"Strictly speaking it is incorrect to call an ancient Israelite a "Jew" or to call a contemporary Jew an Israelite or a Hebrew." 1980 Jewish Almanac (p. 3)
"In this last chapter I have tried to show that the evidence from anthropology concurs with history in refuting the popular belief in a Jewish race descended from a biblical tribe." Arthur Koestler, an esteemed Jewish historian and writer, in his book "The Thirteenth Tribe." (p. 199)
"O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones." (1 Chronicles 16:13, the Jewish Torah a.k.a. The Old Testament.)
The flow of human history, the action of men and women on this globe, is driven as much by belief as by hunger, greed, arrogance or hatred. In fact, if you encapsulate an overwhelming material or emotional drive with a powerful belief system you can muster millions of human beings to your call. Every dictator and tyrant in history has reminded his people they are a Great People before he sends them off to die in war against his enemies.
Religious belief was probably the most powerful type of belief system at work in the minds of most men and women throughout history. The Kamikaze pilot plunges into the aircraft carrier believing he is doing the will of his Emperor, a living god. The Christian crusader faces a wall of razor sharp Islamic swords believing that Christ is on his side. The Moslem faces the armored infidel with the assurance that Allah is on his side.
The Western world as we know it today is predominantly the result of men and women acting out of their beliefs in either Christianity or Judaism. Jewish Zionism, operating under the firmly held belief that Jews were God's chosen people, was the fuel that drove the political forces that carved the modern nation of Israel out of what was once called Palestine. The Christians who lent their support, money, and military might to the creation of Israel were motivated by the belief that the Zionist Jews were, as it is written in the Bible, the chosen people.
Many modern Jews today now declare that "Jewishness is a religion, not a race." They do so for three basic reasons:
1. Ninety-five percent of all Jews today cannot trace a single bit of their bloodline, lineage, or genetic material back to the ancient Israelites or Hebrews (see opening quote from a Jewish source). Only five percent of Jews, the Sephardic Jews of northwest Africa, Spain, Portugal and Southern France, can anthropologically trace their racial or genetic lineage to the dispersion of the ancient tribes of Israel.
2. Some, but not all, Jewish religious leaders want to leave room for people to convert to Judaism, just as Christians have persuaded people of all nationalities and races to convert to Christianity.
3. The ancestors of most of modern Jewry were not genetic or bloodline Israelites, but were Khazars, a people of western Asia most closely related to the Turks and Armenians today. These Khazars converted (in 740 A.D.) to Judaism. This is what Arthur Koestler's book is about-the Khazars and their fundamental genetic, cultural, and religious link to modern Jewry.)
The word "Jew," in the Old Testament (and first appearing in 2 Kings 16:6) is a shortening of the word "Judahite," meaning either a member of the tribe of Judah or a convert to the religion of Judah. There is also an occasional geographical meaning in the Bible in the sense that the inhabitants of Judea were sometimes called Judeans or Jews regardless of their descent or religion, just as people from all over the world who live in the United States are generically called Americans.
The going gets controversial when one asks the question: "Then what happened to the lost tribes of Israel, the Israelites, the Hebrews, when they were taken into captivity by the Assyrians?" According to some anthropologists, historians and religionists, ten of those tribes (minus the tribes of Judah and Benjamin) migrated over the Caucasus mountains. Therefore, members of the Caucasian race are their descendants. Yes, these researchers and scholars will claim, the ancient Israelites are the genetic bloodline, the racial ancestors, of what is known today as "the white race." An now you have some very serious debate going on.
The sect of Christianity known today as "Christian Identity" says: "We are Israelites (not Jews) who have embraced Christianity." Identity Christians, as they call themselves, believe that the Old and New Testament teach against the mixing of the races. Identity Christians believe that Jesus holds a special, racial, tribal, or genetic place in history in that Christ is quoted in the Bible as saying: "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Matt. 15.24)
The going gets very controversial when Jesus is quoted as saying: "I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them who say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan." (Revelation 3:9).
And then it really heats up when Jesus is quoted as saying: "Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee." (Revelation 3:9)
There is my primary take on Identity Christianity. If you are a Christian and believe in the Bible, how do you react to this point of view? Is this "anti-Semitism," hatred," and "racism" as some claim? Or is this just another belief system that may or may not change the course of history?