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Showing posts from November, 2016

The origin of Rabbinic Judaism

Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky serves as Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He has been featured on Bill Moyers’ Genesis and Christiane Amanpour’s “Back to the Beginning.” The author of ten other books, including Sage Tales: Wisdom and Wonder from the Rabbis of the Talmud, he has been named to “The Forward 50” and repeatedly to the Newsweek/Daily Beast list of “The 50 Most Influential Jews in America.” His latest book is Aphrodite and the Rabbis: How the Jews Adapted Roman Culture as We Know It. We highly recommend this book, and after reading the except below about the origin of Rabbinic Judaism, you will understand why. Underlines have been added for highlights.

There is a great deal of debate about what Judaism looked like in that post-Temple period of the first centuries of the Common Era, and I vacillate on whether I should even call it Judaism or, perhaps better: Judaisms. 
It took quite a few more centuries for Judaism to find a…

What does Jesus want Christians to do -- “Believe Him” or “Believe In Him”?

The Sermon on the Mount is one of the most important blocks of the teachings of Yeshua (the real name of Jesus) to have survived the 2000 year journey of being passed down from one generation to the next by non-Jews from a variety of non-Jewish cultures. The problem is that people who did not understand the Jewish culture or the Hebrew Scriptures of Yeshua have copied the manuscripts that have been used to make English translations of his teachings and created the Belief Systems through which over 2 billion Christian view and understand Yeshua's life and teachings. This toxic mix has produced crusades, inquisitions, indulgences, the holocaust, an immunity to the suffering of others, and an estimated 40,000 Christian denominations and paradenominations in America today!
Are the above thingsYeshua had in mind for his followers to be actively involved in as he taught his disciples on the mountain that day? This is theChristians today must answer. The bottom line is thatit all comes do…

The 18th Century New Evangelicals

The new Evangelicals were New Light or Separate Baptists from New England, whose leaders began to sift into North Carolina and Virginia in the 1750s, and who soon began to establish their own churches and create new ones. Baptists had appeared in the South earlier in the century – Charleston had had a Baptist congregation since 1695 – but they were quiet, well-mannered folk who were not active proselytizers.
The New Lights, however, were neither quiet nor well-behaved even by Evangelical Presbyterian standards, for they openly attacked the Anglican clergy, ordained semiliterate men as ministers, stubbornly refused to apply for licenses to preach, and valued emotional outbursts in their meetings as a sign of God’s presence and favor.
Through these actions, the Baptists managed to attack most of the underpinnings of colonial order. They denied the authority of the Crown to direct the moral life of the community through the Church of England, as well as the right of the Crown to legitimat…

Yeshua’s Values or Paul’s Secret Gospel?

Yeshua required his disciples to do things, not believe things. What kind of things did Yeshua want his disciples to do?
(1) Learn – The word “disciple” comes from the Latin word discere which means "to learn." The educational model in Yeshua’s movement involves being engaged in face-to-face interactive discussions. Yeshua would have been much more interested in the quality of a disciple’s questions than answers.
(2) Time-Tested Values – Yeshua didn’t use the word values, but that is the best word in our language, in my opinion, that describes what he taught. He lived in a world dominated by Late Second Temple Period Israelite culture. It was not a democracy. There was no “separation of religion and politics.” Rabbinic Judaism didn’t exist. Yeshua didn’t focus on religious rituals or prayers. His teachings were about relationships: relationships of people to Yahweh & relationships of people with each other. The values he taught were about how to have those relationships. …

What kind of believer are you?

Rabbi Jeffrey Leynor's video -- What kind of believer are you? -- is a must see for every believer. Why are there so many conflicts between people who claim to be worshipers of the same God? Do you really think Jesus intended to create all of those different denominations of Christians who can't agree on what should be believed, much less work? They do not event teach what Jesus taught about how to enter eternal life? 
That old way of thinking -- and controlling Christians lives -- is changing rapidly in the information age. Christians of the future will demand transparency from their church leaders & each other, beginning with the origins of their belief systems. Rabbi Leynor's video addresses this in a way you have never heard at church -- but that is about to change. Churches of the future will make this a top priority -- if they want to grow and survive. 
View Rabbi Leynor's short video at --

We are in the process of …