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Caspari Center for Biblical and Jewish Studies

our history

Home About Our History
Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014
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Our History

The Caspari Center for Biblical and Jewish Studies was founded in 1982 by the Norwegian Church Ministry to Israel in order to support Israel’s Jewish believers in Jesus through education and research. It was the first institution to offer basic theological training for lay members and pastors of Messianic congregations in Israel in the Hebrew language.

Over the years the Caspari Center has supported local congregations through various training courses, seminars, and lectures, and through our open library and locally produced publications. The TELEM (Tochnit Limud Meshichi – Messianic Teaching Program) courses, TELEM publications, the Caspari Center Shabbat School Seminars, various leadership training programs, Mishkan, the Caspari Center Media Review, In the Shadow of the Temple, and Jewish Believers in Jesus are some of the center’s many significant contributions for local believers and Christian students and scholars around the world over the last three decades.

In Israel, we have always worked closely with the local congregations through our advisory board of prominent members of the Messianic community and through other informal networks. Since the very beginning the center has been working together with various international partner organizations.

Since 2002, we have had a U.S. branch located near Chicago, Illinois. Read more about Caspari USA.

 

Our Name

Carl Paul CaspariCarl Paul Caspari (1814-1892)

Carl Caspari was born of Jewish parents in Dassau, Germany, in 1814. As a young man he studied Hebrew and Arabic at the University of Leipzig, producing an Arabic grammar book which for many years was the standard work in its field. While at the university, he was powerfully confronted with the claims of Jesus Christ as both Lord and Messiah. Caspari found the evidence irrefutable: in 1838, on the day of Pentecost, he was formally baptized and took on the baptismal name of Paul.

Caspari continued his studies in Berlin until the year 1847, when he was urged by Gisle Johnson, a visiting young scholar from Norway, to apply for a vacant chair as lecturer at the University of Oslo. He did so, was appointed, and spent the rest of his life as a lecturer and professor of the Old Testament.

In 1861, Carl Paul Caspari became the first chairman of the Committee for the Mission among the Jews, which had been established in Oslo that year. Caspari's work as a scholar and a believing Jew served to enrich three generations of Norwegian pastors, bringing the Psalms and Prophets to light in a fresh, dynamic way. His pioneering research into the history of the early Christian Creeds virtually established this specialized field of research as a new discipline.

The Caspari Center was named in his honor, and we hope that our ongoing work will be a fitting tribute to a man who truly loved his God, his Bible, and his people.

Adapted from Oskar Skarsaune's article in the book Israel and Yeshua, published by the Caspari Center and available in our online store.