Hebrew Voices #107 – The Mishnah and the New Testament

In this episode of Hebrew Voices, The Mishnah and the New Testament, Bible Scholar Nehemia Gordon speaks with Rabbi Dr. David Moster about how the early rabbis dealt with supposed Biblical contradictions, what we can learn from the Mishnah and New Testament's approaches to the text of the Hebrew Bible, and why a famous rabbi made a cameo-appearance in the New Testament.

I look forward to reading your comments!

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Rabbi Dr. David Moster is the Founder and Director of The Institute of Biblical Culture, a non-profit organization that aims to provide the general public with an in-depth understanding of the Bible and its cultural world. Moster holds a PhD in Biblical Studies from Bar Ilan University, an MA in Ancient Israel from New York University, and Rabbinical ordination from Yeshiva University. In addition to his publications in the Journal of Biblical Literature and the Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception, Moster is also the author of the book Etrog: How a Chinese Fruit Became a Jewish Symbol.

Passages Mentioned:
Deuteronomy 15:19
Leviticus 27:26
Mishnah Arachin 8:7
Numbers 9:10-11
Mishnah Pesachim 9:2
Acts 5
Mishnah Avodah Zarah 3:4
Acts 22:3
Matthew 5:38
Exodus 21:22-25
Leviticus 24:17-22
Deuteronomy 19:15-21
Mishnah Bava Kamma 8
Lamentations 3:30
Joshua 5:2

7 thoughts on “Hebrew Voices #107 – The Mishnah and the New Testament

  1. I think Yeshua was telling people not to apply “eye for an eye” in daily matters – and not to seek revenge over small evils.

    He said if you’re slapped on the right cheek, turn the other also. Being slapped on the right cheek is to be “backhanded”, or insulted. I think that refers to more trivial, inconvenient problems.

    This fits the rest of Yeshua’s examples – they’re all day-to-day negatives, not major injustices.

  2. My understanding of the 2nd circumcision mentioned in Joshua 5 is that during the 40 years of wandering in the desert they did not circumcise their infants because they did not know their itinerary, they may be camped at one location for a day or a week or a month, and they did not want to endanger the life of the infant by having to travel (possibly) immediately after an extreme surgical procedure while he is healing. Traveling is hard on a body, young and old, male and female, everyone, so to add the stress of traveling on top of trying to heal from a painful operation would be too much suffering on a baby, possibly endangering his life. God says, “I desire mercy not sacrifice” and Paul wrote, Mercy triumphs over judgement” so for mercy’s sake the babies were not circumcised during those 40 years. But once the wandering was finished, it was the proper time to circumcise en masse, and fulfill the commandment to circumcise all the males.

  3. Thanks Nehemia on this lesson on the Mishnah and the New Testament. It really tells me how important it is to have a method or way of studying the Tanach and the New Testament as well as finding how to interpret the lessons. I must spend more time studying.

    I was also wondering the extent to which the New Testament could have been influenced by the Mishnah and oral law itself.

    Joe Lesejane

  4. I don’t know, perhaps the KJV has translation issues, but I don’t see any contradiction between LEV 27:26 and DEU 15:19 at all.

    LEV 27:26 “no man shall sanctify it…it is the Lord’s”
    DEU 15:19 “…thou shalt sanctify unto the Lord thy God…”

    Where’s the contradiction?

    In Leviticus, a man can’t sanctify a firstling (unto himself), hence the, “no man” and, “…it is the Lord’s.”

    In Deuteronomy, a man must sanctify a firstling, “unto the Lord.”

    The key is not “no…shall” and “thou shalt,” but the target of the sanctification, which, is both cases, is YEhovah.

    Understanding meaning from word presence and placement, again, is key.

  5. From the Prophets; Yehovah said; “My Word will accomplish all my will.” That simple statement is profound in itself and can spark volumes of debates.

    It isn’t enough to just read God’s word we have to talk about it and debate what it means. We have to research it.
    Ah the Mishnah! ”
    Your great learning is is driving you mad Saul!” “I’m not mad most excellent Felix!”
    I have a few questions.
    In the Prophets God says: “Since the day I have brought you out of Egypt I have never required animal sacrifices of you!”
    ” I take no pleasure in the slaughter of innocent animals.”
    In the Psalms, when King David was older he said to Yehovah; ” I would give sacrifices and offerings but you have not desired it.”
    Another Prophet speaking of the coming Messiah’s reign said; ” In those days if anyone would sacrifice an animal, it would be like someone sacrificing a child.”
    So how does one explain the instructions for all of the Temple sacrifices?

    The 15 dots in the Tanakh, are they like question marks? You guys really didn’t expound on this enough for me.

    This was a really cool video/pod cast you guys. This is the kind of info people need.

    Thanks and Shalom

    • One explanation is that He desired (desires) Obedience and the sacrifice might be Accepted, but a weak and temporary compromise. Continuous animal blood sacrifice from the same person and/or nation demonstrates a lack of learning from same.

  6. Matt 5:39 Yeshua is Not contradicting the Torah, The word “But” in this verse is δέ which can be stated as “Moreover” or “also”. I see no contradiction. Vengeance belongs to Yehovah. Yeshua was just refuting what the Pharisee’s were teaching.

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