Jesus made bold messianic claims when he spoke. To thoroughly understand these claims, however, we must get into a time machine and travel back in time to a completely different culture, the Jewish culture of first-century Israel. We must acculturate ourselves to the way teachers and disciples in the time of Jesus communicated through allusions to Scripture.

The Gospel of Mark was never popular in the Greek-speaking Hellenistic church. Papias, the mid-second-century bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia, was the first church father to mention the Gospel and his statement was probably dictated by the general criticism voiced against Mark by the early Greek readers of the Gospel: “Mark,” Papias says, “did no wrong in writing down the things [he had only heard Peter say].”

The Pharisee Gamaliel is mentioned twice in the New Testament (Acts 5:34; 22:3). In Acts 5:34 he appears as an advocate of the nascent congregation of Jesus’ disciples in Jerusalem and is called “a Pharisee, a teacher of the Law, held in honor by all the people.” Then, in Acts 22:3, Paul says that he was “brought up in this city [Jerusalem] at the feet of Gamaliel.” Indeed, Gamaliel was an important spiritual leader of the Pharisees and a Jewish scholar. He also is well known from Jewish sources.


A Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels, with a Reconstruction of Their Conjectured Hebrew Ancestor

Under the direction of David Bivin, Jerusalem Perspective has launched an attempt to reconstruct the account of Jesus’ life which, according to church tradition, was written in Hebrew by Jesus’ disciple Matthew.

A recognition of the importance of Hebrew in understanding the Gospels is a new contribution to grappling with the synoptic problem.

Without a knowledge of the saying’s context, the saying about eyes and ears and prophets and righteous men, is quite prosaic. However, if this saying deals with the Kingdom of Heaven, it would be one of the most important verses in the Bible.

A little Jewish background provides an important perspective on the Lord’s Prayer and removes the notion that all prayers should be short.

Yeshua directs Peter and John to go and prepare the Passover “that we may eat it.” When they arrive at the place where the meal will be eaten, the owner shows the disciples a furnished dining room where they can hold the celebration.

Yeshua’s response to the rich man and Yeshua’s subsequent teaching about the importance of counting the cost of discipleship may have been prompted solely by the rich man’s question.

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On May 11, 1970 in Richmond, Virginia, Ms. Johnni Johnson of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention conducted an interview with Dr. Lindsey shortly after the publication of his groundbreaking work, A Hebrew Translation of the Gospel of Mark. In the interview entitled “R. L. Lindsey’s Source Theory of the Gospels,” Dr. Lindsey reveals many of the insights he had gained into the origins of the Synoptic Gospels from translating Mark’s Gospel from the original Greek to Modern Hebrew.

In 1959 I found myself attempting to study the Greek text of the Gospel of Mark with a view to translating it to modern Hebrew. The rather strange Greek of Mark, the Hebraic word-order, and the impossibility of rendering to Hebrew some of the special Markan Grecisms (like καὶ εὐθύς and πάλιν, which have no ancient Hebrew equivalents) left me wondering what kind of literary creation we have in this fascinating book.

Every reader of the Gospels knows the phrase, “Verily, I say unto you,” or “Verily, verily, I say unto you.” According to the standard English translations of the Old and New Testaments, it seems that Jesus alone used such a preamble. Most Christians, long accustomed to such expressions in the Bible, take it for granted that “Jesus talked that way.”

Readers gain a new insight into Jesus’ homily on worry (Matt. 6:25-34//Luke 12:22-31) as it is compared with two other ancient Jewish texts. All three sources describe gentiles as people obsessed with the basic necessities of food and drink and clothing. One of Tilton’s conclusions states “In this way Jesus shows himself to be a master craftsman of his trade, an expert teacher of the Scriptures, not a quaint or simple peasant.”

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In this video Dr. Young discusses the need for Jesus’ followers to understand and appreciate Jesus’ Jewish heritage and the Hebraic roots of the Christian faith as they engage in interfaith dialogue.