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The Hebrew Bible says not to go away from the law
#1
The Hebrew Bible (e.g. Deut. 13) says not to go away from the Torah commands.

The Christian religion has gone away from the Torah commands.

Is that not just an obvious contradiction of religious teaching?
#2
(02-26-2013, 01:48 PM)TheProcess Wrote: The Hebrew Bible (e.g. Deut. 13) says not to go away from the Torah commands.

The Christian religion has gone away from the Torah commands.

Is that not just an obvious contradiction of religious teaching?

Perhaps not. Please keep in mind that I'm not a Jew nor do I have Jewish background. I do want to understand it better, so I will be asking a lot of questions. So please bare with me.

If I'm not mistaken, the purpose of the Torah was a means to which the Israelites would maintain their inheritance of the promises that the LORD made to Abraham. They were not the promises themselves, lest they be annulled by Israel's failure to obey each and every commandment and uphold their end of the covenant.

So, if failing to obey the commandments does not annul the covenant that the LORD made with Abraham, then Christians, especially Gentiles, are not going away from the Torah. They were never held under its obligation, seen in Acts by not being obligated to get circumcised.

Now, we know that Jesus was a Jew, so He was circumcised. Now, Christians have always maintained that Jesus fulfilled the Torah and even took the curses of the Law (Deuteronomy 28:15-68 ) upon Himself in the place of those under the Law that had faith in Him. So, Christians have since maintained that we enter into God's promises no longer by circumcision of the flesh (by works) but by circumcision of the heart; namely faith in Jesus.

Christians have also maintained that, by being Baptized, we enter into the life, death, and resurrection of Christ; thereby being found in Him. And if Jesus fulfilled the Torah, so did we. Paul, in the book of Romans, justified this outlook by referring to Adam and how all of humanity died even though they did not sin like he did.

So, what do you think? Is the strict observation of every commandment (as shown in Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 19) still the way to remain in the promises of Abraham or did the Sinai covenant end when both Jesus died and when Jerusalem was destroyed?

And if any of this is easily dismissible, then I would ask this: Why did God send the Romans to destroy Jerusalem? The Pharisees and several scribes taught strict observance to the Torah. Evidently, they kept their end of the covenant. So, if they did not go away from the Torah, why was the temple allowed to be burned? Why did the Messiah not get sent to deliver the Jews from Roman occupation?
#3
The Torah was given to the Jews, and not the non-Jews, so when a non-Jew becomes Christian, in a certain sense he is not going away from the Torah, as he was never bound by its 613 commandments. When a Christian tells a Jew that he can believe in Jesus and maintain his “Jewishness” is when the matter gets a little sticky. As Bluefinger said, Christians believe that as a believer in Jesus, one fulfills the law and earns salvation. Works, according to Paul, are no longer essential (Gal 2:16), and one must be circumcised of the heart, not of the flesh, for if one is circumcised of the flesh, Jesus will profit him nothing (Gal 5:2).

So we see clearly the Christian view, but what does the Torah say? Is the Law (i.e. works) annulled, to be replaced solely by faith? Has physical circumcision been replaced by the spiritual version?

The Torah tells us the commandments are eternally binding (Deuteronomy 29:29). The prophets also informed us that when the Messiah arrives and we are living in the Messianic Age the Jews will be keeping all the laws of the Torah (Ezekiel 37:24, Jeremiah 31:33). Even more, when speaking about the Third and Final Temple in Jerusalem (Ezk ch. 40-48), G-D tells the prophet that “No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into My sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the Children of Israel” (44:9).

As Jews, what are we to do? We have the Torah telling us very clearly that the Torah is eternal, perfect, enlightening, etc. (Psalm 19, 119), and that circumcision, G-D’s eternal covenant with Abraham (Genesis 17:7-10), is indeed eternal. On the other side, we have Paul telling us that the Torah is done away with, we only need faith, and circumcision is for men’s hearts, not men’s parts. Who do we choose in a debate between G-D and Paul?

But why did G-D allow the Romans to destroy the Temple? We have to understand that it was known from the days of Daniel that the Second Temple would one day fall. Gavriel tells him in ch. 9 that there were 490 years (70 "weeks") decreed between the fall of the First and the fall of the Second to terminate transgression, end sin, anoint the Holy of Holies, and seal up vision and prophet. In other words, the Messianic Age could only begin when the Second Temple fell in 70 of the Common Era. And this approach makes sense: If one element of the Messianic Age is the Third Temple (Ezk 37:27), the future King in Israel would have to arrive when there is no Temple standing in Jerusalem.
#4
Hi benyosef,

If the Messianic Age was to begin after the second temple was destroyed, why hasn't it come yet.

Something isn't adding up. The Jews were scattered from their homeland, chased down, made show of, made a byword, persecuted, harassed, killed, raped, and tortured. Does the Messianic Age end once the curse ends?

I'm predisposed to think that Daniel was compiled on the eve of the Maccabean revolt. Orally passed stories were written down to use Daniel to prop up the author's agenda, which was to suffer with dignity instead of revolt. Likely, the author believed that the temple was going to be destroyed because the high priesthood had become contaminated with Hellenists. The anticipation was that the Messiah would deliver the Jewish Nation, but the temple had become defiled.

And, if you ask me, the third temple was to be one made in heaven, not on earth. For even the Christians believe that a New Jerusalem would descend from Heaven, dressed like a bride.
#5
Also, concerning circumcision:

Is one saved so long as his flesh is circumcised? If so, what about those that have decomposed and no longer have flesh? Are they any less recipients to the promises than those that currently are?

Paul made the argument that, once a man has died, he is free from the requirements of the Torah. Paul also made the argument that, in Jesus, all those who have faith have taken part in His life, death, and resurrection. Therefore, by faith, they have died and are free from the requirements of the Law.

For the Torah was given to those who were born of flesh, not to those born of Spirit.
#6
Bluefinger2009 Wrote:If the Messianic Age was to begin after the second temple was destroyed, why hasn't it come yet...if you ask me, the third temple was to be one made in heaven, not on earth.

The Messianic Age was able to begin when the Second Temple was destroyed, but it is up to the Jews to earn it, and sadly, we have not yet done so. From the Christian position, if the Messiah was supposed to come during the Second Temple, how was it that not only were the prophecies not fulfilled, but the exact opposite happened? Instead of the ingathering of the exiles, the Jews were again scattered. Instead of the Third Temple in Jerusalem, the Second was destroyed. Instead of universal knowledge of G-D, Christianity, Islam, and Mormonism were formed, and many pagan religions still exist.
It is clear from the last nine chapters of Ezekiel that the Third Temple is a very real, very literal edifice that will reside where the Dome of the Rock currently festers. Whether made in Heaven or not, I don’t know, but it will be on the Temple Mount in the Messianic Age.

Bluefinger2009 Wrote:concerning circumcision: Is one saved so long as his flesh is circumcised? If so, what about those that have decomposed and no longer have flesh?...Paul made the argument…]

“Saved from sin” is not a Torah concept, so we need to restructure the question. Obviously G-D will not hold it against someone if his flesh is no longer present (for example, victims of Nazi ovens are not lower in G-D’s eyes). What happens when a Jew has a circumcision? He is then part of the Abrahamic covenant (Gen 17:9-14) and enjoys many benefits, such as being able to partake of the Passover sacrifice (Exodus 12:48-49). Should a Jew decide to not be circumcised, his eternity is in jeopardy.
Paul’s argument about death freeing someone from the Torah has worthy foundations (Psalm 115:17-18), but his theory about faith in Jesus is founded more in the pagan religions at the time, far removed from the Torah’s approach. Nowhere does the Torah say we need we need faith in the messiah, nor that by believing in the messiah we are dead to the Torah. To the contrary, as a result of the Messiah’s arrival we will be following the Torah (Ezk 37:24), and the non-Jews will come to the Jews to ask how to do exactly that (Zec 8:23, Isa 2:3).
Despite what Paul would tell us, the Torah is not a curse. The Torah warns of curses only to those who treat the commandments lightly (Lev 26:14-39, Deut 28:15-68), but promises much blessing to those who do their best to keep the Torah (Lev 26:3-14, Deut 28:1-14).
#7
(02-26-2013, 01:48 PM)TheProcess Wrote: The Hebrew Bible (e.g. Deut. 13) says not to go away from the Torah commands.

The Christian religion has gone away from the Torah commands.

Is that not just an obvious contradiction of religious teaching?

The Christian religion has not gone away from the Torah commands.
Jesus spoke very clearly on this:

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

For some heaven and earth have passed away but we don't need to get into that because your question is with regards to the Christian religion, Religion by definition requires the existence of heaven and earth separately .
#8
(06-01-2013, 03:29 AM)A. Bird Wrote: The Christian religion has not gone away from the Torah commands.
Jesus spoke very clearly on this:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven..."

It is the duty of every Jew to fulfill the commandments, so when Jesus said "I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them" he was speaking as any Jew would. What is interesting is that Jesus very often advocated keeping the commandments, but Christianity leaves aside his teachings in favor of Paul, who strongly objected to the commandments (Eph 2:8-9, Rm 4:5, 5:1, et al), going so far as to say that if anyone tries to keep the commandments, that poor soul is "fallen from grace" (Gl 5:4).

What a stark difference between Paul's teachings and the Torah his master supported (Leviticus 26:3-12, Deuteronomy 30:8-10, Psalm 19:7-10, Ecclesiastes 12:13).
#9
(07-31-2013, 03:38 PM)benyosef Wrote: What a stark difference between Paul's teachings and the Torah his master supported

Oh my now we're having parallel discussions. Not sure if I'll be able to handle it. Undecided

The thing is, you don't understand the Apostle Paul. Problem is most Christians, especially in the country you are, misunderstand him in the same way you do, they use his writings to justify their sin and they stay in their sin and become a very bad testimony of our Lord, it is a pitty. But it is not new, the Apostel Peter wrote:

Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen
#10
Benyosef

After God destroyed Jerusalem and exiled the Jews to Babylon, he blessed them even during their captivity. None of these things the Jews did to earn God's favor but to cry out to Him.

So what you are saying doesn't seem to line up with the God of all the Messianic stories. God's grace isn't earned. It's received as a gift.

If the Jews were correct about the Messianic prophecies, then the Messiah was to come before the temple was destroyed (Malachi 3:1.)

Here is what Christians believe about the 3rd temple:

And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. (Revelation 21:22-27 ESV)

You told me that 'saved from sin is not a Torah concept.' Then you say that, if a Jew isn't circumcised, 'his eternity is in jeopardy'...as if to say that circumcision is more important than the Torah itself. Is that what you are saying?

Being found in someone isn't a pagan invention. If a Jew was circumcised, he was considered to be 'in' Abraham. But, as a Christian, I view the circumcision of Abraham as a prophecy that pointed toward one whose entire body would be mutilated. And Jesus rose on the eigth day, the same day that all new born children of Abraham were commanded to be circumcised. So those who are found 'in' Jesus have been circumcised with Him through faith and take part in the promises of Abraham without the need for circumcision.

Jesus explained the Torah, saying that even if you hate a brother in your heart, but do not kill him, you are still guilty of murder and are therefore condemned by the Torah to suffer death. Jesus put all people under the condemnation of the Law so that He may offer His life as propitiation for all, bearing the curse of the Law on Himself in the place of all who had faith. Then, all who believed in Jesus were true Jews and inherited the promises of Abraham while those who rejected Him went on to suffer destruction, shame, curses, and dispersion. As offensive as it may be, historically, it is the truth.

Paul doesn't say that the Torah is a curse. Paul says that there is a curse in the Torah for all who disobey it. And if the rabbinical leaders suffered the curse, how is any Jew that follows them able to succeed where they failed? It is evident that, even though the religious leaders of the first century wanted to obey the Law, they still didn't attain what they pressed for.

Christianity started as a Jewish sect that scolded the elitism of the first century Jews and offered the kingdom of God to all who had faith in Jesus. By this grace, people's hearts became circumcised and they treated others as more important than themselves, ultimately fulfilling the Spirit of the Torah and pleasing God. Christianity was so well embraced by the world because it opened its doors to sinners and held out its arms to non-believers, loving them regardless of their merit.


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