"Insights on Jesus of Nazareth" - Great Video Series

“Insights on Jesus of Nazareth” – Great Video Series

I recently took over the ministry of the En-Gedi Resource Center, and wanted to show you one of our nicest resources. Along with books, we published audio and video. One of our best series was Insights into Jesus of Nazareth: His Words, His Wisdom, His World. A dozen of the finest scholars on the first-century […]

Would Jesus have Recognized "Live Long and Prosper"?

Would Jesus have Recognized “Live Long and Prosper”?

Even if you didn’t watch Star Trek, you probably know what Mr. Spock’s Vulcan greeting, “Live Long and Prosper” looks like. If you were a die-hard fan (like me) you might have heard that Leonard Nimoy was Jewish and invented it based on his recollection of synagogue services as a child. It’s traditional for the […]

Advent & Hanukkah - The Most Hebraic Time of Year

Advent & Hanukkah – The Most Hebraic Time of Year

Many Christians right now are preparing for Christmas. Jews, on the other hand, are in the middle of the 8-day celebration of Hanukkah. For most, the two holidays seem to have little in common. But this is actually a wonderful time of year to consider Jesus in his Hebraic context. During Hanukkah, Jews celebrate their […]

Test Your "Jesus Theories" in the Book of Acts

Test Your “Jesus Theories” in the Book of Acts

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 […]

Wow, I met the Swedish Jesus Today...

Wow, I met the Swedish Jesus Today…

If you’ve ever heard me speak, you know that I usually start with the famous painting by Warner Sallman of called “The Head of Christ” that has hung in my family’s home since the 1950’s. As much as I’ve loved this image of Jesus, I joke around about the fact that with his blue eyes […]

A Blessing for Every Occasion

A Blessing for Every Occasion

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 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 […]

Letting Our Tassels Show

Letting Our Tassels Show

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 […]

Jesus' Jewish Logic: Measure for Measure

Jesus’ Jewish Logic: Measure for Measure

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 […]

What's So Wrong with Mixing Wool & Linen?

What’s So Wrong with Mixing Wool & Linen?

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 […]

Why Leave Out the Leavening?

Why Leave Out the Leavening?

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 […]