Messianic Jewish Manifesto

Messianic Jewish Manifesto

Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover. I am Messianic Jewish Manifesto. I made my debut in 1988, emblazoned with a Star of David—an unflinching declaration of my Jewishness.

By my second edition, I wore a red cover with bold black lettering. I am red like Mao Zedong’s Little Red Book. I am a “manifesto” proposing radical ideas like Marx’s Communist Manifesto.

Like those books, I too am a revolutionary, full of fire to topple the status quo, but that’s where our similarities end. Like right and left hands, things that are truly opposite sometimes look similar. The revolutionary ideas I advocate are nothing like the economic or political ideas of communism, nor are they arguments for collectivism or social restructuring. Instead, I am a religious revolutionary—more radical than the reformers and in pursuit of a utopian future beyond any ever dreamed by Marx or Mao.

I first existed in the mind of a Jewish believer in Yeshua, Dr. David H. Stern, of blessed memory (1935-2022). I was a vision, a glimpse of the future, a murmur of truth. I was a stack of objections, uncertain conclusions, and complete contradictions: fragments of conversations exchanged between scholars—both friends and enemies—during the late 1970s. Slowly I gestated into a clear message and mandate. By the end of the decade, I coalesced into typewritten pages collected in a binder.

At that time, I whispered to Dr. Stern, “Messianic Jews need their own Bible translations and commentaries.” He took my advice and set me aside while he translated the Jewish New Testament and wrote his commentary on it. Then he turned his attention back to me, completed me, and published me in 1988. I am Messianic Judaism’s little red book.

First Fruits of Zion