Judaism and research

Judaism’s centerpiece is the oral law, not the Ten Commandments given to Moses by God.  It’s a long story, and many books and articles of research, but that’s what it takes to be a writer of Biblical fiction. Understanding the time and culture.is important, but then being selective about the books or articles is important. One of the books I bought turned out to be all about Judaism, not the way of life Jesus Christ said it should be. This makes research more of a challenge, which is why using the accounts in the Bible as a framework is important. So why write about Judaism? Because most sites giving information about early Christianity are, in fact, giving misinformation. Judaism was not what was practiced by the early Christians.

Judaism, the ‘traditions of men.’

That’s how Jesus described it, recorded in Mark 7: 7-9

They worship Me in vain; they teach as doctrine the precepts of men.’ You have disregarded the commandment of God to keep the tradition of men.” He went on to say, “You neatly set aside the command of God to maintain your own tradition…
Berean Study Bible.   https://biblehub.com/bsb/mark/7.htm

Judaism developed entirely from the teachings of the Pharisees; the ones to whom Jesus addressed His comment. Moreover, He warned His disciples about them, pointing out how the sect typically taught one thing, but practised another.

“But do not do according to their works, for they say and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and [those which are] hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of men; but they [themselves] will not move them with [even] one of their own fingers” (Matt. 23:3-4).

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+23&version=PHILLIPS

What does this have to do with research?

As mentioned in the last blog, https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/accuracy-in-biblical-fiction-important/ knowing the culture and the facts can be helpful. For example the Bible is a better source than some, even ‘important’ sites in the online world. Look at this for example… https://www.britannica.com/topic/Judaism

It’s a long article, but it is wrong. How could Abraham be the ‘founder’ of Judaism?

Judah, from whom the name comes, was the great-grandson of the patriarch.

Judaism from Judah

Judaism is where most research stops

A friend gifted me a copy of the Code of Jewish Law. I see what Jesus meant when He said,
“For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.”
Matthew 23: 4 KJV

 

One of my bought for research books, ‘Jerusalem in the time of JESUS’ is one such example. It is the Pharisaic Jerusalem. I wanted what it was really like, not only one ‘party.’

 

 

A friend gifted me a copy of the Code of Jewish Law. I see what Jesus meant when He said,
“For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.”
Matthew 23: 4 KJV

You will find more on this subject in a previous blog https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/is-judaism-the-law-of-moses/

Judaism is a part, but not the whole of Biblical history

It is important to know the difference in order to achieve accuracy in research, just as it is important to know other aspects of the culture. Our time and culture has changed since those days, and the meanings of words have changed. So has our understanding.

 

Betrothal or engagement

I heard a minister describe a betrothal as equivalent to an engagement. Not so. We can break an engagement, but a betrothal required a divorce. In those times a betrothal was equivalent to marriage, and marriage was binding.

There are many other words which no longer have the meaning the Bible writers intended.

Happy hunting

Susan

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