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Featured Mosaic law still present?

Discussion in 'Scriptural Debates' started by Remté, Feb 15, 2019.

  1. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    He's trying as hard as he can to invent a Syria-Palestine in the Roman Era, so as to delegitimize the modern state of Israel. It's a shame because he has obviously spent a lot of time learning. To bad it's been learning through hate tinted glasses.
     
  2. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

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    What Jesus and the scriptures teach is to follow the Spirit of the Law rather than the Letter of the Law. Our goal should be to follow the purpose and intent of God's Law rather than blindly just doing what is written. In this way, Christianity fully embraces God's Law while simultaneously rejecting many of the traditions and customs found in Judaism.

    Indeed, Christ boils the whole of the Law down just two commandments: Love God and love your fellowman. Love, according to Christ, is the entire essence of the Law - and if you act accordingly then you have fulfilled the Law.
     
  3. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    You can't follow the spirit of the law unless you are following the written law too, and an oral understanding of it. Yes, Jesus taught to first get the basics of the law before all else. But he never neglected the Law itself. He taught AGAINST lawlessness. Indeed when asked how to gain eternal life, his answer was the commandments. Not only this, but in Matthew 23:1-2 he tells his followers to do EVERYTHING the Pharisees taught, which includes the ORAL law, and in Matthew 23:23 he tells the Pharisees to keep both the written law, and also the ORAL law (the spice tax). Most of what Jesus said regarding the Law gets misunderstood by Christians, because they don't understand Jewish law or the history of Second Temple Judaism.
     
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  4. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    If I can add my take on this.

    I won't quite go that far as the above as I tend to believe Jesus' condemnation of "laws made by men" is probably a reference to the Oral Law, especially those parts that were "building a fence around the Torah".

    He certainly was not the first to question the Oral Law, as the Sadducees, Samaritans, and the Karaites had their own "Oral Traditions", and I tend to believe that Jesus and his followers were doing much the same and developing their own while at the same time keeping some of the Oral Law as they were operating out of a quasi-Pharisee paradigm.
     
  5. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    Hi Metis. Nice to chat with you again.

    Jesus had two complaints against the Pharisees (specifically those of the school of Shammai, not so much the school of Hillel, of which he was a part).
    1. Their hypocrisy -- they didn't live as they taught.
    2. They were so caught up in Oral Torah that they were forgetting the basics of Written Torah.
    Let's look at Jesus complaint about following the "traditions of men:"
    "You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.” Mark 7:8 NIV

    Clearly this is an example of #2. And what does Jesus suggest they do? Abandon the traditions of men? Absolutely not!!

    Let's look at Matthew 23:23 for the answer as to what to do. "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former."

    You can see it is another example of the exact same problem (#2). But CLEARLY Jesus says they are to do BOTH: observe the basics of the written Torah (justice, mercy and faithfulness) while STILL observing the Oral Torah ("the former," aka the spice tax).

    So Mark 7:8 CANNOT be read as a rejection of Oral Law. It is merely a call to come back to Written Torah as well.
     
  6. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

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    The written law must be interpreted to be understood and followed. Following the written law blindly is not the same as following the spirit of the law. Contrary to what you state above, Jesus did NOT tell his followers to blindly do whatever the Pharisees taught. Here is a prime example:


    Luke 13:10-17 And He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11 And there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit; and she was bent double, and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your sickness.” 13 And He laid His hands on her; and immediately she was made erect again and began glorifying God. 14 But the synagogue official, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, began saying to the crowd in response, “There are six days in which work should be done; so come during them and get healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15 But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites, does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the stall and lead him away to water him? 16 And this woman, a daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, should she not have been released from this bond on the Sabbath day?” 17 As He said this, all His opponents were being humiliated; and the entire crowd was rejoicing over all the glorious things being done by Him.​
     
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  7. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    My friend, this is a good example of where Christians may be helped in their understanding of the gospel by learning a little bit about Jewish history. Your text records a conflict over halakhah (Jewish law) between two schools of thought, bet Hillel and bet Shammai. The two were often arguing -- their debates are recorded in the Talmud. Jesus is simply participating in a time honored Jewish tradition.

    Bet Shammai was a severe school. They didn't just build a fence around the Torah. They built the great wall of China. So strict were their interpretations, that it made it very difficult for the average person to practice Judaism. Bet Hillel on the other hand, had more of a picket fence around the Torah. Their idea was to rule in favor of the law, but to rule in such a way as to make it as easy for the people as possible without breaking the law. Everything Jesus did and said in the gospels pegs him as being in the school of Hillel.

    In this instance, the argument is over healing on the Shabbat. Bet Shammai forbade any healing on the Shabbat. Bet Hillel taught that there was no prohibition against healing via prayer. Thus, according to the halakha that Jesus promoted, he had no violated the Shabbat.

    So let's say that again very clearly. It was NOT that Jesus was saying it was okay to break the Shabbat to heal. It was that Jesus was saying it didn't violate the Shabbat to heal.

    To go even further, one of the mainstays of bet Hillel, upon which Rabbinical Judaism of today is built, is that LIFE comes first. If a life is in danger, you do whatever it takes to save that life, and no matter what the rules say, it will be lawful. Do you realize how many Jewish doctors work in hospitals saving lives on the Shabbat?

    So I hope this has been a friendly and profitable discussion for you. I think because Christians are only presented with bet Shammai Pharisees in their gospels, that they have no context for what is going on, and sadly, they don't understand what we, their friendly neighborhood Jews, are like.
     
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  8. danieldemol

    danieldemol Well-Known Member
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    This question is dealt with in the Quran which says in essence that Jesus bought modification to the Mosaic law.

    Read more here; Did Quran's Jesus bring modification to the law of Moses?
     
  9. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

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    The thing is that Haile Selassie I dealt with the question of whether the Qur'an was binding on it's claim about Jesus' modification to the Mosaic Law. He says no. As an incarnation, he has that authority and now we're back to square one.
     
  10. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Yo, IC, and ditto.

    I do not believe that Jesus saw himself as belonging to the School of Hillel as his theology is much too liberal for that, imo (I'll explain this further down on this post). Plus it was the custom that one identified with a mentor rabbi and build on what you were taught by that mentor, but there's no indication that Jesus ever did that.

    The problem I have with that is that the behavior of the apostles doesn't reflect that, nor does the behavior of the Sanhedrin reflect that.

    Instead, I do believe that Jesus taught a much more radical viewpoint that is exemplified whereas he's asked which is the greatest Commandment? We generally know what that response was, and we know what the apostles did afterward, and that indicates to me that Jesus' position was much more likely to be significantly to the left of Hillel. Yes, Hillel was definitely more liberal on his theology than Shammai, but I do believe there's enough evidence for me to believe that Jesus was more liberal than Hillel.

    After Jesus was executed, the apostles began to walk away from the Law, such as after Peter's vision whereas they started eating cheeseburgers ;), and then the eventual acceptance of Gentile ("God-Fearers") converts minus circumcision. It is unimaginable to me that they would do that if Jesus taught full adherence to both the Written and Oral Torahs, especially since Jesus' martyrdom made him bigger than life itself.

    Jesus taught what often is called the "law of love", and even though the School of Hillel also had that as an emphasis, they didn't go as far as teaching that the basic letter of the Law could be abandoned, and yet that's exactly what happened with the "School" of Jesus.

    Anyhow, that's my take.
     
  11. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

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    I think there is every benefit to learning more about Judaism, especially Judiams in the time of Christ, for background information like the Hillel and Shammai schools of thought. However, none of this changes the fact that Jesus both tought his disciples to act contrary to the teachings of the Pharisees (contrary to what you said), and, more specifically, he taught the Spirit of the Law vs the Letter of the Law. For the Pharisees were correct if you just read the surface text of the Law that you aren't to do any work on the Sabbath - but they failed to understand the true intent of the Law, the Spirit of the Law.

    You could again look at a topic like divorce. The Law permits divorce for any reason according to the Pharisees. Jesus says that divorce is against God's will, and only permitted in the case of sexual immorality.

    Matthew 19:3-9 Some Pharisees came to b]">[b]Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to c]">[c]divorce his wife for any reason at all?” 4 And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” 7 They *said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?” 8 He *said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to d]">[d]divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. 9 And I say to you, whoever e]">[e]divorces his wife, except for f]">[f]immorality, and marries another woman g]">[g]commits adulteryh]">[h].”​
     
  12. Hawkins

    Hawkins Well-Known Member

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    covenant and law can be two separate concepts. Law and commandment yet can be another two separate concepts.

    The Mosaic covenant is a covenant given to the Jews. A covenant has a scope of coverage. A male Jew refers to a circumcised person choosing to be under the Mosaic covenant.
    Lawfully, converts are no longer accepted since John the Baptist. That's why the proclaiming of Law and Prophets ends with the presence of John. However the covenant itself may still cover Jews by bloodline who choose to circumcise on the eighth day after birth (today's custom is from 8th day till several months later).

    It by no means says that today's Jews can successfully keep the Mosaic Law to its full. It only means that Jews can still choose to be loyal to the Bible God. Secularly speaking, it's more about risk management. Your risk (in terms of salvation) is reduced when choosing to be a Christian. I however can't say for sure that a Jew who keeps to be loyal to God won't be saved in the end. I believe God has something prepared for even today's real Jews who sincerely pay loyalty to God. However being a Christian is always a better choice.

    There are only 20 mil. Jews out of 7 billion humans in today's world. Plus only a portion of the 20 mil. are Judaism believers. It makes more sense for a true God to apply a salvation applicable to both the Jews and gentiles. It is Christianity which does the job.
     
    #372 Hawkins, Apr 25, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  13. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    Hi again, metis. thank you for replying. This narrow area of time, Second Temple Judaism, was a bubbling caldron of different Jewish sects, with all those Essenes and Zealots and Sadducees and many messianic groups, out of which arose both Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity. Of everything I have ever studied in comparative religion, this one narrow subject remains my favorite, so I'm definitely enjoying bantering this around with you. Let's see where this takes us.

    I absolutely dispute your statement that Jesus was "more liberal" than Hillel. Let's examine one of the most famous stories of Hillel.

    It happened again that a gentile came before Shammai and said: “Convert me on condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot.” He pushed him away with the measuring stick in his hand. He came before Hillel. He converted him. He said: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor – this is the entire Torah. The rest is commentary. Go learn.”

    You just don't get more liberal than that.



    I don't think the fact that Jesus' teachers are never identified means that he had none.

    Unlike some Jews, I am prepared to acknowledge that he was a historical person and that there is a core to the gospels that is historical. I suspect that there is something to be said for the story of his journey to Jerusalem at age twelve (for his bar mitzvah??) and meeting with the best minds in Judaism. It's the kind of thing that would happen to the sort of boy that would have the kind of Torah genius that would eventually make him a teacher as an adult. At any rate, he would have gone to the Temple at the time when Hillel himself was head of the Sanhedrin. Thus, at least on one occasion, he learned from THE biggest author of Rabbinic Judaism apart from the Torah itself. Anyhow, that's just me thinking.

    The behavior of the Sanhedrin does indeed reflect this understanding of Jesus being bet Hillel. The Sanhedrin during the time of his ministry was solidly bet Shammai. There was only a minority of bet Hillel members, such as Nicodemus. Just like the many debates between the two schools recorded in the Talmud, Jesus' run ins with the Pharisees of bet Shammai were very typical.

    As to the disciples giving up Jewish observance, you couldn't be further from the truth.
    1. You have brought up Peter's dream. You need to understand that his dream had NOTHING to do with food. Food was merely the symbol for PEOPLE. The dream was meant to say that Peter could go into the homes of Gentiles and present the gospel to them, as these Gentiles were not unclean.

    2. In Acts 15:5 we find out that there are certainly believers in Jesus who are Pharisees -- it says they ARE Pharisees, present tense. In Acts 23:6 Paul states that he IS a Pharisee, present tense.

    3. In Acts 21:20, when James and the elders of the Jerusalem church are showing Paul around, they say to him, "You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for Torah." While clearly it was not the norm for Gentiles to observe Jewish law (see the Council of Jerusalem, Acts 15) it very much WAS the norm for Jewish believers.

    4. Paul himself testifies under Festus that he has not broken Jewish Law. Acts 25:8

    There are more complicated arguments that can be made, but these simple ones are pretty exhaustive all by themselves.
     
  14. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    I have quoted the above probably a hundred times or more.

    Actually there is. Hillel taught that the Law was flexible but that the Law itself was from haShem and given to Moshe, thus it cannot be negated nor watered down. This viewpoint resulted in many disputes when it came to the application of the Law especially.

    We simply do not know that.

    It absolutely dealt with the keeping of kosher, but the implication of what was said goes well beyond just those series of Laws. Also, there are numerous verses whereas Jesus says things like "You have read that "X", but verily I tell you ...".

    There are at least four groups of Pharisees that archaeologists are aware of, and there may have been more. The more liberal elements tended to be more in the north of eretz Israel and along the northern coastal areas, which were heavily Hellenized areas. Whether Jesus saw himself as being of one of them is unknown.

    See above.

    The Pharisees were actually more of a "movement" than a unified sect. When the emphasis is largely on Torah, differing interpretations are going to abound-- and they did. We know from one source that the Shammai and Hillel schools actually got into a fight-- literally.

    It appears that Jesus was mostly upset with the "laws made by men" which must relate to the Oral Law because there's no reason to believe it referred to anything else.
    With his quite liberal viewpoint, he undoubtedly didn't believe he did. IOW, to him and Jesus, it appears that following the "law of love" covered all the 613 Commandments because they appear to feel that this is what the Law is 100% about. There is no way that an observant Jew when asked "Which Commandment is the greatest?" is going to just say two of them. Most of the Commandments do not directly relate to interpersonal relationships and the belief that the love of G-d is all there is, therefore it's really a s-t-r-e-t-c-h if one believes that saying that there are only these two that are going to be accepted as some sort of cover for all 613.

    Finally, we have to remember that most of the confrontations with the Jewish leaders dealt with Jesus' take on the Law, which we should not see if Jesus was 100% Torah observant.

    Anyhow, I gotta go, and I don't mind discussing this as long as the discussion remains friendly-- I'm too old for pissing contests. :(
     
  15. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    Hello again, my friend. shall we continue this most excellent of discussions?

    I see what you are saying. There was an underlying assumption in my comment that we were discussing Second Temple Judaism. Other approaches to Torah that we have today were simply not in existence back then. Hillel's view would have been the most liberal around. Jesus certainly was not more liberal than Hillel. He didn't throw out observing the Torah (for Jews).

    Actually scholars do have access to this information. I wish I did. I can only tell you what I remember being taught. After Hillel died, a bit into the first century CE, bet Shammai quickly seized power in the Sanhedrin. However, it lasted but a blink of an eye.

    We are I think going to have to disagree agreeably on this. I do not believe Jesus ever, EVER abrogated any of the laws of Torah. Indeed, if you believe the gospels, he expressly stated that not a brushstroke of the Torah would pass away until heaven and earth would pass away.

    You are faced with two choices:
    1. You misunderstand Peter's dream. The food was only a SYMBOL for people. The dream was not actually about food.
    2. Or the NT contradicts itself, with Jesus' teaching on the Law and Peter's dream being at polar opposites.

    If you know something more than I do and can cite sources, I'm all into hearing it. I only know of the two Phariseeical schools.

    I know there were four main religious groups (the Zealots were political, not religious). They were the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Essenes, and the Nazarenes (followers of Jesus). Of course there were many small little tiny messianic cults too, who have been lost in obscurity.

    Are you proposing that the only Jewish believers that kept the Sinai covenant were the ones who were Pharisees? Because that is not what Acts 21:20 say. It says that of the thousands that had come to believe, they were ALL zealous for Torah.


    I've got several similar discussions going on regarding the Oral Torah and Jesus, so I don't remember what I've said to you. Have I given you the verses showing that Jesus supports the Oral Torah, and what would give context to the verse you are quoting about the "laws made by men?" Honestly, it deserves it's own thread the proofs of Jesus and the Oral Torah are so extensive. You have to remember that when I read the gospels, I see them through Jewish eyes. It is extremely obvious to me that Jesus was an observant Jew, written AND oral Torah.

    The Rabbis I have studies under, including my most beloved Orthodox Rabbi, have taught me that loving God with all of your heart, your soul, and your strength, and loving your neighbor as yourself, are the heart and soul of the Torah. It is not just Jesus' idea. Jesus was simply teaching good Judaism. You cannot deduce from his words that he was advocating breaking the commandments any more than my Orthodox Rabbi was. It simply means that all of the 613 can be grouped under one of those two laws. If you think that's a stretch, I assure you that's just you thinking. It's not how Jews see it, not me, not my Rabbi, and not Jesus.

    AGAIN, we see it because they were areas where the Oral Torah was still in formation. Can one heal on the Shabbat via prayer? One Pharisaical school says yes, the other Pharisaical school says no. We should EXPECT to hear arguments over it.

    Oh, my friend, life is two short for religious wars. :) I never get personal, and I won't be taking anything you say personally. For me this is enjoyable.
     
  16. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Acts 10[9]The next day, as they were on their journey and coming near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour.
    [10] And he became hungry and desired something to eat; but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance
    [11] and saw the heaven opened, and something descending, like a great sheet, let down by four corners upon the earth.
    [12] In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air.
    [13] And there came a voice to him, "Rise, Peter; kill and eat."
    [14] But Peter said, "No, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean."
    [15] And the voice came to him again a second time, "What God has cleansed, you must not call common."

    Also, just a reminder that James caught Peter eating at a Gentile's home, and that would be a no-no for an observant Jew for some obvious reasons, and yet it was Peter who was more the spiritual head of the Church.

    Also:
    Matthew 5[38]: “’an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth’… offer no resistance.”

    Matthew 21[43]: “The kingdom of God taken away from you and given to another.”

    Luke 16:16: “The Law and the prophets were in force until John.”

    John 8:44: “The father you spring from is the devil… The Jews answered… .”

    Romans 6:14: “Sin will no longer have power over you; you are under grace, not under the Law.”

    7:6: “Now we are released from the Law.”

    10:4: “Christ is the end of the Law.”

    11:20: They were cut off because of their unbelief and you are there because of faith.”

    14:20: “All foods are clean.”

    I Corinthians 7:19: “Circumcision counts for nothing.”

    Galatians 3:10: “All who depend on the observance of the Law… are under a curse.”

    5:2: “If you have yourself circumcised, Christ will be of no use to you.”

    5:4 “Any of you who seek your justification in the Law have severed yourself from Christ and fallen from God’s favor.”

    6:15: “It means nothing whether you are circumcised or not.”

    Ephesians 2:15: “In his own flesh he abolished the Law with its commands and precepts.”

    Hebrews 7:18: “The former Commandment (I.e. priests according to the order of Melchizedek) has been annulled because of its weakness and uselessness.”

    8:7: “If that first Covenant had been faultless, there would have been no place for a second one.”

    8:13: “When he says ‘a new covenant’, he declares the first one obsolete. And what has become obsolete and has grown old is close to disappearing.”

    10:9: “In other words, he takes away the first Covenant to establish the second.”


    There were four different Pharisee groups but may have been more, and this was reported in BAR at least once that I recall but probably more than that. However, if my memory is correct, something also on that order is also mentioned in Wikipedia under the "Pharisee" topic. IOW, the Pharisees were not a unified group and some of them were quite Hellenized.

    You really don't know anything about my background, so I'll end my part of this discussion with that. No one can categorize "how Jews see it" on much of anything. As it is, I have time issues anyway, which is why I have hardly posted here at all lately, ...

    So take care, my friend.
     
    #376 metis, Apr 26, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
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