What is the oil?

They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

Matthew 25:3-4 (KJV)

Oil – There’s been much debate over exactly what the oil represents in this parable. I know I’ve had many conversations on this topic myself. Is it the Holy Spirit? Is it our faith? What is the oil? Continue reading “What is the oil?”

Destroying an Idiom

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

Matthew 5:17 (KJV)

Destroy/Fulfill – How many times have we heard that because Yeshua fulfilled the law, we don’t have to? Somehow we’ve come to believe that since Yeshua fulfilled the law, it has no purpose for us, or rather that it’s been destroyed. But this is all because we lack the basic cultural understanding of this idiom. Continue reading “Destroying an Idiom”

Defining a Fool

Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

Luke 24:25 (KJV)

O Fools – April 1st was a day to recognize the foolish, to play jokes, and act silly, so I thought it fitting to touch on whom Yeshua considers foolish in this world. The word here in Greek is anoētos which doesn’t quite line up with our idea of silliness or playfully foolish. It’s much more severe. Continue reading “Defining a Fool”

Imitation is the Highest Form of Flattery

And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

Matthew 4:19 (KJV)

Follow me – The words used by Yeshua to select his disciples seem so simple, don’t they? Just follow Him. He’s heading to the kingdom, so I’ll head that way too. But while focusing our attention on the end goal, some of us might forget about what’s happening here and now – our daily walk. Upon accepting the invitation of “follow me”, the disciple was to conform his life to become like the Rabbi in every way. Continue reading “Imitation is the Highest Form of Flattery”

A Renewed Covenant

For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

Hebrews 8:8 (KJV)

New – Boy don’t we love these words! If there’s a new covenant, then surely we can dismiss that old one which was full of laws and regulations. We might conclude that Yeshua created a new covenant for a new time – the age of Christianity. If this was the case, then the author of Hebrews would have surely used the Greek word neo denoting something “new in time”. But this isn’t the word being used. The Greek word here is kainos which has a different meaning. Continue reading “A Renewed Covenant”

Disobedience is Rewarded with Punishment

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

John 3:36 (KJV)

Believeth not – Do you think it mattered if Noah actually believed God was going to open the depths of earth and the skies above to bring a flood? Do you think it mattered if Joshua believed God would mysteriously destroy Jericho after blowing trumpets and shouting at it? The answer is “no”. All that mattered was for them to perform what God instructed. Their job was to listen and obey. They were not asked to take counsel with God on whether or not this approach would work, or how exactly the waters might flood the earth – they were given a command and expected to follow through. Continue reading “Disobedience is Rewarded with Punishment”

Believing is Obedience

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

John 3:36 (KJV)

Believeth – What does it mean to believe? Greek theology would have you interpret belief as an internal state of cognition. As long as your neurons transmit the correct signals of belief that Yeshua is the Son of God, then all is well. You will receive everlasting life. And thus we have the doctrine of the separation between faith and works – a Greek theological doctrine. But to the Hebrew, there is no separation. Faith without works is dead. Continue reading “Believing is Obedience”

No Child Left Behind

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Matthew 28:19 (ESV)

Make disciples – How does one make a disciple? Perhaps many of us would envision ourselves carrying out the Great Commission by going forward to educate people about Christ. We might set up schools in foreign countries, start up Bible classes, or pass out tracks on the street corners. The sole purpose would be to educate others about Yeshua in a form of information distribution, and as George W. Bush said during his presidency, no child would be left behind. Continue reading “No Child Left Behind”

Church or Synagogue?

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.

1 Thessalonians 1:1 (ESV)

Church – was it really a church as we know it today?  The Greek word is ekklēsia, perhaps you’ve heard it before.  The most accepted western definition for ekklēsia is “church”, but unfortunately that’s not what it means.  Ekklēsia in Classical Greek was used as a “town assembly” unrelated to a religious gathering.  It’s a town hall meeting.  This should come as a surprise.  With that common understanding during the time of Paul’s letter writing, how did it become so tightly linked with the followers of Yeshua? Continue reading “Church or Synagogue?”