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Interview: Learning from Rabbi Jesus, with the Israel Bible Center

Interview: Learning from Rabbi Jesus, with the Israel Bible Center

Recently, I was interviewed by Dr. Yeshaya Gruber as a part of the Israel Bible Center’s Roundtable Talk series. Dr. Gruber and I had a lively discussion on topics that may interest many. There are many world-class scholars in this series. I’m humbled to be included among them. The Israel Bible Center site also has […]

Meet Madalyn, Lois' Mesharet (Assistant)

Meet Madalyn, Lois’ Mesharet (Assistant)

Meet my new mesharet, Madalyn Buursma. Moses had Joshua as his “mesharet.” Elijah had Elisha as his “mesharet.” The word is translated as “assistant,” but the relationship was an ancient model for how disciples studied with rabbinic teachers. Madalyn recently graduated from Calvin College with an English major and she’s aiming for a career in […]

The Gospel Makes More Sense if You Think as a "We"

The Gospel Makes More Sense if You Think as a “We”

Even though Jesus preached absolutely nonstop about the kingdom, that word is quite a puzzle to readers. I used to think of “kingdom” as a very esoteric, abstract idea, not considering the fact that the word kingdom describes a community. It’s describing God’s relationship with a whole group of people whom he is redeeming. When […]

Upcoming Column in Premier Christianity Magazine

Upcoming Column in Premier Christianity Magazine

Good news! In 2020 I will be authoring a bimonthly column for the magazine Premier Christianity, a popular Evangelical periodical in the United Kingdom. My first column will appear in the January 2020 issue. The overall theme of my series will be understanding Jesus as a rabbi, focusing on different aspects of his cultural background […]

Check Out the En-Gedi Resource Center Site

Check Out the En-Gedi Resource Center Site

Shalom, all – I have some great news – we’ve finished moving hundreds of articles from my first ministry website, the En-Gedi Resource Center, to their new home at EnGediResourceCenter.com. They have also been updated and reorganized by topic to make them easier to find. This has been months of work, so I hope readers […]

Recent talks on Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus

Recent talks on Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus

Last winter I gave a couple lecture series on my most recent book, Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus for the Theological Education Initiative in Columbia, MO and also at Trinity Church in Lansing, MI. For both audiences, I spoke about the three main sections of the book. Repacking our Mental Bags How the Bible […]

A Recent Talk I Gave

A Recent Talk I Gave

Did Jesus actually claim to be the Messiah and Son of God, or was the idea dreamed up by his fawning followers? Yes he did, and in a very Jewish way. So Jewish, in fact, that Gentiles have mostly overlooked his powerful claims. A few weeks ago shared a talk about this in Indianapolis. The […]

Greek Brain, Hebrew Brain: How Parables Worked

Greek Brain, Hebrew Brain: How Parables Worked

(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 […]

West to East and Back Again

West to East and Back Again

Pastors, here’s a creative idea. Choose a Christian book to incorporate into a sermon series (4-5 weeks), and make copies available to church members. At the end of the series, invite the author to come and speak. After the service with the author, host a potluck with a Q & A discussion time about the […]

Highlights from Speaking in the UK & Netherlands

Highlights from Speaking in the UK & Netherlands

What a delightful time I had traveling to the UK and Netherlands June 7-21. I spoke to a total of nine audiences, around 80 – 100 typically, always a few more than the organizers expected. A few folks came from quite a distance. I hadn’t traveled in either country before, so I enjoyed encountering these […]