For the past 2000 years, there has been a divergence between Jewish and Christian scholarly pursuits. Jews primarily focused on Midrash – exegesis on the Old Testament and published most famously in the Babylonian Talmud; while Christians have mostly pursued a path of reading the New Testament alone.
Starting in 1954, a small handful of scholars independently began connecting New Testament texts to the Old Testament using the midrashic methods of the Jews. But even the research of this tiny group has gone largely unnoticed.
In 2008, in a development that can only be described as miraculous, Dr. David Pitcher, an orthopedic tumor surgeon practicing at the time in Florida, (charter class of 1982, Oral Roberts University School of Medicine) came across parallels between 2 Timothy and Numbers, and developed his findings as a pastoral studies thesis at Calvary Chapel Bible College in Fort Lauderdale. Fascinated by his discovery, he continued his research and ultimately discovered that seven epistles of Paul are an exact Midrash on the Five Books of Moses, Joshua and Isaiah!
It appears that these seven Pauline letters comprise the largest body of literature that links rabbinical interpretations of the Tanakh to early Christian exegetical interpretations.
While Dr. Pitcher has already published many of his findings in 34 books over the past 15 years, there is still much, much more to be discovered. No less important than this discovery is its popularization among Christian and Jewish audiences that are still clueless about this amazing revelation.
Towards this end, we have established the Institute of Midrashic Studies of the New Testament.
Expanding interest in the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith with the new discovery of a Midrash within the New Testament is difficult, in that the vast majority of Christians do not even know what Midrash is.
The Institute for Midrashic Studies of the New Testament will bring the concept of “Midrash” into mainstream knowledge of Christians.
Christians will be fascinated by the new window opened by the Institute’s work, shedding Jewish light on the New Testament Scriptures. Jews familiar with Midrash will be astounded by this discovery that the New Testament is as much a Midrash of the Hebrew Scriptures as the Talmud.
For the 2021-2022 academic year, we will accept four Christian Seminary students as Institute fellows. Fellows will study with Dr. Pitcher, learn his method and help to develop it. The course of study will include writing scholarly articles about this Oldest Midrash for publication in peer reviewed scholarly journals. Lectures by guest scholars will be part of the curriculum.
The Institute for Midrashic Studies of the New Testament is a fiscal sponsorship beneficiary program of Root Source. Root Source, established in 2014, works to create bridges of engagement between Christians and Jews, primarily through symposia and online courses presented by Christian and Jewish scholars and rabbis, based on a strong sense of mutual respect, shared vision, and personal friendship.
Root Source is a registered charity in the United States. Donations tax-deductible. EIN: 85-0583428.