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Yeshua in Context » Erasing Anti-Judaism

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

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. … Read entire article »

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

Yeshua’s Attitude Toward the Pharisees’ Lawkeeping

Curiously, people have gotten the idea that Yeshua felt many Pharisees were too rigid in their lawkeeping. Actually, he decried a tendency toward laxity in lawkeeping as well as an inclination to misplaced priorities. Whether or not the Pharisee in the famous (and dangerous for its readers and hearers, since the parable tempts us to judge the Pharisee) Pharisee and Tax Collector parable (Luke 18:9-14) was supposed to be prototypical or not, Yeshua has more to say about Pharisees being lax in lawkeeping than rigid. In the Sermon on the Mount, Yeshua says he comes to fill up the Torah (Matthew 5:17, “fulfill” is a misleading translation best done away with). … Read entire article »

Filed under: Erasing Anti-Judaism, Law, Torah, Pharisees

Yeshua and Sacrifices

A curious question to ask is whether Yeshua ever offered sacrifices in the Temple? It’s a curious question because the gospels never depict him doing so. Our off-the-cuff answer to the question may reveal a lot about our assumptions concerning Yeshua. Another question might be, “Why don’t the gospels ever depict Yeshua offering a sacrifice or mention that he did so?” … Read entire article »

Filed under: Background to Gospels, Erasing Anti-Judaism, Featured, Law, Torah, Sacrificial System, Temple and Torah

Yeshua and the Temple

Chapter 7 of Yeshua in Context is about the Temple Cleansing and chapter 14 is about Yeshua’s trial. In both of them I bring up the issue of Yeshua’s stance toward the Temple in Jerusalem. A number of excellent Christian scholars are in the habit of suggesting that Yeshua viewed the Temple as harmful or obsolete. I’d have hoped the progress of scholarship would have brought well-read people past such misinformation by now. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Aims of Yeshua, Erasing Anti-Judaism, Kingdom Future, Temple and Torah