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03/22/2011

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Prof Ira

Thank you for writing, Gary.

As for your question: The traditional Jewish belief (of which I share, being a Jew) is that Jesus was not the Messiah and could not be son of God in a literal sense. While there is indeed overlap between these two great relgions, the idea of God having a son is simply incongruant with the traditional Jewish understanding of God. Trinitarism is fully not part of Judaism.

As for the Messiah, the Jewish view is that he will be a mere mortal who will lead Isarel and all mankind into a golden age, which has yet to be realized.

In short, yes, Jews still await the coming of the Messiah, whoever that person will be.

Again, thank you for writing.

Shalom!

Gary

You honor Paul for turning the message of Jesus into a religion in his name that totally dwarfs Judaism...but you ignore the fact that the first Christ must be a farce for your new Christ to come? You are still waiting for the true Jeshua..
Right?

Prof Ira

Thanks, again, Tranna, for your newest comment! As to your questions/comments--there is much in what you say. Women were not treated in the same manner as men in ancient times. That said, within Judaisim, women were not the same, but one could say that such fact did not mean that they were treated poorly. Thus, for example, a husband was (and is, to this day) obligated to satisfy his wife; she has no such obligation to satisfy him. In fact, the "ketubah," the marriage contract, is unilateral in nature: the husband makes promises to the wife (to pay for medical expenses, to feed her, clothe her, ransom her). If you are interested, you can check this out for a sample ketubah and explanation. http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/9290-ketubah While this might seem unusual from our p;respective, from a perspective of 3,000 years ago, this was nothing if not revolutionary.

Thanks, again, for writing!

Ira

Tranna

Thank you for your quick response! I must confess the Anglosized names of the disciples made me ask myself what else did the translators "editorialize" in order to satisfy the monarch that commissioned the work. Certainly, when it comes to education, the poor seldom had the opportunity to go to school for any length of time. In England and other countries, the Bible was used as the primary teaching tool and school for the poor was the responsibility of the church. The teachings put the fear of God in people to promote obedience and control the masses. An example of religion used as a political tool to control society can be identified in the legal position that women in society intrinsically as being of less value than men as seen in their struggle to be recognized as "Persons in the eyes of the law", in the restriction placed on physians prohibiting them from informing women about how their reproductive system worked, and women being viewed as chattel or simply one of their husband's possessions! I could go on, but I am sure that these beliefs and values were not the word of God! What are your thoughts about my suspicions?

Prof Ira

What a great question, Tranna! In short, yes, I do believe that the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures (what Jews call the Torah) are we're authored by God. I also believe that the balance of the Hebrew Scriptures were authored by men inspired by God. Of course, we do not have the original holographs, making biblical scholarship truly worthwhile. Additonally, the Hebrew Scritpures (what Christians know as the Old Testament) were intended for the Jewish people, although history clearly tells us that other people derive great understanding from reading these works.

Of course, as a Jew, I do not believe that the Christian Scriptures (what Christians know as the New Testament) were Divinely authored or inspired. If I did, I would be Christian! Needless to say, I say this with the utmost respect.

Along these lines, Paul of Tarsus was a brilliant man. He took the religion of Jesus and turned it into a religion about Jesus. In the process, he made his works universal--not just for Greeks or Roman's, but for anyone. Brilliant, truly brilliant. Which probably explains why there are 15 million Jews today and 2 billion Christians.

Thanks for reading my blog and commenting. I hope you will continue to do so!

Shalom!

Ira

Tranna

I have a broader question that relates to the topic of biblical translations. I have always known that those Anglosized names were not the real names of the disciples. I understand the rationale of giving the disciples common non-Jewish names so that Enish speaking people could better relate to the stories of Christ. On thinking about the licence taken by the translators, I wonder just how far they went to making the stories from a foreign culture fit into their readers' culture. I am a teacher who taught students concepts that were foreign to many of them. As such, I needed to frame my explanations in a way that they could embrace and explore. Language is important because the meaning of our culture and its beliefs and values are embedded in the words and the context in which they are used. Are you confident that the lessons taught in the Bible truly represent the word of God?

Prof Ira

Thank you so much, Tony, for reading my blog and for your nice comment. There are some English-language Bibles out there that use the Hebraic names of Jesus and the others (e.g. Miriam for Mary). You can find these on line. Thanks again, and please visit again soon!

Ira

Tony Wankadia

Thank you for this commentary on the correct names.It is high time that publishers and translators of bibles into English made the public aware of the correct names by putting in the correct names in the bibles in English. I think it is blasphemy to invent names that have no meaning .
Yeshua (Jesus) was Hebrew and so were his disciples and their actual names should appear in the English bibles.
Thank you.

Prof Ira

Thank you, Rahul, for taking the time to read my blog and for your comment. I was especially intrigued with the Indian connection you presented. Fascinating! Thank you again. Shalom!

Ira

Rahul Bhattacharya

Thank you for this well researched and highly informative post.
I was especially interested to see that the original Aramaic or Hebrew names are closely similar to Christian names in South India.
My mother belongs to the Syrian Christian community of Kerala in India. This is a population that is descended (or converted by) Syrian traders from the time of Christ.
While modern names within the community tend to be more Anglicized, the traditional names have survived the millennia. Chako (Jacob), Mathai (Matthew), Ouseph (Joseph), Yohan (John), Thoma (Thomas), Avira (Abraham) and Chandy (Alexander) are all common names within this community.

Prof Ira

Hi Lionel.

Thank you so much for reading my blog and commenting with your kind words. Of course, feel free to use this post for your ministry. I would be honored, sir.

Thank you.

Ira

E. Lionel Perry

Ira,
Thank you very much for this information sir. It had been on my mind for quite some time to find out the actual Hebrew, ethnic origins of the Apostle's names to share in my ministry if you don't object. I am a truth seeker and I like to refer to Jesus with His Jewish name, so this was truly helpful to me.I feel that true education needs to be dismmenated to all.

Prof Ira

Hi Kendra. Good question! The names became Anglicized when English-speaking Bibles came into use. Here is a citation that you may find interesting. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible_translations_into_English I hope this helps you out. Thank you for reading my blog and for writing. Shalom!

Prof Ira

Kendra

Hi - At what point were the names Anglicized then?

Prof Ira

Thanks so much for writing, Chris. Your points are well taken. Here is another: Isn't it fascinating that Jews had Greek names, when the Maccabees began their rebellion against the Greco-Syrians in 175 B.C.E. to stop assimilation and eradication of Judaism. So the Maccabees won, and Hellenization still made its way into the culture. Sigh.

Oh, and please forgive me for taking time to replay. I have been having a technical problem.

Thanks for commenting.

Shalom.

chris M

May I add, There is people named Joshua in New Testament, there is no way any of the Gospel writers would have translated Their own Jewish names unless they had to and where ever they do it is mentioned.Levi- Matthew, Emmanuel/ Joshua/ Jesus , Peter Simon Cephas.When John the Baptist is named, Angel gives the name. When Jesus is named Angel gives the name. Why would gospel writer go to that length to tell where name came from then afterwards Translate it. Even those who first wrote it in Greek could have mentioned as in other passages where second names are mentioned.

chris M

Interesting discussion
But why does there seem to be a understanding that Hebrews didnt get greek names? Paul is identified with both Saul and Paul. So is Peter and Cephas and Simon. Gospels go to length to explain these names. Maybe they just had Greek names just as today most people have english names even though they are not english.

Ira Shafiroff

Thank you for reading my blog, Michael, and for commenting. The research you did on Andrew is interesting. I have learned something! As for Philip, as I indicated in the post, I just can't identify him with a Hebrew counter-part. So, you and I both remain in the dark. Perhaps someone else will be able to shed some light. Again, many thanks for reading my blog.

Ira

Michael Nelson

I have been kicking this name thing around for a while, and learning some Hebrew as a practical hobby. When I searched for a meaning of the name Andrew, I came back with manly. When I used Google translate I tried both manly and masculine, the result was the same Hebrew word, gabri. To me, this makes sense with the Hebrew name, Gabriel, meaning, man of God. So, Andrew's real name may have simply been Gabri. The one I am really having trouble with is, Philip. From Greek, it translates to, friend of horses. My searches have returned that there is no Hebrew equivalent. From cross-reference searches, I have found merea and chaver both translate to, friend, and horses is soosim. I have no idea if these have ever been used as names. Any thoughts? If anyone sees this, and has any input, my email address is howardstreethooligans@gmail.com

Ira Shafiroff

First, thanks for writing, Matthew! Second, as to your comment, you may well be totally correct. It is interesting why Andrew has a Greek name. Here is another explanation, which is not in any way inconsistent with your explanation: From a perspective of Biblical scholarship, we know that the first of the cannonized Gospels (Mark) was not written until 70 C.E. Thus, if these scholars are correct, we have a forty year delay from the time time that Jesus died until the Gospel was written. Many things can change or be reshaped during a forty year oral tradition that starts with Aramaic and/or Hebrew and ends up in Greek. Maybe Andrew's name was one of them. I don't know and, again, your explanation may be totally correct.

Thank you for writing, friend. Please continue to comment.

Shalom.

Ira

matthew callaghan

I still do not understand why Andrew, only known by a Greek name, be a brother of Simon Peter who was know by a Hebrew name. Could they have possibly been half brothers in a family where Andrew was of mixed blood?

Ira Shafiroff

Hello Simon! Thank you for commenting. The point that you raise is fascinating. I don't knwo the answer to it, but the answer you suggested could well be correct. What I wonder about is whether there is some lost Gospel that was written in Aramaic. Perhaps an original autograph would help solve the problem. Again, I don't know, but I thank you for reading my blog and commenting.

Shalom!

Ira

simon speechley

If Andreas is Greek for man (andros) wouldn't the Hebrew/Aramaic form be Adam? I guess the writers did not want to confuse the readers with so many men named 'Judas' or confuseAdam for the second Adam (Yehoshua). There is a lot of theologizing in many small words in NT.

(This just guess, I have no academic qualification to assert - am I on right lines?)

Ira Shafiroff

Hi Lea! Thank you for reading my blog. I am so glad you found it. Thank you also for taking the time to comment. Your view is a thoughtful and sincere one and is held by many Christians. I take a different path (and I say this with the utmost respect), as one who does not believe Jesus was the Messiah. In this regard, I quote from the ancient rabbis: "The righteous of all nations have a share in the World to Come." Who are the righteous? Those who practice the Seven Laws of Noah. See http://www.jesusandtheprofessor.com/2011/08/a-virtuous-life-for-jew-or-gentile.html This is the post that begins the explanation of the laws of Noah. You, undoubtedly, are a loving child of Noah.

Again, thank you for writing.

Oh, and by the way, I will soon be adding more posts.

Shalom!!

Ira

Lea

Hello! I ran across this blog as I was doing research on Peter. I have been studying Shem Tob's Hebrew Matthew and the "Roman Catholic Church". I would like to take a moment and reflect on something that may be the Big Picture rather than one of a smaller brush..... The moment that we accept Yeshua/Jesus we become apart of the house of Israel. We are no longer lost. We are grafted into through Abraham. The house of Israel is apart of the grafted ones of Joseph~ Mannaseh and Ephraim from an Egyptician "Gentile" mother but Jacob adopts them as his own. Look at the book of Revelation and how Mannaseh is apart of the tribe. We were adopted into Israel if we do not have any blood lines from The house of Judah (Jews). There are many different ways how the Bible talks about certain groups of people and identifies them and calls them as such. Where the two sticks join and become one again, Ezekiel 37:16. Be blessed. YeHoVah does not and will never be able to be put into a box. He is everywhere. If you are not under the house of Israel serving the Almighty what house do we belong or who do we serve? We can only serve One master. Shalom! Lea

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