Thursday, December 31, 2015

Last Chance to Make 2015 Tax-Deductible Donation

Today is the final opportunity to make a 2015 tax-deductible donation to support the work of the Biblical Heritage Center on the Real Yeshua. It must be made online for us to receive it today. Your help is greatly valued and appreciated. To donate go to -- http://biblicalheritage.org/BHC/donate.htm

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Yeshua’s Traumatized Society

Yeshua was born into a society traumatized by violence. His life was framed by revolts. The uprisings after Herod’s death occurred in the year of his birth, and he was brought up in the hamlet of Nazareth, only a few miles from Sepphoris, which Varus had razed to the ground; the peasants’ strike against Caligula would occur just ten years after his death.

During his lifetime, Galilee was governed by Herod Antipas, who financed an expensive building program by imposing heavy taxes on his Galilean subjects. Failure to pay was punished by foreclosure and confiscation of land, and this revenue swelled the huge estates of the Herodian aristocrats.  When they lost their land, some peasants were forced into banditry, while others — Yeshua’s father, the carpenter Joseph, perhaps, among them — turned to menial labor: artisans were often failed peasants.

The crowds who thronged around Yeshua in Galilee were hungry, distressed, and sick. In his parables we see a society split between the very rich and the very poor: people who are desperate for loans; peasants who are heavily indebted; and the dispossessed who have to hire themselves out as day laborers. In Yeshua’s mission, therefore, politics and religion were inseparable.1

This is probably one of the most important blogs I have written so far. Please share it with others. If you agree that is an important message, please let me know by going to our Real Yeshua Facebook page by clicking here – and -- “Like” it.

There is still time to make a year-end donation that will help us fund this work in 2015. The more funding we receive the more we can do to get the message of the Real Yeshua out. Be a doer and act by donating now. For information or to make an online donation -- click here.  


1 (Source: Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence by Karen Armstrong © 2014; Anchor Books; New York, NY; pp. 135-136, 138)

Early Third Century Christianity

The Church was a new phenomenon in the Roman Empire. Christians had exploited the empire’s improved communications to create an institution with a unity of structure that none of the other faith traditions had attempted by the third century. Each local church was headed by a bishop, the “overseer” who was said to derive his authority from Jesus’s apostles, and was supported by presbyters and deacons. The network of such near-identical communities seemed almost to have become an empire within the empire.

Irenaeus, the bishop of Lyons (c. 130-200), who was anxious to create an orthodoxy that excluded aggressive sectarians, had claimed that the Great Church had a single Rule of Faith, because the bishops had inherited their teaching directly from the apostles. This was not only a novel idea but a total fantasy. Paul’s letters show that there had been considerable tension between him and Jesus’s disciples, and his teachings bore little relation to those of Jesus. Each of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Luke & Mark) had its own take on Jesus, while John was different from them. In addition, at that time there were also a host of other gospels in circulation that were used in churches. When Christians finally established a scriptural canon (New Testament) — between the fourth and sixth centuries (centuries after the crucifixion) — the diverse visions of the authors of those books were included side by side. After that it would be up to Church authorities, theologians and councils to try an reconcile long-held differences between those ancient sources.

Unfortunately, however, some in powerful positions in Christianity would develop a peculiar yearning for intellectual conformity that would not only prove to be unsustainable -- but that set it apart from other faith traditions. It also laid the foundation for endless disputes that continue to this very moment.


(Primary Source: Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence by Karen Armstrong © 2014; Anchor Books; New York, NY; pp. 150-151.)

Once upon a time a Preacher, Professor & Rabbi . . .

Once upon a time a Preacher, Professor & Rabbi . . .” sounds like the beginning of a good joke, but in this case it is the beginning of a twenty-five journey. I am the preacher, Dr. Ike Tennison is the Professor and the Rabbi is Jeffrey Leynor. Our destination was to more accurately understand the words of our Bibles and the histories of our religions – Christianity and Judaism. We specifically wanted to focus on the first century CE when both of our religions were Jewish sects and part of Second Temple Judaism and learn more about how one of those sects – the Jesus Movement – became a universal Gentile religion, and the other – the Pharisees – became Rabbinic Judaism. What we discovered, however, is much more important than what we planned. Today, the social bonds that are required to hold Americans together and make it possible for our democracy to exist are breaking down and many of the problems we face – political, economic and religious – are the result. We believe that what we discovered on our journey has the power to strengthen those bonds and bring Americans together -- especially those with Judeo-Christian values and heritages. Click on “Once upon a time a Preacher, Professor & Rabbi” at -- http://www.myerscommunications.us/biblical-heritage-center-resources-page.html

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Why Did the Magi Bring Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh?

Were the gifts of the magi meant to save Jesus from the pain of arthritis? It’s possible, according to researchers at Cardiff University in Wales who have been studying the medical uses of frankincense. Since the early days of Christianity, Biblical scholars and theologians have offered varying interpretations of the meaning and significance of the gold, frankincense and myrrh that the magi presented to Jesus, according to the Gospel of Matthew (2:11). Read the complete article at -- http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/people-cultures-in-the-bible/jesus-historical-jesus/why-did-the-magi-bring-gold-frankincense-and-myrrh/


How did the Romans celebrate ‘Christmas’?

It wasn’t until the late fourth century that the church fathers could agree on the date of Christ’s birth – unlike the pagan Romans, Christians tended to give no importance to anyone’s birthday. The big day in the Christian religious calendar was Easter. Nevertheless, eventually the church settled on 25 December as the date of Christ’s nativity. For the Christians, it was a holy day, not a holiday, and they wanted the period to be sombre and distinguished from the pagan Saturnalia traditions such as gambling, drinking, and of course, most of all, worshipping a pagan god! Read the complete article at -- http://www.historyextra.com/feature/how-did-romans-celebrate-christmas


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Why the Magi got a bad press

There were not three Magi. The number is not specified. It is only stated that they brought three types of gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh. We can say with near certainty that there were not three but many thousands! The answers are clear once we understand the dilemma faced by the Roman State Church founded under Constantine in the 300s CE. It was excruciatingly painful for the priests of the Roman ‘Mother Church’ to explain why the Magi of Persia had worshiped the infant Jesus and the Roman Empire had destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. Parthia worshiped Jesus. Rome pillaged Jerusalem and destroyed the Jews. How could Romans justify a Christian heritage? The Roman Mother Church therefore blamed the Jews for the death of Jesus although the crucifixion was conducted by Roman soldiers, under Roman imperial authority and with Roman nails. Read the complete article at -- http://www.jpost.com/Blogs/Truth-Beyond-Price/Why-the-Magi-got-a-bad-press-437132

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Unearthing the World of Jesus

Surprising archaeological finds are breaking new ground in our understanding of Jesus’s time—and the revolution he launched 2,000 years ago. The Gospels say that Jesus taught and “proclaimed the good news” in synagogues “throughout all Galilee.” But despite decades of digging in the towns Jesus visited, no early first-century synagogue had ever been found.  For historians, this was not a serious problem. Galilean Jews were a week’s walk from Jerusalem, close enough for regular pilgrimages to Herod the Great’s magnificent temple, Judaism’s central house of worship. Galileans, mostly poor peasants and fishermen, had neither the need nor the funds for some local spinoff. Synagogues, as we understand them today, did not appear anywhere in great numbers until several hundred years later. If there were any in Galilee in Jesus’s day, they were perhaps just ordinary houses that doubled as meeting places for local Jews. Some scholars argued that the “synagogues” in the New Testament were nothing more than anachronisms slipped in by the Gospels’ authors, who were writing outside Galilee decades after Jesus’s death.

But as Avshalom-Gorni stood at the edge of the pit, studying the arrangement of benches along the walls, she could no longer deny it: They’d found a synagogue from the time of Jesus, in the hometown of Mary Magdalene. Though big enough for just 200 people, it was, for its time and place, opulent. It had a mosaic floor; frescoes in pleasing geometries of red, yellow and blue; separate chambers for public Torah readings, private study and storage of the scrolls; a bowl outside for the ritual washing of hands. Read the complete article at -- http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/unearthing-world-jesus-180957515/?no-ist



Friday, November 20, 2015

A Psychologist Replays the Trials of Jesus and Paul, and Uncovers Surprising Revelations About Judaism

Jesus and Paul were executed for the primary charge of blasphemy against Judaism, even though some biblical scholars claim that the charges were bogus — not blasphemous by Jewish law and tradition. In both instances, the charges were made by the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of Judaism. The Roman authorities referred both cases to the Jewish authorities because “the charges were Jewish matters.” If Jesus didn’t launch Christianity, if Paul didn’t, who did? More puzzling, how did Christianity get away from Judaism? Interesting questions that beg for fresh thinking. Questions that psychologists, sociologists and historians may be more suited to investigate than theologians or biblical scholars, who are mired in traditional frames of reference. Read the complete article at -- http://www.algemeiner.com/2015/11/03/a-psychologist-replays-the-trials-of-jesus-and-paul-and-uncovers-surprising-revelations-about-judaism/#


Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Bible’s First Lessons on Love

The Bible opens with the famous creation accounts, but few probably realize that these are also the Bible’s first lessons about love – the love of the Creator. These are lessons that are well worth learning and sharing with others, because if there is one thing our lives and world urgently need now – it’s the presence of the Creator’s love. See if you recognize the Creator’s in the real salvation message of Jesus (you won’t hear it at a church). Click on this article at -- http://www.myerscommunications.us/biblical-heritage-center-resources-page.html

Friday, September 25, 2015

Pope Frances Speech to the United Nations

If you have been learning about the Real Yeshua, then you will recognize that the pope's speech to the UN is loaded with the TOV Values that the Real Yeshua taught and the theological ancestors of the pope subordinated to their theological interests. Read this amazing speech at -- http://www.newrepublic.com/article/122916/pope-franciss-address-united-nations-transcript-his-full

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Lessons About Prayer: The Times for Prayer


Lessons About Prayer from the Jewish Culture of Yeshua Series
#3 The Times for Prayer

Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer,
the ninth hour. (Acts 3:1)

What time was the ninth hour? The following information from To Pray as a Jew provides us with important insights about this topic.

The Times for Prayer

When Ezra the Scribe and the Men of the Great Assembly prescribed the number of prayer services for each day, they also fixed the time framework in which to say them. The official time for the   various services was set to correspond to the time that the daily communal offerings were brought in the Temple.

An Explanation of the ‘Variable Hour” (Sha-ah Zemanit)

In order to understand how the exact time parameters of the daily services are fixed, one must begin by knowing that wherever the Mishnah or later halakhic sources referred to the time of the day, they were not referring to a fixed hour, nor, when they used the term “hour” did they mean our constant interval of sixty minutes.

They were referring to a certain fraction of the day, and the hour they had in mind is a “variable hour” or “seasonal hour” (sha-ah zemanit) whose length is determined by the length of the day measured from sunrise to sunset, which in turn changes with the seasons. The one constant thing about the “variable hour” is that it is always one-twelfth of the day. The fourth “hour,” for example, always means a third of the day; the sixth “hour” means midday. If we were dealing with a day that has twelve daylight hours beginning at 6 a.m. and ending at 6 p.m. this would mean 10 a.m. and 12 noon respectively. But days are not so perfectly fixed. They are longer or shorter; they begin and end earlier or later.

If one knows the exact time of sunrise and sunset on any given day, the length of the variable hour is easily calculated. Once this is established, it is easy to determine the time of the fourth “hour” or the sixth “hour” or the exact time on the clock that corresponds to two and one-half or one and one-quarter “hours” before sundown.

If you found this information useful, please let us know by going to The Real Yeshua Facebook page by CLICKING HERE and “Like it.” 

Your help in funding this work is greatly appreciated -- CLICK HERE. Any amount will help, no matter how small.

Shalom,
Jim Myers


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Lessons About Prayer: Prayers That Will Not Be Answered


Lessons About Prayer from the Jewish Culture of Yeshua Series
#2 Prayers That Will Not Be Answered

The Talmud tells us that God will not answer some kinds of prayer. God will not answer a prayer: that is:

(1) that is not sincere

(2) that asks Him to break one of His own laws

(3) that asks for Him to do what we ourselves should be doing

(4) that asks Him to help us by hurting others

There are two partners in prayer, man and God. Prayer does not always work in the way we want it to or think that it will. God is concerned with every one of His creatures. There is a great difference between speaking magic words and saying a prayer. In magic we believe that we can force something to happen. In prayer, we know that we are not the boss. In prayer we are trying to “get in touch with” God; not trying to force God to obey us.

We must also remember that sometimes the answer to our prayer may be “No.”

If you found this information useful, please let us know by going to The Real Yeshua Facebook page by CLICKING HERE and “Like it.” 

Your help in funding this work is greatly appreciated -- CLICK HERE. Any amount will help, no matter how small.

Shalom,
Jim Myers

(Source: When a Jew Prays By Seymour Rossel with Eugene B. Borowitz and Hyman Chanover; © 1973 Begrman House, Inc. Publishers, New York, NY; pp. 51, 57, 58 & 59.)


Lessons About Prayer: Whom Should I Thank?


Lessons About Prayer from the Jewish Culture of Yeshua Series
#1 Whom Should I Thank?

Once a boy who had just eaten lunch turned to his mother and said, “Thank you very much.” But his mother said, “You should not thank me alone, for I only prepared the food.”

The boy wondered, “Whom should I thank?” He went to the grocery store and saw the grocer.  “Thank you, Mr. Grocer, for the very fine bread that I ate at lunchtime.”  “Oh,” said the grocer, “you should not thank me alone. I only sell the bread. I do not bake it.”

So the boy went to the bakery where all the bread was made; and there he saw the baker. “Mr. Baker,” the boy said, “I want to thank you for the wonderful bread that you bake. The baker laughed and said, “I bake the bread, but it is good because the flour is good. And the flour comes from the miller who grinds it.”

“Then I will thank the miller,” said the boy and he turned to leave.   “But the miller only grinds the wheat,” the baker said. “It is the farmer who grows the grain which makes the bread so good.”

So the boy went off in search of the farmer. He walked until he came to the edge of the village and there he saw the farmer at work in the fields. “I want to thank you for the bread that I eat every day.’’

But the farmer said, “Do not thank me alone. I only plant the seed, tend the field, and harvest the grain. It is sunshine and good rain and the rich earth that make the wheat so good.”

“But who is left to thank?” asked the boy, and he was very sad, very tired, and very hungry again, for he had walked a long way in one day.

The farmer said, “Come inside and eat with my family and then you will feel better.”

So the boy went into the farmhouse with the farmer   and sat down to eat with the farmer’s family. Each person took a piece of bread and then, all together, they said, “We thank You, Ο Lord, our God, King of the universe, who bring bread out of the earth.”

And then the boy discovered that it was God whom   he had forgotten to thank. One of the most important reasons we have for praying as Jews is to thank God for His wonderful gifts.  

If you found this information useful, please let us know by going to The Real Yeshua Facebook page by CLICKING HERE and “Like it.” 

Your help in funding this work is greatly appreciated -- CLICK HERE. Any amount will help, no matter how small.

Shalom,
Jim Myers


(Source: When a Jew Prays By Seymour Rossel with Eugene B. Borowitz and Hyman Chanover; © 1973 Begrman House, Inc. Publishers, New York, NY; pp. 33-34)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Prayer in the Real Yeshua’s Jewish Culture


Prayer is the human side of an unending dialog between God and man. It is through the Scriptures that God speaks to man. Man’s response to God is prayer. Most Hebrew prayers are expressions of adoration and gratitude. They are prayers of thanksgiving and praise for God’s boundless mercy and goodness, for His providential love and beneficence to all His creatures. Prayers also play an educational role, especially petitionary prayers.

 Petitionary prayers voice our needs, and they ask for deliverance from the various afflictions that beset us in the world. The function of petitionary prayer is to make us more conscious of our dependence on God, that we may thereby become more receptive to divine influences. God answers petitionary prayer, but not necessarily according to our specifications.

Man and God are partners in the work of creation; therefore man must be a co-worker with God in the struggle against the deficiencies which challenge him.

(1) We cannot expect God to overrule the laws operative in His universe.

(2) God cannot replace our own role in effecting the goals we seek.

(3) We cannot expect God to heed our request when they run counter to the needs of the world as a whole.

(4) We cannot expect God to lift us out of the limitations which are inherent in the human condition, i.e. our mortality (life is given us for only a limited allotment of time) or our capacity to feel pain (when attacked by hostile forces in our environment).

God answers our prayers by helping us attain our goals, now or later, or by giving us the power to accept our condition and endure it. The function of prayer in all its manifestations is to bring us closer to God, that we may more faithfully perform His will. It is not to induce God to perform our will.

This is the first of a new project we call “Keys to Understanding the Teachings of the Real Yeshua.”

If you think this is beneficial and want to see more studies like this, please Click Here to go to the new Real Yeshua Facebook Page and LIKE IT. (This is a new Facebook page so please like it even if you liked the old page. After you “Like” the new page you will receive a “Friends Request” that will allow you to interact more if you accept it.)

Shalom,
Jim Myers

Source: The Prayer Boor: Weekday, Sabbath, and Festival Translated and arranged by Ben Zion Bokser © 1983 (Behrman House Publishers, Inc., New York, NY)




Saturday, August 22, 2015

From Jewish Messiah to God Incarnate

Dr. James Tabor’s latest blog provides a wealth of information about a subject that Christians have debated for almost 2,000 years now. Regardless of what one’s beliefs about Jesus are, it must be clearly understood that other Christians have held – and do hold -- other beliefs about it. Or, as we like to say, “many different memes have been attached to Yeshua over the centuries.” Dr. Tabor provides a good chronological presentation for that memetic evolution. Below are a few quotes from the blog.

For untold millions of Christians asking the “Lord” for guidance, help, and even salvation is a complex and confusing business. Part of the confusion is that the God of the Hebrew Bible, who mostly goes by the name Yahweh/Yehovah, is referred to as “the LORD.” The problem comes with the New Testament in which Jesus is also commonly referred to as “the Lord.” So far as the Jesus movement goes our earliest evidence for this practice of conflating the name of God–i.e., Yahweh, with that of Jesus–that is, calling them both “Lord” in an interchangeable way, goes back to Paul. Even though Paul clearly distinguished between the “One God, the Father” and the “One Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 8:6). Later Christian devotion to Jesus pales into insignificance anything found in the New Testament. 


Friday, August 14, 2015

Take the 40-Day Real Yeshua Challenge - it begins today.

Elul: A Time of Repairing and Creating Shalom

One of the most important teachings of Yeshua isn’t taught in most churches, but you will find it in most Twelve-Step programs. Pay close attention to the words of Yeshua (highlighting added to stress specific words):

Therefore if you bring your QORBAN to the ALTAR, and THERE you REMEMBER that your brother has something AGAINST you, leave your QORBAN there, before the altar, and FIRST be reconciled to your brother, and THEN come and offer your QORBAN. (Matthew 5:23-24)

Yeshua was clearly addressing people who understood what he was talking about because it was something they and everyone they knew did. The Temple’s sacrificial rituals were part of Jewish life. QORBAN is usually translated as "sacrifice" or "offering.” In 21st century America, both words are understood to be an act in which the one presenting the QORBAN losses or gives up something.

But, in Yeshua’s world, the meaning of the root of QORBAN was understood -- QRB means "to draw near." Yeshua, and those listening to him that day, brought their QORBAN to the Temple to “draw near Yahweh.” The closest ritual that we have to that experience is prayer -- it is an act that seems to bring us closer nearer to the presence of God.

Put yourself in the shoes of the people listening to Yeshua that day. Picture what they must have thought when they heard his words. They knew all of the steps it took to just get to the altar – buying or taking a sacrifice to the Temple, having priests inspect it, going through the ritual immersion process before entering the Temple, waiting in line to approach the altar, and telling the priests at the altar what they wanted to do.

But, it is important to consider something that is often overlooked by many Bible readers. The Holy of Holies was viewed as the place where Yahweh’s presence dwelled. When one brought QORBAN, every step the person took brought them one step closer to the presence of Yahweh. The final step, the one Yeshua focused on in the above verse but did not explain to his audience, because they knew it very well, was self-examination. If, during that self-examination, one remembered that his brother has something against him because he had committed an offense against him, Yeshua said: “STOP! Leave your QORBAN right THERE. Go find that person. Be reconciled with him! THEN comeback and present your QORBAN to Yahweh.”

Why did Yeshua teach this? Everyone listening to him knew two things that most of us have never been taught:

QORBAN has no expiating effect unless the person making the offering does TESHUVAH BEFORE presenting the offering.[i]

God’s forgiveness, however extensive, only encompasses those sins which man commits directly against Him. Sins against one’s fellow man are not forgiven until the injured party forgives the perpetrator. The sinner must not only ask for forgiveness; he must also make the required restitution to repair the damage he caused.

God will not pardon a person unconditionally, but waits for him or her to do TESHUVAH. When Yeshua said, “Be reconciled with him,” he was telling the audience – “Do TESHUVAH!”  How does a person “do” TESHUVAH?

(1) cease doing the sin

(2) experience genuine remorse for the wrong committed

(3) make restitution to repair the damage done to others

(4) do acts of TOV (protect life, preserve life, make life more functional and/or improve the quality of life) [ii]

Yeshua wasn’t revealing something new to them. He was simply reminding them of something they already knew. The new thing in his message was “why” they were told to do it -- when they were ANGRY with someone!  There is little doubt that everyone recognized the link between Yeshua’s message and the story of Cain and Abel. Yeshua simply repeated the instructions Yahweh gave Cain:

And Yahweh said to Cain, "Why are you burning? And why has your face fallen? Surely, if you do TOV, you shall be upstanding; but if you do not do TOV, sin will be a wild animal crouching at your door. Its desire shall be for you, but you will be able to master it. (Genesis 4:6-7)

Cain was also bringing an offering to Yahweh when he became angry. The key point in this lesson, as well as in many other lessons he taught is about this -- Which of the following do you believe God wants?

(1) A nation of individuals who bring him slaughtered and burnt animals.

(2) A nation of individuals who are the keepers and guardians of their brothers’ lives.

If you answered “#2” you are correct. Yeshua was surrounded by other teachers who focused on doing religious rituals correctly (by their standards). As with many religions, when the focus becomes “the religion” instead of the people, bad things usually happen.

Some people seem to think that after he was executed by the Romans, Yeshua created a brand new religion and reversed his position on many of the things he taught before – like the lesson above. He didn’t. People from other cultures and religions became leaders of new religious groups in which he was cast as the central character. Today, a growing number of people are discovering the importance and richness of the teachings of the Real Yeshua and implementing them in their lives – and some in their churches.

So, what does this teaching have to do with today, August 14, 2015? At sundown today the Jewish month of Elul begins. The month of Elul is a time of repentance in preparation for the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Elul is a TIME OF SELF-EXAMINATION in which one searches his or her heart before DRAWING CLOSE TO GOD during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Elul is a time to do TESHUVAH -- to repair the damage of the wrongs
done to others and restore harmed or broken relationships.

 The forty-day period that begins with the first day of Elul and ends with Yom Kippur is often compared to the forty-day periods Yeshua spent in the wilderness after his immersion (baptism) and the time Moses spent on Mt. Sinai.

The Real Yeshua 40-Day Challenge

The teachings of Yeshua, as you saw above, are linked to Core Principles revealed in the opening chapters of Genesis – universal principles for all people, not just Jewish people. One of the foundational principles is usually translated -- “God created mankind (all people) in His image.” However, we believe there is another translation – “God created mankind (all people) with His Spirit.”  One of the ways to acknowledge the presence of His Spirit in our lives is by guarding and protecting what the Creator valued the most – human life.

We would like to challenge followers of Yeshua to remember the importance of this during the forty-day period that begins at sundown today and end at sundown Wednesday, September 23rd. Make the next 40 days a time of repairing harmed or broken relationships – a period of creating SHALOM (completeness, totality and wholeness) in your world.

As pointed out above, the principle taught by Yeshua is found in most Twelve-Step programs:

Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

It is very important to keep the lesson of Step 9 in mind at all times. The transformative power of doing the above steps has been witnessed many times by those who did them.

Praying for God to forgive us for harming others, but never accepting the responsibility for the act or repairing the damage done to the other person was not what Yeshua taught. Today, the message we hear all the time is -- “God loves ME!” But, that’s not all of the story –

God loves THE PERSON YOU HARM TOO!

“Being saved” isn’t a “Free Pass to Hurt Other People” card. Take the Real Yeshua 40-Day Challenge. Reveal the image and spirit of the Creator through your actions in your part of the world.

If you like this article and/or will take the Real Yeshua 40-Day Challenge – go to our NEW Real Yeshua Facebook Page and “LIKE IT” – click here.

If you would like to download a PDF copy of this article -- click here. Please share it with others.

We would also appreciate your support – click here to make a donation.

Shalom,
Jim Myers





[ii] Encyclopedia Judaica; Vol. 1 Col. 73

Was Jesus the Son of God? It's Complicated

Scholars are aware of the rich and diverse ways in which the term "Son of God" is used in the Hebrew Bible, in subsequent Jewish literature, and in the New Testament writings themselves, not to mention various non-Jewish texts (including inscriptions and coins) of the Greco-Roman period. Most of us who teach in the field of Christian Origins get asked from time to time by students or in public lectures, "Professor, do you believe Jesus was X." Sometimes X is "Messiah," other times it is "Divine," but in my experience, most often, the question is "Do you believe that Jesus was the Son of God." In good Socratic fashion one is tempted to reply, "Well what do you mean by the term 'Son of God,' and such a counter question is certainly more than subterfuge. Here is a listing of most of the complex ways in which that term is used in the Christian Bible and other related traditions. Read the complete article at -- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-d-tabor/was-jesus-the-son-of-god-_b_7976430.html

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Art that falsifies biblical history and reinforce the divide between Christians and Jews

I discovered, with Renaissance images of Jesus, his family and followers. In one respect a vast trove of Renaissance artworks inspire devotion and intensify faith in Christianity. On another level, though, they falsify biblical history and reinforce the divide between Christians and Jews, which has had lethal consequences for Jews over many centuries. The falsifications were all the more compelling because they were made subtly, by omission. What has been omitted is Jesus' Jewish identity. You can walk through gallery after gallery in museums around the world, as I have, and you will rarely see any evidence that Jesus was a Jew or had any connection to Judaism or to the Middle East where he was born and where he preached. Indeed, he is typically pictured as Northern European in appearance, with fair skin, blond hair, and blue eyes. And you will likely find him and his family and followers in regal attire, in palatial Renaissance settings, surrounded by symbols of a religion -- Christianity -- that didn't exist during his lifetime. Read the complete article at -- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bernard-starr/art-can-inspire-faith-it_b_7837456.html

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Yeshua Movement and First Century Judaism

The movement Jesus eventually forged had attractions for those who identified with the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes or Zealots. Jesus had his share of sympathizers even among the Pharisees. Under the reign of Jesus’s brother James, large numbers of Pharisees identified with the movement that John the Baptizer and Jesus had inaugurated. As surprising as it sounds to modern ears, there were in fact Nazarene or “Christian Pharisees” – and lots of them. Luke reveals that “large numbers: of Sadducean priests in Jerusalem became part of the movement even though Jesus seems to the least in common with the Sadducees. Even though the Essenes had a much more rigid interpretation of the Torah than Jesus, there were surely some who must have identified with the apocalyptic excitement that John the Baptizer and Jesus began to ignite all over the country. When we grasp the history, core values, and mythological world of this movement we will be able to place Jesus properly within the incredible diversity of 1st century Palestinian Judaism. (SOURCE: The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity by James D. Tabor © 2006; Simon & Shuster, New York, NY; pp. 120-121.)


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The Four Religious Sects

Four religious sects or parties existed in Israel at that time: the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and Herodians. The most prominent were the Pharisees and Sadducees.  The Pharisees were the most popular sect; their main focus was on the primacy of the Torah, and their leaders were the expert interpreters of the Torah. The most conservative Sadducees, who represented an older establishment of priests, aristocrats, and wealthier merchants, had less influence on the religious views of the larger community, but they dominated the Temple worship and the Sanhedrin, the central religious council based in the Temple.  The other two sects were the Essenes, a pious brotherhood of separatists, who lived in isolated monastic communities in the desert, and the Herodians, a religious party allied to Herod the Great.


SOURCE: The Life and Teachings of Hillel by Yitzhak Buxbaum (Jason Aronson, Inc., Northvale, NJ; 1973); pp. 9-10.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Some Stats Every Christian Should Ponder

Ponder is defined as “to consider something deeply and thoroughly; weigh carefully in the mind; consider thoughtfully.”[1] Something I have done a lot of pondering about began when I became aware of the stats below.

(1) Christians trace the beginning of their religion to Jesus, the founder of a small Jewish sect in Palestine in 30 CE.

(2) In 1970, there were 1,130,000,000 affiliated Christians who belonged to 1,449,600 congregations/churches of 18,630 denominations / paradenominations.[2] Paradenominations have existed since the 19th century, operating alongside denominations, crossing boundaries and enabling joint efforts between various groups.[3]

(3) In 2000, there were 1,888,000.000 affiliated Christians who belonged to 3,447,900 congregations/churches of 33,820 denominations / paradenominations.[4]

(4) In 2000 there were 322 Baptist denominations alone.[5]

Some things to ponder:

(1) How did a single exclusively Jewish sect in Palestine become 33,820 denominations / paradenominations with members from around the globe?

(2) Why do 33,820 denominations / paradenominations exist?

(3) What beliefs do the 33,820 denominations / paradenominations share?

(4) What beliefs separate the 33,820 denominations / paradenominations?

(5) Does the existence of 33,820 denominations / paradenominations strengthen or weaken Christianity?

(6) Is this the vision Jesus had for his group?

If you would like to share your ponderings, post them on this blog or email them to me (click here).

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Shalom,
Jim Myers


[2] World Christian Trends AD 30 – AD 2200 By David B. Barrett & Todd M. Johnson, © 2001 by David B. Barrett;  William Carey Library, Pasadena, CA; p. 33.
[4] World Christian Trends AD 30 – AD 2200; p. 33.
[5] World Christian Trends AD 30 – AD 2200; p. 390.




Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Being Right vs. Acting Righteously

My friend and TOV Center Partner, Jim Myers, received a 6 page list of Biblical quotes in a reaction to his blog about the Real Yeshua -- Jesus the Jewish teacher. I noticed after reading through this huge list, that the point of the writer was to convince and prove his "RIGHTNESS." This sense of "RIGHTNESS" is something I've experienced my entire life. Many people are absolutely sure that what they "BELIEVE" is "RIGHT!" So many expend their energy on defending their BS (Belief System), some even go to the point of killing others. The real crime, however, is that they ignore and do not practice the Values and Lessons that the Jewish Jesus taught – and are clearly recorded in those same Scriptures. Read Rabbi Leynor’s blog at -- http://tovcenter.blogspot.com/2015/06/being-right-vs-acting-righteously.html

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Relationships of the Israelite Religion, Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity

For the past 30 years I have been engaged in research about the Jewish Yeshua (Jesus) and the evolution of Christianity from a Jewish sect to a universal Gentile religion. The work of Dr. David Flusser had played an important role in my work. David Flusser (b. 09/15/1917 – d. 09/15/2000) was a professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem where he taught Judaism in the Second Temple Period and Early Christianity. He was a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Flusser published over 1,000 articles in Hebrew, German, English, and other languages. His work was rewarded by the State of Israel in 1980 with the Israel Prize.

His famous book, Judaism and the Origins of Christianity (© 1988 Magnes Press, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel), is a valuable resource for anyone studying the Second Temple Judaism and Early Christianity. I use it regularly in my work. Today, while working on something, I came across two passages that I believe are very important. I encourage you to read them a couple of times, and then seriously consider the implications of Flusser’s words. I added underlines to stress specific points.

The latter-day Judaism as well as Christianity did not evolve from the religion of Israel in the Old Testament, but from the Jewish religiosity that flourished during the intertestamental period. This type of religiosity is no longer identical with the creed reflected in the Old Testament. The investigation of this type of religiosity can lead us to warranted conclusions only if we pay due attention to the diverse trends and movements within Judaism of the Second Commonwealth. By encompassing all these data we shall realize that in spite of all the respective shades of difference among the groups and sects, we can, on the one hand, formulate ideas and attitudes, trends and approaches common to them all which, on the other hand, distinguish them all clearly from the world of thought and belief that prevails in the Old Testament. (p. 471)

The Jewish origin of Christianity is an historical fact. It is also clear that Christianity constituted a new community, distinct from Judaism. Thus, Christianity is in the peculiar position of being a religion which, because of its Jewish roots, is obligated to be occupied with Judaism, while a Jew can fully live his Jewish religious life without wrestling with the problems of Christianity. (p. 617)

From its very beginnings, Christianity understood itself more or less as the heir of Judaism and its true expression, at the same time that it knew itself to have come into existence through the special grace of Christ. As the vast majority of Jews did not agree with their Christian brethren in this claim, Christianity became a religion of Gentiles to whom, from the second century on, it was forbidden to fulfill the commandments of the Law of Moses –- a book which was, at the same time, a part of their Holy Scriptures.  (p. 617)

Already then the majority of Christians thought that the Jewish way of life was forbidden even to those Jews who had embraced Christianity, an attitude which later became the official position of the Church. While anti-Semitism existed before Christianity, Christian anti-Judaism was far more virulent and dangerous. The latter rejected most of the motifs of Greco-Roman anti-Semitism, as these were used also against Christians, but invented new arguments. Most of these existed as early as the first century – some of them have their roots already in the New Testament – and by the second century we can recognize more or less clearly the whole direction of Christian anti-Judaism. (p. 617)

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Shalom,

Jim Myers

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

History of the Name "Jesus"


The history of the name “Jesus” begins in the Torah in the account in which Yahweh commanded Moses to choose one man from each of the twelve tribes to spy out the land of Canaan.

Of the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea[1] the son of Nun . . . These are the names of the men which Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Hoshea the son of Nun Yehoshua.[2]

The root word of Hoshea is HOSHUA, which means "salvation." It is important to understand that "salvation" in the Hebrew Scriptures or the Jewish culture did not mean “go to Heaven after death.” It meant “being delivered from some danger or threat.” When Moses changed Hoshea to Yehoshua the meaning of the name changed to "Yahweh-is-Salvation." When the spies reported back to Moses ten of them delivered the following report:

“The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”[3]

But two of the spies, Yehoshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Yephunneh, delivered another message:

“The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If Yahweh delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ Only do not rebel against Yahweh, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and Yahweh is with us. Do not fear them.”[4]

By the 5th Century BCE the name Yehoshua was shortened to Yeshua:

Those who came with Zerubbabel were Yeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, and Baanah.[5] 

So the whole assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and sat under the booths; for since the days of Yeshua the son of Nun until that day the children of Israel had not done so. And there was very great gladness.[6]

By the 1st century CE, probably due to Hellenistic influence, Yeshua was shortened to Y'shua. In the Greek New Testament, the name Yeshua appears two times as Iesous:

Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Iesous into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David.[7]

For if Iesous had given them rest, then he would not afterward have spoken of another day.[8]

In 382 Jerome made a Latin translation of the Christian Scriptures called the “Vulgate,” or “common Bible.” Jerome translated the Greek word Iesous as Iesus. The Latin spelling and pronunciation of Iesus dominated the Western Christian world for almost 1,000 years.[9]

The Norman invasion of 1066 introduced the letter "j" to England but the sound of the letter did not exist in the Old English language until the early 1200's. In 1384, John Wycliffe made the first English translation of the New Testament from Latin. He preserved the Latin spelling and pronunciation of Iesus.[10]

The letter “Jwas first distinguished from “'I” by the Frenchman Pierre Ramus (1515 – August 26, 1572) in the 16th century. Ramus was an influential French humanist, logician, and educational reformer. He was a Protestant convert who was killed during the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre.[11] The “J” did not become common in Modern English until the 17th century. Early 17th century works, such as the first edition of the King James Version of the Bible (1611), continued to print the name Iesus.[12] Soon, the hard "J" sound started to replace male names that began with I or Y -- Iames became James, Iakob became Jacob, Yohan became John, and Iesus became Jesus.

It should be noted that in the Talmud (6th century CE) the name Yeshu is used instead of Yeshua. It is an acronym for yemach shmo u'zikro, which means "may his name be blotted out."[13] This clearly reflects the growing conflict between Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism.

The word “Jesus” did not appear in an English Bible until after the King James Version was published. No one in the first 1,500 years of the Yeshua Movement or Christianity called him “Jesus.” When we return to the name he called himself – Yeshua – we begin the process of viewing him and his words in his Jewish culture.

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Shalom,
Jim Myers