The Best Long-term Investment—Making Loans to God

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(Matt. 6:19-20) These two famous verses from the Sermon on the Mount belong to a homily on resource management. … (Sirach 29:10-12)

Jesus’ homily, which has been preserved in Matthew 6:19-24, contributes a small but priceless piece to a larger canvas—stewardship in the faith and piety of late Second Temple-period Judaism.

Cataloging the Gospels’ Hebraisms: Part Six (Parallelism)

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(Matt. 6:19-20; RSV)

A knowledge of Hebrew parallelism is one additional aid to investigators of the synoptic Gospels since, when two or more versions of a saying of Jesus have been preserved, the greater perfection of the parallelism in one version may be key in determining it is the earliest, the closest to the text of the conjectured lost Hebrew biography of Jesus of which early church sources speak. … Therefore, it is probable that Luke 12:33 is a revision of a text like Matthew 6:19-20. Jesus often taught using intricate antithetical parallelisms like Matt. 6:19-20.

Treasures in Heaven

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Matthew 6:19-24 represents a homily on maintaining a proper attitude toward money. … For example, Matthew 6:19-21 parallels Luke 12:33, 34, Matthew 6:22, 23 parallels Luke 11:34-36, and Matthew 6:24 parallels Luke 16:13, which comes after the Parable of the Unrighteous Steward.

The Didache and its Relevance for Understanding the Gospel of Matthew

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The image featured above, intended to symbolize the Two Ways of Life and Death, which are of central importance to the Didache, was photographed by Imen Bouhajja in Ghar Elmelh, Tunisia (courtesy of Wikimedia Commons). 1. The Didache A portrait of Philotheos Bryennios found opposite the title page of Philip Schaff’s The Oldest Church Manual Called The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (1885). Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. In 1873, Philotheos Bryennios, the metropolitan of Serres (Serrae) in Macedonia, discovered a Greek parchment manuscript in the monastery of the Holy Sepulchre in Constantinople.

Jesus’ Twin Parables

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The wit and wisdom of Jesus’ parables, and the economy of their words, have convinced many scholars that in these allegories one can hear the very voice of Jesus. The twentieth-century, German scholar, Joachim Jeremias pointed out the many Semitisms in the Greek texts of the Gospels and contended that, at least in many parables, we have the literal words of Jesus.

Jesus’ Attitude to Poverty

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Revised: 21-Apr-2013

In light of Jesus’ demand of the rich young ruler to relinquish his entire fortune, one might assume that Jesus demanded this of every disciple; however, it is not certain that Jesus viewed poverty as the ideal state.

Certain circles within the Judaism of Jesus’ day took the view that there was something spiritually beneficial in poverty per se, that it was a mark of God’s special favor to be poor.The Hasidim were perhaps the most influential proponents of this philosophy in first-century Israel. These were a stream of Galilean sages who were close in theology to the Pharisees while at the same time in tension with them because the Hasidim emphasized the doing of good deeds more than the study of Torah. Shmuel Safrai carried out extensive research on the Hasidim.

“Treasure in Heaven”: Examining an Ancient Idiom for Charity

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For my brother, Jeff, whose charity towards me was always done with a “good heart;” truly he has stored his “treasure in heaven.”


The growing value placed on charity in the first century C.E. cannot be overstated.This paper was also presented during the ETS Northeast Regional Meeting (April 6th, 2013, Nyack, NY).As a new sensitivity developed within Judaism that challenged the compensatory “blessings and curses” paradigm of the Hebrew Bible (cf. Deut. 28) as a basis to serve God, so there was a shifting emphasis towards altruistic loveDavid Flusser, “A New Senstivity in Judaism and the Christian Message” in Judaism and the Origins of Christianity (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1988), 469-489; repr. from HThR 61/2 (1968):107-127.

Jesus’ Yoke and Burden

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Revised: 25-Nov-2014″Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30; NIV). Although extraordinarily beautiful, Jesus’ saying recorded in Matthew 11:28-30 is enigmatic. What is this saying’s meaning, and what were Jesus’ “yoke” and “burden”?

Jesus and the Oral Torah: Tithing

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Jesus must have been a generous giver himself, since he taught that one should “lay up treasures in Heaven” (Matt. 6:20) and that if one’s “eye is bad his whole body is full of darkness” (Matt. 6:23).

Rich Man Declines the Kingdom of Heaven

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Matt. 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-31; Luke 18:18-30 (Huck 189; Aland 254-255; Crook 294-295)For abbreviations and bibliographical references, see “Introduction to ‘The Life of Yeshua: A Suggested Reconstruction.'” Preliminary research on the Rich Man Declines the Kingdom of Heaven incident was carried out in 1986-1987. Seventeen Jerusalem School seminar sessions were devoted to this pericope: eight seminars were held February-June 1986, and a further nine seminars between November 1986 and May 1987.

Jerusalem School Seminar participants engaged in discussing the Rich Man Declines the Kingdom of Heaven incident.

Introduction to A Hebrew Translation of the Gospel of Mark

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My Hebrew translation of the Gospel of MarkRobert L. Lindsey, A Hebrew Translation of the Gospel of Mark (2d ed.; Jerusalem: Dugith, 1973).grew out of an eight-year personal encounter with this Gospel. Not long after Israel’s independence, I came to the conclusion that a new Hebrew translation of the New Testament was badly needed, especially by the Hebrew-speaking Christian congregations of the State of Israel. I chose to begin with the Gospel of Mark, under the impression that it was the earliest of the canonical Gospels and because it contained the kind of simple Greek text that would make translation relatively easy.

Stewards of God’s Keys

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Pirke Avot, also known as The Sayings of the Fathers, or, simply Avot, is unquestionably one of the most valuable rabbinic texts for comparative study with the synoptic gospels.Note that the last chapter of Avot, chapter 6, known as “Acquisition of the Torah,” is a later addition. See Hanoch Albeck’s comments to Order Nezikin in The Mishnah (Jerusalem: Bialik Institute, and Tel Aviv: Dvir Co., 1988), 351, 381.Spanning time from the emergence of Hellenism in ancient Israel through the first two centuries of the Christian era, Avot is a collection of maxims to which some sixty sages and rabbis have contributed.The Authorized Daily Prayer Book, ed.

LOY Excursus: Criteria for Distinguishing Type 1 from Type 2 Double Tradition Pericopae

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Revised: 17-February-2020

An important breakthrough in the formulation of Robert Lindsey’s solution to the Synoptic Problem was his recognition that there are really two sets of Lukan-Matthean Double Tradition (DT) pericopae. Lindsey noted that one set of pericopae is characterized by high levels of verbal identity, whereas the other set of pericopae is characterized by somewhat lower levels of verbal identity, despite the fact that the Lukan and Matthean pericopae are clearly parallels.

The Kingdom of Heaven Is Increasing

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Matt. 11:12-15; Luke 16:16
(Huck 65, 176; Aland 107, 226; Crook 125, 272)For abbreviations and bibliographical references, see “Introduction to ‘The Life of Yeshua: A Suggested Reconstruction.'” Revised: 18-March-20202

מִימֵי יוֹחָנָן הַמַּטְבִּיל וְעַד עַכְשָׁיו מַלְכוּת שָׁמַיִם פּוֹרֶצֶת וּפוֹרְצִים פּוֹרְצִים בָּהּ שֶׁכָּל הַנְּבִיאִים וְאַף הַתּוֹרָה עַד יוֹחָנָן מִתְנַבְּאִים

“Since Yohanan the Immerser, and continuing into the present time, God’s redeeming reign has begun to increase, and the number of participants in his reign is on the rise.

“For all the prophets—and even the Torah—down to Yohanan tell of the coming redemption. But now the redemption is happening before your very eyes!”This translation is a dynamic rendition of our reconstruction of the conjectured Hebrew source that stands behind the Greek of the Synoptic Gospels.