June Update - 2019

June Update - 2019

Welcome to my Romans 15:8 blog for June 2019.

I send greetings to all who have signed up to the Romans 15:8 blog and I hope I may meet with many of you at the annual CMJ Conference which is taking place at the Hayes Conference Centre in Swanwick, Derbyshire from 4pm on Friday 12th July to 4pm on Sunday 14th July. Our main speaker is Wayne Hilsden from The King of Kings Community in Jerusalem.

In addition to great teaching input from Wayne and others, the Conference gives a great opportunity to ‘get up to date’ with all that CMJ UK and CMJ Israel have been up to in the last year and plans for the future. There is also a rich menu of workshops and other activities. A few spaces remain so please consider booking in and being part of this major gathering. Remember that in July all roads lead to Swanwick!


Teaching reflection of the month

The teaching reflection this month takes the form of a brief history of the Olive Press Research Papers. As you will see from the report below these papers are an important advocacy and ministry resource for CMJ. As a member of the Romans 15:8 network I hope you appreciate these papers and as always I would welcome any feedback and reflections you may have about papers you have read. Equally, if you would like to submit a paper for future publication please let me know - I am always keen to widen the pool of contributors - especially to include those who are in current ministry roles.

A brief history of Olive Press Research Papers

In late 2005, the CMJ SMT decided to initiate a quarterly study publication (available by subscription only) which would focus on key areas of the theology, history, and mission practice as it relates to the ministry of CMJ. Each publication would take the form of one paper (probably around 5000-7000 words) addressing one key subject. Each paper would seek to be theologically astute and well researched and would make a contribution to strengthening the range and depth of CMJ publications, alongside our interactions with Church leaders, theologians and Bible students.

Papers would be sourced by the editorial team from CMJ staff, trustees, supporters and other interested parties. Some papers would, it was hoped be naturally drawn from various conferences and theological meetings - this was the case, for example, in the paper by Michael Goldsmith which came out of his involvement at the Messianic Jewish symposium in Berlin and the paper on “Isaac and Ishmael” by Alex Jacob which was based on his reflections of the Crossroads conference hosted by Christ Church, Jerusalem. It was also understood that papers would not always portray a specific CMJ standpoint, but would be published if such a paper was deemed to contribute understanding to a particular key mission debate or a relevant area of Biblical study.

The first editor was David Scott and the first Olive Press quarterly was published in February 2006. The article was by Dr. Michael Eldridge and the subject was – Has God Abandoned Israel for Good? – Replacement Theology Examined. The paper was well received, but the lack of subscriptions and the cost of administering the subscription process, alongside the pressure of producing regular quarterly papers, (while relying mostly on volunteers for submissions), made the SMT rethink. The decision was then taken to make all future papers freely available to all on the CMJ main mailing lists - but while the budget allowed for four papers each year the pressure of hitting quarterly publication dates was removed and the understanding was that papers would be occasional. Alex Jacob worked alongside David Scott from July 2006 in the editing role, with valuable help also from Michael Eldridge.

The next six papers followed this pattern and are listed below:

  • Rev Timothy Butlin, A New Israel - Supersessionism and Dispensationalism re-examined, May 2006.
  • Rev Alex Jacob, Romans 9:1-5 - Exploring a key Biblical text, August 2006.
  • Rev Tim Price, Israel’s role in World Mission - The conclusion of God’s Kingdom purpose?, Nov 2006.
  • Rev Alex Jacob, Root and Branch? - Exploring relationship models between the Messianic Jewish Movement and the wider Church community, May 2007.
  • Frank Booth, Implications for Remnant Theology in 1 Kings 19, May 2008.
  • Rev Alex Jacob, Worthless Promise? An initial response to Stephen Sizer, August 2008.

At this point it was decided to change the name of the publication - the term quarterly seemed somewhat ambitious and inappropriate! The new name was the Olive Press Research Paper (OPRP). David Scott was no longer working with CMJ and Alex Jacob took on the sole responsibility as editor, but was well supported by other staff in this role, especially in terms of proof reading and text layout.

The following twenty-nine papers have been published under this new name. The only major change which has occurred during the period covered by these papers was in late 2012 a revision of the mailing lists took place, and a “new” membership category list was established. It was decided partly as a budget saving measure to simply send out OPRP’S to those on the members list. This reduced the print run from about 2500 to around 800. Also at about this time, most back copies of the papers were made available to freely download from the CMJ website. Also, copies continued to be made available (sometimes at cost price or free of charge) at various deputations, CMJ events and at times in the bookshop at Christ Church and via CMJ national groups.

  • Dr Michael Eldridge, Churchill and the Jews – an Assessment of two recent studies and their Contemporary Relevance, Feb 2009.
  • Dr Michael Eldridge, Charles Simeon and the Jewish People, June 2009.
  • Rt. Rev Bishop John Taylor, CMJ Bi-Centenary Sermon at Christchurch, Spitalfields, Nov 2009.
  • Rev Alex Jacob, A promise keeping God – Exploring the Covenants, Israel and the Church, Jan 2010.
  • Dr Greg Stevenson, The Message of the Shofar – and its applications for Believers through the feasts of the Lord, Nov 2010.
  • Dr Michael Eldridge, Flawed Messiah – The story of Sabbatai Sevi and its significance today, Mar 2011.
  • Martin Goldsmith, Practical foundations for a post-Holocaust Soteriology, July 2011.
  • Naomi Barker, A critical consideration of Primo Levi, Nov 2011.
  • Rev Alex Jacob, Pilgrims Progress – A devotion teaching resource for pilgrims to Israel, Jan 2012.
  • Adrian Glasspole, One Size doesn’t fit all – Issues Jewish Believers face in the Messiah, Mar 2012.
  • Rev Alex Jacob, Isaac and Ishmael – Exploring God’s big mission plan, July 2012.
  • Dr Michael Eldridge, Who’s Jewish Jesus? (Part one) - The Jewish and Christian retrieval of the Historical Jesus contrasted, July 2012 and Who’s Jewish Jesus? (Part two), Nov 2012.
  • Rev. Alex Jacob, The Eight Blessings given to the People of Israel - A brief Biblical Reflection on Romans 9:4-5, Feb 2013.
  • Frank Booth, Covenant and Promise – The interaction of conditionality and promise in Covenant Theology and the significance for Israel today, July 2013.
  • Rev. John Atkinson, Yeshua – A Prophet like Moses, Nov 2013.
  • Rev. Alex Jacob, The Lord is Gracious - An explorative study into the life and ministry of John the Baptist, Jan 2014.
  • Frank Booth, Risen and Exalted – The significance of Psalm 110:1 in the New Testament, Sept 2014.
  • Rev. Alex Jacob, A devotional exploration of Mark 15.21-16.8, Feb 2015.
  • Dr Michael Eldridge, Two streams of Zionism and their contemporary relevance, May 2015.
  • Rev. Alex Jacob, A Synoptic History of Jewish Mission, 2015.
  • Jacki Turnbull, Did God Really Say? Exploring the reliability of the Bible, 2015.
  • Paul Hames, The London Jews Society and the Balfour Declaration – The unexplored connection, 2016.
  • Sister Scholastica OSB, Where was God during the Shoah? – A personal attempt to provide an answer after considering a range of Jewish and Christian responses, and to explore the future of Jewish-Christian relatedness in a post-Shoah world, 2016.
  • Frank Booth, The Psalm, The Gospel and the Kingdom – Ideas of Messianic Authority in New Testament Terminology, 2016.
  • Dr Michael Eldridge, Understanding Hasidic Jews – The Challenge: General Observations (Part one), 2016, and Understanding Hasidic Jews – Origins: Distinctive Beliefs (Part two), 2016.
  • Steph Gutmann, Could the Holocaust really have an impact on the third generation?, 2017.
  • Rev. Alex Jacob, The parting of the Ways? – A brief historical reflection on the development of Rabbinic Judaism and ‘Messianic Judaism/Christianity’ from the ministry of Jesus to the destruction of the Temple, 2017.
  • Dr Jim Sibley, Felix Pratensis and Jacob Ben Chaim Ibn Adonijah, 2018.
  • Simon Hawthrone, The Messianic Pendulum – Swinging between Hope and Hurt: 135-2000 CE, 2018.
  • Frank Booth, Who are the Sheep and the Goats: An analysis of Matthew 25:31-46, 2018.
  • Dr Theresa Newell, The Rev Dr Jakob Jocz: CMJ Evangelist and Theologian, 2018.
  • Frank Booth, Bind up the Broken Hearted: A study of Isaiah 61 and Luke 4, 2019.
  • Rev Alex Jacob, How Should we read the Bible? Some first steps towards responsible Biblical Hermeneutic, 2019.

At the moment four writers (three of whom are new to the OPRP list of contributors) have OPRP’s in the preparation stages.

So far in the thirteen year history of this publication (in its various forms/titles), CMJ has published so far a total of forty-two papers with eighteen contributors with one contributor providing six papers, one nine papers and one twelve papers.

As you will see from the list of publications above, the papers have covered a huge range of theological, historical, Biblical, missional and devotional themes. Papers have generally been well received, with a range of interesting discussion been generated by such papers. A number of papers have needed to be reprinted due to high demand. In 2017 most papers were placed online and can be downloaded for free from the CMJ UK website. Also complimentary copies of these papers have been regularly sent to many Theological College libraries and as a result of this some good advocacy work has taken place in a number of educational and ministry contexts.

It is the hope of the CMJ staff team that the OPRP’s will continue to develop with submissions from new as well as existing contributors. It is also the view of the team that OPRP’s have been and will continue to be an important resource within the range of CMJ publications and within areas of CMJ’s educational/advocacy work.

Book News

Having just completed two books based on Luke and Acts I enjoyed dipping into the new book (2019) published by T and T Clark titled Luke - Acts. This book is edited by James Grimshaw and there are a number of helpful contributions to help understand the unfolding narrative of Luke - Acts. I particularly found helpful the opening chapter which looked at the role of Children within Luke’s Gospel. Luke’s Gospel contains more material about children than the other Gospel accounts and there are 3 healing accounts of children without siblings (Luke 7:11-15, 8:40-56 and 9:37-45). This intriguing fact is something which I had not picked up before and clearly it is worth reflecting upon.

The second book to recommend is titled The New Testament and the Church - This book consists of essays in honour of John Muddiman. The editors are John Barton and Peter Groves. This book is also published by T and T Clark. There are a range of essays but the three which ‘caught my eye’ are: chapter two - Old and New endings in Mark by Robert Morgan. This connects with my Olive Press Paper published in February 2015.

Chapter five - Apart from God - Hebrews 2:9 and the soteriological journey of the Son in the ecclesiology of Hebrews by Richard Ounsworth.

Chapter seven - The future of Biblical studies in Higher Education by Christopher Rowland.

Monthly Memory Verse

“Since God is One, He will set right the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then nullify the Torah through faithfulness? May it never be! On the contrary, we uphold the Torah.”

(Romans 3:30-31- Messianic Jewish Family Bible, TLV).

Posted on 19 June 2019.

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