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Posted August 20, 2013 - 6:16am

Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God , and of instruction about washings … (Hebrews 6:1-2)

The third component of the “elementary doctrine of Christ” as found in Hebrews 6:1–2 is “instruction about washings.” It seems this one, seemingly ambiguous phrase has given translators and commentators difficulty since nearly the time it was written. Our various English translations disagree and vary from “instruction about washings” (ESV), to “the doctrine of baptisms” (KJV), to “instruction about cleansing rites” (NIV). Commentators as well seem to have differing perspectives as to its meaning. Regarding this phrase, Franz Delitzsch comments, “the author of our epistle could hardly have chosen a more ambiguous and unsuitable expression than this, which is capable of such various interpretations.” 1

So what is so difficult about this particular instruction and why do translators and commentators have so much difficulty with it? The answer is this one little Greek word, βαπτισμῶν (baptismōn). Generally, the word is found in the singular, βαπτισμός (baptismos). But here, in this passage, we find the plural form which throws a wrench into traditional theology and interpretation. Since, according to Ephesians 4:5 there is only “one baptism,” reading this passage as instructions regarding “baptisms” would seem to indicate something other than Christian baptism. Commenting on this, the ESV Study Bible says,

Posted August 12, 2013 - 1:33pm

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15)

The Gospel of Jesus

Lest we forget our purpose for our Gospel exploration, our objective is to examine the various gospel proclamations by John the Immerser, by Jesus and also by the Apostles in order to see if the Gospel we are proclaiming today is the same Gospel they proclaimed. Otherwise our Gospel is one which would be foreign to Jesus and his disciples. Our goal is to try and recapture the original gospel message of Jesus and his disciples and let that be the Gospel we proclaim. 

Posted August 9, 2013 - 2:23pm

This week I had the privilege of being interviewed by Gabriel Rutledge of The Grafted In Perspective podcast in regard to discipleship. Discussion includes my testimony, ‪Discipleship‬ and The ‪Gospel‬. I would love to hear your comments!

Posted August 8, 2013 - 7:34am

Repentance, Prayer, & Tzedakah annul the evil decree.1

Yesterday began the month of Elul, the sixth month on the Biblical calendar. It is the month just prior to the onset of the High Holy Days of the Fall. Here are some ways to understand this holy month from a Messianic perspective.

Each day in the month of Elul the shofar is blown in anticipation of the approaching High Holy Days of Rosh Hashannah & Yom Kippor (and then immediately followed by Sukkot/Tabernacles). On Rosh Hashannah (in the Bible it is only referred to as Yom Teruah – the Day of Sounding), the sound of the shofar is said to awaken the slumbering soul and rekindle a yearning to return to its Creator. For thirty days prior to Rosh Hashannah, the day the books of Life and Death are opened, the shofar reminds us of our need for a spiritual renewal and a reconnection with our Spiritual Source.

Let us hear the sound and be called to remembrance.

The month of Elul is the Season of Repentance:

“Rabbi Eliezer would say: Repent one day before your death.” (Avot 2:10)

The Gospel message of Jesus and the Apostles was:

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matthew 4:17)

The prophet Hosea cries out:

“O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.” (Hosea 14:1-2 KJV)

The sages tell us:

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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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