How do I answer this objection about the jews?

Scilent

Well-Known Member
The following is an objection that I don't hear hardly ever... until recently... and I haven't had a chance to study up on it concerning Israel.

They object and say about Israel that the jews being back into the land are not "real" jews. That genetically they're just Europeans that have colonized the middle east. That the ashkenazi jews really aren't jews. In contrast, I've yet to hear complaints about Shephardic jews. I'm not sure if I just haven't heard it yet or if the Shephardic jews are more "authentic" to these objectioners.

So, what's the deal with the Ashkenazi jews? My lack of past study in this causes me to ask you all with more learning than I.... these are "real" jews right? Is there any basis to their objections concerning the jews that have returned to the land?

If they're not real Jews, they say then that we cannot really say that Ezekiel 37:1-14 (Valley of Dry Bones) prophecy hasn't really taken place (partially anyway).

Please don't misunderstand... I DO believe that God is bringing them back into the land... I'd just like some good reasoned arguments to answer these accusations.

Are there genetic studies out there that have shown this argument to be false, etc....?
 

Lynn

Longing for Home
I DO believe that God is bringing them back into the land... I'd just like some good reasoned arguments to answer these accusations.
Throughout God's Word, He says time and time again that He will return them to the land that He promised to their fathers. Use your smartphone to look up all the reference verses. God's Word is the best 'reasoned' argument. The apostle Paul used nothing else, nor did Jesus.
 

DanLMP

Well-Known Member
From One for Israel:

Are Today’s Jews Genetically Descended From the Biblical Israelites?
By ONE FOR ISRAEL (Messianic Jews in Israel)


There is an accusation circulating widely these days that the Jewish people are not really indigenous to Israel, but are actually white Europeans, descendants of an Eastern European people group called the Khazars, who have no business being in the Middle East.
Unsurprisingly, these ideas are very popular among anti-Semites but they have even caught on in some Christian circles, suggesting that the Jewish people are unrelated to the ancient Israelites, and have no real history in Israel or connection to the land.
This theory took hold largely thanks to a book published in 1978 by a man called Arthur Koestler, who was in fact Jewish! He was an atheist who rejected the Bible but nonetheless, experienced anti-Semitism just the same as any other Jew. He felt if he could just prove that the Jewish people of today are not related to the twelve tribes of the Bible, then the blight of anti-Semitism would be eradicated from the earth. He collected a lot of data and presented his case in his book, “The Thirteenth Tribe”.
Koestler was a writer and an intellectual with interests in Zionism and history, among other things, who brought forward a theory which he felt would change the way the world interacted with the Jews, but ironically, it was anti-Semites who alighted upon his theory with glee. The Saudi Arabian delegate to the United Nations claimed that the theory presented in Koestler’s book “negated Israel’s right to exist”, and neo-Nazi magazine The Thunderbolt declared it “the political bombshell of the century”.[1]

His book does indeed contain many historical facts, but was not well accepted among scholars. Anne Applebaum in The New York Review Of Books[2] concludes after reading a biography, “He understood the term “intellectual” in a much broader sense than we do today, and felt comfortable ranging over a huge number of fields in which he had no professional expertise whatsoever”.

Ultimately, science and genetic testing available today proves that his central assertion was wrong. The vast majority of Jews today can be traced genetically back to the Levant area, not the Khazars.

So what’s the story with the Khazars?
A people group from an area north of Turkey, just above Georgia, called the Khazars are alleged to have converted to Judaism about 1300 years ago. We have Jewish writings and archaeological evidence[3] testifying to the event of the Khazars adopting rabbinic Judaism en masse some time in the eighth century. However their adoption of Judaism doesn’t seem to have lasted long or penetrated their culture significantly – or vice versa.[4]

The story is told in Yehuda HaLevi’s acclaimed twelfth century book The Kuzari, which was written about the time of intense dialogue between the three monotheistic religions. Greek philosophy was widespread after much of the key writings had been translated into Arabic – a language that was commonly understood at the time due to the large areas that had been conquered by Islam. In fact, in the ninth century, 90% of Jews lived in Muslim countries, and HaLevi’s book was written, like many other Jewish works in the Middle Ages, in what is known as “Judeo-Arabic”, which is Arabic words written with Hebrew letters. Debate and polemics were very popular, as respected men of all traditions discussed ontology – matters of truth – trying to get to the bottom of who God is and what we are all doing here. HaLevi’s book claims to be a recreation of how the King Bulan of the Khazar people listened to presentations from a Greek philosopher, a Christian, a Muslim and a Jew all defending their beliefs and arguing why their understanding of God is the correct way to go. The King was ultimately persuaded by the Jewish apologetics and the entire people group subsequently accepted Judaism. Rabbinic Judaism, with no Yeshua in it, mind you.

How did the mass conversion affect Israel?
As is often the case, one thing being true does not render the other invalid. The people of Israel did not evaporate even though the Khazars may have converted to rabbinic Judaism and been absorbed into the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob… just as many other proselytes had done before, from the Exodus onwards. A “mixed multitude” of Egyptians came out with the Israelites; Canaanites like Rahab, Moabites like Ruth also joined along the way, and later many Persians joined the Jews as recorded in the book of Esther (8:17). A careful look through scripture reveals that many from gentile nations are recorded as having joined the house of Israel, without compromising the twelve tribes existence or nationhood, even before Yeshua came on the scene. He knew very well that he was among the people of Israel, and spoke to them as such, despite the fact that many from other nations had been included over the years.
Yeshua talks about the earnest proselytisation efforts of the Pharisees (though not in a very positive manner, it has to be said):

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.” Matt 23:15

The trouble was that the Pharisees were enthusiastically converting gentiles into their twisted and man-made version of Judaism, rather than the God-breathed covenant of Sinai. They were more interested in exacting rules than in worshiping in Spirit and in truth. That problem was exacerbated even further by the eighth century. Shortly after the time of Yeshua, the Pharisee sect grew stronger than the others (the Saduccees, the Essenes, the Zealots) and eventually took exclusive control of what it meant to be a Jew. In the centuries that followed, they became the Sages who determined the content of the Talmud and Rabbinic writings that are followed today, and they built their version of the Torah around two problems: a non-existent temple and a Messiah they wished to avoid. New systems and laws were invented and passed on to perpetuate their religion which had become detached from the God of Israel and the New Covenant. Ironically, the Talmud was in the process of codification and completion around the same time as the Khazar conversion. There was significant tension at that time within Judaism as to whether the rabbinic writings held the same authority as the Bible. The Karaite movement that was strong at that time held that only the Bible had divine authority, but in the end their movement dwindled and the Rabbinic Judaism that emerged now concentrates more on the Talmud than the Bible.

So while Yehuda HaLevi does an admirable job of explaining each faith through imagined proponents and apologists, and even though his presentation of Judaism is beautiful and easy to embrace, the fact is that the Khazars were offered the religion of whitewashed tombs. And that is what they got. Moreover, as the wheels of history turned, things got from bad to worse, egged on by persecution from those who claimed to be “Christians”. Tragically, the church’s relentless battering of the Jewish people wherever they went pushed many further and further away from the truth of the gospel.

What does God have to say about the matter?
No other people group have ever survived such a long exile without vanishing completely. You hear of “Russian Jews”, “Moroccan Jews”, and “American Jews”, but you do not hear about “Italian Medes” or “Ukrainian Chaldeans”. The sands of time have long since washed these civilisations away. Yet the Jewish people endure. Why? Nothing short of the saving hand of their God has preserved the Jewish people. Assimilation and intermarriage has not managed to erase Jewish culture and heritage, and neither have the repeated attempts at violent annihilation. Even Israel’s errors will not be able to stop God’s purposes for them, or render his promises invalid.

Thus says Adonai,
who gives the sun as a light by day
and the fixed order of the moon
and the stars as a light by night,
who stirs up the sea so its waves roar,
Adonai-Tzva’ot is His Name:
“Only if this fixed order departs from before Me”
—it is a declaration of Adonai—
“then also might Israel’s offspring cease
from being a nation
before Me—for all time.”
(Jeremiah 31:34-35)


In other words, so long as the sun, moon and stars are in the sky, the people of Israel will continue to exist as a nation. This is a promise of God.

Even if the Khazars did indeed convert as a people group in the eighth century, the house of Israel has absorbed many from other nations in the past, and Yeshua himself has some gentile ancestry. Such an event would not by any means wipe out God’s chosen people. The house of Israel and God’s promises to it still stand. In fact, there are many promises about the end days that reveal that the people of Israel will be back in the land of Israel when the Messiah comes again. (Ezekiel 20:40-41, Ezekiel 37, Zechariah 12, Amos 9 and many more).

Along with many other believers of his day who saw the promises of God to restore Israel, Isaac Newton wrote long lists of these Bible references that prophesied the return of the Jews to their homeland, noting that it is mentioned in “almost all ye prophets”.[5] Back in the seventeenth century, Newton even made calculated estimates of the dates of their return, based on numbers given in the book of Daniel, saying that the call to return and rebuild Jerusalem would go out in 1895 or 1896 (in fact it was 1897 at the Basel Congress) and that it would could come to pass in 1944 [6]. He was very close! God has been absolutely faithful in fulfilling his promises throughout history, and if he said he would return his people to the land, then we can be sure that he meant it. God knows the end from the beginning, and he also knows who are the real people of Israel. We can be confident that he knows who to gather back to his land.

Science backs up the Bible
Koestler was no doubt a brilliant, prolific, and award-winning writer, but even though he references some reputable sources in his book, it has ultimately been more warmly received by conspiracy theorists than scholars. Koestler wrote, “I have tried to show that the evidence from anthropology concurs with history in refuting the popular belief in a Jewish race descended from the biblical tribe.” According to biographer, Michael Scammell, he was “convinced that if he could prove that the bulk of Eastern European Jews (the ancestors of today’s Ashkenazim) were descended from the Khazars, the racial basis for anti-Semitism would be removed and anti-Semitism itself could disappear”.[See note 2, p.546] There certainly is some truth in the genetic connection with the Khazars, but not nearly to the extent that Koestler would have us believe. His main source, Douglas Dunlop, an expert on the Khazars, was considerably more cautious in his claims. The fact is now we can look to science and genetic testing to get to the bottom of the mystery and test this theory in a laboratory – and that is what several people have done.

Genetics expert, Dr. Karl Skorecki, has been involved in several research projects concerning the genetics of Jewish people. In an interview[7], he confirmed that DNA markers for self-identifying Jews show a high degree of relatedness to each other and great affinity to each other, wherever they might be from (Morocco, Lithuania, Iraq, India, Europe etc) which indicates a common ancestry, and that the closest non Jewish populations genetically are Levantine populations: Druze, Palestinians, Cypriots, Syrians.

In short, Ashkenazi Jews are highly related to Sephardic Jews, and all of them are closely related to populations in the Middle East.

Along with many other studies, his research found that, “In contrast to the previously suggested Eastern European origin for Ashkenazi Levites, the current data are indicative of a geographic source of the Levite founder lineage in the Near East and its likely presence among pre-Diaspora Hebrews.”[8]

The faithfulness of God
God is not a liar. If he says he will regather his people, Israel, then that is exactly what he will do. He can see our DNA without the need of a laboratory, and he knows who he is bringing back to the land. He will make sure that his word is fulfilled, because he has put his word above his name. He is so sure that he will do what he said, that his very reputation is riding on it. God is happy to have it that way – to stake his glory and honour on his word coming to pass, because he will never let one word fall to the ground.
  • He promised to keep Israel as a nation as long as the sun, moon and stars are in place. (Jeremiah 31:34-35)
  • He promised to bring them back to the land, never to be uprooted again. (Amos 9:15)
  • And he promised that they would one day recognise his Son, Yeshua, as the Messiah. (Zechariah 12:10)
God knows who the people of Israel are and where they are – every single one. He cannot be fooled and his purposes cannot be thwarted. You can be certain of that. God is restoring Israel, just as he said, step by step, promise by promise.

“I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name.” (Ps. 138:2)


Source: One for Israel
 

Sowen

Well-Known Member
Yes, they're real Jews as in they're descendants of Jacob from the Bible.

There's no Jewish gene, but we've the technology today to prove Jewish ancestry through specific genetic markers that are found in both Ashkenazi and non-Ashkenazi Jews. One of these markers can determine whether you're descended from Levi, more specifically the priesthood. Run a search on "Cohen Modal Haplotype" for more info on that.

Here's a study that basically says about half of the Ashkenazi Jews can be traced to just four Jewish women.
 

Scilent

Well-Known Member
Thank you all for the replies. I've always believed that they're true Jews, but I've never needed to respond to someone in person that's questioned that before, so I'm trying to bone up on it. Specifically from a scientific point of view for the person that gives no thought about what the Bible says. Thanks DanLMP

Of course I do rely on Bible proof texts for the "christians" that think this way.
 

Lynn

Longing for Home
God is not a liar. If he says he will regather his people, Israel, then that is exactly what he will do. He can see our DNA without the need of a laboratory, and he knows who he is bringing back to the land. He will make sure that his word is fulfilled, because he has put his word above his name. He is so sure that he will do what he said, that his very reputation is riding on it. God is happy to have it that way – to stake his glory and honour on his word coming to pass, because he will never let one word fall to the ground
That's really all that needs to be said regarding this man's book about the Jews. I wouldn't give this author a second look/consideration. Not reliable if his word contradicts '
'The' Word
 
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