Articles

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 […]

A Blessing for Every Occasion

A Blessing for Every Occasion

If you’ve read my article, “Learning from Jesus’ Jewish Prayer Life,” you know the richness of the Jewish pattern of prayer that encourages a person to “bless the Lord” at all times. Below I’ve put a list of some of the many blessings that are traditionally said on all sorts of occasions. (You can also […]

The Reality of Disciples and Rabbis

The Reality of Disciples and Rabbis

I recently was asked about how disciples studied with rabbis. What age were disciples, and did they pay the rabbi a fee to study? How did they support themselves at the same time? Did the rabbis work at some craft to support themselves? (They were not like rabbis of today, which like pastors are to […]

Letting Our Tassels Show

Letting Our Tassels Show

To modern Christians, many Old Testament laws seem arbitrary. One in particular may strike you as odd — the commandment to wear tassels. In Numbers it says, Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. You will have these tassels […]

Jesus' Jewish Logic: Measure for Measure

Jesus’ Jewish Logic: Measure for Measure

With the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Matt 7:2 . In Jesus’ words above about the “measure you use,” he was using a classic rabbinic idea called midah keneged midah (mee-dah kah-NEG-ed mee-dah), which means, literally, “measure corresponding to measure.” Paul also used this style of reasoning. Knowing more about the […]

What's So Wrong with Mixing Wool & Linen?

What’s So Wrong with Mixing Wool & Linen?

Most Christians would agree — the levitical law that wins the prize for weird is Deuteronomy 22:11: “Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together.” Why on earth did God make such an odd prohibition? I used to roll my eyes at this one. In its ancient context, though, the law had a […]

Why Leave Out the Leavening?

Why Leave Out the Leavening?

Yesterday night, Jews around the world sat down to celebrate the Passover Seder meal. At the same time, they also began the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which lasts seven days. Still today Jewish people make a great effort to observe the commandment to remove all leaven from their homes and eat only unleavened food for […]

Can We Use Jewish Sources to Study Jesus?

Can We Use Jewish Sources to Study Jesus?

How much can we really learn about the Jewishness of Jesus from Jewish sources? That’s a pretty fundamental question, since the goal of this website is to understand the Jewish background of Christianity. I’ve found some pretty important news about it, and wanted to share it here. A common approach to studying Jesus is to […]