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Yeshua in Context » Greco-Roman Background

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

Video at the Musings Blog: Why the New Testament?

The question has more to it than might appear at first. When the 27 different documents that are now collected into what we call “the New Testament” (or what could be called “the Apostolic Writings”), none of the writers knew they were writing for a collection or that they were writing scripture. What was happening in the Yeshua movement that gave birth to these documents? The gospels in particular have an interesting purpose and origin. The generation of eyewitnesses and apostles were passing away. See more and the video “Why the New Testament?” here at the Musings blog. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Background to Gospels, Eyewitnesses, Greco-Roman Background, Video

Greece, Rome, Israel #2

“Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?” But knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why put me to the test? Bring me a coin, and let me look at it.” And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesars.” Yeshua said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesars, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at him. –Mark 12:14-17 What has the gospel to do with Rome? As in the first installment about Greece and Hellenism, we’re considering Roman background in the life and message of Yeshua as well as in the time of the evangelists who wrote the gospels … Read entire article »

Filed under: Background to Gospels, Formation of the Gospels, Gentiles, Greco-Roman Background, Son of God

Greece, Rome, Israel #1

Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth. . . . He said to her, “Let the children first be fed, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” -Mark 7:26, 27. Our reading of the gospels should take into account three streams of culture. In particular we can says that the times of Yeshua were affected by: (1) the reaction against Hellenism or Greek culture in Israel that had come to the fore in the days of the Maccabees from 165 BCE on, (2) the influence of Rome both for good and bad in the life of Israel, and (3) the struggles of Israelite groups and cultures to define themselves in a changing world. The three cultural streams of the gospels should … Read entire article »

Filed under: Background to Gospels, Formation of the Gospels, Gentiles, Greco-Roman Background

Greek and Roman Background: Son of God

Some people use the kind of information I’m sharing here to say things like, “The virginal conception of Jesus by Mary and the Holy Spirit is the kind of story pagans would make up about their rulers.” That is not where I am going with this. But it is vital background for understanding Yeshua as the gospels present him. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Background to Gospels, Greco-Roman Background, Messiah, Son of God