About this blog

This Blog is named after an ancient gnoseological riddle which hints hidden, disseminated, omnipresent wisdom.
I invite you to search, listen and observe with me for "the word of tree, whisper of stone, and humming together of the abyss and stars."


Proclaiming Jubilee

The oldest known account of a synagogue service is actually in the Gospel of Luke (4:16ff). And Jesus is preaching from the scroll of prophet Isaiah in Nazareth’s synagogue. Can there be any clearer example showing how common are Christian and Jewish roots?!
    And it matters little that theologians and archeologists have serious doubts about the historical accuracy of this story. Archeologists searched diligently for a first century synagogue in Nazareth and did not find any. In fact not a single synagogue from the first century or earlier has been found in the entire region of Galilee! It is also extremely unlikely that Nazareth, a rural village of about three hundred inhabitants would have owned any scrolls, not to mention a large scroll of the biblical prophet.
     All these facts point towards the Evangelist Luke as the one who created this story in order to capture and to outline the essence of the entire Jesus’ teaching. Luke simply used the cultural expectations of his Hellenistic city audience about fifty years after Jesus’ crucifixion. But even when this story is dated to the time of the composition of the Gospel of Luke, this story still remains the oldest account of a synagogal worship. Christianity indeed co-evolved with Rabbinic Judaism like two branches growing from the same stem of the first century Judaism.
     We share together more than we often admit or can imagine. Those shared deep roots certainly include Jesus’ message - the proclamation of the Jubilee; forgiveness of debts and release of debt slaves. When our faith leads us today, as it does at Rutgers, to call for and strive for social justice and protection of the poor and vulnerable, then we stand in an ancient and glorious tradition. That tradition preceded Jesus and also Isaiah. It goes back to the very beginnings of our civilization in the Bronze Age Middle East. Join us this Sunday radically expanding the circles of our love and care.

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