Issue 26 Fall 2012

Kesher 26 treats a number of controversial issues and contexts and reflects many voices. As stated in a previous Kesher editorial, “our journal functions as a forum … to periodically explore our identity as a Messianic Jewish community. Although a diversity of voices express Messianic Jewish identity, our story is still developing and continues to reveal who we are (or will be). As a pluriform movement that values and recognizes a concert of traditions, the Messianic Movement is seeking a shared vision and common trajectory.”

What is true of our exploration of Messianic Jewish identity is also true of our study of social and moral issues facing the Messianic Jewish community. The analysis of these issues provides an opportunity to raise our moral awareness and fidelity to truth. Kesher’s authors speak into challenging issues with spiritual depth and intellectual breadth, while leading to common ground in our Messiah and Jewish heritage.

Kesher’s contributors continue to represent various facets of the Messianic Jewish community in America, Israel, Europe, and England. In fact, the next issue, Kesher 27, will further demonstrate the extent of our community’s development by means of Israeli scholarship. Israeli Messianic scholars will be featured as a testimony to Israel’s own spiritual and intellectual progress and their contribution to the maturity of the international Messianic community. I have personally witnessed the growing impact of Israeli scholars while in Israel a dozen times.

The current issue begins with Jon Olson’s “Paul within Messiah, Torah, and Judaism.” Olson makes a good case for setting the life and teachings of Paul within first-century Judaism. This issue has other excellent articles from Nessim, Pikman, Klayman, and Fronczak. Enjoy reading from start to finish.


R. Andrew Sparks

Editor in Chief, Kesher

Articles and Book Reviews...
Paul Within Messiah, Torah, and Judaism
Jon C. OlsonPaul's allegiance to Yeshua (Jesus) is often thought to have impelled him to break with Judaism and the Torah (Law).  This article advances a contrary position to the traditional view, maintaining that Paul remained within Judaism.  In writing about circumcision, Sabbath, Jewish dietary laws and meat offered to idols, Paul accepted the authority of Scripture and the obligation for Yeshua's followers to observe Torah commandments.  He distinguished the obligations of Jews and Gentiles.  After the...Read More >>

The Hebrew Christian Shoah and Its Soteriological Legacy
Daniel F. Jonathan NessimOne hundred years ago, Europe was home to the majority of the world’s Jewish population. In 1933 the American Jewish Yearbook placed the total Jewish population of Europe at about 9.5 million. ‘This number represented more than 60 percent of the world's Jewish population, which was estimated at 15.3 million.’[1] Today there are about 1,456,000 out of a total world population of 13,428,300,[2] meaning that only 11 percent of world Jewry lives in all of Europe. In 1902, according to...Read More >>

Benjamin Cardozo: Jewish Justice
Elliot KlaymanBENJAMIN CARDOZO:  JEWISH JUSTICE* Elliot Klayman BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH[1] Benjamin Cardozo (1870-1938) was born of Jewish parents in New York City. His father, Albert, was a gifted judge on the New York Supreme Court.[2] He became infamous for his relationship with the Tweed Ring of the Tammany Hall notoriety.  Albert was forced to resign as a New York judge due to alleged scandalous favors he bestowed upon boss Tweed, and his “friends.”  To compound young Benjamin’s woes, he lost his mother at...Read More >>

Jewish and Historical Foundations for Post-Holocaust Messianic Soteriology
Vladimir Pikman[1] Introduction Soteriology - literally, “the study of salvation” - is a branch within the corpus of Christian systematic theology dealing with the work of the triune God in bringing creation, and especially humans, to enjoy the divine purpose for existence. More specifically, “objective” soteriology speaks of the life, death, resurrection and exaltation of Christ in relation to human salvation. In addition, “subjective” soteriology (the work of the Spirit in the application of Christ’s salvation) deals with the process whereby individuals are brought to...Read More >>

Response to Nanos: Renewed Coventanatalism, Not Triumphalism or Supersessionism
Jacob Fronczak  Richard B. Hays explored the problem of Hebrews’ supersessionism in his monograph,  “ ‘Here We Have No Lasting City’: New Covenantalism in Hebrews,”[1] in which he documented the recent phenomenon of scholars beginning to question the assumption that the ancient homily depicted a supersessionist theology which left no place for the Torah or for the historical Jewish people.[2] Hays’ answer was that Hebrews’ “New Covenantalism” contains “both continuity and discontinuity;” while Jesus is portrayed as “the climactic figure of [Israel’s]...Read More >>
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