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Yeshua in Context » Archive

List: Nature Miracles of Yeshua

In some cases these miracles are curiosities, like the coin from the fish (some think this may be a parable rather than a literal event). But in others, these are among the most majestic portion in the gospels. Yeshua calming the storm and walking on water is not like the miracles of Elijah and Elisha. These are unprecedented. The claim by eyewitnesses that such things happened is amazing. Against the idea that these are fictive tales devised by a movement to magnify the glory of their founder, the gospels are written in the style of Greco-Roman biographies (unlike the later rabbinic tales) and name their eyewitness sources according to the accepted style: Water to wine – Jn 2:9 Catch of fish – Lk 5:6 Calming the storm – Mk 4:39, Mt 8:26, Lk … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1a - Intro to the Gospels, Divinity of Yeshua, Enactments and Symbolic Actions, Gospel Genres, Miracles

List: Exorcisms by Yeshua.

There are no exorcisms in the Bible before Yeshua (note: unless you are in a church that reads the Apocrypha as scripture, in which case Tobit has the first exorcism). The few exorcisms in Acts seem to be about the Presence of Yeshua validating the movement in the early days. I take it that exorcism is primarily a sign of the kingdom (reign of God) brought to the fore in the clash between the “Holy One of God” and the forces of evil who ruin creation. There are only six exorcisms in the gospels: The Man in the Capernaum Synagogue, Mark 1:23-27 (Lk 4:33-36). The Gerasene Demoniac, Mark 5:1-20 (Mt 8:28-34; Lk 8:26-39). The Syro-Phoenician Woman’s Daughter, Mark 7:25-30 (Mt 15:21-28). The Deaf and Mute Spirit, Mark 9:14-29 (Mt 17:14-20; Lk 9:37-43). The Blind and … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1a - Intro to the Gospels, Aims of Yeshua, Divinity of Yeshua, Gospel Genres, Kingdom Present, Miracles

“My Son” as Midrash

It’s a famous example of what seems to be the unusual, perhaps questionable, use of the Jewish scriptures by the apostles. It occurs in a very noticeable location — the birth narrative of Yeshua in Matthew. Some parts of the Bible get very little traffic, but the birth narratives in Matthew and Luke are pretty much highways and not little goat trails. So people are bound to notice some odd things about Matthew’s “this happened in order to fulfill” sayings. One of the two weirdest (there is one that is even weirder) is Matthew 2:15. Is Matthew able to read and understand the Hebrew Bible? Is he guilty of a strange and arbitrary reading simply to justify his belief in Yeshua of Nazareth? Of course the author of Matthew knows what … Read entire article »

Filed under: Background to Gospels, Detailed Commentary, Formation of the Gospels, Gospel Genres, Hebrew Bible as Testimony, Ideal Israel Theme, Intertextuality in the Gospels, Literary Features

List: Healing Miracles

There are twenty-six distinct healing miracles. I exclude exorcisms here (that list is next). I made this list long ago, based on some source I no longer remember. The idea was to list the healing miracles in chronological order. That is no longer something I believe can be done (the gospels, except to some degree John) have no interest in what order events happen. Perhaps at some future time I will edit this list and find a different order of arrangement: Royal official’s son – Jn 4:46 Exorcism in Capernaum synagogue – Mk 1:26, Lk 3:35 Peter’s mother-in-law – Mk 1:31, Mt 8:14, Lk 4:38 Leper Cleansed – Mk 1:41, Mt 8:3, Lk 5:13 The paralytic – Mk 2:3, Mt 9:2, Lk 5:18 Lame man Bethesda pool – Jn 5:5 Man with withered hand – Mk 3:1, … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1a - Intro to the Gospels, Divinity of Yeshua, Gospel Genres, Miracles

REVIEW: Tverberg’s Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus

Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewish Words of Jesus Can Change Your Life, by Lois Tverberg, PhD. Zondervan, 2012. Disclosure: I received a complementary review copy of this book from the publisher. Prefer to listen to the review in audio form? Click here. Lois Tverberg is a biologist, but in our circles she is better know for another occupation: a writer who explores the Jewish context of Jesus’ life. As a Lutheran (at least in background), Tverberg is a writer well-suited to explain the Jewish context of Yeshua to Christian readers. As a scientist she has the energy and passion for research that are required to find connections between rabbinic literature and the gospels. Her portrayal has much substance because of her dedication to learning. What I like most … Read entire article »

Filed under: General

PODCAST: Rabbi Dust

Book Review: Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewish Words of Jesus Can Change Your Life, by Lois Tverberg. Zondervan: 2012. Lois Tverberg’s newest book is about Jesus in his Jewish context, or more specifically, how to understand the ethics of Jesus in Jewish context. Rabbi Dust … Read entire article »

Filed under: Podcasts, Teaching of Yeshua

PODCAST: Two Marys

Mary Magdalene and Mary of Bethany. Eyewitnesses named in the gospels. Many myths surround them. Who were they? What did their faith contribute? What do we owe to these two Mary’s for our understanding of Yeshua. We owe them a great deal. Two Mary’s … Read entire article »

Filed under: Disciples & Named Characters, Eyewitnesses, Podcasts

List: Teachings Unique to Luke

Anointed to Proclaim to the Poor – Lk 4:18-21 Prophets and Gentiles – Lk 4:24-27 Two Debtors – Lk 7:41-43 Satan Falls as Lightning – Lk 10:18-20 Good Samaritan – Lk 10:25-37 One Thing – Lk 10:41-42 Judge at Midnight – Lk 11:5-13 Rich Fool – Lk 12:16-20 Watchful Servants – Lk 12:36-38 Faithful Manager – Lk 12:42-48 Barren Fig Tree – Lk 13:6-9 Lowest Place at the Banquet – Lk 14:7-11 Banquet for the Lowly – Lk 14:12-14 Great Banquet – Lk 14:15-24 Counting the Cost – Lk 14:25-33 Lost Sheep – Lk 15:1-7 Lost Coin – Lk 15:8-10 Prodigal Son – Lk 15:11-32 Dishonest Manager – Lk 16:1-13 Lazarus and the Rich Man – Lk 16:19-31 Humble Servants – Lk 17:7-10 Unjust Judge – Lk 18:1-8 The Pharisee and the Tax Collector – Lk 18:9-14 The Minas – Lk 19:11-27 … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1a - Intro to the Gospels, Gospel Genres, Synoptic Relationships, Teaching of Yeshua

List: Teachings of Yeshua

Repent for the Kingdom is at Hand – Mt 4:17 (Mk 1:15). Beatitudes – Mt 5:3-12 (similar to Lk 6:20-26). Salt and Light – Mt 5:13-16 (similar to Lk 11:33-36, Mk 4:21-22) Law and Prophets – Mt 5:17-20 Antitheses (You have heard it said) – Mt 5:21-48 (similar to Lk 6:27-36) Righteousness, alms, and prayer in secret – Mt 6:1-8 The Lord’s Prayer – Mt 6:9-15 (Lk 11:2-4, shorter form) Fasting in Secret – Mt 6:16-18 Treasure in Heaven – Mt 6:19-24 (similar to Lk 12:33-34) Do Not Be Anxious (seek first the kingdom) – Mt 6:25-34 (similar to Lk 12:22-32) Judging Others – Mt 7:1-6 (similar to Lk 6:37-42, Mk 4:24) Ask, Seek, Knock – Mt 7:7-11 Golden Rule – Mt 7:12 (Lk 6:31) The Narrow Gate – Mt 7:13-14 (Lk 13:24) Good and Bad Fruit – Mt 7:15-20 (similar to Lk … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1a - Intro to the Gospels, Gospel Genres, Teaching of Yeshua

Parables, Gospel by Gospel

What parables are in three gospels? In two? In only one? The following list will help you think about how the parables are distributed and also to find them easily. PARABLES IN ALL THREE SYNOPTIC GOSPELS New Cloth – Mk 2, Mt 9, Lk 5 New Wine – Mk 2, Mt 9, Lk 5 Mustard Seed – Mk 4, Mt 13, Lk 13 Sower – Mk 4, Mt 13, Lk 8 Wicked Tenants – Mk 12, Mt 21, Lk 20 Fig Tree – Mk 13, Mt 24, Lk 21 PARABLES IN TWO SYNOPTIC GOSPELS House on the Rock – Mt 7, Lk 6 Leaven – Mt 13, Lk 13 Lost Sheep – Mt 18, Lk 15 PARABLE IN ONLY ONE GOSPEL Barren Fig Tree – Lk 13 Net – Mt 13 Good Samaritan – Lk 10 Pearl of Great Price – Mt 13 Great Banquet – … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1a - Intro to the Gospels, Gospel Genres, Parables, Teaching of Yeshua

Reading as a disciple.

There are many valid things to look for during a reading of the gospels. In some ways, the highest level of reading is reading as a disciple. In Mark 4:10-11, those who were surrounding Yeshua — in addition to the Twelve — asked him questions. They were the inner circle. They were those who sought to be disciples (he had more than Twelve disciples). To them was given the secret of the kingdom of God. Perhaps the secret is, simply put, to follow and believe and implement. Discipleship reading might look like the following: Replacement at the level of ideas (truths to replace falsehood and subtle errors).
Example: Yeshua sought to replace his disciples’ notion that “Messiah’s coming is to bring retribution on Israel’s enemies and to glorify us nationally” with a different … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1a - Intro to the Gospels, Discipleship - Formation, Reading Strategies, Study Tips