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 Jewish prayers of Jesus and Paul were very different than how we do today. Discovering how they “blessed” the Lord can enrich our faith.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Later rabbis actually agreed with Jesus’ about declaring things “korban.” Why? You need to know about this passionate culture where people often made rash vows.
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 […]
Women have always cheered at the story of Mary of Bethany in Luke 10:38-42. Mary wanted to sit and learn from Jesus, in spite of Martha’s bossy reminders that a long list of chores had her name on them. Despite Martha’s protests, Jesus took her side. I’ve written before about how Jewish culture sheds light […]
[An excerpt from Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus (Zondervan, 2012)] My keys clattered onto the countertop, a relieved sigh escaping from my lips as I slipped off my Sunday coat. The morning had been filled with small irritations: the coffee I splattered on my new sweater, the nosy prayer chain coordinator who grilled […]
Years ago I used to scratch my head at Jesus’ response to the question “What is the greatest commandment?” in Mark 12:28. Why does he start with the line “Hear O Israel, the Lord is Your God, the Lord alone” before stating the command: “Love the Lord your God…”? Why state a fact before giving […]