Hebrew Roots Definition

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The term 'Hebrew Roots' is a general term for outreaches and ministries that focus on the need to study the Bible from a Middle East point of view instead of one that is Western-based. They also believe that for the New Testament to be fully understood, especially the Gospels, one has to have a basic grasp of first century A.D. Judea-based religious customs, teachings, and traditions.

Several ministries who believe in Hebrew roots also believe that Christians should adopt, as part of their daily life, some of modern Judaism's beliefs and practices. A certain segment of the movement, however, rejects modern Jewish religious practices. They seek to live as if they were an ancient Israelite existing before the birth of Jesus.

The term Hebrew Roots is utilized by a variety of churches, groups, and outreaches to describe a particular part of their church services. There are also a number of groups that do not refer to themselves as being part of this Hebrew-related movement. Outsiders, however, who observe these fellowships, would likely disagree with this assessment.

Although those who consider themselves Hebrew Roots-based do not belong or are affiliated with a single monolithic group, they do share some common understandings of the Bible.

They share an emphasis that Jesus and his disciples were Jews. The conclusion drawn from this is that, to understand Jesus' ministry and message in a correct way, a grasp of first century A.D. religious culture in Judea and Palestine is needed. They also emphasize that true Christianity, which they define as that which was practiced by the early New Testament church, is not based on paganism. Rather, it is founded on the teachings of the Old Testament.

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Groups and ministries based on Hebrew roots focus on the fact that the scriptures found in the New Testament are related to, and a continuation of, the Old Testament found in the Bible. They also emphasize that the New Testament uses many quotes from the Old Testament. Those who believe in Hebrew Roots stress that a complete comprehension of Biblical teachings cannot be arrived at without studying their Old Testament references to locations, people, and historical events.

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