Tag Archives: Jew

Time for the “Book Review”

The book most recently read was entitiled “The Idea of Israel in Second Temple Judaism” by Jason A. Staples.

I would highly recommend this book for the clarity of the terms for “Israel”,”Jew” and “Hebrew”. I would also recommend any book about this subject, you would be surprised by how some things in the scriptures will clear up for you when reading things.

This is another example, where we can get ourselves going down the wrong road with our ‘asuming’ definition of something and you find out the statement you say, is not factual. There are many things as christians that we mean to go back and do some research on terms, definition, stories, paradigms, allegory,literal, types, metaphors, and parables! I recommend that we all do it!

Staples does a very good job of detailing what the people, inside and outside of ‘Israel’ , What prophets meant by their usage of each word, and when it changed to a subset of one, or vica versa. It was very informative to the understanding of even within the ‘Jewish’ community in which they were apart of. Within these three definitions of this said ‘group’ it would change when an event happened to one or all of the group. Depending on when the word Israel was used in could be meaning just the northern tribe, or it could mean both the northern and southern tribe, Judah. This was used in knowing of the original setup, but also of the reuniting of them both in the eschatology of Israel, and their prophets.

A added bonus of this book, was a subset of a theme that was carried out in the telling of the story of these three terms. It was the underlining story of the “Covenant Theology” laced throughout the telling and believing ‘Israel’ that they would ‘all’ be brought back together as one. It is this, that brought me even more assured on what covenantal Theology of God’s desires for All to be “ONE”.

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Observations

I am an observer. I have become over the years interested what people say and think, in whatever the circumstance I am in. I listen to people’s conversations on the street, in restaurants, in groups of friends, not just to hear them talk, but to listen to what they are ‘really’ are saying. I have veered off of my original school studies in college of Psychology, but more of a sociology angle of people. Although I was very interested in sociology in high school as well.

This leads me to my love of listening of a plethora of things and topics on Youtube. My playlist covers a gambit of topics that I have chosen to constantly be apprised on. I continually am researching and being aware of things that are currently being discussed, but also the history of things that are always being brought back up for discussion.

My most recent episode of youtube video was a production of someone that decided to venture out on a limb(which I applaud mightily) and ask three individuals of Israel and three individuals from palistine to talk in a setting to talk. The format of the discussion was set up by a host that would ask a question that they would agree or disagree on or just a question of inquiry of state of affairs between the two people. All six people would then walk over to a stool, three stools facing three other stools for a face to face discussion. They could chose to elaborate on their opinion on the question with a rebuttal coming from the other side of the discussion. It was a very civil discussion and very informative.

I have come away with two observations from this video, not about the subjects, but from a more humanity perspective. One, in the discussion after probably thru most of the discussion it came apparent from both sides that the problem of their issue, was that it was the governments on both sides were getting in the way of what the people wanted out of the whole issue. It was like if the people could talk to each other as a whole that they could come to a resolution in a matter of minutes. What was also apparent that these six people were from the opposite sides of conflict in their views, that they were not acting as an enemy after the talks, but were one on one talking with each other about various subjects that they had discussed earlier.

The second observation, was a brilliant move by the creators of this experiment( I again want to stand up and give them an ovation for what they did), their cementing of the end result of what the creators knew what would happen in their discussions of the actual participants of the parties involved, would not be going at their adversarial throats or even attacking each other in hatred. They knew the outcome!

After the questions had all been asked and discussed by all and the answers were satisfactory understood, there was a surprise to all six participants.

They were treated to a formal dinner brought in to them for them to sup together! All six of the individuals said they would enjoy the meal together! Is this just ridiculous? Two enemies sitting together and eating together as if nothing between them mattered! They were after all just eating a meal together! But what about the things that they were fighting about in the real world? They were enemies, fighting from afar and from side to side,they were standing up for their beliefs on the issues. How could this happen, people on the opposite sides, sitting down to eat together!

I want to expand on this last point with a couple of expansions of the point. One of the realities of the discussion is the intrusion of the government into the equation. It is the ulterior motives of the government that always gets in the way of things, but it is the people that are in the middle of things, that seem to not understand the fundamental needs of the people of just getting along with each other and just living their lives. For the people as a whole wish to live together in harmony.

The last point I wish to expound on is what happened at the end of the questions put on the six people of the video on youtube. The Meal.

I can’t enough say that this event is and was a powerful statement to mankind, but even more to the audience of christianity. I will now tell you that we have to go back to the New Testament and the story of Paul and Peter in Antioch of the actual historical confrontation but also the allegoric meaning of this story.

The story of Paul and his mission to the people of Antioch was the harmony of the message was the same within the gospel being taught. A key element was the justification of who was apart of the gospel? The answer was everyone. Jew and Gentile(anyone not Jewish), The chosen people were now not just for the people of Israel but of the whole world. This picture was realized in the actual sitting down with everyone involved in the gospel and eating with them. It was a cementing statement in a picture of sorts.

It is when Peter and Paul both understood this element of the gospel, and their evangelizing to all that were concerned to know the gospel. To really understand this soon to be confrontation in context we have to understand that it was Peter that was considered to be the leader of the assembly in Jerusalem, along with James.

But it is when James and a party of his men come to antioch to check on the people of antioch for themselves and see that Peter quickly arise from the table of the gentiles to sit with the jews to eat his meal that causes a scene. Paul, having seen what had happened, chastises Peter for not staying with the gentiles to eat and escaping to sit with his fellow jews. This was not the gospel! and Paul told him so.

It was almost a story within a story to this altercation. Why did Peter do what he did? Was he only standing for his convictions when he was with Paul, or did he not really believe that the gospel was just for the Jews? It was James and his party that were being put on trial in sorts because is this the way that the assembly in Jerusalem believed. This last part will have to be for a later time to delve into for a separate blog.

It is my opinion in this matter that this was a sign of Paul and Peter going their separate ways of understanding of the gospel. This matter in this story is not often really dug into for the real issues driving the story along. I honestly believe that Paul and Peter were not on the same page of the gospel. There was a divide of the gospel stemming from the ‘church’ in Jerusalem and all the other church’s, especially the ones started with Paul.

We will further talk about this story in coming blogs to maybe clear up some things between Paul and Peter.

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Filed under Organic Church

The Gap

As I have said to many of my friends and family that  are curious of the things that I am doing and studying, I am being broad in my studies of christianity,and the bible. One such way has been looking into judaism. My knowing of judaism has been very limited by just picking things up thru other studies. Recently,I starting looking at the differences between the two ideals.

I started out knowing that there was a divide in their reasoning between each other, But I think that there is more of a bigger divide that I once thought. And I believe that it comes on both sides of the divide.

For the Jews ,it seems that there is this concreteness of staying in the literalness of the torah. It seems that there is no moving on this issue.

For the christian,  It seems that the story begins with Jesus and ends with Jesus. This leaves out alot of things that need to be worked thru to understand the big picture.

I am still jumping in to all the jewish life and beliefs of the jews to understand the meaning. This study will also lay alot of background storyline of the christian beginnings. I feel that this is a major mistake on most christianity for not knowing this aspect of the christian beginnings.

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Filed under Our walk

Who was Paul?

Paul a servant of God who was sought by God.

It has been apparent thru out christianity that Paul was given the dubious title of ‘Pastor’ without any thought of anything else.

I, in my rebellious state and studies, see Paul as more of a ‘Town crier’, Heralder, a MC(Master of Ceremony) or an interpreter.

You see, He was announcing the “Good News”! This after all was what a town crier, or a heralder does. God sought him out while walking to Damascus to ‘use him’ as his town crier(in this case it was a world crier). Paul’s voice and circumstance from where he had been, leads to him being listen to in his claim of ‘Good News’. But it was God thru Paul that was telling the back story of why, and how God was the New King!(see Acts) Paul’s understanding of what had happened with the rich history of the jews and their God,their failure to keep him as their God, looking to other gods to live that brought God to show them that thru Jesus, He was again their future as it was foretold by the prophets that he would be.

The added bonus of Paul’s interpretation of the story  of the jews, was that not only that he was God of Jews, but He was the God of the ‘Gentiles’ too.

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Filed under Our walk