(An excerpt from my book, Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus ) Jesus’s parables fit perfectly into a non-Western, Jewish culture that expressed itself through tangible metaphors. He was engaging in sophisticated theological teaching, but we miss it if we are looking for the deductive abstract arguments of the Greeks. Jesus often based his reasoning […]
Ken Bailey has written a number of fascinating books on Jesus in his Middle Eastern context. In his introduction to Finding the Lost Cultural Keys to Luke 15 (Concordia, 1992), he explains a key difference between how Westerners think and communicate and how Jesus did. Westerners primarily communicate in concepts, but Middle Easterners communicate in […]
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 […]
We’re only a few days into 2013, and the year is still squeaky clean. A lot of us are going strong on our New Year’s resolutions. We’re full of fresh determination to be more thrifty, organized, slim and buff. In about a month or so, the glow will fade. You’ll realize that change is harder […]
On a bus in Jerusalem, I encountered the passionate Middle Eastern attitude that colored Jesus’ parables and his attitude toward prayer.
How we invest the gifts God gives us really does matter.
A rabbinic parable explains how God balances mercy with justice.
A rabbi from Jesus’ time pointed out that we can learn a good lesson from Abraham from how he lavished hospitality on strangers.