on January 6, 2015
*** I have not read this book, but have ordered it, and once I have read it I will review it. After reading many of the reviews I felt the need to make a few statements R/T to what the Title of this book is stating. I believe in the need to state information from a Messianic Jew perspective.
01/23/205 got book, and am reading it will update in a week or so.
Yeshua (Jesus's Hebrew Name) said that "Salvation will come from the Jew, and to the Jew FIRST" so even Jesus makes the Jew separate and in a way elite. When I speak of "Elite" here ... I am not speaking of a "Class" difference but "Level of Understanding". The first so called Christians were really "Messianic Jews". They were not called, or even called themselves this, the title of Messianic Jew is more of a new/modern title. They called themselves followers of "The Way". Several people bring up the verse in ACTS 11:26 "They were called "Christians in Antioch" small problem using this argument ... Antioch was a "Gentile - Non Jew" city. Please read that verse "They were Called" ... it does not say "they called themselves" ... in other words non-believers called them "Christian"! The verse is not challenged by the Author "LUKE ... who was a Gentile" He did not say that the believers called themselves, but others called them "Christians". He/Luke did not see a reason to waste the ink saying anything more. The word (Christian/Christians) is only used 3 times in KJV. In the AMP it is used 38 times, and in the Jewish Bible it is NEVER used. The Hebrew word for "Christian" is Notzri, which comes from Natzrati. Natzrati is what is translated into English as the word "Nazarene" as in the town in MT 2:23. In Act 24:5 Paul while standing before "Felix" his attackers called him "Natzratim" ... a follower of the Nazarene! Sadly, many forget "Christ" is not a name but a Title. Christ means "MESSIAH". The Messiah of Judaism. When you say "Christian" you are really saying "Follower of the Jewish MESSIAH".
Let me show you a couple well known verses to help you see the need to be able to fully understand the New Testament/Greek side of the Bible; how the understanding the "Jewishness" of the Authors will give you more clarity. MT 6:6 says we are to go into our "Closet" to pray. When most people read this, they think of going into the room they hang their clothes. Small problem, when this was written there was no such thing as a closet as we know them now. The Water Closet of the Romans (Toilet Room) had been around somewhere near 2800 B.C. We all would agree the author was not telling us to lock ourselves into the bathroom. (Fights start within families if someone tried this, plus most people do feel weird to even pray while in the bathroom). The Tallit, or what you would call the Jewish Prayer shawl when it is placed over the head to the point it is a blinder to the eyes side vision is called the "Closet" or the "Position of Focus". This verse is saying to use a Prayer Shawl to "Focus" your prayer time, and not allow interruptions. If you came upon someone with a prayer shawl a Tallit on, you would know NOT to bother them. I challenge you the reader to try a thick sheet as a prayer shawl in this manner at home, and see if your prayers become more focused. If they are then get an actual Tallit. II Timothy 2:15 it speaks "Rightly DIVIDING the word of God". Many think this speaks of the correct interpretation ... and they are correct, but it has a more deeper understanding. If one cannot read it, how can one interpret it? Did you know (in both Hebrew, and in Greek) when this verse was written there was no Vowels? The Author is speaking of the Hebrew Bible (O.T.) when Paul wrote it. (Paul did not see his letters as Scripture when he wrote in Greek ... but it would have mostly fit). In Hebrew each character is a Letter, a Number, a Character, and word. There was/are no spaces between them to show when one word started and another ended. There was no paragraphs. There is no Period, or any other grammar marks. There was no verses. They were only divided by books. There was only the book of Kings, not first/second Kings as an example. Paul is basically saying to fully be able to understand scripture, you need to understand the "Jewishness" of it. Did you know the name "Jesus" is only about 700 years old? Yeshua the Hebrew name was first translated to Greek, then to Latin, and then finally to English. In 1380 was the first English hand written translation by Wycliffe would not be readable by most English readers today. "Jesus" would not be found in this version. In 1450 the Gutenberg the first "printed" Bible, was in Latin, no "Jesus" in that one. 1557 the Geneva Bible was the first to use "Verses". This Bible translated Clothes God made for Adam and Eve as "Breeches" the early word for Britches. (so God only gave "pants"???). 1580 the Roman Catholic church finally gave up murdering people who translated the Bible into the language of the people. Somewhere between that, and the 1611 KJV did the first use of "Jesus" came of use. So you can see how "dividing / translating" the word of God has had its problems to become an English Bible. If the English Bible had actually used Hebrew Names instead of Greek to Latin and then to English the idea of "Jewishness" would be more tolerable for more Christians. Mary would be Mariam. Etc. English readers have no problem with Hebrew Names being used in the "O.T." think how much more authentic it would be to read the N.T. with Hebrew names also.
The #1 problem that Gentile Believers have in understanding "Jewishness" of the Bible, is the 3 priorities Adonai (God) taught the Jews are to Love God, His Law, and Israel. Many read the 613 laws in the O.T. and say "Legalism". Small problem, these were given by GOD! (So is God a Legalist?). The 613 laws are for the Jew. To keep them separate / different. Very few of them are even for all Jews. They are Life/Civil Laws on the most part. Jesus kept these laws, he only challenged the Rabbis / Sanhedrin how they were falsely interpreting them via legalism. Then there is the "Moral" laws / the 10 commandments which are for everyone to help them "Walk the Walk". The law will not save you, but it is there as a measuring stick to see how good a person is. Many misuse the verses ROM 6:14-15 about "you are not under the Law, but Under Grace". Most "Christians" use these verses to argue that if one uses the 10 Commandments in their life for any reason they call that person is in Legalism. They do not read farther to verse 16 and on, where it speaks of "Obeying". What does one Obey??? The Law! The other problem is they do not see Paul is writing to "True Converts" but most in the Christian Church think it is for everyone. If one continues to read Chapter 6 of Romans they would see Paul is reminding them they were once sinners, and were under the Law. One only receives the "Grace" only after repentance. Which I will cover more in detail later in this review of the reviews of this book. The first written Scripture was the 10 commandments, and that was written by God's own finger. So when you focus on "Grace" remember God wrote the Law first to show us our need for His Grace.
Earlier I spoke about II Tim 2:15 on how the Word of God in Hebrew is like one Word. No spaces/etc. "Jewishness" understanding of Scripture is that the "Word of God" is actually only ONE WORD!!! Jesus followed Jewish Teachings from the Torah. Torah does mean "Law", but also the first Five books in the Bible, and it also even means the Whole Hebrew Bible what you call the Old Testament. When Jesus pointed to the "Scriptures" it was ALWAYS to the Hebrew Bible. The New Testament should actually be called the Greek side of the Bible because it is written in Greek, just like the Old Testament should be called Hebrew side of the Bible because it is written in Hebrew. They BOTH are the Word of God. Christianity and Judaism are the same Faith not separate. Jesus came to show that the Jewish Leaders had gotten away from true Judaism teaching of the Scriptures. Be very careful some reviews here say "Segregating Christianity into Jewish believers and Christian believers is a dangerous venture and one that would break Christianity into the Messianic Jewish Chosen elite and ordinary Christians". This is an oxymoron statement in itself. You say Christian and Jewish are separate and this is really a paradox statement. Jesus separates them when He says that "Salvation comes FROM and FIRST to the Jew, but later Paul says "neither Jew or Gentile". Jesus is saying "One needs to understand Jewishness to understand Salvation, and Paul is saying Salvation is for both the Jew and the Gentile. So before one QUOTES a Verse from the Bible, one should remember what Jesus / Yeshua said to the Teachers of the Scriptures "Have you not Read the Scriptures also says" ... in other words be careful in using a scripture for something it does not mean, for another scripture will prove you wrong!!! Example: many use "Gospel" verses out of context because they try to make them separate from the Word of God. Verses that say "Believe in Jesus, and you will be saved". There are many verses that cover these, but they stay away from those that speak of "Repentance", or they just hint at it. Looking at the Word of God thru "Jewishness Eyes" via understanding from "IN" the start of the book of Genesis, to "Amen" as the last word of Revelation is "ONE WORD" ... will understand every verse one has the ability to read is part of that ONE WORD. John Chapter one, says that Jesus / Yeshua is the ONE WORD of GOD. So when one tries to only understand the N.T. only (refuse the Jewishness of Him) they only understand a small part of Jesus /Yeshua.
Many Gentiles have "Pagan / Perverted" the gospel ... this is done by not understanding that Christianity is a Judaism Sect and Christianity is the Gentile way of saying they follow the Jewish Messiah. Two examples: (1) Many Christians today think "Christianity" is a separate religion, when Jesus / Yeshua never said he came to start a new religion. (2) the worst is actually a blatant disobeying of Jesus commandment to never use a "Repetition Prayer" Due to that is what Pagans do. This is done by the repeat after me "Salvation Prayer" There is NO REPENTANCE in this. Jesus used the "Law / 10 Commandments" Mark 10:18-22 when the rich young ruler basically asked "How do I get Saved???" (yes I paraphrased). Jesus took him thru the Law. When this person left Jesus DID NOT follow him and asked him to a Fish Fry (Jewish BBQ). The Law is stated over 200 times is the Greek Bible (New Testament). The Law is rarely used to show the sinner what Sin is in today's Christian Church. Sign of a Non-Biblical Church (in the Great Commission matters) ... They call you Sinner, because you have sinned. If asked what is sin, they say you have "Disobeyed God", but they do not say how you have disobeyed God. One reason that Gentiles need to read the NT with a OT understanding is the Jew via the OT understands that the LAW shows (all of us) what sin is. Paul (a Teacher of the Law said without the Law he would not have known what sin is). This same "Rich young ruler" story shows how teaching "Jesus Loves You" as a Gospel is FALSE! (Yes Jesus loves us, but Never should be a Gospel) for after this young man said he had followed the Law since childhood (The age one learns right from wrong) it says "Jesus Loved Him", but the young man is NOT SAVED. ROM 3:19 teaches the LAW shuts the Mouth of the Sinner from Excuses. It also gives the Reason for the CROSS. The OT shows the FEAR we should have for God's Laws. Many of Gods laws had Death Penalties. Christians understand "Death" means a ticket to HELL, eternal Damnation. They do not Fear God, for not only has our Government taken the 10 commandments out of the Schools, most Churches have also removed the Law from showing us sinners the "Bad News" to understand the "Good News / Gospel and the reason for the Cross. I dare you to read HEB 10:26-31. It starts with Moses = Law, and ends with those who sin "willingly" are never truly saved. Living the law does not save a person,, but a Saved person will follow the law to the best of their ability. Jesus said "If you love me, you will Obey Me" how can one obey Him if they do not know the Law? Citizens who love their Country follow that Countries Laws. If one believes they are a follower of Christ (Not Jesus last name, but a Title that always comes AFTER the Title LORD) then they are a Citizen of the Kingdom of God, where Jesus is LORD! God gave us the LAW. Paul said "There is a Proper way to use the Law" that is to use the Law to show what sin is. The Law / 10 Commandments shows us the Measuring Stick God will (already has) condemned us with. Jesus said Hate = Murder, and Lust = Adultery. Stealing anything makes one a Thief. (Can I borrow a piece of paper? Did you return it? If not, could you be a Thief in God's eyes?). When a person is shown they have wronged God (Sin = Crime against God only) then a person is remorseful, and does NOT need anyone tell them how to repent. We all have had someone wrong us in a big way, and we all know the difference between someone "apologizing" and "True Remorseful" to us. Repetition Salvation Prayer is a useless apology = false convert, where one who has had the Law used to show they are a sinner is a true repentance = true convert. Lastly, Jesus only used "Worker" only twice that was related to salvation gospels. Matt 9:37-38 pray for workers for the "Harvest" is plenty. (Did you know when he said "Harvest" he meant both Wheat and Fishing? Peter was a "Harvest" fisherman with a Net. This is why Jesus said "Fisher of Men = Harvest. Those who understand the OT would know this). Jesus was talking about the need for people to go and share the Gospel. Jesus also in Matt 7:21-23 these are people who said they did much in Jesus name. Jesus called them Workers of Iniquity. Iniquity means Lawlessness. These are people who used a Gospel without using the Law properly to show the reason for the Cross. Jesus never said what they did was wrong in His Name, except the way they shared the Gospel ... they were lawless gospel workers. Matt 10:28 Jesus says "Do not fear him who can harm the body, but rather to fear him who is able to throw you into Hell. Jewishness teaches to fear God. Jesus / Yeshua is God. The verse we just covered Matt 7:21-23 Jesus Himself throws these false "iniquity" gospel believers into hell. Think about it, only 3 chapters after Jesus speaks of "Iniquity" ... Lawless Gospel Workers, he reminds us to FEAR Him who will Judge and throw these false Gospel Workers into hell. I want you to think of the worst thing someone can do to you, something that most could not forgive ... then picture that person arrive with another person ... this other person tells the person who harmed you what to say to apologize to you. (Yes, these are adults). Would you accept the apology??? NO YOU WOULD NOT! Why? Because it was a repetition apology, it had no true remorse/repentance. Now Multiply that wrong by a zillion, this is how much one sin (breaking only one of God's 10 commandments ... ROM 6:23 says "Wages of Sin" ONE SIN, is condemnation to hell for each sinner, each of us) is perceived by God. So why does the Non-Jewish Gentile Christian Church do not understand that if "We" would not accept a repeat after me apology ... that God must? Jewishness of the Gospel helps people to FEAR / RESPECT GOD. Before you try to argue that Workers of Iniquity does not mean those who share a Lawless Gospel ... better ask themselves "Am I ready to be wrong?" ... try to prove this is wrong. You will be unable. If you are wrong, then you are a Worker of Iniquity. (I was one once, but once I took the time and study this ... I saw myself as a worker of iniquity and knew this all fit and I was wrong ... I was sharing a Gospel that was false).
I am a Messianic Jew Pastor. I am not a Rabbi due to I am not fluent in Hebrew. Those here who try to say that the OT is not worthy to understand the Christian faith really do not fully understand the NT without this knowledge of the OT. Those who have attacked (with Replacement Theology and / or possibly even anti-S emetic statements) I give two challenges to think about (1) what if you were a Gentile believer who lived in Antioch, and you have a Damascus Road meeting with Yeshua like Saul / Paul did ... would you actually say what you have posted here to Yeshua / Jesus himself??? and (2) I have often heard "You need Jesus, that is Old Testament" from people they hear me say I am a Messianic Jew. These people only do one of two things after saying this, they either run away, or they just yell louder with scripture I love, but do not always agree on how they interpret it. I believe this is due to they do not know the OT and rarely even know the NT and are afraid to get into the discussion about how the OT helps one to understand the NT because they feel unprepared. (Similar to many who get into a discussion with a evolutionist/atheist) but if they would only take a few minutes and really listen / think of what is being said / written they would learn a little about the faith they are trying to be faithful to.
on October 19, 2013
The Gentilized church which formed after the Apostles died morphed Christian concepts onto Heathen practices. I do not condemn Easter and Christmas for their apparent overlay of Gentile heathenism. They still draw attention to Jesus and preach the message of his birth, death and resurrection.
However the seven feasts of Israel are the prophetic forms of the first then the second coming of Messiah. These festivals and their history aren't the subject of much study by evangelicals. Their meaning is lost on most Christians because of the Jewishness of those festivals which many see as antithetical to "the Church" which is in fact gentilized and has a No-Judaizing allowed mind set. It is taught that returning to the actual form of Judeo-Christianity would be returning to weaker things and that only "the Church" has God's Spirit and teaches Grace. All the New-testament is an addendum to the Old-testament. Jesus said he did not come to destroy the Torah. But modern Church teaching said he fulfilled it "meaning" it could now be run through the shredder. Dr. David Stern addresses that passage and that misconceived teaching.
He, Jesus introduced his topic explaining that He did NOT come to DESTROY the Torah. Proceed with that thought and consider how the four Spring Festivals were fulfilled as prophetic to the events from Jesus' death as the Passover lamb to the giving of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost which commemorated the giving of the Law to Moses by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit given on Pentecost wrote the law on their hearts as prophets foretold. Dr. Stern takes only a few pages to open the case wide of how misconceptions changed the reading of scripture and its very translating.
Jesus is a Jewish King and the Son of David the Jewish King of the tribe of Judah which Jacob prophesied over in Genesis 49:8-12, including "A scepter will never depart from Judah, nor a ruler's staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and the people obey him."
Much of what people write on this book is a passionate appeal to restore the actual pattern of apostolic Christianity while adding there own text not mentioned in Dr. Stern's book. This book inspires one that way and opens eyes in that direction. I noted that too many Christians are quoting John MacArthur saying "All Catholics and Jews are going to Hell". Jews are a FAMILY starting with Judah, son of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of THE Man Abraham. The Family Tribe of Judah existed for centuries in Egypt and after the Exodus the LAW was the given on the 50th day creating the "Jewish Religion" as moderns call it. Jews are a family, not a religion.
Jesus, the Jewish man had Brothers and Sisters whose families would have called Jesus "Uncle." Their children could call him grand-uncle Jesus and their children calling him great-grand-uncle Jesus. Today some Jewish people might still be able to call him their Uncle and that is a family at a kosher picnic to respect.