Home ยป The Remnant: Famous Jewish Believers in Jesus Throughout History

The Remnant: Famous Jewish Believers in Jesus Throughout History

by Dr. Eitan Bar
3 minutes read

While rabbinic Judaism managed to overcome and eliminate most other Jewish sects, one group, despite its small size, has survived until now.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul speaks of the “remnant” (11:5), a group of Israelites who remain faithful to God despite the majority of Israelites rejecting Christ. This idea of a faithful remnant is not unique to Paul and can be found throughout the Old Testament. Paul contends that the remnant is evidence of God’s continued faithfulness to His promises to Israel. He also argues that the remnant is proof that God has not rejected Israel but that there is a temporary hardening in part until the full number of Gentiles has come in. The remnant concept is significant because it emphasizes God’s faithfulness and ultimate plan for Israel.

To provide evidence for the existence of a remnant, I present a non-exhaustive list of notable Jewish figures throughout history who have professed their belief in Jesus within various Christian denominations. It took a lot of research to find some of them:

  1. Pope Evaristus (1st century) – Born to a Hellenistic Jewish family in Bethlehem, he is considered a martyr according to Catholic tradition.
  2. Joseph of Tiberias (285-356) was an accomplished historian, writer, politician, and public figure in ancient Tiberias.
  3. Jacob of Kefar Sakhnia (2nd-3rd century) was a Jewish disciple of Jesus who could supernaturally heal snakebites (Tosefta, Tractate Chulin 2:6).
  4. Epiphanius of Salamis (310-402) was born into a family of Romaniote Jews in Beit Govrin. He was a theologian and was considered a saint in both the Orthodox and Catholic churches.
  5. Hillel II (4th century) was the president of the Sanhedrin in the fifth generation of the Amorites of Eretz Israel. He was a Hebrew board fixer who secretly believed in Jesus. He confessed his faith to his students before his death, and his baptism is even described by the doctor from Beit Govrin, Epiphanius of Salamis (in his book “Penarion”).
  6. Pietro Pierloni ben Baruch Leoni Anacletus II (12th century) was a wise Jew who became an “anti-pope.”
  7. Gregorios Bar Hebraeus (1226-1286) was a learned doctor, member of a family of doctors, philosopher, theologian, and historian. His writings are still a central point in the study of the history of Judaism in Islamic countries.
  8. Abner of Burgos (1270-1347) was a physician, philosopher, and apologist who authored “Mora Tzedek” and came to faith in Jesus as a result of a dream.
  9. Rabbi Shlomo Halevi (1351-1445) was a Rabbi and the most influential Jew in Burgos. He became an archbishop for years, and his writings were praised by Rabbi Yitzchak Bar Shesht Barfat (Sage).
  10. Rabbi Alfonso de Alcala (15th century) was a Rabbi, doctor, and professor of medicine who translated the Bible into Latin.
  11. Alfonso de Zamora (1474-1544) was a Jewish sage, Rabbi, professor of Hebrew at the University of Salamanca, and editor of the Hebrew text of the Complotonian Polygot.
  12. Rabbi Pablo de Coronel (1480-1534) was a Rabbi and professor of Hebrew at the University of Salamanca.
  13. Immanuel Tremellius (1510-1580) was a Professor of Hebrew at the prestigious Cambridge University.
  14. Jacob ben Haim Ibn Adonijah (1470-1538) was a researcher of Bible translations into Aramaic, an expert on the wording of the Masora, and publisher of ‘Great Scriptures.’
  15. Rabbi Shmuel Viyoas of Jerusalem (16th century) was the author of the ‘Refining Book’ procedure, which stopped the burning of Jewish books.
  16. Moshe ben Aharon (1716-1670) was a Hazlitt Hebrew teacher at Uppsala University.
  17. Yehuda Yona Hatfati (17th century) was an author and translator of the Hebrew language for the Vatican.
  18. Professor David Mendel (1789-1850) was a theologian and historian.
  19. Dr. Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) was a Prime Minister of England.
  20. Theodor Kohn (1845โ€“1915) was the seventh Archbishop of Olomouc. In 1904 he was forced to resign due to his Jewish origin.
  21. Shalom Ash (1880-1957) was a famous writer and playwright in the Yiddish language.
  22. Rabbi Yitzhak Lichtenstein (1824-1909) served as chief rabbi in Hungary.
  23. Shmuel Yitzchak Yosef Shershebsky (1831-1906) was the founder of a university in China and a translator of the Bible into the Chinese language.
  24. Rabbi Chil Salustovsky (20th century) served as Secretary of the Chief Rabbinate in Jerusalem.

This article was taken from my book, “Why Don’t Jews Believe in Jesus.

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Dr. Eitan Bar
Author, Theologian, Activist