Will a working knowledge of our Hebraic roots help us understand the Scriptures?
SHOULD CHRISTIANS STUDY THE HEBRAIC ROOTS OF THE BIBLE?
The first question I would pose would be why not? I don’t understand people who call themselves ‘New Testament Christians’ or the churches called ‘New Testament...’ The ‘New’ Testament is only about a quarter of the whole Bible. I think that part of the reason is the word ‘new’. I have heard people call it the ‘renewed’ Covenant, which is better.
Anyway, this Blog post is not about what we call it, but why should we study the Hebraic roots.
We may have heard Bible teachers explaining aspects of life in the time of Jesus as they tried to make a point. That can be helpful. We seem to hear a lot about the death of Jesus and its importance for us, and around Christmas we hear a little about His birth.
But what about His life? What about His teachings? Do we really understand them? I think that is unlikely unless you are studying the Hebraic roots of the scripture. We can miss so much when we do not.
I will give you an example. We read about Jesus teaching in Luke 18:1-8. This passage is usually taught as about persistence in prayer. The heading in your Bible will probably call it ‘The Persistent Widow’. In verse one it says, “that men always ought to pray”. But in v8 we read “...will He really find faith in the earth?” The word ‘faith’ here, in Hebrew is ‘steadfastness’. Jesus knew what was ahead and He was saying to them ‘we are going into darkness but don’t give up’.
Then there are the parables. Many Christians think that they came with Jesus. There were parables long before, and since Jesus. The Talmud (the go-to book for Jewish people) has many of them. They are ancient and they are still used today. It was and is a popular way to teach a point. The Hebrew word for parables is ‘example’.
Lastly, I lead a group where we are studying Hebraic roots teaching. We have just finished some on the Lord’s Prayer and we have loved it! Just 5 verses in Matthew’s Gospel and 3 in Luke’s, but this prayer is huge! And the implications for us as a church community are incredibly challenging and of great importance. There was nothing new about this prayer, as you will find the themes throughout the Old Testament.
As we reviewed all that we had learned, one person said, “it’s a summary of the Old Testament!” The sad thing is that many Christians have reduced the Lord’s Prayer to just being a guide on personal prayer. (I can forward the teachings which are on YouTube if you are interested).
Do not keep missing out!
Guest blogger Batnabas aka Linda Morris
Full text for printout at