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Where did Jesus eat the Last Supper?

In Biblical Hebrew & Greek by Jonathan LipnickLeave a Comment

The Christian ritual of receiving bread and wine observed by billions around the world has many different names: holy communion, the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist, to name a few. Despite contemporary denominational differences, the common root of this widespread ritual is the Scriptural account of the Last Supper, quoted here: On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when …

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Why do Jews blow the shofar?

In Biblical Hebrew & Greek by Jonathan LipnickLeave a Comment

During the Hebrew month of Elul, which begins this week, it is customary for pious Jews to rise before dawn to recite Selichot. These are special penitential prayers asking God for forgiveness in order to spiritually prepare oneself for the upcoming New Year (“Rosh Hashanah”). One of the highlights of …

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What is the meaning of Shekinah?

In Biblical Hebrew & Greek by Jonathan LipnickLeave a Comment

Every religion struggles with a basic conundrum. How to explain the involvement of a purely spiritual God in the details of a purely physical world? The solution to this enigma in Judaism is that the divine presence of God actually descends into the physical world to dwell among humans. The …

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What is so special about Josephus?

In Biblical Hebrew & Greek by Jonathan LipnickLeave a Comment

If you are a regular reader of this blog or have ever done any reading about the first century Land of Israel (other than the New Testament itself) chances are you will have come across the name “Josephus”. His name seems to pop up incessantly both in scholarly literature and in popular …

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Is a donkey suitable for the Messiah?

In Biblical Hebrew & Greek by Jonathan LipnickLeave a Comment

In  many languages, the word “donkey” (or its older form “ass”) is commonly used to refer to a fool, a person who is so stubborn that their very intelligence is called into question. For example, in Farsi the word for donkey (olagh), is a common way of saying “stupid person.” Similarly, in Spanish …

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Herod’s Temple Mount

In Biblical Hebrew & Greek by Jonathan Lipnick31 Comments

Is this the Site of the Expulsion of the Money Changers? King Herod the Great, who ruled the Land of Israel as a client of the Romans from 37-4 BCE, was among the most widely feared individuals who ever sat on a throne in Jerusalem. He was wildly despotic, manipulative, murderous, and paranoid. But …

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Why the Valley of Elah?

In Biblical Hebrew & Greek by Jonathan Lipnick1 Comment

Among the many stories of warfare that are described in the Hebrew Bible, perhaps the most famous is the epic battle between David and Goliath (1 Samuel chapter 17). David, still a shepherd boy living in Bethlehem, is able to fell the greatest Philistine warrior with a mere stone. Most readers of this story …