Monday, July 16, 2012

Quote of the Day: Hebraic vs. Greek mindsets

"Have you ever heard of abandoning a "Greek" mindset for a "Hebraic" one. One word: IMPOSSIBLE.
First if you are a protestant, you don't think like a Greek(at least theologically) you think like a Roman(i.e. you are Augustine's theological descendant).

Second to that, you are trying to take on a supposed world-view that has been absent for over 2000yrs. Two guys laid down the basic rules of Jewish interpretation that they have followed for over 2000yrs, they were Yossi HaGalili and Yishmael the High Priest. Both of them cribbed Socratic didatic, in fact their rules for interpretation were Socrates rules for didactic logic.

The next major Jewish thinker, Rambam was a neoplatonist.

So if you want to look at the Bible like a Jew, perhaps you should start thinking like a Greek."

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Third Helsinki Consultation: Berlin statement on Torah for Jewish believers

A few bloggers have already highlighted the Third Helsinki Consultation on Jewish Continuity in the Body of Messiah.  The participants created a joint statement about the significance of the Torah for Jewish followers of Yeshua, which contained the following encouraging selections:

We, the members of the Helsinki Consultation, ... are increasingly recognizing the intrinsic connection between this [Jewish] identity and Torah, the dynamic reality that has shaped the life of the Jewish people throughout its historical journey. We are also increasingly challenged to understand the continuing significance of the Torah encountered in the light of the gospel within the life of the Body of the Messiah.

We as Jewish believers in Yeshua acknowledge the special bond that unites us with Israel’s Torah. This bond with Israel’s Torah witnesses in the Church to the irrevocability of God’s gifts and call to Israel (Rom 11:29). For Yeshua said, “Think not that I have come to destroy the Torah, or the prophets: I have not come to destroy, but to fulfill” (Mt 5:17). We believe in the continuing validity of the Torah even as it is fulfilled in Christ. Moreover, we see Christ as the incarnate Torah, the eternal wisdom of the Father in human flesh. He alone lived out the Torah in perfect form, and he calls his disciples to walk in his ways.


As Jewish believers in Yeshua we are in the process of working out the meaning and concrete implications of this bond that we collectively experience. We find ourselves in a variety of different ecclesial and Jewish communal contexts, and we hold different understandings and definitions of Torah observance. Some of us consider the observance of mitzvot such as Shabbat, Jewish holidays, and the dietary laws as an essential component of fidelity to Torah. Yet we all understand that our attempt to live in radical discipleship to Yeshua (in conformity to teaching such as that found in the Sermon on the Mount) is the foundational principle of Torah observance. Furthermore, we all understand our faithfulness to Israel’s Torah as a commitment to promote an awareness of the Jewish roots of the Church.

You can read the Berlin statement in its entirety on the Helsinki Consultation website.  You can also see my previous posts on the First and Second Helsinki Consultations.