Sharing personal insights from his own spiritual journey and his study of the Scriptures, the late Dwight Pryor, founder of the Center for Judaic-Christian Studies, reflects on the life of Jesus for Christian readers of Jerusalem Perspective Online.
The restoration of the Jewish homeland, Israel, and the reconnection of the Church to its Jewish roots are not unrelated phenomena. Many sectors of the Body of Messiah today are being stimulated and enriched by the “nourishing sap” of Israel’s faith, scriptures and scholarship. We are discovering that there is scarcely a single New Testament subject that cannot be amplified, deepened, or balanced by a Hebraic perspective. As disciples of Yeshua, we are deeply indebted to Israel.
At the root of this renewal of the Church stands a Jewish man, Jesus of Nazareth—Rav Yeshua. This itinerant first-century teacher with a keen sense of “high self-awareness” surely is the cornerstone of the living temple God continues to build in our time. It is imperative and in every way advantageous, therefore, that we understand Yeshua—his person and his work, his mission and his message—in the full frame of his original Jewish matrix.
So compelling is his full humanity when seen in its Jewish setting that some people, in their explorations of their Jewish roots, have come to question the divinity of Jesus as the Son of God. Some even have dismissed this central Christian claim on the grounds that it is Hellenistic and not authentically Hebraic. They charge that a Greco-Roman accretion was added to the authentic Jewish faith Jesus passed on to his apostles and disciples. Is this true? In a twenty-year journey as part of what I would call the Hebraic Renewal community, I too have wrestled with this most pivotal of claims: that Yeshua was fully man and yet fully God-in-man reconciling the world to himself. In other words, that the New Testament claim of the One God as Father-Son-Holy Spirit does not violate (but amplifies) the central tenet of the Hebrew Scriptures and the core of Judaism’s ethical monotheism—the Shema of Deuteronomy 6:4.
-  David Flusser, Jesus (Magnes Press, 1997), 118. ↩