This class was recorded live at Temple Sinai Synagogue in Saint Francisville, Louisiana during a conference that took place over the Biblical Festival of Sukkot in 2009.
It represents my own spiritual journey; it answers the question of how a boy that was raised in the Baptist church ended up teaching Torah every Saturday morning, but in other ways the story is not mine exclusively. There are many others who began a spiritual journey following Jesus but now find themselves more comfortable in synagogues than churches.
I hope that those who desire to follow Jesus, will take the time to watch the video and then share it with others who are seeking. I think that the points I bring out in this class will prove beneficial for anyone who has truly made a commitment to follow Jesus.
I am presently working on a book based upon this talk. I have a Facebook Page for the book as well. Please like and share with others.
Redefining My Faith
As I read and studied my Bible, I soon discovered a vast difference between the religion of Jesus and the religion about him (Christianity). Years ago I came up with three statements that helped me along the way. Since I came from a Christian background, I used my familiarity of the New Testament texts to find my way to the truth. I began to see that “Jesus” had been misrepresented by the “Church.” I realized that in order to truly follow him, I would need to return to the Bible that he read in order to sort it all out.
I still maintain the highest regard for the historical Jesus of Nazareth who believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and in the eternal validity of the Hebrew Bible, and who taught the people of his day to return to the true faith.
Below are the three statements that helped me find my way to the God of Jesus – a WAY that is clearly defined in the Bible that Jesus read.
I put my faith in the God of Jesus – commonly referred to as “the LORD,” but known by the designation YHVH / יהוה in the Hebrew Bible, and referred to by Jesus of Nazareth in the New Testament by the Aramaic term Abba / father. This God is one, and beside him there is no other, neither in heaven nor on earth. He is the Ancient of Days, El Shaddai, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Matthew 19:16ff; John 17:3; 20:17; I Corinthians 15:24; II Corinthians 11:31; Ephesians 1:3, 17; Colossians 1:3; I Peter 1:3; Acts 2:22: 10:38). I do NOT believe that the historical Jesus is or was the God of Abraham, Isaac or Jacob. Furthermore, I do not believe that he ever claimed such.
I put my faith in the Bible that Jesus read – commonly referred to as the “Old Testament,” but strictly and properly referred to as the Hebrew Bible or TaNaKh, an acronym formed by the first letters of three Hebrew words used to designate the three main parts of the Hebrew Bible (Torah – Law, Neviim – the Prophets, and Ketuvim – the Writings). (Matthew 5:17ff; Luke 16:16ff, 29; 24:25, 32, 44ff; John 1:45; 5:39, 46; Acts 13:15, 26ff; 15:21, 17:2, 24:14, 26:22; Romans 1:2; 7:12, 14, 22; 10:4; 15:4; 16:26; I Corinthians 15:3; Galatians 3:24; II Timothy 3:15)
I put my faith in the authentic teachings and mission of Jesus – to bring about the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth, to seek and save the lost sheep of the house of Israel (hitherto unaware of their true identity), and to do and teach the Torah of YHVH. (Matthew 5; 10:6; 15:24)
Jesus sought to bring about the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth – which is the goal and meaning of history. His followers would do well to take his yoke and learn from him.
The Original Lecture on YouTube
Here is the lecture. The video quality is not the best but the audio is fine.