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The Heidelberg Catechism in Israel

20 February, 2009

fetch_imageAmong many other accomplishments our former WSC classmate Elder David Zadok and his co-laborers have translated the Heidelberg Catechism into modern Hebrew (they are the first to do it!) as part of their Christian witness to Israel.

The following is a recent update:

Update from HaGefen Publishing / CWI Israel

The last few months have been filled with challenge and blessings. In October 2008 we published the first modern Hebrew version of the Heidelberg Catechism, which we entitled One and Only Comfort after the first question. Since nothing similar has ever been used in Israel we held a one day seminar to introduce it, in cooperation with the Netherland Reformed congregations. It was a historical event for such a document to be made available in Hebrew.


In November Tedd Tripp’s Shepherding a Child’s Heart and accompanying Parent’s Handbook were published in Hebrew and in Russian, in line with our goal to provide guidance to families. Dr. Tripp and his wife were with us for two weeks and conducted five parenting seminars that were attended by over 300 people from around the country – Jews, Arabs and even Sudanese refugees. The Hebrew translation of the talks has been placed on our website in audio files for free download. Please feel free to visit our site (in Hebrew and English) at www.ha-gefen.org.il .

We continue to forge ahead with new projects in 2009. Let’s Study the Gospel of Mark by Sinclair Ferguson is to be published in March. A few months ago we published our first in this series, Let’s Study the Epistle to the Philippians. Other commentaries to be published this year are Let’s Study II Peter and Jude, and a locally written book on Joel and Amos. In addition we are translating Matthew Henry’s unabridged Gospel of John. As you can imagine this is a very challenging project, and involves a more long term investment of time and resources. To meet the need in the Israeli church for solid biblical teaching we have set ourselves the goal of publishing at least one commentary for each of the 66 books of the Bible in the next ten years.

Two main projects are being worked on for families and children. The first is the second edition of a Bible story book that was first published 15 years ago. This is a 550 page book with stories from the Old and New Testaments and full colour illustrations.  The second is a catechism for very young children, often known as the Mother’s Catechism, to be published in April. This is charmingly illustrated and provides scripture references for those who wish to explore the answers further. I will write an introduction to explain how to use it to teach the children.

Two evangelistic books in Russian and in Hebrew, are also in the works and will be used in the 2009 evangelistic campaigns. In November 2008 we received an order for 50,000 copies of Betrayed in Hebrew. These were distributed gratis to congregations throughout the land. HaGefen also translated Betrayed into Russian and printed 7000 copies.  Of these only a handful are left.  This is an indication of the work that the Lord is doing in the land. Many are open to hearing the good news of the promised Messiah of Israel. Please pray that the Lord will grant us wisdom in this work and that the books will reach those whose hearts the Lord has prepared to receive his truth.

Our Jewish Christian biography project is moving forward. We have on our website some 15 in Hebrew and another 40 in English. This was a project commenced last year with a twofold purpose. First, we wish to show our people that our faith is nothing newfangled and strange. Throughout the last 20 centuries there has always been a Jewish remnant, including rabbis and Jewish scholars, who believe in Jesus as their Lord and Messiah. Second, we hope that eventually the project will constitute a data base for further research.

During the months of December and January Israel was at war with the Hamas in Gaza. After seven years in which over 7500 rockets and missiles were launched against the southern cities of Israel, the government acted to restore security to our borders. During the war rockets fell in the proximity of many of our staff and congregation members. One such missile landed three houses down from our home in Gedera. Thankfully there was no damage to our house, although others on the street were damaged and a three month old baby was lightly injured.

These last few months have been interesting and full. We are grateful to the Lord for enabling us to labor to bring his gospel to the Jewish people, and to help strengthen the church in Israel. Your prayers are much needed. Please continue to pray for us.

If you wish to receive regular information and learn how you can stand with us in this work, please contact us at office@ha-gefen.org.il .
David Zadok, Field Director

HaGefen Publishing / CWI Israel

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