the name of his autobiographic hero Zhivago, derived from the Russian word for "live". Another famous character, Lara, is said to have been modeled on his mistress Olga Ivinskaya. As the book was frowned upon by the Soviet authorities, Doctor Zhivago was smuggled abroad, released in Italy in 1957 and translated in 18 languages. The American edition spent twenty six weeks at the top of The New York Times' Best Seller List. Pasternak was announced as the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958. Pasternak had to decline the honor because the protests in his home country. The novel was banned in the Soviet Union and Pasternak was expelled from the Union of Soviet Writers. The screen adaptation received Gone With The Wind type treatment, and starred Omar Sharif and Julie Christie. The film (1965) concentrating on the romantic aspects of the tale, it quickly became a blockbuster around the world, but wasn't released in Russia until near the time of the fall of the Soviet Union. Doctor Zhivago was eventually published in the USSR in 1987. Pasternak's post-Zhivago poetry probes the universal questions of love, immortality, and reconciliation with God. The poems from his last collection, which he wrote until his death, are probably his best loved and best known. Pasternak died on May 30, 1960 and was buried in Peredelkino in the presence of several devoted admirers, including the poet Andrey Voznesensky. He had become an international symbol of the incorruptible moral courage of an artist in conflict with his political environment. Source

Ordained Jewish Christian missionary who took charge of the Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews’ mission to the Jews of Berlin and in 1844 to the 35,000 Jews of Amsterdam. His zeal could not be stopped by the local rabbis’ attempts to thwart his efforts.

PELTZ, Jacob.
Employed by the Chicago Hebrew Mission in his student days, later became Secretary of the Hebrew Christian Alliance of America and the International Hebrew Christian Alliance, headquartered in London.

PERLMUTTER, Simcha, Rabbi.
Born in the U.S.A. from an Orthodox Jewish family, rabbi Simcha Perlmutter attended rabbinic school and became known for his research on the Messiah from Scriptures. His conclusion was unorthodox: Yeshua is the Messiah! The most striking detail of his testimony is that he came to realize Yeshua was the Messiah from Jewish Messiah texts, and still preferred to derive his argumemts from them and the Hebrew Bible, rather than the New Testament which he found tainted by foreign anti-Judaism. He denounced Christianity's hostility against its Jewish roots. Also, he did not clarify his views on the triunity of God or acknowledge how messianic titles such as Yeshua as Son of God in the New Testament derives from the language of the Hebrew T'nach (Torah, Prophets & Writings = Hebrew Bible). He avoided doctrinal issues and maintained his focus rather on his personal walk with Hashem through Yeshua as Torah applied in his daily life. While in the USA, he was told that his discovery of Yeshua as the Messiah was known to many rabbis, but kept secret from the people. He left the U.S. to make aliyah to Israel and his family became the first Messianic Jewish family to establish in 1966 a Messianic Jewish settlement in the Arava, of the Negev, Israel. It is called “Ir Ovot” and also “K’far Yeshua” near the archaeological excavations of biblical Tamar and remains to this day. His open testimony of Messiah was tested daily there through threats of survival and a thirty-year legal opposition from Israeli authorities. After finally winning all the court suits, his ten-family settlement in the Negev was officially recognized. He credited the L-rd alone for seeing them through during that time and for keeping them alive from day to day in the desert. In 1984, his twenty-year old son was killed by a suicide bomber three days after he dedicated him to the L-rd in prayer. This tragedy shook and eventually strengthened his faith, as he reasoned like David that he would see his son in the Resurrection, of which Yeshua was the first. Since then, many Yeshiva students and other rabbis in Israel went to visit him at his home until his death to debate him or just to inquire for themselves as to the identity of the Messiah. He invited them all at his table and became revered even by staunch enemies of Yeshua as a righteous man. According to his testimony below, many rabbis have become secret believers in the land as well. He believed all his life that it is time for Jews to make aliyah and to admit openly the identity of the Jewish Messiah as Yeshua. He died on December 21, 1999 and is survived by his wife. His testimony in French is here and in English in these video clips at this site.

Converted in 1505 in Cologne, Germany, two years later writes Der Judenspiegel, which condemns the persecution of Jews but also calls the Talmud and many Jewish customs anti-biblical.

Former Nixon administration chairman of the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity, leaves the Republican Party and founds the Conservative Caucus in 1974. While looking into arguments against socialized medicine he runs across biblical perspectives on public policy, and that leads to his theological conversion. He says, "I began to spend more time studying the Scripture, both Old and New Testament, and began to come to grips with the constantly mentioned subject of blood sacrifice as the basis for atonement for sin where God was concerned. The ultimate blood sacrifice for sin, obviously, is Jesus Christ. I committed my life to Him as Lord and Savior and subsequently realized that there could be no disconnection between the Christian worldview, based on blood sacrifice and redemption, the scriptural testimony to this event, and one's commitment to impacting the culture for Christ, inside and outside of the political and activist arenas." Phillips founds the U.S. Taxpayers Party in 1992 and becomes its presidential candidate.

PHILLIPUS, Franciscus Lotharius (Wolf Levi of Lublin), Simcha Hasid,
Along with 11 other Polish Jews, he converted to Protestantism in 1707 after their messianic hopes were dashed; Phillipus wrote that others became Roman Catholics, but all "recognized the true Messiah and Savior."

PIERLEONI, Cardinal.

POLANYI, Michael (1891-1976)
Hungarian Jew and one of the greatests scientists and philosophers of the 20th century. He was born to a family of non-observant Jews from Hungary, baptized as a Catholic as a young adult, was married in a civil ceremony and later endorsed Protestantism. When he moved from Hungary to Germany, he did so as an Austrian citizen. Driven out of Germany by the rise of the National Socialists, he chose England as his new home. He became a brilliant physical chemist but left the laboratory to affirm the foundation of personal knowledge on which authentic science and humane societies are based. He realized that the misleading ideals of objectivity derived from science were poisoning society and embarked on a career in economics, social analysis and philosophy. His philosophical ideas were first appreciated by religious thinkers and theologians. His later writings tried more directly to discuss religion and religious knowledge. He was convinced that his philosophy of science would support a renewal of the religious and ethical traditions on which Western civilization depends. William T. Scott & Martin X. Moleski have written the first biography of this extraordinary man, entitled Michael Polanyi: Scientist and Philosopher. Oxford University Press, 2005.

POLJAK, Abram (1900-1963)
Pioneer of the Messianic Jewish movement in Mandatory Palestine, he founded in Jerusalem the first Jewish Christian Union in 1935 and with eight other Jewish believers formed the Union of Messianic Jews in Israel (Ichud Yehudim Meshichiim BeIsrael) in 1950. These believers were Moshe Ben-Meir, Martha Baruch, Israel Weber, David Salpeter, Ze’ev Kofsman, Menachem Remer, and Shmuel Hermann. He created a Messianic Sabbath liturgy, combining Jewish tradition and biblical texts in order to find some common ground with normative Judaism. He remained in the land after Operation Mercy evacuated 80 Jewish believers in 1948 to Scotland. In one of his early books titled “The Cross in the Star of David,” he endeavored to launch a unique world movement that would crystallize a clear and solid identity for those Jews who believe in Jesus. However, instead of focusing on a special Eretz-Israeli Messianic Jewish identity, he ended up mainly in English and German-speaking countries where he promulgated the idea of reciprocal coexistence between Jews and Christians through regular dialogue between them. Like other leaders, such as Morris Sigel, Pauline Rose, Hyman Jacobs and Immanuel Ben-Meir, Poljak was struggling to create a corporate witness for Jewish believers in Jesus in the Land. Like his colleagues, he emphasized the need to institutionalize these activities. He implemented this mainly through publishing various articles in his magazine Jerusalem. Started in 1946 with Pauline Rose, Jerusalem became the Organ of the Jewish Christian Community and Jerusalem Fellowship. Its 28th issue in 1948 reported news of two small assemblies of believers, one in Jerusalem, and one more in Haifa. He worked tirelessly to maintain pure doctrine in Jerusalem, but was unable to prevent splits and when he left for Germany in the mid-fifties, many left, so that by 1970 The Jerusalem Fellowship shrank and disappeared. The founding members of the Union of Messianic Jews in Israel were aware of the lack of doctrinal unity among believers in the land, especially since immigrating believers represented various Christian denominations in the West. During the Feast of Hannukah, December 8-9, 1950, the first general conference of Messianic Jews in which 80 Jewish believers took part and 10 non-Jewish believers. A committee of 13 was elected charged with the building up of the Union, the drafting of its Constitution, and its representation to the Government. They naively thought they would get recognition from the Ministry of Religions. Rabbi Daniel Zion, ex-chief rabbi of Sofia, Bulgaria was elected President, but like all previous centralization efforts, this “monopolistic centralist approach fueled more disputes preventing the establishment of an enduring national institution of Jewish believers in Israel. Poljak and Ben-Meir, the two leading motors of the convention moved toward establishing a Messianic synagogue in Israel. Pressure from outside Israel where it was reported inaccurately that “Ex-Chief Rabbi becomes Bishop” made recognition of the synagogue difficult and it was eventually turned down, causing great disappointment once again. This led to the disintegration of the Union and Ben-Meir wrote, “The [Christian] missions are not interested in a Union of Messianic Jews which would be independent of them. In their interests, it is more convenient when Messianic Jews are divided.” (From Jerusalem to Jerusalem, p. 118) The Union disbanded and President Daniel Zion resigned. A second national convention of Messianic Jews in Israel was organized in January 1954 by Max Encker, Secretary of the International Hebrew Christian Alliance (IHCA) and was severely criticized by Ben-Meir who accused them of excluding Gentile brethren, Catholic Jewish believers, and being in the employ of Protestant missions. The stated goals of the missionary societies and the Alliance were to establish an indigenous Hebrew Christian church in Israel. In 1958, Max Encker returned to Holland and the “Israeli Alliance” disintegrated. Poljak by then had returned to Europe and ministered there until his death in Mittlingen, Germany in 1963. More in Gershon Nerel’s article “A Messianic Jewish Church in Eretz Israel?” in Mishkhan, Issue No. 29, 1998, here

RABINOWITZ, Joseph ben David (1837-1899)
Russian Orthodox (Chasidic) Rabbi of Kishinev in Bessarabia, Hebrew scholar and writer. After the pogroms of 1881, he sought a Jewish homeland to solve the Jewish dilemma. He arrived in Jerusalem in 1882, representing Russian Jews, and while standing on the Mount of Olives, overlooking Jerusalem, he realized that "Jesus, our brother" was the only solution. On returning to Kishinev in 1885, he established the first modern messianic congregation called "the First Assembly of the Israelites of the New Covenant." Talmudic scholar and lawyer Joseph Rabinowitz is baptized in 1885 and, through writings and sermons, begins influencing Russian Jews to become "Sons of the New Covenant." He draws up a list of 12 articles of faith, patterned after Maimonides's 13 principles, but proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah. He writes parables such as this one: "Two foolish people were traveling in a four-wheeled wagon. Noticing that the wagon was moving heavily, they examined it and found that a wheel was missing. One of the foolish people sprang out and ran forward along the road, saying to every one he met, 'We have lost a wheel. Have you seen one?' At last a wise man said to him, 'You are looking in the wrong direction. You should seek your wheel behind the wagon, not in front of it.' This is the mistake that Jews have been making all of these centuries. The four wheels of Hebrew history are Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus. Jews have been looking into the future when they should have been looking into the past." He kept ties with many Christian denominations, but kept his congregation insulated from denominational controversies and maintained the Jewish feasts and order of service (Aron Kodesh, Shabbat, Hebrew siddur, brit milah, mikveh-baptism, prayers and preaching in Hebrew, Yiddish and Russian). However the Brit Hadashah became part of the Scriptures and verses concerning Yeshua adorned the walls, such as, near the Torah, "Messiah is the end of the law." He also maintained that all Jewish believers retained their Jewish identity although there is no difference between Jews and gentile believers. Most of his flock were victims of war and the Holocaust. You can read extracts from Berit Am online, a journal of the Institutum Judaicum Delitzschianum that was published from 1893 to 1924 and edited by Joseph Rabinowitz. Here is his autobiography and another good summary of his life.

Friedrich was baptized in 1669, saying that an infusion of Jewish Christian believers will revitalize Christian churches.

RATISBONNE, Alphonse (d. 1887)
When his brother Theodor became a Catholic priest in Strasbourg, France, Alphonse resolved never to see him again and developed a strong antipathy to the Catholic faith. He followed after his father’s footsteps as a banker and became an atheist devoted to the betterment of his fellow Jews. At the age of 27 during a prenuptial tourist trip in Italy, he felt alone in Naples and entered a church where his spiritual hunger led him to pray to God for the first time. He was baptized in Rome in 1842. Soon after, he broke off his marriage engagement and was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1847, but then left that order so as to develop charitable works in Jerusalem. He moved to the Holy Land and with his brother Theodor, founded a Congregation of Nuns, “The Congregation of Our Lady of Sion,” to pray for the conversion of the Jews on the site of Pilate’s palace at the spot where the crowd had cried “Crucify Him!” He built there a convent, school, church, and two orphanages for girls, and then adds an orphanage and school of mechanical arts for boys, spending the rest of his life working and praying for the conversion of his fellow Jews. He died in 1884 at Ain Karem, John the Baptist’s birthplace near Jerusalem, thankful that the Lord had fulfilled his cherished goal to work to improve the lot of the Jews. Read more here.

RATISBONNE, Theodore of France.
Amazed his friends by being baptized into the Roman Catholic Church in 1827. Until then he had opposed both his family's Jewish traditions and Christianity as well. But one day he spoke to God: "If You really exist, let me know the truth, and I swear to consecrate my life to it." Through philosophical study he gradually came to the conclusion that God does exist. He set out to improve Christian-Jewish relations and in 1842 established the Congregation of Our Lady of Sion, a group with the goal of witnessing "in the Church and in the world that God continues to be faithful to his love for the Jewish people." The organization, with sub-groups in many countries now, has for 160 years worked "to keep alive in the church the consciousness that, in some mysterious way, Christianity is linked to Judaism from its origin to its final destiny."

REICH, Max Isaac. (1867-1945 )
Max Isaac Reich was born on March 17, 1867 in Berlin, Germany, son of Adolphus and Emma (Wolff) Reich. The original family name, Tugendreich, was Jewish in origin when “Max” was known as Isaac Ben Abraham. Reich received his early education in Berlin and London. He first came to England with his father after his mother’s and lived with his stepmother, an orthodox Jew. He was employed as a printing apprentice at a London firm, under foreman John Crane. In 1884 Reich responded to the message of the Christian gospel from one of the daughters of William Booth (founder of the Salvation Army) and American evangelist, D.L. Moody. He was taken under the tutelage of John Galway McVicker of the Plymouth Brethren, and also influenced by George Muller, founder of the English orphanage, and Thomas Newberry, editor of the Englishman’s Greek and Hebrew Bible. In 1886 Reich traveled to New York City as a missionary, then traversed the U.S. and Canada. Two years later he married Esther Mary Lorenzen on September 5, 1888, and together they eventually had nine children (five sons and four daughters): Florence, Annie, William, Edward, Esther, Alice, John, Lawrence and Joseph. The Reichs ministered to Native Americans on the frontiers of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. In 1892 Reich moved the entire family to Scotland, and then ministered in Europe, gaining proficiency in five languages. Long affiliated with the Plymouth Brethren, in 1904 Reich moved toward Quaker convictions, and working as a minister in the Society of Friends as an expositor and leader among Christian Jews in the United States and in Germany. Soon he and Mary became overseers of Beth-Shan in North London, a rest home for retired Christian workers. They returned to the United States in 1915 where he founded the Hebrew Christian Alliance of America, serving as its president from 1921 to 1927 and 1935 to 1938. Similarly in 1925, he founded the International Hebrew Christian Alliance in London. In 1930 he joined the extension staff at Moody Bible Institute (MBI) in Chicago, speaking at Bible conferences, preaching and interpreting prophecy, before becoming a full-time faculty member, lecturer of Jewish Missions and eventual department head. In addition to classroom teaching, he wrote articles and devotional verse for The Alliance Weekly (which he also edited) and various journals. These pieces were gathered into books including The Deeper Life and Sweet Singer of Israel. As editor he occasionally published pieces by pastor A.W. Tozer and V. Raymond Edman, president of Wheaton College. In all, Reich authored eight books and dozens of tracts and pamphlets, including Studies in Messianic Prophecy and Studies in the Psalms of Israel. He also wrote several articles which were published in a variety of Christian magazines. Wheaton College conferred to Reich an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 1936. After a distinguished fifteen-year career at Moody Bible Institute, he died in 1945 at age 79 following an operation. He is buried beside a Friends Meeting House near his home in Pennsylvania. Reich considered himself Jewish and took a strong interest in Jewish and Zionist affairs. He wrote poems that were published in the Hebrew Christian Alliance Quarterly and other organs of missions to the Jews, such as the Jewish Era. In his poetry, Reich expressed a Jewish Christian messianic hope and interpreted the rise of the Zionist movement as a significant event in the messianic time-table. His dispensationalist Jewish Christian outlook was also expressed in his biblical exegesis, as well as in a book dedicated to exploring the expected Jewish future within the messianic hope. In polemical articles, he expressed a view that was not shared by all in the conservative Protestant evangelical community, namely, that converted Jews should not disappear into the gentile society but rather retain their separate Jewish identity. He said, “Recently while at an open discussion of the book of Romans…I asked the question, ‘When a Jew becomes a Christian does he cease to be a part of Israel?’ The whole company almost shouted with one voice, ‘Yes.’ I then pointed out that it was the unbelieving branches who were cut off of their own olive tree. The believing branches remain where they had their origin. The olive tree represents the spiritual Israel rooted in the soil of the natural Israel…Gentiles …must not crowd out the branches that have never been broken off… God has always recognized an inner and outer Israel. The effective Israel was never more than a remnant at any time. And the inner was the salt of the outer, preserving it from decay. Hebrew Christians cannot fulfill their mission to their people unless they remain a part of Israel. The salt cannot do its work unless it mixes with that which is to be salted.” In this passage, Reich justified the existence of Hebrew Christians as a separate entity within the Christian community by emphasizing the obligation this group had to evangelize its brethren. The role of Hebrew Christianity was thus presented to the larger evangelical community in missionary terms. Equipped with this ideology and sense of mission, Reich was a natural candidate for the position of professor of Jewish evangelization at the Moody Bible Institute. In 1940, he succeeded Solomon Birnbaum as Professor and Director of the Jewish Evangelism Program. That a major conservative Protestant institution of higher learning had hired Reich--a propagator of the uniqueness of Jewish Christianity and a writer of poems on the restoration of the Jews to Zion--to teach in the department of missions was in many ways remarkable and should be understood in the light of the Institute's distinctive dispensationalist theology. As a Professor of Biblical Studies, he also combated anti-Jewish propaganda, writing that "the so-called Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion was one of the basest forgeries ever fathered on the Jewish people. Jewish believers [in Messiah] will stand by their slandered nation at this time.... Jewish believers utterly detest the ... unscrupulous Jew-haters, who remain anonymous, bent on stirring up racial strife and religious bigotry." Wheaton College acquired in 1976 the Max Reich Papers, 1923-1952 in its Wheaton College Archives & Special Collections.

was ordained as pastor and labored under the Swedish Mission to the Jews in Jassy, Rumania. In 1912 his work became affiliated with the Chicago Hebrew Mission to free him from governmental restrictions.

RICH, Charlie (1899-1987?)
A Hungarian Hassidic Jew who lived most of his life as a contemplative in a community of Jesuits in New York City. He wrote two books Reflections (Petersham : St. Bede Publications, 1986) and Autobiography (Petersham : St. Bede Publications, 1990. Read more here

ROSE, Pauline.
Early pioneer of the Messianic Jewish movement in Israel who refused to be evacuated to Scotland in 1948.

ROSEN, Moishe. (1932-2010)
Moishe Rosen is the Founder and first Executive Director of Jews for Jesus. Rosen, who is listed in Who’s Who of the West, was raised in Denver, Colorado, where he, his parents and his brother attended an Orthodox synagogue. His first name was Martin. When they were both twenty-one, he and his wife Ceil (who is also Jewish) each came to a personal relationship with God through Y’shua. He was then rejected by the Orthodox Jewish community. Four years later, in 1957, he was ordained to the ministry. Moishe has spent the following 53 years making the Messiahship of Jesus an unavoidable issue to his Jewish people worldwide. He changed his first name to Moishe and founded Jews for Jesus in 1973, saying that most workers in Jewish evangelism "sought the goodwill of the Jewish community and tried to avoid friction at all costs. Yet as soon as the missionaries' efforts began to be effective, the Jewish leaders reacted with a show of displeasure and accused them of insensitive or offensive methods." The real problem, he says, is "the offense of the cross, not insensitive methods. There was no way-however tactful, loving, and sensitive-to tell Jewish people that they needed Jesus without risking the displeasure of the Jewish community leaders. Having committed myself to the idea that disapproval and rejection were a normal part of Jewish evangelism, I taught my helpers that we all must bear the cross and risk rejection. Once we oriented ourselves to handle rejection, we began to win many Jews to the Lord." In a posthumous letter on the Jews for Jesus website, Rosen wrote: "I hope I can count on you to show love and respect for the Jewish people, but Jewishness never saved anybody. Judaism never saved anybody, no matter how sincere. Within Judaism today, there is no salvation because Christ has no place within Judaism." Moishe, you are greatly missed and I can never forget those huge bear hugs of yours. Until we meet again... More here.

After growing up in a Jewish household, he started an evangelistic Bible study group in his high school in 1984. He married in 1990, joined the McLean Bible Church (pastored by Lon Solomon), and became Rush Limbaugh's research director in 1994. Rosenberg, who has also been an advisor to Steve Forbes, Bill Bennett, and Israeli leaders Benjamin Netanyahu and Natan Sharansky, now writes a column on politics for WORLD. More here

ROSENSTOCK-HUESSY, Eugen. (1888-1973)
Born in Berlin, At age 17 he joined the Protestant Church, which did not seem much of a conversion to him because Christian habits had already become a part of family life. Gradually, however, his faith became central for his work. In 1909, at the age of 21, he received a doctorate in law from the University of Heidelberg. Studying history would have been one of his first choices, and philology (language) was his abiding passion from early on. In 1912, he began to teach constitutional law and the history of law at the University of Leipzig, the youngest Privatdozent at the time. Early friend of Jewish philosopher Franz Rosenzweig whom He introduced to Christianity through German Protestantism. In 1916, he and his friend, Franz also on active duty, exchanged letters on Judaism and Christianity. However, Franz wished to enter Christianity as did its founders, as a Jew. Not finding the way open in those days, Franz converted to Judaism instead while Eugen remained a Jewish Christian. In a famous exchange of letters they clarified their respective views published in Judaism Despite Christianity, described as “as one of the most important religious documents of our age.” Both products of the Jewish Renaissance in the context of the German Enlightenment, they converted from unbelief to religion, following different paths. Later, Eugen became Professor of law and sociology at the Universities of Leipzig and Breslau. Together with a member of the board of Daimler-Benz, the German car maker, he started and edited the first factory newspaper in Germany, the Daimler Werkzeitung. Also, together with Leo Weismantel, Werner Picht, Hans Ehrenberg, Karl Barth, and Viktor von Weizsäcker, he founded the Patmos Verlag, publishing works focused on new religious, philosophical, and social perspectives. A journal, Die Kreatur (1926-30), followed, edited by Josef Wittig, a Roman Catholic; Martin Buber, a Jew; and Viktor von Weizsäcker, a Protestant. Among the contributors were Nicholas Berdyaev, Lev Shestov, Franz Rosenzweig, Ernst Simon, Hugo Bergmann, Rudolf Hallo, and Florens Christian Rang. Each of these men had, between 1910 and 1932, in one way or another, offered an alternative to the idealism, positivism, and historicism that dominated German universities. Rosenstock himself published Die Hochzeit des Krieges und der Revolution (The Marriage of War and Revolution, 1920), a collection of current events essays that were full of prophesies and warnings. Unfortunately, some of these were later to be fulfilled. On January 30, 1933, Germany fell to National Socialism, and Rosenstock left Breslau at once. By the end of that year and with the help of C. J. Friedrich, professor of government at Harvard University and the only person Rosenstock knew in the United States, he had been appointed Kuno Francke Lecturer in German Art and Culture at Harvard. Rosenstock-Huessy frequently mentioned God in class. This grated on the secular beliefs of other Harvard faculty members.Rosenstock also often attacked "pure, objective" academic thinking. Profound differences of opinion ensued and led, in 1935, to his accepting an appointment as professor of social philosophy at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. He made his home in nearby Norwich, Vermont. He taught at Dartmouth until his retirement in 1957, inspiring generations of students. Despite the "falling out" with Harvard, Rosenstock-Huessy had made important friendships there that helped him when he began to write again. His first effort was to rewrite his earlier book on revolutions in English under the title Out of Revolution: Autobiography of Western Man (1938). The Nietzsche scholar, George Allen Morgan, assisted him in the preparation of The Christian Future or the Modern Mind Outrun (1946). Alfred North Whitehead, also at Harvard, was among Rosenstock-Huessy's admirers. At the urging of Eleanor Roosevelt, the journalist Dorothy Thompson, and other prominent figures, President Franklin D. Roosevelt tapped Rosenstock-Huessy to lead the creation of a special Civilian Conservation Corps camp in the woods of Vermont. Rosenstock-Huessy's writings about voluntary work service have often been cited as influential in the design and development of the Peace Corps. His wife died in 1959 and in 1960, he married an old friend Freya von Moltke, widow of Helmuth James von Moltke, who opposed National Socialism and was executed by the Nazis. More here

World-renowned pianist whose testimony of faith is recorded on a video entitled Sam Rotman, Concert Pianist: The Music and Testimony of a Jew for Jesus and dramatized for radio by Unshackled. When Sam Rotman made his debut at the age of 16 with the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra before an audience of 6,000 the Baldwin Keynote Magazine wrote, "Sam Rotman is a pianist with abundant potential." He received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School in N.Y.C. While a student, he was the recipient of nine awards in the form of grants, scholarships, and prizes. Subsequently, he has been among the winners in five piano competitions, both in the United States and Europe. The most prestigious award was that of Laureate Winner in the 4th International Beethoven Competition in Vienna, Austria. In 1978, Mr. Rotman participated in the 6th International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow, Russia. He has given over 1600 performances in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, South America, Eastern and Western Europe, Southeast Asia, China, Russia, and South Africa totaling 52 countries. He has devoted a specific area of his musical life to the study and performance of the works of Beethoven. Beginning with a series of all Beethoven concerts in 1970 (the Beethoven bi-centennial), he was presented on Public Broadcast System in a special Beethoven concert and continues to perform the works of Beethoven in recital and with orchestra. Mr. Rotman has served on the jury of international piano competitions, both in the United States and Europe. For almost twenty years he was director of the Piano Department and served as director of the D'Angelo School of Music at Mercyhurst College for ten years. He has released four recordings. Portrait of a Piano with the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Debussy, and Rachmaninoff; Impressions: Piano Portraits of Claude Debussy; Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition with Piano Works by Rachmaninoff, and Piano Music of Beethoven.

First trained at the Chicago Hebrew Mission, he became a pastor and later took charge of the Elim Society, Rotterdam, Holland, supported by the Church Mission to the Jews.

RUFEISEN, Daniel Oswald.
Hebrew Catholic who supported the Society of Saint James, an organization formed by the Hebrew Catholics in 1957. He believed in the unique calling of the ‘remnant of Israel” that would become a spiritual nucleus bridging “synagogue” and “church,” and even a spearhead for combating idolatrous and apostate theologies that had infiltrated the “Ecclesia ex Gentibus” [lat., church of the nations] He also held to Irael remaining the ‘elect nation’ according to God’s plan, with a universal mission to influence the Gentiles. The formal denial of Rufeisen’s Jewishness according to the Law of Return by the verdict of the Israeli Supreme Court in 1962 triggered a personal campaign to obtain recognition of his Jewishness within the Catholic Church as a Hebrew Christian, but found opposition from Elias Friedman, though both of them strongly objected to the total assimilation and disappearance of the Jewish remnant within the Catholic Church.

SALIN, Lewis Henry.
An immigrant to Kentucky who secretly read the New Testament in Germany before leaving there, heard a Baptist minister's call to go forward at the end of a service and professed Christ in 1852. "All my relatives, from my father to the remotest cousins, like a panorama passed through my mind," he later wrote. "I imagined I could hear them curse my very soul, while a frown of hot displeasure was resting upon each countenance.... The solemn and weighty words of our Savior, with greater force than ever, came rushing to my mind. 'He that loveth father or mother ... more than Me is not worthy of Me.'... With great difficulty I went forward and united my destiny with the Baptists." For the next 45 years he is a merchant and minister.

Edward who first translated classics like Shakespeare and Milton’s Paradise Lost in 1870 into Modern Hebrew is a Messianic Jew. Over the next 15 years, while working as a missionary to Jews in Vienna, he translates into Hebrew Othello, Romeo and Juliet, and then labors for thirty years on his magnum opus…a much improved Modern Hebrew version of the the Greek New Testament. He died before its publication in 1883.

Descendant of an old powerful Portuguese Jewish family - one of his ancestors had built Salvador House near the Royal Exchange in London - he was a wealthy and influential Jew in Amsterdam when he declared his faith in Yeshua as his Messiah in 1852 and later delivered public lectures on Christianity every Thursady to the dismay of the rabbis of the Portuguese synagogue.

SAPHIR, Aaron Adolph, (1831-1891)
Born in Budapest, son of Israel Saphir, he was the nephew of famous humorist Moritz G. Saphir who became a Lutheran. When at age 12, he proclaimed at dinner to his family, “I found the Messiah!” and led them to Christ. His sister married the missionary in Berlin, Rev. Schwartz. Then he became a missionary to the Jews in Hamburg and held four Presbyterian pastorates in England where his expository lectures on the Old Testament became legendary from 1861 to 1888. He always remembers how up to age 12 he hoped for something more than the religion he was taught could give: "I was brought up in my childhood in the synagogue and taught that there was one God, infinite, incomprehensible, high above us and omnipresent. Much stress was laid on the unity and unicity of God. But this bare, vague, and abstract monotheism leaves the mind in darkness, while the heart is chilly and desolate." This puzzles Aaron, because in the Bible "I was met by no abstract idea of unicity but by a loving God, who appeared unto Abraham and spoke to him, who led Israel through the wilderness and dwelt among them. After, when I thought of the kindly, concrete, friendly and human way in which the Lord God then appeared unto His people and dwelt with them, I wondered why He was not now with us, loved and followed. One day I was looking at some books in my father's library and the title of one arrested my eye. It was Immanuel, God with Us. The thought went through my mind like a flash of lightning; it thrilled my soul. Oh, I exclaimed, if it were true that God should appear in human form, what a blessing that would be."

SAPHIR, Israel.
A merchant of Budapest, baptized in 1843, along with his wife, two sons, and three daughters.

SCHENCK, Rob & Paul Chaim.
In 1995, Rob begins bringing teams of ministers and religious leaders to the nation's capital city to present congressmen and other government officials with tablets on which the Ten Commandments are etched. He and his twin brother, Paul Chaim Schenck, become Christians as teenagers during the 1970s and in 1992 lead Operation Rescue's attempt to shut down Buffalo's abortion businesses. Rob Schenck is arrested during the 1992 Democratic National Convention in New York City for thrusting the corpse of an unborn child in front of Bill Clinton. Paul is arrested and imprisoned for violating an ordinance designed to protect abortion businesses, but the U.S. Supreme Court overturns that decision on free-speech grounds. In 2001, Rob Schenck is head of the Washington evangelical group Faith and Action, and Paul Schenck is a rector at Reformed Episcopal Church in Catonsville, Md.

SCHERESCHEWSKY, Samuel Isaac Joseph (Lithuanian Jew, 1831-1906)
Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky was born in Lithuania in 1831, went to Germany to study for the rabbinate, there became a Christian, emigrated to America, trained for the priesthood, and in 1859 was sent by the Episcopal Church to China, where he devoted himself from 1862 to 1875 to translating the Bible into Mandarin Chinese. In 1877 he was elected Bishop of Shanghai, where he founded St. John's University, the first Protestant college in China and began his translation of the Bible into Wenli (another Chinese dialect). He developed Parkinson's disease, was largely paralyzed, resigned his position as Bishop of Shanghai, and spent the rest of his life completing his Wenli Bible, the last 2000 pages of which he typed with the one finger that he could still move. Four years before his death in 1906, he said: "I have sat in this chair for over twenty years. It seemed very hard at first. But God knew best. He kept me for the work for which I am best fitted." Source Known as one of the most learned Orientalists in the world, he also translates the Bible into both Mandarin and colloquial Chinese and stays at his translation tasks even though partially paralyzed and unable to speak.

Minister of Trinity Chapel along with eighty other Jewish Christians founded in 1866 the Hebrew-Christian Alliance, , the first concerted effort on the part of Jewish Christians to revive Jewish Christianity. From1866, he also became the editor of the first Jewish Christian periodical, The Scattered Nation. His missionary journeys in Germany were very fruitful.

Chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, successfully argues the Lambs Chapel case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993; the Court states that religious groups cannot be discriminated against in the use of public facilities made available to other groups. Sekulow appears before the Supreme Court numerous times in defense of religious freedom, and writes about his own religious liberation as he tried to understand the description of the "suffering servant" in chapter 53 of Isaiah: "I kept looking for a traditional Jewish explanation that would satisfy, but found none. The only plausible explanation seemed to be Jesus. My Christian friends were suggesting other passages for me to read, such as Daniel 9. As I read, my suspicion that Jesus might really be the Messiah was confirmed.... I'd always thought my cultural Judaism was sufficient, but in the course of studying about the Messiah who would die as a sin bearer, I realized that I needed a Messiah to do that for me."

Formed the Traditional Values Coalition in 1980, a group now with 45,000 affiliated churches that defends biblical principles in regard to abortion, homosexuality, and other controversial issues. He becomes a Christian as a teenager in the 1950s, after his older brother and sister (who had already converted) urge him to attend an evangelical service at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. He goes on to attend Princeton Theological Seminary and becomes a pastor in North Dakota and eventually in California. He quotes George Washington's farewell address ("Of all the dispositions and habits that lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports") and notes that "we're not going to have political prosperity separated from religious principles. And we can't have national morality separated from religious principles."

SHULAM, Joseph Baruch (1946-)
Born in Sofia, Bulgaria on March 24, 1946. His family immigrated to Israel in 1948, where they settled in Jerusalem. In 1962, he came to faith in Yeshua the Messiah. He was educated at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he received a B.A. in Bible and Bible Archeology. He later came to the United States and studied at David Lipscomb College in Nashville, Tennessee, where he received a B.A. in Chemistry and biblical Studies. Upon completion of his B.A., he returned to Israel where he has since been involved in the local Messianic Jewish community. He continued his studies at the Hebrew University, and received an M.A. in the History of Jewish Thought in the Second Temple Period. From 1972-1975, he studied Rabbinics and Jewish Thought at the Diaspora Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He is the Director of Netivyah Bible Instruction Ministry in Jerusalem. He established Netivyah, an Israeli-government recognized organization, for the purposes of studying and teaching the Jewish background of the Brit Ha'Chadashah (New Testament), providing a bridge between Jews and Christians and Judaism and Christianity, and nurturing the Messianic Jewish community in Israel. He is also the Elder of Congregation Roeh Israel, also located in Jerusalem. In addition to Biblical Studies, he lectures worldwide on such subjects as the First Century Church in Jerusalem, the Jewish Roots of the Brit HaChadashah, and contemporary Middle East politics. He was an adjunct professor at Abilene Christian University (ACU), and directed the ACU graduate extension program in Jerusalem in 1998. Netivyah ministries now sponsors Kol Ha’Yeshuah (the voice of salvation) a 24-hour Hebrew Messianic radio in Israel.

SITENHOF, Benjamin.
Came to believe in Christ by reading a Polish New Testament, and built a refugee center in Danzig in 1923 (then a "free city" under the protectorate of the League of nations and gateway to the west from Eastern Europe). Supported by the Irish Presbyterian Mission, the center includes a home for the destitute along with a bookshop and auditorium.

Became senior pastor at McLean Bible Church just outside Washington, D.C. in 1980. Solomon's early drug and alcohol abuse stopped when he accepted Christ, and he went on to Capital Bible Seminary, Johns Hopkins University, and then taught Hebrew and Old Testament at Capital. Through preaching and his national So What? radio broadcast, he emphasizes reaching non-Christians through radio, saying, "I was born Jewish. I never listened to Christian radio. I was raised in the public-school system. I believed in evolution, relativism, and existentialism. Until I became a believer at 21, I had no intention of visiting a church.... So as a pastor I asked, How can my church reach 'me'"?

A distinguished jurist in Vienna, laid out in 1782 the principles for the Edict of Toleration regarding Jews that Austrian emperor Joseph II announced.

STAHL, Friedrich Julius.
He battled socialist and anti-clerical influences in Germany as soon as the Communist Manifesto came out in 1848, defending the Lutheran Church into which he moved from Judaism. He became the head of the Conservative Party in Prussia and, as a Berlin professor, opposed Hegelian philosophy, calling atheistic scientists to repentance.

STEIN, Edith (1891-1942)
St. Edith, born in 1891 as the youngest child of 11 in an Orthodox Jewish family. A Jewish student of philosophy from Breslau (then Germany), educated as an assistant to philosopher Edmund Husserl, converted after reading the autobiography of Saint Teresa of Avila in 1921. The author of Finite and Eternal Being (an attempt to synthesize Aquinas and modern thought) and other highly regarded books, she became a Carmelite nun in 1933, joined by her sister Rosa. Nazis arrest them in 1942, and murder both in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. "Come Rosa," Edith says as the Nazis are hauling them away from the convent. "We're going for our people." She was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church in 1998. Read more here.

What’s a nice Jewish boy doing as Vicar in the Church of England? His testimony is available here

STERN, Henry Aaron (1820-1885)
A flaming missionary to the 16,000 Jews of Baghdad, Persia, also to Constantinople, Arabia where the Jews were persecuted, the Crimea, Bulgaria, Roumania, and Abyssinia (Ehiopia) to the Falasha Jews where he suffered torment and imprisonment at the hands of the drunken King Theodorus from 1863 to 1868. "I was stripped and on the ground insensible," he later writes, "almost lifeless, with blood oozing out of scores of gashes, and I was dragged into camp." For 31/2 years he remains a tortured captive; he later writes, "Our nerves were horribly shattered, and our minds, too, would have been unhinged had not religion with her solacing influence, soothed the asperities and hardships of our existence." British troops rescue him and he returns to England for a lecture tour and publication of his memoir, The Captive Missionary. He then became head of the London mission of the London Society for Promoting Christianity Among the Jews until he died.

STERN, Karl.
An emigrant from Nazi Germany to Canada, a noted neuropsychiatrist, and a convert to Christianity after years of study and contemplation, publishes in 1951 his autobiography, The Pillar of Fire. He writes that he realizes how Christians were elected by God to fulfill the vision of the prophets by spreading belief in Abraham's God throughout the world. He then sees the ups and downs of the Jewish people as part of a larger religious panorama. One of his McGill University post-war Jewish students, Bernard Nathanson, recalls him as "a great teacher; a riveting, even eloquent lecturer in a language not his own, and a brilliant contrarian spewing out original and daring ideas as reliably as Old Faithful. I conceived an epic case of hero-worship.... There was something indefinably serene and certain about him." When Nathanson reads The Pillar of Fire, he realizes that Stern "possessed a secret I had been searching for all my life, the secret of the peace of Christ."

STONE, Nathan.
Published in 1944 Names of God in the Old Testament, a study showing that the attributes of God in the Old Testament belong as well to Christ as He is depicted in the New Testament. Stone became director of the Jewish missions program at Moody Bible Institute.

A successful Jewish businessman whose daughter challenged him to read the Hebrew Scriptures. He became the author of international bestseller Betrayed. His testimony is available here.

Succeeded Heros II as Bishop of Antioch. He was well read in Greek literature as is proved by his 3 books to Autolycus, a learned Gentile believer and governed the church of Antioch for 20 years until his death.

TREMELLIUS, John Immanuel (1510-1580)
Was educated at the University of Padua, became a believer through the influence of Cardinal Pole. Soon after became a Protestant in Switzerland and a friend of the Reformers, settling in Strasburg as a Hebrew teacher. Finally he reached England as a refugee from the religious wars in Germany and found protection under Archbishop Cranmer. In 1549, he became Regius Professor of Hebrew at Cambridge. A strong Calvinist, later during Queen Mary’s reign, he became Professor of Theology at Heidelberg under Frederick III teaching at the College of Wisdom, where he produced a Latin Old Testament that was published in Frankfurt in the 1570s and London in 1580. With Theodore Beza's Latin New Testament attached to it, the Tremellius Bible was the Protestant contender against the Vulgate issued by Pope Sixtus V in a Reformation vs. Counter Reformation battle of Latin bibles. He also contributed with Ursinus and Olevianus, in the compilation of the Heidelberg Catechism, then continued at the College of Sedan back in England until his death. He translated the Bible from Hebrew and Syriac into Latin, Calvin’s Catechism and wrote a Syriac and Chaldee Grammar. Finally his Catechism for Enquiring Jews published in 1554 was still used as a missionary tool in the 19th century.

WARSZAWIAK, Hermann (1865-)
Born in Warsaw, the son of a well-known rabbi, head of the Hassidim. When sixteen years old, he married the daughter of a rich banker in Lodz, and went there to live with his wife's parents. As he hungered for the fulfillment of promises in Isaiah and Jeremiah, the direction of his preaching worried many and his family thought it best to send him back to Warsaw for a while, leaving wife and children behind. Then one day in Germany, driven by his spiritual hunger, he entered a church where a sermon was being preached by Daniel Edward, the Scotch missionary to the Jews. After three months of intense discussion and searching of the Scriptures in Hebrew with Edward, he finally came to the only conclusion possible: Yeshua was the promised Jewish Messiah! and was baptized in Breslau on 6th October, 1889. The news of his baptism spread to Poland like wildfire, and Edward took him to Edinburgh, fleeing the anti-missionary backlash that was sure to come. After six months, his enemies had tracked him and he immediately left for America, where he devoted his efforts to reaching Jewish refugees in New York with the gospel. He proclaimed that Jesus was the Messiah on Shabbat days to a small group of 16 that within 2 years swelled to groups of 300—800. His unusual ability to reply with but a few words to those who angrily did their best to disturb the services made him famous. He was put in charge of the Home for Persecuted and Inquiring Christian Jews in New York City and labored successfully there in spite of virulent attacks and false testimonies of local Jews like anti-Missionary A. Benjamin, an agent for the United Hebrew Charities who tried to prove Warzarviak and his teachers were hypocrites, who were carrying on their work only that they might get money from rich Christians. Many records of anti-missionary tactics are not unlike those today as shown by the archive records at the Digital Jewish Missions Project. A brief biography is available here

A learned Jewish convert (early 18th century)

Graduated in 1889 from Hebrew Union College and became the Rabbi of B’nai Yeshurun Synagogue in Dayton, Ohio. After serving for 10 years as a rabbi in Dayton, Ohio, and then dabbling in Christian Science when distraught following the death of his wife, publicly confesses Christ in Dayton's Central Baptist Church in 1904. He then went to Southern Baptist seminary in Louisville and becomes a pastor. He recalls, "I had tried to get some tangible comfort out of the Talmud, Mishnah, and rabbinical doctrines, but found none that satisfied my soul's hunger and longings." In studying the New Testament, though, he saw that the Christian doctrines he had derided as illogical and un-Jewish are sensible and truly Jewish. He was disowned by his Jewish alma mater for the sole reason that he became a believer in Jesus. Later, he became pastor of the First Baptist Church of Ada, Ohio.

WEYLER, Samuel.
Graduated from Yale Divinity School in 1891. An immigrant from Russia, he has made a living as a peddler in Georgia, the Carolinas, Mississippi, and Missouri, everywhere trying to improve his English by listening to good speakers, including those in churches-and in that way he learns about Christ and chooses to follow Him. He becomes a minister in Colorado, Wyoming, and California.

WINNER, Lauren.
Daughter of a Reform Jewish father and a lapsed Southern Baptist mother, she chose to become an Orthodox Jew. But as she faithfully observes the Sabbath rituals and studies Jewish laws, she finds herself increasingly drawn to Christianity and ‘converts’. In her autobiography Girl meets God (2002), she writes how despite her conversion, she finds that her world is still defined by Jewish experiences Attempting to reconcile the two sides of her religious identity, she applies the lessons of Judaism to the teachings of the New Testament, hosts a Christian seder (Passover meal) and struggles to fit her Orthodox friends into her new life. Ultimately her spiritual faith is deepened and she becomes a noted writer on spiritual life. Her second book is: Real sex: the naked truth about chastity (2005). Today she is a contributing editor of Christianity Today and the author of prize-winning essays. She is a living example of what Jews and Christians seeking God in their lives can teach each other.

WOLFF, Joseph (1795-1862)
Bavarian Jew, son of rabbi David Wolff, student of Oriental languages, became the pioneer missionary to the Jews in the Orient. Baptized in Prague in 1812, he resolves to become a missionary/explorer. He learns Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, and other languages of west and south Asia and becomes a missionary to Jews in Persia, Turkistan, India, Arabia, and other lands. According to Lewis Way's Travels and Adventures of Dr. Wolff, he is one "to whom a floor of bricks is a featherbed and a box is a bolster; who travels without a guide, speaks without an interpreter, can live without food and pay without money, forgiving all the insults he meets with and forgetting all the flattery he receives. Such a man (and such and more is Wolff) must excite no ordinary degree of attention in a country and among people whose monotony of manner and habits has remained undisturbed for centuries."

WURMBRAND, Richard Heinrich (1909-2001) & Sabina (1913-2000)
Co-founder of The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) with his wife Sabina, he died at age 91 in 2001. He married Sabina in 1936 and that same year both became Christian while vacationing that year in the mountains in Romania. Returning to Budapest, they joined the Anglican Mission Church. Later Richard became Lutheran pastor. Wurmbrand and his wife were arrested several times by the Nazi government. During the Nazi occupation of Romania, Sabina’s parents, two sisters, and one brother were killed in Nazi concentration camps and in the ensuing years the couple spent their time rescuing Jewish children from ghettos that they were forced to live in by the Nazi regime. They also taught in bomb shelters and were arrested several times for underground Christian activities. After World War II, when a million Russian troops poured into Romania, the Communists seized power and they both immediately began an effective “underground” ministry, smuggling in goods and food that were needed by refugees. They evangelized Russian soldiers who were prisoners of war and did the same with Russian occupation forces after August, 1944. Communist leaders imprisoned Richard in 1948, subjecting him to physical and mental torture, including 3 years in solitary confinement. They also threatened his family, and finally imprisoned his wife Sabina as well. She was released in 1953 and he in 1956, but he was re-arrested in 1959 and sentenced to 25 years for preaching Scriptures that are contrary to Communist doctrine. Political pressure from Western countries led to his release in 1964 for a ransom of $10,000. During his 14 years in a prison cell, without seeing the outside world. He did not know what time of the day or of the year or what day of the week it was and at times he even lost touch with reality altogether and lost his identity; he didn’t even remember who he was or how to pray the Lord’s prayer – not to mention the moments of torture and the physical suffering inflicted upon him. His captors could not break his faith even though he did not even have a Bible to read or anything else. The Holy Spirit in him opened his inner world and the Lord showed him that if anyone is in Yeshua HaMashiah he is a new creature. His surprise was that this includes even our life before we received eternal life. In other words, He sees us as cleansed from all unrighteousness even from conception onward – not only from the moment of regeneration – just as we were planned from before the foundation of the world. His healing message helps us all to look forward rather than back to your own painful experiences and look forward to spiritual regeneration in the midst of intense persecution. More on Sabina Wurmbrand is posted here. The Wurmbrand family left Romania in 1965 and began informing the world about the persecution of Christians behind the Iron Curtain and elsewhere. By the mid-1980s, The Voice of the Martyrs had offices in 30 countries and was working in 80 nations where Christians were threatened. Their legacy of alerting the world to the persecution of Christians was seen through websites like Persecution.net (news alerts by country), Persecution TV (video docs), and Overcomers Radio and TV (stories of the triumphs and trials of the persecuted church). Wherever and whenever anyone in the Body of Messiah suffers, all suffer which caused the apostle Paul to exclaim “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10). The persecuted need our encouragement, prayers and spiritual support, “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy” (Ps 126:5). They remind us all to "Rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that when his glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy" (1 Pet 4:13) and to urgently advance the ministry of forgiveness and reconciliation in Messiah Yeshua which alone brings peace on earth, “namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor 5:19). This website lists all his books, which are best sellers in over fifty languages: Tortured for Christ (1967; reprint 2004), In God's Underground (2004), Marx & Satan (1986; 7th printing 2001), The Answer to the Atheist's Handbook (2002), Underground Saints (1968, reprint 1979), The Wurmbrand Letters (1972), The Church in Chains (1974), Victorious Faith (1979), The Overcomers (2006), 100 Prison Meditations (reprint 2004), Christ on the Jewish Road (2001), The Sweetest Song (reprint 1993), The Total Blessing (1995), Alone with God: God and Suffering (1999), With God in Solitary Confinement (Rev ed. 2001), Jesus: Friend to Terrorists (1995), From the Lips of Children (1992). Biography: Jack Cole. Richard and Sabina: A Biography of the Rev. Richard Wurmbrand and his Wife Sabina, BookSurge Pub., 2002. Find out more here

XERES, John.
in 1709 counteracted the slur that converts are not well-educated in Judaism by emphasizing his Talmudic studies.

XIMENES, Sir Moses (1762-?)
English high Sheriff.

YACHNIN, Esther,
A 15-year-old New York City girl, converts to Christianity in 1911 and sets off a furious debate. Jewish groups lobby for a law making the proselytizing of minors without parental consent a crime. That legislative effort is not successful.

The TRUE Messiah, born of a virgin from the Jewish lineage of King David in Bethlehem. She was married to Joseph, like him also from the lineage of King David and they later had several sons, among them Jacob (James) the head of the first Apostolic Church in Jerusalem. He gathered 12 close disciples and started his ministry at age 30 in Galilee, Judea and Samaria. He performed many miracles and preached sermons to the lost sheep of Israel. Many believed he was the promised Messiah and hailed him as such as he entered Jerusalem for the Passover celebration at age 33. He was arrested by the Jewish authorities who incited Pontius Pilate to crucify him. An earthquake shook Jerusalem at the hour of his death and the Temple veil was torn. The glory of Israel departed the Temple, never to come back (The Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70 by Emperor Titus’ army and all genealogical records able to recover Jewish ancestry were henceforth lost). After the initial shock, his followers witnessed him raised from the dead, speaking, encouraging and eating with them. They were also allowed to touch the wounds. They finally understood that He was indeed the Suffering Servant of Israel, the obedient Son of God sent as a silent lamb to atone for the sins of Israel and all of mankind, as prophesied earlier by John the Baptist and the prophet Isaiah (ch. 53). His resurrection from the dead was witnessed by many before he ascended back to His father in heaven to sit at His right hand while his enemies on the earth are subdued under his feet. His disciples under the guidance of the Holy Spirit began their apostolic mission, preaching from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth the good news of forgiveness of sins through Messiah’s atonement on the cross and victory over sin and death in his resurrection. The call to repentance and obedience of faith in Messiah reached Jews and Gentiles, growing rather than being extinguished under persecution. The church was first called the Way of Messiah and the members were Messianics (Hebrew) or Christians (Greek). Later, the World Calendar started over because of His birth. The lightning rise of the Messianic or Christian faith on the stage of history corroborates Yeshua’s saying before his death that , “Now it is time for the world to be judged. Now the prince of this world will be thrown out. But I am going to be lifted up from the earth. When I am, I will bring all people to myself." (John 12: 31-32.) The fact that judgment on the world is said to begin with the expansion of the Messianic faith reinforces the proclamation of the apostles in Acts 4:12 that “Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved” after quoting Ps 118:22 “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone.” What David in the Spirit foresaw was also the testimony of the Lord to Isaiah: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, and he who believes in him will not be disappointed.” (Isaiah 28:16) and “Then He shall become a sanctuary; But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, and a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 8:14). These with Ps 118:22, were quoted by Yeshua in Matt 21:42, Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17 and later expounded by the apostles in Acts 10:43, Ephesians 2:20, 1 Peter 2:5-12, and Romans 9:30-33). These and more show that Messianic faith in Yeshua was from the start founded in the Hebrew Scriptures and not an invention of his disciples. Neither did it compromise the oneness of God (1 Timothy 2:5, Romans 3:30, Galatians 3:20). For further study, see The Messianic Prophecy slide-show.

A student of the famous Rebbe of Ger, had come in 1914 to the Pletzel (Jewish Quarter of Paris) and in 1920 was thrown out of the synagogue because they said a demon had taken possession of him: He had become an ardent believer in Yeshua. He said, “I have not become a goy, but am a true, completed Jew.”

ZAMORA, Alfonso de.
A former rabbi Spanish convert to Christianity, baptized in 1506. Working with Paul Nunez Coronel and Alfonso d'Alcala, two other Jewish Christians, he He became the key Hebraist among the Polyglot translators of the Bible during the Renaissance. using his knowledge of Hebrew, Aramaic, Chaldean, and other languages to help develop a six-volume multilingual work known as the Polyglot Bible. He also writes a Hebrew grammar, a Hebrew dictionary, a dictionary of the Old Testament, and a treatise on Hebrew spelling. More on MJWiki

ZEIDMAN, Morris.
becomes Superintendent of the Scott Institute in Toronto in 1926, which offers food and evangelism to both poor Jews and gentiles, and sponsors group homes for needy children. Then in 1938 with the Hebrew Christian Alliance of America, he appeals for help for the Jews and Jewish Christians of Poland, Germany, and Austria, where "sorrow is turning into despair. They can see no hope, not a gleam of light or kindness anywhere.... We must help, if we have to sacrifice a meal a day. Surely those of us who eat three meals a day can afford to spare the price of one meal for our persecuted brethren in Central Europe." In 1961 he was honored with the distinction of the “Canadian of the Year.”

ZION, Daniel (1887-1979)
Born in Thessalonika, Greece, he was trained as a rabbi in his father’s yeshiva and sent in 1918 to serve the Jewish community of Sofia where he was elected the chief rabbi in Bulgaria. Prior to WWII in the 1930s, though he never formally “converted” to Christianity, he started to believe in Yeshua and remained faithful to the Torah-keeping lifestyle. Read how Yeshua appeared to him three times in a vision, how his Messianic faith became a well-known secret in Sofia and how his friendship with Metropolite Stephen of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church affected his faith and saved Bulgarian Jews from complete extinction here. While chief rabbis of Sofia, Bulgaria during World War II, he was warned about the holocaust in a vision of the Master (Yeshua), and he helped save 800 Jews of Sofia from the Nazis but was himself interned in a concentration camp in 1943. In 1949 he emigrated to Israel. He immigrated to Israel in 1949 with most of the Rabbinic remnant and was appointed as judge of the Rabbinical Court in 1954. When his faith in Yeshua was revealed, he was told that he could remain as long as he kept it a secret. Unable to comply, he spoke, “I am poor and feeble, persecuted and vulnerable, Yeshua conquered me, and with the New Man he honored me, He delivered me from the poverty-stricken self with his great love, he cherished me. Every day the canny devil aspires to grab my faith, I hold on to my encourager, and chase the devil away. I stand here alone in my faith, the whole world is against me. I give up all the earthly honor for the sake of the Messiah my mate.” The Rabbinical Court striped Rabbi Daniel from his Rabbinical Title, but the Bulgarian Jews continued to honor Rabbi Daniel as their Rabbi. A Russian Jew who was one of the early Zionist settlers in Rishon LeZion, and had become a "believer", had given Rabbi Daniel Zion a building on Yeffet St. in the heart of Jaffa for a Synagogue. In that Synagogue Rabbi Daniel officiated until the 6th of October 1973. In this Synagogue Rabbi Daniel Zion did not often speak of Yeshua openly, but many times he brought stories and parables from the New Testament. However, each Sabbath after the Synagogue Rabbi Daniel would bring home a group of his fellow worshipers from the Synagogue and they would study about Yeshua and from the New Testament all the Sabbath after-noon until they would go back to the Synagogue to say the evening prayers. He died at age 96 leaving an indelible legacy by his personal example expressed in the acrostic poem of his name: The (Daver) Word of God is my path, The (Ner) Lamp of God is my guide, The (Iraat) Fear of God is the beginning of Wisdom, The (Ahavat) Love of God is my Life, The (Laasoth) Doing the will of God is my aspiration, (Zedek) Righteousness and Justice are my goals, His (Isurim) Suffering is my atonement, He will (OYagen) protect you in all your ways, The (Nezah) Eternal one of Israel is my comfort. The Vine of David Repository makes available online Rabbi Zion's book Jewish Feasts and Traditions, in downloadable pdf format.

ZOLLER, Israel, former Chief Rabbi of Rome (1881-1956)
His autobiography was recently published (see Amazon). Chief Rabbi of Rome, he helped to save about 4,000 Roman Jews as the Nazis enter Rome in 1943. Posing as a structural engineer, he entered the Vatican and asked Pope Pius XII to protect Rome's Jews. The pope made churches, monasteries, convents, and the Vatican itself sanctuaries for them. Zolli publicly converted to Christ in 1945, saying, "I promised God in 1942 that I should become a Christian if I survived the war. No one in the world ever tried to convert me. My conversion was a slow evolution, altogether internal.... I am beginning to understand that for many years I was a natural Christian. If I had noticed that fact 30 years ago, what has happened now would have happened then." Asked why he has given up the synagogue for the church, Zolli replies, "I have not given it up. Christianity is the completion of the synagogue, for the synagogue was a promise, and Christianity is the fulfillment of that promise." Asked if he therefore believes that the Messiah-Christ-has come, he says, "Yes, positively. I have believed it many years. And now I am so firmly convinced of the truth of it that I can face the whole world and defend my faith with the certainty and solidity of the mountains." That is what he had to do, as Jewish leaders called him a heretic, excommunicated him, proclaimed a fast of several days in atonement for his "treason," and mourned him as one dead. Zolli responded, "When my wife and I embraced the church we lost everything we had in the world. We shall now have to look for work: and God will help us to find some." God did, as Zolli became a writer and teacher. He used the name Eugenio Zoli after converting to the Catholic faith on February 14, 1945, became a professor at the Pontifical Institute, and entered the Third Order of St. Francis. He wrote The Nazarene and Why I became a Catholic (Catholic Books, 1953). Sister Margherita Marchione wrote his biography, Yours is a Precious Witness (New Ork: Paulist Press, 1977) and Judith Cabaud wrote another, Eugenio Zolli, Prophet of a New World (de Guibert, Paris 2000). You can read more here.

The Caspari Center for Biblical & Jewish Studies is currently in the process of compiling a multivolume History of the Jewish Believers in Jesus from Antiquity to the Present: the untold story here.