Friday, July 31, 2009

Scientific Authority

Americans generally have an abysmal level of knowledge of the Bible. In this world of mass ignorance, to have headlines proclaim that this or that fact about [Yeshua] has been declared untrue by supposedly scientific inquiry has the effect of gospel. There is no basis on which most people can counter these authoritative-sounding statements. - LUKE TIMOTHY JOHNSON

As an American I agree: Things which are anti-Bible have the appearance of scientific authority in our culture, and pro-Bible statements by contrast tend to sound cute and pious. Or is that an overstatement?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tragedy and Hope

Here are some recent thoughts on Tisha B'av by Sam Nadler for his congregants at Hope of Israel Congregation.

This coming Shabbat (Aug. 1) will be what is traditionally called Shabbat Nachamu ("Comfort") a reprive from the day mourning where Scriptures such as Isaiah 40 ("Comfort ye, Comfort ye my people") are read as part of the Haftarah portions. It is interesting to note that in some traditions Tisha b'Av was to be the day of the birth for the Messiah. Why? Because out of tragedy comes the greatest joy.

I (Matt) will be using the occasion this Shabbat to speak from Jer. 31:35-37. Sam and Miriam will be in Los Angeles ministering at ben David Congregation.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Sam's Q & A on Four-Fold Branching Out

Q: "Regarding the four Gospels, I don’t understand the reason for the repetition of the same story. Why would the Christian Bible have that?"

The four accounts of Messiah’s life, death, and resurrection each have a different perspective on the same history, perspectives which interweave with Biblical prophecy. For just one small example, each perspective alludes to a different inflection on a Messianic figure: "the Branch" (or Tzemakh). Matthew presents Yeshua the King, "a righteous Branch of David" (Jeremiah 33:15); Mark presents Yeshua as "My Servant the Branch" (Zechariah 3:8); Luke presents Yeshua as "a man whose name is Branch," (Zechariah 6:12); and in John, Yeshua is the Son of God, or "the Branch of the Lord," as prophesied in Isaiah 4:2:
In that day the Branch of the LORD (Tzemakh Adonai) will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel (Isaiah 4:2).
This Jewish phenomenon of repetition is similar to what we see in the Tenakh (OT), for example, between Kings and Chronicles, in sections of Kings and Isaiah, or between Isaiah 2 and Micah 4.

Monday, July 06, 2009

an active Negev

Some good writing on meshichim in Arad and Beersheva from the J-post coming out last week.

Messianic leader and plaintiff Howard Bass sheds light on the case in Beersheva.
Larry Derfner reporting on that same case.
Here is Larry with a longer piece on Arad: "Watch out, Missionaries!"