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20 Ways to Read Yeshua’s Life

You can now order the CD and printed outline of my talk from the “Jewish Gospels” seminar with Boaz Michael last week. Below is a sample point, number 5 to be exact, and then a link to order: #5 Read habitually in a recurring cycle, which imitates discipleship. Disciples were with Yeshua often. The call to a disciple was, “Follow me.” They heard Yeshua’s words again and again in different contexts. The way we can imitate this repeated exposure to his words now is to read daily, habitually, and cyclically. Mark 4:10 shows that nearness to Yeshua was key, “When he was alone, the men that were with him approached with the twelve and asked him about the parable.” Peter’s saying in John 6:68 further this theme, “My master, to whom will … Read entire article »

Filed under: Discipleship - Formation, Reading Strategies, Study Tips

Mary’s Psalm (PODCAST Transcript)

I’m reading Scot McKnight’s new book, The King Jesus Gospel, a vital contribution for Christians and Messianic Jews. What’s so great about McKnight’s book is that he plainly and clearly explains why the main message of churches for the past hundred years has been so limpid and produced such a disappointing Christian culture. He doesn’t pretend that a little theological correction will put an end to human failure in religion, but it can’t hurt to have people follow a message that the apostles would at least recognize as the gospel. The main point of McKnight’s book is that the word “gospel” to the apostles meant the story of Yeshua giving meaning to life and eternity. Gospel was not simply a message of personal salvation. Personal salvation is one of the things … Read entire article »

Filed under: Background to Gospels, Besorah/Gospel/Good News, DHE (Delitzsch Gospels), Luke's Gospel, Salvation and Covenant

The Purpose of Parables

As part of a presentation I gave on September 18 at a “Studying the Jewish Gospels” event here in Atlanta, I developed an outline of “20 Ways to Read the Life of Yeshua.” Among my twenty pointers were things like, “Forget that you know the end of the story,” followed by examples in which onlookers and disciples can only be understood within the story as confused, as people who don’t know for a second that Yeshua is to be the dying savior and rising lord. And another of my pointers, which forms the basis for this post: “Understand the genre of parables in rabbinic literature.” And the golden text for learning about this subject: David Stern, Parables in Midrash (note: this is not the David Stern who is famous in the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Applying the Gospels, Background to Gospels, Beginners, Community in Yeshua, Discipleship - Formation, Erasing Anti-Judaism, General, Gospel Genres, Literary Features, Parables, Study Tips, Teaching of Yeshua

Mark 1:1, Greek-Hebrew-English

If you don’t know Greek or Hebrew, no problem. Each time I do one of these there will be a few notes and nuggets of value for you even without facility in biblical languages. I will be concise in my notes, so these should be quite readable even if you are not technically oriented in your Bible reading. Who knows? By the time we get to some sayings of Yeshua, perhaps one of my mentors, Rabbi Carl Kinbar, will be willing to supply a theoretical Aramaic original (along the lines of Maurice Casey’s work). For now, a simple exegesis of Mark 1:1. The Society of Biblical Literature Greek Text (minus accents): ’Αρχη του ’ευαγγελιου ’Ιησου χριστου. Note: See below regarding the missing phrase “son of God.” The Delitzsch Hebrew text (from the Delitzsch Hebrew … Read entire article »

Filed under: Detailed Commentary, DHE (Delitzsch Gospels), General, Greek Text and Translation

Demons in Galilee

What sort of theology of unclean spirits existed in Yeshua’s time? We have a few hints and texts that can give us a picture. Pagan notions of demonic spirits were no doubt an influence on some, but devout Galileans like Yeshua would have looked to other sources for their beliefs. A few centuries before Yeshua, some unknown circles of apocalyptic scribes wrote some texts that are now known as part of 1 Enoch (which is really five books written at different times). The early part of 1 Enoch is the Book of the Watchers. Who are the watchers? The answer is found in Daniel 4:10 (4:13 in Christian Bibles; see also 4:14, 20 (4:17, 23)) : In the vision of my mind in bed, I looked and saw a holy Watcher coming … Read entire article »

Filed under: Background to Gospels, Besorah/Gospel/Good News, Enactments and Symbolic Actions, Miracles

DHE Nuggets: Whole Eye vs. Evil Eye

DHE stands for Delitszsch Hebrew English Gospels, which you can see here. The “whole eye vs. evil eye” is a reference to Matthew 6:22-23. Here is how the RSV (Revised Standard Version) translates this saying of Yeshua: The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! For reasons I will argue below, this translation is definitely substandard. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Applying the Gospels, DHE (Delitzsch Gospels), Idioms, Spectacular Commentary, Study Tips, Teaching of Yeshua