Articles

Jesus' View of Pacifism

Jesus’ View of Pacifism

The idea that Jesus taught pacifism arose primarily due to the misunderstanding of a number of his sayings. When viewed from a Jewish perspective, the passages on which pacifism is based point to a quite different conclusion.

Sukkot - Feast of Abundance and Insecurity

Sukkot – Feast of Abundance and Insecurity

Five days after the Day of Atonement comes the most joyous feast of the year—the Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot. Sukkot is the plural of the Hebrew word sukkah, meaning “booth” or “hut.” During Jesus’ day, huge celebrations were held in the temple, lasting for seven days. The Feast of Sukkot is also called the […]

What is Living Water?

What is Living Water?

One prominent image that recurs from Genesis to Revelation is that of living water. In the Middle East, water is scarce and precious, and very much needed for survival.

Irony in the Extreme

Irony in the Extreme

(This article is one that I’ve recently posted on the brand new En-Gedi Resource Center website. Under “Jesus’ Jewishness” go to “His Sayings in Context” to read others on this topic.) ~~~~~ . . One key to unlocking many difficult Bible passages is to know that Middle Eastern teachers loved to use irony to make […]

Deeper Magic: The Illogical Logic of Mercy

Deeper Magic: The Illogical Logic of Mercy

The “deeper magic” of Narnia—the idea that the sins of one person can be forgiven because of another person’s sacrifice—is a fundamental precept of Christianity. You might think this was something that the New Testament invented. But Jewish scholars find this idea in subtle nuances of the Torah that Christians rarely read.

I was a Cheater at Bible Reading

I was a Cheater at Bible Reading

When I was a kid I used to do crossword puzzles by putting one finger in the answer key and fill the letters in backwards, cheating the whole way through. I used to read the Bible the exact same way.

Israel's Undefinable God

Israel’s Undefinable God

The Bible doesn’t try very hard to answer our philosophical questions. In Genesis, where is the proof for God’s existence? What are his origins? Why isn’t God explained theologically? Knowledge of God in the Scriptures comes from personal encounter, not through human reasoning.

Why Does Your Creed have Cows in It?

Why Does Your Creed have Cows in It?

When I first read the Shema, the Jewish profession of faith, I assumed it was their Apostle’s Creed. I was shocked because I was looking for doctrines like the “communion of saints” and “forgiveness of sins,” not mundane realities like grass, fields and cows.