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Yeshua in Context » Archive

Transforming Aspects of the Gospels, #1

This will be a series of posts and you can click the category “Applying the Gospels” on the right sidebar to see all in this series and more. Faith Deepening as we enter more into the story. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Applying the Gospels, Identity of Yeshua

Parables That Make it into All Three Gospels

Which of Yeshua’s many parables make it into all three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke)? It’s an interesting list. Perhaps all three evangelists saw these as indispensable. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Gospel Genres, Parables, Teaching of Yeshua

The Beginning of the Gospel

Gospel is a word with many layers. It is a later English coined word (God-spell) used for the Greek evangelion and the Hebrew besorah. The simple translation would be good news. The basic picture is of a messenger who comes to a town with good news: “We are safe; the enemy is defeated.” … Read entire article »

Filed under: Background to Gospels, Beginners, Besorah/Gospel/Good News

Origin of the Sermon on the Mount

Some people will be bothered by what I say below, an excerpt from chapter 10 of Yeshua in Context. It may seem to some that this theory is monkeying with a straight, truth-telling style of narrative reporting. Many have assumed that the words of Yeshua, as reported by the gospels, are word for word. Perhaps God brought them perfectly to the memory of the evangelists. Perhaps the evangelists memorized everything word for word. Perhaps they took notes. But the problem with these assumptions is that people did not have this kind of “news reporting” expectation. The evangelists don’t assume readers will take their reporting as verbatim, without omissions, without summarizing and shaping. I suspect that the reporting of Yeshua’s words is very close to verbatim in many cases, especially the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Sermon on the Mount, Teaching of Yeshua

News about Him

. . . news about him spread throughout the surrounding countryside (Luke 4:14b). Luke places this summary at a crucial point in the story. A report about Yeshua is spreading throughout Galilee. The word for “news” here is not the same word often found in the gospels and other parts of the Bible from which we get our word “gospel.” But the idea is the same. How does the idea of “news about him” fit into the larger picture of Luke’s portrait of Yeshua? … Read entire article »

Filed under: Besorah/Gospel/Good News, Identity of Yeshua

The “I Am” Sayings, Part 1

Unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins. –John 8:24 Raymond Brown discusses the grammar of the “I am” (ego eimi) sayings in the Fourth Gospel (see The Gospel According to John, I-XII, pp. 533-4). These sayings fall into three categories. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Divinity of Yeshua, I Am Sayings, Identity of Yeshua

Reflections: Yeshua’s Band of Disciples and Us

I ask a question in chapter one worth reflecting on. The gospels are nothing if not resources for living a higher life. They raise a million questions about life here and now. I will raise some in the category “Applying the Gospels.” What is Yeshua planning to do with the band of disciples he is gathering? … Read entire article »

Filed under: Aims of Yeshua, Applying the Gospels

Olive Tree, Gethsemane

There are some olive trees more than a thousand years old on the Mount of Olives, in the general vicinity of Gethsemane (the name means “olive press” and refers to a grove or area of groves on the Mount of Olives). This is one ancient and spectacular tree. Yeshua prayed amongst such trees in this vicinity the night he was arrested. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Photos and Yeshua

Pharisee Facts #1

Earliest uses of the term Pharisee: Paul’s letters (50′s CE), Mark’s gospel (probably 60′s CE), Josephus’ works (80-90 CE). … Read entire article »

Filed under: Background to Gospels, Pharisees

The Importance of Reading the Gospels

For some who have been Yeshua-followers for a long time, the gospels are a neglected segment of the Bible. They are sort of the “Old Testament of the New Testament.” There is a suspicion, unspoken, that they represent a pre-Christian view of God, faith, and life. They talk about Passover, almsgiving (tzedaka in Jewish terminology), Temple, and deeds of righteousness. A certain segment of Christianity is ambivalent about these things. We need to read the gospels for information, clarity, even for survival. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Beginners, Return of Yeshua, Study Tips

Yeshua and the Temple

Chapter 7 of Yeshua in Context is about the Temple Cleansing and chapter 14 is about Yeshua’s trial. In both of them I bring up the issue of Yeshua’s stance toward the Temple in Jerusalem. A number of excellent Christian scholars are in the habit of suggesting that Yeshua viewed the Temple as harmful or obsolete. I’d have hoped the progress of scholarship would have brought well-read people past such misinformation by now. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Aims of Yeshua, Erasing Anti-Judaism, Kingdom Future, Temple and Torah

Banquets, Luke, the Age to Come

You will find eight occasions in Luke with Yeshua teaching a group over a meal. The Messianic banquet theme is known from Jewish writings of the time (the Second Temple period). In The Yeshua in Context Sourcebook (upcoming), I include a list of Luke’s eight messianic banquets. Here is a list of “Banquets of the Age to Come” from the Hebrew Bible and Jewish literature (including Revelation) from the period. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Aims of Yeshua, Kingdom Future

Luke 12:13-34, Luke Timothy Johnson

It is out of deep fear that the acquisitive instinct grows monstrous. Life seems so frail and contingent that many possessions are required to secure it, even though the possessions are frailer still than the life. Only the removal of fear by the persuasion that life is a gift given by the source of all reality can generate spiritual freedom that is symbolized by by the generous disposition of possessions. Johnson, Luke Timothy. The Gospel of Luke. Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1991. p. 201. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Spectacular Commentary

What are the elements of the gospels?

When studying the gospels, it helps to know the kinds of material you will find and to think about classifications of different passages. I made this imperfect list for myself toward the beginning of my study. It is included in the (upcoming) Yeshua in Context Sourcebook. I think it is helpful for beginners (and not-so-beginners) to think about the differences in kinds of material we find about Yeshua. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Beginners, Gospel Genres, Study Tips

Harmony of the Gospels

There are a number of fruitful ways to study the life of Yeshua, the gospels, or certain features of the gospels. One of those methods, which has value for certain kinds of research, is to compare parallel passages. A useful tool is a harmony of the gospels. Here are a few tips on how to find one and how the harmony method can be useful. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Study Tips

Missing Something

From a list in the upcoming Yeshua in Context Sourcebook called “Beginning Study of the Gospels.” … Read entire article »

Filed under: Study Tips

Son of Man Must Suffer

. . . began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected (Mark 8:31). … Read entire article »

Filed under: Paradox, Teaching of Yeshua

Nazareth Village Reconstructed

An ancient winepress was found near the main hospital in Nazareth. It is a possible site of the town Yeshua was raised in. A village has been built up here to demonstrate village life in Yeshua’s time. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Photos and Yeshua

Yeshua Talks About His Identity

A commonly heard line about Yeshua goes, “He never claimed to be Messiah or divine.” In the three books known as the Synoptic Gospels (Mark, Matthew, and Luke), Yeshua talks about his exalted status many times. Sometimes people think it is only in the fourth gospel (John) that he is presented as more than simply a man. Here are a few examples (citations are from the NET Bible): All things have been handed over to me by my Father. Matthew 11:27. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Beginners, Identity of Yeshua