Why is Hebraica Veritas, or Christian Hebraism important today, someone might ask?
Well, the last time around “we” didn't get this right, it ended up costing the lives of millions of Jews and it left a stain on Christianity that can never be removed. Maybe, just maybe, next time when people begin to make up their minds about things such as what is the source of the faith we hold so dear and what is the right response to the people who gave us this faith, we will know better? I hope so.
Also, don't we want to know what is the true, authentic source of the faith we call “saving faith”? Where did it come from? What did it mean to the people to whom God gave it originally? We don't own the faith. It's not ours to decide what the faith is. We need to discover what did it mean at the time it was given and how this relates to us today. What better way to understand this than discovering what it means in the native language it was given in and how the people it was given to understand it?
In light of perversions such as the “Black Hebrews” cult and all kinds of other cults abusing the concept of being Hebraic, and/or Jewish, we can only say that we are disgusted and would never want anyone to think for a second that when we talk about Christian Hebraism, this has to do with the idea of Christianity replacing Judaism or the Jewish people. This Satanic lie has already done enough damage. This is not what this wiki is about.
Rather, our goal is to show deep respect for the Jewish people, Judaism and for what Israel has given and is giving to the world until this very day.
Christian Hebraism deals with deconstructing strange Christian doctrines concocted by people unfamiliar with and disrespectful to the original Hebraic foundation upon which our faith rests.
Historically Christian Hebraism has been understood as the use of Hebrew, rabbinic, or Cabbalistic sources for Christian religious purposes during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The use of such source material had dramatic results including the re-translation of the Old Testament, the re-interpretation of the New Testament, and the re-examination of historically central doctrines of Christianity. Paradoxically, these efforts entailed close intellectual cooperation with Jewish scholars who opposed Christianity in all its forms.
Scholarship might be roughly described along a spectrum of “minimalist” and “maximalist” approaches. Aaron Katchen's position can be used to define the maximalist end. His assertion is that Hebraism did not even necessarily imply a knowledge of Hebrew but was more closely tied up with biblicism, interest in Hebraica Veritas, and use of Jewish exegesis. According to this wide definition, few theologians of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were not Hebraists.
Leon Roth's position can be used to delineate the minimalist end of the spectrum. The implicit assumption of his article on seventeenth century Hebraists is that only those reading Talmudic and rabbinic literature in their original Hebrew and Aramaic, fluently and in large amounts (usually translating them and supplying commentary), are “real” Hebraists. This reduces the number of seventeenth-century Hebraists to, perhaps, a couple of dozen. (Matt Goldish, The Background of Newton’s Jewish Studies
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