Hebrew Roots of our Faith

He is the Vine and we are His Branches

The Root and the Branches

“For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? For if the first fruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.”

Romans 11.13-18

A Timetable

We in the western world have been raised in a culture dominated by a post-Constantinian Christian worldview of time, rather than one that is biblically Hebrew. Our days begin and end at midnight, rather than the biblical breaking point of sunset. Our days are named after celestial bodies and Norse gods revered in pagan worship and our work week begins on Monday and ends with a day of rest on Sunday (the first day of the week), rather than continuing the biblical pattern that Jesus and His disciples adhered to of keeping Sabbath on the seventh day.

Our Gregorian calendar years are numbered from the birth of Christ, rather than from the traditional Hebrew reckoning of the beginning of creation. And we have replaced the biblically instituted feasts of Pesach (Passover), Shavuot, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot celebrated by the people of Israel with a variety of newly-minted Christian seasons like Advent and Lent and holy days like Christmas and Easter, as well as secular and neo-pagan holidays (holy days?) like New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Halloween, and Thanksgiving.

Rediscovering the worldview and timeframe of our Hebrew heritage allows us to more fully appreciate the activities of Jesus of Nazareth at the time of His earthly ministry, crucifixion, death, and resurrection. Click on some of the links on the right to follow this train of thought further.

Another reference you might find very helpful is N. T. Wright’s seminal book, Simply Christian.