The Three “I”s, Part 4: Levels of Paradise

In addition to the the seven general principles of interpretation set forth by R. Hillel, it is understood by the rabbis that a single passage usually has more than a single valid interpretation:  “There are seventy faces to the Torah: Turn it around and around, for everything is in it" (Num.R. 13:15).  In the middle …

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The Three “I”s, Part 3: Interpretation in Judaism

An old Christian adage states, “When the plain sense makes good sense, seek no other sense, lest you end up with nonsense.”  This sounds like good advice on the surface; the only problem is that it’s not Biblical.  There are numerous instances in the New Testament where the Apostles very deliberately interpreted passages from the …

The Three “I”s, Part 2 – Inspiration and Authority

To Part 1 In Christianity, Scriptural inspiration is pretty much a binary proposition:  It's either inspired or it ain't.  And if it's inspired, it must all be inspired equally, right?  After all, "All Scripture is inspired by God (lit. "God-breathed") and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the …

The Three “I”s: Inspiration, Interpretation, Implementation– Part 1

I recently read Eung Chung Park's Either Gentile or Jew: Paul's Unfolding Theology of Inclusivity, a somewhat dry book which contains some interesting observations about some of Paul's letters and the rabbinic writings about Gentile converts into Judaism, but which is hampered by two major problems: 1) The whole book is the lead-in to a …