When nearly precise rabbinic parallels to stories and sayings in the Gospels exist, it may indicate that the Gospels are preserving traditions of the early Jesus movement and, perhaps, the historical Jesus.
Notes on the New Testament as a Witness for Broader Jewish Patterns in Jesus’ Times
This essay probes a number of Matthean and Lukan contributions to the shared Synoptic narrative, in search of possible reflections of contemporaneous Jewish customs and beliefs with broader circulation.
Why Rabbinic Literature Is Pertinent to the Study of the Gospels
The complete 2006 lecture is now accessible to JP users. View now!
The Didache and its Relevance for Understanding the Gospel of Matthew
In this article, Professor Huub van de Sandt introduces readers to the fascinating treatise called the Didache, and discusses how this early Christian document, which was based on an earlier Jewish source, helps us understand the Gospel of Matthew.
The Programmatic Opening of Jesus’ Biography as a Reflection of Contemporaneous Jewish Messianic Ideas
In this study Professor Ruzer suggests that there was a broader first-century Jewish context behind the narrative strategies employed in Mark’s prologue to Jesus’ messianic biography. On the other hand, he also demonstrates that Mark 1:9-11 can be used to recover an early phase of a pattern of messianic belief, seemingly shared by wider Judaism, that continued into the rabbinic period. In other words, New Testament evidence can be an important witness to broader trajectories in early Jewish messianic beliefs.
Parables on the Character of God
Jerusalem Perspective is excited to announce that in the coming months Dr. R. Steven Notley will be sharing a series of blogs on Jesus’ parables with our readers. In anticipation of these blogs, and as a preview of what we might expect from Dr. Notley, we are sharing two sermons on the parables that Dr. Notley delivered to the Narkis Street Congregation in Jerusalem. Enjoy!
The Significance of Jesus’ Words “Not One Jot or One Tittle Will Pass from the Law” (Matt. 5:18)
“Jot” and “tittle” are not everyday words in English. What do they mean and how should Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:18 be understood? Jerusalem Perspective‘s editor-in-chief, David Bivin, tackles these questions on behalf of a subscriber’s request for help.
Character Profile: Rabban Gamliel the Elder
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.
Video Clip: Brad Young on “Why Rabbinic Literature is Pertinent to the Study of the Gospels”
In this video Brad Young discusses why rabbinic literature is, unfortunately, so often dismissed as a valuable source for understanding Jesus’ message.
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.
Foreword to Robert Lindsey’s A Hebrew Translation of the Gospel of Mark
It seems clear that Lindsey’s observations have provided a decisive new clue to understanding the synoptic relationships and an equally important clue to the correct approach to the Gospel of Mark.
“It Is Said to the Elders”: On the Interpretation of the So-called Antitheses in the Sermon on the Mount
Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount deserves endless study, and the more one studies ancient Jewish sources, the clearer the meaning of these words of Jesus becomes.
Hebraisms in the New Testament
The text of the New Testament contains many Semitic elements, some of which are Hebraisms. The Synoptic Gospels show evidence for the existence of wordplays and idioms that are typical of Hebrew.
My wife, Lenore, and I have dealt with a great many people who, because of various circumstances in their life, are unable to feel loved—by God or anyone else. In fact, they often describe how they feel as “numb” or “empty.” They often view themselves as unattractive, unlovable, and worthless. This is in spite of the fact that many of these people are considered successful in their chosen field.
Covered in the Dust of Your Rabbi: An Urban Legend?
Some months ago, pastor-blogger Trevin Wax posted an article called “Urban Legends: The Preacher’s Edition.” There he lists several “urban legends” that he’s heard floating around lately in sermons. Like Internet rumors that people forward on ad infinitum, these preaching illustrations don’t have much grounding in fact.
The “Hypocrisy” of the Pharisees
Without reading the Scriptures carefully, and without a familiarity with Second Temple-period extra-biblical sources, a simple reader of the New Testament might assume that a majority of the Pharisees were hypocrites and that the Pharisees as a movement were indeed a “brood of vipers.” As a result of this common Christian assumption, the word “Pharisee” has become a synonym for “hypocrite” in the English language.
The Jewish Cultural Nature of Galilee in the First Century
The prevailing opinion among New Testament scholars is that first-century Galilee was culturally and spiritually deprived, and that, therefore, Jesus came from an underdeveloped and backward Jewish region of the land of Israel. Professor Safrai here presents massive evidence against this view.
Jesus and the Enigmatic “Green Tree”
Jesus made bold messianic claims when he spoke. To thoroughly understand these claims, however, we must get into a time machine and travel back in time to a completely different culture, the Jewish culture of first-century Israel. We must acculturate ourselves to the way teachers and disciples in the time of Jesus communicated through allusions to Scripture.