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  • “Choose Repentance or Destruction” complex - In the “Choose Repentance or Destruction” complex Jesus urges his contemporaries to repent or face dire consequences in this world and in the world to come.
  • “Cost of Entering the Kingdom of Heaven” complex - Jesus' response to the rich man and Jesus' subsequent teaching about the importance of counting the cost of discipleship may have been prompted solely by the rich man’s question.
  • “Destruction and Redemption” complex - A reconstruction of Jesus' prophecy of the coming destruction of the Temple and future redemption of Jerusalem.
  • “How to Pray” complex - David Bivin and Joshua Tilton propose a reconstruction of Jesus' teaching on how his disciples ought to pray and about the character of the God to whom their prayers are addressed.
  • “Mission of the Twelve” complex - The "Mission of the Twelve" attempts to reconstruct the complete story of the apostles' healing and teaching mission.
  • “Yeshua and Levi the Toll Collector” complex - David Bivin and Joshua Tilton propose a reconstruction of Jesus' interaction with Levi the toll collector and his teaching in response to criticism that Jesus ate and drank with sinners.
  • “Yohanan the Immerser and the Kingdom of Heaven” complex - The Hebrew Life of Yeshua, the source that Robert Lindsey believed ultimately lies behind the Synoptic Gospels, contained a conversation about John the Baptist and his relationship to the Kingdom of Heaven. David N. Bivin and Joshua N. Tilton attempt to reconstruct that conversation here.
  • A Farewell to the Emmaus Road - Despite the Israel Antiquities Authority's call to action, little has been done to preserve the ancient remains of a Roman road that are still visible in the area where Jesus traveled with two of his disciples on the day of his resurrection.
  • A Voice Crying - An examination of the Jewish setting of John the Baptist's proclamation of an immersion of repentance for the release of Israel's sin indebtedness.
  • A Woman’s Misplaced Blessing - When a woman in the crowd praised Jesus' person, he redirected her attention to the Kingdom of Heaven, which is realized through the doing of God's word.
  • Blessedness of the Twelve - Without a knowledge of the saying’s context, Jesus' saying about eyes and ears and prophets and righteous men, seems quite prosaic. However, when it is understood that this saying deals with the Kingdom of Heaven, it becomes one of Jesus' most exciting and dramatic statements.
  • Book Review: Robert Lindsey’s A Comparative Greek Concordance of the Synoptic Gospels - With the publication of the third and final volume of A Comparative Greek Concordance of the Synoptic Gospels, Dr. Robert Lindsey has given to the scholars who have been following his work, as well as to future scholarship, a necessary tool for the study of the synoptic Gospels.
  • By the Finger of God - Jesus’ ministry of miracles and deliverance occasionally brought him into conflict. One of the most intriguing controversies concerned the accusation by a group of Pharisees called “Jerusalem scribes” that Jesus had accomplished the healing of a dumb man with the aid of the prince of demons.
  • Calamities in Yerushalayim - Did ancient Judaism teach that personal misfortune was proof of sin?
  • Call of Levi - In the Call of Levi story we learn about Jesus' attitude toward sinful persons and about his relationship with the Pharisees.
  • Chickens and the Cultural Context of the Gospels - One aspect of the cultural context of the Gospels that is often overlooked is the role played by animals. In this article I will explore the significance of chickens in first-century Jewish culture and the part they play in the story of Jesus.
  • Choosing the Twelve - One day Yeshua called his disciples together and chose twelve of them to be his emissaries to Israel. Their names were Shimon Petros and Andrai (his brother), Yaakov, Yohanan, Pelipah, Talmai’s son, Matai, Tomah, Yaakov Halfi’s son, zealous Shimon, Yehudah Yaakov’s son, and Yehudah from Keriyot, who was a traitor.
  • Cumulative Life of Yeshua Greek Reconstructions - The reconstructed Greek text of the Anthology (thus far completed) with accompanying English translation.
  • Darnel Among the Wheat Parable - Is the Darnel Among the Wheat parable an allegory about eschatological events, or a lesson about God's character?
  • Demands of Discipleship - "Anyone who wants to join me but puts family ties or love of self ahead of me cannot possibly be my full-time disciple. Anyone who is not prepared to die cannot possibly be my full-time disciple. Anyone who does not renounce his possessions cannot possibly be my full-time disciple."
  • First-century Discipleship - Like other sages of his time, Jesus demanded his disciples' total commitment. They were to put the "kingdom of Heaven" (Jesus' band of full-time disciples) before all else. They were to "hate," that is, put second, father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, and themselves, as well (Luke 14:26). Following Jesus to learn Torah from him was to take precedence over every other endeavor.
  • Four Soils Interpretation - In the Four Soils interpretation Jesus explained the meaning of the imagery in the Four Soils parable.
  • Four Soils Parable - By not revealing what the Four Soils parable was about until its dramatic conclusion Jesus drew in his audience and held their attention, making them the very thing the parable urged them to be: good listeners.
  • Generations That Repented Long Ago - Did Jesus condemn his contemporaries for failing to recognize him as the Messiah or for something more insidious?
  • Gennesaret According to Josephus - Read Josephus' description of the plain of Gennesaret.
  • Has the Lost City of Bethsaida Finally Been Found? - The scholarly debate over the location of Bethsaida continues to rage. Now, Mendel Nun, an authority on the Sea of Galilee and its ancient harbors, weighs in on the side of el-Araj.
  • Healing Shimon’s Mother-in-law - The Healing of Shimon’s Mother-in-law, a tender story of familial intimacy, offers a unique glimpse of Jesus’ compassion.
  • Hidden Treasure and Priceless Pearl Parables - Supposing that these twin parables once belonged to the same narrative-sayings complex as the Rich Man Declines the Kingdom of Heaven incident enables us to understand their message. Jesus’ demand that the rich man sell everything wasn’t an onerous or unreasonable request; to the contrary, Jesus had offered the rich man an extraordinary bargain.
  • Innocent Blood - How well-read was Jesus? The LOY segment entitled Innocent Blood probes the possibility that Jesus read and quoted a no longer extant Second Temple-period Jewish literary work that warned against violent religious extremism.
  • Introduction to “The Life of Yeshua: A Suggested Reconstruction” - ...
  • Jesus and a Canaanite Woman - Does the story of a Canaanite woman's encounter with Jesus, which is found in the Gospels of Mark and Matthew, show indications of having descended from a Hebrew source? Why did the author of Luke fail to include this story? Explore these questions and more in "Jesus and a Canaanite Woman."
  • Jesus and Elijah in Luke 4:16-30 - Jesus’ association with Elijah is a prominent theme in Luke-Acts.
  • Jewish Laws of Purity in Jesus’ Day - The sages were required to interpret the biblical commandments, including those dealing with ritual uncleanness of menstruants. Rabbinic regulations about impurity caused by menstruation form the background to several stories in the gospels.
  • Lord’s Prayer - David Bivin and Joshua Tilton envision how the Lord's Prayer might have been formulated in its original language and explore the ancient Jewish context to which the Lord's Prayer belongs.
  • LOY Excursus: Catalog of Markan Stereotypes and Possible Markan Pick-ups - A collection of redactional words and phrases characteristic of the editorial style of the author of Mark.
  • LOY Excursus: Criteria for Distinguishing Type 1 from Type 2 Double Tradition Pericopae - How to tell the difference between the two types of Lukan-Matthean Double Tradition pericopae, and what the distinction can tell us about Luke's pre-synoptic sources.
  • LOY Excursus: Criteria for Identifying Separated Twin Parables and Similes in the Synoptic Gospels - Even casual Gospel observers notice that some of Jesus' parables and similes come in pairs that resemble one another so strongly that they might be regarded as twins. But how does one determine which parables and similes truly are twins, and which might just bear a family resemblance? In this post David N. Bivin and Joshua N. Tilton suggest five criteria that authenticate parables and similes as true twins.
  • LOY Excursus: Greek Transliterations of Hebrew, Aramaic and Hebrew/Aramaic Words in the Synoptic Gospels - One of the clues that the Synoptic Gospels descended from a Hebrew Life of Yeshua is the number of foreign words that were transliterated into Greek from either Hebrew or Aramaic (it is often impossible to distinguish Hebrew from Aramaic in Greek transliteration).
  • LOY Excursus: Greek-Hebrew Equivalents in the LOY Reconstructions - An index of Greek terms and their Hebrew equivalents that occur in the Greek Reconstruction and Hebrew Reconstruction columns of the Life of Yeshua reconstruction documents.
  • LOY Excursus: Mark’s Editorial Style - This LOY Excursus is a compendium of observations regarding the redactional changes the author of Mark typically made to his sources. It also discusses the image of Jesus the author of Mark wanted to portray in his Gospel.
  • LOY Excursus: Sources of the “Strings of Pearls” in Luke’s Gospel - The “strings of pearls” (Luke 8:16-18; 9:23-27; 16:16-18; 17:1-6) offer an example of the outsized influence of the First Reconstruction on the synoptic tradition.
  • LOY Excursus: The Kingdom of Heaven in the Life of Yeshua - In this excursus to the Life of Yeshua commentary, David N. Bivin and Joshua N. Tilton delve into the ancient Jewish concept of the Kingdom of Heaven and discuss the ways in which Jesus made use of this concept in his own unique style.
  • Map of the Conjectured Hebrew Life of Yeshua - ...
  • Mustard Seed and Starter Dough Parables - Jesus used the Mustard Seed and Starter Dough parables to demonstrate that the Kingdom of Heaven is a living and active presence that is increasing within the realm of human experience.
  • Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven - Did Jesus offer a rationale for teaching with the aid of story parables in this pericope, or does the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven saying celebrate the dawning of the new age of redemption?
  • Not Everyone Can Be Yeshua’s Disciple - When three eager prospective disciples asked permission to follow Jesus, Jesus responded to each of them with a riddle. Why would God allow Jesus and his followers to sleep on the ground when he provides safe places even for the animals to sleep? How can the dead bury a corpse? Why would a disciple set his hand to a plow when Elisha had given up plowing in order to follow Elijah? These riddles would have to be puzzled over before their meaning was fully understood. But each of the riddles were ominous, and it appears that each of the three prospective disciples reconsidered his desire to join Jesus.
  • Parables of Ill Repute - In rabbinic parables God could be portrayed as behaving in a morally ambiguous manner: he might be a cruel slave owner or a heartless judge. In a few Lukan parables, Jesus also portrayed God as behaving scandalously. Often unsettling for modern readers, such portrayals added humorous elements to the plot and heightened the dramatic effect.
  • Pilgrimage in the Time of Jesus - Luke states that Joseph and Mary made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem every Passover. The requirement of pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem is mentioned in the passages of Scripture that deal with three annual festivals: the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Booths.
  • Preparations for the Eating Passover Lamb - Careful analysis shows that a Hebraic source ultimately stands behind the Synoptic Gospels and that this source is best preserved in Luke. Luke’s version of the Preparations for Eating Passover Lamb preserves details—such as Jesus taking the initiative to send the two disciples, commanding the disciples to prepare the lamb, and using Hebraic idiom—that fit the cultural context of first-century Judaism.
  • Return of the Twelve - When Jesus' twelve emissaries to Israel returned from their mission, thrilled by their success at exorcising demons, Jesus described to them a vision of the expulsion of Satan from heaven. The vision's message was double-edged: on the one hand, the downfall of the angelic prince meant that the way was opened for the redemption of Israel; on the other hand, having fallen to earth, Satan was about to unleash his fury against God's chosen people.
  • Rich Man Declines the Kingdom of Heaven - In order to join Jesus band of full-time disciples the rich man would have to adopt a radically different lifestyle than the one to which he was accustomed.
  • Salted with Fire - Among the difficult sayings of Jesus, Mark 9:49 is one of the most enigmatic. Almost all previous explanations of this verse have dealt with the Greek text, but like many of the difficult sayings of Jesus, this one simply cannot be explained from the Greek alone.
  • Sending the Twelve: “The Harvest Is Plentiful” and “A Flock Among Wolves” - Yeshua told his twelve emissaries: “There’s a huge harvest, but a shortage of harvesters. So send word to the owner of the field to hire more workers to help them finish the job. “Go! But beware, I’m sending you out like a defenseless flock into a pack of ravenous wolves.”
  • Sending the Twelve: Apostle and Sender - The Apostle and Sender saying (Matt. 10:40; Luke 10:16) not only gave assurance to Jesus' emissaries as he sent them out on their first healing and teaching mission, it also offers us an extraordinary glimpse into Jesus' high self-awareness as the shāliaḥ, or official representative, of Israel's God. In this segment of the Life of Yeshua commentary, David N. Bivin, JP's editor-in-chief, and Joshua N. Tilton envision how Jesus' Apostle and Sender saying may have been worded in Hebrew and explore the Jewish backgrounds of this profound saying.
  • Sending the Twelve: Commissioning - Yeshua summoned his twelve emissaries to Israel and he gave them power to drive out dangerous spirits and to heal every disease and sickness those spirits had caused. Then he sent them on ahead in pairs to every city he intended to visit.
  • Sending the Twelve: Conduct in Town - David N. Bivin and Joshua N. Tilton suggest a Hebrew reconstruction of Jesus' instructions about how the twelve apostles were to behave when they entered a town. In this pericope we learn about the giving and receiving of hospitality among Jesus' earliest followers. We also learn what may be wrong about the popular view that shaking the dust from the apostles' feet was a symbolic action meant to signal to Jews who rejected Jesus that they were henceforth to be considered as Gentiles.
  • Sending the Twelve: Conduct on the Road - In this segment of the LOY commentary David Bivin and Joshua Tilton consider the command to avoid Gentiles and Samaritans and the prohibitions against bringing travel gear for the apostles' journey.
  • Spontaneous Growth Parable - An exploration of a parable unique to the Gospel of Mark.
  • That Small-fry Herod Antipas, or When a Fox Is Not a Fox - We need to start translating “fox” with its proper Hebraic cultural meaning.
  • The Kingdom of God: God’s Power Among Believers - One of the greatest theological controversies in the last century concerns the meaning of the terms “Kingdom of God” and “Kingdom of heaven.” Because scholars have not given adequate attention to the fact that these are completely Hebraic terms, confusion has arisen concerning the period of time to which the Kingdom refers, who takes part in it and the exact nature of the Kingdom. Examining relevant Gospel passages in their Hebraic context will clarify what Jesus meant when he spoke of the “Kingdom of God” or the “Kingdom of heaven.”
  • The Kingdom of Heaven Is Like a Seine - The seine was used in the Sea of Galilee until the 1950s, and my experiences in the early days of modern Jewish fishing on the Sea of Galilee have given me some practical insight into its use.
  • The Major Importance of the “Minor” Agreements - In this article, Dr. Robert Lindsey discusses the importance of the so-called "minor agreements" of Luke and Matthew against Mark for properly understanding the interrelationship of the Synoptic Gospels. David N. Bivin and Joshua N. Tilton collaborated with Lauren Asperschlager to bring this article, which previously existed only as an unfinished draft, to Jerusalem Perspective subscribers.
  • The Recently Discovered Pool of Siloam - In this free sample lecture from the 2006 Jerusalem Perspective Conference, archaeologist and JP contributor Ronny Reich discusses the excavation of the first-century remains of the pool of Siloam discovered in Jerusalem. The complete collection of presentations delivered at the 2006 Jerusalem Perspective Conference is available through the En-Gedi Resource Center.
  • The Sea of Galilee - According to the Gospels, Jesus’ earthly ministry centered around the Sea of Galilee. While important events occurred in Jerusalem, the Lord spent most of the three years of his ministry along the shore of this freshwater lake.
  • The Sweetness of Learning - Although the Gospels give little information concerning Jesus' childhood, we can suppose that in his formative years Jesus received a good Jewish education. Dr. Wilson gives us a glimpse into the Jewish way of training a child.
  • Tower Builder and King Going to War Similes - The Tower Builder and King Going to War similes explain why Jesus thought full-time discipleship was not suitable for everyone.
  • Was Jesus a Confirmed Bachelor? - Jesus still relatively young when he was crucified. His death may have come before he had a chance to marry.
  • What Is the Priest Doing? Common Sense and Culture - Common sense is connected to cultural expectations, and what is understandable in one culture is opaque in another.
  • Widow’s Son in Nain - In Widow’s Son in Nain, David Bivin and Joshua N. Tilton ask "Which Nain was the town where Jesus raised the widow’s son?" and "What is the meaning of the people's exclamation that a prophet had arisen among them?" The possibility of a Judean ministry early in Jesus’ career and of the messianic connotations of the Widow’s Son in Nain story are discussed in detail in this segment of the Life of Yeshua commentary.
  • Woes on Three Villages - The Woes on Three Villages express Jesus' sorrow that Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum had not responded to his warning not to get sucked into the black hole of violent religious nationalism.
  • Yeshua, His Mother and Brothers - Did Jesus reject his natural family in favor of a spiritual kinship, or did he pay Mary and his brothers the highest possible compliment?
  • Yeshua’s Immersion - The words of the heavenly voice that spoke at Jesus' immersion foreshadowed the trajectory of Jesus' career.
  • Yeshua’s Testing - The LOY reconstruction and commentary on the story of Jesus' temptation.
  • Yeshua’s Thanksgiving Hymn - In Yeshua’s Thanksgiving Hymn the Holy Spirit inspires Jesus to utter an Essene-style hymn that expresses gratitude for the divine revelation that was being disclosed to his followers.
  • Yeshua’s Words about Yohanan the Immerser - Did Jesus regard John the Baptist as a prophet? As more than a prophet? What did he mean that the least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than John the Baptist? Explore these questions in Yeshua's Words about Yohanan the Immerser.
  • Yohanan the Immerser Demands Repentance - In Yohanan the Immerser Demands Repentance John the Baptist challenges his audience, which had gone through all the trouble of going out to the Jordan River to receive his baptism, to accept his even more important advice: to repent of their evil deeds and imitate the faithfulness of Abraham their father.
  • Yohanan the Immerser’s Eschatological Discourse - John the Baptist anticipated the coming of an Elijah-like priestly messiah who would purify the Temple on an eschatological Day of Atonement.
  • Yohanan the Immerser’s Execution - The story of John the Baptist's martyrdom was rich with allusions to stories from the Hebrew Scriptures.
  • Yohanan the Immerser’s Exhortations - In Yohanan the Immerser's Exhortations John the Baptist instructs his audience how they are to behave in order to bear the fruits of repentance.

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