Just Because the Disciples Didn't Go to Seminary Doesn't Mean You Don't Need to Go

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Try a Yeshiva

While I applaud seminary for all, I cannot help but wonder how we ever moved so far from Jesus and his firm rooting in Judaism, even given years of seminary.

I was born and raised Methodist. My father was a pastor. I am 'well-churched', as they used to say. As an adult, I attended an Orthodox Jewish yeshiva for many years; I learned Biblical Hebrew, the OT in the original Hebrew, Mishnah and Talmud in the original Hebrew and Aramaic. I lived an Orthodox Jewish life for some thirty years.

It is only now that I truly understand the Gospels. Now, when I attend church services, I am aghast at what is being taught in the pulpit; the social justice aspect is fine, but outside of SJ it is remarkably clear to me that our pastors (and, to be fair, those of other denominations) have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Pastors are interpreting the words of Jesus without understanding his community or tradition, and in doing so they stumble way off the beaten path.

If we want our pastors to be educated Christians - and every pastor should be - we need to consult the Jews regarding our seminary syllabi. Biblical Hebrew and Greek should be required of all. Every pastor-to-be should be required to spend at least a year observing Orthodox Judaism, to experience living as Jesus lived. Perhaps this would bring us all back to Christianity.

Ben 191 days ago


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