The biggest obstacle for Jews was learning the Jewish background of Jesus Christ.
“Since the 4th century, 90 percent of Jews were persecuted in Jesus’s name. So, most Jewish people know nothing about the Jesus of scripture. They know only the Jesus of Jewish and church history,” he said.
The portrayal of Jesus in the New Testament Gospels as well as what he thought about Jews past, present and future is in a very Jewish context, Fruchtenbaum said.
“What the church (Roman Catholic Church) began teaching was quite the opposite: replacement theology, where the church replaces Israel as God’s people. The teaching of the church especially influenced Augustine, that God has no special ethnic future for the Jewish people, and therefore God has transferred all of his promises. He (Augustine) took the promise away from Israel and gave it to the church. It’s a theology based on anti-Semitism and not based on the teaching of actual scripture. The church made the radical change. There was always a line of church leaders that rejected that, but they were in the minority a long time,” he said.
Dispensational theology is the opposite of replacement theology.
“Dispensational theology says what God promised to Israel, he will fulfill to Israel, and therefore dispensational theology sharply rejects replacement theology,” Fruchtenbaum said.
The key issue separating Messianic Jews and Orthodox Jews is the Messiah’s identity.
“We celebrate the same festivals as Orthodoxy in the same way. We also celebrate the Messiah. Passover for Orthodox Judaism is in remembrance of the exodus out of Egypt. We have an addition to the Seder service, the Passover service. We have the communion service because that came out of the Passover. When Jesus introduced the bread and the cup, it was in the context of the Passover,” he said.