Can a Gentile be a Jew?
Some Answers from our contributors:
1. If you are asking can a gentile become a Jew, the answer is
yes. If you are asking whether someone can continue to be a non-Jew
and yet be Jewish, the answer is no.
2. A Jew is anybody born from a Jewish mother, or who has
converted to Judaism. If a non-Jew and a Jew have a child and the
mother is a Jew, then according to Judaism all of their children
are Jews. If the father is a Jew and the mother is a non-Jew, the
children are not Jews. (Except in Reform Judaism, which accepts
children of Jewish fathers, as long as the children were raised as
3. Any non-Jew can convert to Judaism and will then be
considered fully Jewish. There is an explanation of this at the
Related Link below.
4. I'd like to split the question in two:
A- Can a Gentile become a Jew?
B- Can a Gentile believe in Jesus and be a Jew?
To the first question, Yes. There is a formal procedure,
involving much study, rabbinic oversight, etc, which if the
candidate is accepted, culminates in a miqveh, and for men,
circumcision. Although Judaism discourages conversion, it also
teaches that a "convert" is to be highly regarded (it isn't always
easy to take on the Torah's obligations if you aren't raised in
it). Also, a person who has completed the conversion process is
viewed by Jewish Law as a full Jew, period.
To the second question, No. Although there can be an
"interpretation" placed on Paul's teachings that one may be a
"spiritual" Jew having had "circumcision of the heart," but this is
contradictory both to Jesus's teaching, as well as the clear
practice and teaching of the Jews.
5. The question doesn't make sense, really. Can a German
Shepherd dog be a Labrador Retriever dog?
6. You can be whatever you want. If you want to follow one of
the major religions, you can do so to your hearts content. You will
always find a sect that will accept you as you are, while others
may reject you since they don't like to accept outsiders.
You can decide you are Jewish, start following all the customs
and holidays, go to temple, etc., teach your children and tell them
they are Jewish. Who can tell you not to?
On the other hand you could just be a free-thinker, an atheist,
or a secular humanist. Secular humanism emphasizes being a good
human being. Either way, if you are a good human being you don't
need to define yourself as anything other than human. Believing in
a god or a prophet is unnecessary. Just love others and help them
as much as you can. This is all you need to do in life to be a
worthy member of the human race. Don't do it because you have to,
do it because you want to. Everything else can easily lead you on
the wrong path. Don't listen to others, listen to your heart. If
you are a good person you will know I'm right.