Evangelizing the Chosen People: Missions to the Jews in America, 1880-2000

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Univ of North Carolina Press, 2000 - History - 367 pages
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With this book, Yaakov Ariel offers the first comprehensive history of Protestant evangelization of Jews in America to the present day. Based on unprecedented research in missionary archives as well as Jewish writings, the book analyzes the theology and activities of both the missions and the converts and describes the reactions of the Jewish community, which in turn helped to shape the evangelical activity directed toward it.



Ariel delineates three successive waves of evangelism, the first directed toward poor Jewish immigrants, the second toward American-born Jews trying to assimilate, and the third toward Jewish baby boomers influenced by the counterculture of the Vietnam War era. After World War II, the missionary impulse became almost exclusively the realm of conservative evangelicals, as the more liberal segments of American Christianity took the path of interfaith dialogue.



As Ariel shows, these missionary efforts have profoundly influenced Christian-Jewish relations. Jews have seen the missionary movement as a continuation of attempts to delegitimize Judaism and to do away with Jews through assimilation or annihilation. But to conservative evangelical Christians, who support the State of Israel, evangelizing Jews is a manifestation of goodwill toward them.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Eschatology and Mission
9
The Missionary Work
22
The Converts
38
The Jewish Reaction
55
The Reputation of the Missions
69
Choosing Sides
79
Getting Acquainted with the Jews
83
American Missionary Work in Israel
143
The Converts Community
165
The Missionary Impulse
175
A Less Heated Reaction
185
The Changing Times
195
Jews for Jesus and the Evangelization of a New Generation
200
The Rise of Messianic Judaism
220
The Missionaries Become Real
252

The Yiddish Translation of the New Testament
88
The Moody Bible Institute and the Training of Missionaries to the Jews
93
The Rise of the American Board of Missions to the Jews
101
Tension and Rivalry
114
The Rise and Fall of the Presbyterian Mission to the Jews
123
The Chicago Hebrew Mission
135
The New Face of the Missionary Movement
270
Conclusion
287
Notes
293
Bibliography
329
Index
355
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Page 334 - Being a report of conferences on the subject held at Budapest and Warsaw in April 1927. (London : Edinburgh House Press.

About the author (2000)

Yaakov Ariel is assistant professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of "On Behalf of Israel: American Fundamentalist Attitudes towards Jews, Judaism, and Zionism, 1865-1945.

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