The Rabbi on the Mount:
How Jesus’ Judaism Clarifies the Sermon on the Mount
You can’t interpret scripture properly without understanding its context. When Jesus spoke, Judaism was the context.
The Sermon on the Mount does not read like a sermon to most people. It looks more like a winding, lazy river of unconnected platitudes. No announced topic, not bullet points, no summary…
But that’s not how it really was. To Jewish students of an authoritative Rabbi of the Second Temple period, it may have been surprising but it made perfect sense. Rabbi Jesus, employing methods common to Rabbis of His time, was preparing His students for the community of the Kingdom of God, and they got the message. He was doing it for us, the Church that He knew He was planting, as much as He was doing it for them.
“The Rabbi on the Mount” presents details from history, scripture, and the writings of the Jewish sages of Jesus’ day that illuminate what Jesus would have meant by many of the things He said in the Sermon and explain how His students would have taken His words. Learning the facts about Jesus’ Jewish culture and religion sheds much-needed light on this crucial teaching by the Master.
6″ x 9″ paperback, 217 pages. $15 plus shipping.
Kindle e-book. $8.
He’s Greater Than You Know
An inquisitive Christian challenged participants in a chat room to answer five questions that, to him, made Evangelical Christianity seem incoherent. I responded out of my own wrestling with the faith, and “He’s Greater Than You Know” is the result. I respectfully decline the pat answers taught in Evangelical circles, finding instead coherent explanations for hard questions from my experiences with God and from practical readings of the words of Jesus and the Apostles. My answers embrace honest inquiry and modern science, honor the historic orthodoxy of the Christian faith, and provide a sound, intellectual basis for a living relationship with a real and active God.
6″ x 9″ paperback, 156 pages. $9.95 plus shipping.
Kindle e-book, $2.95.