Calendar

Biblical Calendar

19 April, 2017 J.K. McKee 0

UPDATED 20 JULY, 2011 What is your opinion with the various calendar issues that seem to be dividing the Messianic community? The new month, as originally specified by the Torah, was to be determined by the changing of the moon or chodesh. Genesis 1:14 states how God originally made the lights of the sky, as the means by which His people were to keep time: “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years.” Numbers 29:6[1] records how […]

Appointed Times

Sayings of the Fathers

16 April, 2017 messianicapologetics 0

The Mishnah tractate Pirkei Avot or Sayings of the Fathers is a compilation of wise sayings, proverbs, and anecdotes dating from the Third Century B.C.E.-Third Century C.E., forming much of the basis of ancient Jewish ethics. Many important parallels can be seen between remarks made in the Pirkei Avot and the wisdom sayings or teachings of Yeshua the Messiah, James the Just, and the Apostles Peter and Paul. In the Jewish community today, the Pirkei Avot are traditionally read and considered during the seven weeks between the festivals of Passover and Shavuot. Sayings of the Fathers: A Messianic Perspective on Pirkei […]

Biblical Studies & Scriptural Reliability

You Want to Be a Pharisee

16 April, 2017 J.K. McKee 0

originally posted 22 March, 2005 reproduced from the Messianic Torah Helper How many of you, in your quest to become Torah observant, have been accused by Christian friends or family of being a “Pharisee”?[1] How many of you have been told that you are being a hypocrite and should not only not be concerning yourself with God’s Torah, but you are falling into the same mistakes that others in the First Century Body of Messiah fell into, that the Apostle Paul countered in his epistles? Having the accusation of being a “Pharisee” is one that is not only commonly used […]

Appointed Times

Messianic Spring Holiday Helper

13 April, 2017 messianicapologetics 0

The Spring holiday season is a very busy time for those in today’s Messianic movement, beginning with Purim, continuing to the week of Passover and Unleavened Bread, and then culminating with Shavuot or Pentecost. This broad season is one of the most demanding for Messianic Believers, not only as it concerns the many things to celebrate and reflect upon, but also as we strive to exhibit a positive testimony to both the Jewish and Christian communities: to Jewish people remembering the Passover and deliverance of Ancient Israel from Egypt, and to Christians memorializing the death and resurrection of Yeshua the […]

Appointed Times

Messianic Winter Holiday Helper

11 April, 2017 messianicapologetics 0

The Winter holiday season is frequently a conflicted time of year for many people in today’s Messianic movement. On the one hand, most Messianic Believers do not celebrate the holiday of Christmas on December 25, due to some of its pre-Christian origins and questionable traditions. On the other hand, the birth of Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) is a Biblical event which we all must acknowledge in some way. Furthermore, during this same Winter season, the Jewish community commemorates the Festival of Dedication or Chanukah. What is a Messianic Believer to do? The Messianic Winter Holiday Helper is a valuable […]

Anti-Semitism

A Restoration of Israel–Without the Jews?

11 April, 2017 J.K. McKee 0

POSTED 12 DECEMBER, 2016 reproduced from the December 2016 issue of Outreach Israel News This month of December 2016, the Jewish and Messianic Jewish communities will be commemorating Chanukah or the Festival of Dedication. Chanukah is a very warm time for Jewish and Messianic Jewish families, mainly as they reflect back on different family memories, special times of fellowship, gift giving, and of course eating many specialty foods. In many Messianic congregations the world over, there will be dedicated times of reading from the Books of Maccabees, focusing on the ancient history of the Seleucid invasion of the Land of Israel, […]

Appointed Times

A Summarization of Jewish Shabbat Traditions

7 April, 2017 J.K. McKee 0

POSTED 12 DECEMBER, 2016 Margaret McKee Huey and J.K. McKee reproduced from the Messianic Sabbath Helper That the Jewish people have widely and faithfully observed the seventh-day Sabbath or Shabbat[1] throughout their history is a testament to God’s declaration in Exodus 31:16: ‘The Israelite people shall keep the sabbath, observing the sabbath throughout the ages as a covenant for all time[2]” (NJPS). The view of a Conservative Jewish figure like Samuel H. Dresner, in his book The Sabbath, presses how “It is one of the basic institutions of humanity—an idea with infinite potentiality, infinite power, infinite hope, perhaps, as some […]

Biblical Practices & Torah Observance

Matthew 23:2-3: Who Sits in the Seat of Moses?

2 April, 2017 J.K. McKee 0

originally posted 18 July, 2013 reproduced from the Messianic Torah Helper There is no doubting, that when one surveys much of the broad Messianic movement, that there are some significant issues which not only divide us, but which spur on some strong emotions. One passage in the Gospel of Matthew frequently stirs vehement emotions, from all sides of the theological and ideological spectrum: Matthew 23:2-3. These verses appear within a much larger section of Matthew’s Gospel, Matthew 23:1-36, which is hardly an easy passage for Bible readers to encounter and evaluate. For much of Christian history, even extending into the […]

Anti-Semitism

Purim, Haman, and Anti-Semitism

9 March, 2017 J.K. McKee 0

reproduced from the March 2017 issue of Outreach Israel News This month the worldwide Jewish community will be commemorating the Festival of Lots or Purim. As many of us know, Purim is a time when the account of the Book of Esther is read, there is typically some kind of congregational play where young people dress up as Biblical characters, and there is a great deal of food. Purim is a calendrical reminder that one month later, we will be remembering the Passover. There are many important themes of Purim, as witnessed in the Book of Esther, which force us […]

Books & Studies

Messianic Torah Helper

2 March, 2017 messianicapologetics 0

There are many aspects regarding the subject matter of “the Torah” for today’s broad Messianic movement to consider. These range from: the validity of the Torah or Law of Moses, the historicity and reliability of the Torah, the degree of applicability of the Torah to Jewish and non-Jewish people, the role of tradition in following the Torah, and changes affected to the role of the Torah in the post-resurrection era via the sacrifice of Yeshua (Jesus). Some of these aspects surrounding Messianics’ study and appreciation of the Torah are handled quite well by the current generation, and some of them […]

Jewish Tradition

Biblically Kosher? Rabbinic Kosher?

12 December, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

There is little doubting that within the broad Messianic community, there can be huge debates over the application of the Torah’s dietary laws. Most frequently, as has been our family’s experience, the perspectives surrounding kashrut have been too quickly polarized into the realms of those who keep “Biblically kosher,” versus those who keep “Rabbinic kosher.” Those who keep “Biblically kosher,” are those who often have eliminated pork and shellfish from their diet, but at the same time will often buy commercially processed meat at the supermarket, will not look for a hechsher or approved Jewish seal on many food products, […]

Jewish Tradition

A Summarization of Jewish Kosher Traditions

12 December, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

Margaret McKee Huey and J.K. McKee reproduced from the Messianic Kosher Helper To most outsiders who encounter the Messianic Jewish movement, when hearing something about kosher or kashrut, what they mostly think about are instructions within the Torah or Law of Moses which prohibit the consumption of unclean meats such as pork or shellfish. Much of the Messianic community has promoted what it considers to be “Biblically kosher,” which primarily begins and ends at not eating pork and shellfish. In traditional Judaism, however, what it means to be kosher is much more involved than observant Jews not eating certain meats […]

Appointed Times

Today’s Messianic People and Shabbat: Moving Beyond “Saturday Church”

12 December, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

reproduced from the Messianic Sabbath Helper Most people who have been involved in some quarter of the Messianic movement, for some degree of time, are sure to have noticed a diversity of views and applications present regarding the Fourth Commandment (Exodus 20:8; Deuteronomy 5:12).[1] For a wide variety of people, the seventh-day Sabbath or Shabbat is to be a time of rest, abstention from labors, and a time to do things differently than in the previous six days of work. Shabbat is not a time to go to the store and shop; Shabbat is a time to focus in on […]

Appointed Times

A Summarization of Shavuot Traditions

9 December, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

Margaret McKee Huey and J.K. McKee reproduced from the Messianic Spring Holiday Helper Shavuot[1] is one of three pilgrimage festivals that is commanded in the Torah (Exodus 23:14-17; Deuteronomy 16:16). In Hebrew, its name means “weeks,” derived from the command in Deuteronomy 16:19, “You shall count seven weeks for yourself; you shall begin to count seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain.” Many Christians know Shavuot from its Greek-derived name “Pentecost,” as Pentēkostē means “fiftieth,” indicative of the fifty days that are to be counted between Passover and this time. In Biblical […]

Appointed Times

A Summarization of Passover Traditions

9 December, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

Margaret McKee Huey and J.K. McKee reproduced from the Messianic Spring Holiday Helper The Spring festivals of Passover and Unleavened Bread are an extremely important time of observance and reflection in Jewish communities all over the world. It is a time of both communal and family fellowship, where one often observes the Passover meal with a congregation or synagogue, in addition to extended family. This is the time when the Jewish people commemorate zeman heruteinu or the “Season of our freedom.” Every morning Exodus 20:2 is to be remembered, which admonishes us, “I am the Lord your God, who brought […]

Appointed Times

A Summarization of Purim Traditions

9 December, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

Margaret McKee Huey and J.K. McKee reproduced from the Messianic Spring Holiday Helper The holiday of Purim is a relatively minor festival in the Tanach (Old Testament), yet it portrays a very important story that all of God’s people need to understand. Having been dispersed into Babylonian exile in 585 B.C.E., the Jewish people now find themselves under Persian rule. While many find their new Persian rulers more tolerant than the Babylonians, the Jews are still a minority and often find themselves subject to harassment and persecution. In the Book of Esther, King Ahasuerus’ (or Xerxes’) grand vizier, the evil […]

Chanukah

The Forgotten Past

9 December, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

reproduced from the December 2014 issue of Outreach Israel News 2014 is an important year for many across the world, as many people—principally in Europe, the United Kingdom, and British Commonwealth countries—are remembering the centennial or centenary of The Great War or World War I. Earlier this year, 888, 246 ceramic poppies, to commemorate the British and Empire war dead, were placed around the Tower of London. The Great War totally changed our world, not just in terms of the technology and tactics of warfare—but because when it started, four of the five empires who were belligerents were gone (Russian […]

Chanukah

Chanukah and Encountering Worldly Philosophies

9 December, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

reproduced from the Messianic Winter Holiday Helper One of the responsibilities of any Bible teacher is to bridge the gulf that exists between Scripture passages given in an ancient historical context, and providing practical application for those living in the Twenty-First Century. Human nature often remains the same between an ancient period and modern society: people still commit sin, people still need redemption, people still desire to be loved. Certainly as Messianic Believers, we learn and encounter many things that teach us about ourselves from the weekly Torah portions, from the Tanach, and from looking at the Apostolic Scriptures in […]

Chanukah

A Summarization of Chanukah Traditions

9 December, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

Margaret McKee Huey and J.K. McKee reproduced from the Messianic Winter Holiday Helper The holiday of Chanukah, or the Festival of Dedication, is full of many customs and traditions that give our celebration great life and depth. During this time of year, we have the awesome opportunity to commemorate the work of God from some 2,200 years ago during the time of the Maccabees. If they had not fought against the Seleucid invaders of Israel, the Jewish people would have either been destroyed through war, or would have disappeared via cultural assimilation. Chanukah, as attested in the historical record, was […]

Chanukah

The Importance of Chanukah

9 December, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

reproduced from the Messianic Winter Holiday Helper The subject of what Messianic Believers are to be doing for the Winter holiday season can be very controversial. On the one hand, Messianics should not really be celebrating Christmas, because it is non-Biblical and was created to be one replacement for observing the appointed times of Leviticus 23. On the other hand, should all Messianic Believers celebrate Chanukah, or the Feast of Dedication? Primarily the debate surrounds the fact that often the celebration of Chanukah can become a replacement for Christmas, and that Chanukah is not a Biblically-mandated holiday, as it is […]

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