Renewed Covenant and Jeremiah’s New Covenant in Second Temple Judaism and Jesus’ Movement

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In this lecture from the 2006 Jerusalem Perspective conference, Professor Serge Ruzer discusses Jeremiah’s concept of the New Covenant as it developed within different strains of Second Temple Judaism.

Special thanks to Bruce Okkema, who dedicated hundreds of hours to the creation of the videos in this series. This lecture, along with the rest of the presentations delivered at the 2006 Jerusalem Perspective conference, is available through the En-Gedi Resource Center. To purchase the lectures in audio MP3 format, or to purchase the eight-disc DVD set, click here.














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  1. Neither Yeshua nor Paul ever said that sacrifices in the Temple should stop. ACTS shows that the Nazarenes obeyed the Torah including the observance of Israel’s feasts with the prescribed sacrifices in the Temple (until 70 C.E.).

    Neither can the Essenes’ advice “not to enter the Temple to kindle his altar in vain” be taken literally. The Qumran community despised the corruption, hypocrisy, and self-righteousness of the Pharisees (“the sons of the pit”). The sacrifices of the Prushim were indeed in vain because they were merely offered “to tick the boxes”, thinking that God would be pleased. The Essenes’ admonition was not to follow their evil ways.

    EPH 4:11-16 and 1 COR 12:28 show that neither God, nor Yeshua, nor Paul has anything against instruction (which I why “teachers” were set in the kehillah). “No one shall teach his brother” means that Ruach HaKodesh – not man – will ultimately reveal God to the person, providing that person seeks Him in prayer, reading, fasting, etc. – it has nothing to do with rejecting outside instruction.

    The above has a lot to do though with “the veil”, because the veil signifies the flesh, viz. the corrupt Adamic nature of mankind. As long as someone reads the Tanakh “in the flesh”, i.e., as long as he interprets it with his mere intellect and without any revelation of the Holy Spirit, its content remains obscure.

    Lastly, “the apocalyptic dream” of JER 31:31-33 became reality when one hundred twenty representatives of Israel and Judah received God’s Torah and Spirit into their hearts some 2,000 years ago on Shavuot (ACTS 2). They were obviously cursed by the ones who rejected Yeshua as HaMashiach, and a few years later the Brit Chadasha was extended to the Gentiles because the Jews didn’t want it (which was of course the providence of God).

    That is the meaning of God’s promise to Abraham “In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed” = “Through Yeshua HaMashiach shall all the Gentiles be grafted in”. That so-called “Christianity” has for the most part NOTHING to do with what Yeshua taught should be obvious.

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  • Serge Ruzer

    Serge Ruzer

    Serge Ruzer is a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he teaches in the Department of Comparative Religion. He has authored numerous articles and books on the Jewish background of the New Testament. Among the most important of these are Mapping the New…
    [Read more about author]

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