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We are offering free enrollment in our new FJT-120 course: First-Century Jewish Hashqafah. Buy the textbook and enroll in this course to be able to discuss the book with its author as you read through it (a $140 value). The textbook can be purchased for only $14.99 from amazon:
- BIB-101: Tanakh (OT) Survey
This course focuses not just on the Biblical text itself but also on the historical-cultural background and foreground of the Bible, thus it serves not only as an introduction to the Hebrew Bible (OT) but simultaneously as an introduction to the Ancient Near East.
- BIB-102: Jewish Hermeneutics
Emphasis is on the PaRDeS method prominent during the last 2500 years rather than more recently-developed liberal (Biblical Criticism) methodologies. Attention is also given to the Seven Rules of Hillel.
- BIB-105: Messianic Apologetics
This course aims to equip the student in defense of the Messianic movement, both in articulation and defense of beliefs and in ability to discern and challenge false teachings. Students will be expected to demonstrate both aspects using Scripture in context to back up his or her position.
- BIB-110: Bible Exegesis – Torah
Deeper study into the five books of Moses than we are able to offer in the Survey course. This course is 12 weeks but is aimed at equipping students for deeper interaction with the weekly parashot as developed by Ezra’s Men of the Great Assembly (6th Century BCE) throughout the liturgical year.
- BIB-200: Apologetics II: Engaging with Muslims
Muslims believe in Yeshua… as a prophet and teacher. They believe in the Patriarchs of Genesis, following the “line of promise” through Ishmael rather than Ya’akov. With some corrections in the direction of Scripture, many have come to faith in Yeshua as the heir of Abraham through Ya’akov and as much more than a prophet. Learn how to present Him to an Islamic audience.
- BIB-201: Bible Exegesis – Early Prophets
Deeper study into the “historical books” of the Bible, e.g. Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings.
- BIB-210: Bible Exegesis – Latter Prophets
Deeper study into the formal writing prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel) and the Book of the Twelve.
- BIB-220: Bible Exegesis – Wisdom & Poetry
This 12-week course will cover exegetical analysis of Hebrew Wisdom Literature and poetry. The course will explore both Biblical texts and other significant Jewish literature (Midrashic, Tannaitic, Qumranic, etc.).
- BIB-301: B’rit Chadasha (NT) Survey
An introduction to the writings of the “New Testament” with emphasis on its Jewish historical-cultural context and how it “means” in the minds of the original author and audience.
- BIB-310: Bible Exegesis – Synoptic Gospels
Deeper study into the person of Messiah as presented in the three synoptic gospels. Some interaction with John’s gospel is inevitable, though deeper focus on that material comes in BIB-330.
- BIB-320: Bible Exegesis – Acts & the General Epistles (James, Jude, & Peter)
Following the original order of the Biblical text, the general epistles come before Paul. This course is, thus, a prerequisite for the Pauline courses at the 400-level.
- BIB-330: Bible Exegesis – Johannine Literature
This course studies the works attributed to the Apostle John (the Gospel and the 3 letters); due to the genre, Revelation is treated in BIB-440 rather than here.
- BIB-401: Bible Exegesis – Paul in Proper Perspective
Paul has been distorted and contorted through the ages by everyone from Origen to Augustine to Luther. This study restores Paul to the person presented in the Scriptures, stripping away the pagan pollution under which he has been buried over the centuries.
- BIB-410: Bible Exegesis – Hebrews
This letter is misunderstood enough to warrant a 12-week study all its own, undertaken here from a Jewish-context perspective.
- BIB-420: Bible Exegesis – Romans
Romans, like Hebrews, is widely misinterpreted and misapplied. This course examines the text through its proper Ancient Near Eastern lens.
- BIB-440: Bible Exegesis – Apocalyptic Literature
This course looks not only at Revelation (Hithgalut), but also at other apocalyptic literature of the Bible, including Daniel, parts of Ezekiel, the Olivet Discourse, parts of Thessalonians, and the book of Shepherd of Hermas (thrown out by Augustinians, but part of every canonical list prior to the Laodicean Council).
- LAN-101: Sociolinguistics – Ancient Languages and Thought
Sociolinguistics is recommended prior to taking any language, but is not a prerequisite. It may be taken concurrently with any language course or even following a language track. The course focuses primarily on Hebraic language/thought vs. Greco-Latin language/thought, but also delves a little into modern languages, e.g. English, German, Russian, for the sake of comparison with more familiar analogs.
It is recommended that Hebrew be taken (at least the first course) before any other languages, as this is the language in which Hashem chose to deliver over 2/3 of His Word.
- *HEB-101: Biblical Hebrew I
Introduction to Biblical Hebrew grammar
- *HEB-201: Biblical Hebrew II
Continuation of HEB-101, using the same textbooks
- HEB-301: Intermediate Hebrew
This course is an exegetical walk-through study of Yonah and Ruth.
- HEB-310: Advanced Hebrew Exegesis – Torah
This is the same course as BIB-110 but working from the Hebrew text rather than a translation. This course will engage with Biblical Hebrew as it explores the cosmology and etiology of the Jewish faith through the Hebrew of the first eleven chapters of Bereshit (Genesis).
- HEB-320: Advanced Hebrew Exegesis – Early Prophets
- This is the same course as BIB-201 but working from the Hebrew text rather than a translation.
- HEB-410: Advanced Hebrew Exegesis – Latter Prophets
This is the same course as BIB-210 but working from the Hebrew text rather than a translation.
- HEB-420: Advanced Hebrew Exegesis – Wisdom & Poetry
This is the same course as BIB-220 but working from the Hebrew text rather than a translation.
- HEB-440: Modern Hebrew
- HEB-480: Codification of Sifrei Torah (MRG/St. John’s College, Nigeria)
It is the position of MJR that the B’rit Chadashah was originally composed in Aramaic rather than Greek. We offer four courses in this language
- *ARAM-101: Biblical Aramaic
This 12-module course covers all of the Aramaic passages of the Tanakh (Babylonian and Persian dialects) and the grammar and vocabulary necessary to engage them.
- *ARAM-201: Talmudic/Mishnaic Aramaic
This dialect is frequently called “Late Literary Aramaic,” and most of the Mishna and Gemara are composed in it.
- *ARAM-301: Galilean (NT) Aramaic
The Aramaic dialect unique to the Galil region of Israel (Matt. 26:73) is often referred to by scholars as “Jewish Palestinian Aramaic.” It is a Western dialect closely related to Samaritan Aramaic and the Ma’loula dialect of modern Syria. The B’rit Chadashah is the most significant body of texts using this dialect. This is an extension course through aramaic-nt.org and is free.
- ARAM-401: Codification of Aramaic Manuscripts
This course will work from hi-def images taken from a 17th-century Yemenite Taj Torah text.
The following are not currently available, as the primary textbook is out of print. A replacement is being sought.
- ARAM-310: Advanced Aramaic Exegesis – Synoptic Gospels
This is the same course as BIB-310 but working from the Aramaic text rather than a translation.
- ARAM-320: Advanced Aramaic Exegesis – Acts & the General Epistles
This is the same course as BIB-320 but working from the Aramaic text rather than a translation.
- ARAM-330: Advanced Aramaic Exegesis – Johannine Literature
This is the same course as BIB-330 but working from the Aramaic text rather than a translation.
Koine Greek Language
MJR treats Koine Greek as an early translation language for the Scriptures. The Hebrew Scriptures were translated into this language beginning in 200 BCE and the Aramaic B’rit Chadashah was rendered to Greek between the 60s and 120s CE. GRK-101 and 201 cover grammar and GRK-301 and 401 cover syntax and semantic analysis.
- *GRK-101: Koine Greek I
- *GRK-201: Koine Greek II
- GRK-301: Greek Semantic Analysis I
- GRK-401: Greek Semantic Analysis II
Other Languages of Significance to Biblical Studies (*one of the following)
- LAN-210: Classical Syriac
The value of Classical Syriac is that it was a language into which the Scriptures were translated at a very early date, and the translation choices made preserve a very early “theological” understanding of the texts.
This course is in development and will be offered beginning Fall 2016.
- LAN-220: Sahidic Coptic
Sahidic Coptic was used to translate the Greek Bible (Septuagint and “NT”) between the 2nd and 7th centuries CE and, in some of the earlier texts, preserves Greek versions that are now lost. It is a very precise language, so its Vorlage (source texts) can be reconstructed very accurately from the Coptic manuscripts.
- LAN-230: Ancient Ugaritic
Ugarit was a neighbor to Israel’s north, and its language was a Semitic one (related to Hebrew). We have no Biblical texts in this language, but texts which are contemporary to the Tanakh exist in this language and give us some historical-cultural background regarding some of Israel’s pagan neighbors.
- LAN-235: Ancient Akkadian
Akkadian was the Semitic language spoken in Ancient Babylon. It has a cuneiform alphabet, similar to that of Ugaritic. We have no Biblical texts in this language, but texts which are contemporary to the Tanakh exist in this language and give us some historical-cultural background regarding some of Israel’s pagan neighbors. This course is in development and will be offered beginning Fall 2023.
- LAN-240: Theological German
Very much theological and religious commentary historically took (and still takes) its form in German. Much of this material has been translated to English, but most has not (especially when accessing recent articles). Even where it has been translated, we are always better off working from the original language than being beholden to the agenda (conscious or not) of a translator.
Courses marked with an asterisk (*) are required for the Ancient Language track.
NOTA BENE: HRY-101 is presently getting overhauled. Those enrolling in the course now will get it in its present format, but by Fall 2023, it will be redesigned around two new textbooks: one by Walter Kaiser and the other a collection of scholarly essays on Israel’s ethnogenesis. Anyone who wishes to take both versions of the course gets the retake free, and the higher of the two grades goes on record! We will keep both available for a while.
- HRY-101: Historical Survey of Israel
This course covers the history of the people of Israel from their ethnogenesis to the foundation of the Modern State. One module is spent on each era of that timeline with recommendations for further study following each module.
Version: Historical Survey 1.0 (HRY-101a)| Historical Survey 2.0 (HRY-101b)
- HRY-120: Introduction to the Ancient Near East
This course is currently in development.
- HRY-130: The Fall & Rise of Jerusalem (via Tel Aviv University/coursera)
Dr. Oded Lipschits, an Israeli archaeologist, has unearthed some amazing finds which reveal the depth of continuing Jewish practice that was going on in the Eretz Yisrael during the Babylonian Period, dispelling the myth of the Empty Land.
- HRY-170: American Jewry
This course studies the “new” expressions of Judaism which emerged amidst the Diaspora on the American continent. The focus is on Reform and Conservative Judaism and their respective etiologies, ideologies, and developments.
- HRY-175: The Mizrahi Diaspora
This course studies the Jewish experience in Arab/Muslim Lands from the 8th century through the Ethnic Cleansings of the mid-20th century with particular focus on the Medieval period.
- HRY-180: The Russian Diaspora
This course studies the Jewish experience in Russia and Ukraine (Khazaria) as well as Belarus and Lithuania and the connections between them all
- HRY-230: The Emergence of the Modern Middle East (via Tel Aviv University/coursera)
Dr. Asher Susser covers in great depth how each of the state-nations of the Middle East came into being alongside the nation-state of Israel (10-lesson, two-part course)
- HRY-240: Second Temple Judaisms
From the Regathering of Israel in Eretz-Israel under the Cyrus Decree (536/7 BCE) to the fall of Jerusalem (70 CE), Judaism developed a number of political parties and religious sects and movements which will be explored during this 12-module course.
- HRY-250: The Many Faces of Judaism – Sects and Movements
Judaism has been multi-faceted since the Exile with varying sects following the G-d of Israel as they believe His will to dictate. This course follows the timeline of Judaism through its many sects and movements from the Exiles of 721/2 and 586/7 BCE to the present.
- HRY-270: The Shoah – Israel’s Holocaust
The Shoah (Holocaust) affected Judaism in some very profound ways, both in its impact on individuals and on the institutions of the faith. Readings and videos include personal testimonials, historical accounts, and individual student research and reflection. Visiting a Holocaust museum or memorial center during the course is recommended.
- HRY-370: Jewish Museum Studies – Presenting our History through its Artifacts
- HRY-390: Jewish Studies Thesis Proposal & Directed Research
- HRY-490: Jewish Studies Thesis Presentation & Defense
This course includes assistance in preparation of the student’s final thesis as well as the presentation and defense thereof.
Foundations of Jewish Thought
Semikha Electives can be selected from here or from any other field.
- FJT-101: Introduction to Rabbinic Literature
Rabbinic Literature includes more than just Talmud. This course will introduce not just Talmud Bavli and Talmud Yerushalmi, but also the other halakhic literature, as well as the Aggadic literature, including works of Midrash.
- FJT-120: First-Century Jewish Hashqafah (currently being offered FREE)
This course introduces the key Sages of First-Century Judaism through both the hashqafic (Jewish thought) and halakhic (Jewish praxis) lenses, though hashqafah is the central focus.
- FJT-180: Talmudic Studies I: Tannaitic Literature
The Mishna is where the bulk of the teachings and rulings of the Tannaitic Sages is recorded, with the Gemarot focusing on the Amoraic Sages. This course focuses on the former.
- FJT-201: Future Israel and Modern Anti-Judaism
- FJT-280: Talmudic Studies II: Dinei HaTorah
This second course in the series teaches how to engage a daf (or folio) of Talmud Bavli in order to join in the ancient conversation about Torah, Halakha, and Rabbinics.
- FJT-320: Modern Rabbinical Thought – Directed Readings
A combination of videos and readings comprise the course content.
- FJT-330: Modern Rabbinical Thought – Works of Abraham Twerski
Readings include Twerski on Prayers, Twerski on Sprituality, Twerski on Machzor, and other selections.
- FJT-340: Modern Rabbinical Thought – Works of Abraham J. Heschel
Readings include The Sabbath, God in Search of Man, and other selections.
- FJT-350: Modern Rabbinical Thought – Jewish Egalitarianism (Feminism)
Readings include works by Dr. Amy-Jill Levine, Rachel Elior, and others.
- FJT-360: Modern Rabbinical Thought – Quasi-Judaic Movements
There are modern movements which claim to be Jewish but which step outside of the Jewish mainframe. These include neo-Karaitism, celebrity Kabbalah, and more. These will be presented through lectures and readings.
- FJT-380: Talmudic Studies III: Talmud Yerushalmi
- FJT-480: Midrashic Literature
Semikha Electives can be selected from here or from any other field.
- RAB-101: Jewish Homiletics
Jewish “homiletics” differs a bit from the Christian variety of preaching (which has many forms). Jewish tradition is more aimed at teaching than at entertaining, and the D’var Torah is central. This course examines bimah teachings from Judaism’s long history, both ancient and modern, and helps the student find his or her “bimah style.”
- RAB-105: Jewish Family Traditions
This course covers major Jewish traditions inluding those concerning B’rit Milah (circumcision), Pidyon HaBen, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Weddings, Funerals, prayers said in the home, and more.
- RAB-210: Marriage & Young Family Counseling
This course covers both pre-marital counseling and counseling of couples through the schmutz that may come into the marriage after the ceremony is completed, i.e. pre-marital counseling, marital/family counseling, and conflict resolution, focusing on both remedial and preventive methods
- RAB-220: Counseling Adolescents and Parents
Beyond marriage counseling is family counseling, and though there are sometimes counseling needs prior to adolescence, it is during a child’s adolescent years where special types of unique concerns arise. This course aims to equip the student for assisting families through the sometimes-tumultuous adolescent years.
- RAB-230: Crisis Counseling Strategies
Abuse takes many forms – physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, spiritual – and can have long-lasting impact on its victims. In many cases, abuse being visited upon a person can manifest as depression, anxiety, addictions, and/or self-harm/suicidal tendencies. The approach taken in this course is more at Biblical counseling (treating the spiritual root issue) than at psychological/psychiatric (treating or medicating the surface symptoms).
- RAB-301: Messianic Education Ministry
A tradition of larger Jewish communities is to offer “Jewish Day School” to educate Jewish youth in the issues that are unique to the Jewish community. In smaller communities, this becomes part of the Shabbat Schul programming. Whether it takes the form of a once-a-week program or a 5-day Jewish School setting, Messianic education should address some of these issues as well. This course addresses how to incorporate uniquely-Jewish issues into education programming.
- RAB-320: Jewish Ethics & Morality
This course will examine Jewish ethics beginning with Pirqei Avoth and Shulchan Arukh before moving to more contemporary ethical and moral matters.
- RAB-401: Synagogue Liturgy
This course is a study in liturgical similarities and differences between the various nusachot.
- RAB-490: Semikha Examination
The capstone of MJR’s programs is semikha (ordination). This process involves a series of seven exams which are reviewed by a panel of three Messianic rabbis. It also involves review of three recommendation letters and conference of title upon successful completion (along with proofs necessary to do ministry in prisons, jails, and some mental institutions).
Cantorial Arts (Chazzan)
Courses must be taken in sequence.
- MUS-101: Traditional Liturgy
While most of the liturgy is presented in Hebrew or Aramaic, transliterations and English translations are provided. The student may find a basic knowledge of Biblical or Modern Hebrew to be helpful, but it is not a prerequisite for this course.
- MUS-201: Torah Cantillation
- MUS-301: Haftarah Cantillation
- MUS-401: Megillah Cantillation
Introductory Courses for New Messianics
Mini-courses offered free and self-paced as a service of MJR
- IMJ-091: Intro to Messianic Judaism
This self-paced 6-module course covers the defining core beliefs of Biblical Messianic Judaism and discusses what distinguishes it from mainstream Christianity, the Hebrew Roots movement, and even other forms of Judaism.
- IMJ-092: Biblical Traditions & Customs
- IMJ-093: Mourning & Grieving in Jewish Context
Our lives on this earth are temporary. When the temporal life of someone we love ends, and they transition into the next life, we can of course rejoice for them, but we are left behind to mourn the fact that they are no longer with us, no longer accessible to us as they once were. What does Judaism have to teach us that can help us cope, mourn, and grieve?
- IMJ-094: Biblical Worship Traditions
Whence do our Jewish worship traditions come? How far back into the Jewish faith tradition do they reach? Under what authority are they established? What is essential to Jewish halakhic existence?
- IMJ-095: Aramaic Primacy of the B’rit Chadasha (NT)
- IMJ-098: Biblical Moedim
This self-paced 6-module course introduces the student to the seven Appointed Times of Hashem (called moedim in Hebrew) from a Messianic Jewish perspective. It explores both the backward-looking and forward-looking aspects of each feast, examining the Jewish historical significance and the nuance which points to Messiah.
- IMJ-099: Pseudo-Messianic Red Flags
This self-paced, 6-module course identifies several false teachings that have crept in under the broad umbrella of “Messianic Judaism” (mostly Hebrew Roots errors) and helps equip the student to recognize and confront such errors.
Courses taken at other institutions which may be equivalent or near-equivalent may be considered for “transfer credit” for students completing specific programs.
Any course may be taken as a non-semikha course for personal enrichment, dual-enrollment, or homeschool learning.