Saturday, 25 April 2015

Apples and Oranges: Rabbi Akiva's martydom

Before I continue with this paper, This is by no means an attack on Akiva or anything intended to disparage individuals, But just simply this article is commenting on the subject of the death of Jesus when compared with the death of Rabbi Akiva.

Everyone knows of the crucifixion of Jesus, which need not be an introduction as most are familiar with the event, but not everyone is familiar with Rabbi Akiva.

Watch from 1:11:22-1:18:35 in Immanuel Schochet's lecture "Let the Christian be a Christian and Let the Jew be a Jew" on the subject of the lamb lead to slaughter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoTJK2DPwwY

The reason being is that the context, Dr Schochet mentions Rabbi Akiva and how he went to the grave smiling and proclaiming faith in God (viewer discretion is advised since mockery of Christ takes place)

Rabbi Eli Cohen also makes a similar point with respect to Rabbi Akiva which Nakdimon316 responds to here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Sf3RB3gXhU

The objection on Jesus opening his mouth won't be addressed here.

Now, One must look at the context of both kinds of deaths, what was the context of their deaths. As in the videos above, the context for the people of Israel, the Jews and the suffering they underwent, has already been provided.

Jesus' death however was not just physical death, but possible spiritual death when he was on the cross. For a time, Christ bore the wrath of God on the cross when he took our sins. He was quoting from Psalm 22 when he said, "My God, My God why have you forsaken me?" Psalm 22 is addressed here: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/examination-of-some-arguments-raised-by.html

This isn't to say that the Jews, Rabbi Akiva included, never went through a horrible experience, but physical death of ANYONE, pales in comparison to what Jesus had to suffer, namely the bearing of our sins on the cross and God the Father pouring out his wrath on him, The sinless Son of God dying in our place so we don't have to go to hell and pay for our sin there, Again, Jesus never went to hell just to make clear.

(The Word Faith preachers teach the evil heresy that Jesus went to hell, which didn't happen. Jesus went to Sheol, NOT to Hell.)

The Jews never went to their deaths for that reason and Akiva himself didn't have the mission of Jesus in mind when he went to his death. You cannot compare the death of Jesus for our sake to the deaths of many Jews who underwent persecution for their faith. These are two different contexts and two different kinds of suffering. These must be kept in mind when talking about deaths from both sides.

Answering Judaism.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Correcting Misconceptions of Christianity: A response to atheism

There are 5 objections that I want to tackle in this paper. Keep in mind the objections raised focus on religion generally but I am answering from a biblical Christian standpoint to answer these points. Let us take a look at them:

"Religious People are closed minded sheep"
What do you mean by closed minded? What as in so narrow minded we cannot be open to someone else's opinion? Christians discern the difference between being open to an opinion and being open to downright error. Christians do NOT (if they are biblical) want to tolerate error.

"Religious People have no logic and reason" and"Religious People are incapable of critical thinking"
Wrong, People who have biblical faith do not have lack of critical thought or logic and reason. Faith requires us to have a critical mind and conviction, it doesn't mean you blindly believe something without a good reason. Christians are called to give a defense for the hope they have according to 1 Peter 3:15. If you can't give a reason, then that is blind conviction.

"Religious People are afraid of science and evidence"
Not really, Science is a useful tool. If it wasn't for science, you wouldn't have YouTube, Facebook or even your own website. Science allows for technology to exist. Christians who are grounded in their faith don't have a problem with science or evidence. In fact, Christians PROVIDE the evidence for their own beliefs being true in the first place. It's funny that this objection is made, considering some atheists will have evidence of Christianity presented to them and spurn it anyway.

"Only those who are afraid of reality and science are religious"
Wrong, Christians are not afraid of science or reality. But what science does this objection suggest Christians are afraid of? There is science that is good and science that is bad. Christians are concerned about science that would violate the laws of nature but science that is of great benefit to man such as medicine for healing, is absolutely fine. What science is the objection referring to?

Answering Judaism.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Backfiring Shotgun: A silly case for homosexuality

There was a silly question that was raised on a mini comic I found on Facebook that I would like to address:

"If God hates Gays, why doesn't he condemn it in the 10 commandments?"

The subject of whether or not God hates unbelievers maybe addressed if the Lord Wills in another paper. But let's say he hates the sinner for arguments sake in this paper, due to the person identifying with sin and refusing to repent.

God didn't have to use the 10 commandments in order to condemn Homosexuality. Plus to suggest that somehow that homosexuality is permissible simply because it doesn't appear in the 10 commandments is absolutely a ridiculous argument.

To anyone who is reading, If that is your argument against Homosexuality being condemned in the Bible, then why are bestiality, paedophilia, fornication and incest not acceptable by that same token of logic? Why is it ok for one sexual preference but not the others? Surely they can make the same argument for their sexual preference as Homosexuals can?

If homosexuality itself is fully sanctioned and allowed, then what is to stop a paedophile from continuing to have their way with children. What a government may see as ethical may not reflect what God states as ethical. Paedophilia, be it from a celebrity, the Catholic Church's priests or Muhammad etc causes damage not only to the child physically, but would traumatize them. But if you want to say "If God hates homosexuality, why doesn't he condemn it in the 10 commandments?", well then, that must mean paedophiles can grind away all they want.

I am sure having sex with animals being wrong is obvious to anyone be they Christian or not but I have come across a video where some individuals have actually expressed this "love for their dogs", So what is to stop them, Again, "If God hates bestiality, why doesn't he condemn it in the 10 commandments?" Surely that argument must follow by that logic?

Maybe perhaps a brother and sister can get together or even two brothers and two sisters, "If God hates those who are incestuous, why doesn't he condemn incest in the 10 commandments?" Does this mean that incestuous relationships are allowed? Well I have come across a case where a father and his daughter are in that kind of relationship.

This is the slippery slope if we grant the argument for homosexuality being something noble. If it is noble, Why not the others?

No matter how you slice it, bestiality, homosexuality, adultery, fornication, incest and other sexual sins are condemned in scripture and DON'T give me this excuse that vibrators and sex toys are not mentioned in the Bible, Who cares? If you are defending sin, you are not believing in the Bible.
anyway.

God doesn't have to give a cut and dry statement like "Thou shalt not" or "Thou shalt" in order for something to be good or bad. There are principles that are in the Bible that can cover things that are not specifically mentioned.

Answering Judaism

Sunday, 19 April 2015

A few comments on the subject of Early Christianity

While looking on Facebook, I sometimes I come across some various assertions about the Bible or religion generally. Just thought I may bring some comments about Early Christianity that I have into this article.

"For the past 1800 years, all the discussion about Paul has been around a view formed by Christianity, following 135 CE, which was the end of the 2nd major Roman-Jewish war. Prior to that, everything in the New Testament was understood in accordance with Jewish spiritual concepts brought down since Sinai. At the conclusion of that war, the Romans killed over a half-million Jews, dispersed the rest, plowed Jerusalem under and most importantly - banned all study and practice of anything Torah-related. "

The Romans may have prohibited study of Torah, the NT itself doesn't prohibit the reading of it, as it is called God-Breathed Scriptures in 2 Timothy 3:16, which in principle does encompass the NT but specifically refers to the TANAKH itself. There is discussion as to whether or not early Christians used midrash or not among scholars today, namely the PARDES Midrash. *

"What was left of the "Nazarene community" at that time was a bunch of gentiles with no more synagogue system as the center of learning (acts 15:21), zero Jewish leadership, no Torah teachers (properly explaining messiah and all things Torah-related) and every sort of Roman paganism and anti-Semitism you could name encroaching on the remains of this community. It took of all of one generation to do a '180 degree turn' and change an exclusively Jewish messianic belief into something 100 percent foreign to it. "

"All of Paul's teachings were now cut off from their already difficult to comprehend sources (as Peter called it) in oral Torah, and subject to a very anti-Jewish, anti-"law" gentile perspective. From that time forward the 'debate' over Paul has not been over his actual teachings, but over erroneous interpretations of his words. "

The Early Christians were indeed Jewish, but they also had Gentiles invited into the church but whether or not the Jewish Christians remained in the synagogues or not is another issue. However, Paul wasn't Anti-law as many so often claim, He said that the law was good, but didn't have to power to save people from their sins, but rather expose the individuals sins.

"The good news is in THIS generation the 'interrupted discussion' of pre-135 Judaism is returning. Jews and gentiles who are educated in the oral Torah are not only re-evaluating the words of Yeshua, but some are beginning to look at Paul, no longer as some renegade that taught against Judaism, but an exceptionally learned Jew who taught Torah at its very deepest levels."

It is good that many Christians are coming to realise that Christianity does indeed have it's roots in the Jewish faith and that Paul himself even held to a Jewish Methodology, but this again would not automatically prove Rabbinic Judaism to be the Judaism of Moses. That is indeed important to remember. Some of the major evangelicals that encourage returning to the Jewish roots of the faith would include David Pawson and Jacob Prasch.

Feel free to study these issues.

Answering Judaism.

*17th of March 2015. I haven't read said scholars but I can assume they would debate about this sort of thing. 

My apologies.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Vows: Thoughts and Reflections

A vow is a serious obligation that one binds themselves under in God's name. Depending on the contexts, a vow could consist of the following:

1. A promise to do or NOT to do something in God's name. (Deuteronomy 23:21, Numbers 30 )
2. The Nazirite Vow (Numbers 6)
3. Dedication of an offering to the Lord (Leviticus 27:1-13)

Vows consist of those things, the most likely vow to be carried is vow 1, namely making a vow in God's name to either do or not do something.

Vows are a very serious thing and shouldn't be made lightly, since once made, cannot be reversed. Even Solomon in Ecclesiastes highlights this point very forcefully:

"Ecclesiastes 5:1 [a]Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.

2 Do not be quick with your mouth,
    do not be hasty in your heart
    to utter anything before God.
God is in heaven
    and you are on earth,
    so let your words be few.
3 A dream comes when there are many cares,
    and many words mark the speech of a fool.
4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. 5 It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it. 6 Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, “My vow was a mistake.” Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? 7 Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God."

Before one should EVER consider a vow, They must thing through it carefully and thoughtfully and NOT rush into making one, considering it is something God will hold you to, regardless of your carefulness and carelessness.

Observe the following regarding Jephthah:
"Judges 11:29 Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jephthah. He crossed Gilead and Manasseh, passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and from there he advanced against the Ammonites. 30 And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord: “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, 31 whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.”

32 Then Jephthah went over to fight the Ammonites, and the Lord gave them into his hands. 33 He devastated twenty towns from Aroer to the vicinity of Minnith, as far as Abel Keramim. Thus Israel subdued Ammon.

34 When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of timbrels! She was an only child. Except for her he had neither son nor daughter. 35 When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, “Oh no, my daughter! You have brought me down and I am devastated. I have made a vow to the Lord that I cannot break.”

36 “My father,” she replied, “you have given your word to the Lord. Do to me just as you promised, now that the Lord has avenged you of your enemies, the Ammonites. 37 But grant me this one request,” she said. “Give me two months to roam the hills and weep with my friends, because I will never marry.”

38 “You may go,” he said. And he let her go for two months. She and her friends went into the hills and wept because she would never marry. 39 After the two months, she returned to her father, and he did to her as he had vowed. And she was a virgin.

From this comes the Israelite tradition 40 that each year the young women of Israel go out for four days to commemorate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite."

Jephthah was careless and it cost him his daughter. A vow once made must be kept, regardless of the cost.

Before you consider making a vow, Be sure it can be carried out and that there are no problems to hinder you. Don't be foolish enough to make one and regret it. You are better off NOT making a vow than making a vow and never fulfilling it.

"Proverbs 20:25 It is a trap to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider one's vows."

Think about what you are doing. Once again as Solomon said: "It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.".

Now many will point to Jesus' words in the Sermon on the Mount and say that vows cannot be made. Well let's look:
"Matthew 5:33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.[g]"

James also highlights a similiar point in his letter:
"James 5:12 Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned."

Upon a first glance, you may think Jesus and James are forbidding vows period, however, we see an example of some individuals in the New Testament who are believers taking the Nazarite vow, such as Paul in Acts 21. Neither Jesus or James are dismissing all vows, What they are expecting of us is to simply let our words bind us without having to use an oath to keep our words valid and in check.

The only time where Jesus condemned a vow in the NT, was that of the Pharisees and others careless MISUSE of vows, not vows in an of themselves.

"Matthew 23:16 “Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.’ 17 You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18 You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gift on the altar is bound by that oath.’ 19 You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 Therefore, anyone who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And anyone who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. 22 And anyone who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it."

YHWH Is greater than everything and nothing is greater than him, thus regardless of the thing you swear by, Your oath is STILL binding on you, it is STILL incumbent upon you. You can swear by a particular object all you like, God will still hold you to account. Paul and James are both in agreement with Jesus on the subject of vows.

Having said that, it is better to avoid making vows unless you are convinced you are able to carry them out.

Hope this article has been a blessing.

Answering Judaism.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Observance of Torah demanded of Gentiles? 3

"The “legalism” Paul and the other apostles were concerned about was the additions to the Torah, the fences around the law that were elevated to Torah status, or nullified a Torah command.  The laws men made up which were imposed as bondage upon the common people, a heavy yoke, impossible to keep (even the Pharisees who made up many of these “fences” could not keep them). (Lk. 11:45-46, Acts 15:10)"

In Acts 15, it is not the issue of man made tradition that is being addressed in the context, the thrust of the context is what Gentiles are to observe now that they have come to Jesus, Should they become Jews and observe the Torah or should they remain Gentiles but still abandon their idolatry and immorality? The council concluded that the Gentiles were bound to the Torah, I have already addressed Acts 15 in a previous paper:
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/what-does-acts-15-teach-does-it-teach.html

As for the subject of Luke 11:45-46, let's read it:
"44 “Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which people walk over without knowing it.”

45 One of the experts in the law answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.”

46 Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.

47 “Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your ancestors who killed them. 48 So you testify that you approve of what your ancestors did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs. 49 Because of this, God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.’ 50 Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all."

There appears to be a little confusion, First, the group that is addressed by Jesus are the UNBELIEVING Pharisees, whereas by contrast, Peter is addressing BELIEVING Pharisees. They are not addressing the same group. The unbelieving Pharisees were trying to place unnecessary burdens on the people of Israel and they themselves did not put themselves under those burdens, namely (surprise surprise) they were being hypocrites. However in the context of Acts, Peter is addressing a different group. Let's look:
"15 Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. 3 The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad. 4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.

5 Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”

6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7 After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8 God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”"

The two groups who bring up the law of Moses, one group are legalists, whereas the other group are those who believe Gentiles should keep the Law, not for salvation but out of love and obedience, most Messianic groups who preach the Torah as binding on Christians claim to be the latter. Read the Acts 15 article above for more information.

"“Obviously no one can keep the whole Torah. No one is perfect. Therefore, we should not try to keep the Torah because it is too difficult.” Moses must have foreseen our faulty logic. Therefore, he insists in no uncertain terms that, “This commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach.” (Deuteronomy 30:11) The Apostle John agrees saying, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3) It’s not about being perfect, it’s about loving God.” –ffoz: Nitzavim: Choose Life, 2007

YHWH said this about the Torah: “You can do it!” (Deut. 30:14, Rom. 10:8) If you want to call following Torah legalism, or legalistic, call me a “Legal Eagle.”  But, wouldn’t you rather be legal, than illegal?"

Forcing Gentiles under the Law of Moses when the apostles and Jesus never did such a thing is not right at all. as for Deuteronomy 30, the objection above has been covered at the end of the paper:
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/comments-on-deuteronomy-301-14.html

For that matter, John is not referring to Mosaic Observance, but rather to God's moral righteous commands, not ceremonial commands.

"We also must remember that in the Hebrew and Greek of Rav Sha’ul's day, there were not any words to express things like the negative idea we know of in religious circles as “legalism,” being saved or justified by ones works alone.  Therefore, he had to use the same word in the Greek he used for Torah, that word is, “Nomos.”  Thus, it is of the utmost importance when reading and interpreting the Scriptures dealing with Torah in the Renewed Covenant, that we look at the context and usage of the word “nomos” translated “law.”  Is it talking about Torah, or a secular legal system, or a manmade legal system imposed upon the Torah?  Is it talking about depending upon the Torah to obtain salvation?  In that case the Torah is not bad, man’s misuse and misunderstanding of it is the problem.  The examples in the Renewed Covenant are too numerous to mention and it is not the purpose of this work to tackle and iron out misunderstood and misinterpreted passages of the Renewed Covenant. However, to help us in this area, it is always good to keep in mind again, that if our interpretation causes the Torah to be done away with, our interpretation is wrong!  Period!"

No Christian is claiming that the Torah is bad, but even if you want to claim you are not legalistic, When are the ceremonial aspects of Torah EVER forced on the Gentiles? Those commands are not imposed on Gentiles or if they are, are reinterpreted in light of the New Covenant. An example of such would be Paul's quotation of Deuteronomy 25:4 in 1 Timothy 5:18.

As David Pawson explains:
"It is very important to realize exactly what the fulfillment of each law is. Of the Ten Commandments, nine are repeated in exactly the same way, e.g. you shall not steal, you shall not commit adultery. The Sabbath one is not, being fulfilled in a different way.

Other laws are fulfilled in different ways. One law in Deuteronomy says, for example, that when you are using an ox to thresh the corn, walking round and round, you must put a muzzle on it because it has every right to eat what it is preparing for others. This is fulfilled in the New Covenant, Paul quotes that law and fives it a completely different fulfillment, explaining that in the same way those who live for the Gospel have a right to financial support from others. It is necessary to look at each law and see how it is fulfilled in the New Testament and given a deeper meaning." David Pawson, Unlocking the Bible pg 150

"Not all of the “fences” around the Torah are bad, only those imposed upon people as if they were Torah commands themselves.  Some people need “fences” so as not to break the actual commandments.  For instance, a man may put extra software on this computer to keep him from accessing improper web sites.  He knows that going to those certain sites is wrong, and has no desire to, and does not plan to visit those sites. But when tempted, why have an open door to it?  So he erects a “fence” to keep himself from getting to those sites.  Or, it is like a mother saying to her children, “No cookies before supper,” just as they come in from a hard day of playing.   That is her “commandment.”  They know it would be wrong to eat a cookie before supper, but they are so hungry, and the cookie jar is just in reach.  So, Mom comes into the kitchen and puts the cookie jar on a high shelf, or in a cabinet to where they cannot get to it.  Mom erected a “fence” for her children, to help them keep her “commandment.” An A.A. (Alcoholics Anonymous) sponsor can be seen as a type of “fence.” They can be called upon to help a person not to “fall of the wagon” and drink when a person is tempted."

I see what they are getting at here, there are some boundaries necessary for some individuals to prevent them from falling, much similiar to Jesus' statement in the Sermon on the Mount that if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out (Matthew 5:27-30), In other words, he making the point of taking measures necessary to prevent you from sinning again.

Not much for me to comment on, but having said that, That again doesn't prove Torah Observance is for the Gentiles.

"The four laws given to the Goyim (Gentiles) in Acts 15 were not exhaustive or the only laws they were to keep.  

The purpose of these starter laws was to: 1) Help Gentiles make a clean break with the pagan world.  2) Enable Jews and Gentiles to fellowship and eat at the same table. (Acts 15:19-21)  These Laws were taken from Leviticus 17-18, called the “Heart of the Torah.”   I often ask those who believe that these four laws are the only laws Gentiles are to keep, “Do you buy beef at the store?”

“Yes.”

“It’s saturated with blood right?”

“Yes.”

“But you rinse it off and fry it up anyway, in direct opposition to Acts 15.  If it were kosherly slaughtered, there would be no blood in it.  So you don’t even keep the four laws in Acts 15.”

Most Christians do not even keep all of the 10 Commandments.  We will cover that a little later."

Acts 15 has already been covered in the article above. Also, You don't need to resort to kosher slaughter in the New Covenant. Blood can easily be removed and washed away before one can actually eat or cook the meat. As for the 10 commandments, as I have stated in another paper, only 9 of those commands are actually applied to Christians.

Now obviously what Christians are not allowed to do is not limited to the things forbidden in the 10 Commandments, there are other things, including other sexual sins, usury, witchcraft, disobedience to governments (unless they tell you to sin against God), domestic violence, abuse etc. Again, one must read both testaments to determine which laws apply to Christians and which do not.

"Just because not all the 613 commandments are covered in the Brit Chadashah does not mean that the laws not mentioned have been done away with. The books of the Renewed Covenant were written with the idea that these 613 laws were a given, so there was no need to mention them again. The only things Yeshua and Rav Sha’ul and others did were to clarify the priority of the certain laws and bring them into a greater understanding.

The Natsarim Sanhedrin headed up by Ya’akov (“James,” Yeshua’s half- brother) knew the Gentiles would end up learning the whole Torah at the Synagogue every Sabbath, through the annual Torah reading cycle. (Acts 15:19-21)  They would eventually learn and live all 613 mitzvot (commandments).  This would culminate into the Gentile who learned Torah for a whole year to have the opportunity to convert officially to Natsarim Judaism by undergoing circumcision and a mikvah (baptism)."

Acts 15, Again, Need I repeat it, Just read the Article on it.

"Daniel Botkin in the same article mentioned above states:

“For most Christians, the commandments which they have a problem with are commandments which deal with the Sabbath, Feasts, dietary laws, and miscellaneous things like tzitziyot (fringes), mezuzahs, beards, etc.  These things are dismissed as “Jewish rituals, just for the Jews to do until Christ came.”  Yet the Bible nowhere singles out these commandments from the rest of the Torah and says that they are just for the Jews.  Nor does the Bible say that the coming of the Messiah would abolish these commandments.  People think of these things as Jewish practices only because Christians abandoned them centuries ago, and the Jews have continued to practice them.  But the Bible does not give one set of rules for Jews and a different set of rules for non-Jewish believers.  “Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am YHVH your G-d.” (Lev.24:22).” " http://www.abrahamsdescendants.com/free-in-christ.html

Let's read Leviticus 24:
"10 Now the son of an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father went out among the Israelites, and a fight broke out in the camp between him and an Israelite. 11 The son of the Israelite woman blasphemed the Name with a curse; so they brought him to Moses. (His mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri the Danite.) 12 They put him in custody until the will of the Lord should be made clear to them.

13 Then the Lord said to Moses: 14 “Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. 15 Say to the Israelites: ‘Anyone who curses their God will be held responsible; 16 anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord is to be put to death. The entire assembly must stone them. Whether foreigner or native-born, when they blaspheme the Name they are to be put to death.

17 “‘Anyone who takes the life of a human being is to be put to death. 18 Anyone who takes the life of someone’s animal must make restitution—life for life. 19 Anyone who injures their neighbor is to be injured in the same manner: 20 fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The one who has inflicted the injury must suffer the same injury. 21 Whoever kills an animal must make restitution, but whoever kills a human being is to be put to death. 22 You are to have the same law for the foreigner and the native-born. I am the Lord your God.’”

23 Then Moses spoke to the Israelites, and they took the blasphemer outside the camp and stoned him. The Israelites did as the Lord commanded Moses."

In context, what is being addressed is what to do with a blasphemer, be they Jew or Gentile if they are under Mosaic Law, namely no exceptions are to be granted and both, be they Jew or Gentile are to be put to death. Race is immaterial. It is not saying that  the Bible does not give one set of rules for Jews and a different set of rules for non-Jewish believers." under the New Covenant. It's not even addressing the topic of the New Covenant, but rather what to do with a blasphemer under the Old Covenant.

That's it for now unless the Lord Wills me to deal with more.

Answering Judaism.

Observance of Torah demanded of Gentiles? 2

More articles and other material has been posted by Charles Spearman, So here are some more objections for me to respond to:

"You must be looking at Yeshua thru an NIV New Age Bible ..

Col 2:13-14 – "Didn’t Christ Nail the Law to the Cross?"

On the contrary, it is our trespasses against the Torah that Yeshua has nailed to His execution stake.  But because our sins have been crucified by God's grace, does that mean that we should go out and sin more?

And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.

Here, the key phrase to understanding v. 14 comes at the end of v. 13, “having forgiven you all your trespasses.” 

The “handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which were contrary to us” which were nailed to the cross referred to the nailing of a placard above a condemned criminal’s head, stating his crime (cf. John 19:19f).  Here, Paul is not referring to nailing the Torah to the cross as a means of annulling it, but nailing the ordinances of it that we have sinned against (which amounts to all of them; Jas. 2:10) to Yeshua’s cross.  All of our trespasses are punished in Him, so that we, the real criminals, might go free.  But does this mean that the Torah is annulled?  Because our sins are nailed to the cross, should we sin the more?  “God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Rom. 6:2). 

by Michael Bugg"

There is a strawman here, Christians who do not see fit to observe the Torah, Don't say you can do what you want or go out and sin against God, That is a lie.

The issue is not moral or ethics, the issues that Christians were concerned about, even in Acts 15, was what GENTILES who became Christians were to observe, were they to observe the entire Torah, or were they free from it? What commands carried over from the Old Testament and into the New?

See the following on Colossians 2:
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/observance-of-torah-demanded-of-gentiles.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/comments-on-more-rabbinic-objections.html

To extend on the points made, Colossians 2, referring to Torah or not (Which I don't believe it does refer to the Torah), doesn't suggest that Gentiles are under obligation to observe Torah and again to emphasize here, the context of Colossians 2 DOES make clear that immorality is unacceptable.

"God’s unadulterated Law does not put people in bondage; it liberates. “So shall I keep Thy Law continually forever and ever. And I will walk at liberty” (Psalm 119:44f). God wants us to keep His commandments, but we can disregard man-made commandments that men have added to God’s commandments. Adding to the commandments of God,[3] as the rabbis do and as the Pharisees did and as some teachers at Colossae did, perverts the Law and turns it into “a yoke … which neither or fathers nor we were able to bear” (Acts 15:10). In contrast to this man-imposed yoke, Yeshua says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:29f).

     Yeshua does not say that the yoke of Torah is nailed to the Cross and abolished. He only says that His teaching of Torah is light compared to that of the Pharisees, who taught a Torah weighted down with additional, excessive, man-made demands. Then immediately after Yeshua’s statement about His light yoke, the very next verse begins a story that demonstrates the contrast between the Pharisees’ yoke and Yeshua’s yoke. The Pharisees’ interpretation of Torah would condemn the hungry disciples for plucking and eating a bit of grain as they walked through a field on the Sabbath. Yeshua’s yoke would permit the hungry disciples to do what they did in those circumstances. Just as David and his hungry men were permitted to eat the priests’ shew-bread in their unusual circumstances." The source used by Spearman came from here: http://www.petahtikvah.com/Articles/WhatwasnailedtotheCrossin.htm

See  the article commenting on Matthew 5:17-20 as well as Acts 15 in general: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/what-does-acts-15-teach-does-it-teach.html

Jesus does present an easy yoke, no question about that, but that doesn't suggest that he called the Gentiles to observe the Torah, but Yeshua or Jesus, it doesn't really matter if you refer to him one way or the other, while he doesn't address the issue of what Gentiles are to observe, he does say that the disciples will have the Holy Spirit to bring to remembrance everything he taught them, which would including teaching and making clear to others what he taught. The yoke of Jesus is light and does free man from the bonds of man made tradition, but that alone doesn't deal with the fact that Gentiles from the NT era were free from the Torah, specifically the ceremonial law.

"The Torah is not bondage.  It is YHWH’s handbook to keep us well physically, mentally and spiritually, and keep us in a right relationship with Elohim and man.  

There are not just 10 commandments as most people think, but 613! There are 248 positive (commandments), ways to get closer to HaShem, “Thou shalts”, and 365 negative (commandments), ways to get closer to HaShem, “Thou shalt nots”. Yet, not all 613 apply to one person.  Some are for men, some are for women, some for kings, some for Levitical priests and the Temple, which currently is no longer standing, and some for farmers in Israel.

Our Sages explain that this verse also serves as the source, which teaches us the exact number of Mitzvot.

The numerical value of the Hebrew word Torah, is 611.

Moses conveyed 611, to the Jewish people.

The first two of the Ten Commandments - "I am the L-rd, your G-d," and "You shall have no other gods before Me," we heard from G-d, Himself, at Mount Sinai.

Thus, there are a total of 613 mitzvot, which the Jewish people are commanded to observe."

The Torah is good and no Christian denies that. The Old Testament can be used to teach us, instruct us and help us, as Paul makes plain in 2 Timothy 3:16. I need not repeat myself and I still direct the readers to the articles posted above.

To be honest, there really isn't much to say except for what I already said about the Gentiles in the early church.

"Daniel Botkin, in his article; “Christians Keeping Old Testament Commandments? Not a Yes/No Question, but a Question of Which Ones” writes:  


“So how many commandments are Christians still supposed to keep?  Or we might ask, How many of the “613” commandments can we still keep?  Years ago, Chafetz Chayim listed all the Torah commandments which can still be observed today…. The Chafetz Chayim lists 77 positive commandments (things we are still commanded to do), 194 negative commandments (prohibitions), and 26 commandments which apply only in the land of Israel.  That makes a total of 271 for people outside Israel, and 297 for people living in Israel.  That’s 316 less than 613.  What happened to the other 316 commandments?  These are, for the most part, commandments which pertain to the Tabernacle/Temple service and sacrifices  which were administered by the Levitical priesthood.”

The bondage spoken of in the Renewed Covenant is not talking about Torah, but about the additions to the Torah.  The tradition and doctrine of men and of demons (Col.2:8, 1Tim. 13:9) which were added (Mk. 7:9-13, Deut. 4:2,12:32, Rev.22:18,19) by men and raised to the level of authority of Torah itself, which in some cases nullifies the Torah. "

Bringing up the traditions of men doesn't address the fact that man consistently hasn't kept Torah through and through. May I remind people that no man has kept it perfectly, Hence Jesus came to fulfill what we could not and before anyone raises Deuteronomy 30 as an argument, I address that here: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/comments-on-deuteronomy-301-14.html

The Gentiles need not observe the Torah as articulated in Acts 15 which I have addressed in the paper above.

The context of Revelation 22:18 refers to the book of Revelation specifically, not the the canon of the scripture or a reference to adding or taking away from the Torah. Both sides will agree the traditions of man that don't exalt God need to be avoided.

"Yeshua agreed with the Pharisees in all points except divorce (Mt. 19:19) and traditions elevated to Torah status. (Mk. 7:1-13)  Rav Sha'ul (Paul) whom many use out of context to say the Torah has been done away with said the Torah is good. (Rom. 7:12)  Moreover, regarding the terms “under the law”, and “curse of the law”, these refer to the penalty under the law that has been done away with and “nailed to the cross”. (Col.2:13-14) That penalty is death. That is what grace is all about.  Our sin debt is what has been nailed to the cross, not the Torah.  The Torah was never the problem, our hearts were.  The Torah was not imperfect, our hearts were.  Regarding the phrase, “works of the law” in the Renewed Covenant, this refers to one counting on their Torah observance, their works, to secure their salvation.   Some know this as “Legalism”.  This is the negative definition of that word.  Nevertheless, when someone accuses me of being “Legalistic” I say, “I am guilty as charged!”, because I see, and use “Legalism” in the positive sense.  In other words, I would rather be “Legal” than “Illegal”!"

I won't deny Jesus destroyed any notion that man made traditions were on par with scripture and that the penalty was removed, but once again, You cannot observe the Torah completely, hence as said before why Jesus came to fulfill, NOT abolish, but fulfill. If you ask me, I am not interested in legalism OR licence, I am interested in liberty, biblical liberty in the Spirit. Also as I have stated in my article on Acts 15:

"the charge that somehow Christians who do not keep the Mosaic Law are somehow Denying that the law is Perfect, Just, Good, Life, Truth, Light, Way, Freedom and Holy, is down right reprehensible".

No Christian denies the Torah is good, it is good. Paul goes on to explain that he delights in God's law but knows he fails on occasion. . But that doesn't automatically entail Gentiles are to observe The Mosaic Law, Even Modern Rabbinic Judaism doesn't require Gentiles to observe Torah, but just observe the seven Laws of Noah. It's not the same as Acts 15, but pretty similar.

"“It has been brought to my attention on more than one occasion that Christians are not under the law. This statement of Rav Shaul's is taken out of letters to various assemblies of the called out ones. The most amazing thing to me is that Christians rest on this out of context statement even when presented with the truth. The argument goes that, if we try to keep any part of the law then we have put ourselves back under its authority, and voided our salvation. Yet every time a Christian sins, they are admitting that they are indeed under the law. How and Why is as follows. If I stand on the principle that there is no law, believing that when Paul wrote 'for where there is no law there is no sin', then to confess that I have sinned is hypocritical. If I say that the Torah (wrongly translated Law) has ended, then there is no need to confess any so-called sin. However, (John) says very clearly that if we confess our 'sin' we are forgiven, and that if we say we have no sin we are liars. So, how do we reconcile this conundrum? First, we must look at what Christians are really trying to say. Second, we must look at what Ha Shem has really said. Thirdly, we must develop a peace and determination in ourselves about following the truth."

When a Christian sins, he doesn't put himself back under the law. It's trying to keep the law for your salvation that puts you back under the law. If however they are trying to use the Torah to make themselves right with God and they sin at the same time, THEN they are in bondage. To be perfectly honest, the arguments presented will only refute anti-nomians.

"Having listened to and spoken with over a thousand learned Christians scholars this is the gist. What Christians are really trying to say is, that "Christ died for our sins and that this death removed not only our sins but also magically removed the cause of our sins the law. Now, we are set free from the control of the law and able to have peace with G-d, through the blood of Christ. You must understand it was the law itself that was weak and ineffective, and therefore had to be removed. Really, you are damned if you try to live by the law, and not by faith. For the Holy Spirit of G-d will come into you and change your heart so that no matter what you do, G-d can't see the sin in you, or the sins you commit. Most importantly anyone who tries to tell you to live a Torah obedient life or keep any part of the law is a Judaizer and is evil.

Okay, so obviously I do not agree with this view… Your mom says to you when you are a kid, "Don’t drink the chocolate milk before dinner." Being a kid, you drink it, and your mom catches you. However, after you beg not to be punished, and she extends mercy and does not punish you, does that mean that from now on you can get a glass of chocolate milk before dinner? Of course not! Unless she says, "Okay, from now on you can get a glass of chocolate milk before dinner," otherwise, the rule still applies. "

The analogy is false because a Christian isn't claiming you can beg for forgiveness then continue in that sin and refuse to repent. I need not repeat that I have said about the food laws. Even if it's not your intention to be a Judaizer, you don't have a right to put Gentiles under the Torah when the apostles themselves DID NOT do such.

"here once was a man who had two sons; he wanted to give them joy, so he thought to do a magic trick for them. He placed a small soft red ball in his hand, made a motion, closed his hand and said some words, then swoosh opened his hand and it was gone. The shock and amazement on his sons’ faces as they looked and the wondrous joy they expressed was the reward he wanted, as the boys scurried off to tell their friends. The truth however is that the ball never went anywhere it is simply in the other hand.

This is Christianity in a nutshell. The law is the little red ball. The old man is the Catholic Church; the children are unlearned disciples. The illusion is that the law is gone, poof. The sons are none the wiser and tell others what the old man did.

Scripturally you cannot do away with the law anymore than the man could make the ball truly disappear, yet that is what they want you to believe, that they have made the law to disappear. For Yeshua Himself said 'heaven and earth will pass away before one yod (jot) or tageen (tittle) of the Torah would disappear.’"

Matthew 5:17-20 has already been addressed in the article above. Do I honestly need to repeat myself? Plus using the Catholic Church as an argument against a particular position is a genetic fallacy, That's like saying Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman got Razzie awards for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, therefore all movies they wrote must be bad.

Considering Messianic Jews and Gentile Christians will agree the Catholic Church is not the oldest church, let alone the first, The one who made the analogy should know better than to use the Catholic Church as an argument against a teaching.

Catholicism has been condemned by my website and shall continue to be such.

"Very simply said, if there is no law, why would you confess to breaking it? I will not go into my scant on the book of Hebrews. Suffice it to say this is the book that is used and misused by so many to confuse and twist the truth. If as Christians claim the book of Hebrews teaches that the law was weak and ineffectual, then the Christian G-d is weak and imperfect. How and why would the true EL create a defective set of laws for us to follow, having then to send the Messiah to be slaughtered, just to be able then to remove it? This all-powerful, all-loving, all-knowing, all-just G-d would not be so powerful, loving, knowing, or just, huh? Could this be why so many people are now leaving the Catholic and Christian churches? Christians cannot understand why the Jews do not get it. I understand why, you see, you cannot have a perfect G-d, and then have him not so perfect. You cannot have the TeNaCK, and then have the works of Paul translated in a way that contradicts the TeNaCK. Unless something is lost in the translation, this may be why we supposedly only have Greek translations of the ReNewed Covenant texts. "

Simple, The moral law from the Torah, MINUS the death penalty is applicable to Christians but the ceremonial (food laws, sabbath, uncleanliness from sexual emission etc.) Christians do not teach a weak God when we tell you that the law of Moses is not applicable to the Gentiles.

Furthermore, Some could make the argument that Paul isn't saying that Gentiles are free from the Torah's demands, quite to the contrary, he doesn't say they are under it. The law is there for a number of reasons, to show you how bad you are, and to point to the one who can save you, namely Christ. Even Christ says in the Gospels "search the scriptures for they bear witness of me."

I know many say they do not keep the Torah to hold onto salvation but because they love the Lord and that is admirable, but at the same time, they should NOT be forcing Torah Observance on Gentiles, otherwise there is a danger of following in the footsteps of the Judaizers, even if that isn't your intention as I have stated earlier.

God is indeed perfect, as is the Torah, but the Torah itself CANNOT bring your salvation to you, Only God's grace can bring you such.

"Adonai's word however, never changes. How could a perfect EL (G-D) give something of Himself, and have it be weak and ineffectual? It is not the Torah that is weak, it is us; we are the defective part, made that way by original sin. Messiah Yeshua comes and shows us how to live the Torah, and then cleanses our hearts so that we would be able to have the Torah written on them. Then we will be able to live in the Way that HaShem intended, in a right way, in a right standing, righteous. The Torah is not the enemy of the Christian, but the Christian can be, and usually is, the enemy of the Torah. The Messiah did not come to give us a new Torah. No, He came to cleanse us, to give us a new heart so that we could keep the Torah. Yochanan did not say, "Behold the Lamb of G-d who takes away that weak and ineffective Torah." No, he said, “Behold the Lamb of G-d who takes away the SIN of the world.” Sin is what you get when you break the Torah, the evidence that the Torah remains in effect. Can you see the wind? No, but you see the effects of the wind blowing. The same is true of the Torah. You know it is still in effect because of sin. If there were no Torah, then there would be no sin; no wind, no breeze, it really is that simple. The Torah Remains, Baruch HaShem!"

Does Jesus tell the Gentiles via his apostles even implicitly that the Gentiles are to observe the Torah? No. I need not repeat myself. Furthermore, sin existed BEFORE the Torah. Hello, The fall of Adam and Eve doesn't ring any bells?

Now I am not attributing this belief to the one who made the comment, but I have come across one group that even said Adam and Eve kept Torah IN the Garden of Eden (which isn't the case).

For that matter, in Genesis 9, the consumption of blood along with animals that were still alive were not to be consumed, but there was none of the prohibitions that came in the Torah to the Jews. Once we get the New Testament, we have the vision that Peter recieved in Acts 10 were Jesus says "Don't call anything unclean, that GOD HAS MADE CLEAN".

Before anyone objects and say it only refers to his Gentile ministry and not to food, Read the article on Torah Observance I have already written above.

"The only thing left is for you to determine where you will stand. Will you stand on the side of Torah or on the side without Torah? Anomia is the Greek word for “without or against law”. The word literally means against or without the Torah. It is from the word Anomia that the best translators derive the English word lawlessness. Lawlessness--let us break it down; Law+less+ness, lawless is pretty clear: less the law, or without the law, ness: meaning being in a state of. Therefore, lawlessness is to be in a state of, against or without the law. Yochanan (John) says that all sin is lawlessness. Putting it back in Hebraic thought, sin is being in a state against or without the Torah. There can be no lawlessness if there is no law. No law would therefore mean no 'man of lawlessness' as Paul predicted. 

Therefore, where do you, or where will you stand. May His peace seek you out and overtake you, and may you grow in a deeper walk with Yeshua, and may the Ruach HaKodesh empower you for the walk.”"

Failing to take into consideration that the apostles did not put Gentiles under the Torah which I have covered already.

More objections maybe covered in another article.

For more information, I also recommend others to read the following paper on these issues:
http://messiahsmandate.org/jews-gentiles-and-law-iii-20-points-why-gentiles-are-not-called-to-keep-torah/
http://messiahsmandate.org/jews-gentiles-and-the-torah-part-iv-point-12-20/

Answering Judaism.