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Soli Deo Gloria is the writing and teaching ministry of Baruch Maoz in Israel. Baruch is engaged in writing original commentaries on the Bible, and theological and practical works in Hebrew. Some of his books are available in English. His Critique of the Messianic Movement, Come Let Us Reason Together: The Unity of Jews and Gentiles in the Church, has been published by P&R, and his Devotional Commentary, Malachi: A Prophet in Times of Distress by Founders Press. Both are available from Barnes and Noble and Amazon while Shepherd Press produced his Devotional Commentary Jonah: A Prophet on the Run.

Baruch has written  a series of commentaries in Hebrew on Hosea, Joel, Amos, Micah, Jonah, Nahum and Malachi, Matthew, Romans and Colossians. He has written an Introdution to the Life and Epistles of Paul, an Introduction to Systematic Theology, and edited a modern translation of the Old Testament into spoken Hebrew. He is presently translating the New Testament into Modern Hebrew and engaged in other writing projects. In the pipeline are books on church life and structure, How to Preach and Listen to Sermons, and Daily Christian disciplines. To date, Baruch is the only author writing Christian literature n Hebrew.

Baruch and Bracha are Israeli Jewish Christians who have served in Israel for 5 decades now. Between April 1974 and December 2006 Baruch served with Christian Witness to Israel, most of that time as Israel Field Leader. Betwen May 1975 and December 2008 he served as Pastor of Grace and Truth Christian Congregation in Rishon LeTsion, Israel. Our website reflects the experiences gained in the course of that time.

Our monthly newsletter, MaozNews, is available for the asking, with back-issues to be found on this website (Baruch's Writings/News From Israel). To subscribe, click address at bottom of this page. His faceBook and Linkedin pages serve as blogs and provide almost daily information on the scene in Israel. His postings are also avaialble via Twitter @BaruchMaoz

 

Following is a link to Baruch's summary to Paul's letter to the Romans (audio, 40 minutes)

http://www.kingschapelbaptist.org/sermons/?sermon_id=36 

Baruch's Musings

January 5 2017

In view of discussions re Israel's right to the Land, see the following papers (under writings):

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict; Some Moral Considerations for Chrisitans

Jerusalem and Justice

Whose Promised Land

 

January 11, 2017 

From my commentary on Colossians (Col. 4:15-18)

To be published 2017 by Founders Press

Paul had not met the brethren in Laodicea (Col. 2:1). But he heard of them and they of him, so he wrote, “Greet the brothers in Laodicea, and Nympha and those of the church in her house.” Nympha is mentioned only here in the New Testament. She must have been a woman of means if she was able to host a church in her home, although we have no idea of the size of the church in the city. Regular-sized houses in the Roman period could have been able to host no more than a handful. By the time John penned the book of Revelation, the church there would have been quite large.

It is also possible that Paul is referring, not to Nympha (a female) but to Nymphas (a male). However, the feminine is more likely because, in Greek mythology, Nymphe was one of the twelve Horae, the Greek goddesses of the seasons, sometimes a goddess of a lower degree who dwelt in rocks and springs or forests and were beneficent to mankind. A marriageable young woman was also said to be a nymph. Women played a larger role in the early church than some translators and commentators are willing to acknowledge.

In conclusion Paul writes, “And whenever this letter is read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans, so that you also read the letter to those in Laodicea.” The churches in the valley naturally maintained a close relationship due not only to their geographical proximity but also to the fact that they seem to have been founded by Epaphras. The letter to the Laodiceans mentioned here cannot be identified with certainty. There are reasons to believe the letter known to us as the letter to the Ephesians was actually a circular letter sent to the three churches, and that the copy to Ephesus was the only copy preserved. Any good introduction to that letter will provide the reader with the argument.

He then adds, “And tell Archippus, ‘take care of the service which you have received from the Lord, so you carry it out.’” Like others in this list, Archippus is mentioned only here and in the letter to Philemon, where Paul called him his fellow-soldier. We know next to nothing of the man and nothing about the nature of the commission to which Paul makes reference. The principle, however, is clear: duties are to be fulfilled, not shirked or neglected. Archippus seems to have belonged in some way to Philemon’s household and, since he is mentioned after Philemon and Apphia, is thought to have been Philemon’s wife; it is probable that Archippus was their son (Philem. v. 2).

Archippus apparently began well. It was now his duty to end well. Good endings are far less common than good beginnings. Is that true of you? Of me? Are we short-winded, impatient, incapable of persevering? Or do we have the reputation of those who, having put their hand to the plough, refuse to look back?

Paul signs off with a signature from his own hand, a final brief request and a salutation: “Greetings in my handwriting, from Paul. Remember my captivity. Grace be with you.” It is common but mistaken to think of Paul bent over a papyrus or a writing tablet, carefully devising his letters, erasing and rewriting as he sought the right phrase to express what the Spirit of God was leading him to say. Not so. Paul engaged an amanuensis, a trained professional, something close to a modern secretary, who had the skills and was acquainted with the conventions of the day (a scribe copied, an amanuensis composed). Only the final signature was Paul’s (compare Gal. 6:11; 1 Cor. 16:21). In the letter to the Romans, the amanuensis actually introduces himself (“I Tertius, who wrote this letter, greets you in the Lord” [Rom. 16:22]).

In the Roman era, most letters were written on papyrus by means of a reed pen whose point was shaped much like that of a modern fountain pen but requiring skilled, constant sharpening. The ink was generally made of soot mixed with resin to provide permanence and diluted with water to render the ink useable. Writing on papyrus was no easy matter, and the materials for doing so were not in common usage. What is more, the average home (or prison) did not normally hold a stock for letter writing.

Paul would provide the amanuensis with the tone and gist of what he wanted to say. The amanuensis would then compose the letter and submit it to Paul for his approval or correction. If necessary, alterations would be introduced until the apostle was satisfied that the letter expressed what he wanted it to say in the way he wanted to say it. The Spirit of God controlled the whole of this process.
Paul’s last two sentences express his own sense of need and summarize the message of his letter: grace is all that counts. Human effort is vacuous and achieves nothing of true spiritual value. Everything a Christian has is by grace, and grace is to be found in Christ alone.
--- * ---

Here ends the series on Colossians. In a few weeks' time, we shall commence another series. Thank you, all, for your interest and for the many encouraging comments received. May God ever have glory in all that we do.

Baruch

 

January 07, 2017

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says he will not enter negotiations with Israel until there is a settlement freeze. His given reason is that continued Israeli settlement in the West Bank increasingly renders the viability of an independent Palestinian State further from reach. The flaw in this logic is obvious: the best way to ensure the continuance of this encroaching process is to delay negotiations. The best way to bring an end to it is by engaging in negotiations. C'mon, Mr. Abbas, dare us to negotiate, dare to negotiate yourself. That is the best way forward.

 

January 05, 2017

" I would like to offer the following proposition..." 

“I would like to offer the following proposition: that as a result of the historical experience of the twentieth century, man has lost faith in himself, as well as lost the guidelines he was once sure of, and that this loss is primarily responsible for our current distress …

As long as man though himself the son of God, containing the divine spark and created by the finger of God as in that wonderful gesture painted by Michelangelo on the Sistine ceiling, he had respect and even a little awe for himself; he could feel there was a purpose in his being here and even a concealed purpose in the evil that befell him of in the evil that he wrought; that, come what may, he was a part of the divine plan. Without wishing to offend individual beliefs, I would say that, as an historical factor, this view no longer holds. We are on our own now, ‘a poor bare forked animal,’ in King Lear’s words, and it is very uncomfortable.”

(Barbara Tuchman in “Historical Clues to Present Discontents,” PRACTICING HISTORY, SELECTED ESSAYS, Alfred & Knopf, first edition, 1981. Delovered as an Adress and Pomona College, 1969)

 

January 03, 2017

MaozViews - A Bi-monthly Overview 
January 2017

Social and Political Trends in Israel
The Orthodox
It is a slow but steady process: the number of Orthodox Jews breaking away from the restrictions imposed on them by their rabbis is increasing. Growing numbers are obtaining an education, engaging in gainful employment, enlisting in the military and undertaking voluntary social activities beyond the confines of their cloistered communities. 
As a result, little by little, the power the rabbis held over their adherents is being eroded. The Orthodox are discovering that there is a world outside the cultural ghetto. They are learning to think for themselves. Contrary to rabbinic impositions rabbis, they are increasingly using mobile phones., surfing the Internet and reading non-religious newspapers. Some are even joining non-religious political parties.

Settlers
At the same time, Israeli settlers in the West Bank, professedly driven by religious principles, are gaining political sway. All Israeli governments since the West Bank and Gaza came under Israeli control, have engaged in subterfuge, initiating and at the same time decrying the establishment of Israeli settlements in the Territories. 
Some have acted with a view to buttressing Israel security by way of establishing settlements in militarily strategic locations while firming claims to crucial historic sites. Others, more nationalistically-motivated and perhaps more far-sighted, acted to obviate the possibility of founding a Palestinian State. That goal was repeatedly affirmed.
The latter have by far outstripped the former, cynically utilizing the former’s resources. Now, with some 400,000 Jews living in 4 cities, 5 regional councils, 15 local councils, 129 official and scores of unofficial settlements in the West Bank, they have become a force to be reckoned with in all walks of Israeli life. 
They have their own political party, HaBayit Hayehudi, led by Minister of Education Naphthali Bennet, with extensive support in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beyteynu. They have longed pressed for the annexation of portions of the West Bank and are now calling for the annexation of it all, as well as the Golan Heights.
This step, if ever taken, will render it impossible for Israel to be either truly Jewish or truly democratic, and therefor constitutes a real threat to our country.

Prospects of Peace
Under present circumstances, there is little likelihood of finding a partner with whom to negotiate peace on the Syrian border, including the fate of the Heights. It is, however, possible that Russia’s newly-established preponderance in the Middle East, particularly in Syria, may force Syrian President Bashar El-Assad or his successor to the negotiating table. America left a vacuum Vladimir Putin is happy to fill. 
The West Bank and Gaza continue to be separated due to the conflict between Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank, with the latter’s tenuous control of the West Bank being maintained largely by Israeli military and intelligence capabilities. President’s Mahmoud Abbas’ mandate has long run out. Who, then, is to represent the Palestinians? What is more, President Abbas has repeatedly turned down generous Israeli offers made in the past by Prime Ministers Barak and Olmert, to the chagrin of American Republican and Democrat go-betweens.
Nor does it appear that Prime Minister Netanyahu is willing to conduct meaningful negotiations. He seems to be talking out of both sides of his mouth, on the one hand professing to desire “Two States for Two Peoples” while supporting settlement initiatives that render the likelihood of a viable Palestinian State beyond reach. A majority of Israeli citizens would cede territory for a solidly sustainable peace agreement, but no such majority exists in Israel’s Government or Legislature.

Everyday Life
The cost of living continues to rise. The price of housing has doubled in less than a decade and no end is in sight. The economy is doing well, but the average citizen is suffering. The middle class is being diminished while the rich are becoming richer. A hedonistic tsunami has engulfed society: nightclubs are crowded with drunken, scantily-dressed young people, rollicking to the beat of loudspeakers in crowded, dimly-lit halls, where the police have distribute free kits to enable girls to check if their drinks have been laced with a rape-drug.
Scientific research, courageous and generous outreach to the Syrian civilian population and a still-vibrant democratic society are happily also evident. The above-described trends are undermining the more positive aspects of Israeli society, but have not become the most dominant features. In fact, it is a source of wonder to witness the positive attitude of most Israelis have to life in the teeth of these realities. It is clear evident of Common Grace to note Israeli friendliness in its attitude to the everyday Palestinian, over 100,000 of whom work in Israel daily.

The Church
These are days of tremendous opportunity, if we would but rise to the occasion. It seems like we are more taken up with finding acceptance than with challenging our society. Wonderful efforts are being made in an effort to address social issues. Strenuous efforts are invested in evangelizing individuals. But the major issues continue to be ignored and our society remains without a prophetic voice. It is wonderful to know that God is the Lord, and that he is at work – at his own pace. The kingdoms of this world will become – visibly --m the kingdom of God and of his Christ, and they shall reign forever and ever. Hallelujah!

Your prayers are needed.

 

January 03, 2017

From my commentary on Colossians (Col. 4:12-14)

To be published 2017 by Founders Press

Justus is followed by Epaphras. As noted when we looked at Colossians 1:7, although Epaphras is an abbreviated form of Epaphroditus, this Epaphras is not the Epaphroditus mentioned in Paul’s letter to the Philippians. The latter was a resident of the city of Philippi and associated with the church there (Phil. 2:26; 3:18). The Colossian Epaphras was the one through whom the Colossians had first heard the Gospel, and who harbored a spiritual interest in the three churches in the Lycean Valley.

As Paul puts it, “I testify concerning him that he is very concerned for you and those in Laodicea and those in Hierapolis.” We do not know why such a testimony was needed, but apparently it was. The early church was not free of the human weaknesses that dog every community. We expect too much of the church when we demand that it be perfect in the here and now. How could it be so long as we, and others like us, belong? What should characterize the church on earth is not the absence of human failings but the way these are dealt with and the corporate striving to forgive each other and to overcome those failings for God’s sake.

Epaphras is Paul’s “a slave of Christ Jesus,” also described in 1:7 as “a faithful servant of Christ.” Epaphras’ interest in the churches of Colossae, Hierapolis, and Laodicea motivated him to engage in earnest prayer. Epaphras is said to be “always struggling for you in his prayers so that you might stand complete and having been assured in all the will of God.” That is how we should pray: struggling. Always. That is what we should be struggling for: “that you might stand complete and having been assured in all the will of God.”

The will of God spoken of here is not an abstraction. Neither is it God’s hidden, personal will for each one of us as individuals. It is, rather, the will of God as expressed, defended, and insisted upon in this letter and to which Paul referred in 1:9 as a humble awareness of our incapacities and of Christ’s glorious sufficiency; a leaning on his achievements rather than anything we might do; a recognition that none of us will ever better another in Christ—that we are all equal and that we must live as equals rather than striving to prove ourselves on a higher level; a love that bears and forbears because it recognizes that we were called to serve God in one body; a love that unites all who are in Christ in the bond of peace, refuses to submit to human traditions, and accords Christ the sufficiency that is rightly his.

Luke is next. Lukas in Greek is an abbreviation of Lukanos. He was the composer of the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts, and a physician by trade. From the fact that Paul said that only Aristarchus, Justus and Mark among those with him were Jewish, we conclude that Luke was not. Since certain sections of Acts were written in the first person plural (we), we conclude that Luke was a witness to many of the events narrated in that book. Like John, who refrains from mentioning himself in his Gospel, Luke did not name himself in the book of Acts. His humility is exemplary.

On the other hand, Luke excluded himself from the circle of “those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word” (Luke 1:2), and “who delivered a narrative of those events to us” (Luke 1:1–2). He was not a witness to the events described in his Gospel. Rather, he examined “all things closely for some time past” (Luke 1:3) and then chose to write.

Luke’s introduction to the Gospel that bears his name is a more formal classical Greek than any other portion of the New Testament. The fact that he chose to write the rest of his Gospel in a Greek that reflected the spoken language of Galilee and Judea is evidence of his excellent education and his literary skill.

Following the indications supplied by the use of “we” in Acts we see that Luke first associated with Paul in Troas, immediately following Paul’s vision of a Macedonian calling the apostle to cross the straits: “Immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding God had called us to preach the gospel to them” (Acts 16:10). Some have surmised Luke was a Macedonian who met Paul, heard the Gospel from him, and pleaded with him to preach the Gospel in his homeland, Macedonia. Following that conversation or prior to it, Paul saw Luke in a dream and heard his plea.

Paul crossed the straits accompanied by Luke and others and, upon preaching the Gospel in Philippi, left Luke there (where the “we” passage ends; see “they” in Acts 16:40). Some years later, in the course of the apostle’s third missionary endeavor, Paul and Luke met again in Macedonia, presumably in Philippi (Acts 20:3–5), and Luke rejoined the apostle in his travels (the “we” passages resume), remaining with him all the way to Rome (Acts 28:16). Surprisingly, he is not mentioned in Paul’s letter to the Philippians, written toward the end of Paul’s first detention in Rome. It is probable Luke was away on some mission. We find him alongside Paul again during the apostle’s second Roman detention (2 Tim. 4:11). Obviously Paul was indebted to Luke and had great affection for him, which is why he refers to him as “the beloved physician.”

Demas is mentioned along with Luke as conveying greetings to the Colossians. Once again we may assume the church in Colossae either had met or had heard about these two men. “The beloved physician greets you, and Demas.” Demas is mentioned only thrice in the New Testament. In Philemon v. 24, he is described, with Luke, as Paul’s fellow-worker. However, something happened, and during Paul’s second detention in Rome, the apostle wrote, “Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica” (2 Tim. 4:10). The circumstances of this desertion are unknown.


January 01, 2017

On Galatians 5:14-18

When Moses sought to summarize the law, that we might remember what is teaches and reveals, he said that God would have us love him… For his sake we must forget father and mother, wife, children and everything else in this world. Yet, to love God and to love our neighbors are not mutually exclusive things… If we are given over to selfish interests, it is a sure sign that we do not know what it is to bear the yoke of God…

The person his neighbor demonstrates that he is not looking after his own interests; he is not selfish. This, therefore, is a sure and certain mark of the fact that we are seeking to obey God and to regulate our lives according to his word.

However little men may deserve to be regarded as neighbors, yet by showing them love, we demonstrate that God has helped us to overcome all malice toward them…

True love has as its’ goal God and the sense of community that should exists among us … Therefore, by seeking to do good even to those who are unworthy of it, we are truly proving that we desire to show love for God…

If people were less devoted to themselves, there would be great love and harmony amongst us all. But we are disposed to love ourselves too much, and this excessive love blinds us and robs us of all reason, good judgement and fairness. That is why God tells us that we must love our neighbors as we love ourselves…

So, he says, “it is not enough to love one another, you must love your neighbor as yourselves.” This make us aware of how far short we fall form the perfect standards of the law, and demonstrates that we must struggle against our own natures in order to obey God. How, therefore, should Christians really be exercising themselves? By acknowledging that they have behaved so baldly towards God and by trembling because of their many infirmities and sins. Next, they must strive and labor daily to overcome their shortcomings, aiming to be no longer controlled by their fleshly appetites. God ought to have the dominion, then, instead of loving ourselves, we will set out to fulfill that to which he has called us.

(John Calvin, Sermons on Galatians)


December 29, 2016

Truth be told, leaders of both sides to the Middle East conflict aren't willing to come to true negotiations


December 23, 2016

A blessed Hanukah and/or Christmas

To our many friends -- a blessed Hanukah and/or Christmas. We have such to celebrate and whom to thank beyond measure. All glory to him!

 

December 21, 2016

From my commentary on Colossians (Col. 4:10-11)

To by published 2017 by Founders Press

After Mark comes “Jesus, who has been named Justus.” Nothing is known of Justus apart from what is written here. He, Mark, and Aristarchus were Jewish Christians (“those of the circumcision” Col. 4:11) whom Paul described as his “only fellow-workers in the kingdom of God from among the circumcised who became a comfort to me.” The note of sadness in the apostle’s voice is evident. He was human. He longed like all of us for understanding, recognition, appreciation, and friendship.

Paul felt very much alone because of his commitment to the evangelization of the Gentiles and the unity of the church. Still, he was willing to pay the price as long as he could continue in the work to which Christ had called him through the Holy Spirit, “to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15). What is more, he was shown in advance “how much he must suffer for the sake of my name” (Acts 9:16), yet he took on the task committed to him. Recalling that Paul wrote to the Colossian Christians while in detention in Rome, the fact that only these three stood by Paul and shared his labors at the time speaks poorly for the brethren who made up the church in Rome. Their proximity only served to enhance Paul’s sense of loneliness. God forbid that we be like them.

The servants of God are called to tread a painful path. Loneliness is but one aspect of the pain they must endure. Such men are often considered, much as we tend to consider Paul, to be above the emotional wear and tear normal humans experience. They are thought of as never afraid, never offended, never in need of a sympathetic hand of understanding and comfort. Not a few collapse under the burden of such a calling, especially if they were taught to expect the opposite or if they do not know how to derive strength from the Lord. Paul sensed the hurt. But he persisted because he lived and breathed, preached and suffered for the Son of God, who loved him and gave himself for him. Paul was dead to the world, not in the sense that it had no appeal to him, but in the sense that he loved Christ more.

We should not think those who serve us are beyond human feelings. Leadership is a lonely calling, requiring tremendous emotional sacrifice. Let’s be sensitive to those who serve us and support them as best we can. Let’s seek to be their comfort and encouragement rather than add to their burdens. When they stumble, let’s be quick to help them back onto their feet. Above all, let’s pray much for them.

 

December 14, 2016

Looking deeply at the idea of democracy

Professor Ruth Gabison, addressing issues relative to Israel, has words that we all might well heed: 
"Looking deeply at the idea of democracy is a very serious and urgent challenge. In many other countries, there is a reluctance to accept that democracy has implications for the political culture. And the most serious implication of democracy for political culture is that your political adversaries can never be the representatives of evil. You form a democracy with people with whom you have solidarity as fellow members of the demos. They are all citizens of your country. They have equal stakes in its success. So, if the country has free and equal elections and civil and political rights, democracy requires that the parties that have lost this time let the winners govern.

Democracy means that you have enough basic trust and respect for your adversaries that you campaign in order to persuade the demos to choose you. But, if you lose, you re-organise yourself for the next campaign. You don’t then start to delegitimise the ones who were elected. Because, if you do that, then it means that you don’t really accept the solidarity of the demos.

If you are the kind of political actor who thinks that if your country goes in a direction that you don’t think is the right, good or necessary one, then it means that this is not a legitimate government – this is a problem for democracy. This is a real problem because democracy does yield bad results. We know this to be true. We don’t support democracy because it is the best system ever. We don’t support democracy because it can never fail. We support democracy because it is the least bad of all regimes that we know. We support democracy because it allows us to be free and active and fight within the political system for change. This is the essence of democracy. You have dynamic challenges, and democracy should be the way you translate your political energies, your civic solidarity and your other kinds of solidarity and try to make your country great."

 

December 06, 2016

From my commentary on Colossians (Col. 4:10)

To be published 2017 by founders Press

Paul then mentions Aristarchus, whom he describes as “my fellow-prisoner” here and in the letter to Philemon as his “fellow soldier” (v. 2). We first met him as a member of Paul’s party in Ephesus (Acts 19:29), on which occasion he was described as a Macedonian (Ephesus was in Asia; Macedonia in what is now northern Greece). Acts 2:4 and 27:2 pinpoint his city of residence, indicating that he was a Thessalonian (another Macedonian city). From Colossians 4:10–11 we learn that he was Jewish.

Paul conveys greetings from Aristarchus, with whom and it is reasonable to deduce either that the Colossians were acquainted or that they had heard of him. Aristarchus traveled ahead of Paul from Ephesus to Troas, where he awaited the apostle (Acts 20:1–4). He appears next alongside Paul on the trip from Caesarea to Rome (Acts 27:2), and then in the letters to Colossians and to Philemon, written from Rome in the course of Paul’s first detention. He is not mentioned elsewhere in the New Testament.

The next individual to be referenced is “Mark, Barnabas’s cousin.” This is John Mark, mentioned in Acts 12:12, whose mother hosted the church in Jerusalem and to which home Peter went when he was miraculously released from prison. Mark then appeared in Antioch, in the company of his uncle, Barnabas, and Paul. He accompanied the two at the beginning of their first missionary endeavor (Acts 13:1–5) and then left them, rather abruptly. 
In the course of that initial outreach we read, “Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia, and Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem” (Acts 13:13). Later, in Acts 15:37–39, we learn that when Paul and Barnabas considered a second missionary endeavor:

Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord.

Apparently Paul viewed Mark’s departure as a kind of desertion.
In light of the fact that Mark returned from Pamphylia to Jerusalem—not to Antioch, from whence he had been sent—and from Luke’s emphasis on Paul and Barnabas’s focus on the Gentiles (Acts 14:26–27), it is reasonable to conclude Mark was uncomfortable with this focus. He therefore left the two and made his way to Jerusalem, assuming he would find support for his views there. We do know that Paul later met with opposition in Jerusalem, including a measure of suspicion from fellow Jewish Christians. It was while seeking to accommodate them that he was arrested in the temple court.

Whatever might have been the reason for Mark’s departure and Paul’s displeasure with him, by the time the letter to the Colossians was written, the two had reconciled. From what Paul has to say about him here we conclude that Mark had a change of heart. He came to understand the truth of the apostle’s insistence on the unity of the church, incorporating Jews and Gentiles, as Mark is described as one of the few Jewish Christians who shared in Paul’s efforts (my “fellow-workers in the kingdom of God from among the circumcised who became a comfort to me.”). Obviously he underwent a complete turn-around. When Paul wrote to Timothy during his second detention in Rome, the two had clearly developed an affectionate camaraderie (2 Tim. 4:11).

Mark, then, was a man of principle, but he loved God’s truth more than he loved his version of it. He was capable of changing his mind and seeking amends with those whose views he had earlier taken to task. And Paul was not vindictive. He harbored no ill will toward Mark and had enough grace in his heart to recognize that people can change.

Paul says regarding Mark, “About whom you received instructions: if he comes to you receive him.” We learn, then, that there was meaningful cooperation between the two. Paul not only knew of Mark’s intended movements but supported them.
Most scholars identify John Mark with the Mark who wrote the Gospel called by his name, most likely on the basis of Peter’s narrative.

 

 

 

 


November 30, 2016

From my commentary on Colossians (Col. 4:7-10)

To be published by Founders Press 2017

Paul closes with the promise that Tychicus and Onesimus, the bearers of this letter, would provide the Colossians with up-to-date information concerning his situation. He then proceeds with a series of greetings from Christians who were with him in Rome, coupled with his personal greetings and brief exhortations. Finally, he attaches his signature. With the exception of Justus, all individuals mentioned here are also mentioned in Paul’s letter to Philemon.
“About me Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow-slave in the Lord, will inform you, whom I sent to you for this very purpose, so that you might know the things concerning us and that he might comfort your hearts with Onesimus, the faithful and beloved brother who belongs to you. They will inform you of the situation here.” Let’s pause for a moment and introduce the individuals mentioned in these verses.

Tychicus, described by Luke as an Asian (Acts 20:4), hailed from the Roman administrative region of Asia, presently in western Turkey, where Troas, Colossae Hierapolis, and the seven churches mentioned in Revelation 2 and 3 were situated. He is first mentioned as a member of Paul’s party when the apostle traveled through Greece and Macedonia on his way to Jerusalem with a collection from the churches among the Gentiles for the brethren in Jerusalem, impoverished by a drought that decimated the Roman world of the time.

Tychicus was with Paul in Rome. He seemed to have been with the apostle throughout the latter’s two-year detention in Caesarea, traveled with him to Rome, and was sent out by him, with Onesimus, bearing this letter, one to Philemon, and the letter to the Ephesians (Eph. 6:21–22). Apparently he also carried one to the Laodiceans (Col. 4:15–16), which may have been a copy of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.

Paul was released following Caesar’s decision and continued to travel for the Gospel. From 2 Timothy 4:12 and Titus 3:12 we learn that Tychicus rejoined the apostle’s company and was sent by him to Crete to replace Titus. He was with Paul again during the apostle’s second and last imprisonment in Rome, during which time he was sent by the apostle to Ephesus to replace Timothy. Some believe Tychicus is the brother spoken of in 2 Corinthians 8:22: “Our brother whom we have often tested and found earnest in many matters, but who is now more earnest than ever because of his great confidence in you.” If they are correct, then another of Tychicus’ missions was to the troubled church in Corinth.

In this letter Paul described him as a “beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow-slave in the Lord.” Paul was, as discussed earlier, an affectionate man. But he did not hand out compliments lightly; he had high standards, and Tychicus met them. He was “faithful,” proving himself a “fellow-slave in the Lord,” and thereby became particularly beloved to Paul. Unlike many who take every advantage to intimate how far advanced they consider themselves to be in comparison with others, Paul put Tychicus on his level—a fellow-slave, an equal partner. We lead best when we focus on encouraging others. Paul knew this well and devoted a good deal of his energies to encouraging and promoting others to areas of responsibility. We could well learn from him.

He “will inform you, whom I sent to you for this very purpose, so that you might know the things concerning us and that he might comfort your hearts.” Paul’s relations with the churches and with the people alongside whom he worked were not exclusively based on authority but on mutual affection and a shared commitment to the Lord. Paul knew that the Colossians would be concerned for him and would want to learn of his welfare and his labors. He considered himself obliged to report to them. In spite of his strong personality, the apostle was not a loose cannon; he was an emissary of the churches, including those he founded. He reported to them. And his relations with the churches were not merely formal; they were affectionately personal.

Onesimus is mentioned next here (Col. 4:9) and in the letter to Philemon, a prominent member of the church in Colossae and, most likely, the one in whose home the church met. Onesimus was one of Philemon’s slaves. He fled to Rome after robbing his master, met Paul, and was converted (Philem. v. 10). The apostle sent him back to his duties as a slave in Philemon’s household (Philem. v. 12), which is what occasioned his letter to Philemon. Nothing more is known of Onesimus. Tradition seeks to fill in the blanks but nothing is certain.

Onesimus was not engaged in Gospel work, but he, like Tychicus, is described as a “faithful and beloved brother, who belongs to you [that is, he came from Colossae]. They [Tychicus and Onesimus] will inform you of the situation here.” Although a young Christian, Onesimus was entrusted with a mission, to be carried out in fellowship with the elder, more experienced Tychicus: to report to the church in Colossae. The fact that he was a slave—and a runaway slave who probably stole from his owner (Philem. v. 18)—did not alter Paul’s confidence in him. He had been converted. He had repented on his sins and was now on his way back to his owner, where he would have to accept Philemon’s decision as to the consequences of his actions. – and slave-owners had a life-or-death power over their slaves.

There is an important lesson here for each of us. We do not like to bear responsibility for our deeds, but repentance is never merely verbal; it involves owning up and, where possible, restitution. It means being willing to bear the punishment due to us for our sins.


November 29, 2016

1,773 fires broke out all over Israel

Over the course of the last 8 days, 1,773 fires broke out all over the country, 39 of which were deemed major; 25 cases have been positively identified as the result of arson; 30 individuals, Jews and Arabs, were arrested, and over 2,000 homes were damaged or destroyed by fire. There was no loss of life.

In addition to Israel's fire-fighters, assistance came from Jordan, Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Russia and the Palestinian Authority.

 

 


November 22, 2016

From my commentary on Colossians (Col. 4:5-6)

To be published 2017 by Founders Press 

Finally, Paul refers briefly to the church’s conduct in relation to the world: “Conduct yourselves wisely toward those outside.” Wise conduct is the product of thought, relating of principle to precept, and precept to duty. This is one of the more appealing characteristics of the Faith of the Gospel: Christian conduct is not based on arbitrary precept; it encourages thought—not mystical experimentation, not existential experience, but a conscious effort to understand the world, and to subdue and harness it to the achievement of its divinely appointed goal. The Christian Faith is an extrapolation of the Creator’s command to Adam, to serve him by acting as his agent on earth subduing, filling, and ruling over it in God’s name.

“Those outside” are not the common Christians, content with Christ and indifferent to the higher spiritual plane to which the heretics invited the Colossians; they are non-Christians, people who are not consciously and willingly enlisted in the service of God and who therefore remain outside the pale of his saving blessings. They are separated from Christ, outside the church, outside the covenant, and outside the fellowship of the saints, without God and without hope in the world.

Wisdom dictates Christians conduct themselves in the world so as to implement the principles of the Gospel in ways that will challenge these outsiders and convey the Gospel to them. A morality grounded on, framed, and motivated by the fear of God and that treasures holiness more than profit is an example of such wisdom. A humility that issues out of the biblical view of man and a generosity that is the product of God’s grace and kindness are further such examples.

Christians should exemplify the Gospel in their daily lives, in how they use their time, energies, and possessions, in how they drive, choose their careers, educate their children, and make decisions. They should be engaged in the study of God’s word and in thinking deeply about the world in terms of the Faith. Their light should shine in such a fashion that it points onlookers to God and moves them to worship him.

One aspect of living wisely has to do with what Paul describes as “making the most of the time,” literally, “redeeming” the time, and I might well have chosen to translate the word time as “opportunity.” Note the definite article. Paul was not speaking of time in general but of a specific time. There are two words in Greek we might translate as “time.” One is chronos, which means time in general. The other is kairos, which refers to a specific moment in time, often an opportune moment. The word Paul uses here is kairos.

This immediately brings us back to the apostle’s exhortation that the Colossians were to conduct themselves wisely. Guided by principle and fortified by wisdom, they were to discern the implications of every moment and make the most of each to live consistent with the Gospel and, in this way, proclaim the Gospel by their lives. As noted earlier, this was one of the most compelling features of the early church.

Another aspect of living wisely is indicated by Paul when he says, “Your speech should always be gracious, having been seasoned with salt so you know how to answer each person.” Salt purifies. It also adds something of a gentle sting to food, rendering it more palatable. The simile of seasoning our speech with salt would indicate a soft, pure attitude, void of rancor and unkind or unclean expressions, rendering what we have to say, however stark, more palatable than the angry words we are often inclined to employ. 
Wisdom would further dictate that our answer is formulated in a way that takes into account the individual being addressed.

While always respectful, we are not expected to address our spouse or our boss in the same way we are expected to address our children. Nor ought we address our spouse at a moment of aggravation as we might legitimately do in a calmer situation. In all aspects and in all the walks of life, we are to live out the Gospel, demonstrating the holiness and the grace of God in ways that those who watch us live discover the validity and beauty of God’s message and see the validity of a life lived out for God.

 

November 15, 2016

From my commentary on Colossians (Col. 4:2-4)

To be published 2017 by Founders Press

Paul is asking the Colossians to help him through prayer to promote the very unity that was threatened by the heretical teaching offered in their city. He assumes that, like him, the Colossians were thrilled at the wonder of the mystery and would embrace it fondly, as he does. He assumes their commitment to the sufficiency of Christ and to the unity of all who confess Christ’s name and revel in his achievements.

“For which mystery I have also been bound.” This is a reference to the detention imposed on Paul, first in a Roman prison in Caesarea and then under house arrest in Rome. Had he kept to “the simple Gospel” and not opposed those who insisted Jewish traditional practices should be added to one’s faith in Christ, he would not have been arrested. Nor would he have found it necessary to demand he be tried in Rome, before Caesar. Paul was arrested because he insisted on preaching the mystery and seeking support to help ensure he would “reveal” that mystery in his preaching and in the mixed composition, setup, and function of the churches God used him to establish.

Not trusting himself, Paul now seeks prayer from others to help ensure he would speak of that mystery “as I ought to speak”: with boldness, exuberance, and eager expectation. He does not trust himself to be faithful. Like us, Paul desires to be liked and accepted. But (like us?) he desires above all to please and glorify God. He therefore asks the Colossians to pray he would overcome his reticence, conquer his fears, and speak out for the truth of the Gospel, the unity of the church, and the sufficiency of Christ in a way these topics deserved. As human as any of us, Paul knows he needs God’s help to live that way, and he asks for such help.

 

 


November 11, 2016

53 years ago...

53 years ago this day God drew me to himself, forgave my many sins and called me to love him. Over the course of 53 years I have limped along the way, often wandering to the left and to the right, ever to be brought back by a loving God, a loving family and faithful friends. My debt to Him and to them is beyond description, my gratitude beyond expression. Soli Deo Gloria!

 

November 09, 2016

From my commentary on Colossians (Col. 4:1-2)

To be published 2017 by Founders Press

The household, the church, and society are the spheres in which we Christians live out our lives. They are the spheres in which the Gospel is to be exemplified in the course of daily dealings. Paul had already dealt with the family. In verses 2–4, he addressed the church on an important aspect of its internal life and then, in verses 5–7, on its conduct in society. It is significant to note that most of what Paul had said up to this point has immediate relevancy to church life.

Churches (and Christian families) should be praying communities. This is so obvious that Paul does not exhort the Colossians to pray; instead he says, “Continue in your prayers,” assuming they prayed as a matter of course. Prayer should be the natural, frequent activity of church life. “Be alert [as you pray],” Paul exhorts. Don’t let your thoughts wander, and be ready to turn anything you hear into a subject for prayer. Often, when an individual prays in public, those who hear him simply wait until it is time to say “amen” without really entering into the content of the prayer. “Be alert” means that we not only listen to the contents of the prayer being offered but that we engage our hearts and minds in it as well. Contrary to the practice of some, there is room for an occasional “amen,” “yes, Lord,” and “hallelujah” as we are led in prayer.

Did you notice the term just used “as we are LED in prayer&rd

The Recent MaozNews
MaozNews No. 107, January 2017

to access, click below
 

In This Issue:

The Scene in Israel, pg. 1

Ministry and Family News, pg. 2


Breaking News

Archaeologists find vast pagan sanctuary outside Roman city in north Israel

Archaeologists Debunk Myth: Human Brain Evolution Didn't Cause Our Teeth to Shrink

Israel's 'flying car' passenger drone moves closer to delivery

Ancient Jerusalem Road Hints at Possible Reason for Jewish Revolt Against Rome

An archeological mystery and the search for King David

The best archaeological finds in Israel of 2016

PLO official: Overall message of Kerry speech welcome, but parameters unacceptable

Abbas: Willing to resume peace talks if Israel freezes settlements

Netanyahu tells Kerry: Israel doesn't need to be lectured about peace by foreign leaders

FULL TRANSCRIPT: Kerry Blasts Israeli Government, Presents Six Points of Future Peace Deal

Stone wall from First Temple period destroyed by rains in Israel 

Israeli missile alert technology saves lives in Chile

Israeli youth collecting winter supplies for Syrian kids

Palestinian land owner preparing to take settlers to ICC

Jaw Dropping: Lab-Grown Bones Successfully Transplanted In 11 Jaws

US consistent against settlements — and against UN as appropriate venue 

Full text of US envoy Samantha Power’s speech after abstention on anti-settlement vote

Too Many Israelis Don’t Properly Understand Democracy

Understanding the UN Resolution on Israeli Settlements: What Are the Immediate Ramifications?

Jesus sites in Jerusalem: Are they real?

The War on Christmas Opens a New Front in Jerusalem Hotels

Netanyahu to Amona: I Feel Your Pain, I Was Kicked Out After '99 Election - to Sheraton Plaza

Israeli University Rabbi Forbids Jews From Entering Student Union Due to Christmas Tree

Former Mideast diplomat decries Trump envoy’s "Kapo" labeling of J Street.

Rare coin from King Antiochus’s rule discovered in Jerusalem

Oldest-known Images of Hanukkah Menorahs: Not What We Know Today

New Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments Found in Judean Desert

In Israel, Settlers of Amona Come Before Fighting Poverty

More and more land, less of a state

Obama Admits He's Unwilling to Pay a Price to Save Aleppo

The Fall of Aleppo Signals the Dishonorable Decline of the West

Israelis raise half a million NIS for Syrian children

Israeli Reservists Demand to Be Sent to Help Wounded Syrians

Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei Explains the Chant "Death to America" 

Saudi Writer Khaled Mushawah Calls For Reexamination of Islamic Concepts: Our Understanding of the Meaning of Jihad Is Stagnant 

Aleppo Massacre: Assad Is Only Getting Started

Head of MI6: Britain faces 'fundamental threat to sovereignty from Russian meddling'

Million-Year-Old 'Hero Bug' Emerges From Cave

Bill Banning non-Orthodox Services at Western Wall Submitted to Knesset

Egypt- Between International Stardom and Dignified Survival

Comment: Why is the Middle East so disappointed with Obama?

Israel’s responsible adult

Supreme Court president warns: Majority's decision is not necessarily democratic

Expert claims inscriptions from Egyptian exodus proves Hebrew is world’s oldest alphabet 

American media need psychotherapy

Arab IDF soldier: 'I love this country and want to contribute'

Were the Israeli fires arson terror claims premature and exaggerated?

How the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Affects the Brains of Arabs and Jews

Iraq's Fight Against ISIS Is Prologue to Its Next Bloody Civil War

Israeli Startup Reports Successful Transplant of Lab-grown Bones

Divers find unexpected Roman inscription from the eve of Bar-Kochba Revolt

70 C.E.: The Roman Siege of Jerusalem Ends

Shiraz Maher | Mapping contemporary Salafi-Jihadism

Returning Jihadis: A Generational Threat

The reality of women in combat roles

Analysis Syrian Rebels Can Blame America for Loss of Aleppo

Israel's Biggest Threat Is 'Nationalistic' Demon of Netanyahu, Former PM Barak Says 

Vast Majority of Jews Don’t Want Rabbis Deciding if They’re Jewish, Survey Shows

Analysis Unprecedented Clash With ISIS Could Open a Dangerous New Front for Israel 

Analysis: The battle for Mosul and the rearrangement of the Middle East 

Divers uncover world's oldest harbor, in Red Sea

4000-year-old version of Rodin's 'Thinker' found in Israel

Why I find the black community's response to Trump's election a little embarrassing

With All Hospitals Out of Action, Syrians in East Aleppo Are 'Left to Die'

Why regulation must be limited to settlement blocs

Analysis Middle Eastern States Fight Each Other Like There's No ISIS

Egyptian Human Rights Activist Hany Elsadek in Defense of Hitler

The Demise of Totalitarian Liberalism

Gold, silver offering to the gods 3,600 years ago found in Canaanite Gezer

Amidror: Still against deal, but Iran’s recovery slower than expected

Iran deal violation: Sign of emboldened country... or simply more transparency?

Operation Wedding in the Sky

US-Israeli clean-tech projects get $4 million boost

WHO: Israel's field hospital best in world 

ISIS Expands Its Reach and Finds New Recruits in Pakistan

Archaeologists find 'snapshot' of 4,500-year-old Canaanite citadel's last hours

The Best Two Minutes You’ll Hear On Tv All Year About The Presidential Election

Analysis: Showtime for the Egyptian president

Behind the lines: Syria’s interlocking conflicts

The Palestinian Economy: On Artificial Respiration

 Watch: No Place on Earth (2012) 

 Is Evangelical Worship Headed for a Huge Crash?

Analysis U.S. Caught in a Vise Before Battle for Mosul Even Begins

World is silent, except when it comes to Israel

Iran Slams UN Human Rights Council for Electing Saudi Arabia as a Member

So was it David who killed Goliath?

Looking for the light in the dark: A Holocaust survivor's story

The Kurdish battle for Mosul, and independence

Parts of Bible Were Written in First Temple Period, Say Archaeologists

Yemen food crisis leaves millions at risk of starving

Papyrus With Earliest Hebrew Mention of Jerusalem Likely Fake, Experts Say

Iraqi forces marching toward bloodbath with ISIS: Special report from the Mosul front lines

Mostly Children Among 26 Killed in Airstrike on School in Syria, Medics Say

Papyrus With Earliest Ex-bible Hebrew Mention of Jerusalem Is Revealed

Israel Displays First Temple-era Pottery Found on Temple Mount

The inconvenient reality behind the long, messy battle for Mosul: a special report

This Day in Jewish History 1946: Nazi Doctors Are Indicted

Insight: Egyptians losing patience with Sisi

Lieberman: If Hamas forces war on us, it will be their last

Israeli Discovery May Help Ward Off Famine 

Analysis: Which Iraq will triumph in Mosul? 

Visiting the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, no time machine necessary

Do You Like Poison Spray on Your Fruit? Israel, EU Collaborating to Reduce That

Previously unknown Canaanite revolt against Egypt revealed in ancient Jaffa

Uncovered Ancient City Wall in Jerusalem Tells Story of Great Jewish Revolt

Trump Supporters Tweet Naziesque Death Threats to Jewish Women Writers

Analysis: A new crack in the Sunni bloc?

B'Tselem's disgraceful appearance at the UN

Opinion B'Tselem Head: Why I Spoke Against the Occupation at the UN

The Forgotten Story of 'Gertrude of Arabia,' Who Created Modern Iraq

The Universe Has Almost 10 Times More Galaxies Than We Thought

Recently released IDF soldiers combine volunteer work with world travel

When Putin decided to help Assad

Opinion How the Environment Can Bridge the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse

The art of occupation, according to Israeli General Gadi Shamni

West Bank soccer team honors Ammunition-Hill terrorist

Chief rabbi calls Syrian conflict ‘Holocaust,’ urges action

Israeli-designed Bacteria Could Help Solve World's Gigantic Plastic Problem

As Vehicles Go High-tech, Israel’s in the Driver’s Seat

For whom the bell tolls: Listen to the sound of the Temple high priest's coattails

Victory of Orthodox Judaism is everyone’s defeat

Jerusalem City Budget for Houses of Worship Goes Only to Synagogues

Opinion Israel Has Overcome Every Threat, Except the One From Within

Opinion Russia Is Fated to Lose the War in Syria; We Should Let It

Opinion Needed: A 'Secularism Officer' for Israel's Army

The banker who used Nazis to help save Jews

Ultra-Orthodox crowds verbally abuse Haredi soldiers

The sickness of narrative thinking

Ad Informing El Al Female Passengers They Don't Have to Switch Seats Rejected by Port Authority

A Synagogue in Every Precinct and Rabbi-approved Pens: Israel Cops Get Religion

The Holocaust train that led Jews to freedom instead of death

International conference promotes Israel as a leader in multiple sclerosis research

Obama’s US failing the test of power

We will win, together

Analysis Putin Will Stop at Nothing to Increase Mideast Influence at U.S.' Expense

A former spy chief is calling on Israelis to revolt

I'm black and I'm afraid of black men

Obama says goodbye in Hebrew: Shimon, toda raba haver yakar

The best of Israel archaeology in 5776

Ancient Toilet Reveals the Unique Way the Judeans Fought Idol-worship

Gate shrine from First Temple period unearthed at Tel Lachish National Park

Why So Many Children Are Being Killed in Aleppo

Shimon Peres, 1923-2016: From nuclear pioneer to champion of peace

Global agtech investors find 'rich pipeline of opportunities' in Israel

New Israeli tech sees machines leading the blind

Love, Unity and No Women Singers at Yom Kippur Concert in Tel Aviv

Alternative wedding revolution underway in Israel

Kerry: Israel and Palestinians Headed for Binational State, World Must Act or Shut Up

Scientists Prevent Breast Cancer Spread, in Mice

Rare High Priests stone weight from Second Temple period found in Jerusalem

Opinion Israel as We Know It Has Less Than a Decade Left

Opinion Begin and My Father Had the Courage to Be Real Leaders. Netanyahu Hasn't

Heroism of Scottish missionary who died in Auschwitz revealed in new documents

Shimon Peres fighting for his life

Analysis Assad's Attack on Israel Intended to Defend His Honor, Not Country

Large majority of American Jews Israelis call for end to Orthodox monopoly in Israel

Israel's Shabbat Wars Are Not Just Another Political Crisis

The Strange Case of a Nazi Who Became an Israeli Hitman

Israeli Startup Lets Paralyzed People Stand Again - on Four Wheels

Hajj 2016: Chaotic but unforgettable -- experiencing holy pilgrimage

The Settlements: Self-Entrapment Of Existential Proportions

Jihadist terrorism enters new stage 15 years after 9/11

God, Science, and Objective Reality 

Under Obama, U.S. Offered Saudis Over $115 Billion in Weapons, Report Says

America’s Status Has Weakened Under Obama

Enraged by Threats to Tel Aviv Lifestyle, Group Vows to Take 'Shabbat War' to Haredi Turf

Israeli hi-tech super algae can power a green energy revolution

Israeli Public Figures, Former Politicians Call for Referendum on Future of West Bank Territories

Work progressing at Israeli horticulture center in Rwanda

Haaretz’s Guide to Eilat, the Dead Sea and Masada. What to do, where to eat and how to get around the south of Israel.

Archaeologists restore Second Temple flooring from Waqf's trash

The Iran deal, one year later

Nanorobots Could Soon Be Roaming Your Body, Saving Your Life Thanks to Israeli Scientists

 As I see it: Accomplices in hate. American and other Western democracies turn a blind eye to this obscenity because the UN is a progressive shibboleth.

With ISIS on the Run, Is the Dream of an Islamic State Officially Dead?

 No peace vision: How Israeli rightists propose to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

White House slams report of secret Iran deal exemptions

Haaretz’s Guide to Jerusalem. What to do, where to eat and how to get around the holiest city in Israel.

U.S. Secretly Allowed Iran to Evade Nuclear Deal Restrictions, Report Says

How the Turks deceived the Americans on Syria

Turkey Wishes to 'Cleanse' Territory on Syrian Border of ISIS

Model of First Temple Found in King David-era City Goes on Display in Jerusalem

Why Israelis Are Stampeding to the Right

King Solomon-era Palace Found in Biblical Gezer

Former Mossad Chief: Israel's Greatest Threat Is Internal Division, Not Hezbollah

Israeli Doctors to Use Cannabis to Treat Autism in First-of-its-kind Study

As Turkey Fights the Kurds, ISIS Betrays the Limits of Its Power

Libyan brigades closing in on ISIS

When a Muslim guide led ultra-Orthodox Jews through Jesus’ hometown

Imagine there's no country

Israeli researchers closing in on cure for melanoma with new 'breakthrough'

BICOM Strategic Assessment.  Israeli-Palestinian economic relations

Haaretz’s Guide to Tel Aviv. What to do, where to eat and how to get around the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.

Excavation of Philistine Gath Finds Startling Similarities to Cypriot Cities

Slim Majority of Israelis, Palestinians Still Favor Two-state Peace Settlement, Poll Says

Is Germany in denial - and in trouble?

Anne Frank Film Shot in Gaza Secretly Screened in Iran

Tel Aviv to Extend LGBT Programs to Preschool, Elementary School Teachers

Beyond definition: The huge periphery of anti-Semitism

Israel scores success against skin cancer

Two Israeli Schools Break Top 100 in Prestigious Global University Ranking

Evangelical aid was once taboo in Israel. Now it's on the rise. Why?

Holocaust Survivor Band returns home to Poland 

On yeshivas and universities

Archaeologists in Israel Find Ancient Synagogue Predating Second Temple Ruin

In War Over Israeli Hearts and Minds, Army Becomes Ideological Battlefield

A window into the West Bank

The perils of ignorance

Analysis: IDF in race against time to modernize armored vehicles

IsraAID wins Mohammad Ali award of humanitarian aid work 

Archaeologists Unveil Blazing Mosaics From Apostle Paul-era Ephesus

When an Israeli TV News Channel Discovers God

Successors of Rabbi Kook Are Israel's New Ruling Elite

Survey says: Israelis think religious laws hurt Judaism

Mount Hebron Regional Council to assist Palestinian hero

Israel continues to save Syrian lives

Daughter of terror victim: "My father died while saving my life"

Gaza's game-changer?

Number of haredim leaving community on the rise, despite hardships and difficulties

Looming Palestinian Municipal Elections Could Be a Final Blow for Abbas

New York, Nu York: Please Don't Try to Convert Me. Thank you.

My father, the soldier of occupation

'I was the campus anti-Semite,' says reformed Muslim Zionist

Egypt's Sissi Is Going the Extra Mile, but Life's No Better on the Nile

In Israel, the War of the Jews Over Pluralism and Religious Extremism Is Escalating 

Archaeologists reveal secrets of Roman prison that held both Christian saints and Jewish rebels

Rescuers say toxic gas dropped on town where Russian helicopter downed

Aleppo as a Cautionary Tale in the Battle Against ISIS

Muslim_Jewish cooperation in wake of mosque in fire a sign of good relations in Acre 

Why Western leftists adore right-wing religious extremists abroad

On Education, Israel Is Capitulating to Out-of-touch Haredi Leaders

The 30-year-old Israeli Who Can Predict the Future

The ultra-Orthodox Parents Who Want Schools That Teach Kids Math and English

Secret 1970 Document Confirms First West Bank Settlements Built on a Lie

A time when it was okay to make kids feel like they are less than perfect

Nuses legitimacy in Syria after amicable split with Al-Qaida

Netanyahu's and Abbas' march of historical folly

Archeology and Joshua's altar on Mt. Ebal

Did the Phoenicians even exist?

It's a mistake to label any religion radical, particularly Islam

Sudanese cleric Muzammil Faqiri in Eid Al-Fitr sermon: ISIS is merely implementing Muslim Brotherhood Methodology

Jerusalem Post editorial: Tunnel vision

Relationship of younger generation of American Jews with Israel eroding

Israeli innovation cleans up noise pollution

When gay pride in Israel goes too far

New Tel Aviv museum will reveal how start-up nation got its name

I suspect no comment is needed: Article in Jordanian Daily: in 9/11 the U.S. - which works to destroy the world - used lethal gas to melt the aircraft

Automakers have seen the future and it's in Israel

Ego, not Islam, will rule in post-coup Turkey

Druze minority draws Israeli tourism

British Labour MP Naz Shah: my understanding of Anti-Semitism was lacking

Samsung president poised to ramp up investing in Israel

An anatomy of a failed Turkis coup

The female IDF paramedics treating Syria's wounded

Saudi Arabia's new jihadists: poorly trained but hard to stop

Top 5 things you can't miss on your next spontaneous trip to Israel

 

 

 

Testimonials

I have deep respect and love for Baruch Maoz, and the work that he is carrying on in Israel, despite obstacles and opposition. He has been a dear friend for many years. I’ll never forget doing a conference for him in Israel several years ago. I pray that God may use his sound theology, helpful preaching, excellent books, and numerous gifts for the conversion and spiritual maturation of thousands of Israelis and for the abundant glory of God. Rev. Joel R. Beeke, Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation, Author

*

Baruch Maoz has been a minister of the gospel, author, publisher, and voice for believers in the land of Israel for four decades. I have seen firsthand the fruit of his ministry and I cannot recommend it too highly. Baruch’s preaching, teaching, and writing ministry should be supported by all who care about the gospel and its impact in Israel and beyond! Pastor Jerry Marcellino, Audubon Drive Bible Church, Federation of reformed Evangelicals – Laurel, Mississippi

 *

Knowing and embracing our Lord’s clear directive to bring the Gospel to the “Jew first” I, along with BPC have been extraordinarily blessed to work in partnership with the effective biblical and faithful ministry of Baruch Maoz. His ministry of evangelism, discipleship, along with his strategic and insightful writing/translation projects, only enhance my opportunity to recommend him and his ministry. Rev. Harry Reeder, Senior Pastor, Briarwood Presbyterian Church (PCA), Birmingham AL

*

Tom Ascol of the Founders Movement writes: "Baruch and Bracha Maoz serve in the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Baruch has served as a pastor, publisher, author and church reformer in his homeland of Israel. He has ministered several times with our Grace Baptist Church family in Cape Coral and our people have come to love Bracha and him dearly. I highly recommend his and his ministry to any church that values expositional preaching and the gospel of God's grace." Dr. Thomas Ascol, Grace Baptist Church (SBC), Founders Movement, Cape Coral FL

For more, see below.

You can Help !

It has been encouraging to receive responses to our monthly issues of MaozNews. Many readers distribute copies of these to friends and fellow-church members. We will continue to offer special comment and urgent bulletins whenever events in our region justify such. Our bulletins are separate issues, unrelated to the monthly newsletter.

You can help by following us on Twitter (@BaruchMaoz), retweeting our tweets, recommending us to friends and Facebook contacts, and clicking "like" on our Facebook page.

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TAX-deductable support for our ministry should be written to the order of Berean Baptist church, P.O. Box 1233, Grand Blanc, Michigan48480-3233. Direct bank transfers may be made to Franklin Bank, 24725 West Twelve Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48034 USA, Routing Number 241271957 Berean Baptist Special Account No. 567495976.

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