Jesus and the Hasidim

Articles 2 Comments

How do we define Jesus within first-century Jewish society? To which of the various Jewish sects does he belong? Was he a Pharisee, an Essene? After years of painstaking research, Shmuel Safrai has identified a new stream within the Judaism of Jesus’ time: the Hasidic movement. This may be a major breakthrough in New Testament studies, as well, because the picture Safrai paints of the Hasidim is amazingly similar to what we know about Jesus. Jesus, who was quite close to the Hasidim and perhaps even involved with some of them, does not reflect Galilean boorishness or ignorance, but rather the dynamism and ongoing creativity of Jewish life in Galilee.

That Small-fry Herod Antipas, or When a Fox Is Not a Fox

Articles Leave a Comment

We need to start translating “fox” with its proper Hebraic cultural meaning.

The Rich Young Ruler Story: Personal Application

Articles Leave a Comment

God will probably test our commitment to him at its weakest, most vulnerable point or points, those areas in our lives that we have made more important than him.

The Shema in Early Jewish Teaching

Articles Leave a Comment

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deut. 6:4), known as the Shema, is a foundational teaching of both Judaism and Jesus.

The Divine Name in the Hebrew New Testament

Articles Leave a Comment

God has a personal name: YHVH. Like Semitic names in general, it was intended to reflect something of the bearer’s character. YHVH is related to the root h-v-h, “to be”, and reflects God’s eternity and timelessness.

The Decalogue and the New Testament

Articles Leave a Comment

Professor Flusser examines references to the Decalogue in ancient Jewish sources and the New Testament. In light of this comparison, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount does not merely present a utopian ideal, but rather an outline of practical behavior.

Parables and Foundations

Articles Leave a Comment

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.

The New Testament in Modern Hebrew

Articles Leave a Comment

In this series Dr. Ray Pritz, head of the Bible Society in Israel, describes the challenges faced by the Society’s translation committee in rendering the synoptic Gospels into modern Hebrew, and some of the solutions it found.

A Friend of Tax Collectors

Articles Leave a Comment

Tax collectors were especially hated because they increased their profit by collecting more taxes than their masters actually demanded.