Archive for March, 2011

Purim Is About Avenging Ourselves On Our Enemies (Est. 8:13)

 

Queen Esther

This year we celebrate Purim with the Itamar massacre fresh in our memories, and with the knowledge that the Jewish people today are again surrounded by ruthless foes, hell-bent on the destruction of the Jewish State and the extermination of all the Jews. Again are we facing a deadly enemy arising from the power of Persia and Media (Est. 1:3) — today’s Iran — who’s relentless efforts to become a nuclear power are motivated by the wicked desire “to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day” (Est. 3:13).

And as in those days the Jews found themselves left to themselves, alone and without friends in the world, today’s State of Israel finds itself alone and without any real friends. The political friends which it supposedly has are often of a kind that one would exclaim: who needs enemies, with friends like these? The United States and the European Union have lost all moral courage and are since decades following a political line cynical to the core, and which is essentially based on the idea that it is advantageous to sacrifice Israel bit by bit for the sake of remaining on acceptable terms with the Arab world. With the Shoah horrors fading from the limited memorial capacities of the superficial and secular world of the modern West, antisemitism is rising its ugly head again on its road to a new fashionableness.

What is the comfort and joy we pour from the message of Purim in these perilous circumstances? When the blind forces of the world, which don’t know or care about G-d and are beyond the possibility of being moved by a religious or moral appeal, are turning against the Jews, then what can be done?

The Megillah of Esther shows us that a miracle can occur in a world which doesn’t know about G-d. In this book of the Tanach the name of HaShem never occurs, yea G-d is not mentioned at all. And yet it is clear from its pages that “He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep” (Ps. 121:4). The turning point of the story, which leads to the redemption of the Jews, is mysteriously contained in the opening sentence of the sixth chapter: “On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king” (Est. 6:1).

Lifting our attention from the wavering and unreliable Ahasverus to that trustworthty and unwavering King whose Kingdom is above all, this text tells us that He doesn’t sleep and that before Him is read “the book of records of the chronicles” of world history and that nothing is forgotten or hidden in the High Places of His Reign.

In a world that has lost all knowledge about G-d and his chosen nation, the world of the Jewish exile in the empire of the Persians and Medes with its pretentious laws which cannot be altered (Dan. 6:8), as well as the closed world of modern secularism and unchangeable natural laws, the miracle happens in a thus far unthought way. There occurs no public sign. The Hand of Heaven doesn’t become visible in any spectacular action. The miracle seems rather to be that the existence of the Jewish nation is ensured by an invisible hand and made part of the laws of world history.

The real miracle of Purim is thus that the Jews are an undeniable and necessary part of the world and that the world cannot exist without them. The immanent laws of nature and history are so designed by the Most High that the existence of the Jewish nation is part of them and that all efforts to wipe out the Jews are made futile and ultimately lead to the consequence that the evil plans of those who design them return upon their own heads (cf. Est. 9:25). When HaShem chose the Patriarch and their descendants to be a holy nation before Him, He made the solemn announcement: “I will bless them which bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee” (Gen. 12:3). The Book of Esther reveals that this blessing and this curse are not only a divine promise maintained by HaShem. They are an immanent property of the structure of this world. Whatever happens, the world is so designed by G-d that it cannot suffer the extermination of the Jews.

This means that the actions of the Jewish nation are part of this structure and that from time to time this nation is afforded the golden opportunity to smite its enemies, as it is recorded in the Megillah: “Thus the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and slaughter, and destruction, and did what they would unto those that hated them” (Est. 9:5).

Although the full fruits of redemption will not be experienced apart from true faith and trust in HaShem, the bare existence of the Jewish nation is not dependent on these virtues. It depends solely on the divine promise pronounced in old times and sealed by its inscription in the edifice of the world. Come what may, the nation of Israel will always stay and be able, at decisive moments, to destroy its enemies.

Good Purim!

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On the Celebration of Passover: Some Liturgical and Calendrical Issues Addressed. Part Two — The Chronology of the Last Supper and the Crucifixion

 

seasonal-calendar1

Jewish Calendar

The question whether the Last Supper of Yeshua was a Passover Seder is immediately linked to the question what was the actual date of the crucifixion. Although there are difficulties on both sides of the two alternatives — a 14th Nisan or a 15th Nisan crucifixion — yet it seems that a crucifixion on the 14th of Nisan offers the best possible solution of the difficulties involved. The reasons are the following.

When we accept a crucifixion on Nisan 14, we face a problem with the synoptic setting of the Last Supper, which seems to be that of a Passover Seder. We can remove this problem by accepting a crucifixion on Nisan 15, but the question is whether this remedy is not worse than the disease. For now we face not only a conflict about a calendar date between the Synoptics and John, but certain additional difficulties over and above that conflict, on which I’ll expound below.

Besides that, it seems that the Synoptics are less united in their dating of the Last Supper than often is thought, and the Gospel of Luke may be a dissenting voice here. In Luke 22:1 it is said that “the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is the Passover”. A few verses later, 22:7, it is said: “Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the Passover must be killed”. Bullinger’s Companion Bible has the following comment on this verse: “came = came near; for the preparation had not yet been made”. This is in accordance with the Greek tense used here, and it should be noted that the text doesn’t say that the day of the unleavened bread had already come, was already there. To be clear, the text doesn’t exclude this, but simply doesn’t say it. It can therefore be understood as saying that the arrival of this day was imminent. I also think it must not be excluded that Luke is making here a subtle allusion to Yeshua’s death, and that by saying that on the day of the unleavened “the Passover must be killed” he means that both the Passover lamb and Yeshua must be killed on that day, i.e. the 14th of Nisan. If that is true, then of course Yeshua must be crucified on the 14th of Nisan, not on the 15th.

In the following verses the disciples are instructed where to prepare for the Passover, and they are told to say to the housemaster (in :11): “Where is the guestroom where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”. And it is reported that they made ready the Passover (in :13). The verb “make ready” (Gr. etoimazo) used here doesn’t mean to say that they slaughtered and roasted the Passover lamb, but that they made ready the upper room and provided all things necessary for the celebration of the Passover.

After that Luke introduces us to the evening of the Last Supper (in :14). The next verse, Luke 22:15, is of particular interest here. Brian Huie’s explanation of it, in his article “Was the “Last Supper” the Passover Meal?” sheds some unexpected light on it. Huie says:

Luke 22:15 has been used to support the assertion that Messiah and his disciples ate the Passover meal. In this Scripture, Yeshua says: “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer”. The Greek phrase translated “with fervent desire I have desired” is epithumia epethumesa. It literally means “with desire I desired”.

The first word of this phrase, epithumia, is a noun. According to the Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament, usually this word “has the ambivalent sense, desire, strive for, long to have/do/be something”. It can also be “used for (forbidden) desire” (p. 27, vol. 2). Messiah uses epithumia in this sense in Luke 22:15.

In the article “The Lord’s Supper”, the New Bible Dictionary says that “[…] Lk. 22:15 may be read as an unfulfilled wish” (p. 707). Christ truly longed to eat that coming Passover with his disciples, but his desire could not be realized […], since Christ was destined to be sacrificed as our Passover lamb on the afternoon before the Passover meal.

In his Bible translation, Ferrar Fenton accurately captures the meaning of Messiah’s words in these verses:

Luke 22:15-16: “And He said to them: ‘I have longingly desired [epithumia epethumesa] to eat this Passover with you before my suffering; however, I tell you that I shall not eat of it, until it can be administered in the Kingdom of God’”. (Ferrar Fenton, The Holy Bible in Modern English, Oxford University Press — Oxford 1938) [1]

Luke thus seems to depict the Last Supper of Yeshua and the disciples as a preparatory meal for the Passover, not as the Passover itself. This doesn’t take away the fact that the Supper was held in close relation to the Passover. In fact it was celebrated at the beginning night of the 14th of Nisan, the night that is known to us for the ceremony of b’dikat chametz, when the final search for chametz is done that ends the whole process of removing chametz and the kashering of utensils for Pesach. During this night and the following morning is the last occasion to eat leavened bread, because tradition and rabbinic law prescribe that the prohibition of chametz will run from noon on.

This explanation of Luke’s version of the Last Supper is important, for it softens the opposition between John and the Synoptics by showing that at least one of the Synoptic Gospels can be harmonized with the Passover and crucifixion chronology of John.

More important, however, are the inconsistencies which we run into by accepting the view that the Last Supper was a real Passover Seder, and particularly so because these inconsistencies are not only a matter of conflicting assertions between the Synoptics and John. On the presupposition of this scheme of events at least one striking inconsistency can be found within the Synoptic Gospels themselves, in Mark 15:46. Mark tells us there that Joseph of Arimathæa “bought fine linen”. It is clear that this never can have happened on the Yom Tov day of Pesach itself. And yet it is made to be so by those who hold that according to the synoptic accounts Yeshua was crucified on that day and that this indeed was the case.

Some have tried to reason a way out of this by proposing that the buying of the linen was done after nightfall, “when even was come”, according to Mark. 15:42, and that there was a day in between the high day of the 15th of Nisan and the weekly Sabbath mentioned in that verse. The phrase: “because it was the preparation day” is then applied to the yet begun or beginning next day, Nisan 16, and, consequently, Nisan 17 is held by them to be the weekly Sabbath. But this proposal is dismissed by Luke’s own account in Lk. 23:54: “And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on”. So if Joseph of Arimathæa bought the linen after nightfall he transgressed the law of the Sabbath, and if he bought it in daytime he transgressed the law of Yom Tov. There is no way out here, except by assuming that the crucifixion occurred on a day that was neither a Sabbath nor a Yom Tov, and that the linen was bought on that same day, which for all the reasons mentioned cannot be another day than the 14th of Nisan.

There is no conflict between Mark and Luke here, for the phrase “when even was come” need not to refer to a time after nightfall, but can signify the late part of daytime. It is the time toward the end of the day, and on Nisan 14 particularly it was “even” after 3 PM, the time Yeshua died and when the slaughtering of the Passover lambs which was to be done “in the evening” or “at even” according to Ex. 12:6 and Lev. 23:5, was begun. Dt. 16:6 explains that this even is “at the going down of the sun”, and a further explanation of this expression can be derived from the laws of the evening sacrifice. It is clear from Ex. 29:38-41 that the evening sacrifice is to be brought on the same day as the preceding morning sacrifice:

Exodus 12:38-41

38Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar; two lambs of the first year day by day continually. 39The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning; and the second [hasheni] lamb thou shalt offer at even [beyn ha‘arbayim]: 40And with the one lamb a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil; and the fourth part of an hin of wine for a drink offering. 41And the second [hasheni] lamb thou shalt offer at even, and shalt do thereto according to the meat offering of the morning, and according to the drink offering thereof, for a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto HaShem.

For the evening sacrifice to be the second offering of the day this sacrifice has to be brought before sunset on the same day. Otherwise the day has ended and a new day has begun and the evening sacrifice would be the first instead of the second offering of the day, and the order prescribed in the passage above would be reversed.

Those who favour the position that the Last Supper was a Passover Seder and that Yeshua was crucified on the 15th of Nisan sometimes try to harmonize John with their understanding of the Synoptics. An ingenious, or rather sagacious, way of doing so is to explain the verses in John that refer to the Passover (i.c. Jn. 18:28; 19:14, 31, 42) by considering them as referring to the Chagigah offerings that were made during the Passover season. A basis for this explanation is found in Dt. 16:2-3, where the sacrifices made during the whole week of the unleavened bread are called “Passover”:

Deuteronomy 16:2-3

2Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the Passover unto HaShem thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which HaShem shall choose to place his name there. 3Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life.

From the phrase “seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith”, i.e. with the Passover, it is concluded that all the sacrifices brought during the feast of the unleavened bread are called the Passover. Hence it is inferred that the preparation of the Passover mentioned in John could signify the preparation for the Chagigah sacrifices instead of the Pesach sacrifice of the 14th of Nisan. And proof for this could perhaps be derived from the fact that the servants of the high priest “went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the Passover” (Jn. 18:28). David Stern comments:

Some scholars believe “the Pesach” refers to the Passover lamb and conclude that Yochanan, unlike the Synoptic Gospels, places the Seder — the first evening of Passover — on Friday evening after the execution of Yeshua in the afternoon. I do not believe that Yochanan’s Gospel reports a different date for the crucifixion from the Synoptics (but see 13:29&N); rather, the meal of 13:1 was the Seder, and it took place on Thursday night; but “the Pesach” in this verse refers to other food eaten during Pesach, specifically the Chagigah (festival sacrifice), which was consumed with great joy and celebration on the afternoon following the Seder. This is the Pesach meal which the Judeans gathered outside Pilate’s palace would have been unable to eat had they entered, because their defilement would have lasted till sundown. If “the Pesach” meant the Passover lamb, defilement in the morning might not have been a problem, since the Seder meal took place after sundown. [2]

This argument should certainly be duly considered. It goes back to Charles C. Torrey, who presented it in the Journal of Biblical Literature in 1931.[3] If his, and, consequently, Stern’s hypothesis is true, we face new problems in direct connection with the Seder. For if the supper of Jn. 13:2 was actually a Seder, then how could some of the disciples think that when Judas went out it was to “buy those things we have need of against the feast” (Jn. 13:29)? If it was Seder night then it was Yom Tov and buying and selling would be out of the question. Moreover, the reference at Jn. 13:1 that the supper took place “before the feast of Passover” cannot be reasoned away by the Chagigah-theory.

In Stern’s Commentary the issue of buying on Yom Tov is addressed by the unconvincing presupposition that in Yeshua’s time the halachah concerning financial transactions may not have been finalized. And Stern doesn’t answer the objection based on Jn. 13:1. When we consider that, on the presupposition that the Last Supper was a Seder it was already night at the time of the footwashing — for the footwashing was performed at “supper being ended” (KJV) or “supper having occurred” (Young’s Literal Translation). Although Bullinger understands this phrase as “supper having been served” or “supper having been laid”, because “washing would naturally precede the meal”, this nevertheless means that it was already after night, for the Seder never starts before nightfall.

When we duly consider Stern’s argument of ritual defilement we must come to the conclusion that it proves nothing. If the defilement ended at sundown then of course the Pesach lamb could be eaten. But this argument neglects that the eating in this case is connected with the slaughtering and roasting of the lambs that had to be done during daytime and for which ritual purity was required as well. If the Jews that were present at Yeshua’s trial before Pilate were to slaughter their Passover lambs in the afternoon of that same day, it is not difficult to understand that were anxious in guarding their ritual purity.

An even stronger case against Stern’s argument may be inferred from the consideration that the nature of the ritual defilement involved by entering the praetorium was probably that of uncleanness caused by a corpse, as is made clear by Barry Smith:

There seems to be only one possibility concerning why entering the praetorium would cause ritual defilement and, as a result, prevent Jesus’ accusers from eating the Passover. The dwellings of Gentiles were considered ritually defiling, because it was assumed that a Jew contracted corpse uncleanness by entering therein, owing to the belief that Gentiles buried their miscarried children within their houses. This type of ritual defilement would prevent a Jew from taking part in the sacrificing of the Passover lamb or the festival offering. [4]

Although Smith in his article attempts to assimilate John’s chronology to the supposedly Synoptic position of a 15th Nisan crucifixion, his just cited argument is destructive for the Chagigah theory, because if indeed corpse uncleanness is the issue in Jn. 18:28, then the participation in the entire festival of seven days was endangered for those who would enter Pilate’s praetorium. And thus the Chagigah-argument is of no avail for excluding the Passover sacrifice of Nisan 14 as the reference of Jn. 18:28.

The synoptic texts that give us Yeshua’s words about the sign of Jonah (Mt. 12:39-41; 16:4; Lk. 11:29-32) have given rise to the assumption that there are two Sabbaths mentioned in the Gospel accounts of the crucifixion, not only the weekly Sabbath but the “annual Sabbath” of the first Yom Tov of Pesach, Nisan 15. This assumption has led to two new theories, with the crucifixion on Wednesday or on Thursday respectively. The Wednesday crucifixion theory places the “annual Sabbath” of Passover on Thursday, and has the resurrection after — or sometimes even during — the weekly Sabbath. In this scheme there is an intermediate day, Friday, between the two Sabbaths. The Thursday crucifixion theory has the “annual Sabbath” and the weekly Sabbath in a successive sequence without an intermediate day. In particular Jn. 19:14 and 19:31 are used as proof-texts for this theory.

These theories are relevant for the question whether Yeshua was crucified on Nisan 15 or on Nisan 14. For a crucifixion on Nisan 15 is only conceivable at all if that day was not a weekly Sabbath. On a weekly Sabbath a trial and an execution were certainly excluded by Jewish law, and the accounts of the Gospels contain so many details that should be counted as Sabbath transgressions if the crucifixion day happened to be a weekly Sabbath that such a scheme of things can safely be outruled beforehand and without further investigations. If, therefore, it can be scripturally proved that in the year of Yeshua’s crucifixion the 15th of Nisan fell on a weekly Sabbath, it necessarily follows that Yeshua was crucified on Nisan 14, not on Nisan 15.

This proof is actually given us in a very simple way. The point is here that the term ‘annual Sabbath’ is a misnomer, because an annual holy day is never called a Sabbath in any of the Gospels, or in any other part of Scripture. The only one exception to this is Yom Kippur, for a good reason, because on Yom Kippur the work prohibition is of the same severity as on the weekly Sabbath. This distinction is extensively explained in the two article in the series on the Omer, which can be found by the following links:

https://messianic613.wordpress.com/2010/04/09/the-messianic-confusion-about-the-omer-part-i-the-misnomer-of-annual-sabbaths/

https://messianic613.wordpress.com/2010/04/12/the-messianic-confusion-about-the-omer-part-ii-an-exegetical-and-halachic-analysis-of-the-terms-shabbat-and-shabbaton-in-lev-ch-xxiii/

Now the Gospel of John clearly says that the Sabbath which was approaching after Yeshua’s death on the Cross was an high day, i.e. a Yom Tov (in Jn. 19:31). This can only mean that in the year of Yeshua’s death the first Yom Tov of Passover, Nisan 15, fell on a weekly Sabbath, since we have proved that a Yom Tov was never called a Sabbath on its own account. This is confirmed particularly for the Gospel of John, in which we find mentioned a lot of feast days that are never called Sabbaths. For these reasons the crucifixion can only have occurred on Nisan 14. The Last Supper thus must have preceded the day time of Nisan 14 and therefore could never have been a Passover Seder.


 

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[1] Bryan T. Huie, “Was the Last Supper” the Passover Meal?” Publ. 1997, Revised 2002. An adapted version was republished by Online Truth, downloadable at: http://www.onlinetruth.org/Articles%20Folder/was_the.htm

 

[2] David Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary. A companion volume to the Jewish New Testament, Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc. — Clarksville, Maryland 1995 (1992), pp. 206-207.

 

[3] Charles C. Torrey, “The Date of the Crucifixion according to the Fourth Gospel”, In: Journal of Biblical Literature 50 (1931) 227-241.

 

[4] Barry D. Smith, “The Chronology of the Last Supper”, Westminster Theological Journal 53:1 (1991) 29-45, p.39. Downloadable at: http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/chronology_smith.pdf

On the Celebration of Passover: Some Liturgical and Calendrical Issues Addressed. Part One — General Observations

 

seasonal-calendar1

Jewish Calendar

In traditional Christianity the celebration of the passion, death and resurrection of Messiah Yeshua, although it is part of every celebration of our Lord’s Supper, finds its concentration in the yearly liturgical solemnities of the triduum paschale. “The term triduum paschale” as remarked by Wesley Scott Biddy, “refers to the three days — Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday — in which Christ instituted the Eucharist and underwent his passion and death, leading up to the resurrection of Easter Sunday”.[1]

In Messianic Judaism this traditional Christian scheme is generally not followed, although some leaders have no objection against it when Gentile Christians retain this Catholic liturgical pattern. Dr. David Stern writes in his Jewish New Testament Commentary:

During Holy Week, which memoralizes the last days of Yeshua’s life and his resurrection, Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper, which was a Passover Seder; thus almost any Maundy Thursday ritual bears some relationship to that of Pesach. I have in my files about a dozen Christian Haggadahs (Passover liturgies); they display varying degrees of resemblance to the Jewish original. Whether their fidelity to the Jewish Haggadah is greater or less is of no religious significance. Whatever brings the Gentile Christian worshipper closer to God, or makes his behavior more godly, should be judged positively; the Jewishness of the ritual and ceremony is a matter of religious indifference.[2]

Many in the Messianic Jewish world, Jewish believers as well as Gentile Christians, who have rediscovered the lifestyle of the Torah,[3] would consider Sterns words as problematic. In particular those leaders and ministries who, with us, argue in favour of the “One Law” position will find that Stern’s words offer an excuse for “self-imposed worship” (Col 2:23, NIV). The “One Law” position states that G-d has to be worshipped according to the guidelines found in the Torah. This implies that Yeshua’s passion, death and resurrection should be celebrated by observing the calendrical season of Passover and the festival of the Unleavened Bread of Lev. 23 and the other commandments of the Torah that apply to this time of the liturgical year.

The Torah observant position thus causes huge changes in observance from the point of view of established Christian tradition. In messianic circles these changes are not always carefully studied in relation to the central position of the person of Yeshua. In their enthusiasm for the Torah many leaders of congregations have simply copied what they knew about the Jewish way of celebrating the Passover season, without duly considering both the halachic and spiritual consequences of such a change. This has led to peculiar and unequilibrious practices that don’t do justice to the great and impressive events we commemorate at this time.

To mention only a minor point, it is well known that in traditional Christianity the sobriety of the season of Lent is a preparation for the awe-inspiring solemnities of Holy Week leading up to the joy of the resurrection on Easter Sunday. Thus the great final events of Messiah’s life are made lively present within the framework of liturgical time. The question how this chain of events is exactly reflected in the Jewish calendar is often not addressed properly by Messianics. Instead, discussions about the calendar and the liturgical structure of the Passover season have helped to create an unnecessary atmosphere of confusion around the Passover celebrations that should be dealt with by a new effort to place all the aspects involved in their proper context. This study is intended to make a contribution to such a renewed effort of grasping the great riches that are given to us by HaShem in the celebration of this highly important season of the year that contains at its heart and centre the “night to be much observed” (Ex. 12:42, KJV).

In Messianic Judaism the debate about the celebration of Passover suffers a lot of confusion for a number of reasons. First, there is confusion about the biblical calendar in general, and a considerable number of Messianics seem to have the opinion that the biblical calendar is something very different from the current Jewish calendar, and that this current calendar lacks all scriptural legitimacy. Second, and more important, Messianics in general are not used to a lifestyle of liturgical observance. This is even true, it seems, for the majority of those Messianics who favour Torah observance. Due to the fact that many Messianics were raised in some form of evangelical Christianity they don’t have a developed “feeling” for proper liturgical observance, and are not used to think through questions of observance from a liturgical point of view.

The two divisive questions at present in the Messianic Community with regard to Passover season are mainly the following: 1) the question whether the Last Supper of Yeshua was a Passover Seder, and 2) the question from which day on the Omer should be counted. We have dealt with the second question in a series of articles on this blog. We hope to continue this series with some concluding articles on the historical developments in the Jewish calendar and the Omer count during and after the first century.

The present article opens a new series in which we’ll concentrate on the question whether the Last Supper was a Passover Seder. We intend to bring the solutions to the two questions together in a later stage of our examinations and introduce the liturgical viewpoint as an additional element of heuristic value. When our solutions to these questions results in a beautiful and sensible liturgical schedule of events and celebrations we’ll have gained confirmatory evidence that what we propose may be correct.

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[1] Wesley Scott Biddy, Towards an Ecumenical Understanding of the Eucharist: A Proposal for Pentecostals. A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Master of Theology degree, Duke Divinity School — Durham, North Carolina 2005, p. 30 (n. 50). Downloadable at: http://dukespace.lib.duke.edu/dspace/bitstream/10161/462/1/Wesley%20Scott%20Biddy,%20ThM%20thesis.pdf

 

[2] David Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary: A companion volume to the Jewish New Testament, Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc. — Clarksville, Maryland 1995 (1992), p. 558.

 

[3] Cf. Ariel and D’vorah Berkowitz, Torah Rediscovered: Challenging Centuries of Misinterpretation and Neglect, First Fruits of Zion — Littleton, Colorado 1996. This book contains a foreword by Dr. David Stern.