Peter Sammons reviews the One New Man Bible - a 2011 translation by William J Morford. The One New Man Bible (ONMB) is a helpful modern translation by William J Morford, an American bible translator and Hebraic specialist. It aims to bring greater understanding of, and appreciation for, the power given to believers for their daily walk. In the words of its Preface: "The One New Man Bible...makes the Jewish roots of Christianity come to life" having been "edited from a public domain English translation. The English has been brought up to date and many words previously translated according to tradition have been changed to the literal. The New Testament is the Power New Testament, a fresh translation of the Fourth Edition United Bible Society Greek Text. An effort has been made to keep the text as free as possible from denominational biases and doctrinal interpretations".

Since Steve Maltz, a secular Jew, became a disciple of Yeshua (Jesus) some thirty years ago, he has endeavoured to make some sort of mark on the Christian public terrain. Now, with twenty-three books under his belt, most with provocative titles such as ‘How the Church Lost the Way’ and ‘The Bishop’s New Clothes’, he senses a possible breakthrough with his latest, ‘Into the Lion’s Den: Reaching a World Gone Mad’.

This is the latest in a series of ten books that have charted Steve’s stumbling adventures into the world of the ‘Hebraic’ and brings together discoveries made along the way that suggest that there may be uncharted places of great riches and blessings that have remained mostly untouched by the mainstream Church, sadly, through fear and prejudice. This has been a blight on the Church ever since the Church Fathers collectively started pruning the Olive Tree that nourishes the Church (Romans 11), hacking away and discarding the Jewish roots in the process, replacing them with structures constructed from the ideas of Plato and Aristotle.

But there is a new wind blowing, as Christians begin to realise that being truly ‘Hebraic’ is to return to the internal mindset of Jesus, his contemporaries and the Old Testament writers, rather than the external “alien” world of yarmulkas, shofars and Yiddish. Perhaps a more descriptive (and less problematic) description would be the ‘Jesus’ mindset. For Steve, it began in 1995 with Saltshakers, the website he launched with Kit Eglinton, the first serious messianic web ministry, created to help fulfil the ‘One New Man’ ideal proposed by Paul in Ephesians 2, for Jew and Gentile to find mutual acceptance within the Body of Christ. This became the generic name for the ministry that now includes ground-breaking Foundations conferences, as bi-annual events as well as ‘coming to a Church near you’. These are conferences that are totally unique in the Christian world. They provide a friendly, faith-filled environment not just to feed your brain, but to allow you to develop both as an individual and as a fully-functioning member of the Body of Christ. Nobody leaves these events untouched in some way and most people discover something new about themselves in the process. The next will be held in Sidholme Hotel, Devon in October 2018.

Saltshakers also features monthly Moedim ‘Hebraic discovery’ meetings in London, the award-winning Saffron Planet web radio chats, a live web Bible school, an ‘ask the teacher’ feature and ad-hoc video web discussions, prompted by key news events. Which brings us quite nicely to his latest book …

We live in a world that, frankly, has gone mad. Is it not a madness to believe that an incorrect pronoun can get you in serious trouble, that our students have become a fragile protected species, that the “n” word is more of a blasphemy these days than the variety of anti-Christian epithets that so easily roll from the tongue? That being a Biblical Christian can have you labelled as a racist or a fascist? That biological certainties have given way to subjective feelings and that the right to think this way (and the ‘crime’ of not thinking this way) seems to be one of the most enforced laws today?

Into the Lion’s Den’ hits this situation head-on. Steve’s research for this book took him to some very unsettling places (so that you don’t have to) and historic evidence points to a process that began in the first half of the 20th Century, only now finding fulfilment within the restrictions brought about through ‘Political Correctness’, in all of its many forms and varieties. This is serious business as it totally affects the way the Church can communicate the Good News to a World that increasingly needs it, but which is increasingly educated to resist it.

The Church needs to rethink the way that it engages with the World if it is to become effective in this new toxic climate and ‘Into the Lion’s Den’ provides radical solutions that are grounded in none other than the ‘Jesus’ mindset. In short, it doesn’t just ask ‘What would Jesus do …’ but provides hints and strategies to enable this question to be answered in such a way that the World can do nothing other than sit up and notice.

‘Into the Lion’s Den’ by Steve Maltz is available for £10 from CLC Wholesale or directly from www.sppublishing.com. For details of conferences, events, Bible schools etc., please visit www.saltshakers.com

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