Monday, October 9, 2017

Yeshua’s Teacher

10 CE marked the end of Hillel’s 40 year reign as nasi.  He was the founder of a school of legal religious thought and dynasty that led Jewish life in Judea for the next four centuries.

Hillel was born to a wealthy family in Babylonia, but came to Jerusalem without the financial support of his family and supported himself as a woodcutter. It is said that he lived in such great poverty that he was sometimes unable to pay the admission fee to study Torah, and because of him that fee was abolished. 

Hillel was known for his kindness, gentleness, and his concern for humanity

Another popular teacher at that time was Shammai. He was known for the strictness of his views.  He was reputed to be dour, quick-tempered, and impatient. Shammai and his teaching were more popular in Israel before the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. The views of Hillel and Shammai represent positions in the range of interpretations of Jewish law and instructions.

Hillel's teachings and interpretations of the Torah prevailed and laid the foundation of Jewish thought that played a major role in the survival of Judaism during the period between the destruction of Temple and the creation the Mishnahthe Oral Law – upon which Rabbinic Judaism emerged after 200 CE.

Hillel, a Babylonian Jew that made his way to Jerusalem probably during the reign of Herod, ultimately became the founding father of a school of rabbinic teaching that still influences Judaism today.

Unknown to many Christians, Hillel’s influence was an important factor in the development of Yeshua as a teacher of the Jewish Scriptures.  

And when Yeshua was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast of Passover. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the young boy Yeshua lingered behind in Jerusalem, but Joseph and his mother did not know it. Supposing him to have been in the group, they traveled for a day and looked him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searched for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. (Luke 2:41-47)

Yeshua was born around 6 BCE, about two years before the death of King Herod. It would have been 6 CE when twelve-year old Yeshua sat in a crowd at the temple and listened to what would have no doubt been “the super stars” of Jewish teachers, one of which would have been Hillel. It is clear that Hillel’s strong influence on the boy Yeshua continued and is seen in Yeshua’s teachings, actions and movement.

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The Real Yeshua was about doing the right things,

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Sunday, August 6, 2017

There are no “Judeos”

A Misleading Hyphen

Some people, including American politicians who want to sound “inclusive” and do not want to offend Jews, have taken the Latin term Judaeus and melded it with “Christian” to describe a so-called “Judeo-Christian” tradition or heritage.

While there are many Christians in the world, there are no “Judeos.” The accurate phrase should be “Jewish and Christian” traditions or heritages, without a hyphen.

Each faith community has many religious streams; there is no one single “Jewish tradition” or “Christian tradition,” and there is certainly not a “Judeo-Christian” one.

Source: Christians & Jews Faith to Faith: Tragic History, Promising Present, Fragile Future

By Rabbi James Rudin © 2011; Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock, VT; p. 6.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Latest BHC Newsletter: The Forgotten Father: The Man that Raised Jesus

The July issue of the Biblical Heritage Center newsletter -- Creating Safer Better Lives By Discovering Ourselves & Our Biblical Heritages – is now online. It contains the following articles and July Memorials.

Once upon a time a minister, professor and rabbi took a journey. . .

The title sounds like the beginning of a good joke, but it isn’t. It is proof that people with different biblical heritages can work together to tackle religious issues that most people try to avoid. I am the minister, Ike Tennison is the professor and Jeffrey Leynor is the rabbi. I have been on this journey for over thirty-five years now. Ike joined it about thirty years ago when I enrolled in a course in Classical Greek he was teaching at the University of Texas at Arlington. Jeffrey became part of our journey a little over twenty-five years ago when I enrolled in a course he was teaching about the Prophets at the Jewish Community Center in Dallas.

The Forgotten Father: The Man that Raised Jesus

For most of his life, he was most likely known as “Jesus son of Joseph.” However, as a result of Gentile theologies that developed in the fourth and fifth centuries CE, in our opinion, the role of Joseph in the life of Jesus has faded into the distant past. It always helps to put subjects into a chronological context, especially when they are discussions about someone’s life. Scholars are divided about how long Jesus personally led the Jesus Movement; some say three years while others say one year. In either case, they pretty much agree that he began it when he about thirty years old. So, it was at least thirty years before anyone called him “The Son of God” or “The Anointed One” (Christ) -- until then people would have known him as Jesus son of Joseph.

The Importance of Creating Sacred Spaces in Life

Holy places” and “sacred spaces” are important in the Bible. It could be “physical place” or “space of time.” In the Hebrew Bible “holy” does not mean “religious,” it means “set apart for a specific purpose.” The Hebrew word translated “holy” is QADASH and its first appearance in the Bible is Genesis 2:3.

To read or download the complete newsletter click on -- http://bit.ly/2uRTsun



God’s Love Isn’t About Warm Fuzzy Feelings

The opening chapters of Genesis reveal that the highest value and top priority of the Creator of the Heavens and Earth is human life. They teach that all people are created with the spirit of the Creator, meaning with the Spirit of the Creator. Humans reveal the Creator’s Spirit to members of their generation by doing thing that measure up to the Creator’s TOV Standardacts that protect life, preserve life, make life for functional and increase the quality of life. Religious institutions disconnected from real life or salvation doctrines that require people to believe someone’s “right theologies” were not part of the Creator’s plan.

The importance of the Creator’s Life 1st Values and TOV Standard is repeated throughout the Jewish Scriptures. There are many examples in the Bible of people, especially leaders, who elevated other things above the value of human life. Some of those people’s decisions had very bad consequences for the nation – or even for all mankind. But other’s placed life 1st and had very different outcomes. Consider Noah and his family. God saved them because Noah was righteous, which means he did TOV. The “righteous” are the heroes of the Jewish Bible. They are the ones that did acts that measured up to the Creator’s Standard and revealed His image to their generation.

The Creator’s Life 1st Values and TOV Standard are the foundation of the teachings of Yeshua and the cornerstone of his salvation message. He taught that righteous will enter eternal life. Who are the righteous in Matthew 25? They are the people from all nations that did acts of TOV in their lives – feed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, visited the sick – in other words – the righteous are the people who protected lives, preserved lives, made lives more functional and increased the quality of lives – they placed human life as their highest value and top priority.

Yeshua also taught that the only way to love God is by loving your neighbor as yourselfand he said this is the most important commandment. Doing acts of TOV is what he meant by loving them and yourself – that’s right doing acts of TOV for yourself! This requires an awareness of what’s actually going on in your life and in other people’s lives too. It means experiencing self-discovery and getting to know them also. It is a commitment to use the Creator’s TOV Standard in your life and their lives. Love, for the Creator, isn’t about having warm fuzzy feelings and “being special.” It doesn’t require constant reinforcement to keep that feelings up.

The Creator’s type of love only comes by the experience of protecting lives, preserving lives, making lives more functional and increasing the quality of lives.
It requires the experience.

Knowing this allows you to recognize presence of the Spirit of the Creator in the world today. People can’t earn this kind of love. They can’t make others love them. We can only receive this kind of love and share it with others. It isn’t a one-time ritual required to get a ticket to heaven. It is a lifestyle of love. When Yeshua instructed his followers to go into the all the world and make disciples – this is what he wanted them to demonstrate and teach to others. Today is a good day to love someone!

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Unintended Consequences of Protestantism: Western Civilization as We Know It!

Historically, Protestant Christianity was decisive in forming western civilization as we know it, especially in the United States. You can’t imagine modern individualism, democracy, or freedoms without it – and it has given us some other legacies which we might not like so much. But it’s not just a subject of historic interest. There are a billion Protestants in the world today, and in Africa, China, Latin America and other places the numbers are rising fast. Protestantism is going to be one of the key forces shaping the world this century, and we’d better understand it.

The first Protestants didn’t set out to create the world we live in now, but some key features of that world come directly from them. The ideal of free enquiry and free speech; the assumption that we’ve got a right to challenge our rulers, and that in spiritual terms we’re all equal; and the notion of limited government, that there are freedoms of conscience over which no political authority has any jurisdiction. If you want, you can push that to say that Protestants created modern democratic capitalism, though they didn’t do it alone. More to the point, if you look at all the really decisive ideological conflicts of the modern age – for and against religious toleration, slavery, colonialism, nationalism, fascism, Communism, women’s rights, civil rights – in all of those you’ll find Protestants at the heart of the argument: and on both sides. Protestants love to argue. The world we live in is the world their arguments made.


Read the complete article at http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/165635

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Real Yeshua Torah Readings for May 20th



The Real Yeshua Torah Readings for May 20th are:

Exodus 22:26-23:33
Isaiah 49:3

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SHALOM!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Thanksgiving and Blessings were a Regular Part of Yeshua’s Life

The follow quote is from a very good book written by Dr. Brad H. Young, Jesus the Jewish Theologian (Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.; Peabody, Massachusetts; pp. 119-120). I changed the word “Jesus” to “Yeshua”, and added highlights to the text, to better fit the subject matter of this blog.

The actions of Yeshua and his disciples regarding prayer have deep roots in the Jewish customs and practices of the Second Temple period.

Already in the daily life of Yeshua and his disciples, thanksgiving and blessing were an integral part of their everyday experience and customary practice. For instance, pronouncing a blessing to God before eating was the common practice of Yeshua and his circle of followers. Reflected both in early Jewish literature and in the liturgy of the synagogue, from Bible times to the present, it is a fact that the Jewish people have made giving thanks a significant part of every aspect of daily life. In Jewish theology no tasks should be considered mundane, because God sanctifies every facet of human experience in the life that he gives.

The rabbis viewed all people as stewards of God’s benevolence. Each person is created in God’s image. Every one is given responsibility to obey God in God’s domain and to care for the beautiful world that God designed for his people. The foundation of the Jewish understanding of thanksgiving and blessing was the belief in God’s goodness and his creation. The people were taught to give thanks to God for his goodness.

The sages developed a radical approach to life which encouraged a person to bless God and give thanks for every benefit received from God’s creation. Hence, at every meal a person should give thanks to God, who provided the food. The written word of the Bible itself formed the basis for this approach to God’s provision.

Deuteronomy 8:10 is the basis of the Jewish concept of giving thanks to God in the form of a blessing for a meal: “You shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.” The foundation of blessing God for his goodness is derived from the Torah. The phrase “and you shall bless the Lord your God,” was understood, in part, as a way of giving thanks to God for the grace he gives to all people.


Did you note that “one blesses Yahweh;” “one does bless material objects (food or drinks)”? Today, the Jewish blessing you hear at meals is the one below. Notice that “the Lord” (Yahweh) is blessed, not the “bread,” which is understood to mean “meal.”



Barukh atah Adonai Elohaynu melekh ha-olam
Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the Universe

ha-motzi lechem min ha-aretz. (Amein)
who brings forth bread from the earth. (Amen)

Above Dr. Young stated, “The foundation of blessing God for his goodness is derived from the Torah.” I would modify that statement to say this – “The foundation of blessing God for his TOVness.”

The first creation account in Genesis reveals how the Creator prepared the Heavens and the Earth for the arrival of mankind. Day after day the Creator examined his work for each day; the text says, “And God saw that it was TOV” (translated “good”). In that context “TOV” describes “acts that are beautiful and pleasing to the eyes that protect lives, preserve lives, make lives more functional and/or increase the quality of lives.” They bless God for many other things daily, because they are surrounded by things He created for mankind – they are blessing Him for His TOVness!

If someone wants to know what is “TOV and praiseworthy” that he or she should “thank God for,” they are to consider what life would be like without it – all of the things we require for survival “suddenly become sacred things that Yahweh deserves thanks for!” Think about that for a few minutes and you will understand why some Jews today easily blessing Yahweh over 100 each day for those things. Things that are often considered common today become holy when we bless God for creating them for mankind.

Shalom,
Jim Myers

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