My pastor mentioned something tonight that caused me to ask the above question. I have searched and cannot find a definitive answser. However, my research shows that most Jews consider a Jew to be someone who:
- Is a descendant physically or spiritually of Jacob
- Has a Jewish mother
- Has officially converted to Judaism
- Is an Israelite
But this brings up another question. On the JewFaq.org site, under the heading “Who is a Jew?” I found the following statement:
“It is important to note that being a Jew has nothing to do with what you believe or what you do. A person born to non-Jewish parents who has not undergone the formal process of conversion but who believes everything that Orthodox Jews believe and observes every law and custom of Judaism is still a non-Jew, even in the eyes of the most liberal movements of Judaism, and a person born to a Jewish mother who is an atheist and never practices the Jewish religion is still a Jew, even in the eyes of the ultra-Orthodox. In this sense, Judaism is more like a nationality than like other religions, and being Jewish is like a citizenship.”
Now, if being a Jew has nothing to do with what one believes, then how can someone who is a Jew one day, become a non-Jew the next day by believing that Christ is the Messiah? Can someone please answer this for me?