Most modern Christ-followers mistakenly think that the New Testament states that the Jewish people rejected Jesus. But is their reading of the New Testament itself accurate?
The foundational proof text for the idea of the “Jews rejecting Jesus” comes from the traditional misreading of the Gospel of John, wherein translation from the original Koine Judeo-Greek we read: “He came unto His own, but his own received him not.” (Jn. 1:11).
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The standard interpretation equates “his own” with first-century people of the Jewish religion; thus making two basic interpretive mistakes. First, it ignores the grammar of the original – the first “own” is neuter (τὰ ἴδια), but second “own” is masculine (οἱ ἴδιοι). This indicates that at least the first “his own” cannot possibly refer to the Jews! The second mistake ignores the fact that the word (Ἰουδαῖοι) used in John’s Gospel, translated traditionally as “Jews” back then did not mean “people of the Jewish religion” as it does today. The primary meaning of this word was “Judeans” or even “the leaders of the Judean region.”
The New Testament acknowledges that there was a veil placed upon Israel for the spiritual benefit of other nations (reminiscent of the veil that was once placed on Moses’ face!). But the New Testament never claims that “the Jews rejected Jesus.”
The question that bothers Apostle Paul is why “not all Jews believed in Jesus”? He formulated it as follows: “Did God reject His people?”
A very clear answer followed – absolutely not! … at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. (Romans 11:1,5)
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