Who’s up for a little interfaith Bible study?

Frankly, it’s been quite a while since the idea of attending (yet another) Bible study has really captured my imagination.

But I am excited about the potential of a new one I’ll be checking out tomorrow afternoon.

Same Words, Different Meanings is a monthly “interfaith textual study” hosted by the Jewish Community Federation in Rochester. During each session, both Christian and Jewish leaders teach from the Hebrew scriptures and the New Testament. It’s billed as a “unique opportunity to understand texts from the Tanach (Hebrew bible) and their different interpretations in Christian scriptures… clarifying points of similarity and differences between the two traditions.”

Unfortunately, I’m a little late in joining the party. Tomorrow’s study is the last one for the season. But since the topic is Christians as the New People of God, I’m sure it won’t dissapoint!


7 thoughts on “Who’s up for a little interfaith Bible study?

  1. I’m excited because I honestly have no idea what to expect.

    The title seems to hint that the Christian presentation is likely to be a dispensational argument – which I’m prone to disagree with. But I would be very interested in hearing how Jewish scholars would treat that argument anyway.

    Either way, I’m going to be doing some reading tonight to refresh myself with the texts they’ll be covering:

    1 Peter 2:1-10, Hosea 1:9 and 2:23, Exodus 19:6, Isaiah 28:16, Psalm 118:22, and Isaiah 8:14

  2. So I went. Quick impressions…

    I definitely singlehandedly brought down the median age by at least three decades. I am not exaggerating when I say that I was the only person in the room under the age of 65-70.

    The study was taught by Rev. Ghislaine Coitnoir (Lutheran), Rabbi Amy Sapowith. Yes, I attended a teaching led by two women, one of which was a Jew! I’m definitely missing the rapture now!

    The study itself was interesting, although I have to admit I was way more into what the Rabbi had to offer than the pastor. Mainly because, well, I’ve heard everything from the Christian perspective already.

    The study primarily focused on 2 Peter 2:1-10 and explored the ideas of being “chosen,” being a “priesthood” and “nation building.”

    Here’s what I came away with…

    Both Protestants and those who subscribe to Reform Judaism are asking themselves the same questions about these ideas.

    Being chosen. Do we choose God or does God choose us? Is being chosen mean exclusivity? Is exclusivity arrogant? What responsibilities or obligations come with being chosen?

    Priesthood. What is the individual role as it pertains to “priesthood.” Is it an office or simply a call to holiness)? If we are a “kingdom of priests” why do we need a high priest?

    Nation building. Does being chosen, and being a kingdom of priests necessitate proselytizing? Is there a difference between modeling my faith and having a “mission.” Does mission mean conversion, or expressing my faith through action (ie, living my faith)?

    I walked away from this particular topic feeling like we’re both using the same words to mean the same things, and there’s the same disagreements in both camps over how those words should be defined and acted out.

    It did more to stir up questions than seek to nail down answers. But I would definitely say it was beneficial to attend the study. (Tough to unpack too much in a large group setting, with only 30 minutes each to speak.)

    Good stuff. I’m glad I went.

  3. Thanks for having this.
    So many Christians deny Jesus is a Jew.
    So many Christians hate the Jewish people, and I dont get this.

  4. Thanks for stopping by. I’m curious as to why you feel this way.

    I’ve grown up my entire life in the Christian community. Have known … literally … thousands of Christians in my lifetime.

    I have never met one who denies that Jesus was a Jew. Nor have I ever heard anyone speak of Jews with anything but the highest regard.

    I’m sorry you’ve been made to feel the way you do by somone along the way … whoever they were .. they dont’ speak for well … the overwhelming majority of us..

    1. I know they dont speak for you. There are, however, people that call themselves “Christians” that say that God hates Jews.
      I have met them in life, and thousands on wordpress & the net.
      Not all Jews are good, I know that, govt. Jewish people are the worst, and making life a real hell for us little ones.
      But- there are sites all over the net that believe Jesus was not a Jew, and ALL of us are from the ‘synogogue of satan’
      It is sad, but true.
      Thank you for blessing Gods seed, they need it, especially religious and right wing Jews.
      Shalom, God Bless you bigtime for this.

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