Law and Prophets
'Law and prophets' grew out of several years of teaching the weekly 'parasha'1 in a Christian and Christ-centered setting to a variety of audiences, both online and to various religious communities.
The practice of reading from the Law and the prophets on the Sabbath is well attested in the New Testament and it is our aim to revive this practice as part of a communal and personal liturgy that can reconnect the Christian believer with the lifeblood of the early church. It is our prayer and our belief - having witnessed the fruit of these studies - that following this meditation and study throughout the yearly cycle will serve to solidify our mutual faith, help us become more faithful imitators of Christ, and glorify God in our lives.
Another goal is to foster greater understanding and dialog between Jews and Christians. Whilst in Jewish communities the weekly parasha reading is commonplace, Christianity has abandoned this practice early on. In Judaism the weekly parasha readings frame the entire year and many liturgical references are related to it. Should more Christians be inspired to study the parasha - from a Christian standpoint - it will do a lot to offer Jews and Christians a common ground in spite of theological differences. It would also hopefully help to build greater and deeper respect between our religions.
What did happen within Christianity regarding the weekly readings, is that over time they have morphed into the readings at Mass where the Gospel readings take the central place where the Torah used to be read. This development is, of course, perfectly holy, good and natural.
We attempt here to complement the weekly Mass readings with the old form that was practiced at the time of our Lord and to enrich our Christian perspective with that of the early church regarding which St. Paul said:
"this I confess to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets" (Acts 24:14)
Please note that whilst New Creation In Christ is a Catholic ministry, our prayer is that this study will serve to strengthen ecumenical and cross-denominational dialog which is so essential to the church. Our program has hitherto always been one to gather together Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants and even Atheists. We truly welcome any person of good-will!
The liturgical year
That being said, it is a fact that has become more and more apparent over the years, that the annual reading cycle - as it is read in the synagogues today - fits the Catholic liturgical year extremely well.
We pray that you might join us on this annual journey through the Torah - the first five books of Scripture - that contain the very DNA of all that follows, and may this study enrich your faith, solidify your hope, increase your joy and work to the everlasting glory of God. Amen.
A Scholarly note
This podcast as well as its accompanying blog posts and other materials that may derive from it are intended for the general public of believers and is therefore highly predicatory and devotional. Our method of interpretation and exposition is 'synchronic' in nature: treating all of Scripture as the unit that was transmitted to us - we treat it as an internally consistent and inerrant unit, as it is - as the Word of God. However, we do offer - in appropriate contexts - certain diachronic considerations to elucidate and enrich the study. Finally, much of our focus in each episode is on the deep analysis and interpretation of the original languages (mostly Hebrew, but also Greek, Aramaic, Latin, Syriac and Coptic where applicable), explained to a public that does not know, nor is required to know, these languages. In short, it is our hope that 'Law and prophets' will enrich and be enriched mutually by the scholar as well as the layperson, the theologian as well as the occasional reader of Scripture.