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Showing posts from 2014

Hearing the Real Yeshua’s Voice – Understanding His Message & His Movement

Blessed are the SHALOM makers,
for they shall be called sons of God
.[i]
Who are the SHALOM makers? TZEDAQAH (righteousness) is one of the most important words in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Bible of Yeshua (the real Jewish Jesus). The teachings of Yeshua make it very clear that TZEDAQAH is the most important word to him, too. It is absolutely essential for us to accurately understand what it meant to him.
TZEDAQAH not an abstract notion. It consists in doing what is just and right in all relationships. Acts of TZEDAQAH result in social stability and ultimately in SHALOM (completeness and wholeness).  An important part of TZEDAQAH is “almsgiving” -- the obligation to help the poor and needy. This was considered by Jewish sages of all ages to be one of the cardinal commandments -- almsgiving is as important as all the other commandments combined.[ii]
It is the almsgiving aspect of TZEDAQAH that is the focus of the message and movement of Yeshua. For many readers today, when they hear the w…

Do you consider the work of the Biblical Heritage Center important?

As 2014 comes to an end and we prepare for 2015, we are asking those who consider the work of the Biblical Heritage Center important to help fund the work by making a generous year-end donation.
BHC provides streams of information designed to help people understand their biblical heritages – all of the things that have been linked to a biblical text. We publish this information in our newsletter Discovering the Bible, BHC Google Group, BHC Blog, The Real Yeshua Blog, From One Jesus to Many Christians Blog, BHC Bible Study Blog, Twitter, Facebook pages, and the BHC website – and we do not charge people for it.
Has BHC’s information or have we made a difference in your life? If we have – please take time to make a generous donation today – we want to be able to continue providing information for you and help others too.
For information about how to make a donation or to make an online donation today go to -- http://biblicalheritage.org/BHC/donate.htm .
If you would like to set it up to a…

Did Jesus try to start a new religion?

Did Jesus want to start a new religion or was his goal to teach his fellow Jews how to be more faithful to the Jewish Scriptures of the Jewish religion that he practiced? There is plenty of evidence that Jesus regarded Torah (Jewish Scriptures) as binding on him and his disciples—and that the early Jesus movement was making claims that were plausible within some streams of Jewish thought, if not all of them. In other words, Jesus was not trying to start a new religion–but claiming to show the inner meaning of the Jewish tradition.
(1) He appealed to higher principles within the Torah and Torah purity laws. (2) He approved of the need for priestly purification after leprosy. (3) He was not entirely at ease with Gentiles and Samaritans. (4) He affirmed the sanctity of the Shabbat (Sabbath). (5) He approved of paying tithes the Temple. (6) He wore tassels on his garments.

Read this very interesting article at -- http://www.patheos.com/blogs/northamptonseminar/2014/10/23/did-jesus-try-to-start…

Yom Kippur Before the Temple was Destroyed

Today (October 3, 2014) at sundown is the beginning of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It is by far the most widely observed of Jewish holidays and fast days. Synagogues are packed with families in Israel, as well as throughout the diaspora. It has been the most important Jewish holiday throughout the centuries, going back into the Second Temple Period -- the times of the Sadducees, Pharisees, Essenes and the Jesus Movement. A good way for Christians to understand its importance is to compare it to what Easter means to Christians. In this article I am going to focus on Yom Kippur during the Late Second Temple Period, rather than the rituals now practiced in synagogues. Keep in mind that what follows will reflect what Jesus and his original followers experienced every year. There are hints in the Synoptic Gospels that the final year of the life of Jesus may have coincided with the Year of Jubilees, but we will look at what happened every year at the Temple. The fact that the highest …

Love Your Neighbor: Only Israelites or Everyone?

It’s one of the most famous lines in the Bible:
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:18).
Impressive. Fascinating. Inspiring. Capable of a thousand interpretations and raising 10,000 questions. A remarkable proposition coming out of ancient Judah, which was embedded in the Near Eastern world of wars, slavery, class and ethnic divisions and discriminations of all kinds.
One interpretation of this verse that has been making the rounds for years turns this grand idea on its head: The claim is that the verse means to love only one’s fellow Israelites as oneself. Instead of being inclusive, it’s actually exclusive. Is there anything to this claim?

Read the complete article at -- http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/bible-interpretation/love-your-neighbor-only-israelites-or-everyone/

SHAVU’OT (Pentecost) Begins at Sundown Today

Both Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity link Shavuot to specific historical events that play important roles in establishing the legitimacy of their movements.  
For Rabbinic Judaism it was their teaching that G-d gave two different types of laws on Mt. Sinai, the Written Law and the Oral Law.  
For Christianity it was the descent of the Holy Spirit on the congregation of believers gathered at the Temple in Jerusalem for Shavuot.  
In the New Testament, SHAVU’OT is called Pentecost (Ancient Greek: Πεντηκοστή [ἡμέρα], Pentēkostē [hēmera], "the fiftieth [day]"). The name “Pentecost” reflects the 50 day period between PESACH and SHAVU’OT.
This year SHAVU’OT begins at sunset June 3rd and continues to sunset June 5th. It is an important event that should be understood by all who have a biblical heritage. Remember and give thanks for the “crops” that provide for your needs today – those raised in fields by farmers and those earned by your labor at your work.
Read the complete arti…

Using the Culture Key to Unlock the Meanings of the Words of the Bible

We all think, act, and communicate in ways that are primarily predetermined by our culture.

We didn't choose our culture any more than we chose our parents.  We are born and immediately immersed in whatever culture we happened to live in. If you had been born in another culture – you would be a very different person than you are today. Read the complete article at -- http://bhcbiblestudies.blogspot.com/2014/05/using-culture-key-to-unlock-meanings-of.html

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu corrects Pope Francis – Jesus spoke Hebrew

What language did Jesus speak? Beginning in the middle of the nineteenth century a mistaken notion – Jesus only knew and spoke Aramaic -- took hold that has by-and-large continued to dominate both scholarly and popular opinion. Yet, the results of a century of archaeological evidence have challenged this assumption and brought a sea change of understanding regarding the linguistic environment of first-century Judaea. The inscriptional and literary evidence reflects a reality not unlike what we find with the Dead Sea Scrolls. Of the 700 non-biblical texts from the Qumran library, 120 are in Aramaic and 28 in Greek, while 550 scrolls were written in Hebrew. Read the complete article at -- http://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/2014/05/judean-lingo/

BHC Bible Study Guideline

Back in the late 1980s, after participating in discussions that took place in our Bible studies and meetings in which endless arguments and debates flared up over the interpretations of verses or religious doctrines, I created the BHC Bible Study Guideline.
Our Belief Systems must be large enough to include all the Facts; Open enough to be tested; and, Flexible enough to change when errors or new Facts are discovered!
It was amazing to witness the transformation that took place when the participants focused on identifying or finding the facts and then comparing them to their beliefs – especially when hardcore fundamentalists were involved.
It didn’t take long for participants to realize that – people who ignore the Facts, refuse to be tested, and cling to errors – are living lives & making important decisions based on illusions – not truths – and that doesn’t really make any sense!
If the BHC Bible Study Guideline has benefited your life – or if its new to you, but you can see its value …

The Pharisees Sat in Moses’ Seat

Then Yeshua said to the crowds and to the disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore, whatever they may tell you do and keep; but do not do according to their works; because they say and do not.” (Matthew 23:1-3)
The three verses above contain clues that reveal a great deal about the real Yeshua and his Jewish world. The first clue reveals a great deal about the two groups that gathered to hear him – the crowds and the disciples. The information recorded in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark & Luke) also reveal a great deal about Yeshua as a rabbi. There can be little doubt that this was how most of the Jewish people viewed Yeshua. However, it is important to understand that being a rabbi before 70 CE in Judea and Galilee was very different from being an American rabbi today. Pay close attention to the underlined words below:
There were hundreds and perhaps thousands of such rabbis circulating in the land of Israel in Jesus’ day. These rabbis did not he…

Roman Rule in Yeshua’s World

When Yeshua was about 10 years old (6 CE), Judea became part of a larger Roman province, called Iudaea, which was formed by combining Judea proper (biblical Judah) with Samaria and Idumea (biblical Edom). Even though Iudaea is simply derived from the Latin for Judea, many historians use it to distinguish the Roman province from the previous territory and history. Iudaea province did not include Galilee, Gaulanitis (the Golan), nor Peraeaor the Decapolis.[i]


Its revenue was of little importance to the Roman treasury, but it controlled the land and coastal sea routes to the bread basket Egypt and was a border province against the Parthian Empire because of the Jewish connections to Babylonia(since theBabylonian exile). Egypt seems to have had grain surpluses often enough, so that they could be stored in state granaries and even be exported. During Roman times the country was one of the bread baskets of Rome.
In Egypt, we find barley cut at the end of six months, and wheat at the end of se…

“Corn” or “Maze” – Know the Culture of the Translator!

If you have read many of my blogs, you know how much I stress the importance of knowing as much as you can about the culture of Second Temple Judaism when you read the words of Jesus. It was his culture. But, there is another culture that you should be aware of too -- if you rely on English translations of the Biblethe culture of the translators.
Here is an example from Matthew 12:1 of the King James Version:
At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.

Read the complete article at -- http://bhcbiblestudies.blogspot.com/2014/01/corn-or-maze-know-culture-of-translator.html