Sharp cookies that you are, you may have noted that I am approaching this primarily from an Old Testament perspective. That is deliberate and purposeful. Refer back to the "I believe Jesus / I believe the OT" portion beginning to the first part. I don't grant that one self-appointed segment of Jews holds a copyright on the letters J, E and W. I think God does. The issue is how does He define being a Jew-in-good-standing, in His word. Even if one grants some role to tradition, one either accords ultimate veto-power to the Word, or he forfeits a voice.
Stay with me here, and let's ask....
who is, and who is not, a Jew?
"Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." (Jeremiah 31:31-14)
- Those who affirm Jesus as Messiah
- Those who reject Jesus as Messiah
[UPDATE: weeks after this was posted, a friend pointed out that one does get hits searching for the phrase "Torah Judaism." If I revisit this, I'll need to surf those sites beforehand, see how they try to square that circle.]
[Note: a few related thoughts can be found here.]