From the Editor – Issue 42

This issue of Kesher reminds me of the householder in Yeshua’s brief parable:

Therefore every Torah scholar discipled for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure both new things and old. Matthew 13:52 TLV

The “old things” we bring out in this issue are found in three articles that review classic sources, both Jewish and Christian. In “Leviathan and Exegetical Imagination,” Rabbi Joshua Brumbach traces the portrayal of Leviathan in Scripture and in later rabbinic writings, showing how a figure reflecting mythologies of the surrounding cultures was transformed into a profound and illuminating symbol in Jewish texts. Ron Cantor, a Messianic Jewish teacher and broadcaster based in Israel, contributes “Reconciling the Antisemitism of the Church Fathers with Their Devotion to Messiah.” Cantor focuses on the anti-Jewish rhetoric of Justin Martyr, Origen, John Chrysostom, and Augustine in the context of their often-inspiring influence within the Christian world. Returning to classic Jewish texts, Christen Coulter, graduate student in theology at Regent University, discusses “1 Enoch: Its History and Role in New Testament Understanding.” These early writings continue to provide insight into Messianic Jewish issues today.

The “new things” in this issue relate to the growing Messianic Jewish-Christian dialogue, recently advanced in a July 2022 symposium in Vienna sponsored by Toward Jerusalem Council II (TJC II): “Jesus—Also the Messiah for Israel? Messianic Jewish Movement and Christianity in Dialogue.” James Patrick, Theological Coordinator of TJC II – Europe, contributes a special report on the symposium, outlining the papers presented at the conference and ending with points for prayer and questions for further reflection. This report is followed by a review of a pre-conference release edited by Dr. Patrick entitled Jesus, King of the Jews! Messianic Judaism, Jewish Christians, and Theology Beyond Supersessionism. A second book review covers Jewish Church: A Catholic Approach to Messianic Judaism, by Antoine Lévy, OP, a contributor to the Vienna Symposium and a key figure in Messianic Jewish-Catholic dialogue.

Between these old and new treasures, Kesher 42 features two articles by previous contributors. “Suffering Israel: Sharing the Sufferings of God and Messiah” is the third in a trilogy by Dutch theologian Edjan Westerman, which began in Kesher 38 with “For Better and For Worse: The Faithfulness of God through the Exile and Return of the Shekhinah.” Jon Olson provides a unique, and often poignant, perspective on the current interest in identity in “Self-Identity after Supersessionism: My Story.” A final review explores Jacques Maritain in the 21st Century: Personalism and the Political Organization of the World by another contributor to Kesher, Walter Schultz.

This collection of articles and reviews reminds me that we are handling treasured items here at Kesher, as we identify and present things old and new that shape the Messianic Jewish community today.

­— Rabbi Russ Resnik