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.

Stewards of God’s Keys

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Jesus gave his disciple Peter the “keys of the kingdom of heaven” and promised that whatever Peter “bound” and “loosed” on earth would be “bound” and “loosed” in heaven. What scriptural allusions lurk beneath these expressions and what are their implications? How does the Jewish literary background of Matthew 16:19 help us better appreciate Jesus’ words?

The Power of Parables

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Jesus was a master teacher. Therefore, it is significant that he relied heavily on parables. What is it about parables that makes them so moving and memorable?

Lilies of the Field

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In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus mentioned “lilies of the field.” Tulips, poppies, daisies and other wildflowers have been suggested as candidates for “lilies of the field.” In this photo essay we discover the subtleties of his message about these beautiful, short lifespan flowers.

Remember Shiloh!

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Without paying attention to ancient Jewish exegesis one can easily miss the full impact of Jesus’ statement, “den of thieves.” Was Jesus solely addressing the vendors, or was he aiming at bigger game?

King Parables

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The “king parable” is a special form of parable often used by Jesus. Here is the opening of a “king parable” from rabbinic literature: “The matter may be compared to a king who arranged a banquet and invited guests to it. The king issued a decree that stated, ‘Each guest must bring something on which to recline.’ Some brought carpets, others brought mattresses or pads or cushions or stools, while still others brought logs or stones. The king observed what they had done, and said, ‘Let each man sit on what he brought.'”

Literary Languages in the Time of Jesus

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Not only was Hebrew the most prevalent spoken language in the land of Israel during the first century, it was also the language in which most literary works were written.

Parables and Foundations

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One of the many interesting results of synoptic research is the discovery of parallels between rabbinic literature and the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. Rabbinic parallels enhance our understanding of the sayings of Jesus, and vice versa. Jesus’ parable below is more understandable when compared with its rabbinic parallels, and the rabbinic sayings are illuminated by Jesus’ parable.

Jesus and the Essenes

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The Essenes’ favorite name for themselves was “the sons of light.” In the Synoptic Gospels the term appears only in Luke 16:8, and the reference is not very flattering. Was Jesus making an ironic reference to the Essenes?

Book Review: Brad Young’s Jesus and His Jewish Parables

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From the outset Young argues that the best way to understand what Jesus was teaching in his parables is to try to hear him as he spoke to his people. The author argues that this can best be done by analyzing the parables of Jesus together with those told by other rabbis of his day.

Understanding Parables

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The rabbis taught, “Do not underestimate the value of parables, because by means of parables a person can master the words of Torah” (Song of Songs Rabbah 1:8).

An Introduction to Synoptic Studies

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The late Dr. Robert Lindsey, pioneer translator of the Gospels into modern Hebrew, synoptic researcher and pastor of Jerusalem’s Narkis Street Congregation, resided in Israel for over forty years. His discoveries challenge many conclusions of New Testament scholarship from the past two hundred years. Lindsey created a new approach to the study of the Synoptic Gospels. Here, Lindsey provides an introduction to the field of synoptic studies and the “Synoptic Problem.”