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Exploring the Implications of Jewish

Roots for Christians: Introduction

Author: James C. Whitman, CJCS President
Years ago a Pastor friend of mine confided his uneasiness with my insistence that if the
primary rule of sound biblical interpretation is the Bible can never mean what it never
meant then knowing the language and culture of Jesus is a necessary discipline to aid in
our understanding of Scripture. Do you realie the implications of what you!re saying"#
he asked as we parted. $o this day % still appreciate the &alue of the 'uestion( not only
because it represents intellectual honesty and pastoral concern( but because it is the right
$he word implication points us to possible conse'uences inherent in an idea( usually ones
that might not be clear initially )keep in mind the results can be good( bad or neutral*. So
when my daughter says she!s going to spend some time laying out in the sun a reasonable
implication is she!s going to add some color to her fair skin( either brown or red+
%nterestingly( the final outcome will be based in part on how well she understood(
prepared for and acted on her initial thought.
Yeshua uses word pictures to help his maturing disciples identify the need to
continuously reassess the radical implications of his call on their life( For which of you,
desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has
enough to complete it? and again( What king, going out to encounter another king in war,
will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able? ),uke -.:/012-*. $o my mind( a
con&incing case can be made that much of what we ha&e in the 3ew $estament letters are
the apostles wrestling with the implications of the 4aster!s words and works5 addressing
how to li&e in the light of his life( death( and resurrection.
%n an audio seminar entitled Jewish Roots 11 Dwight Pryor proposes an analogy that is
e6tremely helpful when considering why Jewish roots )a shorthand e6pression for proper
research into the 7ebrew language and the culture associated with %srael during the
Second $emple period and how that relates to Jesus( his apostles( and ultimately the
8hurch* is an essential dimension of 3ew $estament biblical studies for e&ery disciple.
7is picture can also help identify the implications within the ideas.
$he analogy Dwight uses comes from the sporting world )he really en9oyed the annual
$e6as &s. :klahoma college football ri&alry* and is that of the re&erse camera &iewpoint.
;ach play can be &iewed from the main camera angle and carefully re&iewed from the
re&erse or opposite camera angle( often with startling results.
7e highlighted three possible benefits when you look at the same e&ent from a different
camera angle: the main &iew may be confirmed as correct( the main &iew may be missing
such a key piece of information that wrong conclusions can be drawn if used by itself(
and most often( the main &iew is e6panded and enhanced )he also cautioned that the
re&erse camera angle by itself could be misleading*.
Dwight!s ministry( now continuing under the auspices of J8 Studies( is pro&iding a
re&erse camera angle for the 8hurch )church is another loaded concept that Dwight helps
unpack in your audio teaching this month*. :ur reason for being is to sharpen the focus
of the <ing!s call on your life while e6ploring the impact of his life and work for all of
Am % aware of the implications inherent in a 7ebraic hermeneutic" Yes. =hat are they"
$hat is a 'uestion for you to ponder and a sub9ect % look forward to e6ploring in future
articles. % do belie&e credible Jewish roots research that helps pro&ide a clearer
understanding of Scripture can unleash &isionary implications that make life worth li&ing.
;mbedded in truth is a powerful force for liberation and transformation based on the
grace of the >od of Abraham( %saac and Jacob( the faithfulness of 4essiah Yeshua and
the animating presence of the 7oly Spirit.
8lick here to read the ne6t installment in this series.

? /@-. $he 8enter for Judaic18hristian Studies.
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