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To my Fellow Jews and Christians

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by xkatz, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. xkatz

    xkatz Well-Known Member

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    "You shall not add to the word that I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of YHWH, your God, which I command you." (Deut 4:2)

    How do Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity reconcile with this passage?
     
  2. tomato1236

    tomato1236 Ninja Master

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    What needs reconciliation? He's commanding men, not himself. God can reveal as much scripture as he pleases, don't you think? Otherwise, from whence came the rest of the OT?
     
  3. xkatz

    xkatz Well-Known Member

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    I am pretty sure G-d is saying not to add anything after Tanakh, but that is just opinion. How would interpret the passage?
     
  4. tomato1236

    tomato1236 Ninja Master

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    Oh I see. Just the first 5 books. Well that's fine. To me it seems strange. Even if it were in Genesis. Why couldn't God continue teaching his children? I mean, is it all in there? The first 5 books?
     
  5. xkatz

    xkatz Well-Known Member

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    Well the Tanakh is more than the 5 Books of Moses; but AFAIK Nevi'im and Ketuvim are not used Christians.

    Scripture is not needed for G-d to teach people IMO.
     
  6. tomato1236

    tomato1236 Ninja Master

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    Then what do you use the Tanakh for?
     
  7. xkatz

    xkatz Well-Known Member

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    I personally see the Tanakh as a moral compass, a way to understand G-d, and insights into the human psyche. I use it to learn but I do not solely rely on it for that, as life itself is good teacher too.
     
  8. tomato1236

    tomato1236 Ninja Master

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    Right...so what else does God teach you, and how does he do it?
     
  9. xkatz

    xkatz Well-Known Member

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    We have to figure out what G-d is teaching us. I think he teaches us in subtle ways.
     
  10. tomato1236

    tomato1236 Ninja Master

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    You have to just, figure it out?
     
  11. Levite

    Levite Higher and Higher

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    Rabbinic Judaism reconciles this with the concept of Torah she'b'al peh (Oral Torah). The Rabbis of the Talmud tell us that along with the written Torah given at Sinai, there was also an Oral Torah given, and that this Oral Torah was something that would be fully revealed only over the ages. The Rabbis also teach that the Torah is not to be read only at the level of pshat (the most basic, literal meaning), but rather that there are many multiple interpretations of Torah that are viable and can stand side by side. In the Midrash, we are told, shiv'im panim le-Torah ("The Torah has seventy faces") wherein "seventy" is not a literal number, but a typical metonymy of the time for "a whole lot." In Pirkei Avot (the wisdom tractate of the Mishnah), we are taught, hafokh v'hafokh ba ki d'kula ba "Turn it [that is, interpret it, meaning the Torah] and turn it again, for everything is contained within it." In other words, one should ever seek for new meanings, new nuances, new levels of understanding of the Torah. The Oral Torah is the tradition of halakhic discourse, using many many models and methodologies of interpretation, reinterpretation, and understanding: when rabbis issue halakhic rulings, publish rabbinic responsa, when codes are made, when customs are set, when different interpretations survive and are taught, when Torah adapts in meaning to evolve alongside the Jewish People, this is Oral Torah. It was all envisioned at Sinai (maybe not in the exact details, but the tradition, fluid, evolving, always intertwined with Written Torah, making it always relevant and never obsolete...that was envisioned at Sinai. It is the human part of Torah as a cooperative process: it is how Torah can be both God's work and humanity's work, and, as the Talmud teaches us, Yisrael v'oraita v'Kudsha Brich Hu chad hu "The People Israel, the Torah, and the Holy One Blessed Be He, are all one thing." Obviously, we don't literally mean that Torah and Israel are God! But rather, that in Torah, Israel and God have a point of meeting, a space of coming together in our Covenant.
     
  12. pebble107

    pebble107 New Member

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    This is something I've always wondered about. How do we know when God is talking to us in everyday life? Is there such a thing as coincidence? Or does everything that happens have meaning?
     
  13. Breathe

    Breathe Hostis humani generis

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    Christians do have both Nevi'im and Ketuvim, but they aren't split in the same way. I think there may be some difference in book choices, definitely changes in order of where they are placed, but for the most part they are there. :)

    For example, all Christians--or at least, the overwhelming majority of Christians will accept Hosea, Judges, Psalms, etc as scripture.


    Tanakh is "Torah, Nevi'im, Ketuvim", which make up what are called 'The Old Testament' by Christians. This goes from Genesis to Malachi.





    Hope that helps. :D
     
  14. TheKnight

    TheKnight Guardian of Life

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    To add to Levite's post, the Biblical justification for the Rabbinic reconciliation can be found in Deuteronomy 17. Despite the other evidence (the fact that certain laws stipulate activities that aren't mentioned anywhere else IE slaughter the animal in the way I showed you).

    Deuteronomy 17 is a passage that discusses what to do if there is a dispute over a law(17:8). You go to the place chosen by God (either the Temple or the gates of the city) and you have it adjudicated by either the Levites or the judges that exist at the time (17:9). And you are required to follow the ruling they give you (17:10-11). This is required by God on penalty of death (17:12).

    In essence, it gives whoever the legally authorized authority is at that time the power to make decisions that affect how the people respond to the law. And whatever ruling is issued is what is followed.
     
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