The ancient Jewish sage Rabban Gamliel is mentioned not only in rabbinic literature, but also twice in the New Testament. Marc Turnage introduces us to this important figure in the history of Judaism and Christianity.
The Gospel of John’s Jewish-Christian Source
In an important study entitled The Gospel of Signs, Robert Fortna correctly identified a Jewish-Christian source embedded in the Fourth Gospel. This article is based upon the conclusions of Fortna’s research and explores their significance. I will also point out additional evidence Fortna overlooked that clarifies the origins and intentions of the Jewish-Christian source embedded in the text of the Fourth Gospel.
Myth of the Pagan Origins of Christianity
The artificial constructions of scholars who once sought to build a bridge directly from Hellenism to Christianity are being dismantled, both because of greater knowledge of the Greek world and due to more intensive study of ancient Jewish and Christian thought.
Character Profiles: Gamaliel and Nicodemus
Gamaliel saved the lives of Jesus’ apostles, and also influenced Paul’s ethics, even after Paul’s conversion. Nicodemus belonged to the Hillelite anti-Zealot circles to which Jesus himself was close.
Unintentional Anti-Semitism in the Church
I heard an all too familiar theme surface in an otherwise good sermon with regard to the recognition and acceptance of Jesus as Messiah: “The Jews just missed it!” Sadly, this affront by categorization also shows a total lack of recognition of the role of Jews in the early church and in their making the message of salvation through Yeshua (Jesus) available to non-Jews. It is as if Yeshua appears on the scene, is rejected by the Jews, but is welcomed with open arms by the non-Jews.
The Surprise of Finding Anti-Semitism in the Heart of the Early Church Fathers
“The other disease which my tongue is called to cure is the most difficult… And what is the disease? The festivals of the pitiful and miserable Jews which are soon approaching.” — Saint John Chrysostom (349-407)
A Non Sequitur in the Argument for the Canonical Approach to Scripture
What is the “canonical approach,” and in what respect is its main supporting argument a “shell game”?
Are Christians Supposed to Tithe?
If Jesus censured the Pharisees for loading burdens upon the people that they could not bear, would he not censure today’s pastors for doing the same thing?
Fishers and Hunters: A Fishy Reading of Jeremiah 16:16
Based on on a “fishy” interpretation of Jeremiah 16:16, some Christians see it as their duty to warn Diaspora Jews of a coming persecution.
The Central Text in the Original Sin Controversy
Diverging views on the doctrine of original sin represent a great chasm fixed between scholars and theologians today.
The Cross and the Jewish People
One of the most poignant pictures which exemplify the chasm of historical misunderstanding between Jews and Christians is that found in Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. It is a photograph of a life-size crucifix that stood outside an unknown German village prior to World War II. In a twist of tragic irony a sign was hung on the cross to warn Jews not to enter the village. It read: “Jews are not welcome here.”
One of the strongest impressions I have from my first year in Israel (1963-1964) was taking part in a Passover Seder (the joyous home celebration of Passover). It happened that during this first year in Israel my first contact with the Jewish people took place—there were no Jews living in Cleveland, Oklahoma, where I grew up.
The Cross: A Symbol of Solidarity
For Christians the suffering that Jesus endured, especially on the cross, has far reaching spiritual, theological and doctrinal significance. Accordingly, the cross has assumed a place of prominence in both Catholic and Protestant symbolism.
Pieces to the Synoptic Puzzle: Papias and Luke 1:1-4
Despite a rather turbulent transmission process, the Synoptic Gospels retain an astonishing amount of authentic and reliable material.
New Testament Canon
While God had used individual writers to record the books themselves, the actual acceptance of those books as being from God was subject to a long transition, a process of testing.
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.
“Binding” and “Loosing” in the Kingdom of Heaven
Jewish sages were called upon constantly by their community to interpret scriptural commands. The Torah forbids working on the Sabbath, for instance, but it does not define what constitutes work. As a result, the sages were required to rule on which activities were permitted on the Sabbath. They “bound,” or prohibited, certain activities, and “loosed” or allowed, others.