IN THIS ISSUE
REMEMBERING THE POOR
Each year at
Many of the Summer Reading Program titles have been provocative books about
important current issues. This year's selection, Dr. Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed:
On (Not) Getting By in
By some coincidence, the same book was used in 2003 for a similar program at
My political and religious convictions are much different from Ehrenreich's, and I seriously disagree with some of the
points she makes in her book. Still, I think that Nicked and Dimed was very appropriate for our university Summer
Reading Program. The purpose of such programs is to promote reflection and
thoughtful discussion, not to indoctrinate students with an author's views. At
An Important Reminder
Since the end of the Second World War, Americans have enjoyed an
era of tremendous prosperity. But in the midst of plenty, it is easy to forget
that many in the
One serious problem faced by the poor in
We should all be aware of the problems faced by the poor and do everything we can to help alleviate those problems. In doing so, we follow the teaching of the Bible (see e.g. Exod. 22:25-27; 23:6, 11; Deut. 15:7-11; 24:10-15, 17, 19, 21; Prov. 14:31; 17:5; 22:9, 22; 28:27; 29:7; Zech. 7:10; Matt. 25:31-46; James 1:27) and the example of God himself. The Bible states that God specifically watches out for those who are alone in the world, ignored or neglected (Exod. -23; Ps. 35:10; 72:12-13; 140:12).
This issue of Grace and Knowledge features several articles about
important aspects of Judeo-Christian ethics. ``Bridging the
Gap'' highlights our responsibility to make the world a better place and
points out that carrying out this responsibility is an identifying
characteristic of God's people. A second article, `` `And the Second Is
Like Unto It': the Relationship of the Two Great Commandments'' explores
Jesus' teaching that the law of God can be summarized in one word-``love.'' A
third article investigates the moral teaching of James the Just, the leader of
the early Jewish Christians in
Are the Gospels Antisemitic?
Some new films about Jesus have focused a great deal of recent publicity on the Gospels. One of these films, ``The Gospel of John,'' includes every word of the Fourth Gospel. Since John's Gospel often describes conflicts between Jesus and people referred to as ``the Jews,'' it has frequently been labeled by critics as antisemitic. In this issue of Grace and Knowledge we show that such criticisms are unfounded. The article ``Who are `the Jews' in John's Gospel?'' takes a close look at John's references to ``the Jews'' to determine what John meant by this phrase.
That the Gospels cannot accurately be described as antisemitic is evidenced by the fact that Jesus and his disciples were all Jews themselves. Unfortunately, however, a number of passages in the Gospels have often been interpreted in antijudaic ways. A case in point is Jesus' parable about old and new garments and new wine in old wineskins, which is frequently viewed as a statement of the obsolescence of Judaism and the inherent incompatibility of Christianity and Judaism. The article ``Identifyiing the `Garments' and `Wineskins' of Luke 5:36-39'' reports on three recent explanations of this parable that avoid the antijudaism of some of the traditional interpretations. I believe that one of the three is particularly promising, for reasons stated in the article. See what you think.
One goal of this publication is to promote a more accurate understanding of the New Testament by viewing it in its original Jewish setting. Another of our goals is to defend the consistency and accuracy of the Bible. In the article ``The Second Cainan,'' Jared Olar addresses an apparent discrepancy between the genealogy of Jesus in Luke 3 and earlier biblical genealogies. The key to resolving the matter can be summarized in words similar to that of a familiar proverb: ``In a multitude of manuscripts there is safety.''
The articles in Issue 15 touch upon themes associated with a wide range of dates in the Hebrew worship calendar, from Purim to Pentecost to the Day of Atonement. As always, we hope that you find this issue of Grace and Knowledge to be both stimulating and edifying.
1``How a Regular Guy Gets
Homeless,'' USA Today,
File translated from