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Jacob Prasch

 & 

The Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research

1 John 4:1-2 

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they be of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God."

 

In the February issue of his Moriel Newsletter, Mr. Prasch points out the error of Mahesh Chavada, Morris Cerullo and Lance Lambert.

“…Mahesh Chavada has in the past been associated with The Christian Embassy ( who have imported a variety of heretics into Israel including Morris Cerullo), but despite the protestations of many of his friends, Mr. Lambert joined his colleague Chavada in the Cranbourne fiasco…While Mr. Lambert is misrepresented as a watchman in Jerusalem, far from protecting God’s people from deception and lunacy he in fact joins forces with it. Whatever Lance Lambert may be, he is certainly no watchman.” 20

Mahesh Chavada stood on the same platform with Rabbi Cohen, Rick Joyner and Stephen Strang at the Israel Jubilee. Bonnie Chavada, his wife, is on the board of SpiritLed Woman, owned by Charisma Publishing, along with  such notables as Barbara Amos, Marilyn Hickey, Shirley Arnold, Cindy Jacobs, Brenda Kilpatrick (with her husband, John, have been senior pastors at Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola) and several others.  

Mr. Lance Lambert may not be a Watchman according to Jacob Prasch, but he connects to Jacob Prasch.  

Jacob endorses The Park Homepage, 20a as a solid Discernment ministry. It is the ministry base for Clifford Hill and David Noakes’ Prophetic Word Ministries 20b(PWM).

Lance Lambert, Clifford Hill and Cecil Kerr are listed as speakers at the PWM International Convention to be held September 24-27, 2000 in conjunction with Jerusalem 2000 tours. The goal is to unite Jew and Gentile. Obviously they don’t view Lance Lambert as a deception as he is part of the team.  PWM sells over a dozen of Mr. Lamberts teaching Tapes 20c in their 'Store.' Nor do they have a problem with the ecumenical movement, being that they are part of it as stated in their own information, "The Park itself is ecumenical."

A full discussion of this ministry, declared by Jacob Prasch, to be a "valid discernment ministries to alert the church and give understanding to the many” follows.

The Park Homepage states: 

  "The Park is a multi-ministry centre, owned by Moggerhanger House Preservation Trust... In 1995 Harvest Vision legally acquired the main house with 15 acres for a £1... In 1997 the ministry side of the work was split from the buildings. The Centre for Contemporary Ministry were invited to be the operators of the ministry, and a new Moggerhanger House Preservation Trust was formed to restore the buildings."  21.

A query concerning what Harvest Vision was and who the Trustees or Board members were, brought this reply:

"Moggerhanger House Preservation Trust is a charitable organisation with the dual purpose of a) the restoration of Moggerhanger House and Estate, and b) the use thereof for the promotion of the Christian faith.... "

"Harvest Vision is effectively a dormant organisation which was set up to create a Christian Training Centre; MHPT were formed out of it as a condition of a major grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund. (Harvest Vision's trust deeds did not tie the trust to Moggerhanger, which was a contract condition)."

"The trustees for MHPT are: Mr Henry Clarke, Mis Helen Dorey, Lady Isabelle Errol, Revd Dr Clifford Hill, Mrs Monica Hill, Mr Chris Izzard, Mr David Saunderson and Mr Samuel Whitbread." 

Regards

Simon Cooper
Park Development Manager  22

The Centre for Contemporary Ministry (CCM)22a discusses in their Annual Report (1996/97),  the role that Harvest Vision, the owner's of the CCM ministry base, have given them in the running of The Park

"...This responsibility arose from discussions that took place during the year, whereby Harvest Vision, the owner of CCM’s ministry base at The Park, approached CCM to ask if they would be willing to take on full responsibilities as site operators....CCM have taken over - informally - effective control of all day-to-day running of The Park. This is a significant increase in the scope of the work, but in many ways a logical extension from the position last year when Harvest Vision asked CCM to ‘co-ordinate’ on-site activities at The Park....CCM remains committed to its original vision of providing In-Service Training for the ordained ministry. Much time this year has been spent working with the British Church Growth Association..." 22b

Although Clifford Hill and his associates have spoken against the trends in the Charismatic movement, CCM has held Leadership Consultations such as, "A Call to Charismatic Leaders":  

"A conference of various church leaders was held last Autumn to look at current trends within the charismatic church. This consultation resulted in a statement being written called ‘A Call to Charismatic Leaders’ which has received wide attention  and discussion nationally. This report has been widely circulated and is still available from CCM offices." 23

The CCM personnel and Trustees have included: the (Late) David Forbes, Revd Robert Hunt; Revd John Job;  Revd Peter Dye (from 9/96)   Mr Peter Fenwick (from 9/96) Mrs. Chris Leage (to 1/97) Directors:  Revd Dr Clifford Hill; Mrs. Monica Hill; Pastoral Directors: Revd Russell Howell; Mrs. Lesley Howell and so on. 

Clifford Hill co-authored the book, Blessing the Church?, with Peter Fenwick, David Forbes and David Noakes. The book was a review of the direction of the Charismatic Movement and impact of the Toronto Blessing.  

CCM works with The British Church Growth Association,23a one of The Parks branch ministries. Their web site shows that they were spawned following the ecumenical Lausanne Congress on World Evangelisation.

"Following the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelisation in 1974 much interest was aroused in church growth thinking which led to the first UK Church Growth Consultation in 1978...So the British Church Growth Association was formed in September 1981 by a widely representative group of Christians committed to church growth either as researchers, teachers, practitioners or consultants. "

BCGA Mission Statement:  

"The  BCGA is to be a ginger group, a forum, a network and a clearing house for church growth thinking: to monitor and do research in order to provide resources in the form of publications, people and conferences by means of specific projects geared to local situations." 

 

The Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research

Jude 1:4

"For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ."

As stated, Jacob Prasch endorses The Park Homepage 23b, and the ministry of Clifford Hill and David Noakes', Prophetic Word Ministries (PWM) 23c. On the Prophetic Word Ministries (PWM) page are 3 ministry branches. PWM is the parent organization of the magazine, Prophecy Today.  Of most interest is PARDES: The Centre for Biblical and Hebraic Studies. 23d It should be noted that PARDES is a kabbalistic teaching.

Their stated purpose is the “expanding work of scholars in Israel, both Jewish and Christian, who are seeking to reclaim the original Hebraic understanding of the New Testament.”

Amazingly, they cite the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research as one of their sources of learning.

“Of particular note is the work of The Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research which seeks to understand the Hebrew words of Jesus as recorded in the Synoptic Gospels by both re-translating the Greek text back into Hebrew and relating it to the culture, social customs and rabbinic thought and practice of the first century.” 

“Associated with this in the United States is the work of the Center for Judaic-Christian Studies, while Dr Marvin Wilson's book Our Father Abraham has been a seminal work in enabling Christians to understand the roots of their faith in the Hebrew Scriptures. The work in Israel of the Caspari Centre and of the Tantur Ecumenical Centre has also been of great value in this direction.”

“There is no similar centre in the UK for in-depth teaching and study. The PWM Trustees are convinced that God is calling his church back, not just to the study and teaching of Scripture, but to a Hebraic understanding of his words and an appreciation of the Jewish roots of the Christian faith.”

“We believe that to apply a Hebraic interpretation to our exegesis of Scripture is vital for the recovery of the church and to what God is calling those who 'have ears to hear' in these days. It is, however, vital that we share our understanding with others, especially those in pastoral charge and those with teaching responsibilities in churches and colleges.” 24 

The Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research (J.S.S.R) is not a resource a true believer could confidently embrace for learning Biblical truth.  The Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research, is a "consortium of Jewish and Christian scholars." Jesus Christ is identified by the JSSR as being "like other Jewish sages of that time:.. 

From their website:

" The Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research,  a consortium of Jewish and Christian scholars, was chartered in 1985 as an Israeli non-profit scientific and educational organization dedicated to understanding better the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke), and to rethinking the Synoptic Problem.  Examining the Synoptic Gospels within the context of the language, land and culture in which Jesus lived, this Jewish-Christian collaboration is unique and unprecedented historically...Christian scholars fluent in Hebrew and living in Israel are collaborating with Jewish scholars to examine Jesus' sayings from a Jewish and Hebraic perspective.  The result of this research confirm that Jesus was an organic part of the diverse social and religious landscape of Second Temple-period Judaism.  He, like other Jewish sages of his time, taught in Hebrew and used specialized methods to teach foundational Jewish theological concepts..." bolding added

According to their website, the following is a list of the members of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research:

David Bivin, Jerusalem Perspective, publisher
Randall Buth, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Esther Eshel, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Hanan Eshel, Bar Ilan University
Weston Fields, Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation, co-founder
Joseph Frankovic, Jewish Theological Seminary of America
Steven Notley, Nyack College
Dwight Pryor, Center for Judaic-Christian Studies
Halvor Ronning, Home for Bible Translators
Mirja Ronning, Home for Bible Translators
Serge Ruzer, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Chana Safrai, Shalom Hartman Institute
Marc Turnage, Southwest Missouri State University & Durham University
Brad Young, Oral Roberts University

Brian Becker, Director
Randall Buth, Chairman of the Board

Deceased Members
Robert Lindsey was the long-time pastor of Jerusalem's Narkis Street Baptist congregation. His research on the Synoptic Gospels led to the creation of the Jerusalem School. ...

David Flusser was Professor of Early Christianity and Judaism of the Second Temple Period at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Flusser was a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. He was a recipient of the Israel Prize (1980), awarded by the State of Israel. In 1989 he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Theology by the Catholic Faculty of Theology of Lucerne, Switzerland. ...

Shmuel Safrai was born in 1919 and at the age of three immigrated to Palestine with his family. He was ordained as a rabbi at the age of twenty at the prestigious Mercaz Harav Yeshivah in Jerusalem. He later received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the fields of Jewish History, Talmud and Bible. Safrai was recipient of the Jerusalem Prize (1986) and the Israel Prize (2002), the State of Israel's most prestigious honor. He wrote over eighty articles and twelve books including Pilgrimage in the Period of the Second Temple and Rabbi Akiva ben Yosef: His Life and Teachings. He died July 16th, 2003, and was buried only a few feet from the grave of his close friend and research colleague, David Flusser.

Jerusalem School Associates
In order to keep in touch with students who have studied with one of our members, we have created Associate Membership. Following is a list of the Associate Members of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research:

Gary Alley, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Sharon Alley, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Brad Embry, Durham University
Judith Fain, Durham University
Brian Kvasnica, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Dan Machiela, Notre Dame University
Chad Pierce, Durham Univeristy
Hal Revelson, University of Texas
Brian Schultz, Bar Ilan University
Nathan Solomon, Union Theological Seminary
Matthew Suriano, UCLA
Timothy Wardle, Duke University
Archie Wright, Regent University

http://www.jerusalemschool.org/

The Jerusalem Perspective is used to disseminate the ideas, beliefs and research from the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research, although it posts writings from authors it might not be in agreement with. It is owned by David Bivin and his wife. According to their own information:

"...Jerusalem Perspective was created in 1987 by David Bivin and Jeffrey Magnuson. ...At the end of 1999, after fifty-six issues, publication of the print Jerusalem Perspective came to an end. Since then JP has concentrated on electronic publishing.

Jerusalem Perspective is committed to the following goals:

  1. Disseminating the research results of David Bivin and his colleagues, members of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research, both in popular and scholarly formats.
     
  2. Preparing a full commentary on the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke).
     
  3. Reconstructing the conjectured pre-canonical Greek and Hebrew stages of the gospel tradition.
Jerusalem Perspective is registered in Israel as a small business, and in the United States as a non-profit organization. Jerusalem Perspective and JerusalemPerspective.com are directed and solely-owned by David and Josa Bivin, Christians who have lived in Israel since 1963 and 1966, respectively. David and Josa hold U.S. citizenship and Israeli "permanent residency" status.

http://www.jerusalemperspective.com/Default.aspx?tabid=35

A book published in 1984 by David Bivin (Director of the JSSR) and Roy Blizzard has formed the basis of much Hebrew Roots' doctrine. The following excerpts from Understanding The Difficult Words Of Jesus represent the JSSR viewpoint on the lack of originality of the Greek New Testament: 

"...Our reasons for writing this book are not only to show that the original gospel was communicated in the Hebrew language; but to show that the entire New Testament can only be understood from a Hebrew perspective. 2.

"It cannot be overemphasised, that the key to an understanding of the New Testament is a fluent knowledge of Hebrew and an intimate acquaintance with Jewish history, culture, and Rabbinic Literature."

We are reminded:

2 Peter 3:16

"As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction."
It's noteworthy that an article published in the final print edition of the Jerusalem Perspective, written by David Bivin of the JSSR and who is so popular within the Hebrew Roots movement, is not accepted by many within the Hebrew Roots or Messianic movements or Christians embracing these teachings, because of their not understanding or denying the source of kabbalah or Pardes:
... students of the Kabbalah speak of Pardes ...which is an acronym derived from the initial letter of each of the four terms (p-r-d-s)....According to the late Professor Gershom Scholem, pioneer researcher in the field of Kabbalah, Moses ben Shem Tov of Leon was the first known writer to mention the acronym Pardes. He did so about 1290 in a composition called Sefer Pardes. Moses ben Shem Tov also wrote The Zohar, which became the most influential work of the Spanish Kabbalists...The Kabbalists were mystics par excellence, and they pursued vigorously Scripture's concealed meanings. They aspired to an elevated spiritual awareness by gaining access to concealed knowledge through scrutinizing each letter of the biblical text and through ecstatic ascents into heaven...Their longing for esoteric knowledge may be traced back in part to earlier Gnostic speculations. Such speculations left their imprints on the Kabbalah...The acronym Pardes belongs exclusively to the domain of the Kabbalah.
 
Quoted from an article titled:
 
“Medieval Jargon on First-century Lips”
Author: David Bivin
Jerusalem Perspective
Page 33
July-September 1999 #56

The Park's The Centre for Biblical and Hebraic Studies, "PARDES" promotes their book 'Roots and Branches' : Explorations into the Jewish Context of the Christian Faith, published May 1998, which was “ written as a tribute to the late David Forbes, founder of the Centre for Biblical and Hebraic Studies.” John Fieldsend, Clifford Hill, Walter Riggins, John C.P. Smith and Fred Wright edited the book. 

According to their article, it is comprised of:

“…essays relating to the Jewish roots of the Christian faith on such foundational themes as Jesus the Rabbi, From Jesus to Paul, The Preisthood of James, the Brother of Jesus, Three in the Holy One of Israel Settlement, Expulsion and Restoration: The Jews of England and Messianic Jews and Jewish Identity” are also covered. 25

The contributors were not only from the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research (JSSR) but had to be personal friends of David Forbes. 

“Many of the contributors are well-known, names such as David Bivin, Walter Riggans and Dwight Pryor, but new writers are also included. The criteria for selecting the authors were twofold, namely that they had something relevant and important to contribute and that they were friends and colleagues of David.” 26

Jacob Prasch recommends Dwight Pryor along with Arnold Fruchtenbaum as  "good" HR teachers. Dwight Pryor is with the J.S.S.R. "Dwight is President and Founder of the Center for Judaic-Christian Studies, established in Austin, Texas, in 1984. He also is a founding member of the Board of Governors of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research in Israel." 

For More on Marvin Wilson, David Bivin, Walter Riggans and Dwight Pryor, etc., and the JSSR connections See: MJAA Inroads of The Hebrew Roots "Fringe"; Mainstreaming The "Fringe"; MJAA Executives & The Hebrew Roots " Fringe"  

Despite Hill's, Noakes, Forbes and Pryors association with the J.S.S.R., Mr. Prasch recommends and considers each of them to be operating  “valid discernment ministries to alert the church and give understanding to the many” and “we stand by them all as comrades in Christ’s cause.” 27

Jacob Prasch and his adherents have been more than vocal about the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research. On the one hand Jacob denounces it, but on the other hand he’ll work with those who support JSSR and has stated he can work with JSSR leadership on an individual basis. We have several emails sent from his address stating his being against the JSSR. For example: (Grammar & spelling as seen)

“Jacob published articles about Satan's destuction of The Hebrew Root Movement and against The Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research. He has also been at the forefront in The British Commonwealth countries of opposing Faith -Prospeity, Toronto&Pensecola, Ecumenism etc. You are mere slanderes who cannot attention any other way, so you just lie…He also published an article taking issue with The Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research, and is a chief opponent of the heretical axis of Christian Zionism (such as The Christian Embassy).” 28

On Tricia Tillin's site, in the section called Articles: Hebraic Roots Movement, which has had no access to the articles since "To Embrace Hebrew Roots" was published in 1999, we read: 

"Why I do not subscribe to the views of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research on Hebrew source documents for the Gospels."

By Yacov Prasch of Moriel Ministries, Leeds

The Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research is founded on the erroneous belief that the gospels cannot be fully understood except in an Hebraic context. According to one of its members, David Bivin, "the Jerusalem School is not a Christian organisation; its membership includes both Jewish and Christian scholars". Their beliefs and statements are examined here." [Cross+Word;Banner Ministries;  Articles: Hebraic Roots Movement http://www.banner.org.uk/sum_heb.html ]

For an update concerning this issue, please see Vicky Dillen's Inquisition

It is evident there is a severe contradiction in what Mr. Prasch states and what he actually does. From his own words in Moriel's February Newsletter. "In these Last Days we don’t need those who totter and send mixed signals..." 

This is the one instance in which we would agree wholeheartedly with Jacob Prasch's own statement. 

 

Next Section:

A Little Deviation From Their "Christian" Root

Previous Section: Jacob and Jews For Jesus

 

Footnotes:

20. op.cit. Moriel, Feb. 2000

20a. http://www.personal.u-net.com/~the-park/

20b. http://www.personal.u-net.com/~the-park/NewFiles/pwm.html

20c. www.personal.u-net.com/~the-park/NewFiles/publicationstapes.html

21.  The Park, http://www.personal.u-net.com/~the-park/

22. Subject: Re: query Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2000 10:19:32 +0100; From: "Simon Cooper" <mhpt@the-park.u-net.com>

22a. http://www.personal.u.net.com/~the-park/NewFiles/ccm.html

22b. www.personal.u.net.com/~the-park/NewFiles/ccmannual9697.html

23. Annual Report 1996/1997

23a. http://www.personal.u.net.com/~the-park/NewFiles/bcga.html

23b. http://www.personal.u-net.com/~the-park/

23c. http://www.personal.u-net.com/~the-park/NewFiles/pwm.html

23d. http://www.personal.u-net.com/~the-park/NewFiles/pardes.html

24. PARDES: The Centre for Biblical and Hebraic Studies; http://www.personal.u-net.com/~the-park/NewFiles/pardes.html; www.jerusalemperspective.com/

25. Book 'Roots and Branches' ; Roots and Branches: Explorations into the Jewish Context of the Christian Faith;  http://www.personal.u-net.com/~the-park/NewFiles/rootsandbranches.html

26. Ibid

27. op.cit. Moriel-Feb 2000

28. Email: Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 16:55:34 –0000 From: Jacob Prasch <jacob@moriel.u-net.com>To: "'vdillen_vdil@.." <vdillen_vdil@...>

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