By Daniel Nessim. Reposted with kind permission.

Should we read the Scripture with a ‘Greek’ mindset or a ‘Hebrew’ one? Sometimes the answer is both. In the previous month, we noted Yohanan 1:1 and its layers of meaning that draw on both Hebrew and Greek thought. We should also look at what we might think is the most Jewish of all Jewish quotations in the Gospels. It is Yeshua quoting the Shema from Deuteronomy 6:4, something that is recited twice daily in Jewish prayer. In Deuteronomy, Israel is told to ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength’.

What is interesting is that Mark cites Yeshua saying this (Mark 12:30, 37). When Yeshua quotes it He adds the word dianoia (which basically means ‘heart’ or ‘mind’). It can’t be that Mark didn’t know the Shema and got it wrong. Apart from the fact that we hold the Scriptures to be inerrant, he correctly quotes it three verses later in 12:33. Knowing that those Yeshua spoke to Jews knew the exact words, it seems that He paraphrased for the sake of emphasis, and to make a point in a form of midrash (interpretation).

D33A1F75 92DE 4DF6 BDEB 47908DB512DDBy Daniel Nessim. Reposted with kind permission.

When our Messiah and Lord, Yeshua, arose from the dead and His disciples began to spread the Good News (the word “Gospel” means “Good News”), they lived in a very diverse world. Their religious life and frame of reference was Biblical and part of the nascent Judaism of the day, and they never seem to have thought of themselves as other than people living a life of devotion to the Almighty. Now that they knew Yeshua’s true Identity, their devotion and service to the Father also meant devotion and service to His Son. 

Theirs was a world where they also interacted with Romans and Greek culture had had a deep influence for over two centuries. When they began to preach the Good News, they did so on the first Shavuot (1) to the crowds in Jerusalem, who were both Jews and Gentile proselytes (Acts 2:11) they did so to people from all over the world. When the Brit Hadasha, BH (2) was written they wrote according to their personalities, educations and backgrounds. This means we can understand the Scriptures so much better when we understand more about who the writers the Spirit inspired were, and the way they thought.

tommy fretwellThis is a two-part article by KEDS tutor Thomas Fretwell which is crossposted from Calvary Chapel in Hastings. 

“Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once? As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons" (Isaiah 66:8).

On Friday May 14, 1948, the modern state of Israel was born. The new prime minister David Ben Gurion read the Declaration of Independence. The opening statement of this declaration is significant as it mentions both Jewish identity and Jewish attachment to the land:

“The land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and national identity was formed. Here they achieved independence and created a culture of national and universal significance. Here they wrote and gave the Bible to the world.”1 

Now, 70 years later, it is an appropriate time for the church to look at what lessons can be learned from this momentous event. While theological discussion concerning the relationship between Israel and the church has existed for nearly 2,000 years, the establishment of the modern state has breathed new life and increased vigor into the discussion. Although the subject may be complex, the relationship of Israel to the church is still of significant interest to many Christians...

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