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Before You Teach Your Children, Decide What Religion Means

  What passes for “world order ” in the 21 st century was created in the German region of Westphalia in 1648.   It was created without the involvement or even the awareness of most other continents or civilizations .   It was created to end the Thirty Years’ War (1618-48), which was like a wildfire in which political and religious disputes commingled . Combatants resorted to total war against population centers . After nearly a quarter of the population of Central Europe died from combat, disease, or starvation, the leaders of the nations and religions involved met to define a set of arrangements that would end the bloodletting .   ● Religious unity had fractured with the spread of Protestantism.   ● Political diversity remained because autonomous political units had fought to a draw .   The arrangements they made created what we now call the “ sovereignty of the state.   ● A multiplicity of political units, none powerful enough to defeat all others.  
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What Are You Teaching Your Children and Grandchildren?

  If Jesus dropped by your church or home, what do you think he would say? Based on what we have learned about the Jewish Jesus that founded the Kingdom of God Movement in first century CE Galilee, it would not be, “ Are you saved? ” Instead he would ask:   What are you teaching your children and grandchildren?   Why would that be the first thing Jesus would want to know? When God saw that the evil of the man was  great in the earth, every imagination of the thoughts of his heart  was  only evil all day long, and that the earth was filled with violence – He wiped the entire human population (except for one family) off the earth with a flood . The path that led an entire generation to their deaths can be summed up in God’s words – “ the inclinations of their heart were evil from their youth .”   In a previous email, Nations Will Guard the Way of Yahweh With Abraham’s Sons , I discussed why God chose Abraham:   Abraham will teach his children how to guard the way of Go

Guard Justice: Do Acts of MISHPAT

  In my email Nations Will Guard the Way of Yahweh With Abraham’s Sons I discussed Genesis 18:19:   For I have noticed and observed him, in order that he may instruct his children and his house after him , that they guard the way of Yahweh , to do TZEDAQAH and MISHPAT ; in order that Yahweh may bring upon Abraham that which He has spoken concerning him .”   God chose Abraham because of, and because he will, do this.   Abraham will teach his children how to guard the way of Yahweh by doing acts of TZEDAQAH and MISHPAT (justice).   That is the first time the word MISHPAT ( justice ) appears in the Bible. From this point on, TZEDAQAH and MISHPAT will appear together many times. The “ Way of God ” requires learning and doing both TZEDAQAH and MISHPAT , not just one. The prophet Jeremiah delivers a very similar message (9:23-24):   Thus says Yahweh: “Do not let the wise man boast in his wisdom, Do not let not the mighty man boast in his might, D

How a Gentile Religion Emerged from a Jewish Sect

Jesus spoke Hebrew and Aramaic. I have written a lot about Hebrew in the past, but not much about Aramaic lately. Below are some things you need to know about three of the five dialects of Aramaic that are related to the Bible. [i]   ● Ancient Aramaic is the language of the ancient Aramaic inscriptions up to 700 BCE  (from Upper  Mesopotamia , northern Syria, and northern  Israel ).   ● Official Aramaic was in use from 700 to 300 BCE . This particular Aramaic dialect served not only as the official language of Persia but also as the lingua franca of the Near East . The Aramaic parts of the Bible are: Genesis 31:47 (two words); Jeremiah 10:11; Daniel 2:4–7:28; and Ezra 4:8–6:8; and 7:12–26.   ● Middle Aramaic was used from 300 BCE to the early centuries CE . The Aramaic inscriptions in Jerusalem and the Aramaic words found in the New Testament , are all in Middle Aramaic.    During the time of Jesus Middle Aramaic was the language of commerce and widely spoken in Jud

Nations Will Guard the Way of Yahweh With Abraham’s Sons

  Something I was reading today caught my attention. The author was making some points related to how many people today trace their roots (physical or religious) back to Abraham.   2,382,000,000 (Christians)   1,907,000,000 (Muslims)   14,700,000 (Jews)   The members of the three major monotheistic religions above total 4,303,700,000 people -- 55% of the total population of the world .     The thing that caught my attention was a reference to Genesis 18:17-19. Genesis contains some of the most difficult sections to translate in the Jewish Hebrew Scriptures . A habit I picked up over the years is to always compare multiple English translations of Bible verses. In many cases the place where translators differ can be quickly identified. After doing a comparison, it was clear to me this is one of those cases. So, I had to pull out the Hebrew text and dig into it. The first verse in Genesis 18 sets the stage for the events.   1 And Yahweh came to Abraham by the oaks