First Century Jewish Culture.
February 11th, 2009
Santa Cruz, California
Received by FAB
I am here, John.
In your exploration of first-century Judaism, you have read more than once that there were Greek translations of the Torah.
To understand the complex dynamics of our faith at the time, it is important to understand the Jewish mind. It has been in continuous tension with the Gentile world around it.
I have denied that our Torah was in Greek, and that is true. In Palestine of that time, we Jews felt threatened by the Gentile presence. So, with a strong desire to preserve our heritage, we made sure that we retain our Jewish ways, and this meant reliance on Hebrew as our sacred language, the original language in which the Torah was written.
I was referring to our experience, to the society in which Jesus lived his life. I also referred to the fact that other Jews, particularly those who lived outside the Holy Land, partook of the Gentile culture, and this is also true. Because Jews living elsewhere were not as in touch with their Jewish traditions as we were, it was inevitable that the Torah appear in Greek, and this is also true. But in the environment of the original Christian experience, set in the ancient land which we sincerely felt God had promised us, there was a powerful desire and need to preserve our heritage intact.
We encourage you to continue your reading, as we have a strong desire to reveal the cultural environment in which the Master taught. He was deeply a part of it, and he himself desires that this truth be emphasized and understood, so that the truth of the Jewish origin of Christianity be highlighted and explained.