Monthly Archives: April 2015

A friend sent me a link to an article by Daniel Dennett in a recent issue of The Wall Street Journal. Dennett says the future of religion is bleak and the reason, specifically, is that we clergy can no longer keep people away from good information. People can easily, via internet, find information about contradictions…

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Last week the Torah portion was Tazria and Metzora combined (Leviticus 12-15). I asked myself the question, as I do about the readings each week, “What does this Torah portion mean for us as Messianic Jews and Gentiles?” I believe the Israelites could see a lesson at the Tabernacle, but it must have been mysterious…

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What did Paul do: when, where, and how? This might seem to be an easy question since we have the book of Acts. But approaching the question from a different angle, Douglas Campbell looks first at clues in Paul’s own writings and only later correlates information from Acts (Framing Paul: An Epistolary Biography, Grand Rapids:…

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Jesus, whose original name was Yeshua in the Aramaic language of first century Israel, is thought by hundreds of millions to be the most important person in history. As modern people we have to ask whether the stories of the life and sayings of a person from so long ago could be meaningful for us…

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It might be assumed that what God has done in Torah is condemn people with a curse. But what he has actually done is promise a great blessing — the blessing of a society that will be like the world to come with abundant food, no disease, and pleasant conditions for living for everyone (Lev…

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A new friend, an American now living in the U.K., wrote to ask me if the name “Messianic Judaism” is really the best label. He had two primary concerns. First, any Judaism that believes in a personal Messiah (all sub-branches of Orthodoxy and many Conservative Jewish expression) as opposed to those in which “Messiah” is…

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A lot of people would read more books if they knew which ones were valuable. Some people who don’t read books about God, the Bible, Torah, theology, Messiah, faith, and similar topics don’t understand as yet what a regular diet of these books can do for your day to day life. The MJ Musings Book…

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Women and Worship at Corinth: Paul’s Rhetorical Arguments in 1 Corinthians. Lucy Peppiatt. Eugene: Cascade Books, 2015. Bible myths arise easily. A text is assumed to mean something and some trusted source will assert it to be a known custom from historical writings. This might be seen most strangely in the writings of Paul concerning…

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Why did Paul write Romans? What was his main purpose, the one that explains the whole letter and not just some of its parts? There have been many theories. Maybe he wrote to assert his authority as the apostle commissioned by Yeshua to the Gentiles. Maybe he wanted to ask for funds for his trip…

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In Part 1 (read it here) I explained what “apocalyptic” means, what it has to do with Paul, and talked about two kinds of texts in Paul about salvation. There are those texts in which Paul is debating with some Jewish teachers and then there are those where he is expressing his own view with…

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Apocalyptic. Hidden things revealed. I don’t mean so much the other connotation we sometimes see in modern usage of the term, like “momentous, catastrophic.” I mean something that bodes well for us, something from beyond that shows through into the here and from the future that shows through into the now. Douglas Campbell’s 1,200 page…

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Paul, like all writers of his time, composed his letters without punctuation, divisions between words, paragraphs, or other divisions. He or his scribe wrote in scripto continua, unbroken lines of capital letters from margin to margin. -Stanley K. Stowers, A Rereading of Romans, New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1994, (9). Consider the possibility that before…

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One of the difficult things about our Messianic faith is that the key event which transformed our Judaism into Messianic Judaism happened two thousand years ago. I say it is one of the difficulties because there are certainly others (e.g., our Messiah has not done most the the Messiah things yet, leaving us open to…

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Luck vs. providence. Randomness vs. meaning. Chance vs. order and purpose. In Ruth 2:3, a good translation option is that Ruth’s “chance chanced upon” the very portion of land that was Boaz’s when she went gleaning. Although Ruth 2:1 has told the reader about Boaz, Ruth has not been told and she did not seek…

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I attended a paper in 2013 on the meaning of the dividing wall passage of Ephesians 2. A year and a half later, the interpretation put forward by Jesper Svartvik still looks good to me. I include here a postlude concerning the meaning of “abolishing the law of commandments in decrees.” You can imagine how…

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God’s Torahs are his teachings, his instructions. God appeared to Isaac and said, “I will make your heirs as numerous as the stars” and “all the nations of the earth will bless themselves by your seed.” When God made this promise he said it was because, “Abraham listened to my voice, kept my charge: my…

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When my upcoming Paul book concludes, I plan to send it out with a bang. What good does it do to spend a few hundred pages learning the theology of a Jewish teacher like Paul if it’s all theory disconnected from life? So the final section will be “Paul’s Guide to World Transformation,” the application…

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Romans 5:1-11 (see the text here) begins with a “therefore,” which means it looks back to what came before in Romans 4:25. We find there that Messiah Yeshua was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. It is because of Messiah’s doing that verse 1 is true. Vs. 1. Therefore, we have…

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So, you want to celebrate Passover in a traditional way. You pick up a Haggadah, a Passover manual, and you think it will be simple. Passover is a ritual meal with a few symbolic foods and the story from Exodus, right? But as you read the Haggadah it seems anything but. What’s going on? It…

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The connections between Yeshua’s Last Supper (Mark 14, Matthew 26, Luke 22, John 13-16, 1 Corinthians 11) and Passover are undeniable. Yet there is a famous problem about the timing of the event in relation to the Passover and Yeshua’s crucifixion. My own views on the topic have changed over the years. I present here…

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Way back in 2008, I first posted one of the most searched articles in the history of Messianic Jewish Musings (before I deleted my old blog and started over, I had almost 2,500 articles on here). Why this article and it’s popularity in Google searches? I think a lot of people find out connections and…

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