4 Elements of Teshuvah

Teshuvah means repentance. Maimonides (Rambam) recorded in the Mishneh a formula for complete repentance.

What is repentance? The sinner shall cease sinning, and remove sin from his thoughts, and wholeheartedly conclude not to revert back to it, even as it is said: “Let the wicked forsake his way” (Is. 55.7); so, too, shall he be remorseful on what was past, even as it is said: “Surely after that I was turned, I repented” (Jer. 31. 19). In addition thereto he should take to witness Him Who knoweth all secrets that forever he will not turn to repeat that sin again, according to what it is said: “Say unto Him.… neither will we call any more the work of our hands our gods” (Hos. 14.3–4). It is, moreover, essential that his confession shall be by spoken words of his lips, and all that which he concluded in his heart shall be formed in speech.

Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Chapter 2 (c.1176 – c.1178 CE)

Continue reading “4 Elements of Teshuvah”

Good and Evil

And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.

Genesis 1:31

Tov

Good – Would it surprised you to know that the word good is not based on morality? When God saw everything that he had made, he wasn’t saying that everything was righteous or morally good. He wasn’t stating that it was pleasant to look upon and enticing to the eye. So what was His meaning? Continue reading “Good and Evil”

East vs. West Worldviews

East vs. West worldviews. As I’ve mentioned before, one’s cultural upbringing directly influences one’s worldview. Eastern and Western cultures are very different in many ways and these differences affect our perceptions in life, our societal relationships, and interpretations – especially those of Scripture. Scripture was written by people who were raised in a very eastern (Hebraic) worldview, but we tend to read it from a western worldview perspective, so often times we miss the little nuances that would otherwise impact how we might interpret the text. Continue reading “East vs. West Worldviews”

Hebrew Worldview Compared to the Greek

We live in a Greek-based society under a Greek-structured government and taught according to the Greek-model of education. It’s no wonder that we view the world from the Greek paradigm.

This effects every facet of our lives, and directly influences our interpretation of scripture. But did you know there’s a Hebrew world view? There’s a mind set that is shared among the writers of the Bible that differs substantially from our current day viewpoint. I’d like to address the more obvious differences below. Continue reading “Hebrew Worldview Compared to the Greek”