Character in Context
Episode 27: Rosh HaShanah and the Higher Criticism Myth of Pagan Origins

Episode 27: Rosh HaShanah and the Higher Criticism Myth of Pagan Origins

September 27, 2019

Rosh HaShanah/Yom Teruah/the Feast of Trumpets is upon us and so are the memes and stories making claims that this Biblical celebration has its roots in the pagan Akitu Festival of ancient Babylon. So, this week we are going to study (1) how can we celebrate the renewal of the year in the Fall when the months begin in the Spring and look at what the Bible and archaeology show us, (2) what are "German Higher Criticism" hypotheses and how have their inclusion in various publications led to confusion within the Hebrew Roots Movement in a number of areas, (3) What is the Akitu festival, what does akitu mean, what did they do during the festival, and how long did it last as compared to Rosh HaShanah?

Oftentimes these claims of pagan origins can be deflated fairly easily by actually studying the copious amounts of archaeological data we have concerning the rites in question. At such a joyous time of year, it is a terrible scourge to see so many people making claims based on urban legends, rumors, and the kinds of "Higher Criticism" claims that led a multitude, for hundreds of years, to doubt the historical authenticity of Scripture itself. 

Episode 26: Be Therefore Ready Part 4–The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats

Episode 26: Be Therefore Ready Part 4–The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats

September 20, 2019

This is the last of a four-part teaching series on the "readiness" parables of Matthew Chapter 24/25 concerning what we are and are not to do in order to be ready for our Master's return. In this installment, we are going to explore the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, and I will be focusing quite a bit on our service to the "least of these" in the form of special needs parenting, caregiving for the elderly, and foster parenting.

Episode 25: Be Therefore Ready Part 3–The Parable of the Talents

Episode 25: Be Therefore Ready Part 3–The Parable of the Talents

September 13, 2019

This is the third of a four-part teaching series on the "readiness" parables of Matthew Chapter 24/25 concerning what we are and are not to do in order to be ready for our Master's return. In this installment, we are going to explore the Parable of the Talents. Whereas the Parable of the Ten Virgins suffers much violence from wild interpretations, the Parable of the Talents is rarely taught from the perspective of a first-century Greco Roman Jewish peasant. It makes it a lot more interesting!

Episode 24: Special Teaching–The Season of Teshuva and the Temptation of Messiah

Episode 24: Special Teaching–The Season of Teshuva and the Temptation of Messiah

September 6, 2019

We are interrupting our regularly scheduled teaching series on the "Be Therefore Ready" parables of Matthew 24/25 in order to talk about the season we are now in according to the Biblical calendar. The time from Elul 1 to Yom Kippur is scripturally attested to be a time of repentance and reflection and I am going to talk about how I believe it to be the forty days in which Yeshua was tempted in the wilderness. I am also going to briefly discuss a series of dreams I have had over the course of the last week where God has been showing me better ways of dealing with things.

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