Confronting Yeshua’s Divinity and Messiahship

There is no more pressing issue for Believers in Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), than understanding who their Lord actually is. There are many statements appearing in the Apostolic Scriptures or New Testament, which give witness to who He is. Yeshua is the Word made flesh (John 1:1, 14), He is the Lamb of God (John 1:29, 36), He is One who had the audacity to say “before Abraham was born, I am” (John 8:58), and He is One “existing in the form of God” (Philippians 2:6). Yeshua is the Savior of the world, whose sacrifice for human transgressions provides permanent atonement and forgiveness. Yeshua the Messiah of Israel is the One “of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote” (John 1:45). Yeshua the Messiah is One who the Scriptures definitely regard as no ordinary man, as He performed miracles, had control over the weather, and who was recognized as unique by the forces of evil. He is “the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13).

While there is much about the nature of the Messiah that is difficult for mortals to fully comprehend, He is portrayed as the One in whom “

all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Colossians 2:8), and He is “our great God and Savior (Titus 2:13). He is the prophesied Messiah of Israel, and He is God made manifest in the flesh. Recognizing Yeshua as God, and as the prophesied Messiah from the Tanach or Old Testament, are two concepts that have been under continual attack by many outside and inside forces in today’s broad Messianic movement—and the attacks continue to grow in intensity. There are people who have been caught easily unaware by poor arguments against Yeshua’s Divinity and Messiahship. There are answers to the claims against these foundational truths that are available for those who need an immediate shoring up of their faith.

Confronting Yeshua’s Divinity and Messiahship has compiled a number of key articles, which are intended to directly combat errant ideas that circulate here and there within sectors of the Messianic community. Common claims that are issued against Yeshua being the Divine Savior, and Yeshua being the Messiah, are directly responded to with poignant observations and exegetical detail. If you have been in a situation where a rogue individual you have encountered makes a statement or two against who Yeshua is, as communicated to us in the Holy Scriptures, then this publication should serve as some useful ammunition against those claims. The most frequent statements that one will hear, which are made against Yeshua’s Divinity and Messiahship, are directly confronted and responded to.

154 pages




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Confronting Critical Issues

Today’s Messianic movement has arrived at a very important theological and spiritual crossroads. Much of our long term viability and effectiveness as a faith community will be determined by what takes place in the 2010s, and by our approach to a series of important issues surrounding the nature of the Messiah, the reliability of Holy Scripture, our communication style, and whether we want to see all people included and welcome within our assemblies or not.

Confronting Critical Issues is an important compilation book of some of Messianic Apologetics’ key Confronting Issues booklets, as well as some major articles of substance. These are bound to answer some significant questions and controversies that all of today’s Messianic Believers have encountered within their fellowships, congregations, and personal Bible studies. This publication is also bound to stir some of its own controversy, as it inquires how we can be a mature, growing Messianic movement which is able to accomplish all that our Heavenly Father wants us to achieve—or whether those among us are going to disregard our spiritual potential to make a difference.

Some of the subjects addressed in Confronting Critical Issues include:

  • urban legends present in the Messianic movement
  • the Divinity and Messiahship of Yeshua
  • the Shema and the plurality of God
  • potential paganism witnessed in the stories of Holy Scripture, and how we are to avoid liberal theology
  • the origin of the Apostolic Scriptures and English Bible versions
  • the negative influence of Jewish mysticism on the Messianic movement
  • the Divine Name of God (YHWH/YHVH)
  • a proper, edifying communication style for today’s Messianic Believers
  • the equality for Jewish and non-Jewish Believers, and both men and women in the Messianic community

This massive powerhouse of material is a must for every Messianic Believer’s library!

414 pages




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Hebrews for the Practical Messianic

The Epistle to the Hebrews is one of the most overlooked texts in the entire Bible, and is greatly unappreciated by many in today’s Christianity, as well as the Messianic movement. A profoundly spiritual and intellectual masterpiece, the theme of this treatise is undeniably Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), and His supremacy over all. The author engages his audience by describing Yeshua as the Creator, being superior to angels, Moses, Joshua, and as mediator of the New Covenant. The author comes to these conclusions using some very unique ways, employing First Century rhetoric and literary devices that often evade your average reader. His sacrifice has provided men and women with permanent atonement for their sins, if they will truly choose to accept it.

The Epistle to the Hebrews asks First Century questions for a First Century audience. The Jewish revolt in the Land of Israel was just getting started, and the Temple was on the verge of being destroyed. Many Jews from all over the Mediterranean world—who had acknowledged Yeshua as Messiah—did not know what to do. Was this the end of their faith? Many were at the possible point of denying the Lord. The author of Hebrews, employing carefully constructed and Scripturally-based arguments, advocates that to not heed the warnings of the past brought Ancient Israel extreme judgment—and to deny the Messiah would bring even worse judgment. The bulk of his arguments are deeply rooted in the Jewish theology of the First Century that we see attested to in a variety of ancient sources such as the Septuagint, the Apocrypha, the Pseudepigrapha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Josephus, Philo, and traditions later recorded in the Mishnah and Talmud.

In the commentary Hebrews for the Practical Messianic, Messianic Apologetics editor J.K. McKee tackles some of the difficult hermeneutical questions that are asked when we consider this text for today. Hebrews asks ancient questions that had to be answered by an ancient audience: Hebrews has background issues that cannot be answered solely by a surface reading of the text. Who wrote Hebrews? When was it written? How broad was its original audience? These are some of the many questions that surround Hebrews. The Twenty-First Century questions that Hebrews asks are difficult for many Messianics to consider: What should the role of the Greek Septuagint be in our theology? Do we ever make the mistake of uplifting the Torah over Yeshua? How do we maintain a high regard for Moses, but understand that Yeshua is superior?

In a very careful way, the issues of Hebrews are addressed fairly and scholastically. We need to understand who Yeshua is to us, who Moses is to us, what the New Covenant is to us, and how we should never lose sight of our saving faith in Him. You will see that the Epistle to the Hebrews is a truly inspired and profound text.

316 pages




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The Pastoral Epistles for the Practical Messianic

Unlike some of the other letters of the Pauline corpus, there has been no significant demand for a detailed, Messianic examination of the Pastoral Epistles of 1&2 Timothy and Titus. Many of today’s Messianic teachers and leaders think that they already know what these letters mean, and so putting out the effort of analyzing them beyond a cursory reading or survey is thought to probably not be needed. Sadly, today’s broad Messianic movement is largely unaware and under-informed of a literal factory of academic proposals and perspectives, from over the past fifty years, regarding 1&2 Timothy and Titus. Much of this scholarship has affected various trends present in evangelical Christianity, the ordination of females as clergy within the contemporary church, and the debate over complimentarianism and egalitarianism. It is time for our faith community to join into these discussions.

What purpose do these three letters serve within the Apostolic Scriptures? Are 1&2 Timothy and Titus to actually be read as a kind of “church manual”? What was the false teaching in Ephesus that caused Paul to issue some restrictive instruction? What is a proper usage of the Torah, versus an improper usage of the Torah as employed by the false teachers? What were the troublemakers on Crete doing? Why is the Apostle Paul so positive toward women in positions of high service in other letters, but perhaps not as much so in the Pastoral Epistles? Is abstinence from eating certain things, like keeping kosher, truly a sign of end-time apostasy? What do the Pastoral Epistles teach us about Yeshua the Messiah, and the Father’s plan for the ages? How do we defend genuine Pauline authorship of 1&2 Timothy and Titus? These, and many more critical issues, are examined.

The Pastoral Epistles for the Practical Messianic takes into consideration much of what has been offered by various scholars, not only in terms of the ancient setting of 1&2 Timothy and Titus, but also with how these epistles should be accurately applied in a modern setting. Messianic Apologetics editor J.K. McKee helps to probe these letters for the future development of the Messianic movement, weighing our strengths and weaknesses of them, in an effort to be an assembly that is no longer lacking an adequate understanding. What are the things that we have actually interpreted correctly from the Pastoral Epistles, and what needs to be improved upon? How might some Messianic congregations and fellowships change if we took a good, hard look at 1&2 Timothy and Titus, and implemented some necessary reform? How can we truly be all of the things that we can be in the Lord? This significant commentary asks these, and many more pertinent questions.

354 pages




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1&2 Thessalonians for the Practical Messianic

It is very easy for today’s Messianic Believers to overlook the content of the Pauline Epistles, due to their complexities about issues pertaining to the Torah, First Century Judaism, and the inclusion of the nations in God’s plan of salvation. Among all of the Pauline letters, though, 1&2 Thessalonians get almost totally ignored by contemporary Messianic readers. Yet, 1&2 Thessalonians were some of the earliest of Paul’s letters written, depicting some of the early conflicts that the Body of Messiah experienced, as the good news was being proclaimed in the Mediterranean world. 1&2 Thessalonians are quoted in bits and pieces for their teachings on the end-times, the Second Coming, and they are surely employed in debates over a pre– or post-tribulational gathering of the saints. 1&2 Thessalonians includes much more to be examined for certain, as the First Century Believers were caught in the middle of often being rejected by the Jewish Synagogue, and they were treated with great suspicion and hostility by Greeks and Romans.

What are some of the important spiritual and theological issues to be explored in 1&2 Thessalonians, that can no longer go overlooked for today’s Messianic Believers? Is the Apostle Paul anti-Semitic in 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15? What kind of a religious and/or political clash was occurring between the early Messianic movement, and the Roman establishment’s veneration of Caesar? How has 1&2 Thessalonians been interpreted among many contemporary Christians accurately, and not so accurately, as it concerns the return of the Messiah? What about the importance of the doctrine of the resurrection, especially for the early non-Jewish Believers, who were still likely struggling with issues of their pagan upbringing? What were some of the challenges that the widely non-Jewish Believers of Thessalonica faced, as they turned to the Messiah of Israel for salvation, and had to decisively be removed from any of the social or religious spheres in which they had once lived?

What important lessons are there for contemporary Messianic Believers to learn from 1&2 Thessalonians? How much have we left these two letters outside of our purview of Bible reading? What key insights and admonitions need to be incorporated into our spirituality, given some of the issues and difficulties that we currently face—presumably as we live in some of the final decades before the actual return of Yeshua (Jesus) to Planet Earth? Messianic Apologetics editor J.K. McKee elaborates on these, and various other key subjects, in the commentary 1&2 Thessalonians for the Practical Messianic.

Also included in this commentary is an exposition on Acts 17:1-15: Paul’s visit to Thessalonica.

176 pages




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Philippians for the Practical Messianic

The letter of Paul to the Philippians is a frequently overlooked and disregarded text in the Bible by today’s Messianic community—yet it speaks so profoundly to many of the spiritual issues we are facing, or will undoubtedly be dealing with in the near future. Perhaps with the most Roman character of any other book of the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament), save Paul’s letter to the Romans, Philippians invites us into a community of First Century Believers on their own in the Roman colony of Philippi. These people are surrounded by neighbors who are hostile to both Judaism and the gospel message of Messiah Yeshua. Their numbers are few, but the Apostle Paul is able to consider them his close and affectionate friends, and seldom has a negative word for them. The Philippians are generous to his ministry work, and Paul has strong feelings for their well-being and calling in the Lord.

The Epistle to the Philippians presents us with many theological and social questions that cannot be avoided by anyone who reads it. Above all things, the Apostle Paul places Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) at the center of his life, and urges his Philippian brothers and sisters to do the same. He urges the Philippians to be kind, generous, and significantly different from their neighbors. He urges them to show humility and to be about the supreme service of the gospel, even unto death. He urges unity in the assembly, and that all demonstrate God’s love to others. He affirms the mystery of both the Divinity and humanity of Yeshua. Paul also recognizes the value of women in the local congregation as servants and leaders. For the modern Messianic, Philippians gives us a definitive example of how small fellowships and congregations on their own should function, in addition to the huge questions of how we must have a global vision that recognizes the virtues of other ethnicities and cultures, while still maintaining an Hebraic view of the Scriptures and God’s mission.

In the commentary Philippians for the Practical Messianic, Messianic Apologetics editor J.K. McKee addresses many of the avoided issues that this text asks Messianic Believers. He takes into account the First Century Jewish and Roman background of Paul’s letter. He also considers the large amount of intertexual references that Philippians makes to the Tanach (Old Testament), deeply embedded in Paul’s vocabulary and mannerisms. Most importantly, he considers the centrality of Yeshua and His completed work for Paul, and how all human achievements pale in comparison to who He should be for us as born again Believers who have experienced His transforming power.

Also included in this commentary is an exposition on Acts 16:6-40: Paul’s visit to Philippi.

158 pages




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Ephesians for the Practical Messianic

The Epistle of Ephesians is a letter that contains a very important message for the people of God, who are to be encouraged in accomplishing His mission for the world. Yeshua the Messiah is portrayed as exalted above the cosmos, with His resurrection power being accessible to all Believers. God’s people have been selected by Him to be holy, corporately composing a Temple in which His presence can dwell. By the sacrificial work of the cross, Jewish and non-Jewish followers of the Messiah are to be united together as a “one new humanity”—the mystery of the gospel! All are to serve one another in the Body of Messiah in mutual submission, as Yeshua’s thoughts and mindset nourish the whole ekklesia. People are encouraged to emulate God in their behavior, living distinctively different lives from those around them.

In varying degrees, Ephesians has often been highly valued by today’s Messianic movement because of its emphasis of Jewish and non-Jewish Believers being a part of the Commonwealth of Israel. It does speak of the unity that we are to all have in the Lord, as a testament to the grander redemption of Creation that will come in the eschaton. But while Ephesians is a text that we often turn to, Messianics are often not aware of the more detailed issues surrounding this letter present in contemporary scholarship. Were the “Ephesians” the only audience who received the letter, or was this a general epistle written to Believers in Asia Minor? Did the Apostle Paul really write Ephesians, or was it written by a second generation Believer in his name? What is the specific debate surrounding the dividing wall that has been abolished by the cross—is the wall abolished really the Torah of Moses in its entirety or could it be something else? Are husbands the head/authority of their wives or the head/source of their wives? How interconnected is the composition of Ephesians with the composition of Colossians?

In the commentary Ephesians for the Practical Messianic, Messianic Apologetics editor J.K. McKee addresses the known and unknown questions that this important letter asks us as Messianic Believers. A large Jewish and Greco-Roman Mediterranean background is considered of the issues. Careful and detailed attention has been given to the opinions present today surrounding the dividing wall, and complementarian and egalitarian views of the household codes. References to Tanach (Old Testament) concepts in the author’s words are considered, along with careful consideration for how Ephesians challenges us as a faith community trying to achieve our Father’s objectives. Poignant questions as to how we can be molded into a mature people are asked for today’s season of Messianic uncertainty.

238 pages




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1 Corinthians for the Practical Messianic

What has been commonly labeled the First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, is actually a second piece of correspondence written to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 5:9), and is a letter which tends to be quite puzzling for not just Christian readers, but most especially Messianic readers. While 1 Corinthians is hardly a letter that goes unappreciated, being able to sort through the divisions, sectarianism, and inappropriate actions of the different groups among the First Century Corinthian Believers, is something that can catch many completely off guard. Not enough, in looking through 1 Corinthians, are aware that they are engaged in reading one side of a two-sided conversation, between the Apostle Paul and a group of people who widely, and in some cases desperately, needed discipline and help. Between the letters of 1 and 2 Corinthians, more was written from the Apostle Paul to the Corinthian Messiah followers, than any other group in the First Century C.E.

A diverse array of topics—ranging from Biblical faith being the true and genuine philosophy, to the proper application of God’s supremacy over all supernatural beings, to the gifts of the Spirit, to the personal status of different individuals—is considered in 1 Corinthians. Admonitions are issued to those caught in sin, as are answers to errant ideas or sayings circulating among sectors of the Corinthian Messiah followers. Pleas for the Corinthians to return to a steady and secure path of faith and trust in the Lord are issued.

Even with some discussion on parts of the letter of 1 Corinthians, here and there within the Messianic movement, 1 Corinthians still remains one of the most difficult and elusive writings within the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament) for our faith community to examine. This resource, 1 Corinthians for the Practical Messianic, intends to change much of the insecurity that today’s Messianic people may have. Messianic Apologetics editor J.K. McKee focuses Messianic people on: the text of Paul’s letter, various translation issues from Greek into English, background issues from either Second Temple Judaism or Greco-Roman classicism, and academic proposals such as various statements in 1 Corinthians not at all being remarks of the Apostle Paul, but instead Corinthian slogans Paul is having to respond to or refute. This commentary is a significant resource for providing clarity to an epistle, where there has not been enough probing, for either its ancient or modern relevance.

Also included in this commentary is an exposition on Acts 18:1-18: Paul’s visit to Corinth.

410 pages




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Romans for the Practical Messianic

Paul’s letter to the Romans is easily discerned to be the most influential letter ever written in human history. It has had a significant impact on religious authorities, governmental authorities, and philosophies on God, human behavior, and societal order. There is no denying the great theological importance that the Epistle to the Romans has had throughout Christian history, especially since the Protestant Reformation.

Romans was written against the backdrop of both the Apostle Paul setting his ministry activity westward toward Spain, and the Roman Jewish Believers returning to Rome after the Edict of Claudius, and finding that things would not exactly be the same with the assembly of Messiah followers being majority non-Jewish. Paul’s letter to the Romans was written as a presentation of his theology of the gospel, to a group of people with whom he was not directly acquainted, but also to issue some admonitions to their circumstances, so that all might get along. Romans is a key epistle for Pauline theology to be sure, regarding issues surrounding salvation, justification and righteousness, the Jewish people and the Kingdom of Israel, the nations, and the Torah of Moses. Yet, Romans is also about some significant First Century issues regarding the redemption of the Jewish people and the nations, and them functioning together in one Body of Messiah.

In much of Romans examination, only up until the past few decades, Paul’s letter has principally been viewed as a theological treatise and not a letter written to ancient Messiah followers. While there are many useful perspectives and insights offered by those past voices who have considered Romans—the setting of Romans is quite important and most relevant for the broad, contemporary Messianic movement. Much of the ancient setting of Romans, with the Jewish Believers getting reintegrated into the fellowships of Believers, parallels much of what we see in our own faith community. The Messianic movement of today is a majority non-Jewish group of people—yet both Jewish and non-Jewish Believers do rely on one another, and should be eagerly about “lov[ing] one another with mutual affection; outdo[ing] one another in showing honor” (Romans 12:10, NRSV).

This Messianic study on Romans is definitely one produced for the 2010s, and for the challenges that the Messianic movement presently faces! Messianic Apologetics editor J.K. McKee offers a compelling examination of this letter, appreciating the perspectives of Law-positive Christian traditions which have preceded us, but one which is also engaged with some contemporary perspectives. These include proposals present via the New Perspective on Paul, studies and thoughts regarding the “I” of Romans ch. 7, egalitarian views regarding figures such as Phoebe and Junia in Romans ch. 16, and most especially current Messianic handling of the topic of Israel in Romans chs. 9-11. Romans for the Practical Messianic is a commentary that should be welcome in many Messianic libraries, as it interjects some well needed information into our developing theology of both Paul and the mission of God.

Also included in this commentary is an exposition on Acts 28:11-31: Paul’s arrival in Rome.

452 pages




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James for the Practical Messianic

The letter of James the Just, the half-brother of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah, is not without its controversy. Often considered to have the most Jewish character of among all the books of the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament), James’ epistle sits between two extremes: those who deny his message, and those who give his message a weight that it was never intended to have. James’ letter has a distinctive emphasis on the works of the individual, and so many have viewed what he has to say as actually annulling the grace of God in the process of salvation. Some have denied James’ place in the Biblical canon, and others have forgotten who James was as a humble, kind, and patient servant of the Lord.

James’ epistle has a universal moral message for all of humanity, and especially the Messianic community today. Written at the emergence of First Century Messianic faith, James was observing some of the controversies and issues creeping in as the gospel message went beyond the Land of Israel, and God’s Kingdom was in the process of being restored. Some were causing discord and forgetting the ethics that God requires His people to have in the Torah. When you add to this the early persecutions that the Believers faced, coupled with the fact that corrupt rich people were being shown favor in the assembly, you have a letter that deals with a great deal of practical faith, holy living, and consideration for others. James’ admonitions must be heeded, in order for people to find themselves in the will and purpose of the Lord.

In the commentary James for the Practical Messianic, Messianic Apologetics editor J.K. McKee addresses what we need to learn as Messianic Believers today from James’ epistle. He takes into account the distinct Jewish character of James, considering various passages in the letter with statements made in the Torah and Tanach, the Apocrypha, Philo, Josephus, the Pseudepigrapha, Dead Sea Scrolls, and also the Mishnah and Talmud. He also considers the First Century history behind James’ letter, and also parallels that exist between statements in James and remarks made in Greco-Roman classicism. Most importantly, various important theological opinions that have existed over the centuries regarding James are addressed, especially as to whether or not the Epistle of James at all contradicts the theology of the letters of Paul. Some of the current scholastic trends in examination of James are also considered, both enriching and challenging the diligent student who is looking for a distinctive Messianic perspective of this letter.

174 pages




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