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Posted February 18, 2014 - 1:29pm

A brief look at Yeshua’s authority in comparison with rabbinic authority

The Gospel of Matthew begins by setting the stage for the important truths which will follow. It begins,

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. (Matthew 1:1)

It begins by giving us the genealogical re­cord of Jesus, setting the stage for us to un­derstand his Davidic heritage from his ma­ternal ancestry. But the Hebrew behind this passage is more revealing. Franz Delitzsch, in his translation of the New Testament into Hebrew, renders the beginning of this verse as “seifer tol’dot Yeshua haMashiach” — the “book of the generations of Jesus, the Messiah.” When we read this, we can easily connect the Gospel story of Jesus to the various ac­counts of biblical figures introduced by this phrase, or a variation thereof… “eileh toldot,” — “these are the generations of…” And not only does Matthew connect his readers to the line of noteworthy biblical personages, but he traces Jesus’ lineage through King David and all the way back to Abraham, establishing his credibility for messianic candidacy. Before he tells the story of Jesus, or quotes any of his teachings, he first establishes him as an au­thoritative voice to whom his readers should hearken. This is also the case with the begin­ning of our Pirkei Avot, a minor tractate of the Mishnah which deals primarily with Jewish ethics. It begins:

Moses received the Torah from Sinai, and trans­mitted it to Joshua, Joshua to the Elders, the Elders to the Prophets, and the Prophets transmitted it to the Men of the Great Assembly. (m.Avot 1:1)

Posted February 11, 2014 - 5:34am

Dispelling a fundamental misunderstanding of first century Judaism.

One of our goals at Emet HaTorah is to restore the Jewish Jesus.  While this may seem like a self-evident truth and an unnecessary objective, there are many aspects of this truth which remain hidden from the majority of Believers… even those acutely aware that Jesus was Jewish.  Many of the interpretations and concepts we impose on the Scriptures, particularly the Apostolic Scriptures (the “New Testament”), claim to find their origin within the Scriptures themselves, or at least within the historical record of the biblical narrative.  While these interpretations may not ever seem to be problematic to many Believers, there are many times these interpretations actually undermine the authority of the biblical canon and compromise the immutability of the Almighty.  In our attempt to explain Scripture, particularly the Apostolic Scriptures, we need to verify that our interpretation does not compromise the basic revelation found within the sacred text.  Unfortunately, this is more often the case than not when theologians find themselves caught between the Jewish Jesus and Christian dogma.  So, let’s take a look at one particular expression of this way of thinking.

Posted January 26, 2014 - 5:02am

In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7), Yeshua challenges his disciples in many areas of life. In his longest recorded sermon, he reveals the will of the Father in relationship to how the principles of Torah should be lived out.  This lengthy teaching begins with what has been labeled as the Beatitudes.  These are short, pithy sayings in which the Master praises a particular character trait or behavior and associates it with a reward or gives the result of such action.  Within these beatitudes, we hear the following expression,

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 1

This oft-repeated maxim is used in various capacities with interpretations which run the gamut in regard to application.  Most frequently, however, we tend to think of “peacemakers” in terms of pacifism.  Therefore, a peace-maker is one who walks away from a quarrel or fight, or who closes his mouth rather than opening it.  But is this the most accurate definition of a peace-maker?  How are we to properly understand Yeshua’s expectation of his disciples being peace-makers?  What did he have in mind when he spoke these words?

Posted December 29, 2013 - 6:03am

In our study thus far, we have seen how the Gospel — the Good News — of John the Immerser, Jesus, the Apostles (represented by Peter) and Paul are all in agreement as to its basic content. The Gospel first proclaimed by John pointed to a coming King who held judg­ment in his hands. Of him, John said,

I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire. (Matthew 3:11–12)

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Latest Book Review

The Magerman Edition

Author: Daniel Rose & Jay Goldmintz
Publisher: Koren Publishers
Year: 2014

The Koren Ani Tefilla Siddur is one of the latest in Koren’s growing collection of siddurim (prayer books) geared towards a specific demographic. Koren describes Ani Tefilla as “an engaging and thought-provoking siddur for the inquiring high school student and thoughtful adult.” Koren says that Ani Tefillah has been developed in order “to help the user create their own meaning and connection during the Tefilla [prayer] experience.” The name of the siddur is connected with its objective. Ani Tefilla means “I pray.” 

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