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Showing posts from August, 2011

Deuteronomy may be the last book of the Torah, but it is not Judaism's last word.

This article from "The Girl and the Drash": 
And the man that will act willfully, not listen to the priest who stands there to sever God, or to the judge, that man shall die, and you shall destroy the evil from among Israel. (Duet. 17:12) T After the temple is destroyed and the court in Jerusalem is abandoned, the early rabbis read this passage and saw nothing of their world within it. Forced to abandon temple Judaism, they begin the incredible task of creating a Judaism that walks off the Torah scroll and finds shelter in the Talmud's folio. For this new Judaism to work, the everyday litigant and the highest court in Jerusalem are replaced with rabbinic scholars and the study halls of Yavneh, the first city of rabbinic Judaism. The litigant who does not obey the court is transformed into the rebellious elder, who does not obey the rabbinic majority.  
However, unlike the insubordinate litigant, the rebellious elder is not killed. In the Babylonian Talmud, his dissent is to…

Did Wessel influence Luther?

From their very beginning universities were the seedbeds for new ideas in many disciplines, including religion. John of Wessel, a professor at the University of Erfurt in Germany (1445-1456)introduced some of the new ideas that would pave the way for a completely new form of Christianity. The major transition would come a century later under the leadership of Martin Luther.[i]
“He who thinks to be justified through his own works does not know what it is to be saved . . . the elect are saved by grace alone . . . Whom God wishes to save He would save by giving him grace.”
Did Wessel influence Luther’s work? A number of scholars believe he did, but Luther denied it. He said, “If I had read the works of Wessel beforehand, it might well have seemed that I derived all my ideas from him.”[ii]

[i] [ii]

When Communities Identify Their Own Poor, Aid Has The Most Effect

By asking peers to decide who deserves the most government aid--instead of using empirical measurements--money can have more lasting effects. When governments and NGOs plan on giving assistance to the most needy, how do they know who needs the most assistance? It's a question people are at great pains to answer, yet social welfare programs around the world are still plagued by error and abuse. . . Fairness and poverty, as it turns out, are somewhat subjective. There was only a minor difference in accuracy between the two methods, but the researchers found the community approach led to 60% fewer complaints, and far fewer difficulties distributing funds, compared to objective methods in the villages.

Read complete article at --

Who is a Jew? Abrahamic Covenant

One of the problems with Judaism, as we are now experiencing it in the 20th and 21st Centuries, is "who is a Jew," who needs "conversion" or "reconversion," and how or in what way a person can or should become "a Jew."

One does not wish to be needlessly crude about this, but the Nazis had no difficulty determining this, even though many and even most so-called "Jews" still do today. They just looked into your genealogy or ancestry to see if there was some “Jewish” ancestor somewhere (male or female, it didn't matter to them) or, in many cases if one were male, they just looked if you were circumcised – rightly, unfortunately, realizing this had something to do with honoring "the Covenant of Moses"; and that was that. Hitler didn't ask if your mother was Jewish though, inter alia, this might have been one of the questions he might have asked. 

Read the complete article at --…

Would Jesus be more interested in your questions or your goose bumps?

In Matthew 5:1-2 we read:
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His talmidim came to him, and he began to teach them.
To be a member of the original Jesus Movement was first and foremost a commitment to being a learner. Jesus’ followers were called “disciples,” which in ancient Israel would have been talmidim. A rabbi would teach his talmidim by his words and conduct.
The primary focus of the teachings of the rabbis was the words of the Torah – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Lessons from the Torah would be linked to the writings of the Prophets and the Ketuvim (third section of Hebrew Scriptures). It is essential for one to understand that no books of the New Testament existed during the time of the Jewish Jesus. If you had been sitting on the side of the hill the day the “Sermon on the Mount” was given you would have heard Jesus teaching about sections of the Torah and Prophets.
The fact is that this was the model -- an educatio…

Carrying the Teachings

Carrying the Teachings By Dr. Ike Tennison
“If any one comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into the house or give him any greeting.” (2 John 10)
The first time I really studied (not just read!) this passage, I came away somewhat puzzled.
The reason I was puzzled had to do with the words “…does not bring this doctrine….”How would the person who goes to answer the door know whether or not the person at the door was bringing this doctrine with him or her?
Read the complete article at –

Paul “judges” Peter

The following is a word study from Dr. Ike Tennison.
According to various English translations of Paul’s remarks made in Greek in Galatians 1:18, Paul went to Jerusalem to “see” or “visit” or “get acquainted with” Peter. There are several Greek words for “see” or “visit” or “get acquainted with,” but the word used in this verse is not one of them. The word used here is what is called a hapax legomenon—which means “something said only once” and, in this case, that means the use of the word in Galatians 1:18 is the only place in the entire New Testament where it is used. What does this word mean?
The Greek word is transliterated historesai, the aorist active infinitive of the Greek contract verb historeo. Contract verbs are derived from nouns. In this case, the noun is histor or istor. In ancient Greece, when a decision needed to be made, the council of elders took turns addressing the issue. After all had spoken, the judge of which speech won (made the decision) was an istor. Therefore, …