Mentioned briefly in my previous post, Avi ben Mordechai, author of Messiah: Volumes I – III, has a new publication out. It is a 500+ page commentary on the book of Galatians, written from a Jewish perspective. In this Avi attempts to strip away all of the pretenses from previous scholarship surrounding Paul and his view of the Torah, and bring clear understanding to Paul’s polemics through insights into the first century religious politics, and Hebraic mindset. He bases his logic largely upon the Peshitta (Aramaic New Testament) text, and undergirding Hebraisms which seem to elucidate his conclusions. Although I have not read the book yet, I have listened to his three hour audio teaching on the subject offered as an introduction to his book.
With views of Paul ranging from “Founder and Pillar of Christianity” to “Heretic,” Avi addresses both sides of the arguments against Paul, and at least gives some sanity to his words in a Torah context. Even if you don’t agree with Avi on all points it would be well worth the hefty fifty-dollar price to dig through Galatians on this level.
Follow-up posts on this topic:
June 29, 2011 — After a few years of looking at what Avi has written and the direction he takes, I now see this book to be problematic in several ways, and not true to Paul or Judaism. I find that it places a wedge between believers in Yeshua and our Jewish brothers. If you would like a much better perspective on Paul’s letter to the believing body at Galatia, I highly recommend Daniel Lancaster’s new book: The Holy Epistle to the Galatians
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