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03/22/2011

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Prof Ira

That is a great question, Randi. I think it has to do with "John the Baptist," but you are right. Jews are named Peter, etc. John is not common. That said, I actually know a Jewish John, who is the "gabbai" (the person who helps run the service) at my synogogue. Maybe someone out there has a better answer.

Anyway, thank you for writing.

Shalom!

Randi Neil

Forgive me if this is a stupid or obvious question, but why do modern-day Jews still largely refrain from naming their sons John? I know many Jews named Peter, Paul, Matthew, Mark and James. Also, many Jonathans but no Johns.

Prof Ira

I wish you much success in all your endeavors! Shalom!

Prof Ira

I wish you well and much success.Thank you for reading my blog.

Shalom!

Wisdom Asuquo

Please sir, i forgot to tell you that our members do not want to buy or read the bibles we have here anymore. We need the original Hebrew Bible. Please it's urgent

Wisdom Asuquo

Thank you sir, am from Biafra in Africa, i shall be learning a lot from you. We have changed our church from sunday to Shabbat and my name is Wisdom Asuquo, an Apostle of Yahshua Ha-Mashiach by the will of Yahweh

Prof Ira

Thank you, Bharath for reading my blog and for commenting.

Shalom!

Bharath

The Hebrew or Aramaic pronunciation is very similar to my mother tongue which is recognised as the oldest language in the world

Prof Ira

Thank you, Kyle, for reading my blog and for posting! I just want to say that, notwithstanding the differences between our religions and the different interpretations, today is not what it was hundreds or even decades ago in the world of Jewish-Christian relations, especially in America. As you know, the evangelical community is among the strongest supporters of Israel.

Shalom, my friend!

Ira

Kyle N. Hornsey

Thanks Ira.
I am posting another blog on guvsdesk.blogspot.com.au as we open Matthew's Gospel to show our readers that 'Mattityahu' must be read from a Jewish perspective. The Hebraic/Aramaic names may look strange to us but when a Jew first opens the B'rit Hadashah they are thrilled to learn that the 'Christian' Jesus is actually a Jew and the real Messiah. No wonder us Christians cause such offence and get so confused over ch24!

Prof Ira

First, thanks for reading my blog, B.J.

As to your thoughtful questions, please let me state right up front that the questions you ask are generally beyond my capabilities to answer. Still, I will give it a shot.

As to the Arab-Isareli conflict, I don't think that holding to certain names would have changed or affected the outcome. The problem today, which has its modern roots going back some 70 years, is not about names. Rather is is about land and religion.

As for the Hebrew names of God, I agree that the English renditions of God's various names (or Names), loses something in the translation. Still, I also believe that spreading the teachings of God in the language that more people can understand is a good thing.

As for who is an "original" descendant of the ancient Jews and other lands, I think that is not critical at all. This is because within Judaism, anyone who converts to Judaism is a Jew. Period. Whether or not someone can trace his biological roots to Abraham is not important. What is important is that someone is a Jew, and this is so regardless of his or her level of observance. As I have said and written, through the centuries, when evildoers have persecuted and murdered Jews, they did not first ask whether their victims kept kosher.

I hope my answers help somewhat. I hope you will continue reading my blog and comment again.

Shalom!

Ira

B. J. Miller

What impact do you think it would have had on the current Middle East crisis if Christians had to use the Mediterranean sounding names of the region in their Bibles? Another issue is the Hebrew names of God? Should not have been given translations. Also what do you say about the original people of the area? The Old Testament constantly refers to the sons of Abraham cohabiting with the sons of Ham. Where do you weigh in as a Jew on the argument about who is a biological descendent of Abraham?

Prof Ira

Hello Pastor. Thank you for reading my blog. In answer to your question, I think the Complete Jewish Study Bible may be of assistance to you. Here are the links: http://www.biblestudytools.com/cjb/. https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Jewish-Study-Bible-Illuminating/dp/1619708698 I hope this helps. I will also email you. Shalom!

mukisa isaac

AM ISAAC MUKISA FROM UGANDA,HELP ME WITH A HEBREW BIBLE,I HAVE BEEN A CHRISTIAN PASTOR, BUT AFTER YAHSUA TOLD ME THAT I SHOULD WORSHIP HIM IN HIS REAL NAME,I HAD TO CHANGE,JUST PRAY FOR ME,AM THE PERSON WHO BELIEVES IN YAHSUA IN UGANDA,Shlifaah@gmail.com

Prof Ira

I am sending you an email, Arlon. (And thanks for reading my blog.)

Ira

Arlon Stubbe

I am currently finishing a novel based on the Jesus narrative, primarily using the synoptic gospels, and came across your article on "Hebrew Names for Jewish Apostles." I'd like permission to use the spelling of names you refer to in that article instead of the westernized forms that are normally seen.

I'd credit you with that use and list the link for your article in a preface to my book, if given permission to do so. I realize that the names themselves are not sourced only by you, but out of courtesy I'd like to mention you as my source and give readers the opportunity to explore your articles/blogs for themselves.

Please respond to this request via e-mail, if possible. See my info below.

Prof Ira

Thank you so much, Marc, for reading my blog and taking the time to comment. Please forgive me for not responding sooner. Thank you also for your kind words. I appreciate it greatly. Your book sounds fascinating and I wish you much success with it.

Shalom!

Ira

Marc Stutzel

Excellent. A nice summary of what it took me many years to research decades ago. I found this page as part of my current interfaith / environmental book research.
'It Only Gets Better".
Seven spiritual warriors guided by the Divine time travel to change the past to save the future.
I love the "Deeds not creeds" like my favorite archaic Hebrew proverb.
"Actions speak louder then prayers" Blessings Marc

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

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