It's well known that Christianity sprang from a Jewish context. While there may be controversy about Jesus' Judaism vs. the traditional Judaism of the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of Judaism in the first century, there's no doubt that Jesus, his family, and followers were practicing Jews, as recorded in the New Testament. Biblical scholar Lawrence H. Schiffman, Judge Abraham Lieberman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies and Director of the Global Network for Advanced Research in Jewish Studies at New York University (NYU), takes this understanding to a new level. He identifies citations in the New Testament that others have glossed over without recognizing their unique significance. On March 26-27, 2015, at a conference at NYU, "Integrating Christianity and Judaism into the Study of the Ancient World," Professor Schiffman delivered a talk titled "The New Testament as a Source for the History of the Jews and Judaism."
Do you find that everywhere you go, your steps are dogged by a ranting mob who accuse you of crimes against the state? Perhaps you preach a different, less upsetting Gospel?
It's official! Well, that is, according to the report released by former senior judge, Baroness Butler-Sloss. The thin end of the wedge is getting thicker...
Few themes in the Bible are repeated more than this: When a nation turns their back on God, that nation begins a downward spiral, heading finally to its destruction. It is not a comfortable subject to think about. And yet, the Lord tells us, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up… because your redemption draws near.” However, to ignore the subject of unrepentant nations falling into chaos is not, I believe, an accurate read of the way God wants us to respond.
Since World War I, pragmatism has ruled British Mid-East policy
The relationship between the UK and the Jewish people has been a series of peaks and troughs, with the latter sadly pre-eminent. Nearly every peak, though welcome, was inspired by selfish interests.
“Hey Average Joe, did you see this map?
“Look where Israel ought to be it says Palestine. And it says it was called Palestine 4000 years ago! It’s as if the Jews never lived there. Can that be right?”
replied Average Joe,
“It must be right. After all it is in the Ancient Egypt section of the British Museum!”
Once again Britain shows her antisemitic sentiment.
I had the opportunity to visit the British Museum in May. Loved the Egypt exhibit. We had spent four days in Egypt in 2009. Sadly the last safe year for tourists. Egypt is an extraordinary country with thousands of years of history-glorious history. We saw the Pyramids and the Sphinx and rode on camels! Think about the ingenuity of the people who built these monuments, only with manpower, no machines. We visited The Temple of Karnac and the Valley of the Kings in Luxor. We went into the crypts. Filled with marvelous murals that speak to religious beliefs. We walked through the Egyptian Museum-in Egypt!
And then the Egypt Exhibit in the British Museum.
And the map jumped out at me. “Palestine”?
How could that be?
So I wrote to the museum to express my concern
Astonishingly, the British Foreign Office is still continuing to undermine the Balfour Declaration, the centenary of which falls in a couple of weeks’ time.
In a speech at the UN Security Council a few days ago Jonathan Allen, the UK’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, said the following:
“From the outset, I would like to make clear, as we approach the centenary of the Balfour Declaration next month, that the UK understands and respects the sensitivities many have about the Declaration and the events that have taken place in the region since 1917.
“The UK is proud to have played a role in helping to make a Jewish homeland a reality. And we continue to support the principle of such a homeland and the modern state of Israel.
“Just as we fully support the modern state of Israel as a Jewish homeland, we also fully support the objective of a viable and sovereign Palestinian state. The occupation is a continued impediment to securing the political rights of the non-Jewish communities in Palestine. And let us remember, there are two halves of Balfour, the second half of which has not been fulfilled. There is therefore unfinished business” (my emphasis).
By Kit Eglinton, Saltshakers
As a younger Christian I served with Open Doors in the Middle East which was an amazing privilege both to serve and engage with believers from cultures vastly different to my own. However my greatest surprise was to find how many evangelical Christians in countries like Syria, Egypt and Turkey had adopted a western church culture. For example at my first visit to a small evangelical fellowship I was astounded to see all the men had discarded their very practical daily clothing in favour of western suits and ties - in 40' C. No wonder local Muslims viewed Christianity as a western religion. Where did they get the idea that to do church properly you have wear a suit and tie? It is not my place to challenge anyone else's 'norms' but it did and does make me think about my own. What do I consider to be necessary, what can be changed; why do I do what I do, and, by implication, expect others to do?
RABBI GUTMANN answers ...
by Steve Maltz (many, many years ago!)
This should take about 20-30 minutes and is suitable for a mixed audience (Jew/Gentile, adults/kids). There's drama, comedy and action.
King Antiochus - complete madman
Herald's assistant (non speaking)
Soldier (non speaking)
Mattatias (adult) - sensible person
Judas (child) - main speaking part
Jew (with greasy hair)
Appolonius (non speaking)
Greek soldier (non speaking)