Articles Comments

Yeshua in Context » Answering Objections

REVIEW: The Jewish Gospels by Daniel Boyarin

Daniel Boyarin is Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture and rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley. In the foreword by Jack Miles, he is called “one of two or three greatest rabbinic scholars in the world.” I’m not qualified to assign numbers to who is or isn’t the world’s greatest Talmud scholar, but it is easy to say that Boyarin knows his Talmud better than any but maybe a few dozen people in the world. So, it might surprise you to know that Boyarin thinks Judaism and Christianity are compatible. His goal, stated on pages 6-7 is to help Christians and Jews to stop vilifying each other. He doesn’t follow Jesus and isn’t asking fellow Jews to do so. But he demolishes all ideas that Christian devotion to Jesus is contrary … Read entire article »

Filed under: Answering Objections, Background to Gospels, Book Reviews, Divinity of Yeshua, Identity of Yeshua, Judaism Today & Yeshua, Messiah, Paradox, Spectacular Commentary

Birth Issues

This is a transcript for today’s “Yeshua in Context Podcast.” Note that I never recorded and posted last week’s podcast on “Yeshua’s Burial.” Life had other plans. I should and will record the “Yeshua’s Burial” podcast at some point. Meanwhile, later today, listen for “Birth Issues” on iTunes in the “Yeshua in Context Podcast” or at DerekLeman.com. Only two out of four gospels have birth narratives about Yeshua. And the two birth narratives we have are so very different. They agree on major points, twelve of them, which I will list, but they are so different in other ways. It has often been said, and I think this is valid, that the gospel tradition developed backwards: the Passion and Resurrection narratives were first. Then the miracles, deeds, and sayings traditions developed. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Answering Objections, Birth of Messiah, Divinity of Yeshua, General, Gospels as History, Virginal Conception

Birth Narratives: What Matthew and Luke Have in Common

If you’ve read and compared the Matthean and Lucan birth narratives and if you’ve read much secondary literature, you know that from the perspective of historical inquiry there are problems. I commend the view of Luke Timothy Johnson in The Historical Jesus: Five Views on matters of the gospel tradition and historical research. With the various problems the birth narratives present to us, it is reassuring to consider the common elements in Matthew and Luke’s accounts, which suggest a tradition that pre-dated both of them. Fitzmeyer gives a suprisingly detailed list of the doubly attested traditions of Yeshua’s birth and some of these elements may surprise you: … Read entire article »

Filed under: Answering Objections, Birth of Messiah, Gospels as History, Identity of Yeshua

Yeshua’s Burial

This is a rough transcript for today’s Podcast. I will post the link to the podcast here as soon as it is uploaded. The burial of Yeshua is an early belief of his followers, cited, for example, in 1 Corinthians 15:4 as a longstanding tradition by the time of the 50’s when Paul wrote the letter. In recent times it has been claimed that Yeshua’s burial is a highly unlikely event, that criminals were generally refused burial or at most put in a shallow grave where carrion animals could disgrace the corpse. The burial of Yeshua has been the center of a number of rationalistic refutations of the resurrection: the body was lost in a shallow grave and the resurrection story resulted as a mistake, the body was moved by Joseph … Read entire article »

Filed under: Answering Objections, Background to Gospels, Disciples & Named Characters, Eyewitnesses, Resurrection of Yeshua

“Yeshua (Jesus) is Just another Religious Figure”

In the category, “Answering Objections,” I will address common reasons people either deflect serious consideration of the identity of Yeshua or deny that he has any relevant identity for them or for humanity. If you are not religious, the idea of some great importance being attached to the figure of Yeshua might seem ludicrous. Religious figures (Buddha, Mohammed, Zeus, Krishna, Israel’s God) are a dime a dozen. Why should Yeshua command any special inquiry or attention? If you are religious and, in fact, Christian, the same question may be at the back of your thoughts. Are we overemphasizing this guy from Galilee? If you are religious and not Christian or Messianic Jewish, you may be absolutely convinced that Yeshua is not worthy of such devotion, study, and faith. So, is Yeshua just another … Read entire article »

Filed under: Answering Objections, Beginners, Gospels as History, Identity of Yeshua