Theological Reflections – Land, People and the State

by Moshe Greenberg1This article is based on a lecture given to the Ecumenical Theological Research Fraternity in Israel on October 29, 1987.

I want to begin with a few ideas that are not mine, and follow them with a statement of my own thinking on the subject. The opening thoughts are culled from two publications: The Jerusalem Colloquium on Religion, Peoplehood, Nation and Land (Jerusalem, 1970), edited by M.H. Tanenbaum and R.J.Z. Werblowsky, containing the proceedings of a meeting held October 30 November 8, 1970; and the Union Seminary Quarterly Review, published in New York City (volume 26, Summer 1971), in which there is a discussion on “Jewish Self-Understanding and the Land and State of Israel.” The main paper is by the late Uri Tal and is responded to by J.J. Petuchowski, R.L. Rubenstein and A. Herzberg. These represent some of the various Jewish reactions and attitudes toward the State and its possible theological significance or lack thereof.
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Notes   [ + ]

1. This article is based on a lecture given to the Ecumenical Theological Research Fraternity in Israel on October 29, 1987.

Galilee in the First Century (3)

by Shmuel Safrai

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Galilee in the First Century (2)

by Shmuel Safrai

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Galilee in the First Century (1)

by Shmuel Safrai

Below you find part 1 of a long article, titled:

The Jewish Cultural Nature of Galilee in the First Century

It is translated from Hebrew by Edward Levine.
Also available in scanned pages and in a pdf-file.

Because of its length it is divided in three parts.
Here we give the Introduction
and the Table of Contents,
with links to the other parts.

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The Charge of Hypocrisy in Matthew 23 and in Jewish Sources

by Moshe Weinfeld

Matthew 23 constitutes, as is known, a charge sheet against the Pharisees. The main charge is hypocrisy. The author compiled all sorts of traditions and structured them in a way that would enhance the image of insincerity and hypocrisy.1Cf. D. Flusser, “Two Anti-Jewish Montages in Matthew,” Immanuel 5 (Summer 1975), 37-45. For the nature of the composition of Matthew 23, cf. recently D.E. Garland, The Intention of Matthew 23 (Supplements to Novum Testamentum 52; Leiden, 1979). The chapter may be divided into three main parts: 1) the programmatic section (Mt 23:1-12); 2) seven passages that open with “woe to hypocrites” (Mt 23:13-30); and 3) a concluding section about the doom of Jerusalem (Mt 23:31-39). Continue reading

Notes   [ + ]

1. Cf. D. Flusser, “Two Anti-Jewish Montages in Matthew,” Immanuel 5 (Summer 1975), 37-45. For the nature of the composition of Matthew 23, cf. recently D.E. Garland, The Intention of Matthew 23 (Supplements to Novum Testamentum 52; Leiden, 1979).

Plucking on the Sabbath and Christian-Jewish Polemic

by Menahem Kister

Study of the Gospels makes it increasingly clear that their fundamental stratum must be read as a Jewish text, to be understood within the context of Second Temple Judaism, its halakhic outlook, its beliefs and concepts, its midrashic techniques and ways of argumentation, and the vocabulary and style of the texts it produced. However, the original Jewish outlines of the traditions from which the Gospels are formed have become blurred in the Christian version of these traditions.1Very long note; see note 1 The following pages will examine a passage that provides a good example, namely the story of the plucking of grain on the Sabbath. Continue reading

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1. Very long note; see note 1

Theological Significance of the Rebirth of the State of Israel

Different Christian Attitudes

by Petra Heldt and Malcolm Löwe1This article is based on a lecture given to a seminar for Israeli tour guides at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute for Theological Research, Jerusalem, November 28, 1988. It was first published in pamphlet form by the American Jewish Committee in honor of the eightieth birthday of its Honorary President, Philip Hoffman, through a special grant from Ellen Falk Hirsch of Jerusalem. This initiative came from Dr. Ronald Kronish, Director of the Israel Office of the AJC, and Dr. M. Bernard Resnikoff, Emeritus Director and continuing Consultant on Interreligious Affairs at the Israel Office. Our thanks go also to Rev. Raphael Bonanno, OFM, Rev. Paul Hoffman and Rev. Dr. Thomas Hughson for comments and criticisms that were taken into account in this revised version. While the authors are grateful for discussions with various members of the Ecumenical Fraternity, the account given here is that of the authors alone and should not be construed in any sense as an expression of views by the Fraternity.

The Ecumenical Theological Research Fraternity in Israel, from its inception in 1966 until today, has constantly observed and evaluated developments in Christian attitudes toward Judaism in official statements by various Christian churches, starting with the Second Vatican Council. In view of the fortieth anniversary of the State of Israel in 1988, it is appropriate to consider how far those developments include any change of attitude in theology and church policy toward the State of Israel. Continue reading

Notes   [ + ]

1. This article is based on a lecture given to a seminar for Israeli tour guides at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute for Theological Research, Jerusalem, November 28, 1988. It was first published in pamphlet form by the American Jewish Committee in honor of the eightieth birthday of its Honorary President, Philip Hoffman, through a special grant from Ellen Falk Hirsch of Jerusalem. This initiative came from Dr. Ronald Kronish, Director of the Israel Office of the AJC, and Dr. M. Bernard Resnikoff, Emeritus Director and continuing Consultant on Interreligious Affairs at the Israel Office. Our thanks go also to Rev. Raphael Bonanno, OFM, Rev. Paul Hoffman and Rev. Dr. Thomas Hughson for comments and criticisms that were taken into account in this revised version. While the authors are grateful for discussions with various members of the Ecumenical Fraternity, the account given here is that of the authors alone and should not be construed in any sense as an expression of views by the Fraternity.

People and Land

by Martin Stohr1Adapted from an address given to the meeting of the World Council of Churches, Consultation on the Church and the Jewish People, at Sigtuna, Sweden, October 30 – November 4, 1988.

I

The statement of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Amsterdam in 1948 — the year of the founding of the State of Israel and the WCC — certainly is no longer valid in its unquestioned conviction concerning the Christian missionary task regarding the Jews. But it is valid in its rejection of any form of antisemitism and its confession of the guilt of Christian hatred toward Jews. Continue reading

Notes   [ + ]

1. Adapted from an address given to the meeting of the World Council of Churches, Consultation on the Church and the Jewish People, at Sigtuna, Sweden, October 30 – November 4, 1988.