Archive for 'New Testament and Jewish scholarship'

Tales From the Hollywood Zone: Was Jesus actually married?

You probably heard the story before a hundred times before.

A Catholic scholar, devoted to the Church and its doctrines throughout his life, died and went to Heaven, where he was greeted by St. Peter. For his heavenly reward, the scholar asked to see the heavenly archives where he could examine the original manuscripts of the New Testament. Hours later, St. Peter discovers that the scholar is distraught by what his eyes had discovered. One of the main tenets of the ...

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What Inspired the Rabbis to say, “Thank God for not making me a woman!”? (Part 2)

A Greek Should be Thankful for Three Things . . .

At this point one could ask: What sort of teachings might have inspired Rabbi Judah to formulate these three blessings? There may be two possible sources: Greek or early Christian writings. Of the two choices, I believe the Greek influence is more dominant. However, as we shall soon see, the liturgical texts found in the Cairo Geniza  suggest that the early medieval liturgical scholars may have had Christianity in mind, ...

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What Inspired the Rabbis to say, “Thank God for not making me a woman!”? (Part 1)

As we have pointed out in other postings, a strong case can be made that one of the most serious  “deadly sins” of history is the sin of misogyny. Every faith grapples with this problem in one form or another. In Judaism, there is a well known blessing men say every day upon getting up in the morning:

“Blessed are you, Lord, our God, ruler the universe who has not created me a woman.”

The Original Rabbinical Source of the Blessing

The origin ...

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The Lepers’ Messiah (02/04/10)

The Sages often wondered when and where the Messiah would appear. Despite their reticence to make messianic predictions, the rabbis nevertheless believed that his coming remains an eternal possibility. As for the time when this consummation was to take place, it was generally held to depend on the degree of progress men will have achieved in their moral development.

This point is well illustrated in the well-known Talmudic parable. “Rabbi Joshua ben Levi met Elijah standing at the entrance of Rabbi ...

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Rabbi Shlomo Riskin’s bold acknowlegement of Jesus as a 1st century Sage and “Rabbi”

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin created shock-waves across the Internet by praising Jesus as a sage and even referring to him as “Rabbi Jesus.” For many Modern Orthodox and especially Haredi Jews, this disclosure tarnishes the pristine and almost  iconic status Rabbi Riskin cultivated over the last several decades. To his immense credit, Rabbi Riskin has done more to create a legion of  modern ba’alei tshuva (“returnees”),  who has set a path for aliyah and has emerged as one ...

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