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Yeshua in Context » Background to Gospels, Beginners, Erasing Anti-Judaism, Reading Strategies, Study Tips » Reading Strategies for the Gospels

Reading Strategies for the Gospels

It could be helpful for many people to have a list of common issues in reading the gospels which can be improved by a realization of their Jewish context and an accurate assessment of Judaism and Yeshua’s relationship to it. The following is not necessarily complete, but it is a start. Each one of the items on this list will eventually have an article expanding on its meaning.

Avoid all false assumptions of Jewish vs. Christian antagonism.

Look for a both-and reading instead of either-or.

Avoid anachronisms (assuming rabbinic literature describes Yeshua’s time, etc.).

Have a rich and thematically rich understanding of the Hebrew Bible.

Assume a positive view of Law and tradition.

Learn or at least reserve for further study words and concepts that may have had Jewish background.

Know social realities of the time and the groups involved.

Understand the symbols and hopes of Israel in Yeshua’s time.

Look for relation of gospel narratives and sayings to Jewish theological arcs.

Understand that Yeshua’s culture valued concrete images over abstractions.

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Filed under: Background to Gospels, Beginners, Erasing Anti-Judaism, Reading Strategies, Study Tips

One Response to "Reading Strategies for the Gospels"

  1. Don says:

    This is a great list brother. I especially appreciate: “Look for a both-and reading instead of either-or”. I have looking for words to express this thought for awhile. Could you imagine how things would be amongst believers if we kept this principal in mind through time? My second favorite is:”Know social realities of the time and the groups involved.“ The leader for a home group that I belonged to thought that it was that it was odd that I used a bible handbook. I wonder how anyone could study the Word without reference materials.

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