I have heard people say that we Christians are Jews, since the Bible says we are "children of Abraham." Is this right? Am I really Jewish?

No, this is not right. Yes, the New Testament says we are children of Abraham (Galatians 3) and daughters of Sarah (1 Peter 3) -- but then Abraham and Sarah were not Jews, since the Law of Moses was not given for another six to eight centuries! To qualify as a Jew, you would need to be a descendant of Jacob, whose twelve sons became the twelve tribes. (Recall that Jacob's other name was Israel.) And to be a Jew, you would have to be circumcised, obey the Sabbath, offer the specified agricultural and animal sacrifices, and so forth.

Once again, we speak of "Father Abraham," since he is the father of the faithful. We do not speak of "Father Jacob." "The Israel of God" (Galatians 6) may refer to those Jews who were truly Jews -- ethnic Jews who accepted the Messiah, Jesus. Certainly the New Testament rests on the Old, and our covenant makes the most sense when seen in light of the old covenant, but that does not qualify us as Jewish.

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