Can Gentiles Be Saved?

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Jesus’ broadminded approach resonates with contemporary sages who belonged to the School of Hillel. In their opinion, it is better to leave God-fearing Gentiles in their blessed state with only the necessity of the moral laws given to Noah.

First-century Jewish Use of Scripture: Evidence from the Life of Jesus

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Through the window of a single New Testament episode we can gain insight into how Jesus and his Jewish contemporaries employed sacred texts with creative ingenuity to grapple with the complex issues of their day.

One God and Lord

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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.

Romans 11: The Olive Tree’s Root

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Paul spoke about Israel as a “cultivated olive tree” whose rootage was in the Patriarchs, particularly Abraham. Some Bible commentators, however, interpreted the root of the olive tree as Christ or his messianic program.

The Teaching of Balaam

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Revelation 2:12-16 is one of those occasions when it is necessary for the Christian reader to be familiar with first-century Jewish interpretation of an Old Testament account.

Being There

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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.

God’s Mercy and Our Disobedience

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Reading a passage from the New Testament against the backdrop of ancient Jewish tradition can sometimes add to the its significance. Romans 11:30-36 is one such passage, where without knowing the Jewish tradition to which Paul alluded, we run the risk of not hearing his emphasis clearly: God is merciful and his ways, incomprehensible.

Walk after Me!

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Do we as Christians take seriously “the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5)? If we did, how would it change our perspective? Apparently not, if we are to judge by the essentials of apostolic faith as defined in early church creeds. Typically these creeds skip from Jesus’ supernatural origins to his sacrificial death. The Apostles’ Creed, for instance, emphasizes that Jesus Christ, the “Son of God, was born of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, was crucified in the days of Pontius Pilate, and died, and rose from the grave….” What about the events between his birth and death? Are not his teachings fundamental to our faith, too?

Were Women Segregated in the Ancient Synagogue?

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Did women play a passive role in the synagogue congregations of antiquity? Were they separated from male members of the congregation during prayer and study, as is the case today? According to Professor Shmuel Safrai, the answer to both questions is a resounding “No.”

Anti-Jewish Tendencies in the Synoptic Gospels

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The scourge of anti-Semitism has not departed from the Church. Though recently there have been encouraging signs, many Christians still harbor prejudice against Jews. The Synoptic Gospels may have helped spawn this prejudice. They may even play a continuing role in perpetuating it.

The Place of Women in First-century Synagogues

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Today, public worship can take place in a synagogue only if at least ten adult Jewish males are present. Women do not qualify as part of this quorum. Furthermore, women are separated from men within the synagogue: women worship in an ezrat nashim, a balcony, or section with a divider, located beside or behind the men’s section. Things were considerably different in Jesus’ day.

Pieces to the Synoptic Puzzle: Papias and Luke 1:1-4

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Despite a rather turbulent transmission process, the Synoptic Gospels retain an astonishing amount of authentic and reliable material.

New Testament Canon

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When discussing the question of inspiration of Scripture, it is important to consider also the way in which the church determined which books were from God and which were not. Most of us take for granted that the New Testament always had twenty-seven books.

Book Review: Robert Lindsey’s A Comparative Greek Concordance of the Synoptic Gospels

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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.

A New Solution to the Synoptic Problem

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Although the many similarities among the synoptic Gospels suggest an interdependence, there are also differences. According to Luke 4:22, after Jesus spoke in his hometown synagogue in Nazareth the people said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” According to Mark 6:3, they said, “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary…?” However, Matthew 13:55 recounts, “Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary?”

The Two Great Principles and Sefer Pitron Torah

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The command to love one’s neighbor was already thought of during the Second Commonwealth as the essence of the second half of the Decalogue, in which sense it is quoted in Sefer Pitron Torah.