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Yeshua in Context >> Archive

List: Teachings of Yeshua

Repent for the Kingdom is at Hand - Mt 4:17 (Mk 1:15). Beatitudes - Mt 5:3-12 (similar to Lk 6:20-26). Salt and Light - Mt 5:13-16 (similar to Lk 11:33-36, Mk 4:21-22) Law and Prophets - Mt 5:17-20 Antitheses (You have heard it said) - Mt 5:21-48 (similar to Lk 6:27-36) Righteousness, alms, and prayer in secret - Mt 6:1-8 The Lord's Prayer - Mt 6:9-15 (Lk 11:2-4, shorter form) Fasting in Secret - Mt 6:16-18 Treasure in Heaven - Mt 6:19-24 (similar to Lk 12:33-34) Do Not Be Anxious (seek first the kingdom) - Mt 6:25-34 (similar to Lk 12:22-32) Judging Others - Mt 7:1-6 (similar to Lk 6:37-42, Mk 4:24) Ask, Seek, Knock - Mt 7:7-11 Golden Rule - Mt 7:12 (Lk 6:31) The Narrow Gate - Mt 7:13-14 (Lk 13:24) Good and Bad Fruit - Mt 7:15-20 (similar to Lk ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: 1a - Intro to the Gospels , Gospel Genres , Teaching of Yeshua

Parables, Gospel by Gospel

What parables are in three gospels? In two? In only one? The following list will help you think about how the parables are distributed and also to find them easily. PARABLES IN ALL THREE SYNOPTIC GOSPELS New Cloth - Mk 2, Mt 9, Lk 5 New Wine - Mk 2, Mt 9, Lk 5 Mustard Seed - Mk 4, Mt 13, Lk 13 Sower - Mk 4, Mt 13, Lk 8 Wicked Tenants - Mk 12, Mt 21, Lk 20 Fig Tree - Mk 13, Mt 24, Lk 21 PARABLES IN TWO SYNOPTIC GOSPELS House on the Rock - Mt 7, Lk 6 Leaven - Mt 13, Lk 13 Lost Sheep - Mt 18, Lk 15 PARABLE IN ONLY ONE GOSPEL Barren Fig Tree - Lk 13 Net - Mt 13 Good Samaritan - Lk 10 Pearl of Great Price - Mt 13 Great Banquet - ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: 1a - Intro to the Gospels , Gospel Genres , Parables , Teaching of Yeshua

Reading as a disciple.

There are many valid things to look for during a reading of the gospels. In some ways, the highest level of reading is reading as a disciple. In Mark 4:10-11, those who were surrounding Yeshua -- in addition to the Twelve -- asked him questions. They were the inner circle. They were those who sought to be disciples (he had more than Twelve disciples). To them was given the secret of the kingdom of God. Perhaps the secret is, simply put, to follow and believe and implement. Discipleship reading might look like the following: Replacement at the level of ideas (truths to replace falsehood and subtle errors). Example: Yeshua sought to replace his disciples' notion that "Messiah's coming is to bring retribution on Israel's enemies and to glorify us nationally" with a different ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: 1a - Intro to the Gospels , Discipleship - Formation , Reading Strategies , Study Tips

The Yeshua In Context Handbook

This is a post that will grow over time. Think of it as an online (and thus, free) book. I had planned to write something like this and publish it. Instead, I am adding bits and pieces at a time to this post (all the chapters will be linked from here with new ones added periodically). Perhaps it will be available as an eBook when I have posted a sufficient number of articles. Here is the growing Table of Contents (more to come): What is in the gospels? (Genre). Study Methods and Tips: Beginner to Intermediate. Reading as a disciple. Parables, Gospel by Gospel. List: Teachings of Yeshua. List: Teachings Unique to Luke. List: Healing Miracles of Yeshua. List: Exorcisms by Yeshua. List: Nature Miracles of Yeshua. Symbolic Actions and Kingdom Enactments. Midrash in the Gospels, the Example of Matthew 2:15. Yeshua's ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: 1a - Intro to the Gospels , Beginners , Featured , Reading Strategies , Study Tips

Study Methods and Tips: Beginner and Intermediate

What are the best ways to study the gospels? The following suggestions are not mutually exclusive. You might participate in more than one method: READING IMMERSION METHOD: Read Mark first. Then Matthew. Then Luke. Then John. This is the very likely order in which the gospels were written. Notice that Mark ends at 16:8. Anything after 16:8 printed in whatever translation of the Bible you are reading is based on late manuscripts and was added by scribes. Did Mark ever have an ending beyond 16:8? No one is sure. Notice what Mark does not have that Matthew and then Luke add: infancy narratives and resurrection narratives (Mark ends with the empty tomb). Notice that Luke's infancy and resurrection narratives are quite different from Matthew's. Notice how John's gospel is largely stories ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: 1a - Intro to the Gospels , Beginners , Reading Strategies , Study Tips

What is in the gospels? (Genres)

This is a rather imperfect list (some categories overlap) but one that helps us to know the kinds of material found in the gospels: Infancy narratives John the Baptist narratives Teaching narratives Parables Sayings Enactments and symbolic actions Miracle narratives Healing (and exorcism) miracles Nature miracles Identity stories Dispute narratives Passion narratives Resurrection narratives ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: 1a - Intro to the Gospels , Beginners , Gospel Genres

The Return of the PODCAST

The Yeshua in Context podcast is back. You can find it at on the Podcast page. Last week I posted "Intro to Eyewitnesses in the Gospels," a fifteen minute introduction to the idea that the gospels are sourced in the living tradition of eyewitness oral history, which was very active in the early congregations of Yeshua-believers. And yesterday, I posted "Two Mary's," with an inspiring look at Mary Magdalene and Mary of Bethany. Who were they? How was their witness vital to our understanding of Yeshua? If you want to subscribe on iTunes, search "Yeshua in Context" in the iTunes store (under podcasts). Note that the "old" podcast is still there in iTunes. The old podcast is called "The Yeshua in Context Podcast" and the new one is called ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Disciples & Named Characters , Eyewitnesses , Formation of the Gospels , Podcasts

Q Theory

If you've not read much about "the synoptic problem" (theories about where Matthew, Mark, and Luke came from), this post may not be for you. These are simply some quick notes about Q Theory and Mark Goodacre's case against Q -- and I am persuaded by Goodacre that Q is a myth. Q is an imagined document which scholars think they see in the background of Yeshua-sayings that are shared only by Matthew and Luke (they don't occur in Mark). The Q theory is that Matthew and Luke each independently used Mark and this lost source of sayings which scholars call Q. Let me break that down. The theory is that Matthew did not know Luke and Luke did not know Matthew. The sources they had included Mark and Q (and both ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Background to Gospels , Formation of the Gospels , Synoptic Relationships

VIDEO, Where did the gospels come from?

People make some assumptions based on pious tradition about where the gospels come from. The truth is more interesting. ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Beginners , Disciples & Named Characters , Eyewitnesses , Formation of the Gospels , Gospels as History , Literary Features , Study Tips , Video

The Invisible Jews, Until the Sixth Century CE

People often think that Judaism was led by the Pharisees in an unbroken chain from before the time of Yeshua to the present day. In this mistaken notion of history, the Pharisees of Yeshua's time were the influential leaders of world Jewry who morphed into the rabbis of renown. The truth, well-documented in such books as E.P. Sanders's Judaism: Practice and Belief and J.D. Shaye Cohen's From the Maccabees to the Mishnah, is that the Pharisees and the early rabbinic movement were not that influential until at least the sixth century CE. Contributing to the faulty view of rabbinic dominance in early Jewish history is the Mishnah and Talmud and Midrashic literature. This, taken together, is called rabbinic literature. And in the rabbinic literature, the dominance of the rabbinic movement is ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Background to Gospels , Pharisees , Sadducees

Video at the Musings Blog: What Was New for Jews in Yeshua?

At the Musings blog, and as a third video for my class on Introduction to the Apostolic Writings (New Testament), I discuss the significance of what Yeshua did in a Jewish context. What was so revolutionary? See "What Was New in Yeshua for First Century Jewish People?". ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Applying the Gospels , Background to Gospels , Kingdom Future , Kingdom Present , Resurrection of Yeshua , Video

Video at the Musings Blog: Why the New Testament?

The question has more to it than might appear at first. When the 27 different documents that are now collected into what we call "the New Testament" (or what could be called "the Apostolic Writings"), none of the writers knew they were writing for a collection or that they were writing scripture. What was happening in the Yeshua movement that gave birth to these documents? The gospels in particular have an interesting purpose and origin. The generation of eyewitnesses and apostles were passing away. See more and the video "Why the New Testament?" here at the Musings blog. ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Background to Gospels , Eyewitnesses , Greco-Roman Background , Video

The Basics of the Gospels Series, #1

You will need some information from outside of the gospels and the Bible. This principle is not evident to everyone. Recently I posted something positive on Facebook about the Pharisees. I met with fierce resistance from a well-meaning Christian (actually, I'm not so sure he was well-meaning). He started posting comments with exclamation points and some words capitalized. Didn't I know Pharisee means hypocrite and they are of their father the devil? And he had a Bible verse to back up each point. I told him that from knowing a little history we could see that the Pharisees were not what many people think. They were a smaller and far less influential group than many think. They were not all hypocrites and neither were their teachings all opposed to Yeshua's way. I ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Beginners , Reading Strategies , Study Tips

Video on the Musings Blog, Reading With Fresh Eyes

Today at the Musings blog I have posted the first of many videos for a class I will be teaching in January and February 2012 for MJTI. In this first episode, I talk about the need to read the Apostolic Writings (New Testament) with fresh eyes. Click here to read and watch at Messianic Jewish Musings. ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Reading Strategies , Study Tips , Video

Birth of Messiah, Video

Isn't it curious that the oldest gospel, Mark, doesn't include the birth of Messiah stories? Have you considered that the gospels may have been written "backwards"? All of this might help us understand the infancy narratives of the gospels (Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2) all the more. They really have an inspiring purpose and seeing evidence of their purpose makes them all the more important. ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Background to Gospels , Birth of Messiah , Divinity of Yeshua , Formation of the Gospels , Video , Virginal Conception

Magi's Gifts, Video

Matthew sometimes shows the scriptures behind the story of Messiah's birth and sometimes he expects us to see them in the hints he leaves in the story. What is the Jewish background to the gifts of the Magi in Matthew 2? Click "Read entire article..." to see the video. ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Background to Gospels , Birth of Messiah , Detailed Commentary , Ideal Israel Theme , Intertextuality in the Gospels , Video

Pre-Announcement: Israel Tour

What's a pre-announcement? It means something like this: "I have very little specific information at this time but I need to start recruiting people who are highly interested." Possibly December 2012 or January and February 2013. Israel. Galilee. Jerusalem. Dead Sea. I will give short (short, I mean it) lectures at all the sites relating history, biblical text, messianic significance, and so on for everything we see. It will be an economy tour - decent but modest hotels and food (not a luxury tour). I've not been that impressed with the pricier hotels or the pricier food in Israeli hotels anyway. This is a tour for people who want to be inspired, to learn, and to see with their own eyes the places in which our faith was formed (Jewish and ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Israel Tour

Bethlehem Star, Video

When the very Jewish gospel of Matthew tells us the story of Messiah's birth, you can bet it will be filled with Jewish themes. In fact, there are little known Jewish themes in the Matthew 2 story of the magi from the east and the star that reveals the place of Messiah's birth. What was the star of Bethlehem? What is the Jewish background of the star and the magi? ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Background to Gospels , Birth of Messiah , Detailed Commentary , Intertextuality in the Gospels , Preachable Points , Video

Bethlehem Shepherds, Video

This week's Yeshua in Context Video is timely, as many are starting to think about the birth narratives of Yeshua in Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2 at this time of year. For the next few weeks, I will explore facets of the birth narratives. Next week: Bethlehem's Star. Who were the shepherds of Bethlehem? Why do they figure so prominently in Luke's birth narrative? What do we learn about Yeshua and his context? ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Background to Gospels , Detailed Commentary , Geography , Luke's Gospel , Messiah , Preachable Points , Video

My 1st YouTube: 20 Ways

Okay, I see much room for improvement in my video presentation in the future. I should have been better prepared and used my notes less. The volume could stand to be a bit higher. This was recorded with my iPhone. I'm hoping soon to have a better camera (on loan from a congregant). Anyway, First Fruits of Zion is publishing a booklet based on a presentation I gave with Boaz Michael at the "Jewish Gospels Seminar" here in Atlanta in September. This video goes over point #1. The booklet could be available in December 2011. And thank you to two of my kids, Josiah (13) and Hannah (15), who edited and posted my video! ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Reading Strategies , Study Tips , Video

Repost: The Mountain in the Sermon

On Sunday, I'm speaking to a small class in North Georgia about the Beatitudes. As you progress into Matthew 5-7, this is a vital piece of information about the context. The following information is derived from a paper by Eric Ottenheijm of the University of Utrecht presented at the 2010 Society of Biblical Literature in the Matthew section. In Matthew 5:1, Yeshua went up on "the mountain." No one knows which mountain, although there is a lovely hill which is the traditional spot. More important than a physical location, though, is understanding the allusion of "the mountain." There are a number of mountains of great significance in the Hebrew Bible. The echoes of Exodus and Isaiah in particular add depth and meaning to the Sermon on the Mount. ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Background to Gospels , Beatitudes , Besorah/Gospel/Good News , Identity of Yeshua , New Moses Theme , Sermon on the Mount , Spectacular Commentary

Repost: Disciple-Fail

I wrote this in late 2010 and had occasion to come back to it this morning for something else I am writing. It is a good reminder that we don't know what we think we know. As I wrote for an upcoming booklet this morning, when we see Messiah, will we be there "offering up our impoverished expectations while God overwhelms us with something deeper and higher?" I'm not sure if the Fail Blog will take notice, but the gospel of Mark has a strong theme of disciple-fail. Is this simply a relic of the past or is disciple-fail a live option for modern disciples too? What are the types and symptoms of disciple-fail in Mark? It is an illuminating topic to delve into. ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Disciples & Named Characters , Discipleship - Formation

Back from Sukkot

Blogging will soon commence again here at I have been enjoying a season of High Holidays and Sukkot. But "normal" is returning and I'm back to exploring the life and message of Yeshua with renewed fervor. ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: General

October Fest

October is slow month (or fast month, depending on how you look at it). This month has been High Holidays (I am a Messianic Rabbi) and will be Sukkot. Blogging may come to a grinding halt here at Yeshua in Context in October, but I will be back. Blessings to all who come here and read. The reading cycle begins again October 16. If you would like to be on my Daily D'var email list (daily portions of Torah and gospels with outline and comments by me) then email me at yeshuaincontext at gmail and ask for it. ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: General

20 Ways to Read Yeshua's Life

You can now order the CD and printed outline of my talk from the "Jewish Gospels" seminar with Boaz Michael last week. Below is a sample point, number 5 to be exact, and then a link to order: #5 Read habitually in a recurring cycle, which imitates discipleship. Disciples were with Yeshua often. The call to a disciple was, "Follow me." They heard Yeshua's words again and again in different contexts. The way we can imitate this repeated exposure to his words now is to read daily, habitually, and cyclically. Mark 4:10 shows that nearness to Yeshua was key, "When he was alone, the men that were with him approached with the twelve and asked him about the parable." Peter's saying in John 6:68 further this theme, "My master, to whom will ... Read entire article >>

Filed under: Discipleship - Formation , Reading Strategies , Study Tips