We are in an unprecedented time of learning and growth. Jewish community centers and publications are teaching that Yeshua is a Jewish Rabbi and also coming to terms with the New View of Paul as well as starting to understand the Reluctant Parting of Ways between Christianity and Judaism. Along with these realization is an open door for dialogue and I believe the Messianic movement should engage in this new open interfaith dialogue to help restore this much needed bridge between Judaism and Christianity. In that light I want to offer some suggested resources for you to engage in study to learn to engage in this new dialogue.
We need to study the Ancient Near Eastern Suzerainty Treaties and Covenants, as well as the concepts of Rabbi Jesus and the New View of Paul. The New View of Paul in simplicity is that of an observant Jew maintaining a distinctions between Jews and Gentiles and not creating Gentile Christianity. Even if Christians self identify with what was created later it is widely understood now that to better understand the Epistles and Ecclesia of Yeshua and the Apostles you must understand Second Temple Judaism. These scholarly studies into the Ancient Neat East and Second Temple Judaism can only add to our dialogue and help us bolster our claims.
I am certain that most of us in the Messianic Movement are comfortable with Rabbi Jesus and Rabbi Paul however we do need to help fill up some knowledge regarding Ancient Near Eastern Covenants, and associated topics in this age of academic understanding in Secular, Jewish and Christian schools about the Jewish reality of the early Ecclesia. It is time for us to learn, engage and become bridge builders.
I want to suggest some academic sites and books to read regarding Messianic Judaism, Post-Supersession New Testament Theology, Ancient Near Eastern Covenants, Rabbi Jesus and the New View of Paul.
There is an excellent book out right now called Introduction to Messianic Judaism by David Rudolph its published by Zondervan and all its contributors are PhD‘s it is an excellent book. I’m reading it right now, along with others who are finding it a balanced entry point to understanding the Ecclesiology of Messianic Judaism, its purpose, its function, its depth, its mission, etcetera…
Here are some links that I love to visit often to websites they are full of academic papers, dissertations, published papers and research from scholars in Messianic Judaism, Rabbi Jesus, Jewish Evangelism and the New View of Paul, as well as the Ancient Near East. These sites are full of published academic articles from Cambridge, Harvard, etcetera… These are PhD’s who have studied. These are serious scholars, not fly by night Rhodes Scholars. Please visit these sites, download the papers, buy the books, and put these in your favorites, bookmarks and frequent visit lists.
Sites to study these new realities:
- The Luassane Consultation on Jewish Evangelism http://www.lcje.net/
- The Helsinki Consultation http://helsinkiconsultation.squarespace.com/
- New Testament Post Supersessionism Papers and books http://www.mjstudies.com/
- Messianic Jewish study site http://www.messianicjewishonline.com/
- The Remnant Repository http://vineofdavid.org/remnant_repository/
- The History of Ancient Near Eastern http://ancientneareast.tripod.com/index.html
- Ariel Messianic Studies http://www.ariel.org/shoshanah-pmjs.htm
- Ancient Near Eastern Studies http://eawc.evansville.edu/nepage.htm
- En Gedi Resource Center http://egrc.net/
- New School for Jewish Studies http://nsfjs.org/
- Our Rabbi Jesus http://ourrabbijesus.com/
- The Messianic Archive Site http://afii.org/jorge.htm
Those should give you some reading for a while and help expand your understanding of the biblical covenants, these new realities about Rabbi Yeshua, Rabbi Shual and Post Supersession Theology. Once we fill up these gaps hopefully you will be pretty solid in your understanding and be able to engage in this new dialogue.
It is important to understand that as to relating to Epistology and Ecclesiology it is beneficial for gentiles to experience Second Temple Judaism that Jesus, Paul, Peter and James participated in. This is done in order that they may understand the context of scripture. From this you can learn from it what Yeshua and Paul did and have a better grasp of Scripture. Gentiles must feel secure in and realize that they have their own distinct identity. There are two books I would recommend you read if you get time or money the Jewishness of the Gospels by David Stern and Godfearers and the God of Israel by Toby Janicki. These two books share what the purpose of Messianic gentiles is and what benefits Messianic Gentiles can experience in Messianic Judaism. Messianic Judaism is not Syncretic, it’s first century biblical “Christianity”-Centric.
I feel I have pointed to some good learning to help you understand Covenants of the Ancient Near East and thus what happened at Sinai, as well as academic studies regarding Messianic Judaism, as well as the New View of Paul and Rabbi Jesus.
For those interested in engaging in this new Jewish dialogue we need to cover Rabbi Jesus from a Jewish perspective along with the New View of Paul as a Rabbi, as well as the Reluctant Partying between Judaism and Christianity some books to cover are How Did Christianity Begin, From Jesus to Christianity, Reluctant Parting by Julie Galambush, My Jesus Year, On Earth As It Is In Heaven Jews Christians And Liberation Theology by Dan Cohn-Sherbok, and What I Wish My Christian Friends New About Judaism by Robert Schoen. Studying these can equip those who want to engage in the modern dialogue among Christians and Jews.
Also an area of study to engage in wisely would be what’s called the “Partying of Ways” between Judaism and Christianity. Study how the Church and Synagogue split some good books are from Jesus to Christianity, The Reluctant Parting by Julie Galambush, Liberating The Gospels by John Shelby Spong. Rabbi Jesus by Bruce Chilton and Jesus the Jewish Theologian by Brad Young are also essential books. I also highly recommend Sitting At The Feet of Rabbi Jesus and Walking In the Dust of Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg. Also Rob Bells Dust of the Rabbi and Ray Vander Laan’s book Echo of His Presence and Rabbi Jesus are essential reads.
I would like to encourage you to read the academic published papers and any of the books I mentioned, please do. I would gladly discuss any of these topics with you. Feel free to contact me or email me regarding these necessary topics and realities. There are many more quality books and materials to study the Jewishness of the Gospels, Rabbi Jesus, the New View of Paul, Postsuppersessionism scholarship and Ancient Near Eastern Covenants however here are some good starting points.
It is time to study, learn and engage in this exciting and growing openness to Rabbi Jesus making Jews better Jews, the New View of Paul and a place to minister reconciliation over the Parting of Ways that has lead to much evil done in Christ Jesus name. Hopefully the learning and reading will open you up to a more real and relational dialogue amongst our Jewish and Christian brethren.