Fr. James Bernstein, New York, USA: Surprised By Christ – Priest’s Conversion from Judaism to Christianity Documented in New Memoir

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Fr. James Bernstein, New York, USA:

Surprised By Christ

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Priest’s Conversion from Judaism to

Christianity Documented in New Memoir

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

Surprised By Christ

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Conciliar Press Ministries is pleased to announce the release of a new spiritual memoir of a man’s conversion from Judaism to Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Raised in Queens, New York by formerly Orthodox Jewish parents whose faith had been undermined by the Holocaust, Arnold Bernstein went on a quest for the God he instinctively felt was there. He was ready to accept God in whatever form He chose to reveal Himself—and that form turned out to be Christ.

But Bernstein soon perceived discrepancies in the various forms of Protestant belief that surrounded him, and so his quest continued—this time for the true Church. With his Jewish heritage as a foundation, he came to the conclusion that the faith of his forefathers was fully honored and brought to completion only in the Orthodox Christian Church.

Surprised by Christ combines an engrossing memoir of one man’s life in historic situations—from the Six-Day War to the Jesus Movement in Berkeley—with a deeply felt examination of the distinctives of Orthodox theology that make the Orthodox Church the true home not only for Christian Jews, but for all who seek to know God as fully as He may be known.

The Rev. A. James Bernstein was a teenage chess champion whose dramatic conversion experience at the age of 16 led him to Christianity. His spiritual journey has included a number of twists and turn: he was chapter president of Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship at Queens College, helped found the Jews for Jesus ministry in San Francisco, was a staff member of the Christian World Liberation Front in Berkeley, served as a pastor of an Evangelical Orthodox Church near Silicon Valley, and later became an Eastern Orthodox convert and then priest. He lives with his wife Bonnie outside of Seattle, Washington, where he serves as pastor of St. Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church. Father James is the author of the booklets Orthodoxy: Jewish and Christian (Conciliar Press, 1990); Which Came First: The Church or the New Testament (CP, 1994); and Communion: A Family Affair (CP, 1999). He was also a contributor to the Orthodox Study Bible: New Testament and Psalms (Thomas Nelson, 1993).

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Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? – Fr. James Bernstein, WA, USA

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USA OF MY HEART

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Which Came First: New Testament or the Church?

by Fr. James Bernstein, WA, USA

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2011/05/which-came-first-new-testament-or-the-church/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

A convert to Christianity from Judaism, Fr. James was a teenage chess champion whose dramatic conversion experience at the age of 16 led him to Christianity, and is also one of the founders of Jews For Jesus. His journey led him directly to the Orthodox Christian faith, and his journey is recounted in his book “Surprised By Christ,” the story of a man searching for the truth and unable to rest until he finds it. He is the priest at St. Paul Church in Brier, WA.

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As a Jewish convert to Christ via evangelical Protestantism, I naturally wanted to know God better through the reading of the Scriptures. In fact, it had been through reading the Gospels in the “forbidden book” called the New Testament, at age sixteen, that I had come to believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and our promised Messiah. In my early years as a Christian, much of my religious education came from private Bible reading.

By the time I entered college, I had a pocket-sized version of the whole Bible that was my constant companion. I would commit favorite passages from the Scriptures to memory, and often quote them to myself in times of temptation-or to others as I sought to convince them of Christ. The Bible became for me-as it is to this day-the most important book in print. I can say from my heart with Saint Paul the Apostle,

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).

That’s the good news!

The bad news is that often I would decide for myself what the Scriptures meant. For example, I became so enthusiastic about knowing Jesus as my close and personal friend that I thought my own awareness of Him was all I needed. So I would mark verses about Continue reading “Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? – Fr. James Bernstein, WA, USA”

π. James Bernstein, ΗΠΑ – Ο γιος του Ραβίνου που από Προτεστάντης έγινε Ιερέας της Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας

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ORTHODOXY OF MY HEART

π. James Bernstein, ΗΠΑ – Ο γιος του Ραβίνου που από Προτεστάντης έγινε Ιερέας της Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας

Η συγκλονιστική ιστορία της ζωής του Εβραίου π. James Bernstein, που έπειτα από πολλές αναζητήσεις βρήκε τον δρόμο του Θεού και σήμερα είναι Κληρικός στην Ενορία του Αγίου Παύλου, κοντά στο Seattle της Washington των ΗΠΑ.

H ζωή του π. James Bernstein, ενός Ορθόδοξου Κληρικού της Μητρόπολης Βορείου Αμερικής, του Πατριαρχείου Αντιοχείας, θα μπορούσε να αποτελεί χωρίς κανέναν ενδοιασμό ιδανικό σενάριο κινηματογραφικής ταινίας.

Ο ίδιος, μεγαλωμένος στην Αμερική και γαλουχημένος με τις Εβραϊκές παραδόσεις, πέρασε από ατέλειωτα σκαμπανεβάσματα και πολλές διακυμάνσεις, ώστε, τελικά, βρήκε τις απαντήσειςσε όλα τα υπαρξιακά ερωτήματά του στην Ορθόδοξη Πίστη.

Ο πατέρας του, ο Ισαάκ, γεννήθηκε στις αρχές του 20ού αιώνα, συγκεκριμένα το 1909, στην Αγία Γη, στην παλιά πόλη της Ιερουσαλήμ, όπου και ανδρώθηκε ακολουθώντας την Ιουδαϊκή θρησκεία. Μάλιστα, θέλησε να αφιερωθεί και να γίνει Ραβίνος.

Το 1941 και ενώ ήταν σε εξέλιξη ο Β΄ Παγκόσμιος Πόλεμος ο ραβίνος και η σύζυγός του, μαζί με τα παιδιά τους, αποφάσισαν να πάρουν τον δρόμο της προσφυγιάς. Διάλεξαν το τελευταίο πλοίο, που είχε προορισμό την Αμερική, και ταξίδεψαν μέσω της Αιγύπτου και της νότιας οδού της Αφρικής, καθώς στη Μεσόγειο και στονΑτλαντικό Ωκεανό καιροφυλακτούσαν πολεμικά πλοία και υποβρύχια.

Ο Arnold, όπως ήταν το όνομα του π. James, πρωτοβλέπει το φως αυτού του κόσμου στις 6 Μαΐου 1946 στο Lansing της Πολιτείας του Michigan. Ο Β΄ Παγκόσμιος Πόλεμος μπορεί να είχε τελειώσει, αφήνοντας πίσω του εκατομμύρια νεκρούς και αναρίθμητα ανοιχτά τραύματα, ωστόσο η πίστη του πατέρα του Continue reading “π. James Bernstein, ΗΠΑ – Ο γιος του Ραβίνου που από Προτεστάντης έγινε Ιερέας της Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας”