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Explanation
"There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God"
(Psalm 46:4)

  Paul Sumner

Time and tradition have obscured many contours of the original Biblical landscape.

Theological Archeology is the attempt to clear the brush and dig below the accumulated layers of historical Judaism and Christianity to discover ancient bedrock, to explore what ancient Jews and the Jewish followers of Yeshua of Nazareth believed about God, Messiah, and the divine purpose.

Moving deeply and eternally among those deepest rocks of Hebrew belief are streams of thought, faith, and hope that flow from the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) into the New Testament (Brit Hadashah).

But "not everyone has this knowledge," as Paul said about the ignorance of God and his Messiah (1 Cor 8:7).

Over time, both Judaism and Christianity have largely sought to conceal the Jesus of the Bible by divorcing him from his historical Hebraic-Jewish heritage and playing down the unity between the Hebrew and New Covenant (Testament) Scriptures.

Why de-Judaize Jesus?

Jesus and Jews
Wouldn’t Jews welcome a “Jewish Jesus”?

Throughout time some Jews always have embraced him. But institutional Judaism — the religion of the Temple, then the Synagogue, Torah academies, and the Chief Rabbinate in Israel — cannot abide Jesus the Jew, because he is an embarrassment and a threat.

Yeshua (his Hebrew name) exposes the ancient and modern rebellion and unbelief of Jewish leaders and their followers toward the God of their fathers. He reveals their apostasy in creating a materialistic, messiahless religion that ironically makes the Jewish people themselves out to be the Mashiach.

Yeshua also rejects the historical Jewish rejection of him as Israel's Messiah because of “what the Church has done to Jews in his name.”

If official Judaism were to admit that Yeshua is who he said he is, that its leaders have denied him his right to lordship over Israel, and that these rabbis have denied Jews access to the wells of yeshuah [deliverance, salvation], then Judaism as a stand-alone religion would lose its raison d'être, and its centuries of rebellion would be fully accountable to the Lord God.

Judaism shuts the gate to Yeshua because he exposes corporate and individual sins.

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Jesus and the Church
Given the Church's long-abiding seed of mistrust and assorted strains of contempt for Jews, it would take a miracle for it to embrace Jesus as a Jew, even though he is rooted in the Hebrew Bible.

Amazingly, this miracle has occurred in the lives of many thousands of Gentile Christians over the centuries — to this hour.

But the official posture of the Church (in its 30,000+ denominations) is one of steadfast dismissal of any portrayal of Jesus that makes him out to be anything less than God the Son, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.

Today, in some radical Protestant, theologically-correct circles, it's even a sin to call Jesus God's “Son” because that makes him subordinate and diminishes his position in the co-equal co-eternal Godhead. And to say he was a “man” — much less a“Jewish man” — would be sexist, racist, and ultimately blasphemous. But only extremists believe these things.

If historical Christianity (in its Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, sectarian forms) ever acknowledges the “Jesus/Yeshua” presented in the New Testament, it would then be accountable for misrepresenting Jesus — especially to the people of Israel — a distortion that has robbed Jews of the mercies, love and forgiveness that Yeshua could have extended to them, their children, and their children's children — to this very hour.

Since the Synagogue and Church both officially reject the Hebraic Yeshua of the New Testament/New Covenant Scriptures, individual Jews and Gentiles who are searching for historical, spiritual reality must go outside these traditions for truth and answers.

They must be bold to enter the liberating world of Scripture.

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Theological Archeology

In order to return to pristine Hebrew streams . . .

This website uses the names Yeshua and Messiah in place of the English names “Jesus” and “Christ.” The English names represent the first century Greek words Yesous and Christos. Greek was then the international language in the Mediterranean and Near East, and the NT came down to us in that language.

But behind the Greek lies the Hebrew language and thought world. And that's a major emphasis of this website.

Concerning Yeshua of Nazareth the New Testament has a unified voice about his identity:

• The genealogy of Yeshua Messiah...son of Abraham (Matthew 1:1)
• Our Lord descended from Judah (Hebrews 7:14)
• Remember Yeshua Messiah...descendant of David (2 Timothy 2:8)
• He will be called Son of God (Luke 1:35)
• "This is my Son, the Chosen One, listen to him!" (Luke 9:35)

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Based on these texts, we can say (in Hebrew) that Yeshua was ben Abraham, ben Yehudah, ben David, and ben Elohim. That is, he was a son of Abraham, David’s son of the tribe of Judah, and ultimately the unique son of Abraham’s God.

On the Hebrew meaning of the name “Yeshua” see the page Shem Yeshua.

Because the articles on this site focus on ancient strata and streams, the main tools used are history, linguistics, and literary analysis.

But there is nothing esoteric about the contents of this site. The ideas and conclusions here weren't derived from ancient Gnostic gospels, Aramaic scrolls from Dead Sea caves, or previously hidden Vatican documents. Nor were they divined from privileged personal revelations. Here are some of my sources:

The base English text used on this site is the New American Standard Bible (1973; rev. 1995), though I substitute "Messiah" for "Christ" and "Yeshua" for "Jesus". I also refer to the Jewish Publication Society's 1985 Tanakh [The Holy Scripture] for comparison, and several other Christian English versions or the paraphrase by David Stern, The Jewish New Testament.

For the Hebrew Bible: Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (1984) and Koren Publisher's Tanakh (Jerusalem, 1984). For the New Testament: The Greek New Testament (4th ed., United Bible Society, 1983); The Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece (28th ed., German Bible Society, 2012).

For Hebrew New Testament translations: Franz Delitzsch, Isaac Salkinson, and the modern Israel Bible Society version (1991).

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Hebrew Streams is not a religious group or organization. It does not hold worship services, sponsor lectures or provide spiritual counselling, nor offer travel packages to the Holy Land. It is an educational site for biblical studies. It does not promote a particular sectarian view, other than what I believe to be Mere Messianic Faith.

A “Messianic” approach involves restoring the authority of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) as the bedrock of New Testament interpretation. While non-biblical Jewish documents can be helpful at times for interpreting the milieu of NT times, they are not ultimately authoritative (for me) as scripture.

For a sketch of my history and interests, see About Author. If you wish, please Communicate with Me with comments or questions.

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Our times are marked by tohu va vohu — the initial condition existing prior to the moving of the Creator’s Breath, his Speaking Presence (Genesis 1:2).

Today, however, we’re at the other end of creation. We’re re-entering the realm of tohu va vohu (of waste and chaos) caused by human rebellion and demonic corrosion.

Broken trust in authority and rejection of the concept of ultimate truth have de-created people who have no grounding on solid earth. They are floating, disparate islands of self-defining reality. This causes either total disregard of biblical religion or angry, defiant efforts to rewrite the Bible to make it say whatever one prefers.

The OMG is the god of this age.

The primordial seas claim many victims who embrace the lie that they can’t believe the Scriptures are inspired or contain the mind and will of the Creator.

Those in prosperous, Western secular democracies seem less and less receptive to the Bible; largely because people are being glutted with facts and contradicting sources of religious teaching that interfere with a person’s acceptance of truth and reality.

I fear that Westerners who turn away from the true — biblical — God will be told in the words of Paul of Tarsus:

“Since you repudiate the Scriptures and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, we are turning, without you and your boastful unbelief, to people in the Southern Hemisphere and those in communist nations in Western Europe and formerly the United States, and Muslim societies — they will listen to this yeshuah [salvation of God].” (my paraphrase of Acts 13:46; 28:28)

Paul Sumner

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