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.
There are some Hebrew words that really can’t be translated into English, and pakad is one of the most fascinating. It can be a wonderful word or a terrible word, depending on the context. How can this be?
There’s no end, it seems, to how people can interpret the words of Jesus. It’s not hard to pluck out a line here and there and read it in some strange new way. How can we know how they actually sounded to his original audience? I’ve discovered that a great place to look for answers […]
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.
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 […]
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.
[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 […]
What difference does it make that Jesus was Jewish? Here we look at some of Jesus’ words in their native Jewish context, and discover rich insights for living as disciples today. (Zondervan, 2012)
On a bus in Jerusalem, I encountered the passionate Middle Eastern attitude that colored Jesus’ parables and his attitude toward prayer.
If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell. Matthew 18:9 Some of the sayings of Jesus are so strong that we wonder if Jesus really […]
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.
Jesus used elegant rabbinic reasoning to rule that healing was permissible on the Sabbath