Insights into Jesus of Nazareth Seminar

 

IJN-Set1Insights into Jesus of Nazareth

His Words, His Wisdom,
His World

Conference Seminar

Available as an 8-DVD set or mp3 CD (audio only). Order below.

© En-Gedi Resource Center, 2006

15 hours of in-depth presentations by leading scholars on Jesus’ first-century context. Filmed at the Jerusalem Perspective 2006 Conference in Jerusalem, Israel, June 19-20, 2006. 

Presentations:

The Value of Translating Matthew, Mark and Luke to Hebrew
David Bivin, Editor of Jerusalem Perspective

A Hebraic Approach to the Resurrection of Jesus
Randall Buth, Director, Biblical Language Center

Is Jesus Superior to the Law?  -and-
Jesus’s High Self-Awareness and the Christology of Paul
Dwight A. Pryor, President, Judaic-Christian Studies Center

Why Rabbinic Literature Is Pertinent to the Study of the Gospels  -and-
Jesus Among the Rabbis: Spiritual Life and Leadership
Brad Young, Professor, Oral Roberts University

The Mikvah and Ritual Immersion in Jesus’ Day
The Recently Discovered Pool of Siloam
(Audio online at link)
Ronney Reich, Archaeologist, Haifa University

The New Testament in the Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Hanan Eshel, Archaeologist, Bar Ilan University

Was Jesus Buried in the Garden Tomb? (DVD only)
Gabriel Barkay, Archaeologist, Bar Ilan University

Jeremiah’s New Covenant and Jesus’ Movement
Serge Ruzer, Professor, Hebrew University

Jesus, the Sin-Fearer
David Pileggi, Rector, Christ Church

Jesus’ Teaching Style Illustrated by His Response to Martha’s Anxiety
Lenore Mullican, Professor, Oral Roberts University

The Pastoral Relevance of Who Wrote the First Gospel -and-
The Importance of Bible Geography for Understanding Jesus
Halvor Ronning, Director, Home for Bible Translators

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IJN Cover+border

 
8-DVD Set: $59.99



Audio mp3 CD: $29.99



Both DVD & Audio: $79.99

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Also included on DVDs (not audio CD)

A tribute to David Flusser by James Charlesworth
• A documentary about Robert Lindsey and David Flusser
• Baritone Horst Krueger performing songs of Jerusalem and conference music composed by Robert Lindsey.

© Produced by the En-Gedi Resource Center in cooperation with JerusalemPerspective.com. All rights reserved.

Keep Us From Evil

by Lois Tverberg

And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil … (NASB) or – the evil one. (NIV) Matthew 6:13

This is a line from the Lord’s prayer that is confusing to many. Some translations say “deliver us from evil,” others say “deliver us from the evil one.” Does it mean evil in general, or Satan in particular? And why would we ask God not to tempt us? Since Jesus told us to pray this way, certainly it would benefit us to clarify his words.

A key to understanding is to look at how the phrase “deliver us from evil” is used in both the Bible and in other Jewish prayers. In Psalm 121 it says,

The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. (Psalm 121:5-7)

Here, protection from evil means protection from harm in general. And indeed the Hebrew word “ra” (evil or bad) is broad, and can include injury and misfortune as well as moral evil. In Psalm 141, the prayer asks for protection against doing evil:

Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies. (Psalm 141:3-4)

Other Jewish prayers include the words “protect us from evil,” and can give us some insight. In the Talmud* a prayer expands on the meanings of the Hebrew word ra, “evil,” by saying, “Deliver me…from a bad person, a bad companion, a bad injury, an evil inclination, and from Satan, the destroyer.” Four times the word for “evil” is used, and here it is a petition to ask God to deliver the person from harm, but also from sin and the company of those who would cause a person to sin as well, and even Satan.

What about the line before “keep us from evil,” which is “lead us not into temptation”? This phrase is a Jewish way of saying “Do not let us succumb to the temptation of sin.” It is a parallelism to the next line, meaning, “Do not let us succumb to the evil inside us, do not let us sin.” Once again it is asking God to protect us from the evil we ourselves can do.

We would not go wrong in understanding these two lines as meaning, “Oh Lord, help us to keep doing your will, and don’t let us be led away from your path. Keep us from the evil within us and from spiritual forces of evil, and keep us from all harm and calamity too.” It is an all-encompassing plea for God to protect us from what is outside us, but what is inside as well.


 

*The Talmud is a compendium of Jewish commentary written about 300 AD, containing oral traditions from Jesus’ time and before. This quote is from Berachot 16b.
A major source for this article is Deliver Us From Evil, by Dr. Randall Buth, in the online jounal www.JerusalemPerspective.com.

The Manager’s Shrewd Idea

by Lois Tverberg

“There was a rich man who had a manager who was reported to him as squandering his possessions. He called him and said to him, “Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ The manager said to himself, `I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the management people will welcome me into their homes.’ He summoned each one of his master’s debtors, and he began saying to the first, `How much do you owe my master?'”And he said, `A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, `Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ “Then he said to another, `And how much do you owe?’ And he said, `A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, `Take your bill, and write eighty.’ His master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly.”
– Luke 16:1-8, edited

This is another parable that is difficult for us – it seems like Jesus is saying that cheating your employer is a model for us to live by. Was that really what he was saying? Knowing more about the context of this parable may cast new light on Jesus’ message. (1)

Roman CoinsOne thing to note is that the rich man probably lived far away and employed the manager to keep track of his loan repayments. Loan managers, like tax collectors, were paid commissions from the accounts that they oversaw. Thus, the more they could collect from the debtors, the more they earned.

Biblical law stated that a Jew who received a loan could not be charged interest, so charging any more than the principal would have been an unlawful practice. But since it was difficult for the poor to find anyone who would loan money without some kind of compensation, historians think that loans were recorded for a higher amount than their actual value to circumvent the prohibition against charging interest. It would have been the difference that went to the loan manager, and if the loan manager was corrupt, he may have been greatly overcharging for loans as well as squandering his employer’s money.

With this extra information in mind, it casts this parable in a new light. The loan recipients may have hated the manager for his profiteering from the overcharges at their expense. When the loan manager lowered the bills, he may have been correcting the bills back to their true amount, and forfeiting his own pay. By doing this, he would have been “repenting” from the corruption that had been making enemies for himself. Even though it cost him monetarily, he would have gone from being hated to being loved by all the people he dealt with. Even his boss would look good in the eyes of the debtors. Indeed, this may have been the first honest act of his life, when he realized that he needed people’s friendship more than their money.

While we can’t be sure of this scenario, it does paint a different picture of the manager’s act. When he realized that “judgment” was coming from his boss, he straightened out his life so that he would not suffer forever for his corruption. We all know that we will be called to account for our lives, and we should all act wisely knowing that eternal dwellings are at stake.


(1) Historical data comes from a talk given by Dr. Randall Buth called “The Unjust Steward” from the Center for Study of Biblical Research (CSBR).

Photo: Portable Antiquities Scheme

In His Image

Roman coin

by Lois Tverberg

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
– Genesis 1:26-27

What is the significance of saying that we are made in God’s image? It’s clear that it means that we share something in common with God that nothing else in creation does. Human life is uniquely precious to God. According to Genesis 9:6, because God made man in his image, murder is a crime that always calls for the death penalty, because murder is an affront to God himself. This was a new and revolutionary idea in its time. Other cultures had death penalties for stealing and other property crimes, but biblical law considered life too precious to require it as a penalty for a material loss.

In rabbinic literature, the contrast was often made of man, made in the image of God, compared to idols and statues made in the image of earthly kings. One rabbi said that “A king mints a thousand coins with his image on them, and every one is exactly the same. But the Lord makes multitudes of human beings that all bear his image, and they are all different!” It shows the infinite glory of God that he can represent himself in so many ways.

Roman coinOne scholar* believes that Jesus was also using the contrast between the images of kings on coins and humans which are in God’s image. When people who wanted to trap him were questioning him in the temple as to whether people should pay tax or not, he asked for a coin and then asked whose image was on it. The questioners replied, “Caesar’s.” Jesus then concluded, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and God what is God’s!” The implication is that because Caesar made the coins and stamped his image on them, they belonged to him, but that because God made humans and stamped his image on us, we belong to him! So Jesus was brilliantly evading their trap about paying taxes and issuing an “altar call” at the same time – reminding us that God is our maker, and has stamped his own image on us, and for that very reason, we should give what he has made, ourselves, back to him.


*See Your Money or Your Life, by Randall Buth, at www.jerusalemperspective.com.

Photocred: Ssolbergj