Tile floors recovered in CapernaumWhile I’m not sure what exactly has stirred it, there has been some discussion recently on whether or not Jesus was a “Rabbi”. Part of this discussion stems from, as Brad Young http://www.indobookies.com/indobookies.com/cialis-price-amazon/ nolvadex tablets buy, dapoxetine online. often notes, in the modern protestant focus on faith in Jesus far and above the faith of Jesus. We like to say that we believe that Jesus was both God and man, but we tend to ignore or marginalize his humanity.

Forces outside the church, which only want to focus on his humanity, as a “good teacher”, do the opposite.

In response to these voices of the world, many churches have just pushed the pendulum even further out, becoming passive-aggressive (if not overtly hostile) when faced with Jesus’ humanity. But here’s the thing: if we truly are seeking to be disciples of Jesus, both his “God” aspects and his “human” aspects must be a focus of our walk with him.

In this series, I will be focusing on Jesus’ human aspect as a ‘rabbi’ – examining what exactly is meant by this term, how it applies and does not apply to Jesus, and how it applies to us. In choosing this focus, I am not seeking to raise it above his role as Savior, but merely to explore it and its relevance to us, today.

What is a Rabbi?

The word ‘rabbi’ (or ravi) means ‘respected teacher’, when roughly translated to English, but it is a rich, Hebrew concept that means much more (that we will continue to explore). In the modern parlance, a Rabbi is seen as the leader of a Jewish synagogue, but in the first century, ‘rabbi’ was a considerably different concept. Prior to the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., this title meant something much different.

After the http://sinyalhaber.com/2018/02/14/iphone-spyware-phone-call-tracker/ http://kwbrentwoodla.com/buy-minocycline-100-mg/ Maccabean Revolt in the second century B.C., a large number (more than 100,000) diaspora Jews from Babylon returned, en masse, over a short period of time back to the land of Israel, because it was now free of its enslavement by the Greeks. Because the land in Judea was largely settled, they chose the less favorable land around the Sea of Galilee and the Jezreel valley in which to settle.

These people were often called the hasidim (lit. ‘the pious ones’), because of their exceeding fervor for worshipping God and for keeping all of the Hebrew Scriptures (which we call the “Old Testament”). In contrast, the Jews living in Judea were much more secular and ceremonial – keeping only the Torah (Genesis through Deuteronomy) and maintaining the priesthood and Temple rites.

The hasidim brought with them the tradition of synagogue – a meeting place where all the gatherings of community life happened: studying scripture, weddings, debates, festivals, and worship. Among the hasidim, there were a number of teachers, who were responsible for teaching the scriptures to the people, primarily the children – most of whom would have the entire Torah memorized http://www.nemesis-systems.co.uk/?p=1621 by the age of 12 (which is still the case in many hasidic communities in Israel).

Every person in Israel is obligated to be engaged in Torah learning, whether one is poor or wealthy, whether one is whole in body or afflicted with suffering, whether one is young or one is old and feeble, even a poor person who is supported by charity and goes from door to door seeking benevolence, even the man supporting his wife and children – everyone is required to find a set time during the day and night to study Torah, as it was said “you shall go over it, again and again, day and night” (Joshua 1:8) – Moses Maimonides, Mishnah Torah, Hilkot Talmud Torah 1:8

These rabbis were not religious leaders or the keepers of the synagogue. Rather, they were seen as exactly what their name implied – a ‘respected teacher’.

Among these scholars were a VERY small subset, who were seen as having s’mikah (authority). This s’mikah allowed them to make new interpretations on how to live out Torah. (It is important to note that even they could not change Torah, but that their interpretation was on how to view it correctly so as to know how to live and act correctly, so as to please God). Among these rabbis with s’mikah, prior to the first century A.D., we know several names, with Honi and Hillel (the grandfather of Paul’s rabbi, Gamaliel – who was quite famous, in his own right) as the most prominent in this timeframe. (These s’mikah rabbis are often denoted by scholars as “sages”, whereas scripture refers to the rabbis without s’mikah as Torah Teachers (Teachers of the Law).)
These s’mikah http://blog.eppohan2.com/?p=2679 rabbis were also unique, because they lived a more itinerate lifestyle and took on followers – called talmidim (disciples) – who lived with them most of time, though they would be sent out on their own later in their learning. The rabbis had a yoke, their method if interpreting scripture, in which they would order the commandments of Torah from greatest to least. The talmidim of a rabbi would be expected to live by that yoke and to memorize the key teachings of that rabbi. Living with their rabbi, these nolvadex where to buy, Zoloft reviews. talmidim would also learn to live in the same manner – with their greatest desire to be to learn to follow God just like their rabbi. In all of this, the talmidim were also in complete submission to the authority of their rabbi.

After the fall of Jerusalem, the word “rabbi” took on a new meaning, which gradually became what we know it today. In the absence of the Temple, more communities moved to synagogues (with those built post-70 A.D. facing Jerusalem, in deference to the Temple) and most rabbis – particularly the Torah teachers – as the leaders of these religious communities. For a time, the tradition of sages continued, with Akiva http://www.walkingforwater.eu/tofranil-cost/ probably being the most famous, with many considering him to be the father of modern Rabbinic Judiasm.

So, in summation, the question “Was Jesus a Rabbi” is somewhat of a loaded question, because of the variety of meanings of the word, though I think the answer is ‘yes’, if you understand what it meant during his ministry, rather than what “Rabbi” means in the 21st century.


This entry was posted on Friday, January 25th, 2008 at 3:12 pm and is filed under Hebrew Context, Lessons, Religion/Philosophy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Comments so far

  1. scoeyd on January 26, 2008 8:30 pm

    Ho there -
    thanks for the great post – I really enjoyed reading it. One of my favorite subjects is Hebrew context – your work is greatly appreciated…

  2. Geppy on January 31, 2008 2:07 pm

    Indeed; good post. Look forward to your future installments. :)

  3. Rodney Carew on October 17, 2016 12:19 am

    Do you have a book to suggest on S’Mekah ?

    Thank you,

    Rodney Carew

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