Category Archives: Tanakh

Passover and the Church

By:

Steven Daskal

Christian Messianic Analysis and Apologetics

What’s Passover, and Why Matzoh?

Ex 6:2-8 — 2 God also said to Moses, “I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them.  I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they lived as aliens. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.

6 “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.’”  (NIV)

God brought Israel out of Egypt, as recounted in the Book of Exodus, the 2nd book of the Old Testament, which was written by Moses under God’s inspiration.  God sent Moses, His prophet, and Aaron, Moses’ brother, to confront Pharaoh and demand that the Jews be released to worship Him.  Pharaoh refused, despite Moses’ demonstrating miraculous signs.  God then directed Moses to call down ten plagues upon Egypt, the last of which was the Angel of Death collecting the first born of every living thing in Egypt.  Only those — Jews and any others in Egypt who were willing to follow God’s decrees — who followed a special procedure to make a “covering” — a kipporoth — over their homes would be spared.

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BECOME MORE DISCERNING ABOUT MUHAMMAD’S ISLAM

By Joseph Butta and Steven Daskal

Christian Messianic Analysis and Apologetics

In 1962, a Syrian-born Hollywood filmmaker named Moustapha Akkad embarked on an ambitious quest to create a truly Arab screen epic. He was determined to create a film about the life of the Prophet Muhammad and the birth of Islam in the 7th century.

Actor Anthony Quinn played Hamza, the Prophet Muhammad’s uncle, in The Message. The character of the prophet is never seen, only suggested.

With money raised from Middle Eastern sources, he began filming in late 1974.

There was a major challenge, though: Images of the Prophet Muhammad are forbidden in Islam. So the main character is never shown. The vision Akkad presents in the film is of Islam as a great world religion in harmony with other spiritual traditions. “God has spoken to us before through Abraham, Noah, Moses, “And through Jesus Christ!”

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Significance of the Sabbath

By:

Steve Daskal & Joe Butta

 Ex 20:8-11

8 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. 11 “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

God commanded that the Hebrew people keep the Sabbath, the seventh day of each week, as a day of holy rest and prayer.  This may seem matter-of-fact today, but the Hebrews may have been the first people to establish a regular Sabbath.  This is different than work cycles that were common in the ancient world.  This was not meant to be a day to leave your crops or your artisan’s shop and go into the market to buy and sell.  This was a day of prayer, rest, and time with family.

We tend to take Sabbath for granted, perhaps because there are 52 of them in most years, and thus we get a bit jaded, or forgetful, or perhaps even we think we’re too busy to remember the Sabbath.  But it is the ONLY one of God’s holy days the observance of which — remembering it and keeping it holy — makes the Ten Commandments.  As for Jewish people today about 80% are largely secularized if not totally non-observant of the Law of Moses. This is also true for most Christians.

How did God direct the Sabbath to be kept?  His direction began to be established while the Hebrews were in the desert, just after having crossed the Red Sea, and even before they reached Mount Sinai where Moses was to be given the Law.  In the first part of Exodus 16, we read that the LORD, that is Yahveh, I AM, gave the Israelites manna to gather daily and eat daily, except on the sixth day when he allotted a double portion.  Normally, manna would turn bad if kept more than a day, but “sixth day” manna would last for two days.  This was to enable the Sabbath to be kept.  Note that this was God’s provision — one had to trust Him literally day by day for one’s very food in the desolate wilderness of Sinai.  The manna was miraculously able to also provide against thirst despite the dryness of the environment.  It also tasted like wafers with honey… not bad stuff to live on!  Aaron retained some manna by God’s order, and this became the “showbread” associated with the Tabernacle and the (First) Temple.  But we digress…  the key here is that God commanded that the Israelites not even gather food on the Sabbath, but gather enough the day before to last two days.  To this day, Orthodox Jews do not shop on the Sabbath (which begins Friday at sunset and ends Saturday at dusk), nor do they cook — they eat and drink only that which was prepared prior to the Sabbath.

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Khanukah – The Feast of (Re-)Dedication

By

Steve Daskal & Joe Butta

Christian Messianic Analysis & Apologetics

Maybe you’ve heard of Khanukah.  Khanukah is commonly known as “the festival of lights,” but what it REALLY means is “The Dedication.” Khanukah is a holiday Jewish people celebrate every year. Here is a little more about this fun holiday.

Jewish people all around the world have celebrated Khanukah for over 2100 years. Unlike Yom Kippur, the “Shlosh Regalim,” or Purim, Khanukah is not a holiday Jews are commanded to celebrate in the Old Testament. In fact Khanukah itself isn’t even mentioned in the Old Testament, though the events leading up to it were prophesied by Daniel (11:19-45). The holiday was only mentioned once in the New Testament (John 10:22).  Khanukah celebrates a miraculous event that happened over 200 years after the last book of the Old Testament was written and about 160 years before Jesus was born.  In a very real sense, if Khanukah had never happened, Christmas would have been impossible. But most Jewish people don’t realize that Jesus is the Messiah, the Prince of the House of David, of the Root of Jesse, promised to them by God throughout the Old Testament.

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Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur: Is This Any Way to Celebrate New Year?

By Steve Daskal

Christian Messianic Analysis and Apologetics

How do you celebrate the New Year?  Do you celebrate it on January 1st, Euro-American style?  Do you celebrate Lunar New Year when it falls around February, or do you celebrate both?

Jewish people generally recognize New Years twice.  This might get confusing.  First of all, most Jewish people in the West celebrate New Years on January 1st like Gentiles, even though on the Hebrew calendar, that’s just another day.  Then, most Jews recognize Rosh Hashanah, literally “Head of the Year,” as being the first day of the month of Tishrei, which usually falls in September or October of the modern Western or Gregorian calendar.  It is the 7th month of the year, like the Gregorian September.  The date wanders around because the Jews still use a lunar calendar as they did in Moses’ time (like many East Asian cultures and like the Muslims).  The 1st month of the Hebrew year is Nisan, the month dominated by Pesakh/Passover, the 1st month of the growing year in the Holy Land and the 1st month of the Biblical religious calendar.  You might say that is a third “new year!”

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IS THE GOD OF THE BIBLE OK WITH ABORTION

By:

Joe Butta and Steve Daskal

In today’s emotionally charged social atmosphere, all controversial issues become politicized. Secular Humanists see abortion as a woman’s rights issue whereby the pregnant woman alone should decide what is right for her body and her life.  The life growing inside of her is subordinate to what she believes is best for her situation. Since the Supreme Court ruled in the 1970’s on the constitutionality of abortion in the Roe vs Wade case secular humanists assert that what they long believed was “right” had become legal. Recently, certain states are relaxing restrictions on late term abortions and one governor has spoken about allowing babies who survive an abortion to perish outside the womb [infanticide]. The purpose of this post is not to debate but to illustrate what the God of the Bible conveys concerning life in the womb and babies.  According to the God of the Bible any departure from a person’s love for Him, obedience to His will, not our own, is considered sin. It is sin in our lives that the God of the Bible seeks to remedy. For anyone who considers themselves Christian or a Tanakh believing Jew it becomes an issue of consistency with biblical truth. With these views established we turn to the scripture.

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THE TANAKH, TALMUD AND TRINITY

By:

Joe Butta and Steven Daskal

Christian Messianic Analysis and Apologetics

For the past 2000 years Rabbinic Jews and the followers of Jesus of Nazareth have failed to come to a common understanding concerning how to interpret the Tanakh or Jewish Bible. Rabbinic understanding is grounded in the following verse found in the Book of Deuteronomy:

6:4 “ Shema Yisrael, Adonai Elohaynu Adonai Echud” This can be translated as ‘Hear O Israel the Lord our God  The Lord alone or The Lord our God is one Lord or Listen Israel YHVH is our God,  YHVH  is One’.  It is understood that YHVH is God.  Echud can be understood in the sense that Only YHVH is God. No other god is God.  Also there is one God and it is YHVH Alone.

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