« Preaching, Healing, and Casting Out Devils | Main | Judas Iscariot »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Prof Ira

Thank you for writing, Paul. To be sure, there is a biological component to Judaism. If one's mother is a Jew when one is born, the latter is a Jew. Jews don't agree on much, but on this point, all are in agreement. That said, blood is not the essence of Judaism. Here's proof: both Isaac and Ishmael were the children of Abraham, but the covenant decends to Isaac only. Similarly, Jacob and Esau were the children of Isaac but, again, the covenant decends to Jacob only. Moreover, the ancestor of the Messiah, whether one takes the Jewish view or the Christian view of the Messiah's identity, is Ruth, who was a convert to Judaism.

As I say, blood is an aspect of Judaism, but the essence of Judaism is obeying the commandments, which anyone not born a Jew can do by becoming a Jew by choice.

Again, thank you for reading my blog and for taking the time to comment.


Paul Jules

It is true that a person can convert to Jewdism, However if you look at the tex of the Bible or the Torah it is clear that a blood line is of great significance. A people can be robed of there beliefs but can never loose there blood line .

Prof Ira

I've never heard of any of this before, but thank you for reading my blog and for commenting.


Isaac Shtyllas

All the apostles believed that Jesus was
Isaac. Abraham was sterile could not bare children and Isaac was the creation from the word of GOD which is His breath. However , Abel, Jacob and Jesus are the same spirtual person . Abraham was Adam.

Prof Ira

A couple of points, Dana. First, you are right in that many (sometimes me, too), refer to someone as "Jewish" when they should be referred to as "Jews." The reason for the "Jewish" terminology is that there was a historically "bad" implication from using the term "Jew" to describe someone. This started with the Gospel of John, where the author writes about "the Jews" opposing Jesus. Second, the people of Eastern European background are Jews. Like it or not, we (yes, we) are Jews. The essence of Judaism is not biological, although there is a biological component (if one's mother is a Jew, the child is a Jew). The essence of Judaism is behavior, as circumscribed by the commandments of the Torah. One who is not a Jew by birth may convert. Hence, the idea of who is a Jew based on DNA is irrelevant. One may be a Jew by birth, but one may also be a Jew by conversion. Indeed, Ruth, the ancestor of King David (and the Messiah, and no, we Jews do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah), was a convert to Judaism. Would anyone deny that Ruth was a Jew?

Thank you for writing, Dana.



They were not Jew"ish", they were Jews. There's a big difference. The ones from antiquity were of the bloodline of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the modern day ones are Eastern Europeans or Khazars who converted to Judaism in 740 AD.

Prof Ira

Thank you for writing, Kinkade. I have never heard of Gary as a variant of Matt, but I am not an expert on names, not by any means. Here is a link to Wikedpia that sheds some light on the name GARY. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_(given_name) Shalom!


i mean is Gary another name for Matt please answer pastor thank you very much


is matt another name for peter

Prof Ira

Thank you for writing, Shiloh. Why was Simon called "the Zealot"? It is not clear. Some scholars believe it is because of his zealousness in his faith. Others believe it was becuase he was part of a revolutionary group called the Zealots, who delivered to overthrow the Roman occupation of Judea. Of course, if it was the later, that by itself may have put Jesus in jeopardy: a person is known by the company he keeps. I have at least one post dealing with this, which you can easily find by using the search engine within Typepad. Again, thank you for reading and commeinting, and your kind words. Shalom, my friend!


Why was Simon the Zealot called that, other than to differentiate him from whom we know as Simon/Peter? I just found your site, searching to know about the name Thaddeus. Blessings and peace, wisdom and strength from our Lord Jesus Christ (He is who He is, however we refer to Him)!

Prof Ira

Thank you for reading my blog and commenting, Jeffrey. If you want some information on the name "Peter," this Wikepedia artcile has much information. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_(given_name)#In_other_languages Thank you for writing. Shalom!


Please oo what about Peter's Jewish name and thanks soo much for educating us well on such hidden knowledge

Prof Ira

Thank you for reading my blog and commenting, Toni. Of course, you are correct in that neither Jesus nor his disciples had blonde hair and blue eyes. In fact, what is interesting is that I have read that based on artifacts of the time (armor, for example), it is believed that the average height of a Judean male was about five feet and a few inches. Put another way, Jesus was short. Obviously, this has no impact on traditional Christian beliefs. Still, just as Jesus did not have blonde hair, he was not six feet tall.

Thank you, again, for writing.



Toni B.

I recently gained an understanding that the English names of the Apostles was not Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. I appreciate you explaining that being Jewish their names would have been different. I still can't help to wonder if, whom ever interpreted the bible for modern days deceives us to think these men were of White decent, Which would be so wrong. We also know that Christ could not have been white either, so why do people continue to make him in the image of a White man. People from the middle East is not White. Also the bible says; God is a spirit, so he is not a person, until he is manifested in the image of his son. If you want to get to know God you would do it through his Son Jesus who was God manifested in flesh.

Prof Ira

Thank you for writing, Allen. Your reference is to Acts 11:26. As you point out, the disciples of Jesus, that is, his original twelve followers, were Jews. Those who followed were not necessarily Jews, Paul winning the battle against Peter into who can be admitted to this new "group." Followers of Jesus, whether Jew or Gentile, became known as Christians, that is "the Christ," which is Greek for Messiah, Moshiach in Hebrew. A very complicated history, to be sure. Thank you wiring. Shalom!

Allen Kir Carter

What Does The Bible Mean In Saying That “The Deciples Were First Called Christians In Antioch” Rather Than Being Called jews❓

Prof Ira

First, thank you for reading my blog and posting a comment, Lionel. You raise an interesting point. Was Simon the Zealot from Canaan and, by implication, a non-Jew? (Canaan was the land's former name, before it came to be known as Judea, that is, before the Jews came forty years after the Exodus, fullfilling God's promise to Abraham.) The answer is, no. The Hebrew term for Zealots is "Kannai'im. It really is that simple. For additional reading on this you can read about it here: http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/15185-zealots and also here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_the_Zealot#Identity

Thanks, again, for writing! Shalom!

Prof Ira

lionel harris

Hello, I've read this and see that the name Simon the Caananite is omitted You did give the Hebrew name for Simon; however. there is the word Caananite. From my understanding names are important. If Simon the Bible says he was a Caananite, why do people try to say he was not.

Prof Ira

Hi Stacy-Ann,

First, thank you for reading my blog and for taking the time to comment.

Now, as to your questions:

The names of God are not in any way "magical." God, Judaism teaches, has different names to indicate his different attributes: mercy, power, etc Here is a nice article on the subject: http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/11305-names-of-god . As to worship of God, non-Jews (I assume that is what you are) are bound by the Seven Law of Noah. You can read about that here: http://www.jesusandtheprofessor.com/2010/06/sermon-on-the-mount-christians-and-the-law-matthew-51719.html In essence, be a good person and you have a share in the world to come (the afterlife). There is no need to walk about life in dread. To the contrary, God wants us to be happy. Really. Why? When we are happy we are more apt to do his will and obey his commandments. Not hard. Be happy!

I don't know anything about the group you mentioned, so I cannot comment.

I also don't know how God works. I don't know if praying for "stuff" gets us these things.

Be good and and do good. That's the essence of it all. Hillel, one of Judaism's great teachers put it like this: "What is hateful to you, do not do to others. That is the entirety of the law. Everything else is commentary thereto. Now go study it."


Stacy-Ann Thomas

Hi, I am a Christian in search of a greater understanding of who God is. I know in my spirit that there is a living God. However, at times I question myself, I'm I worshipping the True and living God or someone's perception or possibly mis-translation of who he is. In my search, I have come across perspectives like the IDMR belief but I'm left with only more questions. Your blog has help to bring some clarity but I would love to know, if wI feel in my spirit that in my meditation and desire to connect with my Creator, the Msker of the world, does it matter if the name I use is Hebrew or some translated version? If I don't use the Hebrew name, does it mean then that I didn't connect with the True Creator? Also, as a Christian, does it mean that when I pray and see what society will call positive outcome for example I pray for financial help or emotional support, or immediate help in a dangerous and life threatening situation and both arrive out of no where, isn't that an indication that The Creator, no matter what our nation or religion calls him, hears our cry for help and provided same to us? So, does that mean then that we spend time arguing and counter arguing about things that are not important and loose time and opportunity to build up people spiritually? I ask this because this quest for the truth sometimes seems unending and I fear spending my time researching and researching and in the end only to find out that I missed out on truly worshipping the Creator in my Spirit and living as the Spirit leads.

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.


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.


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Click to order on Amazon
Ira Shafiroff 002
Click to order on Amazon
My Photo
Blog powered by Typepad

Become a Fan