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Nehemiah Gordon – an anti-missionary?

(UPDATE: Nehemiah Gordon responded to this post, explaining his side of things: the anti-missionary website linked below was inherited from Gordon's mentor, Mordechai Alfandari, after his death. Gordon explains his heart has never been into anti-missionary work. Read his response and decide for yourselves.)

In yesterday’s post, I relayed a letter from prominent Karaite Nehemiah Gordon regarding his views on Yeshua, Messianics, Jews, and Christians:
I have not converted to Christianity nor do I attempt to convince anyone to change their faith. [Emphasis mine]
Let me start with my views on Jesus of Nazareth, or as he was known 2000 years ago, "Yeshua". Over the past few years I have gained a great respect for his teachings, but I have not embraced the Christian faith nor have I become a "Messianic Jew." I clearly state this in all of my presentations in order to avoid any possible confusion.

As a Karaite Jew, I await the coming of an anointed King (in Hebrew: "Messiah") who will be a direct descendant of King David. I have no idea what his name will be and therefore I do not rule out the possibility that his name will be "Yeshua".
Despite Gordon’s claims that he does not try to convert Messiah’s disciples to the Karaite religion, it’s been brought to my attention that Gordon actually runs an anti-missionary site.

This makes Gordon’s letter ring hollow and deceptive.

I don’t lightly throw around the term deceptive, but it would appear Gordon is deceiving people when he says he he doesn’t try to convert people to the Karaite religion, then behind the scenes, operates a site that will try to persuade you, with all the tired arguments, to abandon our hope in the King.

Perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising: modern Jewish anti-missionaries borrow much of their arguments from a famous medieval Karaite anti-Yeshua work. Karaites have a history when it comes to denying the Master.

I am contemplating removing yesterday’s post as I have no interest in promoting false statements from folks who, lip service aside, ultimately reject the Messiah and apparently try to persuade others to do the same.


  1. He seems like a Karaite Rabbi Riskin...

  2. He calls the cross an "abominable sacrifice" on LOI

  3. Yes, reminded me of Riskin as well.

    To be fair, Gordon actually inherited this anti-missionary site from another Karaite, who has since passed away.

    Still, as I understand it, Gordon runs the site, and his own Karaite Korner website leads to anti-missionary materials.

  4. The Light of Israel website is pretty unimpressive. Single page op-eds with half-quotes from the KJV. Not exactly brimming with the best of Biblical scholarship.

  5. Gordon has hung out with Messianics for years in an attempt to gain exposure for himself. The Messianics that have embraced him have done so under the banner of "an enemy of my enemy is my friend". This is because, like Gordan, most Messianics are not so much pro-Yeshua as anti-Christian.

    If we are trying to win over our Christian brethren, we should not use a club like Gordon, but show them the Spirit that comes from walking a Godly walk.

  6. I've been somewhat aware of Nehemiah Gordon and Karaite Jews but I fail to understand why the Messianic movement is hanging their hat on this rabbi or that. I suppose in some sense, we may be seeking validation from "mainstream Judaism", but aren't we to seek the approval of God and not men (Galatians 1:10)?

  7. Hello guys,

    Perhaps instead of looking at Mr. Gordon's outlook at Yeshua (he is Jewish, you know) you could look at what God could be doing in our world amongst followers of Yeshua and Jews. The fact that Mr. Gordon has a close friendship with Keith Johnson, and has written a book with him that studies the Lord's Prayer for the pure reason of coming together to study something they have in common (ie., a Hebrew prayer taught by a Jewish rabbi) should pique your interest. Read Ephesians is beginning to happen in front of our eyes. Pray for Nehemiah. If the veil comes down over his eyes, Holy Cow how God could use him in the Jewish world!

  8. Why do you think that we are not aware of who our historical Jew from 2000 years was? Why can't you grasp that we cannot and won't accept a pagan counterfeit image named Jesus? Even in your highly corrupted and redacted book, does he mention that he will reject you all. No suprise to the learned.

  9. to every christian, messianic jew, never forget that you were once one who did not believe in the Lord. to every non believer take note "every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that He is Lord"

  10. I am a Karaite,am convinced the Torah was devinely given,that is dictated to Mosheh on mount Sinai.It is complete and perfect,needs no additions of any kind,not by any rabbi,not even by the one that lived 20 centuries ago.
    But to claim that rabbi bargained with Abram,restled with Jacov,and was in the brick-oven with Michael,Shadra and Nabadnigo is an outright idolotry,even more than worshipping immages of stone or wood,etc.

    I had so far very limited contact with Nehemiah Gordon,but I just can not see why a Karaite Jew would ever be interested studying and investigating the Jewish roots of that so called "Christianity".

    The rabbi's Jewish roots,even his geneological record,while most part of it can not be correct,as the records were distroyed by Bebuzaradan's troops, but it is there in the book. His brother James (see the Gospel of James)does clarify any doubt of his family origin. Luke show that Mary (Miriam) was a Levite.

    "Christianity" is only a new name,or a code word for Mitraism.
    Mitra was born from non-human origin in a cave,out of the bed-rock,on December 25. (Go see in Bethlehem in the cave under the Church of Nativity),now it is claimed that was where the rabbi was born.
    Mitraites celebrated X-mas, easter, worshipped on the first day of the week,used the cross ,that is the symbol of Tammuz the babilonian god of nature.etc.etc. Yet, those are NOT in the terxt of the NT. Seems that while they succumed to Constatines offer,they really pulled a fast-one on the emperor. Yet the leaders (bishops) agreed at Nicea in 325 to adopt Constantine's faith in return to avoid being fed to lions,and choped-up by the gladiators in Circus Maximus.As Nero and Gallius did for refusing to emperor worship. Constantine issed his law of "Sole invictus" requireing all to worship his god on the sunday. Those who refused to comply were procecuted by Constantine,and declaired "heretics" by the so called Christian bishops. But who would you think they were who kept the Sabbath?

    So,all that so called Christian practice is nothing but paying homeage to Rome. Worshipping the immage of a mortal man who lived twenty centurys ago; is idolatry, a transgrassion of the First and Second Mitzvah/Commandment. Idolotry, whatever excuses are presented.
    Now ,you bow your knees before the immage of that rabbi !

    1. you should really read something before commenting on it, it says nowhere that mirriam was a levite, just that an ancestor was named levi and that was several generations after david in the lineage. as for your mithraism comments,certain "religions" have tried to change torah to fit their wants and are guilty of idolatry but, a true believer in yeshua as messiah uses only torah as truth with the writings of his diciples as witness to his deeds and teachings.

  11. Pretty funny claims about the pagan / christian origins by Anonymous. Check out the Wikipedia page, and you can see there is minimal similarities:

    In general, though I encourage keeping the contents to the substance of the site, and not on ... it's less than polished appearace.

  12. Let's just pray for Nehemiah because believers in Yeshua are called to be peace makers and to love their enemies. The Holy Spirit WILL move through him one day and I am confident Mr. Gordon will fall on his knees and worship the Lord in all his glory. Pray with me, won't you? And while you're at it, lift up all the Karaite Jews and love them even if they spit in your face because they find it so disgusting to follow Yeshua as THE Messiah.

  13. I like nehemiah gordon I want to learn more, though. I don't have a lot of information though about him or his beliefs. The anonymous poster was thorough and I have read about mithraism and I agree with most of his perspective on christianity. I believe that yeshua was the messiah no matter the corruption that followed. Im still very new to it all but am thankful for others who are also learning and seeing things differently
    Im a mother and feel compelled to know what to teach my children....

  14. Hi Judah, For the record, I do not run the "Light of Israel" website you linked to. It was the website of my friend Mordechai Alfandari and its maintenance fell to me after he passed away. However, I decided to take a different direction from Mordechai years ago as I explained in my post "The Good News of Passover" here:

    Here is what I wrote there on this subject:

    "Over the years I've met Jews of both the rabbinical and Karaite persuasions who do feel called to convince people to embrace the Jewish faith. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with this approach but it is the exception to the rule. One such exception was an old Karaite man in Jerusalem named Mordechai Alfandari. He once told me how Christian missionaries used to harass him on the subway in New York when he was a boy. He spent a great deal of his energies over the next 60 years engaged in Jewish apologetics. I consider Mordechai my mentor as he is the one who opened my eyes to speaking the name of God, which incidentally he pronounced Yihweh. When Mordechai passed away in 1999 I felt like it was expected of me to follow in his footsteps as a counter-missionary but my heart was never in it. The more time I spent speaking with Christians, the more I found I had in common with them. It seemed to me to be a colossal waste of time and energy arguing with them when there was so much we could learn from one another. I realized you can always find differences with people if you want to. God knows there are plenty of differences between me and other Jews and even between me and other Karaites. I decided I would focus my energies on what I have in common with people rather than the differences."

    I hope this helps clarify the issue.

    Nehemia Gordon

  15. Nehemiah,

    Thanks for the clarification.

    For the sake of fairness and amplification of clarity, I will update the post to include your statement.

  16. Nehemiah, I have just finished watching your video on "The Hebrew Yeshua v The Greek Jesus."
    I thought you made some utterly brilliant observations and I resonated with practically everything you said and sat there wanting to show all our brethren.
    BUT when you concluded.... you shook me to the foundations! Your honesty is admirable.... yes, BUT I felt you tragically lost so much credibility with your your point-blank refusal to regard Yeshua as The Messiah.(your prerogative of course!)
    I am completely stymied as to how such an obviously mammoth intellect such as yourself can NOT see Messiah all the way through The Tanakh AND the B'rit Hadashah.
    In the latter, Yochanan [1John4:2-3] exhorts us to test the spirits, since there were, even then, so many false spirits out in the world. He says, "By this the Spirit of Elohim is known; every spirit that confesses that Y'shua the Mashiyach has come in the flesh is of Elohim. And every spirit which does not confess that Y'shua the Mashiyach has come in the flesh is not of Elohim...."
    This is where my worry lies Nehemiah. You are such a wonderful teacher in linguistics no doubt,and I thank you most sincerely for your expertise, and for the insights you have shared with us, - but I pray for you to be given in good measure,and soon, The Ruach Ha Kodesh, in order for you to accept and deeply appreciate that Messiah Yeshua came to Earth as a Prophet, was raised a High-Priest, and will return as King of Kings in full and unprecedented glory.

  17. Shalom Nehemiah! I endorse much of what Rita said. Frankly I'm disappointed at the attitude of some who speak in the Name of Messiah. YAHUsho works in many ways + in many people. I certainly see His hand in the work of Nehemiah. Thanks to him I see a clear picture of the 3 unclean spirits going-forth throughout all the Earth, as predicted in Rev 16:13-14
    "Out of the mouth of the dragon" (John 8:44)-Rabbinical Judaism.
    "Out of the mouth of the (Roman 4th) beast"-The Roman Church.
    "Out of the mouth of the false prophet"-Islam

    Karaism, is doing YA'HWE's work in exposing the blasphemous arrogance of the dragon's frog. Each of those 3 frog religions are equally despicable because of their blasphemous arrogance.
    The groundwork for receiving Mushiac, must be done, and Nehemiah is YAHUsho's servant in that regard in exposing Judaism's frog. He is also doing a wonderful work in opening the eyes of Messianics who so readily fall into Talmid-keeping, which YAHUsho wants us to have no part of. He wants to set us FREE, not walk into another form of slavery. Please listen, and be FREE. Be an "OVERCOMER." Rev 2+3

  18. Get REAL! Mr Gordon is attempting to open the eyes of others to see the wonders in the TORAH, as is his prayer! There is alot of anti-semetic ring to some of these comments. That is the prayer in Psalms-Gimel-119:18.Open your eyes or keep them closed...not a jot or tittle of the Torah will pass away...Heaven and Earth may pass away but not the words of YHWH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. It is not a name (Christian, jew or otherwise) that makes one a son of our Father, but the fruit. Have'nt you read, Mat25:31-46 ?


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