The traditional Torah and Haftarah reading calendar was codified by Maimonides nearly 1000 years ago, after centuries of development and refinement that began with Ezra and Nehemiah in biblical times. The weekly Torah portion system has served to unite and strengthen the Jewish community through centuries of exile and persecution. Despite our difficulties and dispersion, Jewish people everywhere read the same stories at the same time, entering into discussions about our sacred texts that stretch across millennia.
Since the resurgence of the Messianic Jewish movement in the mid-20th century, our community has worked to build a Brit Chadasha (New Testament) reading calendar for use in our congregations and families. As our scholarship advances, we find richer layers of meaning within the Gospels, and profound connections between the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures.
In the summer of 2017, UMJC Delegates voted to endorse the following reading calendars:
First Fruits of Zion
First Fruits of Zion’s readings from the gospels echo themes and concepts in the weekly parasha. Special Sabbaths and holidays receive their own pertinent readings. For example, during the admonitions before Tisha be'Av, we read Yeshua’s warnings about the destruction of Jerusalem, and during the seven consolations, the gospel selections echo the corresponding Isaiah passages.
The FLAME Foundation reading calendar addresses the question of how we renew and apply Jewish tradition in covenant relationship. Torah, Haftarah, and New Covenant readings link the blue print and prophets’ call to life in Messiah’s community.
Messianic Jewish Rabbinical Council
The MJRC’s Chayyei Yeshua reading calendar runs on a 3 year cycle, offering an annual presentation of the life of Yeshua that is coordinated to the life of Israel. The cycle points to the truth that Yeshua, as the King of Israel and its representative, embodies in his person the meaning of the temple, the holy city, and Jewish history as a whole.