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Featured What does "fulfilling the covenant" mean?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Harel13, Apr 21, 2020.

  1. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    IMO, it doesn't.

    Tolerance was not a trait that so many had in the past, and all too often not even now. Thus, there's a we/they dichotomy that we see playing out very regularly, and both sides, Christians and Jewish, tend to play it.

    Gotta go-- back tomorrow.
     
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  2. Harel13

    Harel13 Nin-Jew Master
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    "God told Abraham that through him every nation on earth would be blessed. By now you know exactly where this is going- Jesus is that blessing! Isaac, Jacob, Judah, David, Solomon- these offspring do not bless me. At least not eternally."​
    Harsh.
     
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  3. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    If you did mix the terms up by mistake, don't worry about it. I'm just saying that the latter was unfamiliar to me and sounded like a hyperbolic exaggeration by fuzzy-minded Christians.
     
    #23 Terry Sampson, Apr 21, 2020
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  4. Eyes to See

    Eyes to See Active Member

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    Jesus stated:

     “Do not think I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I came, not to destroy, but to fulfill.  Truly I say to you that sooner would heaven and earth pass away than for one smallest letter or one stroke of a letter to pass away from the Law until all things take place."-Matthew 5:17, 18.

    The Law given to the Israelites made sin manifest. As it was impossible to live perfectly by the law. A woman when she went into menstruation was considered unclean. A man when he had an emission of semen was considered unclean. A woman when she had a child was considered unclean. Etc. It showed mankind that their very progenitive powers were unclean.

    But to explain that a Christian is not under law the Bible relates the prophetic drama being played out between 2 women. One a slave and the other a free woman. The one Hagar represents the fleshly nation of Israel in slavery to the law. The other, Sarah the free woman, represents the Christian congregation who is a freed woman. Paul explained it thusly:

    "Tell me, you who want to be under law, Do you not hear the Law? For example, it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the servant girl and one by the free woman; but the one by the servant girl was actually born through natural descent and the other by the free woman through a promise. These things may be taken as a symbolic drama; for these women mean two covenants, the one from Mount Siʹnai, which bears children for slavery and which is Haʹgar. Now Haʹgar means Siʹnai, a mountain in Arabia, and she corresponds with the Jerusalem today, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother."-Galatians 4:21-26.

    The Law served as as tutor, or guardian leading the nation to the Christ. But the Christ was the end of the law. And the nation was no longer under the custodianship of a guardian.

    "However, before the faith arrived, we were being guarded under law, being handed over into custody, looking to the faith that was about to be revealed.  So the Law became our guardian leading to Christ, so that we might be declared righteous through faith.  But now that the faith has arrived, we are no longer under a guardian."-Galatians 3:23-25.

    The idea of being under a guardianship was not foreign to Paul or his readers. It was quite common in his day for (especially the prominent and rich) parents to hire a guardian that would teach the child and protect it until it was of age. Paul himself was probably under a guardian. He even studied in Tarsus in the strictest way of the Pharisees, under Gamaliel himself. In fact he was proving himself more zealous than all his fellow pupils. But when the child grew up the guardianship expired. The person did not remain under the tutor in perpetuity.

    Likewise the Christian congregation is no longer under the guardianship of the Law that guided the nation of Israel to the Christ. Christ fulfilled the law to the letter and gave his life for everyone exercising faith in his ransom. Thus we gain life not by works under the law (which no man can) but by faith in the shed blood of Jesus' ransom sacrifice.

    No human can be declared righteous by means of law. The law shows up our gross inability to do so. The Psalmist said that there is not a single one of us that can be justified by means of works, there is not one of us that can redeem ourselves or another human:

    "None of them can ever redeem a brother
    Or give to God a ransom for him
    ."
    -Psalm 49:7.

    "Why, then, the Law? It was added to make transgressions manifest, until the offspring should arrive to whom the promise had been made; and it was transmitted through angels by the hand of a mediator.  Now there is no mediator when just one person is involved, but God is only one. Is the Law, therefore, against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, righteousness would actually have been by means of law. But the Scripture handed all things over to the custody of sin, so that the promise resulting from faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those exercising faith."-Galatians 3:19-22.

    And just as Sarah, the free woman (the Christian congregation freed from slavery to the Law) drove out the slave woman Hagar (the nation of Israel in slavery to the law) so that the slave girl's son (Ismael) not receive part of the inheritance. So we, that is the Israel of God, the anointed Christian congregation are a freed people and children of the free woman (Sarah which is Jerusalem above):

    "Nevertheless, what does the scripture say? “Drive out the servant girl and her son, for the son of the servant girl will by no means be an heir with the son of the free woman.”  So, brothers, we are children, not of a servant girl, but of the free woman."-Galatians 4:30, 31.


    Notice the declaration to the anointed Christian congregation that was made up of both Jews and uncircumcised gentiles:

    "For he is our peace, the one who made the two groups one and destroyed the wall in between that fenced them off.  By means of his flesh he abolished the enmity, the Law of commandments consisting in decrees, in order to make the two groups in union with himself into one new man and to make peace,  and to reconcile fully both peoples in one body to God through the torture stake, because he had killed off the enmity by means of himself."-Ephesians 2:14-16.

    At Jesus' death the curtain that separated the Most Holy from the Holy in the temple was rent in two. The curtain represented Christ's flesh. When he died abolished the enmity, that is the Law.

    "And he came and declared the good news of peace to you who were far off, and peace to those near,  because through him we, both peoples, have free access to the Father by one spirit."-Ephesians 2:17, 18.

    The people far off were those uncircumcised gentiles that did not have the covenants or the promise. Those near were the Jews, as salvation originates with the Jews. By means of Jesus death both peoples, those far off, those not under law, and those near, those under law were made one people. So that those of us who are called an anointed may enjoy the citizenship in heaven, and not by works of conduct under the law, but based on faith in Jesus' sacrifice. A true Christian is not under law. But is a freed person.

    "So you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens of the holy ones and are members of the household of God."-Ephesians 2:19.
     
  5. Rival

    Rival Ankh, Wedja, Seneb
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    The Torah disagrees with you,

    [W]hen you obey the Lord, your God, to observe His commandments and His statutes written in this Torah scroll, [and] when you return to the Lord, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul.
    For this commandment which I command you this day, is not concealed from you, nor is it far away.
    It is not in heaven, that you should say, "Who will go up to heaven for us and fetch it for us, to tell [it] to us, so that we can fulfill it?"
    Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, "Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us and fetch it for us, to tell [it] to us, so that we can fulfill it?"
    Rather,[this] thing is very close to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can fulfill it.
    Behold, I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil, inasmuch as I command you this day to love the Lord, your God, to walk in His ways, and to observe His commandments, His statutes, and His ordinances, so that you will live and increase, and the Lord, your God, will bless you in the land to which you are coming to take possession of it.
     
    #25 Rival, Apr 21, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2020
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  6. Vouthon

    Vouthon Dominus Deus tuus ignis consumens est
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    It's complicated.

    In my last post, I gave you the stance of the early church pre-fall Second Temple.

    I'll now focus upon the mainstream Christian understanding post-Second Temple. The middle-phase between the two is the most complicated, how you go from the one to the other (so I'll leave that for now).

    What isn't debated in mainstream Christianity is that, for Gentile Christians - and ever since the the collapse of the Second Temple in 70 A.D., and certainly since the Bar Kockbha Revolt (132–136 A.D.) the vast majority (99%) of Christians have been Gentiles - only the moral laws of the Torah are binding, only its ethics are eternal and normative for all humanity. The cultic, ceremonial and judicial mitzvot/mitzvah (help me @Rival am I saying it right? :D) have no force over our conscience, because God (according to the New Testament) desires that we come to him as Gentiles - Greeks, Romans, Scythians and now all the other modern cultural groups.

    If you take a looksie at the Catholic Catechism, you'll notice something about how it is ordered and arranged:

    Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Part 1 and Part 2 is the strictly Christian doctrinal stuff entitled, "The Profession of Faith" and "The Creeds." It takes you through each verse of the creeds with pages upon pages of commentary explicating each line with further citations from the Bible (Old and New Testament), as well as the Church Fathers, to tease out what these short declarations actually entail.

    But Section 2 of Part 3 is entitled: "The Ten Commandments". Now, as with before it does the same thing - pages and pages and pages explicating each line of the Decalogue, with citations from throughout the Bible and the Church Fathers, to elucidate the moral life of the Christian.


    2056 The word "Decalogue" means literally "ten words."11 God revealed these "ten words" to his people on the holy mountain....They are pre-eminently the words of God. They are handed on to us in the books of Exodus 14 and Deuteronomy.15...2057 The Decalogue must first be understood in the context of the Exodus, God's great liberating event at the center of the Old Covenant.

    2055 When someone asks him, "Which commandment in the Law is the greatest?"8 Jesus replies: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. and a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the prophets."9

    The Decalogue must be interpreted in light of this twofold yet single commandment of love, the fullness of the Law: the commandments: "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.10

    2061 The Commandments take on their full meaning within the covenant. According to Scripture, man's moral life has all its meaning in and through the covenant. the first of the "ten words" recalls that God loved his people first:

    Since there was a passing from the paradise of freedom to the slavery of this world, in punishment for sin, the first phrase of the Decalogue, the first word of God's commandments, bears on freedom "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery."25

    2062 The Commandments properly so-called come in the second place: they express the implications of belonging to God through the establishment of the covenant. Moral existence is a response to the Lord's loving initiative. It is the acknowledgement and homage given to God and a worship of thanksgiving. It is cooperation with the plan God pursues in history.

    2064 In fidelity to Scripture and in conformity with the example of Jesus, the tradition of the Church has acknowledged the primordial importance and significance of the Decalogue.

    2065 Ever since St. Augustine, the Ten Commandments have occupied a predominant place in the catechesis of baptismal candidates and the faithful. In the fifteenth century, the custom arose of expressing the commandments of the Decalogue in rhymed formulae, easy to memorize and in positive form. They are still in use today. the catechisms of the Church have often expounded Christian morality by following the order of the Ten Commandments.

    2068 The Council of Trent teaches that the Ten Commandments are obligatory for Christians and that the justified man is still bound to keep them;28 The Second Vatican Council confirms: "The bishops, successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord . . . the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments."29

    2069 The Decalogue forms a coherent whole. Each "word" refers to each of the others and to all of them; they reciprocally condition one another. the two tables shed light on one another; they form an organic unity.

    To transgress one commandment is to infringe all the others.30 One cannot honor another person without blessing God his Creator. One cannot adore God without loving all men, his creatures. the Decalogue brings man's religious and social life into unity.

    2070 The Ten Commandments belong to God's revelation. At the same time they teach us the true humanity of man. They bring to light the essential duties, and therefore, indirectly, the fundamental rights inherent in the nature of the human person.


    As you can see, the ethical injunctions of the Torah are not only not superseded in anyway; they are in fact the basis of all Christian moral life and occupy "primordial importance". The Ten Commandments, interpreted by means of the twofold command to love God and neighbour as yourself, are regarded by the church as paramount. Christians are to memorise them, in rhymed formulae, and every catechism must expound morality by following their order as laid down in Exodus and Deuteronomy. Note that the church didn't arrange this by Christ's beatitudes or some other uniquely Christian formulation, because the Torah is the foundation.

    So, when we say that "the Old Covenant has been superseded", we are not actually referring to the purely moral dimension - it's eternal.

    According to the Catholic Church, the moral truths of the Torah pertain to "the inner man" and it is this moral dimension of the OT 'law' which St. Paul describes himself as delighting in and as justifying people in God's sight: “for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified…” (Romans 2:13)


    "For I delight in the law of God according to the inner man" (Romans 7:22)

    The 'cultic', ceremonial, criminal, civil and purity laws however, are not binding on Gentile Christians because they pertain to the "outer man" and St. Paul refers to these as the 'works of the law'.

    (continued...)
     
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  7. Vouthon

    Vouthon Dominus Deus tuus ignis consumens est
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    This distinction between the eternal and immutable 'moral' principles (the "law") of the Old Covenant and the temporary, mutable "works of the law" (the cultic, civil, criminal, purity laws) was reiterated in later sacred tradition by the Early Church Fathers:


    Theodoret, Commentary on Romans (1839) Part 1


    The necessary commandments of the law were taught even by nature. That is, “You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor, honor your father and mother, and the rest of this kind.” But the commandments about the sabbath and circumcision and lepers and menstruation and sacrifice were peculiar to the [Jewish] law, since nature taught nothing about these matters. These are what he now calls works of the law. For these were symbols of other things. Nonetheless they were appropriate to the Jews in their due time."

    -Blessed Theodoret ( 393 – 458 CE), Commentary on Galatians 2:15-16 (ACCS, NT, V. VIII, p. 31)



    https://www.researchgate.net/public...tians_Introduction_Text_Translation_and_Notes


    “Here he begins to demonstrate in what sense the grace of faith is sufficient for justification without the works of the law…. But so that this question may be carefully treated and no one may be deceived by ambiguities, we must first understand that the works of the law are twofold; for they reside partly in ceremonial ordinances and partly in morals. To the ordinances belong the circumcision of the flesh, the weekly sabbath, new moons, sacrifices and all the innumerable observances of this kind. But to morality belong “You shall not kill, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not bear false witness” and so on. Could the apostle possibly not care whether a Christian were a murderer and adulterer or chaste and innocent, in the way that he does not care whether he is circumcised or uncircumcised in the flesh? He therefore is specially concerned with the works that consist in ceremonial ordinances, although he indicates that the others are sometimes bound up with them. But near the end of the letter he deals separately with those works that consist in morals… The contemplation of truth is found in the love of God alone, good morals in the love of God and the neighbor, and on these two precepts depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

    - St. Augustine of Hippo (354 – 430 AD), Commentary on Galatians 3:2, Migne PL 35:2117,
    (ACCS, NT, V. VIII, p. 36, emphasis added).


    And some later authorities from both the Catholic and Protestant churches:


    "The judicial precepts [of the Old Testament] did not bind for ever, but were annulled by the coming of Christ [...] In the ministry of the New Law, no punishment of death or of bodily maiming is appointed...As regards Peter, he did not put Ananias and Saphira to death...The Priests or Levites of the Old Testament were the ministers of the Old Law, which appointed corporal penalties." (St. Thomas Aquinas, SUMMA THEOLOGIAE: The judicial precepts (Prima Secundae Partis, Q. 104), (1265–1274 CE))​

    “ Although the Law given from God by Moses, as touching Ceremonies and Rites, do not bind Christian men, nor the Civil precepts thereof ought of necessity to be received in any commonwealth; yet notwithstanding, no Christian man whatsoever is free from the obedience to the Commandments which are called Moral ” (Article VII of the Thirty Nine Articles of the Church of England (1571))

    The moral law doth for ever bind all, the ceremonial laws are now abrogated under the New Testament; and the sundry judicial (or civil) laws of Israel expired together with the state of that people, not obliging any other now" (chapter 19 of the Westminster Confession of Faith (1643-46))
     
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  8. Harel13

    Harel13 Nin-Jew Master
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    "Guardianship"? o_O

    Where'd you get that notion?
    So what you're saying is, that everything in the Torah was to tell us: "You're all a bunch of losers"? o_O
    I hope you know that circumcision isn't enough to make someone Jewish...so, no need to describe gentiles as "uncircumcised" when seemingly contrasting them with Jews...
    Except for the law of love... :rolleyes:
     
  9. Eyes to See

    Eyes to See Active Member

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    And yet the Psalmist said:

    "None of them can ever redeem a brother
    Or give to God a ransom for him
    ."
    -Psalm 49:7.

    Under the law you are compelled over and over to offer sacrifice for your sin. But where is the temple today? When you have an emission of semen, or a woman as a flow of blood do they offer sacrifice for their sin? If they offer no sacrifice for the sin, are they forgiven of it? Have they declared themselves righteous by means of works under the law? If you transgress one law you have transgressed them all.
     
  10. Redemptionsong

    Redemptionsong Well-Known Member

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    As I understand the scriptures, there is LAW and there is FAITH. Jesus Christ fulfilled, or completed perfectly in the eyes of God, all that was required of the law and of faith.

    In the passages of scripture quoted in the OP you have, IMO, inadvertently mixed up the two. Genesis 17 is addressed to Abraham, who walked by faith. Exodus 31 refers to the law of works, the covenant of law made at Horeb. Leviticus 26 mentions both covenants. Deuteronomy 29 is a reiteration of the covenant of law.

    I would argue that the covenant of law is not eternal. The covenant of faith, and grace, is eternal.
     
  11. Eyes to See

    Eyes to See Active Member

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    Paul was the one that talked of the guardianship, not myself.

    Here is a good source of information about it in the ancient world:
    “The Law Has Become Our Tutor” — Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY

    "Some first-century Christians in the Roman province of Galatia insisted that God favored only those who obeyed the Law that God gave to the Israelites through Moses. The apostle Paul knew this to be false, for God gave holy spirit to some who had never observed Jewish law. (Acts 15:12) So Paul corrected the wrong idea by means of an illustration. In a letter to the Galatian Christians, he wrote: “The Law has become our tutor leading to Christ.” (Galatians 3:24) The figure of a tutor, says one scholar, has “an ancient and rich background.” Understanding this background clarifies the point that the apostle Paul was making.
    The Tutor and His Responsibilities
    Tutors were widely used in well-to-do Greek, Roman, and perhaps even Jewish households to supervise the activities of children from infancy to puberty. The tutor was generally a trusted slave, often aged, who acted as an attendant to ensure a child’s safety and to see to it that the father’s wishes for the child were respected. All day long, the tutor accompanied the child wherever he went, attended to his hygiene, took him to school, often carried his books and other equipment, and watched over his studies.
    The tutor was not usually a schoolteacher. Rather than giving formal scholastic instruction, the tutor merely administered the father’s directives in a custodial fashion. He did, however, give indirect instruction through supervision and discipline. This included inculcating decorum, imparting rebukes, and even inflicting physical punishment for misconduct. The mother and father, of course, were the child’s primary educators. Yet, as the boy grew, his tutor taught him that he should have good posture when he walked in the streets, that he should wear his cloak, sit, and eat properly, and that he should rise for his elders, love his parents, and so on."

    "An essential element of the apostle Paul’s illustration, however, was the temporary nature of a tutor’s authority. When the child reached the age of maturity, he was no longer under his tutor’s control. The Greek historian Xenophon (431-352 B.C.E.) wrote: “When a boy ceases to be a child, and begins to be a lad, others release him from his [tutor] and from his [teacher]; he is then no longer under them, but is allowed to go his own way.”

    It was the same with the authority of the Law of Moses. Its function was temporary—“to make transgressions manifest, until the seed [Jesus Christ] should arrive.” The apostle Paul explained that for the Jews, the Law was a “tutor leading to Christ.” In order for Paul’s Jewish contemporaries to enjoy God’s favor, they had to recognize Jesus’ role in God’s purpose. Once they did so, the function of the tutor was fulfilled.—Galatians 3:19, 24, 25.

    The Law that God gave to the Israelites was perfect. It fully achieved the purposes for which God established it—to protect his people and to make them aware of his high standards. (Romans 7:7-14) The Law was a good tutor. For some who lived under its protection, however, its requirements might have seemed burdensome. Hence, Paul could write that when God’s appointed time arrived, “Christ by purchase released us from the curse of the Law.” The Law was a “curse” only in the sense that it subjected imperfect Jews to standards they could not completely measure up to. It called for the scrupulous observance of rituals. Once a Jew accepted the superior provision made possible by Jesus’ ransom sacrifice, adherence to the tutor’s restrictions was no longer necessary.—Galatians 3:13; 4:9, 10.

    Paul’s focus, then, in likening the Law of Moses to a tutor was to emphasize its custodial function and its temporary nature. Jehovah’s favor is gained, not by obedience to that Law, but by recognizing Jesus and exercising faith in him.—Galatians 2:16; 3:11."
     
  12. Rival

    Rival Ankh, Wedja, Seneb
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    They repent.

    Also, the sacrificial system did not cover all sins. Only unintentional ones.

    The mikveh is still a thing.

    Solomon says this, regarding displaced Jews with no Temple access,

    And they shall bethink themselves in the land where they were carried captive, and repent, and make supplication to You in the land of their captors, saying, 'We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness.'
    And they shall return to You with all their heart, and with all their soul, in the land of their enemies, who led them away captive, and pray to You toward their land, which You gave to their fathers, the city that You have chosen, and the house which I have built for Your Name.
    And you shall hear their prayer and their supplication in heaven, Your dwelling place, and maintain their cause.
    And forgive Your people what they have sinned against You, and all their transgressions that they have transgressed against You, and give mercy before their captors, that they may have mercy on them.
     
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  13. Harel13

    Harel13 Nin-Jew Master
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    This is very interesting, because, if you ask a Jew: "Do gentiles need to keep the commandments?" he'll answer: "No way, Jose."* - but it seems to me that many Christians feel the need to add the bit of 'fulfillment'. I mean, why? You never had to keep the commandments anyway. Further self-justification just seems rather pointless. Now I know that this ties up into other Christian concepts, supersessionism, in particular, but still...I find it to be something of a head-scratcher.

    *excepting of course, the Noahide laws, which are mostly the least unusual of the laws.
     
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  14. Harel13

    Harel13 Nin-Jew Master
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    No, nothing inadvertent.
    Why?
    Why? You just wrote that Jesus fulfilled this too. Per your logic, who needs faith either, at this point?
     
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  15. Vouthon

    Vouthon Dominus Deus tuus ignis consumens est
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    I agree but I think the reason is due to internal Christian debate, in the first century, about the Messianic Age and what it required. Much of the New Testament is taken up with this issue (Acts, Romans, Galatians etc.).

    (1) Paul also referred to the fact that Gentiles could fulfil the moral demands of the law, without explicitly being aware of the Torah and becoming a proselyte:


    "Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature what the Law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the Law, 15since they show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness" (Romans 2:14)​


    So, the New Testament doesn't disagree with you on this point - and it was never a point of contention for the Jerusalem church either.

    However, what was different for them, is that the early Christian movement thought it was in the midst of the Messianic Age. A central question that preoccupied James and Paul, along with the other apostles, was therefore how the messianic age would differ from the previous age (in which gentiles were just left to their own devices, pretty much).

    Should the Gentiles be 'proselytised' to be brought into Judaism as full Jews because the Mashiach had now come? Should the Noahide laws just apply to them? Or, should the entire moral law of the Torah apply but not the culturally specific parts that were meant only to distinguish the Jewish people as "a kingdom of priests, a holy nation" consecrated to God as his chosen people (Exodus 9:16)?

    James, Peter and Paul etc. all appear to have decided pretty early on that the answer was either Noahide or the deeper association short of becoming a proselyte in the third option. Paul began assertively pushing the third option when a radical hardline group - which he deemed the "Judaizers" - emerged, who believed that in the Messianic Age Gentiles should become full proselytes and started knocking on the doors of all Paul's churches in the diaspora telling Gentile converts they had to obey the entire mitzvot and cease being goyim.

    Paul took his cause to the guy who was then 'head', Jesus's brother James in Jerusalem and won over James. And so the council of Jerusalem basically expulsed the Judaizers and announced that Gentiles did not, in fact, have to become Jews in the Messianic Age.

    The early church was actively seeking to bring Gentiles into the church, owing to the belief that this was in fulfilment of Tanakh prophecies, such as:


    "It will come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord
    Shall be established as the highest of the mountains
    And shall be raised above the hills;

    And all the nations shall flow to it,

    3 And many people shall come, and say:

    “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    To the house of the god of Jacob;
    That he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths
    .”
    Out of Zion his teaching [Hebrew: torah] will go forth,
    And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem
    ."

    (Isaiah 2.2–3 RSV)

    It all hinged on how one interpreted that line, "out of Zion, the Torah will go forth" in relation to "all the nations" and peoples flocking to Jerusalem to worship the God of Israel.

    The Judaizers took a very hardline approach to the issue, Paul took the most liberal and James - appears - to have favoured Noahidism of a kind or at least something minimalist like that. James had the casting vote at that initial council and he judged as follows:


    James added his own words[10] to the quotation: "Known to God from eternity are all His works"[11] and then submitted a proposal, which was accepted by the Church and became known as the Apostolic Decree:

    "It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath." (Acts 15:19–21)


    Paul later liberalised this further for his gentile converts, by allowing them to eat even food offered to idols and meat from strangled animals etc.

    So, in addition to your point about Gentiles not needing to keep the mitzvot (with which Paul and James the Just would have agreed), the Bible was interpreted by them to prophesy that in the Messianic Age (which, you need to remember they thought they were living in) there was to be explicit worship of the God of Israel and the Gentiles coming to Jerusalem for instruction.
     
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  16. whirlingmerc

    whirlingmerc Well-Known Member

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    Fulfilling the covenant is not that simple as Abraham laid out animals chopped in half for both he and God to walk through.... but God walked through alone .... and so in some sense the fulfillment of the covenant was taken on by God

    I think it depends
     
  17. Wandering Monk

    Wandering Monk Well-Known Member

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    'Fulfill' the law is a term found repeatedly in ancient Jewish writings. It is not used in the sense of 'fill up', but 'to do' and 'to keep' the law. Here are a few examples:

    If the Sanhedrin gives a decision to abolish (uproot, la'akor) a law, by saying for instance, that the Torah does not include the laws of Sabbath or idolatry, the members of the court are free from a sin offering if they obey them; but if the Sanhedrin abolishes (la'akor) only one part of a law but fulfills (lekayem) the other part, they are liable. - Mishnah, Horayot 1:3

    If this is how you act, you have never in your whole life fulfilled the requirement of dwelling in a sukkah! - Mishnah, Sukkot 2:7

    Whoever fulfills the Torah when poor will in the end fulfill it in wealth. And whoever treats the Torah as nothing when he is wealthy in the end will treat it as nothing in poverty - Mishnah, Avot 4:9

    For more, see J. B. Lightfoots Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica on Matthew 5.

    Midrash

    Midrash Rabbah - Exodus 30:22

    22. Another explanation of NOW THESE ARE THE ORDINANCES. Both the heathen and Israel have judges, and you do not know what difference there is between both. It can be compared to a sick man whose doctor paid him a visit and then said to the family: ' Give him to eat whatever he wants.' When he came to the other, he left word: ' Take care not to let him eat that and that thing.' When he was asked, `The first, thou didst allow to eat whatever he wishes, and the second, thou didst forbid certain things,' his reply was: `The first has no chance of recovering; for this reason did I allow him to eat what he fancies; but the second will yet live and therefore did I command strict caution in his diet.' Similarly the heathen have judges, but neither study the Torah nor fulfil it, as it says, Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and ordinances whereby they should not live (Ezek.XX, 25),1 but with regard to the commandments it says, Which if a man do, he shall live by them (Lev. XVIII, 5).

    Exodus Rabbah 40:1
    R. Hoshaya said: Anyone who has knowledge but lacks the fear of sin, really has nothing, just as a carpenter who has no tools with him is not a real carpenter; because the bolts which guard learning are the fear of sin, as it says, And the fear of the Lord is its treasure-house (Isa. XXXIII, 6). R. Johanan said: If one knows the Torah but does not fulfil it, it were better for him that he had not been born,

    Numbers Rabbah 3:12
    He was called Kohath for this reason: You read: If the iron be blunt (Eccl. X, 10), which means, if you perceive that the heavens have become `blunt' and refuse to send down rain, having become like iron- as you read: 'And I will make your heaven as iron'-be assured that it is as a punishment for the non-observance of the Torah; for it is written, And one do not whet the edge (ib.), that is, because they did not fulfil the commandments of the Torah which was given to them by God face to face-as you read, The Lord spoke with you face to face, etc. (Deut. V, 4)

    Numbers Rabbah 11:1
    The wise shall inherit honour (Prov. III, 35) applies to Israel who are called wise when they fulfil the Torah and the commandments; as it says, Observe therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding, etc. (Deut. IV, 6)

    Deuteronomy Rabbah 1:21
    The Rabbis say: Moses declared before God: `Master of the Universe, just because the Gentiles have not been commanded to observe the Sabbath, wilt Thou show favour to them if they do observe it?' God replied to him: ' Do you really fear this? By your life, even if they fulfil all the commandments in the Torah, yet will I cause them to fall before you.' Whence this? Because the text says, BEHOLD, I HAVE BEGUN TO DELIVER UP BEFORE THEE.

    Deuteronomy Rabbah 7:4
    TO OBSERVE TO DO ALL HIS COMMANDMENTS (XXVIII, 1). R. Simeon b. Halafta said: If one learns the words of the Torah and does not fulfil them, his punishment is more severe than that of him who has not learnt at all.

    Deuteronomy Rabbah 11:6
    Halachah: When a Jew goes up to read the Law, he is not permitted to commence reading it before he has recited the blessings. First he must recite the blessings and then he reads. And thus Moses, when he had the privilege of receiving the Torah, first recited a blessing, and then he read it. R. Eleazar asked: What was the blessing which Moses recited before reading it? [It was], Blessed art Thou, O Lord, King of the Universe, who hast chosen this law and sanctified it and hast found pleasure in them who fulfil it. He did not say, ' in them that labour at it,' nor, ' in them who meditate in it,' but, ' in them that fulfil it,' that is to say, in them who carry out the words of the Torah.

    Numbers Rabbah 10:8
    For thus have the Sages said: Keep away from a small sin lest it lead you to a grievous one; run to fulfil a small commandment, for it will lead you to an important one.

    Talmud
    Chagigah 4b
    Samuel went and brought Moses with him, Saying to him: Perhaps, Heaven forfend,21 I am summoned to Judgment: arise with me,22 for there is nothing that thou hast written in the Torah, which I did not fulfil.

    Arachin 22a
    R. Papa said: The paying of a debt is a commandment and [minor] orphans are not obliged to fulfil the commandment.

    Mishnah
    AVOT 4:9
    R. JONATHAN SAID: WHOEVER FULFILS THE TORAH OUT OF [A STATE OF] POVERTY, HIS END [WILL BE] TO FULFIL IT OUT OF [A STATE OF] WEALTH; AND WHOEVER DISCARDS THE TORAH OUT OF [A STATE OF] WEALTH, HIS END [WILL BE] TO DISCARD IT OUT OF [A STATE OF] POVERTY.
     
    #37 Wandering Monk, Apr 22, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2020
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  18. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

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    It may not say it's the worst curse. But it does say whoever hangs on a tree is accursed by God.

    Deuteronomy 21:23

    Jesus did it to fulfill Isaiah 53:6 where we find God laid on Him the iniquity of us all. It was at this moment when He who "knew no sin" was made sin so that we could become the righteouness of God in Him.

    By taking that curse on Himself He took all our sins. All our transgressions of the Law of God. And so He put it to death in His body.
    Writings of Paul and logic. Just think about it. In the new Covenant; you're free from the flesh; so you're free from the law that was specifically made for the flesh. For example, it says you're unclean for touching a bug or for eating shrimp. So that is Law for your flesh. When you're immortal and born of heaven then you have no such needs. You're like angels. So you can't tell me that angels (heavenly beings) still need laws like that.

    True uncleanliness is from within a person. Evil thoughts, words and resulting actions. As even Isaiah said "woe is me, for I am a man of unclean lips ..."

    And this is why God told Israel to circumcise the foreskin of their hearts.
    It's a covenant. An agreement between Israel and God. So of course it is eternal; so long as your flesh is alive. Yet God promised the time when He would give a new covenant which is resurrection and He said He would make Israel new just as the potter makes the clay that is marred in his hands into another vessel which pleases Him. And God said be glad and rejoice in what He makes; because He would create Jerusalem a praise in the earth. So what you build can't last; just as Solomon's temple is long. gone. And Solomon was sad to think what would become of his work after he as gone. Because he knew it was all vanity and "chasing after wind". But whatever God builds will be forever. And the plan of God was that He would begin within first. As it is written the king's daughter is all glorious within. (Psalm 45:13)

    The resurrection and the kingdom of God is within you as Jesus said. Don't look here or there ... because it doesn't come with observation. And this is what Moses spoke of when He said the Word was very near you in your heart and in your mouth so that you can do it. The new Covenant of Jeremiah 31:31-34 is the resurrection and it begins within.
     
  19. Harel13

    Harel13 Nin-Jew Master
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    You do realize the previous verse describes a sinner, right? Are you insinuating that Jesus was both sinless and sinful at the same time?
    I'm pretty darn sure it says neither of these, but I may be wrong (you are correct that shrimp is unkosher, but the Torah doesn't specifically say shrimp...)
    But living Christians are still very much "fleshy" beings. Your logic works for dead people whose souls are up in heaven. What about here and now?
    "I make this covenant, with its sanctions, not with you alone, but both with those who are standing here with us this day before the LORD our God and with those who are not with us here this day."
    Whether you take that to refer to dead people or to unborn people, it refers to people whose flesh is not alive.
     
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  20. Redemptionsong

    Redemptionsong Well-Known Member

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    I understand the covenant of faith to be everlasting. This is because a man is justified by faith, not by law. The faithfulness of Jesus Christ is fulfilled in love, and God is love.
     
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