We can gain much insight from hearing rabbinic wisdom about what it means to “hallow the name” (Kiddush Hashem) and to “profane the name” (Hillul Hashem). These two phrases are rich with significance in Jewish tradition, having been used from the first century until today.
I love Hebrew words. I can’t count the number of times that learning a definition has deepened my understanding of not just one Bible passage, but many. Recently I’ve posted a couple examples to show you what I mean. In the article “Does God Forget Sins?” I explain how the words for “remember” and “forget” […]
Biblical Hebrew includes only about 8,000 words, far fewer than the 100,000 or more we have in English. Because Hebrew has so few words, each is like an over-stuffed suitcase, bulging with extra meanings that it must carry in order for the language to fully describe reality. Unpacking each word is a delightful exercise in […]
I used to think that Jesus’ command to make disciples simply meant teaching people certain beliefs about God, helping them to accept Christ as Lord, and then educating them in doctrinal truth later on. Though all these are important, this way of defining discipleship showed that I, like many westerners, approached the gospel primarily as […]
Hebrew has a word for life-long love that is richer and deeper than English has ever conceived of—hesed (HEH-sed). Based in a covenantal relationship, hesed is a steadfast, rock-solid faithfulness that endures to eternity: “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love (hesed) for you will not be shaken” […]
As Passover and Holy Week approach, we are reminded once again to celebrate God’s amazing acts of redemption on our behalf. First he redeemed Israel from slavery in Egypt, and Christ redeemed us from death through his atoning sacrifice for our sins. What are the implication of these holy days for the rest of the […]
The words of Genesis 1 express a profound paradox: Though we’re as insignificant as dust, we reflect the glory of God himself.
On a bus in Jerusalem, I encountered the passionate Middle Eastern attitude that colored Jesus’ parables and his attitude toward prayer.
For thousands of years, Jewish parents have taught their children the words of the Shema as soon as they could speak. Like most Christians I had never heard of it, but it to Jesus it was God’s greatest commandment.
What does it mean that Jesus lived as a Jewish rabbi who called and trained disciples? And how does learning about his teachings in their original context enable us to better live out our calling? Jesus’ first followers responded to his words with actions that astound us. They left home, family, and comfort behind to […]
No one is innocent of harming others through gossip. Is there any way to improve what comes out of our mouths?
Why does the Bible begin with the second letter of the alphabet, not the first? To show that not all knowledge is accessible to man, but some is reserved for God himself.