Posts Tagged ‘New Testament’

The New Testament from a Jewish Perspective

In 06 Scripture & Theology on 2015/02/06 at 12:00 AM

NOSTRA AETATE (Nostra Aetate is the Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions of the Second Vatican Council.)  50 years later:

Jewish scholarship on the New Testament has greatly increased in number since NOSTRA AETATE. While there was some Jewish scholarship on the New Testament over the centuries before NOSTRA AETATE, Jews in general have not desired to read or understand the New Testament. This has mostly been due to the harsh statements made by Jesus about Jews and their religious leader in the Gospel, and the accusation by the Church that “Jews killed our Lord.” Centuries of violent and often deadly persecution, pogroms, expulsions, lies and suffering followed. Jews stayed away from this dangerous text, and even those Jewish scholars who wrote about the New Testament, were not widely read by other Jews.

However, three events in the 1940’s prompted a change in Jewish interest in studying the New Testament and in Christian interest in Jewish scholarship on the New Testament. These events are the Holocaust, the birth of the State of Israel, and the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  The first two were traumatic events that changed relations between Christians and Jews, mostly among clergy, religious, and scholars. Christians began to question what elements in the long development of Christian theology contributed to the Holocaust, while the birth of the State of Israel prompted Christians to ask about God’s character of faithfulness in His covenant to the Jewish people, when the status of the Jewish people changed from wandering to returning home.

Nostra Aetate followed in the 1960’s, opening a new chapter in Christian thinking about Jews, Judaism, and

our relationship to the Jewish community. The church admitted it had been wrong about God revoking the covenant between God and Israel. The covenant was indeed a living covenant, never having been revoked. It also rescinded the deicide charge–“the Jews killed our Lord”–against the Jewish people. Other Christian denominations followed suit and began to reach out to Jews and to the Jewish community. Jews responded, and Christian-Jewish dialogue followed in full force. Jesus’ identity as a Jew, faithful to Judaism, was affirmed by the Church, and Christian scholars became interested in studying the Jewish Jesus to understand the specifically Jewish context and Jewish faith in which Jesus taught. The church needed help from Jewish scholars to accomplish this.

Jewish scholars also became interested in pursuing the New Testament for a number of different reasons, e.g., it was written by Jews and could be studied from a Jewish perspective, it contained elements of Second Temple Judaism not available in other Jewish sources. As Amy Jill-Levine stated in an interview about her book, The Jewish Annotated New Testament, “The more I study the New Testament the better Jew I become.” Likewise, Brad Young, a Christian scholar who studied under David Flusser, a Jewish scholar of the New Testament, said, “If we do not know Jesus as a Jew, we do not know Jesus.”

Because we are often taught by rabbis, and study Jewish sources to understand scripture more fully, we want to offer this study as a way of exposing the breadth of Jewish scholarship on the New Testament that are available, to understand the history and development of this particular scholarship, and to gain new insights into Jesus’ teachings for our faith, life, and discipleship.

At the invitation of the Winnipeg Bat Kol Tri-Diocesan Committee Sister Lucy Thorson gave a conference to a crowd of approximately seventy people on the topic Modern Milestones in Catholic Jewish Relations. Using a power point to illustrate her lecture, Sister Lucy identified the step by step developments within the Church regarding our relationship with Judaism and our Jewish brothers and sisters. Her presentation itemized the various documents, declarations and activities of the Church through the terms of Popes John XXIII, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis. We were led to understand how significant each moment in this history was and how profoundly the Church’s stance has changed during the almost 50 years since Nostra Aetate was written in 1965. Nostra Aetate is the Declaration on the Church’s Relationship to Non- Christian Religions, one of the most influential and celebrated documents of the Second Vatican Council.

Rabbi Alan Green offered insights and perspectives from his experience in dialogue. He noted the accomplishments to date and invited us to consider what the next steps might be here in Winnipeg, challenging the group to consider what steps would be necessary to move forward together and to include Muslims in our dialogue. Rabbi Green brought the evening to a close with a prayerful Shabbat chant.

From the Newsletter of the Sisters of Sion: Dynamic Movement of the Holy Spirit



The Way to Follow Jesus: The Gospel of Mark

In 15 Audio on 2014/06/27 at 12:00 AM

Host – Dr. Tim Gray

Dr. Tim Gray is the quintessential college professor: he knows and loves his subject, and is committed to passing on what he has learned to his students. His enthusiasm for the truths contained in the Gospel of Mark is catching, as evidenced by these round-table seminars with college students. This is one course you are guaranteed not to sleep through, and the wisdom gleaned will redound to you eternal credit.

The Way to Follow Jesus: The Gospel of Mark

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Program Name

Audio File Name – Click to download


Introduction to the Gospel 

Host – Dr. Tim Gray



The Good News of the Gospel 

Host – Dr. Tim Gray



The Good News of the Kingdom, part 2 

Host – Dr. Tim Gray



Demise of the Demons 

Host – Dr. Tim Gray



Fear and Faith 

Host – Dr. Tim Gray



Problem of Parables 

Host – Dr. Tim Gray



Miracles of the Bread 

Host – Dr. Tim Gray



The Blind Shall See 

Host – Dr. Tim Gray



How Long Will They Not Believe? 

Host – Dr. Tim Gray



I Come to Serve, Not Be Served 

Host – Dr. Tim Gray



Jesus’ Royal Entry into Jerusalem 

Host – Dr. Tim Gray



Widow’s Offering in the Temple 

Host – Dr. Tim Gray



Discipleship during the Passion and Crucifixion 

Host – Dr. Tim Gray


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Children’s Project

In 11 Joanna Bogle on 2013/01/25 at 9:11 AM

Over 2,000 Catholic children…

…at schools around Britain, have sent in entries for the School RE Project launched jointly by the Catholic Truth Society and theAssociation of Catholic Women. This is awesome! The children were invited to write about Christ performing miracles, and were given specific instructions: they had to look up certain New Testament references and show an understanding of the events involved (they were given specific miracles to study, including Christ calming the storm at sea).Deadline for entries was yesterday, and sifting and judging is now taking place. We have two trophies to award, one for older children and one for younger, plus a large number of prizes and certificates. An initial sweep through a range of entries indicates that some are very good indeed – in fact, really touching and inspiring to read – some are poor, the vast majority show a grasp of Christ as God the Son and some one to be loved…I suspect that this must be the biggest single venture undertaken by any Catholic women’s organisation in Britain in recent years. We launched the RE Project a few years ago, and it has grown steadily. At first, we simply sent out brochures to schools, addressing hundreds of envelopes by hand. Then we got our website organised, and things grew a bit more. Then, this year, we decided to contact the CTS and see if they were interested…Next time some one tells you that everything in the Church is hopeless, all-going-downhill, everything-has-gone-wrong-since Vatican-II etc etc, read them the above.

Fr. Kenneth Baker – Inside the Bible

In 15 Audio on 2011/11/02 at 11:11 PM

Inside the Bible

Host – Fr. Kenneth Baker

Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J. presents all 72 books of the Bible in a seamless and magisterial narrative. Outlining each book, he shows how Sacred Scripture reveals God’s Mind to us: who we are; why the world is here; and what God wants us to do to reach the fullness of our humanity. He reveals how the story of Israel is also our story as individuals.

Please click on this link to access these programs:  http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/seriessearchprog.asp?seriesID=6029&T1=Baker

1.The Pentateuch: Introduction to the series. The Bible is a difficult book to read; one book with 73 chapters.  Letters all from one author. Faith of Abraham.

In Leviticus there is that sense of “holiness”. Holiness of being separate and apart. A sort of holiness code is presented.

2.Deuteronomy-Faithfulness to the Creator. Joshua-If one is faithful one will be rewarded if not, punishment.

JudgesProblem of falling into idolatry.

Ruth- is a morality play. Universality of Godʼs love.

3.Second Samuel/Historical books. Throne of David. Jesus is a Son of David. Kings- Solomon asked for wisdom not wealth or power.

Elisha and Elijah, idea of the remnant.

Chronicles-concerned about worship in the Temple. God uses secondary causes to show his will. God is the master of history, he permits things for his own mysterious purposes.

4.The Book of Tobit…More historical books of the Bible.

Tobit- a good man is persecuted for keeping his faith in a foreign land.

Judith-a story of Divine Providence. Courage and virtue, God using someone faithful to the Covenant.

Maccabees- Theocracy established, rule by Priests. Persecution of the people. Encouragement to resist paganism.

Job- problem of evil in the world. Suffering by those who are just.

5. The Wisdom Books and the Psalms

Psalms-Poetry written to be sung. Some are messianic, some wisdom and some historical.

Proverbs-fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Filial fear.

Ecclesiastes fragility of human existence.

Songs-a celebration of love and mutual love that leads to marriage. Spousal love.

Wisdom-wise person follows the laws of the Lord. Recounts wonders God has done for Israel. Essay against idolatry.

Sirach-practical, moral wisdom. Christ is the wisdom of God.

6.The Prophets: Prophets are the conscience of Israel.

Isaiah-the faithful remnant.

Jeremiah- aware of personal responsibility.

Baruch-denounces idol worship.

Ezekiel-description of the new law/New Testament.

7.The Minor Prophets

Daniel-a book of resistance.

Hosea-steadfast love, relationship, separation, rejoining, a symbol of God and Israel. Joel-coming of the Lord. Amos-very somber and serious, denouncing sin.

Obadiah-depicts destruction.

Jonah-Godʼs love of mankind extends to all people.

Micah-predicts destruction, but a remnant will survive.

8.The Minor Prophets Part 2

Nahum-fall of Nineveh and Assyrian Empire.

Habakkuk-problem of evil. How God permits his ends to be accomplished through unbelievers. Rebellion against Godʼs law.

Zechariah- universalism, Godʼs love extends to all. Mal.-proclaims Godsʼ word to people who are self-centered.

9.Matthew, Mark, Luke, John… The Gospels are good news, different angles of the same subject.

Matthew-written for Jews,notion of promise and fulfillment.

Mark-suffering Messiah. Luke-presence of God with his people.

John-transcendence of Jesus Christ.

10.Acts, Romans, Corinthians, Galatians

Acts-account of the Church after the Resurrection.

Romans-justification which makes one pleasing to God is available to everyone.

Corinthians-urges unity in Church, love of God urges Paul on. Galatians-one does not have to be Jewish to be Christian.

11.Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians

Ephesians-a mystery has been revealed to us. Jesus Christ. possesses fullness of all reality.

Philippians-urges us to imitate Jesus Christ. Colossians- image of the invisible God.

Thessalonians-Primacy of Christ as Redeemer

12.Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, Peter:

Timothy-all scripture is inspired by God.

Titus-advice about false teachers.

Hebrews theological interpretation of Old Testament. Jesus as Son of God, Savior and eternal high priest.

James-practical letter.

13.John, Jude, Revelation:

John- truth of the Gospels. Jude-hints at doctrine of Trinity. Strong doctrinal and moral sense.

Revelation.-God, absolute Lord of History. Ends on a joyous note.

Please click on this link to access these programs:http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/seriessearchprog.asp?seriesID=6029&T1=Baker