THE HISTORICAL BEGINNINGS OF CHRISTIANITY
"If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed" (Gal. 3:29).
"The writers [of the Bible] are Hebrew, the culture is Hebrew, the religion is Hebrew, the traditions are Hebrew, and the concepts are Hebrew."
-- David Bivin / Dr. Roy Blizzard, Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus, pg. 22.
"Without the intimate knowledge of Hebrew and rabbinic sources contemporary with the time of Jesus, it is impossible to fully understand the sayings of Jesus."
-- Bivin, Jerusalem Perspective, no. 6, March 1988.
"The Church is burdened with an unresolved identity problem. Sadly, most Christians are unaware that a problem exists. Yet many illnesses of the Church, both past and present, are a result of our not knowing who we are in Jesus."
-- Bivin, Yavo Digest, vol. 1, no. 1.
"Jesus' teachings are exclusively within Jewish values and teachings. Modern Christianity . . . does not adhere to many of Jesus' original teachings . . . Early Christianity was an integral part of Judaism of the period. Jesus . . . never intended to either abandon Judaism, or to create a new religion. The creation of the independent Christian Church outside the framework of Judaism took place many years later by those who neither knew the man Jesus, nor the meanings of His difficult native Hebrew."
-- Opher Segal, YD, vol. 5, no. 6.
"When we miss the parables in the richness of their Jewish culture, we miss Jesus and His powerful message."
-- Blizzard, YD, vol. 5, no.4.
"Most of the difficult passages or problems confronted in New Testament studies could be solved through a knowledge of Rabbinic Literature."
-- Bivin/Blizzard, Understanding ... pg. 70.
"You do not have to be Jewish to be nourished by Jesus' bread, but to become a New Testament scholar it is essential to acquire a sound knowledge of ancient Judaism. . . . There is no need to fear Jesus' Jewishness."
-- Prof. David Flusser, (Hebrew University, Jerusalem), JP, vol. 2, no. 9, 1989.
"The basic premises of Western philosophy are derived from the Greek rather than the Hebraic thinking."
-- Abraham Joshua Heschel, God in Search of Man, pg. 24.
"While the Greeks studied to comprehend, and western thinkers study to apply their knowledge in a practical sense, the ancient Hebrews studied to revere."
-- Dr. Brad Young, YD, vol. 5, no. 6, paraphrasing Heschel.
"Where else did a divine idea sanctify history? Where else did a history of a people become sacred scripture?
-- Heschel, pg. 231
"The idea of the holiness of an entire people, Israel as a holy people, is without parallel in human history.
-- Heschel, pg. 245
"The authors of God's Word--virtually every one of them a Jew--have a profoundly Hebraic perspective on life and the world. If we are to interpret the Bible correctly, we must become attuned to this hebraic setting in the ancient Near East."
-- Dr. Marvin Wilson, Our Father Abraham, pg. 9
"For a Gentile to have a right relation to God he must humbly accept and appreciate a Jewish Book, believe in a Jewish lord, and be grafted into a Jewish people, thereby taking on their likeness through a commonly shared stock."
-- Wilson, pg. 16
"In the coming of Jesus of Nazareth and through the new covenant set in motion by his death, the ritual and ceremonial aspects of Mosaic Law were no longer technically binding. Yet they could have been of spiritual value for the gentile believers. That is, although they were not mandatory for a right relationship with God, they could have helped the Gentiles to understand their faith properly."
-- Wilson, pg. 27
"From Paul's time until the present, the church has tended to view its existence independently of Israel. . . . In Paul's view any church which exists independently of Israel ceases therein to be the church as a part of God's salvation plan and becomes simply another religious society."
-- Wilson, pg. 15, quote from D. Johnson, "The Structure and Meaning of Romans 11," Catholic Biblical Quarterly 46 (1984): 100.
"When the early Church gradually moved from Jerusalem to the West, many of the Roman converts who became church leaders retained certain of their pagan cultural practices. As a result, the Roman leaders interpreted the Hebrew Scripture in the light of their Greek background, imposing on the biblical text a non-hebraic interpretive scheme. This had the effect of foisting incorrect information into the Church's theology concerning God's Law, information that was actually irreconcilable with the Word of God as taught by Jesus and Paul.
-- Dr. Ron Moseley, Yeshua: A Guide to the Real Jesus and the Original Church, 1996, pg. 39
"It is a truism accepted by enlightened scholars, for the longest time, that a knowledge of the Talmud is indispensable to a true understanding of the origin and background of the teaching of the New Testament and the Koran. Many a Christian or Muslim doctrine is well-nigh unintelligible apart from the original context in the Talmud.
-- Boaz Cohen, 1949, introduction to Everyman's Talmud, Abraham Cohen, pg. vi
"The Pharisees were not the stuffy conservatives depicted in so many Christian circles. They were a progressive movement, organized among the grassroots and dedicated to spreading the holiness of God to the people of the Land... Thus we see that the concept of the priesthood of the believer was not unique to Christianity; it had its roots in Pharisaic Judaism."
-- Ken Hanson, YD, vol. 2, no. 4 (pre doctoral)