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Midrash and the
New Testament:
Exploring Connections
WITH RABBI MAURICE HARRIS
Lesson 2
Triggers
 Gaps in biblical stories
 Contradictions within the Bible
 Grammatical quirks or oddities in the biblical Heb...
Triggers – Example: Unusual word choices
Why does the Torah use this
plural form of the word “I” in “I
am the Eternal your...
The trigger: the word “Anokhee”
Triggers
 Gaps in biblical stories
 Contradictions within the Bible
 Grammatical quirks or oddities in the biblical Heb...
Triggers – Example: Elements of the Bible
seeming to address contemporary issues
Midrashic Text: Genesis Rabbah 41.9
Bibli...
Triggers – Example: Elements of the Bible
seeming to address contemporary issues
I will make your offspring like the dust ...
Triggers
 Gaps in biblical stories
 Contradictions within the Bible
 Grammatical quirks or oddities in the biblical Heb...
Triggers – Example: Apparent redundancy or
repetition in the Hebrew Bible
Exodus 20:13 and Leviticus 19:11 both state, “yo...
Triggers
 Gaps in biblical stories
 Contradictions within the Bible
 Grammatical quirks or oddities in the biblical Heb...
Triggers – Example: Anything that might raise a
question to a careful reader of the Bible in Hebrew
Exodus 21:24
Matthew 5...
Key concept:
Midrash helps illuminate NT texts & vice versa
Matthew 5 : 38-42
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for e...
Triggers – Example: Anything that might raise a
question to a careful reader of the Bible in Hebrew
Exodus 21:24
Matthew 5...
From Lamentations 3
I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
and m...
Next up…
Let’s bring some more New Testament texts
into the discussion in
Lesson 3!
Midrash / New Testament slideshow 2
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Midrash / New Testament slideshow 2

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2nd of 4 slideshows on connections between Midrash and New Testament texts.

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Midrash / New Testament slideshow 2

  1. 1. Midrash and the New Testament: Exploring Connections WITH RABBI MAURICE HARRIS Lesson 2
  2. 2. Triggers  Gaps in biblical stories  Contradictions within the Bible  Grammatical quirks or oddities in the biblical Hebrew  Unusual word choices  Apparent redundancy or repetition in the Bible  Word plays or literary associations in the biblical Hebrew  Unusual visual features found in certain Hebrew words in the Torah (enlarged letters, upside-down letters, etc.)  Anything that might raise a question to a careful reader of the Bible in Hebrew  Elements of the Bible that seem to address contemporary issues facing the rabbis
  3. 3. Triggers – Example: Unusual word choices Why does the Torah use this plural form of the word “I” in “I am the Eternal your God…”? Why not use the singular?
  4. 4. The trigger: the word “Anokhee”
  5. 5. Triggers  Gaps in biblical stories  Contradictions within the Bible  Grammatical quirks or oddities in the biblical Hebrew  Unusual word choices  Apparent redundancy or repetition in the Bible  Word plays or literary associations in the biblical Hebrew  Unusual visual features found in certain Hebrew words in the Torah (enlarged letters, upside-down letters, etc.)  Anything that might raise a question to a careful reader of the Bible in Hebrew  Elements of the Bible that seem to address contemporary issues facing the rabbis
  6. 6. Triggers – Example: Elements of the Bible seeming to address contemporary issues Midrashic Text: Genesis Rabbah 41.9 Biblical passage being drashed: Genesis 13: 14-17 14 The Eternal One said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. 15 All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. 16 I will make your offspring like the dust (!) of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. 17 Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”
  7. 7. Triggers – Example: Elements of the Bible seeming to address contemporary issues I will make your offspring like the dust (!) of the earth [the midrash now adds to what God tells Abram at this moment in Genesis:] As the dust of the earth extends from one end of the earth to the other, so your children will be scattered from one end of the world to the other. As the dust of the earth can be blessed only through water, so Israel too can be blessed only in virtue of the Torah, which is compared to water… And as dust is made to be trampled on, so your children too will be made for kingdoms to trample on. And as dust wears vessels of metal away, but itself endures forever, so with Israel: all the idolatrous nations shall disappear, but Israel will endure.
  8. 8. Triggers  Gaps in biblical stories  Contradictions within the Bible  Grammatical quirks or oddities in the biblical Hebrew  Unusual word choices  Apparent redundancy or repetition in the Bible  Word plays or literary associations in the biblical Hebrew  Unusual visual features found in certain Hebrew words in the Torah (enlarged letters, upside-down letters, etc.)  Anything that might raise a question to a careful reader of the Bible in Hebrew  Elements of the Bible that seem to address contemporary issues facing the rabbis
  9. 9. Triggers – Example: Apparent redundancy or repetition in the Hebrew Bible Exodus 20:13 and Leviticus 19:11 both state, “you shall not steal” using the same Hebrew word for “steal”.
  10. 10. Triggers  Gaps in biblical stories  Contradictions within the Bible  Grammatical quirks or oddities in the biblical Hebrew  Unusual word choices  Apparent redundancy or repetition in the Bible  Word plays or literary associations in the biblical Hebrew  Unusual visual features found in certain Hebrew words in the Torah (enlarged letters, upside-down letters, etc.)  Anything that might raise a question to a careful reader of the Bible in Hebrew  Elements of the Bible that seem to address contemporary issues facing the rabbis
  11. 11. Triggers – Example: Anything that might raise a question to a careful reader of the Bible in Hebrew Exodus 21:24 Matthew 5 : 38-42 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. Talmud: Baba Kamma 83b-84a It was taught: Rabbi Dosthai b. Judah says: Eye for eye means monetary compensation. Complex discussion & debate takes place in text.
  12. 12. Key concept: Midrash helps illuminate NT texts & vice versa Matthew 5 : 38-42 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. Talmud: Baba Kamma 83b-84a It was taught: Rabbi Dosthai b. Judah says: Eye for eye means monetary compensation. Complex discussion & debate takes place in text.
  13. 13. Triggers – Example: Anything that might raise a question to a careful reader of the Bible in Hebrew Exodus 21:24 Matthew 5 : 38-42 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
  14. 14. From Lamentations 3 I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. 20 I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. 21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 22 Because of the ETERNAL’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, “The ETERNAL is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” 25 The ETERNAL is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; 26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the ETERNAL. 27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young. 28 Let him sit alone in silence, for the ETERNAL has laid it on him. 29 Let him bury his face in the dust— there may yet be hope. 30 Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him, and let him be filled with disgrace. 31 For men are not cast off by the Eternal forever. 32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. 33 For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men. 34 To crush underfoot all prisoners in the land, 35 to deny a man his rights before the Most High, 36 to deprive a man of justice— would not the Eternal see such things? 37 Who can speak and have it happen if the Eternal has not decreed it? 38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come? 39 Why should any living man complain when punished for his sins? 40 Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the ETERNAL.
  15. 15. Next up… Let’s bring some more New Testament texts into the discussion in Lesson 3!

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