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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.


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.



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!


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.



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


Prof Ira

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


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.



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.


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