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.

Be a Bridge, Not an Island

Be a Bridge, Not an Island

If you’re a Christian who is learning about their Jewish roots, you’ll quickly enter a world that has an entirely new vocabulary of Hebrew names and biblical phrases, etc. Why don’t you hear me use it? I share my reasoning here.

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 […]

The Meaning of Life, According to Jesus

The Meaning of Life, According to Jesus

Here’s a little experiment for you. Right now, make yourself smile. Look in the mirror. Are you really, genuinely smiling? Or is it a little forced? Okay, now make yourself laugh. Did you fill the room with hearty guffawing? Or did you find it quite difficult? Okay, now make yourself happy. Are you truly brimming […]

Discipleship: What Sheep Can Teach Us

Discipleship: What Sheep Can Teach Us

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 […]

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 […]

Great Books for Learning to Walk Like Rabbi Jesus

Great Books for Learning to Walk Like Rabbi Jesus

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog called “Good First Reads About Jesus’ Jewish Context” which shared what I’d give to people who are just beginning to learn about Hebraic studies. Many of you wonder what else I recommend. You’d think that the next books I’d suggest would be more history. But discipleship is […]

What was the "Good Portion" that Mary Chose?

What was the “Good Portion” that Mary Chose?

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 […]

Sheep that REALLY Follow Their Shepherd

Sheep that REALLY Follow Their Shepherd

“In many countries, sheep spend their lives in fenced-in pastures where they spend their time grazing and milling about. In Israel, however, where grass has difficulty growing in the arid soil, sheep must know their shepherd, following him obediently from pasture to pasture. There, shepherding is a much more active task. Some sheep come running […]

Hearing Jesus Through A Disciple's Ears

Hearing Jesus Through A Disciple’s Ears

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 […]

Disciples as Apprentices

Disciples as Apprentices

In Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus, we wrote about the life of an ancient disciple in chapter 4, called “Following the Rabbi.”  You might remember that the ancient practice of apprenticeship is very similar, and likely the source of some of the traditions of discipleship. I included the story of a modern day […]