From my limited understanding of the religion being Jewish requires being born of Jewish parents or following some moderately complex procedures. From that I would assume that every Jew alive today is either a decedent of Abraham or is a first generation convert. A quick search on line indicates this might not be the case. But I am unsure of the validity of them.

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    *Note the examples are relevant page one Google results, I have have accidentally chosen a bigoted example please feel free to remove it. Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 10:56
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    " From that I would assume that every Jew alive today is either a decedent of Abraham or is a first generation convert" Why? What if my great grandmother converted?
    – rosends
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 11:31
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    @Danno if your great grandmother converted, I would expect she married a someone who was already a descendant of Abraham, in which case all of her children (your grandparents) are descendants of Abraham. Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 12:00
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    So you mean "descendant" by either parent even though Judaism is matrilineal? This would then also include many non-Jews. Because there are more "born" Jews than "convert" Jews, eventually, in any line where people converted, someone would have married a born Jew.
    – rosends
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 12:17
  • I don't think most people are really able to trace their entire family tree that far back. But Avraham is so many generations ago, I would expect that either nobody in the world is his descendant or nearly everybody in the world is.
    – Daniel
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 12:26

1 Answer 1


With genetic testing, this figure can only get more and more accurate over time. This article argues that science proves that 75% of Jews trace back to the middle east:


Im not sure it would be possible to trace much more accurately than this.

  • On the basis of one of the articles that refutes it though, it doesn't say that the biblical events didn't happen so assuming that Daniel and Mordechai were really there and all those good things happened to them, Judaism may have been attractive for converts for other people living in the Babylonian and Persian empires. With the dwindling numbers that returned under Ezra, they were probably keen to accept converts at the time. Nehemiah had to reject one convert who was a male descendent on Ammon.
    – CashCow
    Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 10:25
  • @CashCow if you mean the Toviah the Ammonite mentioned in the book of Nehemiah, then it doesn't say anything about him trying to convert.
    – Shamiach
    Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 4:44
  • Toviah himself was of Ammonite descent. However, it is more general. At the start of the final chapter, where Nehemiah is outlawing marrying out, the law of an Ammonite not entering the congregation is repeated.
    – CashCow
    Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 10:09

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