Jesus' Jewish Culture
Hebraic Thought & Application
Archaeology / Israel
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Note: Find En-Gedi's own monthly Bible study articles on this page, and find the index to En-Gedi's Bible commentary articles here.
Should We believe Jesus is the Messiah?... - Glenn Miller, Christian
Think Tank - Discusses Jewish objections to Jesus that messianic prophecies
are still yet to be fulfilled. Long discussion but very good.
Kingdom of Heaven: God's Power Among Believers - Robert Lindsey, JerusalemPerspective.com
- The "Kingdom of Heaven" is one of the most important and most
misunderstood teachings of Jesus' ministry, which makes much more sense
when understood within his culture.
- Sly as a Fox, or Something Else? - Randall Buth, JerusalemPerspective.com
- Jesus calls Herod a fox - but in first century culture, it didn't mean
cleverness. What did it mean?
View of Pacifism - David Bivin, JerusalemPerspective.com - What would
Jesus' response be to the Sept. 11 attack? Bivin suggests that some teachings
of Jesus have been misunderstood.
The Man!" - Dwight A. Pryor, Center for Judaic-Christian Studies
- His apostles and Jewish disciples came to know Yeshua first as a man,
and only later as the risen Savior, the "Son of the living God."
in the New Testament: A Misunderstood Analogy for Evangelism - Daniel
B. Wallace, Bible.org - Our understanding of the practice of fishing can
have an effect on how we understand what Jesus was saying about evangelism.
Akeidah (Binding) of Isaac - Daniel Lancaster - rabbiyeshua.com -
A fascinating description of powerful messianic foreshadowing in the ancient
Jewish understanding of the binding of Isaac.
- The Name - Paul Sumner, HebrewStreams.org - The name "Jesus" is linked in Hebrew to God's Name, which gives insights into passages
in the New Testament.
The Beatitudes as Hebrew Poetry - Jonathan Went - Understanding Hebrew and poetic parallelisms helps unlock the meaning of the beatitudes. One of several articles on Hebraisms in the New Testament.
To Announce A Year of Grace: Some Thoughts on the Year of Jubilee - Jared L. Olar, Grace & Knowledge. A discussion of the ancient practice of Jubilee years and Jesus' use of the idea.
Paul in His Jewish
Summary of the New Perspective on Paul - Mark Mattison - Overview
of the most influential recent scholarly writings on Paul in his first
century Jewish context.
A Jewish View of Paul- Skype Interview with Mark Nanos - David Burnett interviews renowned Jewish scholar Mark Nanos on Paul in his first-century Jewish context.
The Myth of Jewish Rejection of Jesus - Paul Sumner,
HebrewStreams.org - An analysis of whether a commonly held assumption
the Jew Jonathan Went, Leadership U. An overview of the trends in
scholarship on Jesus, with a focus on the recent scholarly realization
that Jesus was Jewish.
or Anti-Semitism? The New Testament and First-Century Judaism
Craig Evans, Mishkan. Is the New Testament Anti-Semitic? An intriguing
Language did Jesus Speak, Aramaic or Hebrew? Brian
Knowles, godward.org. A summary of the thinking of scholars on which languages
were spoken in Jesus' day, and whether He he spoke Hebrew as a daily language.
Jewish Laws of Purity in Jesus' Day - Marvin Wilson, JerusalemPerspective.com - Rabbinic laws about menstrual impurity form the background of several stories in the Gospels.
Daily Life in Bible Times
in Ancient Israel - Linda McKinnish
Bridges and Deborah G. Atkinson, NewMediaBible.org - Description of educational
practices throughout biblical times.
Culture in Ancient Israel - David Eitam, Gems In Israel - An archeologist
who specialized in ancient industries of the Holy Land explains the craft
of making olive oil.
of Bedouins Today - Articles about daily life among Bedouins in the
middle east, which often retains practices of biblical times. This article
is on shepherding, others are on breadmaking, milk processing, and rug
Biblical Dress - Tassels
and Snails - John Collyer - Explanation of the command to put tassels
(tzitzit) on the corners of garments, and the cultural understanding,
and the significance of the purple dye.
Search for Biblical Blue - Ari Greenspan, Bible Review (pdf)- The Israelites to were to
wear tassels (tzitzit) with a cord dyed blue with tekhelet dye, made from
a certain type of snail. For over a thousand years, the formula was lost,
but recently has been discovered.
did it Mean to Wear Fringes in Ancient Cultures? - bluethread.com
- A Jewish site examines the traditions associated with tzitzit.
in Jesus' Day
Education - David Bivin, JerusalemPerspective.org - The Jewish educational
system in Jesus' day had high standards - people were much more literate
than we have thought.
Century Discipleship - David Bivin, JerusalemPerspective.org
- In Jesus' day, becoming a disciple was a difficult calling. What was
Jesus asking of us?
Thought and Application
Back to Top
God, Not the Bread - Gary Alley - A discussion of the biblical custom
of prayers of blessing and thanksgiving, and a reminder of our need to
the Highest Form of Worship - John Garr. In Jewish
understanding, study of the Bible is worship - a challenge to us to rethink
in Jewish Tradition - JewishNatureCenter.org. A discussion of how
Jews see rain as a great blessing, not a curse.
Hebrew Mind vs The Western Mind - Brian Knowles, godward.org. A nice
discussion of the difference between modern, Western mind and that of
the ancient Hebrew mind.
Biblical Concept of Remembrance - Doug Ward, Grace and Knowledge.
What it means to "remember" in the eastern thinking of the Bible.
of Hebrew Thought - Marvin Wilson (pdf, from HeartofWisdom.com) - The
Hebraic background to Christian thought is at the heart of the rich spiritual
legacy that the Jews have shared with Christians.
(Note: The Jewish ethic to "judge
favorably" seems to be related to Jesus teachings about not judging.
See the En-Gedi Director's Articles on What
Did Jesus Mean By "Do Not Judge?" and Living
Out Jesus' Words on Judging for more details.)
Others Favorably for Families - Aish.com - A very nice article for
parents on how to teach their children about how to "judge favorably",
and how to judge them favorably too.
Other Side of the Story - ohr.org - The ethic to judge favorably inspired
this site that is full of true stories of situations that on the surface
pointed toward guilt, but after investigation, the person was innocent.
Others and Yourself
- Aish.com - About giving both ourselves
and others the benefit of the doubt.
Avot - mench.com - "Pirke Avot" means wisdom of the fathers,
and is a collection of wise ethical sayings of rabbis going back to about
the time of Jesus. There are fascinating parallels to Jesus' teachings.
Tashchit - Do Not Destroy - Site for Jewish ethics of conserving the
environment based on biblical law.
Sin Against Persons - Arnold Wolf,
clal.org - Rabbis have always understood that publicly shaming another
person is a terrible sin indeed. This essay describes what implications
it has for us.
be Such a Yenta: The Jewish View of Gossip - Joseph Telushkin - An
excerpt from his book "Words That Hurt, Words That Heal".
Power of Positive Speaking - Malka Drucker - A sermon on ethics regarding
what we should and shouldn't say.
The Triple Murder Threat - Palatnik & Burg - Rabbis say that gossip
is like killing three people. An explanation, with some ways to control
Lashon Hara - Sarah Radcliff, aish.com - An article for parents about
teaching children not to gossip.
without Ceasing: A Lesson from Hebrew Spirituality
- Doug Ward, Grace and Knowledge. Describes traditional Jewish prayers
and blessings in the time of Jesus, and evidence of them in the gospels.
prayer - Jewish Virtual Library - A collection of traditional Jewish
prayers and articles about prayer.
Amidah - A New Translation - David Bivin, Jerusalem Perspective Pipeline
- As a Jew, Jesus would have prayed the beautiful Amidah prayers every
day. The Lord's Prayer has many similar themes.
Beliefs as Found in Jewish Prayers
- Rick Garlikov - Nice overview of some Jewish beliefs (written by a Christian)
using Jewish prayer as illustration.
and Blessings - from Judaism 101,
jewfaq.org - An introduction to modern Jewish prayer
Prayer - Eliezer Abrahamson - Describes contemporary daily prayers
and prayer services for observant Jews.
- Jewish Virtual Library - Description of the traditions behind the Jewish
celebration of Shabbat, explaining the interpretation of the biblical
command and its observance. Also has a page on the home
Shabbat - azamra.org. A description
of the biblical command of Shabbat, and how Jews have interpreted it and
lived it out.
Covenant Shabbat Service - ascensionnet.org- A liturgy for Christian
believers who may want to experience a sabbath themselves.
The Magnificent Meal on Mt. Sinai (Exodus 24:1-18) - Bible.org - Excellent article
about the Mosaic covenant in light of covenant making, and how it relates to the New Covenant that Christians partake in.
Lord's Table as Covenant Meal - John Mark Hicks, Lipscomb University.
Discusses the importance of the covenantal meal in biblical history, and
how communion is an extension of that. Also explains the covenantal meaning
and character of the Lord's supper.
Sulha - Reconciliation in the Middle East - Ilan Zamir, Jews for Jesus.
A moving account of the use of the covenantal meal (sulha) to reconcile
him to an Arab family whose son he killed in a car accident.
Dead Sea Scrolls
from the Dead Sea - Online Exhibit
from the Library of Congress - Very nice site with comprehensive overveiw
of the archeological discoveries, the artifacts, the manuscripts and the
cultural climate of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Facts Regarding the Dead Sea Scrolls - James D. Tabor - An introduction
to the manuscripts found in the Dead Sea caves.
Essenes and the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran - Goodnews Christian Ministry
- A brief article explaining the significance of the scrolls and what
is known about the Essene movement from other ancient sources.
Fascinating Facts About the Dead Sea Scrolls - CenturyOne.com - A
simple overview of the significance of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
- Israel Mosaic - Description of the beliefs and practices of the Essene
community of Qumran.
Myth of a Gentile Galilee - Mark A Chancey - Most assume that Jesus
lived in the "Galilee of the Gentiles", but evidence indicates
that it was almost entirely Jewish.
The Evangelical Triangle - Jim Garrish - Most of Jesus' teaching occurred on the northwest side of the Sea of Galilee, among a very pious Jewish people.
New Evidence That Jesus Lived: Scholars link first century bone-box
to James, brother of Jesus - Christianity Today. At end of the article
there are many links to related articles and websites. A more recent follow-up
article on the ossuary of James is on the site as well.
and the Bible - Rabbi Dovid Lichtman, aish.com. Discusses how recent
archaeological evidence has made us confident of the biblical record.
Insights From Archaeology - Ferrell Jensen, bibleworld.com. Discusses
the usefulness of archaeology in understanding the Bible.
Yields Ancient Treasure - LeaderU.com - An account of the discovery
of the famous boat from the Sea of Galilee from the time of Jesus, one
of the top ten biblical discoveries.
Story of Two Seas - www.inspirationalstories.com - A Jewish parable based on the
Sea of Galilee and Dead Sea.
Crossing - Jesus around the Sea of Galilee
- Rami Arav, GemsInIsrael.com - What do we know about the cities in the
Galilee where Jesus spent most of his ministry?
Hebrew Alphabet - Description of various Hebrew alphabets, the system
of adding points for vowels, and assigning numeric values. Also has links
to download the fonts.
Back to Top
the Biblical Holidays - Robin Sampson, biblicalholidays.com - Can
Christians celebrate biblical feast days, or is that Judaizing or legalistic?
Her testimony and view of the topic.
Holidays of God - Spring Feasts - Radio Bible Class Ministries - A
nice overview of the biblical holidays that points toward Christ's work
Holidays of God - Fall Feasts - Radio Bible Class Ministries - A nice
overview of the biblical holidays that points toward Christ's work in
Who Is Coming: The Hidden Afikoman - Paul Sumner, HebrewStreams.org
-The significance of one aspect of the Passover seder and how it points
Last Supper, and Eucharist - Jonathan Went, Leadership U - Description
of how the traditions of communion came out of Passover, how the earliest
church celebrated it, and how it has changed in a Gentile church.
Samaritan Passover - Todd Bolen, Bibleplaces.com - Near Shechem, Israel,
descendents of the Samaritans still observe the Passover sacrifices as
was done in biblical times. Read an eyewitness account, with thoughts
on what the Passover sacrifice must have meant in those days.
in the Time of Jesus - Daniel B. Wallace, Bible.org - The Passover
meal as it was most likely celebrated in the first century.
What is Shavuot/Pentecost? - IFCJ-
How the "feast of weeks" (Shavuot) was fulfilled in the year
of Jesus' death and resurrection.
The Religious Meaning - Amy J. Kramer, everythingjewish.com. The Jewish
(non-messianic) understanding of the feast of Shavuot.
Shavuot - Orthodox Jewish site devoted to articles and teachings about
the feast of Shavuot. Has section for children and recipes too.
Elul & Selichot - Hebrew4Christians - Elul is the last month of the Jewish year, and is a time to examining yourself spiritually, before the coming new year and the Day of Atonement.
Why Sukkot is a Harvest Holiday, Though There is Little to Harvest - Forward - Interesting insight on this important fall biblical holiday.