avoid super-


Supersessionism, otherwise known as "replacement theology," is defined as "the traditional Christian belief that Christianity is the fulfillment of Biblical Judaism."* This theological practice is harmful to practicing Jewish people because it assumes that they are missing out on the rest of the story. "Jews who deny that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah fall short of their calling as God's Chosen people...[and]...are no longer considered to be God's chosen people in any sense."

It is not difficult to see why this is a disparaging conviction, and care must be taken to avoid implications that fall into supersessionism.


Martin Luther's PRefaces to the books of the Bible

Luther's Language:

Martin Luther is known for his important role in the Protestant Reformation, but unfortunately he is also known for his contributions to Anti-Semitic rhetoric. One of the several ways he is guilty of this is in his supersessionist thought. In Luther's "New Preface to the Book of Ezekiel," written between 1522 and 1545, he writes, "Thus all the Gentiles who are Christians are the true Israelites and new Jews, born of Christ, the noblest Jew."

It is not difficult to see the way he quickly writes off the modern Jew who does not accept Christ as their savior.


Practicing Christians and public ministers must take care to avoid placing Jesus Messianic narrative overtop the entire Hebrew Bible. Especially when preaching, one must be careful not to imply that Jesus is the one who all Jews have been waiting for. This writes off a great deal of Jewish theology, and implies that modern Jewish people are incomplete. This is damaging and must be avoided.

elw Bidding prayer options

If one is looking for a positive way to include the Jewish people in the prayers of a Christian service, a good example exists in the Bidding Prayers for this Good Friday setting in the Evangelical Lutheran Worship book.

One petition reads:

Let us pray for the Jewish people, the first to hear the word of God.

Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God,

long ago you gave your promise to Abraham and your teaching to Moses.

Hear our prayers that the people you called and elected as your own

may receive the fulfillment of the covenant’s promises.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.


This prayer showcases how simple, and beautiful, it can be to honor the legacy and history of Jewish tradition.