For 500 years, we have wrongly called this the letter of James

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JobK's picture

He could have spoken of how "Miriam" became Mary for instance since Mary is the far better known figure and was also the name of the sister of Moses in the Old Testament, and hence could be used as a way to tie the sister of the lawgiver to the mother of the bringer of the new covenant.

Also, much more could be made of how "Jesus" should actually be Joshua, or something similar (though the spelling is probably more similar to the Joshua of Zechariah than the one who led Israel into Canaan). 

James - along with Revelation, Matthew and Hebrews - is probably the most "Jewish" books of the New Testament. I can see why that would be of interest to Messianic Jews and the other Hebrew roots type movements. However, its theology and content basically consists of exposition of the teachings of Jesus Christ in the gospels. Basically, if you have read the gospels, you have read James. So that makes the fact that James was really Jacob less important, since all that James/Jacob did was restate what was originally said by Jesus/Joshua. 

Since full-blown replacement theology never had the influence in America that it did in Europe, there aren't that many people who do not know that Christ and His original followers were Jews, and also pretty much no one is troubled or concerned with that fact. If anything, what needs more discussion is not the Jewish origins of or influence on Christianity, but rather how modern Judaism has absolutely nothing to do with Judaism of any Biblical era (whether pre-monarchy Judaism, temple Judaism, exilic/post-exilic Judaism, 1st century/New Testament Judaism). It is curious: Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Roman Catholics etc. who become Christians have no problems talking about how their former belief systems are incompatible with Biblical Christianity. Messianic Jews and similar would do a lot of good if they were to do to same: shed light on how little what now purports to be Judaism actually resembles anything of biblical origin. Christians of Jewish heritage do not work nearly as hard to expose what is really in the Talmud as ex-Muslims do the Koran, for example. Even if modern Judaism had successfully managed to preserve Biblical Judaism, it would still be a dead, false religion with no value. But modern Judaism is so far removed from what God gave the Jews of old that I have no idea why any Christian - regardless of his racial or ethnic heritage - would want to be associated with it. 

With all due respect to Michael Brown, we could use fewer lectures on how to show proper reverence for Jews and Judaism (it is not as if his audience is 19th century Europe or something) and more warnings on the contents of the Talmud and Kabbalah, how to spot that nonsense and to stay far away from it. One example (of many): the star of David has nothing to do with the actual King David, the Old Testament or Israel. Instead, it is a Kabbalah power symbol, literally an occult symbol with magical or esoteric meanings little different from a pentagram. The earliest known historical reference to the star of David is the 12th century. 

So instead of telling us to say Jacob instead of James, Michael Brown should write a column telling all the Christian Zionists that they need to put away their Israel flags and bumper stickers that have that occult symbol on it (and that is just one of many examples). But he won't, and we all know the reason why. 

Solo Christo, Soli Deo Gloria, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Scriptura
http://healtheland.wordpress.com

christian cerna's picture

I agree with Jobk. We also need people to realize that the people that now occupy Isreal, are most likely not blood descendants of Abraham.

Jim's picture

christian cerna wrote:

I agree with Jobk. We also need people to realize that the people that now occupy Isreal, are most likely not blood descendants of Abraham.

Really?!

So are there any blood descendants of Jacob anywhere? And if so where? 

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

christian cerna wrote:

I agree with Jobk. We also need people to realize that the people that now occupy Isreal, are most likely not blood descendants of Abraham.

Why in the world would you say this?

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Ed Vasicek's picture

JobK wrote:

He could have spoken of how "Miriam" became Mary for instance since Mary is the far better known figure and was also the name of the sister of Moses in the Old Testament, and hence could be used as a way to tie the sister of the lawgiver to the mother of the bringer of the new covenant.

Also, much more could be made of how "Jesus" should actually be Joshua, or something similar (though the spelling is probably more similar to the Joshua of Zechariah than the one who led Israel into Canaan). 

James - along with Revelation, Matthew and Hebrews - is probably the most "Jewish" books of the New Testament. I can see why that would be of interest to Messianic Jews and the other Hebrew roots type movements. However, its theology and content basically consists of exposition of the teachings of Jesus Christ in the gospels. Basically, if you have read the gospels, you have read James. So that makes the fact that James was really Jacob less important, since all that James/Jacob did was restate what was originally said by Jesus/Joshua. 

Since full-blown replacement theology never had the influence in America that it did in Europe, there aren't that many people who do not know that Christ and His original followers were Jews, and also pretty much no one is troubled or concerned with that fact. If anything, what needs more discussion is not the Jewish origins of or influence on Christianity, but rather how modern Judaism has absolutely nothing to do with Judaism of any Biblical era (whether pre-monarchy Judaism, temple Judaism, exilic/post-exilic Judaism, 1st century/New Testament Judaism). It is curious: Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Roman Catholics etc. who become Christians have no problems talking about how their former belief systems are incompatible with Biblical Christianity. Messianic Jews and similar would do a lot of good if they were to do to same: shed light on how little what now purports to be Judaism actually resembles anything of biblical origin. Christians of Jewish heritage do not work nearly as hard to expose what is really in the Talmud as ex-Muslims do the Koran, for example. Even if modern Judaism had successfully managed to preserve Biblical Judaism, it would still be a dead, false religion with no value. But modern Judaism is so far removed from what God gave the Jews of old that I have no idea why any Christian - regardless of his racial or ethnic heritage - would want to be associated with it. 

With all due respect to Michael Brown, we could use fewer lectures on how to show proper reverence for Jews and Judaism (it is not as if his audience is 19th century Europe or something) and more warnings on the contents of the Talmud and Kabbalah, how to spot that nonsense and to stay far away from it. One example (of many): the star of David has nothing to do with the actual King David, the Old Testament or Israel. Instead, it is a Kabbalah power symbol, literally an occult symbol with magical or esoteric meanings little different from a pentagram. The earliest known historical reference to the star of David is the 12th century. 

So instead of telling us to say Jacob instead of James, Michael Brown should write a column telling all the Christian Zionists that they need to put away their Israel flags and bumper stickers that have that occult symbol on it (and that is just one of many examples). But he won't, and we all know the reason why. 

JobK, I both agree and disagree with you.  But consider this: for much of OT history, Judaism was "non-believing," but it was still a God-ordained religion.  Unlike Islam or Buddhism, God himself gave the Torah, the feasts, the commands.  You might argue that they are irrelevant to the current era, but they cannot be intrinsically wrong because God gave them.  Buddhism and other pagan religions are intrinsically wrong religions.  It is one thing to turn from that which is wrong, another to say it is wrong to practice what might be irrelevant or even neutrally cultural.  Paul and the Apostles had no problem practicing Judaisim (Acts 21:17-26).  Paul took a Nazarite vow and offered a sacrifice to PROVE that Jewish believers COULD still follow the Law, but not for salvation.  And, i might add, not under constraint, which is what some erroneous forms of Messianic Judaism advocate.  Many Messianic Jews do not advocate complete Torah observance, but which to identify with Israel.  It may not be necessary for Jewish believers to do this, but it cannot be wrong.

 

 

"The Midrash Detective"

christian cerna's picture

During the time of the Apostles, many hundreds of thousands of Jews converted to Christianity. Later, during the time of the Dispersion, these were scattered throughout Europe and Asia. 2000 years have passed since then. Hundreds of millions have probably descended from those first Christian Jews, and don't even know it.

 

Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 

dgszweda's picture

Ed Vasicek wrote:

 

JobK, I both agree and disagree with you.  But consider this: for much of OT history, Judaism was "non-believing," but it was still a God-ordained religion.  Unlike Islam or Buddhism, God himself gave the Torah, the feasts, the commands.  You might argue that they are irrelevant to the current era, but they cannot be intrinsically wrong because God gave them.  Buddhism and other pagan religions are intrinsically wrong religions.  It is one thing to turn from that which is wrong, another to say it is wrong to practice what might be irrelevant or even neutrally cultural.  Paul and the Apostles had no problem practicing Judaisim (Acts 21:17-26).  Paul took a Nazarite vow and offered a sacrifice to PROVE that Jewish believers COULD still follow the Law, but not for salvation.  And, i might add, not under constraint, which is what some erroneous forms of Messianic Judaism advocate.  Many Messianic Jews do not advocate complete Torah observance, but which to identify with Israel.  It may not be necessary for Jewish believers to do this, but it cannot be wrong.

 

 

 

My mom works in a pretty large synagogue in the Atlanta area, and has connections with most of the other synagogues.  What is taught, said and acted upon in the synagogue is far off from the Bible.  They are primarily social organizations.  And yes the organization has religious undertones, but the foundation is more of a social connection than a religious connection.  And yes, you have as many different factions of Judaism as you do Christianity.  Some Jews even deny elements of the Torah.

christian cerna's picture

Kind of reminds me of so called liberal churches that spend most of their time and energy addressing things like social inequality and environmental issues. That's not surprising, seeing as how Jews invented Liberalism, Communism, Feminism, and about every other 'ism' that exists out there. 

 

Jim's picture

christian cerna wrote:

Kind of reminds me of so called liberal churches that spend most of their time and energy addressing things like social inequality and environmental issues. That's not surprising, seeing as how Jews invented Liberalism, Communism, Feminism, and about every other 'ism' that exists out there

 

Moderator note: This is a blatantly anti-Semitic remark and will not be tolerated on Sharper Iron

Shaynus's picture

Anti-semitism notwithstanding (yikes!) I have a hypothisis. It's interesting that Jacob was renamed Israel, and Jacob's book was renamed James. Interesting, but wikipedia says James and Jacob are the same name with different etymelogical pasts. Kind of like my name Shayne is actually Irish for John. It sounds nothing like John, but history has obscured it. . . kind of like John is itself and obscuration of Yôḥanan, where our minds would wonder about a connection to Yahweh, if we didn't anglicize it so badly.

The hypothesis is that Christians should know that names change throughout the centuries and as languages change, we shouldn't take any name in scripture at face value. When in doubt. Look it up. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_(name)

mmartin's picture

christian cerna,

I would suggest amending your comment to limit it to what you can prove, i.e. communism.  To say the Jews invented just about all "isms" is an overstatement at best.

I agree with Jim.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

...that pinning "just about every" ism on Jews is actually the insult that might (or might not?) be intended. Look at this way: if readheads completely dominate innovation and invention for a few centuries, it will certainly be the case that "nearly every bad invention of the last 300 yrs came from a readhead." This is because whoever invents more will have more failures than whoever doesn't invent much. Likewise, to generalize that a people group has come up with all the isms is effectively saying that, as a group, they've done more thinking than everyone else.

(But we've wandered quite a stretch from the original topic. Maybe we should wrap up this discussion)