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Yeshua in Context » Divinity of Yeshua

Eternal Messiah

The mysterious nature of God is not something new to the New Testament. Time and time again, from Creation through the history of Israel, God interacts with this present world in ways that are the action of God, but are not the totality of God. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Divinity of Yeshua

Early Divinity in John 5

Many have argued that the idea of Yeshua’s divinity was a late development. This is commonly applied to the Fourth Gospel as a principle for detecting layers of sources. What I mean is, people will say the gospel of John was written in layers, by multiple hands. An early and simpler version of the gospel, it is said, did not have the strong theme of Yeshua’s divinity. Supposedly Greco-Roman ideas are the source of the divinity doctrine. So as the movement for Yeshua became less Jewish and more Roman, the doctrine developed and the Fourth Gospel underwent several edits and additions. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Divinity of Yeshua, Formation of the Gospels, Identity of Yeshua

Yeshua’s Exalted Identity (Synoptic Gospels)

Many think the idea of Yeshua as an exalted figure (prophet, Holy One of God, Messiah, divine-man) is primarily the domain of the Gospel of John. But in the synoptic gospels (Mark-Matthew-Luke) we read quite a bit about the identity of Yeshua as something greater than a rabbi: … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1a - Intro to the Gospels, Besorah/Gospel/Good News, Divinity of Yeshua, Identity of Yeshua, Messiah, Son of Man

Low and High Versions of the Yeshua Story

THE YESHUA STORY, LOW VERSION At last, in the days of the Second Temple a great Son of Israel arose in Galilee. He was a Hasid whose piety and Spirit-endowment worked healings. He was a teacher who spoke of the kingdom, the malkhut hashamayim, the world to come. The Temple authorities and the would-be rabbis in Judea opposed him. His miracles bothered them, since he was not one of them. His fanatical following scared them and was enough to convince the Roman governor to kill him. But the God of Israel raised him and he ascended to be the heavenly Messiah. God revealed that the death of Yeshua was a substitutionary atonement for all who would believe. At the end of the age, God will send him back as the Messianic … Read entire article »

Filed under: Divinity of Yeshua, Identity of Yeshua, Messiah, Yeshua as

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

PODCAST: Divinity1

To some people, the idea of Yeshua’s divinity was probably something developed late. It must have involved a departure from Jewish thought. It must have been the result of syncretism, mixing pagan notions with the original understanding of Yeshua as a Jewish teacher or as Messiah. But what is the real explanation for the origin the idea of Yeshua’s divinity? Divinity1 … Read entire article »

Filed under: Background to Gospels, Divinity of Yeshua, Formation of the Gospels, Greco-Roman Background, Identity of Yeshua, Judaism Today & Yeshua, Podcasts

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

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

Birth of Messiah, Video

Isn’t it curious that the oldest gospel, Mark, doesn’t include the birth of Messiah stories? Have you considered that the gospels may have been written “backwards”? All of this might help us understand the infancy narratives of the gospels (Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2) all the more. They really have an inspiring purpose and seeing evidence of their purpose makes them all the more important. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Background to Gospels, Birth of Messiah, Divinity of Yeshua, Formation of the Gospels, Video, Virginal Conception

Revealed to Little Children

In “Why Yeshua? A Jewish Question,” I listed nine elements of Yeshua’s identity and purpose that add something new to Judaism (see it here). The first of these nine elements has captured my attention and been the source of my thoughts and searching for a few weeks now: Yeshua is the Moses-like Prophet-to-Come, the New Moses, whose agency as the Voice of the Father reveals depths of God unknown or ambiguous in previous revelation. I listed for readers the findings of Paul Anderson regarding the prophet-like-Moses theme in the fourth gospel, which is not a minor motif but a guiding principle of the entire Gospel of John (see my post “Moses-Like-Prophet in John” here). In searching out examples of how Yeshua revealed greater depths of God than had previously been known, I first … Read entire article »

Filed under: Aims of Yeshua, Divinity of Yeshua, General, Identity of Yeshua, Judaism Today & Yeshua, Kingdom Present, Messiah, New Moses Theme

Why Yeshua? A Jewish Question.

Here is another mini eBook in the making: Why Yeshua? A Jewish Question. This is also the basis of a podcast that will be posted today on iTunes and at DerekLeman.com. A friend recently said to me, “Jews are better Christians than Christians.” He was referring first of all to the ethic of Jesus about healing and serving and making this world like the world to come. His claim was that the Jewish community does these things better than Christians. Second of all, he was referring to statistics about charitable giving and service work and those who engage in them. The Jewish community, far in excess of our smaller population, out-gives Christians in the work of feeding, clothing, providing medical aid, and so on all over the world. He followed this up … Read entire article »

Filed under: Divinity of Yeshua, Identity of Yeshua, Judaism Today & Yeshua

Hidden Corners and Disciples

This is the greatest liability of Yeshua-faith: that God does his work quietly and in hidden corners while the world is looking for noise and spectacle. Luke 10:21-24 is material not found in Mark. It is found in Matthew, but Matthew has it separated into two separate sayings on two occasions: 11:25-27 and 13:16-17. Messianic fulfillment comes in unexpected ways and Yeshua’s identity peeks through the veil. On that same occasion Yeshua rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your gracious will. All things have been given to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Discipleship - Formation, Divinity of Yeshua, Identity of Yeshua, Messiah, Mysticism in the Gospels

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

Interpreting the Temptation

What is the main issue in the Temptation narrative? Is it about Yeshua’s messianic mission? Or is it something else? Aside from the many connections to Moses’ and Israel’s story, the temptation account definitely has a message about Yeshua’s identity. Is it what people think? R.T. France in the New International Commentary on the New Testament series is most helpful. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Aims of Yeshua, Divinity of Yeshua, Identity of Yeshua, Temptation

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