Study of Rabbinic Jewish Literature Begins May 4th at Central Christian Church

Pastor Steven Odom announced that Central Christian Church is beginning an educational series to learn about Rabbinic Jewish literature. The church is at 404 East Main Street, and the study begins at 5:30 Sunday evening, May 4th. For more information, phone 615-893-2764.

It's a sad fact that most Christians forget, if they ever knew, that we are Jews by courtesy, as it were. Honorary Jews. The earliest big controversy in the life of the church was whether a Gentile (a Roman, a Greek, etc.) could join the church, could become a follower, a disciple of Jesus without first becoming a Jew. The church eventually agreed with Paul that, to make a long story short, Jewishness is righteousness, which comes by faith in God who sent his son.

Ironically, our entry into the Chosen People was accomplished by the exit of many of the Chosen People from our ranks. Paul explained this (with reference to many texts of the OT) by noting that God had blinded the Jews to the truth of Jesus Christ, in order that the non-Jews would come in (Romans 9-11). When many of the Jews of the first century rejected the preaching of the apostles, those apostles began to turn to the Gentiles, many of whom heard the good news gladly.

This division between religious “cousins” has persisted, with grievous effects (some of the worst seen in our own era), and left us strangers to one another. Our next Sunday night book topic aims to remedy, in a small way, some of that lack of awareness, and also to strengthen our own faith, by a bit of returning to roots we didn't even know we had.

Theology in Rabbinic Stories, by Rabbi Chaim Pearl, is a compilation of selections from the “haggadah,” which is the folkloric, narrative content of the Talmud and related writings of the rabbis from the Babylonian days to our Middle Ages. Each story, and there are 50, is followed by Rabbi Pearl's reflection on the theological and doctrinal implications of the narrative. Marvin Wilson of Gordon College writes, “Christians and Jews can profit immensely from this delightful book of assorted theological vignettes. It provides fascinating rabbinic insight on the biblical text that will be valued by lay readers and biblical scholars alike. Pearl has mustered a rich treasury of theological and ethical themes rooted in the Jewish Scriptures and then further amplified through rabbinic thought. This work provides profound insights on the Jewish experience of God and his relation to the world. Pearl's Christian readership will have a deeper appreciation of the Jewish roots of Christianity and the impact that Jewish studies can have on the thought and life of today's church. I highly recommend this book for those who want to deepen their understanding of the biblical text."

Again the study on Rabbinic Jewish literature begins at 5:30 Sunday evening, May 4th, at Central Christian Church, 404 East Main Street. Pastor Odom concluded with, "We'll discuss a few of these “haggadah” stories and reflect on their meaning and implication for our lives and understanding of the Bible. The book is available on Amazon.com. The public is invited."

 

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