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From: James Trimm <jstrimm@h...>
Date: Fri Jan 19, 2001 1:58
Subject: [losttribes] A Message from SANJ
There is a lot of talk these days about getting back to the “New
Testament Church”. Sadly however, many of those seeking this return
to the ancient faith have forgotten that there are two things the
“New Testament Church” did not have: A “New Testament” and a
“church”. Certainly the New Testament was compiled after “New
Testament times” and thus the “Scriptures” referred to in the “New
Testament” were usually the Tanak. Moreover the original followers
of Yeshua continued to meet in synagogues (James 1:1; 2:2; Acts 15:21)
rather than steeple topped churches.
These original followers saw Yeshua not as the founder of a new religion,
but as the Messiah of Judaism. The original followers of Yeshua
were in fact an ancient sect of Jews known as the Nazarenes (or Netzarim)
(Acts 24:5). The "church father" Jerome (4th Cent.) described
these Nazarenes as those "...who accept Messiah in such a way that
they do not cease to observe the old Law." (Jerome; On. Is. 8:14).
The fourth century "church father" Epiphanius gives a more
Certainly getting back to the
“New Testament Church” means getting back to the Jewish roots of the original
Jewish believers in Yeshua as Messiah.
- But these sectarians... did not call themselves Christians--but
"Nazarenes," ... However they are simply complete Jews.
They use not only the New Testament but the Old Testament as well, as
the Jews do... They have no different ideas, but confess everything
exactly as the Law proclaims it and in the Jewish fashion-- except
for their belief in Messiah, if you please! For they acknowledge
both the resurrection of the dead and the divine creation of all things,
and declare that G-d is one, and that his son is Y'shua the
Messiah. They are trained to a nicety in Hebrew. For among them
the entire Law, the Prophets, and the... Writings... are read in Hebrew,
as they surely are by the Jews. They are different from the Jews, and
different from Christians, only in the following. They disagree
with Jews because they have come to faith in Messiah; but since they are
still fettered by the Law--circumcision, the Sabbath, and the rest-- they
are not in accord with Christians.... they are nothing but
Jews.... They have the Goodnews according to Matthew in its
entirety in Hebrew. For it is clear that they still preserve
this, in the Hebrew alphabet, as it was originally written.
- (Epiphanius; Panarion 29)
If we are to truly return to these Jewish roots then we must seek to
better understand what the New Testament actually says in the language in
which it was written. The vast majority of modern scholarship has sought
to interpret the New Testament according to a Western, Hellenistic perspective.
However, the New Testament was written by Jews living in first Century Israel
and Syria. Thus the New Testament is best understood from an Eastern, Semitic
perspective. Many passages in the New Testament do not make sense at all
in Greek, but only begin to make sense in Hebrew and Aramaic.
Another primary key to better understanding the “New Testament” is the ancient Semitic Culture.
We must also seek to understand the New Testament in light of its cultural
and historical context. Many keys to this understanding are to be found
in the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Mishna, Talmuds, Midrashim and other ancient
Jewish literary sources.
Most importantly We must seek to understand the Ketuvim Netzarim (Writings
of the Nazarenes commonly called the “New Testament”) in light of the Tanak
(the Old Testament) (Acts 17:11).
Seeking out and teaching this vital information is our primary goal
at the Society for the Advancement of Nazarene Judaism. We are committed
to getting back to the “New Testament Church” by getting back to the synagogue
and by placing the New Testament back into its proper Jewish linguistic,
cultural and historical context.
However, we alone cannot accomplish this task. If we are to effectively operate we must have your help.
I am reminded of an old Semitic story of a young couple about to be
married. They lived in a small village and had invited everyone from the
village to their wedding. Each guest was asked to bring a jug of wine for
the celebration. Each jug of wine would be poured into a giant vat to be
shared by everyone. As the wedding day approached, each member of the village
thought, "If I do not bring my Jug of wine, it will not be missed among so
many other jugs." The wedding day arrived and the couple were married and
everyone was excited. But as the tap of the vat was opened, not a drop of
wine flowed from it, for everyone had been sure that someone else would provide
Your support makes it possible for SANJ to continue this vital and enlightening work. Current projects and goals include:
- · Publishing the Hebraic Roots Version of the New Testament
- translated from Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts.
- · Publishing the Hebrew and Aramaic New Testament manuscripts
- In typeset form.
- · Expanding and improving Beit Netzarim Yeshiva. Plans for the
- near future include an expansion of the staff and establishment of
- department heads. Long range goals include the establishing of
- a physical campus to complement the on-line classes.
- · Establishing and networking Nazarene communities throughout
- the world.
- · Educating all interested parties anywhere about the Hebraic Roots
- of the New Testament in light of its original Semitic language,
- the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Mishna, the Talmuds, the Midrashim
- and most importantly the Tanak.
- · Defending the Messiahship of Yeshua from those that would
- challenge our Messianic faith.
- · And much, much more.
Whether you are a scholar or a layman you will greatly benefit from
this fresh examination of the New Testament from a Semitic perspective.
If SANJ has helped you better understand the words of the New Testament then
why not consider making a contribution to support these efforts?
Your contribution can help make it happen. How can you help? Your
monthly contribution can go a long way in helping us make this information
available. If everyone chips in we can make this information available to
all as the Lord provides. Please help with whatever amount you can. Where
else will you find the kind of enlightening information provided by SANJ?
For a donation of $54.00 ($49 + $5 shipping) or more we will gladly
send you the Hebraic Roots Version New Testament upon its publication (currently
targeted for late February)
Or you may be interested in some of our other books and tapes
matching your support: http://www.nazarene.net/products.htm
Just send your contribution check or money order
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A Message from SANJ