I wrote the book, The Unorthodox Believer, but you might be one too. This is some one who cares about the original biblical message and getting it right. The unorthodox believer cares more about the original message of scripture than fitting into a religious scheme or fitting into a social structure. For the Unorthodox Believer, truth is more important than tradition or status quo.
The book explores the cultural manner in which we modern westerns think versus the thinking patterns of the ancient easterners who wrote our scriptures. It explores how modern orthodoxy was invented via the logic argument methods of the ancient Greek philosophers — the educational background of the early century theologians. Then it contrasts that with the manner in which the ancient Hebrew believers derived their beliefs, based on their Hebrew background. Essentially, modern Christian beliefs were derived from Greek and Romans studying the biblical texts with no regard for the Hebraic culture.
To say it that way, makes the whole process of converting an ancient Hebrew faith into a modern gentile faith seems like the modern version is on a shaky foundation. And it is. However, every culture must understand the message of God's salvation for His people. It must be understandable to the intended audience. Introducing ideas completely foreign to a culture is a sure way to be misunderstood. When we read and study our Bibles, we are reading God's message intended for the ancient Hebrew culture, as it was, at a certain time in history. However, we are at a different time in history and in a very different culture. Without understanding the original message as given, we might not understand how to translate it correctly into our culture and I believe we have missed a lot.
A Biblical Anthropologist is a person with a knowledge of the ancient Hebrew culture of the Bible. He uses this knowledge to learn what was the original message of the prophets and apostle wrote, which the original audience would have understood. This method of Bible reading and study leads to an interpretation method I call, Cultural Theology.
Developing my comprehension of the Christian Faith with this method has occupied the majority of my time for several years. I have also been writing manuscripts for publishing to share my work with others who might find a cultural approach to Biblical studies refreshing. (This is the reason for the two year gap in blog posts.) I wrote a series called, Bible Study Enigmas, published in three short volumes and available on Amazon. Author page URL http://www.amazon.com/author/jlbrown
Jewish Oral Law is a Pharisee concept of a Second Torah given orally by God at Sinai but not written down.
Often overlooked or not even understood in the Hebrew Roots Movement is that Judaism is Phariseeism which is a combination of the Hebrew Scriptures plus the Pharisee Talmud plus other traditions adopted over time. The Hebrew Roots Movement holds that the Talmud does not represent inspired writings nor does it represent a body of instructions or laws to obey. However, in the Movement, it is respected as a guide to practical life, a window into how the ancients practiced and applied Judaism. The Movement also recognizes that many pagan practices and traditions (both religious and secular) have also been adopted in Judaism. These are to be avoided. But how does one avoid them if Judaism's Rabbinical Traditions are read and respected? Intrusions from men's additions and interpretations will be unavoidable if the Talmud is taken at all seriously.