A GUIDE TO MISSIONARY TACTICS
NOTE: Please be aware that this guide is intended to
teach you about the tactics used by missionary groups and
cults. Future guides in this series will inform you
concerning specific missionary arguments and how to deal
with them effectively.
The tactics of missionaries and missionary groups may
vary, but there are some basic guidelines to keep in mind
that will be helpful in dealing with them.
Some missionaries attempt to develop a rapport with their
subject without divulging their own religious affiliation.
If you are not sure about the religious identity of the
stranger who begins talking to you about religion, ask him
directly if he is a believer in Jesus. Be suspicious of an
Don't be deceived by any outer signs of Jewishness, such
as a "Chai" necklace or a Star of David. They are worn to
make Jews feel more comfortable by making the speaker seem
less "Christian". For the same reason, missionaries are
coached by their superiors to avoid using words such as
"Christ" or "saved" or "baptize" when speaking to Jews, in
order not to arouse suspicion.
When talking to a Jewish person about religion, a
missionary may attempt to elicit as many "I don't know"
responses as possible, in order to establish his superiority
in matters of religion. Don't allow yourself to be
Remember, the missionary has studied Jewish beliefs for
the sole purpose of leading Jews to Christianity. Keep in
mind that he is not speaking to you in order to exchange
ideas, but rather to lead you away from your religion. If
you want to learn more about the Jewish Bible, do so from
someone who doesn't have hidden motives. Therefore, feel
free to simply end the conversation and walk away.
However, some of you may want to listen to their
arguments and then learn the Jewish response, in order to be
better prepared for future encounters. The following
pointers should give you a basic idea of what to look
The missionary may tell you that he (or a Christian
friend or acquaintance) was once an Orthodox Jew, or that he
had a solid Jewish education, a traditional Jewish family
life, etc. This is almost always a lie, so don't let him
fool you. The hidden message that he is attempting to convey
is that he came to believe in Jesus after knowing and
overcoming all of the Jewish objections, and therefore, why
should you bother to check it out?
He may drop certain Yiddish phrases or talk about the
details of his "traditional" Jewish upbringing, in order to
lend more credence to his story. In fact, his "memory" is
often the result of careful coaching.
Usually, all that is necessary to expose this type of
hoax is to ask him about various small details of Jewish
life that any observant Jewish child would know, and see how
he responds. In almost all cases, he will begin to hedge
about the extent of his "background" and "Jewish knowledge".
Unfortunately, most Jews are themselves not knowledgeable
enough to be able to expose this type of deception.
In the same vein, the missionary might tell you that he
knows the Jewish objections to his arguments, and will then
proceed to show how such objectives are ill-founded. Don't
expect to hear the real Jewish response from such a
LOVING US TO DEATH
Don't be taken in by the "good cop - bad cop" routine.
This routine involves a "bad cop" who threatens the subject,
and a "good cop" who protects him from the "bad cop". The
subject is so grateful to the "good cop", and so worried
about losing the good-will of his protector, that he
invariably shows his appreciation by telling the "good cop"
what he wants to hear. In similar fashion, the "good"
Christian talks about how much he loves Jews, Israel, bagels
and lox, etc., while denouncing the "bad" Christians who
hate and persecute Jews. A Jew with any knowledge of
Christian anti-Semitism will feel grateful to the "good
cop", and may automatically judge him to be a friend and
reliable ally. Watch out for hidden motives behind such
At the outset, the missionary will talk about his belief
that Jesus is the messiah. Many Jews don't find out until
later, often after they have joined a Hebrew-Christian
group, that their fundamental belief is that Jesus is G-D.
Any talk about "the messiah" or "son of G-D" is merely a
cover for that belief, basic to both fundamentalist
Christianity and Hebrew-Christians. However, since such a
concept is repugnant to most Jews, this most basic belief of
Christianity is glossed over as much as possible when
missionaries talk to Jews.
THE NUMBERS RACKET
Don't be impressed by the claim that Christians have 50,
or 100, or 300 "proofs from the Jewish Bible" that they are
correct in their claims about Jesus. As proof after proof is
shown to be meaningless, the missionary will hide behind his
numbers, as if to say: "Well, we have so many more proofs,
what's the difference if you can disprove some of them". He
will attempt to "split the difference" with you: "Well, even
if half our proofs prove nothing, we still have another 25
or 50, or 150". Remember, all of their proofs can be shown
to be untenable. Keep in mind that a faulty point is not
worth 50% of a good point, or 25%, or 10%. It is worthless.
The simple mathematics are: 50 x 0 = 0, 100 x 0 = 0, 300 x 0
Very often, the reasoning used by Christian missionaries
is circular. That is, the "proof" only points to Jesus if
you believe in him in the first place, and therefore is no
proof at all.
Let us take as an example the words of Isaiah 11:2; "And
the spirit of the L-rd will rest upon him (the messiah), the
spirit of wisdom and understanding...". This verse refers to
the messiah, but it does not identify him. The followers of
Jesus chose to attribute this verse to him, and it
subsequently became one of the "proof-texts" to support the
claims of Christianity.
One way to test such verses is as follows: Pick a figure
that neither you nor the missionary believes to be the
messiah. (It can be George Washington, Reverend Moon, or
your great- grandfather.) Then see if the "messianic
prophecy" would point to the figure in the eyes of anyone
who believed him to be the messiah. If it can be used that
way, the verse obviously proves nothing.
Be aware of the problem of mistranslation. A person who
is not familiar with Hebrew (or with the Hebrew text of the
Bible) can be lead to accept a mistranslation of the Bible
which puts a Christian "twist" on a verse that never had
such a meaning in the original. If you can't check it out
yourself, talk to a reliable person who can. Remember, it is
no coincidence that the Jews of past generations, who were
much better versed in the original Hebrew Bible, never had
any serious problems refuting Christian missionary
QUOTING OUT OF CONTEXT
Often a verse will be quoted to you that has been taken
entirely out of context. When the entire chapter that
contains that verse is read, it becomes clear that: 1) that
the verse is not a messianic prophecy, and/or 2) the
prophecy could not possibly refer to Jesus.
USE THE PROPER RESOURCES!
Most rabbis spend their time studying the positive
aspects of Judaism to teach to their congregants, and
therefore may not be familiar with the "curve-ball" approach
of missionaries. If you need advice concerning a problem of
this sort, get in touch with people who are familiar with
the tactics being used and who know how to deal with
FOR JUDAISM is there for this purpose.
We can help or refer you to someone who can.