Everyone loves—and needs—a story. Through story we discover who we are and how we are to live. Men and women are formed by the stories they hear as children; societies and cultures are shaped by the stories they tell and re-tell over the generations. The foundational truths of Judeo-Christian culture are conveyed in stories. Judaism and Christianity properly understood rest upon the narrative of creation and redemption in Genesis and Exodus. Christianity and Messianic Judaism add to that foundational story the life, death, and resurrection of Messiah Yeshua. The detailed instructions of Torah, the devotional wisdom of Psalms and Proverbs, the theological depths of the Apostolic Writings, are all conveyed to us within the framework of narrative.
This issue of Kesher explores the broad impact of story, and the distinctive story we tell as a Messianic Jewish community. It leads off with a major article by Dr. Bill Bjoraker, “The Place of Story and Storytelling in Messianic Jewish Ministry.” Bill is a good friend of the Messianic Jewish community who has contributed significantly on this topic, in his writing as well as through teaching and storytelling workshops. Rabbi Elliot Klayman provides a sample story-based sermon that illustrates an aspect of Dr. Bjoraker’s approach. These articles are followed by three pieces on canonical narrative, the scripturally-based story that is, or should be, distinct to our Messianic Jewish community. These pieces are updated versions of papers from a Hashivenu forum several years ago, by Dr. Stuart Dauermann, Dr. Mark Kinzer, and Rabbi Paul Saal. The issue is rounded out by reviews of Paul: The Pagans’ Apostle, by Paula Frederiksen; “Remain in Your Calling”: Paul and the Continuation of Social Identities in 1 Corinthians, by J. Brian Tucker; and a dual review of Healing the Schism: Barth, Rosenzweig, and the New Jewish-Christian Encounter, by Jennifer M. Rosner, and Converging Destinies: Jews, Christians, and the Mission of God, by Stuart Dauermann. Learn and enjoy!
Starting with this issue, I am privileged to serve as Editor-in-Chief of Kesher, building on the exemplary work of Rabbi Klayman over recent years. I’ve been involved with Kesher since its inception, as an editor, contributor, and advisory board member, and I thank our publisher, Messianic Jewish Theological Institute, for entrusting me with this role. I also thank our dedicated team members: Jason Moraff, articles editor; Chelsea Simon, source editor; Yahnatan Lasko, book review editor; and Joyce Klayman, business manager. Elliot Klayman will continue to serve as he coordinates production of a comprehensive index for all issues of Kesher.
I look forward to serving the vision of Kesher: A Journal of Messianic Judaism, and you, our readers, over the coming years.
Rabbi Russ Resnik
Our thanks to Steffi Rubin
for providing the cover art for this issue.
See her entire “Journey Through Genesis” at
Genesis 4: Am I My Brother’s Keeper Genesis 18: Three Men
Genesis 22: Behold a Ram Genesis 39: God is with Me