What is the Hebrew Faith?
“I am a Hebrew and I fear the Almighty, who made heaven and earth” Jonah 1:9
People often ask who we are, what we are, or how we define ourselves in terms of our religious faith? The answer is as simple as it is profound. We hold to the Hebrew faith as reflected in the Hebrew Bible, or what is often called the Old Testament.
So what is the Hebrew faith? And perhaps just as important, what is it not?
It is not Judaism although it affirms the vital and ongoing role of the chosen people of Israel in the unfolding plan of the Creator God, including their prophetic return to the Land of Israel in the latter days. Israel’s central mission is to provide a light and an example to the rest of the world, as a witness to the One God, His ethical Way of life, and to God’s prophetic Plan for the entire world.
But the Hebrew faith is broader than Judaism per se.
It is universal in its scope, reflecting the visionary perspectives of the Hebrew Bible: “Turn to Me, all the ends of the earth;” “My House shall be a house of prayer for all peoples,” and “the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Almighty as the waters cover the seas.”
Abraham is the first one called a “Hebrew” in the Bible. The word means “one who had crossed over.” He had left his homeland of Babylon, his family, and his countrymen, following the leading of God to the promised Land. He becomes a “great nation” but he is specifically chosen because he will teach “his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Almighty by doing justice and righteousness.” Abraham pioneers a Way of faith, walking in a personal relationship with God that is applicable not only to his children, but to his larger household who were not his physical offspring. He provides a model for all humanity to follow.
The prophetic Plan revealed in the Hebrew Bible is that “all nations” will someday be drawn to the One Creator God of the Bible and experience an era of peace, prosperity, justice, and righteousness. This messianic hope, as laid out by the Prophets, is the only hope of humankind.
The Way of the Creator is revealed by a careful historical reading of the Torah, the Prophets, and the Psalms, as inaugurated by the great prophet Moses, and proclaimed by the Hebrew Prophets to all nations. Any human being who responds to that Biblical message of ethical Monotheism, and seeks to apply the teachings of the Bible to his or her life, can rightly become part of the greater Hebrew Faith. This individual act of faith and commitment transcends any particular creed, council, denomination, tradition, or human organization. No intercessors or mediators are required. We invite all who are so moved to join us on these ancient paths, upholding the Hebrew faith as it is revealed in the Bible, and thereby beginning on this exciting “road less traveled.”
The principle texts upon which these affirmations are based are: Jonah 1:9; Isaiah 43:10-11; Isaiah 45:22; Isaiah 56:7; Isaiah 11:9; Genesis 14:13; Genesis 12:1-3; Micah 4:1-5:4; Isaiah 59:16-22: Jeremiah 6:16