Your Money or Your Life

Articles Leave a Comment

Perhaps the most impressive thing about Jesus’ reply to the question about paying taxes to Caesar is that Jesus disarms his opponents and at the same time places a total demand on them.

“Binding” and “Loosing” in the Kingdom of Heaven

Articles 1 Comment

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.

Salted with Fire

Articles 2 Comments

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.

Matthew 5:17: “Destroy” the Law

Articles 1 Comment

When a sage felt that a colleague had misinterpreted a passage of Scripture, he would say, “You are canceling (or, uprooting) the Torah!” In other words, “You are so misinterpreting Scripture that you are negating or canceling part of it.” Needless to say, in most cases, his colleague strongly disagreed. What was “canceling” the Torah for one teacher was “fulfilling” it for another.

Jesus’ Use of “Amen”: Introduction or Response?

Articles 1 Comment

It is not surprising to find the word “amen” attributed to Jesus in the Gospels. “Amen” appears elsewhere in the New Testament, notably in the epistles of Paul, who usually used it to conclude an expression of praise to God. Nor is it odd that “amen” was simply transliterated from Hebrew into Greek. Its use had become so common in Greek-speaking synagogues and churches that the New Testament writers generally felt translation unnecessary. What is unusual is to find “amen” used as the beginning of a statement rather than as a response.

“Prophet” as a Messianic Title

Articles Leave a Comment

There can be little doubt that Jesus viewed himself as a prophet, and that many of his contemporaries concurred.