Judaism

Carmageddon, Eruvs, and Working for Salvation

First appeared at The Cripplegate in 2011.

Carmageddon came and went, with no serious delays or deaths attributed to the temporary pause on LA’s car-craved culture. But of special note, Carmageddon did not even disrupt LA’s elaborate eruv network.

There is perhaps no contemporary illustration of the folly of man-made religion as absurd as the eruv, and if you are unfamiliar with an eruv, you are missing out. Because God forbid the Israelites from working on the Sabbath, the Talmud—not content to simply leave the concept of work up to the conscience—created an elaborate system to protect people from accidentally working on the seventh day.

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Temple Tantrum?

Expulsion of the merchants from the temple. A.N. Mironov, 2012

Spring cleaning finds its origins in the Jewish community, preparing ones home for Passover by removing even infinitesimal dust that might contain leaven. During the Passover season nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus decided to clean house, too. The house was his Father’s house, the Temple.

This event is known as the “Second Cleansing of the Temple,” and we are looking at the account of it recorded in Mark 11:15-19. The first cleansing occurred three years earlier and recorded in John 3:13-22.

Yeshua didn’t clean with detergent, kitchen cleanser, or disinfectant. This was to be a different kind of cleaning, an attempted spiritual cleansing from the grunges of corruption and snobbery.

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The Synagogue and the Church: A Study of Their Common Backgrounds and Practices (Part 11)

Reprinted with permission from As I See It, which is available free by writing to the editor at dkutilek@juno.com. Read the entire series.

Chapter Seven: Conclusion

It is no “stretch” to find in the churches of the NT what may be characterized as “Christianized” synagogues. The membership in the synagogue was rather restricted, being based first on physical requirements (male and Jewish by birth), but slightly expanded to admit those men who spiritually came over to the Jewish religion and submitted to its rituals and requirements. In the churches, the membership requirements were spiritual rather than physical in nature, being based on a new spiritual birth for both Jews and Gentiles, followed by a public declaration through immersion of faith in the Messiah Jesus. Gentiles were not required to “become Jews” in order to qualify for admission. Women as well as men were admitted into the congregation.

The chief constituent elements of a synagogue service—prayer, Bible reading and a sermon—are found as well in the churches. There are some differences, of course. While the synagogue naturally enough limited its Bible reading to the OT, the NT churches also included the reading of the NT books as they became available. The prayers in the synagogue tended toward the written and liturgical while the NT churches betray no evidence of such a practice in the first century.

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What is the "New Perspective on Paul"? A Basic Explanation (Part 3)

(Read Part 1 and Part 2.)

Is lack of righteousness the problem?

In the various presentations of the New Perspective on Paul or NPP, the centrality of the call upon sinners to repent and believe in the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ, and the promise of forgiveness and eternal life with God when they do is seriously compromised. Think about these words from the end of John 3: “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (Jn. 3:36).

The solemnity of these words strikes everyone who reads them. The difference between everlasting life and abiding wrath is belief in the Son. What is it that must be believed? The answer to that question is the reason why John wrote his Gospel. After recounting the crucifixion and resurrection John focuses upon Thomas’s doubt and the Lord’s answer to that doubt. Jesus stresses belief in Him in that context. Then John adds his summary:

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The Ten Tribes of Israel: Lost or Found?

In December, 1984, astounding news leaked to the world press. For over a year, the Israeli government had been secretly flying over ten thousand Ethiopian Jews out of their refugee camps in the Sudan to their new homes in the modern state of Israel. The Beta Israel, as they call themselves (Falashas in the Ethiopian language), claim that their Judaic faith originated after the Queen of Sheba returned from her famous visit to King Solomon, bringing with her the knowledge of the one true God. Rabbis in Israel, however, had another explanation—these Ethiopian Jews were descendants of the tribe of Dan, one of the mysterious lost tribes of Israel.

Occasionally an article will describe the Jewish customs of the Pashtu—an Islamic tribe in Afghanistan. They circumcise their sons on the eighth day, wear four-cornered garments, perform levirate marriages and wear traditional sidelocks and beards. These customs have convinced some researchers that the Pashtu tribe is a remnant of the ten lost tribes of Israel.

A prominent American radio and TV “evangelist” proclaimed for years that the ten lost tribes were not lost but had reappeared as the British and American peoples, whom, he claimed, were the inheritors of the promises to ancient Israel! These various ideas appearing in the twentieth century have again raised some important questions in the minds of many: what did happen to the ten tribes? Have some of them survived until today? Can we identify these tribes with any of the many ethnic groups living on planet Earth today? This post attempts to answer these and other questions by sifting through the myths and ideas of men to ascertain the scriptural and historical truth about the so-called lost tribes.

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