The Jewish Studies Blog

There are tools that are needed to mine the depths of the biblical texts. There are also many perspectives that enrich our study, like the perspective of first century Judaism. This site is one of those rare resources that provides both tools and perspective for the serious student of Scripture.

– Dr. Allen Mawhinney, A Retired Academic Dean, Reformed Theological Seminary

Authority As The Key Characteristic Of “the Jews” In...

This text is most often read as an instance of Jesus’ general lack of clarity in declaring his Messiahship. The request of “the Jews” should not be read: “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly,” but “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” From the standpoint of “the Jews”, given their religious authority as the formal representatives of the Judean religion, their authority to validate Jesus’ candidacy for Messiahship was not being honored. Jesus drew large crowds who followed him. The blind saw, the lame walked, lepers were cured, the deaf heard, and the dead came back to life (Mat.11:2-5). Jesus’ identity as Messiah was self-evident, but he had failed to declare himself as such to the Jerusalem authorities. This was the reasoning behind their demand (How long will you keep us in suspense?). He, however, consistently stated that his miracles, and therefore his Father’s witness of his Messiahship, were enough to establish him as God’s Messianic Servant (Jn. 10:25-42). Jesus refused to acknowledge the Jerusalem rulers’ authority over him and by extension, over the whole of Israel. Jesus was the One to Whom Israel’s Covenantal Lord had entrusted such authority and therefore submitting himself to the illegitimate authority was out of the question (Matt.26:63-64).

Judean Christian Mission To The Israelite Samaritans

In Acts 8: 14 we are told that the apostles Peter and John were sent to the Israelite Samaritans.[10] The fact that John was actually in Samaria and was commissioned by the rest of the apostles to go and inspect the Samaritan’s reception of faith in Jesus is important for our argument. Interestingly enough, the book of Acts places the apostle John, who from early times was held to be the author of this gospel, at the heart of the mission to the Israelite Samaritans in spite of his early anti-Samaritan stand (Luke 9:52-55):

Law And Grace: Have We Made Enemies Out Of Friends? (john 1.16-18)

From the first century on, the Christian believers continued to debate, mostly with each other, the importance of the Mosaic Law. While both vs.16 and vs.18 have much that is important and certainly worth being discussed at length, we will concentrate on vs. 17 – “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (ESV)

Paul And Augustine On The Redemption Of The Jews, By Paula...

Paula Fredriksen is the Aurelio Professor of Scripture emerita at Boston University and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. A graduate of Wellesley College (1973), Oxford University…

What Does It Mean To Be God’s Son In The Old Testament?...

The very act of crowning someone king over Israel is a symbolic act of enormous proportions within Israel’s narrative history. It signified receiving the authority of Israel’s God Himself to rule over Israel and to exercise authority over the nations of the world with the power and the confidence that come from being God’s own son. So while there are other aspects to Jesus’ sonship that should be taken into account when constructing one’s theology, we must keep in mind that the most important aspect must remain – royal authority over all things created.

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