Messianic Apologetics has produced a variety of commentaries on various books of the Bible under the “for the Practical Messianic” byline. These can be used in an individual, small group, or congregational study.
A Survey of the Tanach for the Practical Messianic takes you through the Old Testament from a distinct Messianic point of view. It presents a theologically conservative perspective of the books of the Tanach, but one that does not avoid some of the controversies that have existed in Biblical scholarship for over one hundred and fifty years. The student, in company with his or her study Bible, is asked to read through each text of the Tanach, jotting down characters, place names, key ideas, and reflective questions. Each book of the Old Testament is then summarized for its compositional data and asks you questions to get a good Messianic feel for the text. This workbook can be used for both personal and group study, and will be a valuable aid for any Messianic Believer wanting to study the whole Bible on a consistent basis.
A Survey of the Apostolic Scriptures for the Practical Messianic takes you on a journey through the New Testament from a distinct Messianic point of view. The student, in company with his or her study Bible, is asked to read through each text of the Apostolic Scriptures, jotting down characters, place names, key ideas, and reflective questions. Each book of the New Testament is then summarized for its compositional data and asks you questions to get a good Messianic feel for the text. This workbook can be used for both personal and group study, and will be a valuable aid for any Messianic Believer wanting to study the whole Bible on a consistent basis.
Around two decades after the ascension of Yeshua into Heaven, the message of salvation began being spread to the Mediterranean world outside the Land of Israel, and many from the nations eagerly embraced it. Was this just a bi-product of the message going to the Jewish people in the Diaspora, or was it the Father’s Divine plan? What was to take place with the new, non-Jewish Believers? Did they have to be circumcised and become Jewish proselytes? Or were all of the Believers, regardless of their ethnicity, to come together in a new environment rooted in the completed work of God’s Son? The Jerusalem Council of Acts 15 assembled to consider these issues, and it fairly ruled on what was to be done. This study critically examines Acts 15 in detail, is engaged with current Acts scholarship, and tries to properly compare and contrast the ancient setting of the Jerusalem Council with some of what we see going on in the emerging Messianic movement today.
In the commentary James for the Practical Messianic, Messianic Apologetics editor J.K. McKee addresses what we need to learn as Messianic Believers today from James’ epistle. He takes into account the distinct Jewish character of James, considering various passages in the letter with statements made in the Torah and Tanach, the Apocrypha, Philo, Josephus, the Pseudepigrapha, Dead Sea Scrolls, and also the Mishnah and Talmud. He also considers the First Century history behind James’ letter, and also parallels that exist between statements in James and remarks made in Greco-Roman classicism. Most importantly, various important theological opinions that have existed over the centuries regarding James are addressed, especially as to whether or not the Epistle of James at all contradicts the theology of the letters of Paul. Some of the current scholastic trends in examination of James are also considered, both enriching and challenging the diligent student who is looking for a distinctive Messianic perspective of this letter.
In much of Romans examination, only up until the past few decades, Paul’s letter has principally been viewed as a theological treatise and not a letter written to ancient Messiah followers. While there are many useful perspectives and insights offered by those past voices who have considered Romans—the setting of Romans is quite important and most relevant for the broad, contemporary Messianic movement. Messianic Apologetics editor J.K. McKee offers a compelling examination of this letter, appreciating the perspectives of Law-positive Christian traditions which have preceded us, but one which is also engaged with some contemporary perspectives. Romans for the Practical Messianicis a commentary that should be welcome in many Messianic libraries, as it interjects some well needed information into our developing theology of both Paul and the mission of God.
Even with some discussion on parts of the letter of 1 Corinthians, here and there within the Messianic movement, 1 Corinthians still remains one of the most difficult and elusive writings within the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament) for our faith community to examine. This resource, 1 Corinthians for the Practical Messianic, intends to change much of the insecurity that today’s Messianic people may have. Messianic Apologetics editor J.K. McKee focuses Messianic people on: the text of Paul’s letter, various translation issues from Greek into English, background issues from either Second Temple Judaism or Greco-Roman classicism, and academic proposals such as various statements in 1 Corinthians not at all being remarks of the Apostle Paul, but instead Corinthian slogans Paul is having to respond to or refute. This commentary is a significant resource for providing clarity to an epistle, where there has not been enough probing, for either its ancient or modern relevance.
As today’s broad Messianic movement enters into the late 2010s, 2 Corinthians for the Practical Messianic—while surely presenting some important theological discussions—may surprisingly offer us more to consider about our present level of spirituality. There are First Century background issues involving Second Temple Judaism and Greco-Roman classicism to be weighed, but there are more vital questions to be probed about the difficulties faced by an individual person like Paul. How much do we not consider ourselves as beneficiaries of not just Paul’s letters, but his steadfast devotion to the Messiah? What overlooked lessons and necessary corrections, do today’s Messianic people need to take from 2 Corinthians—especially given the new challenges that we will be facing, as salvation history steadily moves toward the return of Israel’s Messiah?
In the commentary Galatians for the Practical Messianic, Messianic Apologetics editor J.K. McKee takes a direct look at the issues of Paul’s letter as he rebukes the Galatians for errors that have crept into their midst. Engaging with contemporary Christian scholarship on Galatians, critical questions regarding common conclusions of Paul’s words are asked. Are Paul and Yeshua truly at odds when it comes to the Torah? Were the Jerusalem leaders and Paul at constant odds with one another? How do Paul’s Pharisaical background and views affect the composition of this letter? What were the spiritual dynamics present in Galatia? What does the term “works of law” really mean? These are only a few of the questions that are considered. Likewise, some of the proposals from the New Perspective of Paul in theological studies are also analyzed.
In the commentary Ephesians for the Practical Messianic, Messianic Apologetics editor J.K. McKee addresses the known and unknown questions that this important letter asks us as Messianic Believers. A large Jewish and Greco-Roman Mediterranean background is considered of the issues. Careful and detailed attention has been given to the opinions present today surrounding the dividing wall, and complementarian and egalitarian views of the household codes. References to Tanach (Old Testament) concepts in the author’s words are considered, along with careful consideration for how Ephesians challenges us as a faith community trying to achieve our Father’s objectives. Poignant questions as to how we can be molded into a mature people are asked for today’s season of Messianic uncertainty.
In the commentary Philippians for the Practical Messianic, Messianic Apologetics editor J.K. McKee addresses many of the avoided issues that this text asks Messianic Believers. He takes into account the First Century Jewish and Roman background of Paul’s letter. He also considers the large amount of intertexual references that Philippians makes to the Tanach (Old Testament), deeply embedded in Paul’s vocabulary and mannerisms. Most importantly, he considers the centrality of Yeshua and His completed work for Paul, and how all human achievements pale in comparison to who He should be for us as born again Believers who have experienced His transforming power.
In the commentary Colossians and Philemon for the Practical Messianic, Messianic Apologetics editor J.K. McKee shows us why today’s Messianic Believers need not be afraid of these two letters any more. A wide array of scholastic opinion is considered in regard to these two texts, especially the various proposals made about the false teaching that disrupted the Believers in Colossae. Contemporary applications for some negative trends being witnessed in today’s Messianic movement are also proposed, especially in terms of the false philosophy and worship of angels refuted by Paul. Colossians and Philemon are both important letters for us to understand, as today’s Messianic community strives to move forward in its reading of the Pauline Epistles.
What important lessons are there for contemporary Messianic Believers to learn from 1&2 Thessalonians? How much have we left these two letters outside of our purview of Bible reading? What key insights and admonitions need to be incorporated into our spirituality, given some of the issues and difficulties that we currently face—presumably as we live in some of the final decades before the actual return of Yeshua (Jesus) to Planet Earth? Messianic Apologetics editor J.K. McKee elaborates on these, and various other key subjects, in the commentary 1&2 Thessalonians for the Practical Messianic.
The Pastoral Epistles for the Practical Messianic takes into consideration much of what has been offered by various scholars, not only in terms of the ancient setting of 1&2 Timothy and Titus, but also with how these epistles should be accurately applied in a modern setting. Messianic Apologetics editor J.K. McKee helps to probe these letters for the future development of the Messianic movement, weighing our strengths and weaknesses of them, in an effort to be an assembly that is no longer lacking an adequate understanding. What are the things that we have actually interpreted correctly from the Pastoral Epistles, and what needs to be improved upon? How might some Messianic congregations and fellowships change if we took a good, hard look at 1&2 Timothy and Titus, and implemented some necessary reform? How can we truly be all of the things that we can be in the Lord? This significant commentary asks these, and many more pertinent questions.
In the commentary Hebrews for the Practical Messianic, Messianic Apologetics editor J.K. McKee tackles some of the difficult hermeneutical questions that are asked when we consider this text for today. Hebrews asks ancient questions that had to be answered by an ancient audience: Hebrews has background issues that cannot be answered solely by a surface reading of the text. Who wrote Hebrews? When was it written? How broad was its original audience? These are some of the many questions that surround Hebrews. The Twenty-First Century questions that Hebrews asks are difficult for many Messianics to consider: What should the role of the Greek Septuagint be in our theology? Do we ever make the mistake of uplifting the Torah over Yeshua? How do we maintain a high regard for Moses, but understand that Yeshua is superior?
An important part of our complete book commentary series has been to provide an Author’s Rendering appendix, based on the public domain 1901 American Standard Version, incorporating various renderings and translations proposed. The Apostolic Scriptures Practical Messianic Edition takes this a step further, and incorporates various other renderings and translations proposed, from an entire selection of Outreach Israel Ministries and Messianic Apologetics materials, from both completed Practical Messianic commentaries and the remainder of the New Testament for which we have planned future volumes.
There have been a number of useful and beneficial Messianic editions of the Apostolic Scriptures produced, notably including the Jewish New Testament and Tree of Life—Messianic Family Bible, both intended for congregational reading and private study. The Apostolic Scriptures Practical Messianic Edition is a little different in that it is rooted within the research and conclusions defended in the Messianic Apologetics Practical Messianic commentary series, and other titles, such as The New Testament Validates Torah and various volumes of the Messianic Helper series. Unlike Messianic editions of the Apostolic Scriptures which might not explain the specifics of various controversial renderings, translation notes have been provided. There are renderings present in the PME which you are not likely to see in any other Messianic version, although they are taken from various proposals made in contemporary Biblical Studies.