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Soyeong
01-18-2014, 02:40 PM
(Copied from Facebook)

The context of Mark 7 is stated here:

Mark 7:3-4 (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. 4 When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.)

The Pharisees had many traditions that they needed to follow or else food that was normally clean could become unclean. So their objection in verse 5 was not that the disciples were breaking dietary laws found in the Torah, but that they were becoming ceremonially unclean by eating bread with unwashed hands.

Mark 7:16 “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

This phrase in verse 16 was commonly used to indicate the end of a parable, and indeed the disciples asked Jesus about the meaning of the parable in verse 17, so the parable must have been verse 15.

Mark 7:15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.”

Being a parable, it does not have a literal meaning, but a figurative meaning that is use to give a moral teaching. Jesus explains in verses 18-23 that it is immoral thoughts and actions that make us unclean, rather than eating with unwashed hands.

Matthew 15:19-20 For out of the heart come evil thoughts-murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.

The conclusion of the parallel account in Matthew 15 makes it clear that Jesus was still talking in contrast to ceremonial hand washing and never switched topics to eating unclean meat. So the hypocrisy of the Pharisees was that they were more concerned with their own traditions concerning ceremonial purity than with what God said about spiritual purity. By adding their own traditions on top of what the Torah said they were obscuring it and completely missing the moral teaching. In verses 6-13, Jesus criticized them for setting aside the commands of God in favor of keeping their traditions, so it would have been very hypocritical if Jesus had turned around and set aside the commands of God a few verses later and declared everything was permissible to eat. That would have immediately disqualified him from being the Messiah and caused the Pharisees to try to kill him.

Deuteronomy 13:1-5 If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, 2 and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” 3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. 5 That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. That prophet or dreamer tried to turn you from the way the LORD your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.

Any prophet who teaches God’s people to go against God’s commands is by definition a false prophet. Christians who claim that Jesus tried to turn the people from the way that God commanded them to follow are the number one reason why religious Jews reject him today.

Matthew 5:17-19 “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. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Again, I have trouble reconciling these verses with the claim that Jesus was setting aside commands of God in Mark 7:19. Even if you think the Resurrection did away with the Law, this was said before that happened.

We still consider certain foods to be unclean, we just disagree about which ones they are. In Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, God told the Jews which things were permissible to eat as food and which things weren’t, so they didn’t even consider the things that weren’t to be in the same category as food, in a similar way that we don’t consider the meat of rats, bats, snakes, lizards, vultures, humans, etc. to be food. So when Jews talk about eating from the category of things that are food, it would be a mistake to think they are also talking about eating unclean animals, unless it is specifically mentioned. It’s important to note that the Greek word koinais (“common”) is used in reference to manmade traditions and does not connote the same thing as the Greek word for what God has declared to be “unclean”, so there is no indication the food mentioned in Mark 7 is anything other than what the Torah permits Jews to eat. I think Mark 7:19b could be fairly paraphrased as: Thus he declared all things given by God as food to be clean, regardless of ritual hand washing.

There is a lot of debate surrounding the proper translation of Mark 7:19b. Some translators say it is parenthetical by Mark or Jesus while others think it should say purging all food, and that Jesus is say that the impurities from eating with unwashed hands don’t make you unclean because they are purged as waste. However you interpret it, it’s important to keep the context in mind. Did Jesus, a devout Jew who was sinless and kept the Torah perfectly, make a radical statement that was against God’s commands that would have sent shock waves through his audience, but which no one seemed to notice? Or did Jesus simply point out that it doesn’t matter how much effort you put in to being ceremonially pure if they are not spiritually pure?

JohnnyP
01-18-2014, 03:27 PM
Or did Jesus simply point out that it doesn’t matter how much effort you put in to being ceremonially pure if they are not spiritually pure?

That -- he was saying there's nothing magical to damn a Jew if he mistakenly eats bacon. He's not saying for Jews to go ahead and eat it though.

Soyeong
01-18-2014, 03:46 PM
That -- he was saying there's nothing magical to damn a Jew if he mistakenly eats bacon. He's not saying for Jews to go ahead and eat it though.
The subject was eating food that was normally clean being made ceremonially unclean by eating it with unwashed hands, so neither kosher laws or unintentional sins were mentioned. Furthermore, it was never a sin to become ceremonially unclean, so Mark 7 has absolutely nothing to do with the redefining what counts as sin.

KingsGambit
01-18-2014, 04:24 PM
The inspired commentary within verse 19 states that it is a declaration of cleanliness, so this seems to be an open and shut case.

Quantum Weirdness
01-18-2014, 04:31 PM
(Copied from Facebook)

The context of Mark 7 is stated here:

Mark 7:3-4 (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. 4 When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.)

The Pharisees had many traditions that they needed to follow or else food that was normally clean could become unclean. So their objection in verse 5 was not that the disciples were breaking dietary laws found in the Torah, but that they were becoming ceremonially unclean by eating bread with unwashed hands.

Mark 7:16 “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

This phrase in verse 16 was commonly used to indicate the end of a parable, and indeed the disciples asked Jesus about the meaning of the parable in verse 17, so the parable must have been verse 15.

Mark 7:15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.”

Being a parable, it does not have a literal meaning, but a figurative meaning that is use to give a moral teaching. Jesus explains in verses 18-23 that it is immoral thoughts and actions that make us unclean, rather than eating with unwashed hands.

Matthew 15:19-20 For out of the heart come evil thoughts-murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.

The conclusion of the parallel account in Matthew 15 makes it clear that Jesus was still talking in contrast to ceremonial hand washing and never switched topics to eating unclean meat. So the hypocrisy of the Pharisees was that they were more concerned with their own traditions concerning ceremonial purity than with what God said about spiritual purity. By adding their own traditions on top of what the Torah said they were obscuring it and completely missing the moral teaching. In verses 6-13, Jesus criticized them for setting aside the commands of God in favor of keeping their traditions, so it would have been very hypocritical if Jesus had turned around and set aside the commands of God a few verses later and declared everything was permissible to eat. That would have immediately disqualified him from being the Messiah and caused the Pharisees to try to kill him.

Deuteronomy 13:1-5 If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, 2 and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” 3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. 5 That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. That prophet or dreamer tried to turn you from the way the LORD your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.

Any prophet who teaches God’s people to go against God’s commands is by definition a false prophet. Christians who claim that Jesus tried to turn the people from the way that God commanded them to follow are the number one reason why religious Jews reject him today.

Matthew 5:17-19 “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. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Again, I have trouble reconciling these verses with the claim that Jesus was setting aside commands of God in Mark 7:19. Even if you think the Resurrection did away with the Law, this was said before that happened.

We still consider certain foods to be unclean, we just disagree about which ones they are. In Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, God told the Jews which things were permissible to eat as food and which things weren’t, so they didn’t even consider the things that weren’t to be in the same category as food, in a similar way that we don’t consider the meat of rats, bats, snakes, lizards, vultures, humans, etc. to be food. So when Jews talk about eating from the category of things that are food, it would be a mistake to think they are also talking about eating unclean animals, unless it is specifically mentioned. It’s important to note that the Greek word koinais (“common”) is used in reference to manmade traditions and does not connote the same thing as the Greek word for what God has declared to be “unclean”, so there is no indication the food mentioned in Mark 7 is anything other than what the Torah permits Jews to eat. I think Mark 7:19b could be fairly paraphrased as: Thus he declared all things given by God as food to be clean, regardless of ritual hand washing.

There is a lot of debate surrounding the proper translation of Mark 7:19b. Some translators say it is parenthetical by Mark or Jesus while others think it should say purging all food, and that Jesus is say that the impurities from eating with unwashed hands don’t make you unclean because they are purged as waste. However you interpret it, it’s important to keep the context in mind. Did Jesus, a devout Jew who was sinless and kept the Torah perfectly, make a radical statement that was against God’s commands that would have sent shock waves through his audience, but which no one seemed to notice? Or did Jesus simply point out that it doesn’t matter how much effort you put in to being ceremonially pure if they are not spiritually pure?

Umm the Deut verses has to do with those who are preaching in the name of other gods, not about eating "unclean" foods. The Matthew verses just say that the Old covenant will remain intact until Heaven and earth pass away. Check Matt 24:35 for a parallel (see here http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+24&version=NIV)

Soyeong
01-18-2014, 05:23 PM
Umm the Deut verses has to do with those who are preaching in the name of other gods, not about eating "unclean" foods.

Deuteronomy 13:1-5 If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, 2 and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” 3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. 5 That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. That prophet or dreamer tried to turn you from the way the LORD your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.

Deuteronomy speaks both of teaching them to follow other gods and teaching them to not follow God's commands. The kosher laws are part of God's commands, so if Jesus had been teaching against keeping kosher in Mark 7, then he would have been a false prophet.


The Matthew verses just say that the Old covenant will remain intact until Heaven and earth pass away. Check Matt 24:35 for a parallel (see here http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+24&version=NIV)

I don't think he was talking about the Old covenant there.

Soyeong
01-18-2014, 05:26 PM
The inspired commentary within verse 19 states that it is a declaration of cleanliness, so this seems to be an open and shut case.
I'm bringing into question both whether the commentary is the correct translation and if it is whether the context refers to ceremonial cleanliness because kosher laws were never brought up. He's an article that deals with the Greek:

http://www.torahresource.com/EnglishArticles/Mark7.19ShortNote.pdf

JohnnyP
01-18-2014, 06:16 PM
The subject was eating food that was normally clean being made ceremonially unclean by eating it with unwashed hands, so neither kosher laws or unintentional sins were mentioned. Furthermore, it was never a sin to become ceremonially unclean, so Mark 7 has absolutely nothing to do with the redefining what counts as sin.

Mark 7:15 "Nothing..." would seem to be nothing, including kosher. So I would stick with the idea that it's not the food in some magic way, but disobedience to God, that defiles.

Jesus and disciples had been healing people including the woman with an issue in Mark 5. Leviticus 15 does command washing after touching such people. Since Jesus was not a false prophet teaching to ignore God's Laws, I assume they observed that part of the Law. However I don't see anything about washing before you eat in that part of Written Law.

So it seems some Jews were overdoing it just to play it safe, and Jesus was admonishing them for being superstitious and adding to God's Law. As well as for not being more concerned about spiritual purity.

Quantum Weirdness
01-18-2014, 06:38 PM
Deuteronomy 13:1-5 If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, 2 and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” 3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. 5 That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. That prophet or dreamer tried to turn you from the way the LORD your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.

Deuteronomy speaks both of teaching them to follow other gods and teaching them to not follow God's commands. The kosher laws are part of God's commands, so if Jesus had been teaching against keeping kosher in Mark 7, then he would have been a false prophet.




I don't think he was talking about the Old covenant there.

Yeah you are to obey God but what if God wishes to annul a commandment? Why cant God do that?

The prophet tried to turn them from YHWH by speaking in the name of other gods and say that these other gods should be worshipped specifically.
And can't God command different things that don't contradict his character?

The parallel was to heaven and earth passing away (which links back to matt 5 where the same Greek (I think) is used).
Jesus is more or less saying in Matt 5 that the Old covenant was still available (in his day) and that he was not there to abolish it.
The part about the commandments refers to the commandments he gave them after matt 5:19 (the logic follows from verses 17 and 18 because these commandments are based on the law which Jesus set out to teach).

Soyeong
01-18-2014, 07:49 PM
Mark 7:15 "Nothing..." would seem to be nothing, including kosher. So I would stick with the idea that it's not the food in some magic way, but disobedience to God, that defiles.

There is a difference between the word used for unclean animals and becoming ceremonially unclean. The Greek word used in Mark 7:15 is koinais, which refers to nothing entering the body making it ceremonially unclean. Both the context and the word used do not refer the kosher laws. I'm not sure why you're bringing up magic, it's about Temple purity.


Jesus and disciples had been healing people including the woman with an issue in Mark 5. Leviticus 15 does command washing after touching such people. Since Jesus was not a false prophet teaching to ignore God's Laws, I assume they observed that part of the Law. However I don't see anything about washing before you eat in that part of Written Law.
When the woman touched Jesus in Mark 5 he became ceremonially unclean, but as I said earlier, there is no sin in that. That just means that Jesus had to purify himself before he did things related to the Temple. You are correct that washing hands before you eat is not part of the written law; it is part of the oral law. It is this oral law that Jesus countermanded; not the written law.


So it seems some Jews were overdoing it just to play it safe, and Jesus was admonishing them for being superstitious and adding to God's Law. As well as for not being more concerned about spiritual purity.
It had nothing to do with being superstitious and everything to do with interpreting the Torah on the side of caution. It really does make no sense for Jesus to criticize them for setting aside the commands of God in favor of keeping their traditions, only to set aside the commands of God a few verses later.

JohnnyP
01-18-2014, 08:13 PM
There is a difference between the word used for unclean animals and ceremonially unclean. The Greek word used in Mark 7:15 is koinais, which refers to nothing entering the body making it ceremonially unclean. Both the context and the word used do not refer the kosher laws.

Eating an unclean animal makes one unclean.


Leviticus 11:43 Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby.


I'm not sure why you're bringing up magic, it's about Temple purity. When the woman touched Jesus in Mark 5 he became ceremonially unclean, but as I said earlier, there is no sin in that. That just means that Jesus had to purify himself before he did things related to the Temple.

Commands aren't necessarily related to the Temple (there was no Temple in days of Leviticus anyway), for example:


Leviticus 15:18 The woman also with whom man shall lie with seed of copulation, they shall both bathe themselves in water, and be unclean until the even.

They had to wash, whether they went to a Temple or not.


You are correct that washing hands before you eat is not part of the written law; it is part of the oral law. It is this oral law that Jesus countermanded, not the written law.

Agree.


It had nothing to do with being superstitious and everything to do with interpreting the Torah on the side of caution.

Superstition as in, God's gonna get me if I don't wash my hands just in case...


It really does make no sense for Jesus to criticize them for setting aside the commands of God in favor of keeping their traditions, only to set aside the commands of God a few verses later.

Agree.

Soyeong
01-18-2014, 08:29 PM
Yeah you are to obey God but what if God wishes to annul a commandment? Why cant God do that?

The prophet tried to turn them from YHWH by speaking in the name of other gods and say that these other gods should be worshipped specifically.
And can't God command different things that don't contradict his character?

Romans 7:12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

James 1:25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

1 John 3:4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.

The Torah is perfect and holy, why would God change it? Sin is an affront to God's character, why we He change what was sin? Jesus said he came not to interpret the Torah in a way that undermines, but to interpret it properly. Teaching against keeping the kosher laws would have undermined it. There is consistent high praise for the Torah throughout the OT and NT and Jesus kept the Torah perfectly, so it doesn't strike as something that he would be annul. And if he had planned to annul some of his commands, it doesn't make much sense to instruct his people to kill anyone who taught against his people keeping them.


The parallel was to heaven and earth passing away (which links back to matt 5 where the same Greek (I think) is used).
Jesus is more or less saying in Matt 5 that the Old covenant was still available (in his day) and that he was not there to abolish it.
The part about the commandments refers to the commandments he gave them after matt 5:19 (the logic follows from verses 17 and 18 because these commandments are based on the law which Jesus set out to teach).
I think you're confusing the Old covenant with the Torah.

Soyeong
01-18-2014, 09:15 PM
Eating an unclean animal makes one unclean.
My mistake. I wasn't thinking and overstated my case, sorry. It still stands though that the word for animals that God has declared unclean is different from the word used for made common in Mark 7:15. The distinction between the different words is clear in the Greek in Acts 10:14.


Commands aren't necessarily related to the Temple (there was no Temple in days of Leviticus anyway), for example:

Leviticus 15:18 The woman also with whom man shall lie with seed of copulation, they shall both bathe themselves in water, and be unclean until the even.

They had to wash, whether they went to a Temple or not.

It's true that they had to wash, but I'm talking about the consequences of being made unclean being primarily in regards to the Temple. In other words, Leviticus 15:18 is not saying the man and woman sinned, they just needed to wash and couldn't do anything in regards to the Temple until the evening.


Superstition as in, God's gonna get me if I don't wash my hands just in case...
The consequence of sin is death and Jews had to slay a spotless animal as a sacrifice that died in their place, so avoiding sin was very important to them. It was possible to sin accidentally, so they erred on the side of caution, out of the desire to be holy and obedient to God. Perhaps some were superstitious, but that was not the purpose of the oral law.

Bill the Cat
01-19-2014, 05:06 AM
This phrase in verse 16 was commonly used to indicate the end of a parable

It was used in Revelation to indicate the end of a teaching, not necessarily a parable.

Paprika
01-19-2014, 06:38 AM
Soyeong, I want to clarify your stand: Christians are supposed to follow the OT laws recorded in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy. Is that accurate?

Quantum Weirdness
01-19-2014, 06:58 AM
Romans 7:12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

James 1:25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

1 John 3:4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.
The Torah is perfect and holy, why would God change it? Sin is an affront to God's character, why we He change what was sin? Jesus said he came not to interpret the Torah in a way that undermines, but to interpret it properly. Teaching against keeping the kosher laws would have undermined it. There is consistent high praise for the Torah throughout the OT and NT and Jesus kept the Torah perfectly, so it doesn't strike as something that he would be annul. And if he had planned to annul some of his commands, it doesn't make much sense to instruct his people to kill anyone who taught against his people keeping them.


I think you're confusing the Old covenant with the Torah.

Yeah the law is overall holy and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. Why can't the law be that way if changed? (BTW this doesn't mean it's perfect.)
Are you sure that the perfect law is the royal law (2:8)? Is the Torah really the law that gives freedom?
Yes everybody who sins commits lawlessness. But what is the law in this context? (I think it is the moral law)

We disagree on the Torah being perfect
Not so sure about the Law being in consistent high praise
1 Cor 15:56
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+15%3A56&version=NIV

Hebrews 10:1
For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year make perfect those who draw near
http://www.studylight.org/lex/grk/gwview.cgi?n=3551

Also Colossians 2:13-17
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,
14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.
15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.
17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=colossians+2&version=NIV

The Deut verses teach about killing a false prophet for preaching in the name of other gods and Christ was turning people to God by annulling these obsolete laws and making new commandments.
The Deut verses are essentially saying "I (God) command you to do this, don't listen to him". But can't God command something else through a prophet?

About your last line,
Isn't the Torah part of the Old Covenant?

Soyeong
01-19-2014, 09:22 AM
It was used in Revelation to indicate the end of a teaching, not necessarily a parable.
True, but his disciples specifically ask him about the parable in the next verse.

robrecht
01-19-2014, 09:33 AM
Soyeong, in your initial post, you discuss this issue at multiple levels, eg, that of the historical Jesus, as well as the texts of Mark and even Matthew. If you want to discuss the Greek text of Mark, and only the Greek text of Mark's gospel, I suggest that is the best place to start this discussion. There I think the answer is pretty easy to see, or at least much easier to discuss, at least for those who know Greek, and from there one is free to speculate on other levels, such as speculating about the historical Jesus, or to look at how Matthew has redacted the text of Mark.

robrecht
01-19-2014, 09:35 AM
"Will anyone undertake to say what is meant by the last clause of the verse as it stands in the English version, and as it must stand, so long as καθαρίζον [katharizon] is read?"

- Frederick Henry Ambrose Scrivener

"It would be a waste of time to notice and to refute the various explanations that have been given of the clause καθαρίζον πάντα τὰ βρώματα [katharizon panta ta brwmata], all of them equally repugnant to grammar and common sense."

- Frederick Field

Soyeong
01-19-2014, 09:37 AM
Soyeong, I want to clarify your stand: Christians are supposed to follow the OT laws recorded in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy. Is that accurate?

Romans 3:31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

Romans 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Romans 7:7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law.

Yes, being a slave to righteousness is being obedient to the Torah. Being under the law means being under its judgement and its justification. We are not under the Torah because we are justified by grace through faith and Jesus paid the penalty for breaking the law, however, Paul still says that we aren't free break it and that we should uphold the law.

Paprika
01-19-2014, 09:48 AM
And if he had planned to annul some of his commands, it doesn't make much sense to instruct his people to kill anyone who taught against his people keeping them.
As much as you want to have it otherwise, the commandment to kill prophets referred only to prophets that advocated worshipping other gods.

Paprika
01-19-2014, 09:52 AM
Romans 3:31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

Romans 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Romans 7:7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law.

Yes, being a slave to righteousness is being obedient to the Torah. Being under the law means being under its judgement and its justification. We are not under the Torah because we are justified by grace through faith and Jesus paid the penalty for breaking the law, however, Paul still says that we aren't free break it and that we should uphold the law.
Thanks for replying. I do want to give a longer response now but it's late and I should really be sleeping now. I do have a few questions for you until I get a full response up:

1) Should Christians keep the Passover, that is with unleavened bread and the rest of it?
2) Should Christians circumcise their male children?
3) If there is another Temple built in Jerusalem, should Christians go there to offer sacrifices?

Lastly, since we're throwing Bible verses around :wink:, I have one for you:

Galatians 2:19 "For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God."

Soyeong
01-19-2014, 09:59 AM
Soyeong, in your initial post, you discuss this issue at multiple levels, eg, that of the historical Jesus, as well as the texts of Mark and even Matthew. If you want to discuss the Greek text of Mark, and only the Greek text of Mark's gospel, I suggest that is the place to start this discussion. There I think the answer is pretty easy to see, or at least much easier to discuss, at least for those who know Greek, and from there one is free to speculate on other levels, such as speculating about the historical Jesus or looking at how Matthew has redacted the text of Mark.


"Will anyone undertake to say what is meant by the last clause of the verse as it stands in the English version, and as it must stand, so long as καθαρίζον [katharizon] is read?"

- Frederick Henry Ambrose Scrivener

"It would be a waste of time to notice and to refute the various explanations that have been given of the clause καθαρίζον πάντα τὰ βρώματα [katharizon panta ta brwmata], all of them equally repugnant to grammar and common sense."

- Frederick Field
I will admit to not being an expert in Greek. As Frederick Field said, it may be a waste of time to argue for various explanations, but my point is that there is disagreement among Greek scholars, so it doesn't need to be translated as a commentary by Jesus or Mark, but more importantly, even if it were, the context is strongly about a ceremonial law. Furthermore, there are good reasons why we wouldn't expect Jesus or any prophet of God to speak against keeping the commands of God, especially when Jesus criticized the Pharisees for keeping their traditions in favor of keeping the command of God just a few verses earlier.

robrecht
01-19-2014, 10:00 AM
Romans 3:31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

Romans 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Romans 7:7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law.

Yes, being a slave to righteousness is being obedient to the Torah. Being under the law means being under its judgement and its justification. We are not under the Torah because we are justified by grace through faith and Jesus paid the penalty for breaking the law, however, Paul still says that we aren't free break it and that we should uphold the law.

A much better Pauline parallel can be found in his letter to the Romans, Chapter 14:

14:13 Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean (ὅτι οὐδὲν κοινὸν δι᾿ ἑαυτοῦ, εἰ μὴ τῷ λογιζομένῳ τι κοινὸν εἶναι). 15 If your brother or sister is being injured by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died. 16 So do not let your good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not food (βρῶσις) and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 The one who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and has human approval. 19 Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. 20 Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean (μὴ ἕνεκεν βρώματος κατάλυε τὸ ἔργον τοῦ θεοῦ. πάντα μὲν καθαρά), but it is wrong for you to make others fall by what you eat; 21 it is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that makes your brother or sister stumble. 22 The faith that you have, have as your own conviction before God. Blessed are those who have no reason to condemn themselves because of what they approve. 23 But those who have doubts are condemned if they eat, because they do not act from faith; for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

robrecht
01-19-2014, 10:04 AM
I will admit to not being an expert in Greek. As Frederick Field said, it may be a waste of time to argue for various explanations, but my point is that there is disagreement among Greek scholars, so it doesn't need to be translated as a commentary by Jesus or Mark, but more importantly, even if it were, the context is strongly about a ceremonial law. Furthermore, there are good reasons why we wouldn't expect Jesus or any prophet of God to speak against keeping the commands of God, especially when Jesus criticized the Pharisees for keeping their traditions in favor of keeping the command of God just a few verses earlier.Just because some scholars disagree, that does not mean that you should pick and choose those who happen to agree with you, without understanding how and why they disagree. When people merely do that, then it is indeed pointless to argue for the correctness of a true explanation. Frederick Field did not really say it is a waste of time to argue for various explanations, but that it is a waste of time "to notice and to refute the various explanations that have been given of the clause καθαρίζον πάντα τὰ βρώματα [katharizon panta ta brwmata], all of them equally repugnant to grammar and common sense." To date no one has advanced a good argument for this reading that is grammatically correct and meets the requirements of common sense.

Soyeong
01-19-2014, 12:22 PM
Yeah the law is overall holy and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. Why can't the law be that way if changed? (BTW this doesn't mean it's perfect.)
If the law needed to be changed, then it wasn't perfect, and I see no apparent reason for why law would needed to be given a change in the first place. I don't think it is something God would do, but even if He did, it would have been a major teaching and not some off-hand comment.


Are you sure that the perfect law is the royal law (2:8)? Is the Torah really the law that gives freedom?
Yes everybody who sins commits lawlessness. But what is the law in this context? (I think it is the moral law)
Absolutely, the Torah is being referred here is the royal law. The Jews did not make a distinction between the Laws of Moses and the moral law.

Psalms 19:7-10

7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.

Psalms 119

13 With my lips I recount
all the laws that come from your mouth.
14 I rejoice in following your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches.
15 I meditate on your precepts
and consider your ways.
16 I delight in your decrees;
I will not neglect your word.

33 Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees,
that I may follow it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
and obey it with all my heart.
35 Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.

43 Never take your word of truth from my mouth,
for I have put my hope in your laws.
44 I will always obey your law,
for ever and ever.
45 I will walk about in freedom,
for I have sought out your precepts.

70 Their hearts are callous and unfeeling,
but I delight in your law.
71 It was good for me to be afflicted
so that I might learn your decrees.
72 The law from your mouth is more precious to me
than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.

97 Oh, how I love your law!
I meditate on it all day long.
__

The praise for the law goes on, but it would be difficult to argue from the Psalms that they viewed the law as something that didn't give freedom.



We disagree on the Torah being perfect
Not so sure about the Law being in consistent high praise
1 Cor 15:56
The sting of death is sin, and the [B]power of sin is the law.
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+15%3A56&version=NIV

This verse is best understood in light of Romans 7:7-25:

What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. 9 I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. 10 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.


Hebrews 10:1
For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year make perfect those who draw near
http://www.studylight.org/lex/grk/gwview.cgi?n=3551

The author is not belittling the Torah, but it is giving it is place in the unfolding of God's work in history.


Also Colossians 2:13-17
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,
14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.
15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.
17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=colossians+2&version=NIV

Verses 18-23 give important context:

18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions,[d] puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

Not being judged for the things in verse 16 is referring to not being judged by those who were promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body.


The Deut verses teach about killing a false prophet for preaching in the name of other gods and Christ was turning people to God by annulling these obsolete laws and making new commandments.
The Deut verses are essentially saying "I (God) command you to do this, don't listen to him". But can't God command something else through a prophet?
The prophets had a consistent message of returning to God and obeying His commands, not modifying them. The Scriptures were the standard by which Jews would accept new teaching. When Paul went to the Boreans, they first checked everything he said about Jesus with what was written in the OT to see that what he had said was true, otherwise, they would have rightfully rejected his message.


About your last line,
Isn't the Torah part of the Old Covenant?
No, the Torah actually contains a number of covenants.

Soyeong
01-19-2014, 12:26 PM
As much as you want to have it otherwise, the commandment to kill prophets referred only to prophets that advocated worshipping other gods.
If you think God was fine with those who taught against keeping his commands as long as they didn't teach them to follow other Gods, then you must be reading something different than I am.

Soyeong
01-19-2014, 01:04 PM
Thanks for replying. I do want to give a longer response now but it's late and I should really be sleeping now. I do have a few questions for you until I get a full response up:

1) Should Christians keep the Passover, that is with unleavened bread and the rest of it?
The Feasts of the Lord are God's feasts, not Jewish feasts, and they teach important lessons about God, so I think Christians should be keeping them. We will be keeping them in the Millennium (as well as the Sabbath), so I don't see a particular reason why we shouldn't keep them now.


2) Should Christians circumcise their male children?
The Bible only commands Gentiles to be circumcised if they want to celebrate Passover and eat of the lamb (Exodus 12:48). However, the Bible does not give instructions for how a Gentile is supposed to become a Jew, so that is part of the oral law. The Jews adopted the practice circumcision for that purpose and in their theology a Gentile had to become a Jew and obey all of the written and oral laws in order to be saved (Acts 15:1).

It's not that circumcision is bad for Christians, but that it needs to be done for the right reason. If they think that they are justified not by grace through faith, but by keeping the entire written and oral law and that need to be circumcised because of that, then they are getting circumcised for the wrong reason. If Christians choose to get circumcised because they want to celebrate Passover and eat of the lamb, then I think they are getting circumcised for the right reason.


3) If there is another Temple built in Jerusalem, should Christians go there to offer sacrifices?
There will be sacrifices in the Millennium, so I think that it would be good. Sacrifices teach us an important lesson about the seriousness of sin when we have to slay an animal that is being sacrificed in our place and is taking the punishment that we deserved.


Lastly, since we're throwing Bible verses around :wink:, I have one for you:

Galatians 2:19 "For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God."
Paul is contrasting being justified by faith rather than righteousness being gained through the law, so what he died to is a perversion of the Torah into the legalistic system.

JohnnyP
01-19-2014, 03:16 PM
The Bible only commands Gentiles to be circumcised if they want to celebrate Passover and eat of the lamb (Exodus 12:48).

Even after all our conversations I am still confused when you seem to say Gentiles ought to keep learning to observe all Torah after the initial necessaries of Acts 15, but you kind of waffle on the issue of circumcision which is also part of Torah.

Back to rewards or lack thereof in Olam Ha-Ba the afterlife: can you be more specific as to what happens to Gentiles who don't think they need to quit eating bacon and things like that and don't attempt to observe all Torah (which I will call non-observant for purposes of this conversation), vs. Gentiles who intend to observe all Torah even if they don't make it by the time of death (which I will call observant)?

Do observant Gentiles have some kind of higher rule or better place? Do non-observant Gentiles feel shame? Can you shed any light on what consequences Gentiles may face if they don't keep on trying to learn and observe Torah? Or is it all a mystery?

Soyeong
01-19-2014, 06:48 PM
A much better Pauline parallel can be found in his letter to the Romans, Chapter 14:

Romans 14:1 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.

The context of Romans 14 is addressing quarreling over opinions and disputable matters, not the commands of God.

Romans 14:2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables.

The weak are not those who keep Jewish dietary laws because eating only vegetables is not one of those laws. Rather, this is referring to various fasting and ascetic practices. If those who were keeping those practices were looking down on those who were not, or if those who could eat everything that was kosher were looking down on those who limited what they ate or refrained from eating meat sacrificed to idols, then we have exactly the type of conflict that Paul is addressing in this chapter.

Romans 14:5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

Once again, Paul is talking about matters of opinion, not about whether God esteems one day over another. He is the one who blessed the seventh day and declared it holy.


14:13 Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean (ὅτι οὐδὲν κοινὸν δι᾿ ἑαυτοῦ, εἰ μὴ τῷ λογιζομένῳ τι κοινὸν εἶναι).

I think κοινὸν refers to things that are common rather than animals God as declared to be unclean. Paul is talking about ritual purity here and because that only applied to Jews, his statement was meant to ease to conscious of any Gentiles who were still bothered in regard to such matters.


15 If your brother or sister is being injured by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died. 16 So do not let your good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not food (βρῶσις) and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 The one who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and has human approval. 19 Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. 20 Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God.

In Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, God told the Jews which things were permissible to eat as food and which things weren’t, so they didn’t even consider the things that weren’t to be in the same category as food, in a similar way that we don’t consider the meat of rats, bats, snakes, lizards, vultures, humans, etc. to be food. So when Jews talk about eating from the category of things that are food, it would be a mistake to think they are also talking about eating unclean animals, unless it is specifically mentioned.


Everything is indeed clean (μὴ ἕνεκεν βρώματος κατάλυε τὸ ἔργον τοῦ θεοῦ. πάντα μὲν καθαρά), but it is wrong for you to make others fall by what you eat;

This needs to be kept in context, so we shouldn't assume Paul is speaking against what God has declared clean. God's word is not divided against itself. If you told a guest that they could eat anything they wanted in the fridge, you both have a common understanding of obvious exceptions for what is permissible to eat as food. They understand that you are not giving them permission to eat the shelves and the containers.


21 it is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that makes your brother or sister stumble.

Here, Paul is talking about meat sacrificed to idols.

http://biblehub.com/thayers/2907.htm

Paprika
01-19-2014, 06:49 PM
Paul is contrasting being justified by faith rather than righteousness being gained through the law, so what he died to is a perversion of the Torah into the legalistic system.
The first half is correct, but the conclusion is not so. I'm sorry, but I think you're holding on too tightly to your theory to fairly judge contrary evidence. All the evidence points to Paul talking about the Mosaic law, as evidenced by his quotations from Deuteronomy:

Galatians 3:10-14: For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

Now of this law he says in verses 23-26 that "Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed.So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith."

Being "held captive" under the law counters your quotation from Psalm 119, by the way.

Now "the law" in Galatians may refer also to the oral traditions developed around the written law, but it doesn't refer to anything less than the latter. And to this law Paul writes that he has died to them. Yes, it is a polemic against righteousness through the works of the law, but it also has bearing on Paul's relationship on the law.

Paprika
01-19-2014, 06:53 PM
Even after all our conversations I am still confused when you seem to say Gentiles ought to keep learning to observe all Torah after the initial necessaries of Acts 15, but you kind of waffle on the issue of circumcision which is also part of Torah.

I think Acts 15 needs a relook: "But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved...But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.”

Again, Acts 15 may be talking about the oral law and traditions, but it is not talking about any less than the law of Moses, to which Peter replied "why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?"

Soyeong
01-19-2014, 06:54 PM
Just because some scholars disagree, that does not mean that you should pick and choose those who happen to agree with you, without understanding how and why they disagree. When people merely do that, then it is indeed pointless to argue for the correctness of a true explanation. Frederick Field did not really say it is a waste of time to argue for various explanations, but that it is a waste of time "to notice and to refute the various explanations that have been given of the clause καθαρίζον πάντα τὰ βρώματα [katharizon panta ta brwmata], all of them equally repugnant to grammar and common sense." To date no one has advanced a good argument for this reading that is grammatically correct and meets the requirements of common sense.
I agree, it should be clear in OP that I was not taking sides on what the Greek said, but looking at the more important matter of the context to help us decide what was meant. Do you think this article doesn't make a strong argument?

http://www.torahresource.com/EnglishArticles/Mark7.19ShortNote.pdf

Paprika
01-19-2014, 07:00 PM
If you think God was fine with those who taught against keeping his commands as long as they didn't teach them to follow other Gods, then you must be reading something different than I am.
Just as you claim that certain Pauline passages about food are taken out of contexts, yes, you are taking the Deuteronomy passage as regards the death penalty out of context.

In Deuteronomy, Moses does say, "The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen— just as you desired of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ And the Lord said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him."

The ending of the book is "And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, none like him for all the signs and the wonders that the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, and for all the mighty power and all the great deeds of terror that Moses did in the sight of all Israel."

Then we have the gospel writers and Paul in various ways portraying Jesus as a second Moses, someone greater than Moses.

Soyeong
01-19-2014, 08:19 PM
The first half is correct, but the conclusion is not so. I'm sorry, but I think you're holding on too tightly to your theory to fairly judge contrary evidence. All the evidence points to Paul talking about the Mosaic law, as evidenced by his quotations from Deuteronomy:

I wasn't saying that he wasn't talking about the Mosaic law, but that he was talking about a perversion of it.

Romans 9:30-32 What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness[d] did not succeed in reaching that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works.

Their problem wasn't with the fact that they kept the law, but with the way they kept it.


Galatians 3:10-14: For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

Here it pops up again where those who rely on works of the law for their own righteousness are under a curse. If they are justified by their works rather than by grace through faith, then they need to keep all of the Law. The curse is in reference to Deuteronomy 27:26.


Now of this law he says in verses 23-26 that "Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed.So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith."

Being "held captive" under the law counters your quotation from Psalm 119, by the way.

The issue between these verses and Psalm 119 is not that they counter each other, but that they are both correct. When follow the law is followed correctly by faith is brings freedom, but when it is perverted and followed legalistically by works, it is a prison. Jesus' death and resurrection did not end the legal part of the Torah, but the need for Jewish people to try to earn God's favor through the system which results from perverting the Torah into legalism.

---

Again, Acts 15 may be talking about the oral law and traditions, but it is not talking about any less than the law of Moses, to which Peter replied "why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?"

James 1:25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

James also reiterates that the Torah is perfect and is the law of liberty, so this is at odds with saying that it is a burden that no one could bear. Rather, the burden that no one could bear is rather the legalistic burden that the Pharisees had placed on people through the oral law.

JohnnyP
01-19-2014, 09:07 PM
I think Acts 15 needs a relook: "But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved...But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.”

Again, Acts 15 may be talking about the oral law and traditions, but it is not talking about any less than the law of Moses, to which Peter replied "why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?"

I state:


Acts 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;

That's it. Not, you should go on to observe all Torah and give up bacon and stuff like that. Should, should, should, is what Soyeong and other Messianic Jews and Judaizers say. But it's not there! And no reply as to negative consequences in the afterlife, as I have asked and even demanded to know.

I may agree with Soyeong that we as Gentiles may gain a greater understanding if we try to observe all Torah. Beyond that, I would like to know what the consequences are if we don't.

Therefore I would say to Gentiles, explore Torah as you can, however, "Matthew 5:34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all..."

Soyeong has already claimed to be Jewish by his mother, he has bound himself to Torah. Us Gentiles don't need to do the same but if we do, we better take it seriously.

JohnnyP
01-19-2014, 09:17 PM
Now Soyeong, I will say for every mitzvot you do not fulfill but have vowed to do, it will be held against you.


Romans 2:25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.

Soyeong
01-19-2014, 09:20 PM
Just as you claim that certain Pauline passages about food are taken out of contexts, yes, you are taking the Deuteronomy passage as regards the death penalty out of context.
Consistently throughout the OT, God wants His people to be obedient, so teaching His people to follow other gods or to disobey his commands amount to the same problem. At the very least, Jesus would have been denounced as a heretic, but we don't even see a reaction to what he said or any evidence that anyone in his audience understood him to be saying that. The Bible repeatedly warns against false teachers and the best way to determine that is to compare what they say to Scripture. If a prophet can perform signs and speak against the commands, then determining whether or not they are a false prophet becomes problematic.


Then we have the gospel writers and Paul in various ways portraying Jesus as a second Moses, someone greater than Moses.

Matthew 5:17-19 “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. 18 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. 19 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.

The Torah says God does not change, it will apply to Gentiles in the Millennium, Jesus said no part of the Torah would be done away with, and Paul says our faith in Jesus does not nullify the Torah, so where does this idea come from that God would change his mind and set aside His commandments?

Soyeong
01-19-2014, 10:11 PM
Even after all our conversations I am still confused when you seem to say Gentiles ought to keep learning to observe all Torah after the initial necessaries of Acts 15, but you kind of waffle on the issue of circumcision which is also part of Torah.

Sorry about the confusion. The only requirement in the Torah for Gentiles to get circumcised is in Exodus 12:48 where they are required if they want to participate in Passover and eat of the lamb. I think if Gentiles want to participate, then should get circumcised, but if they are trying to be justified through keeping the entire law, then they shouldn't.


Back to rewards or lack thereof in Olam Ha-Ba the afterlife: can you be more specific as to what happens to Gentiles who don't think they need to quit eating bacon and things like that and don't attempt to observe all Torah (which I will call non-observant for purposes of this conversation), vs. Gentiles who intend to observe all Torah even if they don't make it by the time of death (which I will call observant)?

Do observant Gentiles have some kind of higher rule or better place? Do non-observant Gentiles feel shame? Can you shed any light on what consequences Gentiles may face if they don't keep on trying to learn and observe Torah? Or is it all a mystery?
Eating unclean animals is an abomination to God, so it is a sin, and sinners fall under grace. We will be rewarded for our faithfulness in serving God and our perseverance for running the race, but we will place these crowns at the feet of Jesus.


Acts 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;

The context is in relation to burdening them with the legalism of oral law, not the Torah. The Torah was never described as a burden that no one could bear, but a delight to keep.


That's it. Not, you should go on to observe all Torah and give up bacon and stuff like that. Should, should, should, is what Soyeong and other Messianic Jews and Judaizers say. But it's not there! And no reply as to negative consequences in the afterlife, as I have asked and even demanded to know.

No, the Jadaizers were teaching that you had to convert to Judaism and follow all of the written and oral law in order to be saved. I'm saying nothing of the sort. Rather, I'm going along with what Paul said in Romans 3:31 and Romans 6:15-18 that being under grace doesn't mean we shouldn't follow the Torah.


Therefore I would say to Gentiles, explore Torah as you can, however, "Matthew 5:34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all..."

Huh?


Soyeong has already claimed to be Jewish by his mother, he has bound himself to Torah. Us Gentiles don't need to do the same but if we do, we better take it seriously.

I have done no such thing. I would be using the same arguments even if I were a Gentile because my herritage is irrelevant in this matter. Paul doesn't make a distinction between Jews and Gentiles when he says we should uphold the Torah.


Now Soyeong, I will say for every mitzvot you do not fulfill but have vowed to do, it will be held against you.

Romans 2:25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.

Context is always is important, time for you to go reread Romans 2.

Paprika
01-19-2014, 10:57 PM
I wasn't saying that he wasn't talking about the Mosaic law, but that he was talking about a perversion of it.

Utter nonsense, given that Paul quotes directly from the Mosaic Law and not some perverted version.

I repeat: In Galatians Paul refers to the Mosaic law based on his quoting of it- he does not quote any oral law, and shows that while they had been held captive under the Mosaic law, Christ set them free from it. If you reject this, I do demand that you show from Galatians how Paul is referring to any law but that given by Moses, dealing with all the references to "the law".

Now for James:
James 1:25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
Paul says in Romans 8:2 "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death" and thus distinguishes between two laws, the law of the Spirit (which was sent on Pentecost, the festival commemorating the giving of the Mosaic Law on Sinai) and the law of Moses (The parallelism is very, very important). So there are two laws to which James could be referring to.

Paprika
01-19-2014, 11:05 PM
I may agree with Soyeong that we as Gentiles may gain a greater understanding if we try to observe all Torah. Beyond that, I would like to know what the consequences are if we don't.

There are no consequences. See Galatians: "Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward [clearly the Mosaic Law]...Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith." (bolding for emphasis)

In Galatians, the Mosaic Law is described as slavery. As the Israrelites were not supposed to return to Egypt, we are not supposed to return to slavery. "But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law." "For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself...and the fruit of the Spirit is love..."

Paprika
01-19-2014, 11:09 PM
The context is in relation to burdening them with the legalism of oral law, not the Torah. The Torah was never described as a burden that no one could bear, but a delight to keep.

No, the context is the question of burdening them with oral AND written law. The answer was no.


“Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”...“It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.”...

Paprika
01-19-2014, 11:35 PM
Matthew 5:17-19 “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. 18 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. 19 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.

The law is not abolished by the sending of the Spirit, it is not obliterated, but we are no longer under it. I do not deny the tension here, but I would like to point out that Jesus did alter part of the Mosaic Law:

"And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”"
In this passage Jesus agrees with the Pharisees that Moses did allow divorce, but now Jesus is forbidding it in general. This is a change.



If the law needed to be changed, then it wasn't perfect, and I see no apparent reason for why law would needed to be given a change in the first place. I don't think it is something God would do, but even if He did, it would have been a major teaching and not some off-hand comment.

Soyeong
01-20-2014, 12:51 AM
Utter nonsense, given that Paul quotes directly from the Mosaic Law and not some perverted version.

I repeat: In Galatians Paul refers to the Mosaic law based on his quoting of it- he does not quote any oral law, and shows that while they had been held captive under the Mosaic law, Christ set them free from it. If you reject this, I do demand that you show from Galatians how Paul is referring to any law but that given by Moses, dealing with all the references to "the law".

Avot 1:1 Moses received the Torah from Sinai and transmitted it to Joshua; Joshua to the elders; the elders to the prophets; and the prophets handed it down to the men of the Great Assembly. They said three things: Be deliberate in judgment, raise up many disciples, and make a fence around the Torah.

"Every interpretation of the Torah given by a universally recognized authority is regarded as divine and given on Sinai, in the sense that it is taken as the original divinely willed (gottgewollte) interpretation of the text; for the omniscient and all-wise God included in His revealed Torah every shade of meaning which divinely inspired interpretation thereafter discovered.... Therefore, every interpretation is called derash, 'searching' for what God had originally put there.... Every interpretation given by the scholars of the Talmud, Moses had received on Mt. Sinai, for he had received the Torah, and the interpretation was contained in it, not mechanically, but organically, as the fruit of the tree contained in the see from which the tree had grown...." (Saul Kaatz, Muendliche Lehre und Ihr Dogma, Berlin, 1923, p. 48, as quoted in George Horowitz, The Spirit of the Jewish Law, New York: Central Book Company, 11973, p. 92)

The Oral Torah was understood by the Jews to have been given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai at the same time as the Written Torah. The Torah sometimes refers only to the Pentateuch, which is the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. It also sometimes refers to the Tenak, which is an abbreviation that stands for the Torah, prophets, and writings. Lastly, it can also refer to the entire Hebrew Bible as well as the Talmud, which is a few centuries of rabbinic commentary on the Torah.

The oral law is essentially a fence around the Torah that was designed to prevent Jews from even getting close to breaking the Torah. For instance, the Bible says that we aren't supposed to work on the Sabbath, so what they wanted to do was meticulously define what counted as work and then put a fence around it so that they didn't risk doing anything that counted as work, such as rules about how far someone could walk. This started off with good motivations to be obedient to God, but it turned what was supposed to be a day of rest into a legalistic chore, which is what I mean by being a perversion of it. It wasn't that I'm talking about the Torah being altered or Paul referring to some other law, the perversion was that the way they kept it became about being justified legalistically by doing works, rather than being justified by grace through faith, as it was intended. It was this legalistic burden that became a prison; not God's commands.


Now for James:
Paul says in Romans 8:2 "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death" and thus distinguishes between two laws, the law of the Spirit (which was sent on Pentecost, the festival commemorating the giving of the Mosaic Law on Sinai) and the law of Moses (The parallelism is very, very important). So there are two laws to which James could be referring to.

That interpretation contradicts Paul's arguments in Chapters 3 and 7. Rather, the Torah of the Spirit is the Mosaic Law properly apprehended by the power of the Holy Spirit, which is the Torah's true meaning, and which is the Law of Christ. Verse 2 could be paraphrased as:

"The Torah, as understood and applied through the Spirit, thereby giving life in with Jesus, has set me free from the aspects of the Torah that stimulate me to sin (Romans 7:5-14), fill me with irremediable guilt (7:15-24), and condemn me to death."

--

No, the context is the question of burdening them with oral AND written law. The answer was no.

“Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”...“It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.”

Hopefully the above should clarify your objection. If you look in the OT, you will not find a single verse that requires Gentiles to be circumcised outside of Exodus 12:48, so they could only be referring to the oral law here.

Paprika
01-20-2014, 01:53 AM
Hopefully the above should clarify your objection. If you look in the OT, you will not find a single verse that requires Gentiles to be circumcised outside of Exodus 12:48, so they could only be referring to the oral law here.
Technically no. If, as you say, Gentile Christians are supposed to follow the Mosaic Law (which includes Leviticus), then they are to circumcise their male children on the eight day. But you're just dodging the point. Since the Mosaic Law requires the annual celebration of the Passover, and the Mosaic Law also requires males to be circumcised to participate in the Passover, so by obvious extension the Mosaic Law requires male Gentiles Christians to be circumcised.


Avot 1:1 Moses received the Torah from Sinai and transmitted it to Joshua; Joshua to the elders; the elders to the prophets; and the prophets handed it down to the men of the Great Assembly. They said three things: Be deliberate in judgment, raise up many disciples, and make a fence around the Torah.
...
The Oral Torah was understood by the Jews to have been given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai at the same time as the Written Torah. The Torah sometimes refers only to the Pentateuch, which is the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. It also sometimes refers to the Tenak, which is an abbreviation that stands for the Torah, prophets, and writings. Lastly, it can also refer to the entire Hebrew Bible as well as the Talmud, which is a few centuries of rabbinic commentary on the Torah.

When did this understanding come into place? Post-70 AD, or before? You're providing this new information about a Jewish understanding of the law that I'm not sure whether Paul would have shared.

See, this is why I tried to clarify in my first post on this topic. What do you mean by 'the law' that Gentiles are supposed to keep? What are the contents? It would be good to have a clear delineation before we proceed any further.


That interpretation contradicts Paul's arguments in Chapters 3 and 7. Rather, the Torah of the Spirit is the Mosaic Law properly apprehended by the power of the Holy Spirit, which is the Torah's true meaning, and which is the Law of Christ. Verse 2 could be paraphrased as:

"The Torah, as understood and applied through the Spirit, thereby giving life in with Jesus, has set me free from the aspects of the Torah that stimulate me to sin (Romans 7:5-14), fill me with irremediable guilt (7:15-24), and condemn me to death."
I'm not sure how you derive the "properly apprehended", but I am interested to know what do you mean by it. What does it mean by apprehension through the Spirit, and how does it differ from other apprehensions of the law- oral, written, or both? Also, if my interpretation contradicts with yours, perhaps yours could be wrong?

robrecht
01-20-2014, 09:07 AM
Romans 14:1 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.

The context of Romans 14 is addressing quarreling over opinions and disputable matters, not the commands of God.

Romans 14:2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables.

The weak are not those who keep Jewish dietary laws because eating only vegetables is not one of those laws. Rather, this is referring to various fasting and ascetic practices. If those who were keeping those practices were looking down on those who were not, or if those who could eat everything that was kosher were looking down on those who limited what they ate or refrained from eating meat sacrificed to idols, then we have exactly the type of conflict that Paul is addressing in this chapter.

Romans 14:5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

Once again, Paul is talking about matters of opinion, not about whether God esteems one day over another. He is the one who blessed the seventh day and declared it holy.

I think κοινὸν refers to things that are common rather than animals God as declared to be unclean. Paul is talking about ritual purity here and because that only applied to Jews, his statement was meant to ease to conscious of any Gentiles who were still bothered in regard to such matters.

In Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, God told the Jews which things were permissible to eat as food and which things weren’t, so they didn’t even consider the things that weren’t to be in the same category as food, in a similar way that we don’t consider the meat of rats, bats, snakes, lizards, vultures, humans, etc. to be food. So when Jews talk about eating from the category of things that are food, it would be a mistake to think they are also talking about eating unclean animals, unless it is specifically mentioned.

This needs to be kept in context, so we shouldn't assume Paul is speaking against what God has declared clean. God's word is not divided against itself. If you told a guest that they could eat anything they wanted in the fridge, you both have a common understanding of obvious exceptions for what is permissible to eat as food. They understand that you are not giving them permission to eat the shelves and the containers.

Here, Paul is talking about meat sacrificed to idols.

http://biblehub.com/thayers/2907.htm I think this is a very forced misinterpretation of the obvious meaning of Paul's text, but that will have to be a discussion for another day.

robrecht
01-20-2014, 09:10 AM
I agree, it should be clear in OP that I was not taking sides on what the Greek said, but looking at the more important matter of the context to help us decide what was meant. Do you think this article doesn't make a strong argument?

http://www.torahresource.com/EnglishArticles/Mark7.19ShortNote.pdf

No, not at all! First of all, Hegg does not even argue for the neuter text so his arguments do not meet the criteria that that I proposed. Second, he attempts to claim that the common understanding of the meaning of Mark's text is problematic because of a different text of Matthew. Third, he is only arguing that an alternative, less grammatical, interpretation is possible (which no one denies), but this is not a strong argument that his interpretation is correct, only possible and less grammatically correct. Fourth, he ignores ὑμεῖς in Lk 24,48, and ὅς in Ac 10,38, assumes that ἀγγέλων in 1 Thes 1,7 is the ungrammatical antecedent of διδόντος in 1,8, rather than τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ … αὐτοῦ, which is completely grammatical, and he does not consider the possibility that ἀκατάστατον κακόν in Jm 3,8 is an adjectival substantive, not an adjective and hardly a participle (!), and that the phrase resumes in a feminine adjective with the very next word: μεστή. Ninth, he misses the question mark in BD 73.3 p 176. Tenth, he entirely misses Zerwick’s excellent point about Markan style (p 6), which argues directly against Hegg's case, thus resulting in an utter misrepresentation of Zerwick! There’s more that could be said, but this decalogue should suffice to indicate that Hegg does not make a strong case for his view that Mark is being neglectful of proper grammatical construction here. There are no good reasons not to understand Mark’s text here as perfectly good ancient Greek syntax, as has been shown by others, eg, Kleist’s reference to Euripides’ Iphigenia in Tauris.

As for context, I am saying that you need to understand Mark's ancient Greek text in the context of the ancient Greek language and Mark's own communal and authorial perspective that is rather clear throughout his gospel. It is Mark's meaning that you should care about first, and then move to more speculative issues.

Soyeong
01-20-2014, 10:54 AM
I think this is a very forced misinterpretation of the obvious meaning of Paul's text, but that will have to be a discussion for another day.
I think the forced interpretation is reading into it that they're talking about kosher laws when it simply isn't there. A divide between Jews who kept the Torah and Gentiles who didn't need to bother with it would have been an insurmountable barrier to fellowship that would have dwarfed the conflicts that Paul is talking about here.

JohnnyP
01-20-2014, 11:45 AM
Soyeong I apologize I assumed too much about your reasons for observance and for being too harsh and dramatic on the rest.

In reality I would not want to discourage Gentiles from observing if they choose to, so I support your goal there.

JohnnyP
01-20-2014, 12:24 PM
There are no consequences.

From Soyeong's perspective I was trying to get at if he had idea of what specific rewards or lack of in afterlife for Gentiles who tried to observe or didn't. Or, if such specifics are unknown at this time.

This subject makes me feel defensive sometimes, and I take the idea that as a Gentile I'm doing wrong by not trying to observe all Laws too personally and get too excited over it. Shouldn't, but it happens.

robrecht
01-20-2014, 02:54 PM
I think the forced interpretation is reading into it that they're talking about kosher laws when it simply isn't there. A divide between Jews who kept the Torah and Gentiles who didn't need to bother with it would have been an insurmountable barrier to fellowship that would have dwarfed the conflicts that Paul is talking about here.I do not claim that Paul is only speaking about kosher laws here. But Paul's general terms are easily broad enough to include this. You are the one assuming that 'all food' means 'only kosher food'. And this issue between Jewish and Gentile Christians is certainly not an insurmountable barrier to fellowship for Paul, here or elsewhere (Gal 2,11-14).


Romans 14:1 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.

The context of Romans 14 is addressing quarreling over opinions and disputable matters, not the commands of God. False dichotomy. The matters that are in dispute are opinions which at times do indeed relate to the commandments.


Romans 14:2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables.

The weak are not those who keep Jewish dietary laws because eating only vegetables is not one of those laws. Rather, this is referring to various fasting and ascetic practices. If those who were keeping those practices were looking down on those who were not, or if those who could eat everything [that was kosher] were looking down on those who limited what they ate or refrained from eating meat sacrificed to idols, then we have exactly the type of conflict that Paul is addressing in this chapter. I bolded and underlined the addition you made to Paul’s text, not what Paul actually said. But not only do you add to Paul’s text, you also limit it unnecessarily. “One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables” You try to limit this to two extremes (and one extreme that you change), rather than a general statement about everything between these two extremes (merismus). You would have this be a matter merely of some who are vegetarians, but you yourself also have to admit that this discussion also includes the issue of those who ate or refrained from eating meat sacrificed to idols. Thus the discussion is not only about vegetarians vs those who eat kosher. And it certainly does relate to the law of Moses and of God. Don’t you think the issue of eating meat offered to idols relates to the law of Moses and of God?


Romans 14:5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

Once again, Paul is talking about matters of opinion, not about whether God esteems one day over another. He is the one who blessed the seventh day and declared it holy.This too clearly reveals the weakness of the false dichotomy you made above. Those who do not esteem one day as better than another but rather esteem all days alike are apparently not recognizing the commandments pertaining to the Sabbath and Jewish feasts—thus the opinions and disputes clearly pertain to matters of Jewish law.


I think κοινὸν refers to things that are common rather than animals God as declared to be unclean. Paul is talking about ritual purity here and because that only applied to Jews, his statement was meant to ease to conscious of any Gentiles who were still bothered in regard to such matters.

In Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, God told the Jews which things were permissible to eat as food and which things weren’t, so they didn’t even consider the things that weren’t to be in the same category as food, in a similar way that we don’t consider the meat of rats, bats, snakes, lizards, vultures, humans, etc. to be food. So when Jews talk about eating from the category of things that are food, it would be a mistake to think they are also talking about eating unclean animals, unless it is specifically mentioned.

This needs to be kept in context, so we shouldn't assume Paul is speaking against what God has declared clean. God's word is not divided against itself. If you told a guest that they could eat anything they wanted in the fridge, you both have a common understanding of obvious exceptions for what is permissible to eat as food. They understand that you are not giving them permission to eat the shelves and the containers. You’re mistaken about the range of meaning of ‘common’ and you are imposing your own meanings upon what Paul is saying. When Paul says ‘all food’ or ‘food’, you assume that as a Jew he is supposedly saying ‘only kosher food’ and yet you also assume that Paul is only speaking to Gentiles here to ease their conscience. Thus you try to constrain Paul’s meaning to be what you think he must mean, but you are again adding to Paul’s words by your assumptions. See, eg, 1 Macc 1,62-63 where ‘common things’ clearly means ‘unclean food’ and ‘food’ clearly means not just ‘kosher food’ but also ‘food which defiles’:

καὶ πολλοὶ ἐν Ισραηλ ἐκραταιώθησαν καὶ ὠχυρώθησαν ἐν αὑτοῖς τοῦ μὴ φαγεῖν κοινὰ καὶ ἐπεδέξαντο ἀποθανεῖν ἵνα μὴ μιανθῶσιν τοῖς βρώμασιν καὶ μὴ βεβηλώσωσιν διαθήκην ἁγίαν καὶ ἀπέθανον.
But many in Israel stood firm and were resolved in their hearts not to eat unclean food. They chose to die rather than to be defiled by food or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die.

See also 4 Macc 1,34
τοιγαροῦν ἐνύδρων ἐπιθυμοῦντες καὶ ὀρνέων καὶ τετραπόδων καὶ παντοίων βρωμάτων τῶν ἀπηγορευμένων ἡμῖν κατὰ τὸν νόμον ἀπεχόμεθα διὰ τὴν τοῦ λογισμοῦ ἐπικράτειαν.
Therefore when we crave seafood, fowl, quadrupeds and all sorts of foods that are forbidden to us by the law, we abstain because of the dominance of reason.


Here, Paul is talking about meat sacrificed to idols.

http://biblehub.com/thayers/2907.htm Possibly, he does talk about this elsewhere. If he is, then note that he is not merely speaking about vegetarian practices in this context but he is also speaking about things related to the law. But he is not necessarily only talking about food sacrificed to idols here. He is not so specific as to say, as he does elsewhere, ὁ βρῶσις ὁ εἰδωλόθυτος.

Quantum Weirdness
01-20-2014, 02:57 PM
If the law needed to be changed, then it wasn't perfect, and I see no apparent reason for why law would needed to be given a change in the first place. I don't think it is something God would do, but even if He did, it would have been a major teaching and not some off-hand comment.

Yeah but perfect in what sense? It was perfect for the socio-historical context it was given in but not necessarily beyond that. It would change to adapt to different circumstances.



Absolutely, the Torah is being referred here is the royal law. The Jews did not make a distinction between the Laws of Moses and the moral law.

Psalms 19:7-10

7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.

Psalms 119

13 With my lips I recount
all the laws that come from your mouth.
14 I rejoice in following your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches.
15 I meditate on your precepts
and consider your ways.
16 I delight in your decrees;
I will not neglect your word.

33 Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees,
that I may follow it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
and obey it with all my heart.
35 Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.

43 Never take your word of truth from my mouth,
for I have put my hope in your laws.
44 I will always obey your law,
for ever and ever.
[b]45 I will walk about in freedom,
for I have sought out your precepts.

70 Their hearts are callous and unfeeling,
but I delight in your law.
71 It was good for me to be afflicted
so that I might learn your decrees.
72 The law from your mouth is more precious to me
than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.

97 Oh, how I love your law!
I meditate on it all day long.
__

The praise for the law goes on, but it would be difficult to argue from the Psalms that they viewed the law as something that didn't give freedom.


Yeah it gave them freedom. Doesn't necessarily give us freedom.
I don't know about Jews but I think that historically, Christians did. (this regards the distinction between the laws)
Also, from the context of James 2, I think it is the new Covenant law being the law that gives freedom.
The royal law is "Love your neighbor as yourself" which I doubt includes the dietary laws of the Torah.



This verse is best understood in light of Romans 7:7-25:

What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. 9 I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. 10 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

Ok fair enough.




The author is not belittling the Torah, but it is giving it is place in the unfolding of God's work in history.
Yes and its place is that its not perfect but it is a shadow of good things to come (implying that the things are better than the Torah)




Verses 18-23 give important context:

18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions,[d] puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

Not being judged for the things in verse 16 is referring to not being judged by those who were promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body.

Yep those who forbid us from eating stuff (like the unclean stuff in the Torah) are promoting self-made religion and the other stuff because God made that stuff clean.



The prophets had a consistent message of returning to God and obeying His commands, not modifying them. The Scriptures were the standard by which Jews would accept new teaching. When Paul went to the Boreans, they first checked everything he said about Jesus with what was written in the OT to see that what he had said was true, otherwise, they would have rightfully rejected his message.
The context kinda indicates that this was in reference to prophecy of Jesus. And yes, the OT was/is important
Yeah the prophets didn't attempt to modify the commandments. But they weren't establishing a new covenant either and Jesus isn't exactly an ordinary prophet. Another thing would be that certain things (like circumcision) were not necessary so as to enter the covenant and certain things were also done away with (eg the sacrificial system). These represent changes in the Law since you no longer had to sacrifice animals for atonement.

No, the Torah actually contains a number of covenants.[/QUOTE]
Ok

What about Acts 10?

Acts 10:14 - NAS – But Peter said, "By no means Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean."
Acts 10:14 - WH – ο δε πετρος ειπεν (5627) μηδαμως κυριε οτι ουδεποτε εφαγον (5627) παν κοινον και ακαθαρτον
http://www.studylight.org/desk/interlinear.cgi?ref=43010014

The word " και " implies that all animals on the sheet were both "κοινον" and "ακαθαρτον "

Also, in Acts 10:15 implies that the animals are now neither "κοινον" nor "ακαθαρτον "

Acts 10:15 - NAS – Again a voice came to him a second time "What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy."
Acts 10:15 - WH – και φωνη παλιν εκ δευτερου προς αυτον α ο θεος εκαθαρισεν (5656) συ μη κοινου (5720)
http://www.studylight.org/desk/interlinear.cgi?search_form_type=interlinear&q1=Acts+10%3A15&ot=bhs&nt=wh&s=0&t3=str_nas&ns=0

The word καθαρίζω (transliterated katharízō) is related to ακαθαρτον . It seems to have the opposite meaning of ακαθαρτον ( katharízō is the verb form of καθαρός which seems to be opposite to ακαθαρτον)

Soyeong
01-20-2014, 05:58 PM
There are no consequences. See Galatians: "Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward [clearly the Mosaic Law]...Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith." (bolding for emphasis)

In Galatians, the Mosaic Law is described as slavery. As the Israrelites were not supposed to return to Egypt, we are not supposed to return to slavery. "But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law." "For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself...and the fruit of the Spirit is love..."
The law gives us freedom because it teaches us how to live righteously before God, but it also be followed legalistically. Paul frequently contrasts following the law as if we are justified by works, which is a prison, and following it by faith, which gives freedom, but he also emphasizes that following it by faith doesn't nullify it or our need to follow it. Romans 3:31, Romans 6:15-18.


The law is not abolished by the sending of the Spirit, it is not obliterated, but we are no longer under it. I do not deny the tension here, but I would like to point out that Jesus did alter part of the Mosaic Law:

Romans 6:15-18 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Paul clearly is in agreement that we are not under the law, but that is because we are justified by grace through faith and Jesus paid the penalty for breaking it. This doesn't mean that there is no penalty for breaking the Torah, but that every time we break it, we pound another nail into the cross because sin is the transgression of the Torah. Importantly, Paul says that not being under the law doesn't me that we shouldn't be obedient to it. The law is not sin, it tells us what sin is, so being set free from sin is not being set free from being obedient to it, but actually allows us to become slaves to keeping it the way that it is intended.


"And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”"

In this passage Jesus agrees with the Pharisees that Moses did allow divorce, but now Jesus is forbidding it in general. This is a change.

It is the Pharisees who incorrectly stated that it was lawful to divorce. Jesus corrected them by saying the law against divorce was the same since the beginning, so he didn't say anything new. It was always a sin and the woman was always defiled in Deuteronomy 24:1-4, but it was a sin that God permitted temporarily to prevent a greater evil. It was always God's will that divorce not happen.


Technically no. If, as you say, Gentile Christians are supposed to follow the Mosaic Law (which includes Leviticus), then they are to circumcise their male children on the eight day. But you're just dodging the point. Since the Mosaic Law requires the annual celebration of the Passover, and the Mosaic Law also requires males to be circumcised to participate in the Passover, so by obvious extension the Mosaic Law requires male Gentiles Christians to be circumcised.

True, but concerns over Passover are not what is being discussed in Acts 15:1. They were teaching that Gentiles had to become Jews and keep all of the written and oral law in order to be saved.

I don't know if you saw this on Facebook, but I might as well copy it here:

In Jewish theology at the time, it was not possible for Gentiles to go to heaven, they first had to covert to Judaism and follow all of the law, including the oral law in order for that to happen. There is no method given in the Torah for what a Gentile is required to do to covert to Judaism and no requirement that they needed to be circumcised, so the topic given in Acts 15:1 is entirely about whether Gentiles should be required to keep the oral law.

Peter got up said that the Gentiles had been saved by faith, so they didn't have to follow the oral law stating that they had to become Jewish and get circumcised. Idolatry was a big concern for the Jews and the oral law contained a number of fences designed to prevent Jews from ever getting close to it, but if the Gentiles did have to follow these laws, then that posed a problem for Jews, because they could have no fellowship with Gentiles if they were still following pagan practices.

Paganism was pervasive in ancient Greek and Roman societies to the point where it was also part of the social and cultural setting. They couldn't burden the Gentiles with the oral law and it was impractical to ban them from participating in society, so the Council needed to create some laws that would allow Gentiles to enter the temple for financial transactions and whatnot, but would also require them to make a clean break from paganism. The solution they found was to have the Gentiles follow four laws that all directly related to prohibiting pagan practices. Acts 15:21 has the understanding that Gentiles would continue to learn to keep the laws of Moses by having it preached to them every Sabbath.

Paul never taught against keeping the Torah and in fact defended himself in trial against that accusation. Do you say that he lied in court?


When did this understanding come into place? Post-70 AD, or before? You're providing this new information about a Jewish understanding of the law that I'm not sure whether Paul would have shared.

Encyclopaedia Judaica: Torah (http://go.galegroup.com/ps/retrieve.do?sgHitCountType=None&sort=RELEVANCE&inPS=true&prodId=GVRL&userGroupName=imcpl1111&tabID=T003&searchId=R2&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&contentSegment=&searchType=AdvancedSearchForm&currentPosition=1&contentSet=GALE%7CCX2587519948&&docId=GALE|CX2587519948&docType=GALE)

The Encyclopaedia Judaica says it was a traditional belief that stems for Exodus 34:27, but it doesn't say when it started, though it did become a fundamental tenet of belief of orthodox Judaism. It is also evident from most of Jesus conflicts with Pharisees concerning the law that they held the oral law on the same footing. Avot can be dated to 200 BCE.


See, this is why I tried to clarify in my first post on this topic. What do you mean by 'the law' that Gentiles are supposed to keep? What are the contents? It would be good to have a clear delineation before we proceed any further.

Sorry, I meant to state that. When I use the term, I mean the first five books.


I'm not sure how you derive the "properly apprehended", but I am interested to know what do you mean by it. What does it mean by apprehension through the Spirit, and how does it differ from other apprehensions of the law- oral, written, or both?

To properly apprehend goes back to what Jesus saying that he came not to interpret the law in a way that undermines it, but to properly interpret it the way that God intended it to be understood. Apprehending the law through the Spirit is keeping it by faith, which is contrasted with keeping it as you are justified by works.


Also, if my interpretation contradicts with yours, perhaps yours could be wrong?

Absolutely I could be wrong, but you haven't dealt with Romans 3, 6, or what Paul just said in 7. James was not making a dichotomy between the law of Christ and the law of Moses, he was just saying that you shouldn't just listen to it, you should also do it. The law of Christ or the law of God is precisely what God instructed in the Torah, but kept by faith and not by works.

Soyeong
01-20-2014, 06:12 PM
Soyeong I apologize I assumed too much about your reasons for observance and for being too harsh and dramatic on the rest.

In reality I would not want to discourage Gentiles from observing if they choose to, so I support your goal there.

You're forgiven.


This subject makes me feel defensive sometimes, and I take the idea that as a Gentile I'm doing wrong by not trying to observe all Laws too personally and get too excited over it. Shouldn't, but it happens.

I don't mean for this to get personal, but I do think there are serious implication to what Paul is saying. I got defensive and resisted these ideas too, but when I gave an honest look at how Jews interpret the New Testament, I found that their interpretation was a much better fit culturally speaking. They don't all agree on how that should be done of course, but sometimes Christians interpret Paul as being almost anti-Semitic, and I don't think anything could be further from the truth.

robrecht
01-20-2014, 06:29 PM
... sometimes Christians interpret Paul as being almost anti-Semitic, and I don't think anything could be further from the truth.
This is true and very unfortunate. For example, some claim that 1st century Jews were chacterized by a shallow legalistic view of the law, rather than seeing it as a gracious gift of God.

Scrawly
01-20-2014, 06:48 PM
I don't come across too many Christian's who interpret Paul as bordering on anti-Semitic. If I did, I would simply direct them to Romans 9:1-4:

"I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel."

What I do find many Christian's doing is highlighting the liberty we have in Christ and drawing out the implications of the gospel and what it means to be "in Christ". Sadly, I see how many "Messianic Jews" could misunderstand this as being anti-Torah. Indeed, I'm sure Paul's own autobiographical sketch of conversion would cause some Messianic Jews to stumble if they have a distorted view of the gospel and the changes that were wrought about by the ushering in of Christ and the New Covenant.

For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reasons for such confidence.

If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

JohnnyP
01-20-2014, 07:05 PM
You're forgiven.

Thanks!


I don't mean for this to get personal, but I do think there are serious implication to what Paul is saying. I got defensive and resisted these ideas too, but when I gave an honest look at how Jews interpret the New Testament, I found that their interpretation was a much better fit culturally speaking. They don't all agree on how that should be done of course, but sometimes Christians interpret Paul as being almost anti-Semitic, and I don't think anything could be further from the truth.

I know, it's my problem taking things too personally sometimes. I fully agree Paul wasn't against the Law for Jews, I'll say that. Gonna hang back and follow this thread for now, thanks.

Soyeong
01-20-2014, 08:17 PM
I do not claim that Paul is only speaking about kosher laws here. But Paul's general terms are easily broad enough to include this. You are the one assuming that 'all food' means 'only kosher food'. And this issue between Jewish and Gentile Christians is certainly not an insurmountable barrier to fellowship for Paul, here or elsewhere (Gal 2,11-14).

Galatians 2 is another great example where Christians have forced to be about kosher when it just isn't there. Paul was dealing with the same circumcision group here as he was dealing with in Acts 15:1 that was saying Gentiles needed to become Jews and keep all of the written and oral law in order to be saved. When peter switch to eating with them, his actions were essentially telling the Gentiles that it was no longer ok for Jews to fellowship with them and that they weren't actually saved unless they did as the circumcision group was saying. These are the customs that Paul calls him out on in verse 14. What they happened to be eating has nothing to do with the passage, but I see no particular reason why God-fearing Gentiles wouldn't be interested in keeping the laws of the religion they had joined.


False dichotomy. The matters that are in dispute are opinions which at times do indeed relate to the commandments.
There were of course disputes about how best to keep God's commands, but nobody was disputing whether or not they should keep them.


I bolded and underlined the addition you made to Paul’s text, not what Paul actually said. But not only do you add to Paul’s text, you also limit it unnecessarily. “One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables” You try to limit this to two extremes (and one extreme that you change), rather than a general statement about everything between these two extremes (merismus). You would have this be a matter merely of some who are vegetarians, but you yourself also have to admit that this discussion also includes the issue of those who ate or refrained from eating meat sacrificed to idols. Thus the discussion is not only about vegetarians vs those who eat kosher. And it certainly does relate to the law of Moses and of God. Don’t you think the issue of eating meat offered to idols relates to the law of Moses and of God?
Indeed, I added that as clarification, but the context justifies is. It's talking about everything, as is not being limited by disputable matters of asceticism, fasting, or meat sacrificed to idols. Indeed, the command not to eat meat sacrificed to idols is not found in the OT. Paul even says in 1 Corinthians 8:8 that we're no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. The issue was that Gentiles who were at risk of falling back into paganism were still weak in their faith, so we should not look down on them for refraining from eating meat sacrificed to idols, but the decision was ultimately a matter of conscious.


This too clearly reveals the weakness of the false dichotomy you made above. Those who do not esteem one day as better than another but rather esteem all days alike are apparently not recognizing the commandments pertaining to the Sabbath and Jewish feasts—thus the opinions and disputes clearly pertain to matters of Jewish law.
Being convinced in your own mind only refers to matter on which the Scriptures are indifferent. However, where is gives clear word, personal opinion must give way. For instance, the Scriptures do not define what counts as work on the Sabbath, so there were disputes about that, but it gives clear word that they were supposed to follow the Sabbath, so whether or not to keep one of the 10 commandments was not a matter of opinion that someone can choose whether or not they want to esteem. Furthermore, there is no mention of the Sabbath or Jewish feasts in this chapter, the Sabbath was established as an everlasting covenant (Exodus 31:16), and this ignores what Paul said in Romans 3:28-31 about upholding the law or in Romans 8:7 where he says, "For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot."

Rather, it is referring to days outside the law according to various ascetic or fasting practices, or for other days that new coverts were used to keeping. See: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/fasting.html


[SIZE=3][FONT=Times New Roman]You’re mistaken about the range of meaning of ‘common’ and you are imposing your own meanings upon what Paul is saying. When Paul says ‘all food’ or ‘food’, you assume that as a Jew he is supposedly saying ‘only kosher food’ and yet you also assume that Paul is only speaking to Gentiles here to ease their conscience. Thus you try to constrain Paul’s meaning to be what you think he must mean, but you are again adding to Paul’s words by your assumptions. See, eg, 1 Macc 1,62-63 where ‘common things’ clearly means ‘unclean food’ and ‘food’ clearly means not just ‘kosher food’ but also ‘food which defiles’:

καὶ πολλοὶ ἐν Ισραηλ ἐκραταιώθησαν καὶ ὠχυρώθησαν ἐν αὑτοῖς τοῦ μὴ φαγεῖν κοινὰ καὶ ἐπεδέξαντο ἀποθανεῖν ἵνα μὴ μιανθῶσιν τοῖς βρώμασιν καὶ μὴ βεβηλώσωσιν διαθήκην ἁγίαν καὶ ἀπέθανον.
But many in Israel stood firm and were resolved in their hearts not to eat unclean food. They chose to die rather than to be defiled by food or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die.

They defiled the altar by sacrificing a pig on it and then tried to force them to eat, so I think it was both about ritual purity and eating unclean animals. Do you have any idea of how often the word is used to refer to ritual purity versus eating something unclean?

Paprika
01-20-2014, 08:25 PM
Galatians 2 is another great example where Christians have forced to be about kosher when it just isn't there. Paul was dealing with the same circumcision group here as he was dealing with in Acts 15:1 that was saying Gentiles needed to become Jews and keep all of the written and oral law in order to be saved. When peter switch to eating with them, his actions were essentially telling the Gentiles that it was no longer ok for Jews to fellowship with them and that they weren't actually saved unless they did as the circumcision group was saying. These are the customs that Paul calls him out on in verse 14. What they happened to be eating has nothing to do with the passage, but I see no particular reason why God-fearing Gentiles wouldn't be interested in keeping the laws of the religion they had joined.
No. We see in Acts 15 two groups, possibly coterminous but I don't see any reason to assume they are. 15:1 has "But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”" 15:5 has "But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.”"

So as I've said, though some wanted the Gentile Christians to keep the Mosaic law (and possibly the oral law developed from it), Peter and the apostles and the elders decide that the burden of the Mosaic law on them.

You keep talking about 15:1; you ignore 15:5.

Paprika
01-20-2014, 08:28 PM
The law gives us freedom because it teaches us how to live righteously before God, but it also be followed legalistically. Paul frequently contrasts following the law as if we are justified by works, which is a prison, and following it by faith, which gives freedom, but he also emphasizes that following it by faith doesn't nullify it or our need to follow it. Romans 3:31, Romans 6:15-18.
I am glad you now agree that in Galatians Paul is talking about the Mosaic Law.



Romans 6:15-18 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Paul clearly is in agreement that we are not under the law, but that is because we are justified by grace through faith and Jesus paid the penalty for breaking it. This doesn't mean that there is no penalty for breaking the Torah, but that every time we break it, we pound another nail into the cross because sin is the transgression of the Torah. Importantly, Paul says that not being under the law doesn't me that we shouldn't be obedient to it. The law is not sin, it tells us what sin is, so being set free from sin is not being set free from being obedient to it, but actually allows us to become slaves to keeping it the way that it is intended.
To that, I have only to respond: "But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code." (Romans 7:6) This is not law viewed apprehended from Spirit, rather the way of the Spirit is distinguished from the way of the Law.




It is the Pharisees who incorrectly stated that it was lawful to divorce. Jesus corrected them by saying the law against divorce was the same since the beginning, so he didn't say anything new. It was always a sin and the woman was always defiled in Deuteronomy 24:1-4, but it was a sin that God permitted temporarily to prevent a greater evil. It was always God's will that divorce not happen.
No. Go back to the Scripture. Some Pharisees ask Jesus whether it is lawful to divorce at all, Jesus asks them what did Moses say on the issue, they say Moses permitted, quoting from Deuteronomy. Jesus agrees that Moses said so, but gives them a new ruling.


True, but concerns over Passover are not what is being discussed in Acts 15:1. They were teaching that Gentiles had to become Jews and keep all of the written and oral law in order to be saved.
Look, I've pointed out at least twice, I believe, it's not just Acts 15:5, which says “It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.” So the context includes the written law, which contains the commandments to celebrate Passover.

I don't know if you saw this on Facebook, but I might as well copy it here:


Paul never taught against keeping the Torah and in fact defended himself in trial against that accusation. Do you say that he lied in court?
When?



The Encyclopaedia Judaica says it was a traditional belief that stems for Exodus 34:27, but it doesn't say when it started, though it did become a fundamental tenet of belief of orthodox Judaism. It is also evident from most of Jesus conflicts with Pharisees concerning the law that they held the oral law on the same footing. Avot can be dated to 200 BCE.
All right.

This post is split into two. The other half will discuss the Law in Romans.

robrecht
01-20-2014, 09:25 PM
Galatians 2 is another great example where Christians have forced to be about kosher when it just isn't there. Paul was dealing with the same circumcision group here as he was dealing with in Acts 15:1 that was saying Gentiles needed to become Jews and keep all of the written and oral law in order to be saved. When peter switch to eating with them, his actions were essentially telling the Gentiles that it was no longer ok for Jews to fellowship with them and that they weren't actually saved unless they did as the circumcision group was saying. These are the customs that Paul calls him out on in verse 14. What they happened to be eating has nothing to do with the passage, but I see no particular reason why God-fearing Gentiles wouldn't be interested in keeping the laws of the religion they had joined. You want to believe that the Gentile Christians in Antioch joined the religion of the Jews, kept kosher so that Kephas could eat with them, and that the controversy only concerned a symbolic interpretation of Kephas' eating habits pertaining to his implied change of belief about circumcision. None of that is in the text. Nor does it make sense. If the Gentile Christians joined the religion of the Jews, kept kosher, why did they not also accept circumcision? Peter supposedly changed his view about the necessity of circumcision, but he had been living like a Gentile. What does that mean, living like a Gentile, did he have his circumcision reversed? Did the other Jews and even Barnabas have their circumcision reversed? Peter (and the other Jews at Antioch) were "eating with the Gentiles and living like a Gentile and not like a Jew." Eating. Living like.

"... for until certain people came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But after they came, he drew back and kept himself separate for fear of the circumcision faction. 13 And the other Jews joined him in this hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were not acting consistently with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

You say that Christians have forced this to be about kosher, but it is about eating. Eating with Gentiles. And then no longer eating with Gentiles. Compelling Gentiles to live Jews even 'though Peter himself had not been living like a Jew for he had been eating with Gentiles. That is hypocrisy. Forcing others to live like Jews even though he himself had been eating with Gentiles and not living like a Jew. How had Cephas not been living like a Jew. Cephas was circumcised. That cannot be the issue of his hypocrisy. Just follow the normal plain meaning of the text without forcing it to supposedly say what you want it to say. Some Jewish Christians during Paul's time and Jewish Christians for a few centuries thereafter would continue to argue about how to understand Paul and his view that all things are clean. They did not make up this issue of contention in the early church. Just when do you think that Christians started misunderstanding Paul's text here?


There were of course disputes about how best to keep God's commands, but nobody was disputing whether or not they should keep them. Sure they were. Jews eating with Gentiles? Jews living like Gentiles? Eating meat sacrificed to idols? Did the Law allow Jews to eat meat sacrificed to idols? Of course not. Did the law allow Jews to live like Gentiles and not like Jews?


... Indeed, the command not to eat meat sacrificed to idols is not found in the OT. ... Seriously? Have you not read the 10 commandments? "You shall not have other gods besides me. You shall not make for yourself an idol or likeness of anything whatever is in heaven above and whatever is in the earth beneath and whatever is in the waters beneath the earth. You shall not do obeisance to them, nor are you to serve them."


They defiled the altar by sacrificing a pig on it and then tried to force them to eat, so I think it was both about ritual purity and eating unclean animals. Do you have any idea of how often the word is used to refer to ritual purity versus eating something unclean? The text of Maccabees was not referring to only a single incident of a pig being offered on the altar. The Greek is clearly referring to multiple occasions and foods and equates 'eating unclean things' with 'being defiled by foods'. I don't think we should distinguish too strongly between eating something unclean and ritual purity. Both are matters of the law.

Soyeong
01-20-2014, 09:44 PM
Yeah but perfect in what sense? It was perfect for the socio-historical context it was given in but not necessarily beyond that. It would change to adapt to different circumstances.

Each morning Orthodox Jews repeated in their prayers the Yigdal hymn which has a line that stated, "G-d will never amend nor exchange His law for any other one, for all eternity." I see no indication that God would ever repeal His instructions. God considers eating unclean animals to be an abomination, so at what point does God's opinion change?

Furthermore, Jesus said the law wouldn't pass away, so a different socio-historical context is irrelevant.


Yeah it gave them freedom. Doesn't necessarily give us freedom.
I don't know about Jews but I think that historically, Christians did. (this regards the distinction between the laws)
Also, from the context of James 2, I think it is the new Covenant law being the law that gives freedom.
The royal law is "Love your neighbor as yourself" which I doubt includes the dietary laws of the Torah.
The law gives everything freedom by teaching us how to live righteously.

Jeremiah 31:33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts.

The new covenant involves the Torah being written on our hearts.


Yes and its place is that its not perfect but it is a shadow of good things to come (implying that the things are better than the Torah)

"We should not think slightingly of the shadow. It was no less than the divine promise of all the heavenly realities about to arrive. The shadow proved the actuality and even the nearness of the realities, for only an actual body and one that is not far away casts a shadow. So the shadow call out all the faith and the hope of the Old Testament saints in the impending realities and guaranteed that faith and that hope in the strongest way. By faith Abraham saw Christ's day and was glad (John 8:56); Isaiah saw Christ's glory and spoke of it (John 12:41; Isaiah 53)." (R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Paul's Epistles to the Colossians, to the Thessalonians, to Timothy, to Titus and Philemon, p. 126)

The purpose of the is to point to Christ, and it is no less because of that.


Yep those who forbid us from eating stuff (like the unclean stuff in the Torah) are promoting self-made religion and the other stuff because God made that stuff clean.
Man did not create God's laws and following them cannot be a self-made religion. At no point did God ever make unclean animals clean. Every vision in the Bible has a figurative interpretation that is given, and we don't trying to reinterpret any of the other visions as being literal, so why do people try to do that with Peter's vision?


The context kinda indicates that this was in reference to prophecy of Jesus. And yes, the OT was/is important
Yeah the prophets didn't attempt to modify the commandments. But they weren't establishing a new covenant either and Jesus isn't exactly an ordinary prophet. Another thing would be that certain things (like circumcision) were not necessary so as to enter the covenant and certain things were also done away with (eg the sacrificial system). These represent changes in the Law since you no longer had to sacrifice animals for atonement.

There are multiple covenants in the Bible, and there is no indication that the new covenant has a different set of rules, rather the main difference is a far superior mediator, the Torah is being written on our hearts, and the new in the new covenant is you.



What about Acts 10?

The Jews had ritual purity laws that made them ritually unclean if they entered the house of a Gentile or associated with them. Peter objecting three times to being told to eat show that he had no understanding that kosher laws were abrogated in either Mark 7 or after the death and resurrection of Jesus, so this speaks against the Torah being changed.

Acts 10:15 And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.

What God has made clean (the word used referring to unclean animals) do not call common (the word used referring to being ritually unclean).

Acts 10:28 And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.

Peter gives the interpretation of the vision as voiding those ritual purity laws. In no other sense should his vision be taken.

Soyeong
01-20-2014, 09:57 PM
This is true and very unfortunate. For example, some claim that 1st century Jews were chacterized by a shallow legalistic view of the law, rather than seeing it as a gracious gift of God.

Romans 9:30-32 What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness[d] did not succeed in reaching that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works.

That is precisely the problem that Paul cites. If it weren't an issue, then he wouldn't have spent so much times talking about being justified by works versus by faith. If you read the Talmud, 26 volumes amazon.com, you will see that they turned keeping the Torah into a legalistic nightmare.

Matthew 23:1-4 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, 3 so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. 4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear,[a] and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.

It is precisely the problem that Jesus is talking about here, and precisely the burden that they did not want to lay on the Gentiles in Acts 15.

Paprika
01-20-2014, 10:01 PM
Part 2 of split post



Absolutely I could be wrong, but you haven't dealt with Romans 3, 6, or what Paul just said in 7. James was not making a dichotomy between the law of Christ and the law of Moses, he was just saying that you shouldn't just listen to it, you should also do it. The law of Christ or the law of God is precisely what God instructed in the Torah, but kept by faith and not by works.
I'll be the first to admit that I am not certain or sure how to handle Romans. Not that I don't have some initial ideas about the meaning but I am aware that under different schema greatly divergent meanings can be obtained. Thus I do not want to handle Romans as a whole, because of my ignorance, and because I think one must lay out one's schema properly so that others may be clear where one is coming from, which will take quite some time and space. But if you insist, I'll try to cover as much as I am able to, with a almost non-existent understanding of Greek.

I'll start with Romans 1, bolding for emphasis:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,7 in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
Now, I think we can agree that referrent of this extract is mankind in general. If so, we note that mankind in general "know God's righteous decree". What can this be? It is not the Mosaic Law, or the "law of faith" that those in Christ have. So we have a third "law" (my word, not Paul's) here (though it is the first mentioned) - Paul claims that there is a decree from God that some things are wrong that mankind in general are aware of, but they ignore it. In Greek it is dikaiwma. Now, why do I say that it is a 'third law' of sorts?

In Romans 2 amongst other things Paul mentions the law (nomos). He does say in 2:26 that "if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision?", the part in bold being dikaiwmata tou nomou, where, I believe, dikaiwmata is the plural of dikaiwma. So we see that mankind in general knows righteous commandments from God, of which type also exists in the law (of Moses). This is important when taken in conjunction with another bit, that "all who have sinned apart from the law will also perish apart from the law". My point here is that it is possible to recognise sinful behavior apart from the Law of Moses and the Law of the Spirit. But the Jews have the written code, the grammatos.

Now for Romans 3. "Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law". This appears to say that the law only holds only for those "under the law", ie the Jews, but I don't insist on this point. "Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith." Paul here, besides the dikaiwma in Chapter 1, and grammatos (of Moses) and nomos of Chapter 2, introduces the law of faith.

Okay, I think I have settled the preceding context as much as I can. On to the point you brought up from 3:31:
"Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law."

The key question revolves around the meaning of 'nullify' and 'uphold', and for that we need to first know the semantic range of the Greek. 'Nullify' is katargoumen,

1) to render idle, unemployed, inactivate, inoperative 1a) to cause a person or thing to have no further efficiency 1b) to deprive of force, influence, power 2) to cause to cease, put an end to, do away with, annul, abolish 2a) to cease, to pass away, be done away 2b) to be severed from, separated from, discharged from, loosed from any one 2c) to terminate all intercourse with one
whereas 'uphold' is histanomen

1) to cause or make to stand, to place, put, set 1a) to bid to stand by, [set up] 1a1) in the presence of others, in the midst, before judges, before members of the Sanhedrin; 1a2) to place 1b) to make firm, fix establish 1b1) to cause a person or a thing to keep his or its place 1b2) to stand, be kept intact (of family, a kingdom), to escape in safety 1b3) to establish a thing, cause it to stand 1b31) to uphold or sustain the authority or force of anything 1c) to set or place in a balance 1c1) to weigh: money to one (because in very early times before the introduction of coinage, the metals used to be weighed) 2) to stand 2a) to stand by or near 2a1) to stop, stand still, to stand immovable, stand firm 2a1a) of the foundation of a building 2b) to stand 2b1) continue safe and sound, stand unharmed, to stand ready or prepared 2b2) to be of a steadfast mind 2b3) of quality, one who does not hesitate, does not waiver

With regards to this, I believe that faith establishes the law by fulfilling it, but not in its current form, as per Galatians: "For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”…and the fruit of the Spirit is love,…" I don't think this interpretation is ruled out by 3:31; one needs to work one's way through the rest of the letter to confirm or deny it.

I may do that if I have the time and energy. Having worked this far, I am aware that I am getting further and further out of my depth if I attempt to keep whatever extracts discussed and comments I make in context. For example, Romans 7:22-23 is complex due to mentioning 3-4 different "laws" (nomw and nomon). I also think that in Romans 2, grammatos, that is, the written code of Moses is not necessarily coidentifiable with the more abstract nomos. I posit that nomos in general is not talking about the law of Moses in general, but it is the abstraction of that, a rough definition would be the way God wants man to live. Also, I suggest that if you can't deal with the subtleties and complexities of nomos and its conjugates, you may not want to conclude anything definitive about it.

robrecht: if you could spare a little time to give a critique of this post it would be very much appreciated.

Soyeong
01-20-2014, 10:22 PM
What I do find many Christian's doing is highlighting the liberty we have in Christ and drawing out the implications of the gospel and what it means to be "in Christ". Sadly, I see how many "Messianic Jews" could misunderstand this as being anti-Torah. Indeed, I'm sure Paul's own autobiographical sketch of conversion would cause some Messianic Jews to stumble if they have a distorted view of the gospel and the changes that were wrought about by the ushering in of Christ and the New Covenant.

Romans 15-18 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves,[c] you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

The liberty we have in Christ frees us from sin so that we can become slaves of righteousness, which involves being faithfully obedient to God through keeping His Torah.


For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reasons for such confidence.

If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Paul is talking about his pride and legalistic zeal for his own works-based righteousness under the law, which he now considers rubbish. Righteousness for God does not come from keeping the law is if it were by works, by by keeping the law by faith.

Romans 9:30-32 What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness[d] did not succeed in reaching that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works.

TyRockwell
01-20-2014, 10:50 PM
The Old Covenant food laws were necessary for the health of the people. They still lived under the Curse, in an earth that was more a dangerous place before Christ. On this side of the cross, we Christians are free of the curse of Genesis 3. Did you notice that God had no dietary laws for Adam? There were none, until God made the Mosaic Covenent with His people. With the Law, came the curses for not keeping it, AFTER the blessings for keeping it. See Deuteronomy's 28th chapter. In the Ndew Covenant the blessings come upon us because we are in Christ, who krpt the law in our place and bore the curses away from us. In the faith, Jesus' words are our protecting sword and armor. We just don't eat blood to honor the principle that "the life of the creature is in the blood." It keeps us from being yucky barbaric eaters, too. As to Mark 7, Jesus said that what one eats does not defile the body, because it LEAVES the body (is eliminated) "out with the draughts." What defiles, are the evils that can come OUT of the mouth. Those are the ONLY things Jesus said defiles.

Scrawly
01-20-2014, 11:31 PM
Romans 15-18 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves,[c] you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

Grace transforms and grace enables us to live holy lives pleasing to God. Born again Christian's walk in newness of life with new desires - they walk in the Spirit and exhibit the fruits of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Gal.5:22-25). Walking in the Spirit is far from a mindset that believes "Oh yay, I am not under the law so now I can sin all I want!", isn't it?


The liberty we have in Christ frees us from sin so that we can become slaves of righteousness, which involves being faithfully obedient to God through keeping His Torah.

No. We do not practice the law in its original form, but rather, the law as fulfilled and transformed by Christ as in accordance with the Kingdom of heaven. The validity of this understanding of Jesus’ fulfillment of the Old Testament is borne out when we look at Jesus’ exposition of the Law which follows beginning with Matt.5:21. Seven times, Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said to the ancients . . . but I say unto you.” That which the ancients were told is the teaching of the Law and the Prophets, not the man-made traditions for which Jesus rebuked the Jews at other points (Mt. 15). While Jesus does not deny the truth or validity of the Old Testament’s demands; he expands upon that truth or validity of the Old Testament’s demands, he expands upon that teaching, developing it in accordance with the arrival of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Moreover, the liberty children of God have under the New Covenant and in Christ, is discussed in Romans 14.


Romans 9:30-32 What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness[d] did not succeed in reaching that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works.

Correct. :smile:

robrecht
01-21-2014, 05:10 AM
Romans 9:30-32 What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness[d] did not succeed in reaching that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works.

That is precisely the problem that Paul cites. If it weren't an issue, then he wouldn't have spent so much times talking about being justified by works versus by faith. If you read the Talmud, 26 volumes amazon.com, you will see that they turned keeping the Torah into a legalistic nightmare.

Matthew 23:1-4 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, 3 so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. 4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear,[a] and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.

It is precisely the problem that Jesus is talking about here, and precisely the burden that they did not want to lay on the Gentiles in Acts 15.Don't leave off the end of verse 32 and verse 33!

The problem according to Paul is that they did not recognize and adopt the faith and faithfulness of Jesus.

Matthew's Jesus would have you do and observe whatever they tell you. Here Jesus is portrayed as endorsing Phariseeic/rabbinic authority, whereas in Mark 7 and the Matthean parallel, Jesus seems to be more like a Karaite. Different people had differing impressions of Jesus. His faith, teaching and behavior were not so easy to characterize and he was ultimately rejected, the stone of stumbling and rock of scandal as Paul would understand Jesus. His faithful interpretation of the Law, though utterly faithful, was seen as too radical. He could be both as lenient as Hillel and as zealous as Shammai. Paul understood him well and he was was rejected by many Jewish Christians, as Jesus had been rejected by Jewish authorities before him. Was Jesus cursed, hanging on a tree, cursed as the law would say? No, not if one trusts in the faith and teaching of Jesus.

The problem was not the Jews; the problem was Jesus. He challenged everyone, not just those one disagrees with.

Quantum Weirdness
01-21-2014, 11:56 AM
Each morning Orthodox Jews repeated in their prayers the Yigdal hymn which has a line that stated, "G-d will never amend nor exchange His law for any other one, for all eternity." I see no indication that God would ever repeal His instructions. God considers eating unclean animals to be an abomination, so at what point does God's opinion change?

Good on those Jews! I really don't bother about them though.


Furthermore, Jesus said the law wouldn't pass away, so a different socio-historical context is irrelevant.

No he said that Until Heaven and Earth pass away the Law would not pass away. The Law therefore passes away in Matt 24.


The law gives everything freedom by teaching us how to live righteously.

Jeremiah 31:33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts.

The new covenant involves the Torah being written on our hearts.

Well while the word for law is torah, it just means the teaching of God which doesn't necessarily include the dietary laws.




"We should not think slightingly of the shadow. It was no less than the divine promise of all the heavenly realities about to arrive. The shadow proved the actuality and even the nearness of the realities, for only an actual body and one that is not far away casts a shadow. So the shadow call out all the faith and the hope of the Old Testament saints in the impending realities and guaranteed that faith and that hope in the strongest way. By faith Abraham saw Christ's day and was glad (John 8:56); Isaiah saw Christ's glory and spoke of it (John 12:41; Isaiah 53)." (R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Paul's Epistles to the Colossians, to the Thessalonians, to Timothy, to Titus and Philemon, p. 126)

The purpose of the is to point to Christ, and it is no less because of that.


Yes it is to point to Christ who is better than the law. And Christ did annul some laws of the torah (unless you want to suppose the sacrificial laws are still to be kept.)




Man did not create God's laws and following them cannot be a self-made religion. At no point did God ever make unclean animals clean. Every vision in the Bible has a figurative interpretation that is given, and we don't trying to reinterpret any of the other visions as being literal, so why do people try to do that with Peter's vision?
.

You're honestly sure about that? Even if the Bible doesn't talk much about it, what about the church traditions?
Yes man did not create God's laws. But God made those laws for a specific context. Just like the sacrificial laws.
Also, note that in Colossians keeping certain laws was not something you should be judged by (eg laws of religious festivals)


There are multiple covenants in the Bible, and there is no indication that the new covenant has a different set of rules, rather the main difference is a far superior mediator, the Torah is being written on our hearts, and the new in the new covenant is you.

There are no different rules in the new covenant? So you mean we still have to be circumcised and engage in the sacrificial laws (Which are part of the Torah)?





The Jews had ritual purity laws that made them ritually unclean if they entered the house of a Gentile or associated with them. Peter objecting three times to being told to eat show that he had no understanding that kosher laws were abrogated in either Mark 7 or after the death and resurrection of Jesus, so this speaks against the Torah being changed.

Acts 10:15 And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.

What God has made clean (the word used referring to unclean animals) do not call common (the word used referring to being ritually unclean).

Acts 10:28 And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.

Peter gives the interpretation of the vision as voiding those ritual purity laws. In no other sense should his vision be taken.
Ok then.

How do you propose we translate Mark 7:19 though
http://biblehub.com/mark/7-19.htm

All of these suggest it is the purifying of all meats.

Soyeong
01-21-2014, 01:05 PM
No. We see in Acts 15 two groups, possibly coterminous but I don't see any reason to assume they are. 15:1 has "But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”"

The circumcision group frequently came in conflict with Paul and were teaching the same things as Acts 15:1, so while they might not have been the same people, they very likely were part of the same group. You're right that there is no need to assume they were the same group, but they were teaching the same things, which was point point in making that statement.


15:5 has "But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.”"

So as I've said, though some wanted the Gentile Christians to keep the Mosaic law (and possibly the oral law developed from it), Peter and the apostles and the elders decide that the burden of the Mosaic law on them.

You keep talking about 15:1; you ignore 15:5.
The Pharisees saw the oral law as part of what Moses had given them, so they didn't consider their own additions to be separate. This is evident by the fact that are including the conversion ritual to be part of the Laws of Moses, when it is not actually in the OT anywhere. It wasn't the Torah or circumcision that they were rejecting, the were rejecting this conversion ritual. It's in the same way that if I refused to be baptized into a Mormon church, my rejection is of Mormonism and not of baptism.

The Pharisaic burden they are rejecting is the same one Jesus is talking about in Matthew.

Matthew 23:2-4 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, 3 so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. 4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear,[a] and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.

Matthew 23:15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell[e] as yourselves.

Leviticus 26:15 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves. And I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.

Deuteronomy 30:11-15 “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 14 But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. 15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

God did not bring his people out of Egypt to put them back into bondage with His Torah. The Torah is for freedom, it is the oral law that are the burden.

JohnnyP
01-21-2014, 01:30 PM
No he said that Until Heaven and Earth pass away the Law would not pass away. The Law therefore passes away in Matt 24.

Jumping back in for a minute, do you think it coincides with the following, and when does Judgment take place? In a future end, or did it start sometime in the past?


Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

Soyeong
01-21-2014, 01:47 PM
I am glad you now agree that in Galatians Paul is talking about the Mosaic Law.

I agreed since the beginning that he was talking about the Mosaic Law, but he was specifically talking about a perverted way in which it was kept.


To that, I have only to respond: "But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code." (Romans 7:6) This is not law viewed apprehended from Spirit, rather the way of the Spirit is distinguished from the way of the Law.

Let's look at the context:


So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh,[a] the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

The Law and Sin

7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.

13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.

The Torah teaches us what sin is and how to live righteously before God, but the very act of being told that we shouldn't sin entices us to do that. The law is not sinful, so it is not the problem, sin is the problem. Jesus paid the penalty for our disobedience to the Torah, death, so we have been released from the aspect of the law that bore fruit for death (verse 5). We have died to and been released from our own propensity to turn it into a framework of legalism, irremediable guilt feelings which follow disobeying it, and the Torah's penalties for disobeying it. As a result, we are now free to serve God in a new way provided by the Spirit, who has written the Torah in our hearts (Jeremiah 30:31).

In order to argue against Romans 6:15-18, you need explain what Paul means when he says that we shouldn't sin even though we are not under the law and that we should continue to be obedient to God. Romans 7:7 tells us that the Torah is how we know what sin is, so not being under the law doesn't mean that we are free to transgress it. We are free from the aspects of the penalty of the law and the need for justification by it, but we are not free to be disobedient to it.



No. Go back to the Scripture. Some Pharisees ask Jesus whether it is lawful to divorce at all, Jesus asks them what did Moses say on the issue, they say Moses permitted, quoting from Deuteronomy. [B]Jesus agrees that Moses said so, but gives them a new ruling.


Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
Jesus didn't ask them what Moses said, Jesus explained why Moses gave the ruling, but didn't agree with it, and he gave the ruling same ruling as it has been since the beginning.


When?
Towards the end of Acts, around 21-26.

Soyeong
01-21-2014, 03:20 PM
You want to believe that the Gentile Christians in Antioch joined the religion of the Jews, kept kosher so that Kephas could eat with them, and that the controversy only concerned a symbolic interpretation of Kephas' eating habits pertaining to his implied change of belief about circumcision. None of that is in the text. Nor does it make sense.
I'm sorry, I don't think there is anything strange about a new convert to Christianity being concerned about learning about what rules they are supposed to follow so that they can fit in, avoid offending other Christians, and so that they can be obedient to the one true God. On the other hand, what would make no sense would if a new convert was completely unconcerned with these things.


If the Gentile Christians joined the religion of the Jews, kept kosher, why did they not also accept circumcision?
God-fearing Gentiles were those Gentiles who were Torah compliant, but had not undergone the conversion ritual to become a proselyte. Circumcision as an adult is rather debilitating.


Peter supposedly changed his view about the necessity of circumcision, but he had been living like a Gentile. What does that mean, living like a Gentile, did he have his circumcision reversed? Did the other Jews and even Barnabas have their circumcision reversed? Peter (and the other Jews at Antioch) were "eating with the Gentiles and living like a Gentile and not like a Jew." Eating. Living like.
Living like a Gentile rather than a Jew is not being obsessed with ritual purity.


"... for until certain people came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But after they came, he drew back and kept himself separate for fear of the circumcision faction. 13 And the other Jews joined him in this hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were not acting consistently with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?”
Peter's hypocrisy was telling the Gentiles that it was ok for Jews to eat with them and that they were justified by grace through faith, then through his actions contradicting those statements.

Galatians 2:15-16 “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in[d] Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

Paul going on to talk about being justified by faith implies that Peter's actions were making a statement about being justified by works. Kosher laws don't fit the bill by themselves because saying that Gentiles should follow them out of obedient to God is not the same as saying they needed to follow them in order to be justified. Rather, the by moving to eat with the legalistic circumcision group, he was agreeing that Gentiles should be made to follow the Jewish customs of circumcision to become Jews and that they weren't justified unless they kept all of the written and oral law. (See Acts 15:1)


Some Jewish Christians during Paul's time and Jewish Christians for a few centuries thereafter would continue to argue about how to understand Paul and his view that all things are clean. They did not make up this issue of contention in the early church. Just when do you think that Christians started misunderstanding Paul's text here?
This is slightly off topic, but I think there's good evidence in Acts that the disciples never stopped following the Torah.

http://www.fogwhistle.ca/acts/evidence.html


Sure they were. Jews eating with Gentiles? Jews living like Gentiles? Eating meat sacrificed to idols? Did the Law allow Jews to eat meat sacrificed to idols? Of course not. Did the law allow Jews to live like Gentiles and not like Jews?
There were oral laws that made Jews ceremonially unclean if they entered the house of Gentiles, or associated with them. These laws were what Peter's vision voided and which changed how Peter lived with them in stark contrast to other Jews.


Seriously? Have you not read the 10 commandments? "You shall not have other gods besides me. You shall not make for yourself an idol or likeness of anything whatever is in heaven above and whatever is in the earth beneath and whatever is in the waters beneath the earth. You shall not do obeisance to them, nor are you to serve them."
Right, there was a commandment against idolatry, but it doesn't meticulously define which actions counted as that (See the Talmud). If you were at a pagan ritual and ate meat that you knew had been sacrificed to idols, then it was idolatry. However, if you were eating meat that had been sold on the market or at someone's house and you didn't know whether it had been sacrificed to idols, then you could eat that possibly had been sacrificed to idols with a clear conscious. A major concern for Jews was that they didn't know that for sure when they ate with Gentiles or with Gentiles that they could fall back into paganism. Paul was trying to clarify this issue in 1 Corinthians 8 and 10, but at no point did he contradict the Torah.


The text of Maccabees was not referring to only a single incident of a pig being offered on the altar. The Greek is clearly referring to multiple occasions and foods and equates 'eating unclean things' with 'being defiled by foods'. I don't think we should distinguish too strongly between eating something unclean and ritual purity. Both are matters of the law.
The issue is that becoming ritually unclean was not a sin. Jesus became ritually unclean when he healed a leper or the woman who was bleeding. It was also not a sin to eat something that was ritually unclean. For instance, you weren't sinning if you went to a funeral and were in the same room with the body, but it made you ritually unclean. If you then went home and ate a kosher meal, the food would become ritually unclean as you touched it, but you still wouldn't be sinning. On the other hand, eating animals that God has declared to to be unclean is a sin.

Quantum Weirdness
01-21-2014, 03:56 PM
Jumping back in for a minute, do you think it coincides with the following, and when does Judgment take place? In a future end, or did it start sometime in the past?

Start a new thread on it Johnny and we'll talk there

robrecht
01-21-2014, 04:27 PM
I'm sorry, I don't think there is anything strange about a new convert to Christianity being concerned about learning about what rules they are supposed to follow so that they can fit in, avoid offending other Christians, and so that they can be obedient to the one true God. On the other hand, what would make no sense would if a new convert was completely unconcerned with these things.

God-fearing Gentiles were those Gentiles who were Torah compliant, but had not undergone the conversion ritual to become a proselyte. Circumcision as an adult is rather debilitating.

Living like a Gentile rather than a Jew is not being obsessed with ritual purity.

Peter's hypocrisy was telling the Gentiles that it was ok for Jews to eat with them and that they were justified by grace through faith, then through his actions contradicting those statements. You're missing the point. All of this is your imagination; none of it is in the text.


Paul going on to talk about being justified by faith implies that Peter's actions were making a statement about being justified by works. Kosher laws don't fit the bill by themselves because saying that Gentiles should follow them out of obedient to God is not the same as saying they needed to follow them in order to be justified. Rather, the by moving to eat with the legalistic circumcision group, he was agreeing that Gentiles should be made to follow the Jewish customs of circumcision to become Jews and that they weren't justified unless they kept all of the written and oral law. (See Acts 15:1)You believe your view is implied by what Paul says subsequently, but you ignore what is actually in the text, no need for it to be implied: Cephas ate with the Gentiles, lived like a Gentile and then separated himself from the Gentiles when the men from James came upon the scene.


This is slightly off topic, but I think there's good evidence in Acts that the disciples never stopped following the Torah.

http://www.fogwhistle.ca/acts/evidence.html We already know from a much earlier eye-witness that Cephas ate with the Gentiles and lived like a Gentile.


There were oral laws that made Jews ceremonially unclean if they entered the house of Gentiles, or associated with them. These laws were what Peter's vision voided and which changed how Peter lived with them in stark contrast to other Jews. When Paul tells us that Cephas ate with the Gentiles and lived like a Gentile, you wish that what he really said was that Cephas ate kosher with the Gentiles and he only lived like a Gentile with respect to some oral ceremonial laws but with respect to all of the other laws, Cephas did not live like a Gentile. Problem is, this is Paul's letter to the Galatians, not Soyeong's letter to the Galatians. No offense, but I will stick with the letter Paul wrote.


Right, there was a commandment against idolatry, but it doesn't meticulously define which actions counted as that (See the Talmud). If you were at a pagan ritual and ate meat that you knew had been sacrificed to idols, then it was idolatry. However, if you were eating meat that had been sold on the market or at someone's house and you didn't know whether it had been sacrificed to idols, then you could eat that possibly had been sacrificed to idols with a clear conscious. A major concern for Jews was that they didn't know that for sure when they ate with Gentiles or with Gentiles that they could fall back into paganism. Paul was trying to clarify this issue in 1 Corinthians 8 and 10, but at no point did he contradict the Torah. Nothing is unclean in and of itself, all things are clean. Face it, you don't find that in the Torah or the Talmud.


The issue is that becoming ritually unclean was not a sin. Jesus became ritually unclean when he healed a leper or the woman who was bleeding. It was also not a sin to eat something that was ritually unclean. For instance, you weren't sinning if you went to a funeral and were in the same room with the body, but it made you ritually unclean. If you then went home and ate a kosher meal, the food would become ritually unclean as you touched it, but you still wouldn't be sinning. On the other hand, eating animals that God has declared to to be unclean is a sin. You are, of course, free to believe whatever you want about sin, but you are not able to say truthfully that Paul said eating something unclean was a sin. He does not say that. He says everything is clean. It is only a sin for those who believe it is a sin because they act against their conscience.

JohnnyP
01-21-2014, 05:15 PM
Start a new thread on it Johnny and we'll talk there

I started one here in Eschatology: When is the Great Judgment? (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?217-When-is-the-Great-Judgment&p=2685&viewfull=1#post2685) Thanks.

Soyeong
01-21-2014, 10:09 PM
Part 2 of split post


I'll be the first to admit that I am not certain or sure how to handle Romans. Not that I don't have some initial ideas about the meaning but I am aware that under different schema greatly divergent meanings can be obtained. Thus I do not want to handle Romans as a whole, because of my ignorance, and because I think one must lay out one's schema properly so that others may be clear where one is coming from, which will take quite some time and space. But if you insist, I'll try to cover as much as I am able to, with a almost non-existent understanding of Greek.

When there is disagreement, I think preference should be given to what aligns with their culture rather than what constitutes a rejection of it.


I'll start with Romans 1, bolding for emphasis:

The Torah means teaching or doctrine, not actually law, so it's not meant to be thought of as legalistic in character. However, I think as we're finding, Torah is used to refer to a broader range of things than nomos.

Matthew 5:17 “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.

Here Jesus is saying he did not come to abolish the nomos or the Prophets, but to complete our understanding of them, such as what he just did with the Sermon on the Mount.

Acts 21:19-20 After greeting them, he related one by one the things that God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20 And when they heard it, they glorified God. And they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed. They are all zealous for the law,

Being zealous for the nomos is shown in a positive. These Jewish believers never lost their Jewish identity, after all Jesus is the Jewish Messiah.

Galatians 2:16 yet we know that a person is not justified[b] by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.


Legalistic observance of Torah commands. The Greek word "nomos" usually means "law"; it is also the normal New Testament word for Hebrew Torah, which can usually be translated by the phrase, "Law of Moses," or simply "Law." Most Christians therefore suppose that "erga nomou," literally, "works of law," a term which appears three times in verse 16, must mean, "actions done in obedience to the Torah." But this is wrong. One of the best-kept secrets about th eNew Testament is that when Paul writes "nomos" he frequently does not mean "law" but "legalism."


"...it will be well to bear in mind the face (which, so far as we know, had not received attention before it was noted in [Cranfield's article in] the Scottich Journal of Theology, Volume 17, 1964, p.55) that the Greek language of Paul's day possessed no word-group corresponding to our 'legalism,' 'legalist' and 'legalistic.' This means that he lacked a convenient terminology for expressing a vital distinction, and so was surely seriously hampered in the work of clarifying the Christian position with regard to the law. In view of this, we should always, we think, be ready to reckon with the possibility the Pauline statements which at first sight seem to disparage the law, were really directed not against the law itself but against that misunderstanding and misuse of it for which we now have a convenient terminology. In this very difficult terrain Paul was pioneering. If we make due allowance for these circumstances, we shall not be so easilly baffled or misled by a certain impreciseness of statement which we shall sometimes encounter."

He was right, but he wasn't the first.


"Nomou is here evidently used... in its legalistic sense, denoting divine law viewed as a purely legalistic system made up of statutes, on the basis of obedience or disobedience to which men are approved or condemned as a matter of debt without grace. This is divine law as the legalist defined it. In the apostle's thought it stands for a reality only in that it constitutes a single element of the divine law detached from all other elements and aspects of divine revelation; by such detachment it misrepresents the will of God and his real attitude towards men. By erga nomou Paul means deeds of obedience to formal statutes done in the legalistic spirit, with the expectation of thereby meriting and securing divine approval and award, such obedience, in other words, as the legalists rendered to the law of the Old Testament as expanded and interpreted by them. Though nomos in this sense had no existence as representing the basis of justification in the divine government, yet erga nomou had a very real existence in the thought and practice of men who conceived of the divine law after this fashion.... The translation of this phrase here and constantly... by 'the works of the law'... is a serious defect of [versions that have it]."

Romans 3:20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

The phrase "works of the law" should again be legalistic observance of Torah commands. The purpose of the law was never to become righteous through out own legalistic observance to the law, but to show us how to live righteously through faith.


I do not take "erga" with the modifier "nomou ("of law") to mean "bad self-strength works prescribed in the Torah," but rather:

"bad self-strength works produced when sinful people misuse and pervert the Torah, so that instead of regarding it as God's gracious gift intended both to orient people toward righteous, God-motivated behavior and at the same time to show them how far short they fall of achieving it, they regard the Torah as a rulebook containing requirements they can meet mechanically, without trusting God or even caring about him, and can therefore take great pride in their own achievements and have great self-satisfaction over how much they have pleased God."

In other words, "works of law" are indeed "works produced by the Torah." but through its being used improperly. This is what I have tried to convey in my rendering. "legalistic observance of Torah commands." This is a good place to call attention to a book clarifying these issues: Daniel P. Fuller's Gospel And Law: Contrast Or Continuum? (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmaans, 1980).

Romans 6:14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Here again it should say you are not under legalism, but under grace.

Roman 9:30-33 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33 As it is written:

“See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall,
and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”

Here the problem is that they pursued the nomos as if it it were by legalistic works rather than perusing it by faith.


With regards to this, I believe that faith establishes the law by fulfilling it, but not in its current form, as per Galatians: "For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”…and the fruit of the Spirit is love,…" I don't think this interpretation is ruled out by 3:31; one needs to work one's way through the rest of the letter to confirm or deny it.
Complete understanding of the law in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” What does a life of someone look like that loves God with all their heart and with all their soul and with all their strength, and loves their neighbor as themselves? God find someone to keeps the Torah by faith to find out, because the rest of the laws properly understood paint us a complete understanding of what that looks like.

Soyeong
01-21-2014, 10:21 PM
The Old Covenant food laws were necessary for the health of the people.

That is is no indication that was a reason why kosher laws were given or that it was the only reason. There's no nutritional reason why eating a cow or a sheep is any healthier than a rabbit or camel.


They still lived under the Curse, in an earth that was more a dangerous place before Christ. On this side of the cross, we Christians are free of the curse of Genesis 3. Did you notice that God had no dietary laws for Adam? There were none, until God made the Mosaic Covenent with His people. With the Law, came the curses for not keeping it, AFTER the blessings for keeping it. See Deuteronomy's 28th chapter. In the Ndew Covenant the blessings come upon us because we are in Christ, who krpt the law in our place and bore the curses away from us. In the faith, Jesus' words are our protecting sword and armor. We just don't eat blood to honor the principle that "the life of the creature is in the blood." It keeps us from being yucky barbaric eaters, too.
There is no indication that Jesus kept the law so we don't have to or that any of his disciples understood it that way.


As to Mark 7, Jesus said that what one eats does not defile the body, because it LEAVES the body (is eliminated) "out with the draughts." What defiles, are the evils that can come OUT of the mouth. Those are the ONLY things Jesus said defiles.
This was a parable that doesn't have a literal meaning, but a figurative one that is used to give a moral teaching. Jesus explains in verses 18-23 that it is immoral thoughts and actions that make us unclean, rather than eating with unwashed hands.

Paprika
01-21-2014, 10:27 PM
The Pharisees saw the oral law as part of what Moses had given them, so they didn't consider their own additions to be separate. This is evident by the fact that are including the conversion ritual to be part of the Laws of Moses, when it is not actually in the OT anywhere. It wasn't the Torah or circumcision that they were rejecting, the were rejecting this conversion ritual. It's in the same way that if I refused to be baptized into a Mormon church, my rejection is of Mormonism and not of baptism.
No. The Pharisees cited said "It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses." (bolding for emphasis). Now, you may say that the Council decided that the circumcision ritual was unnecessary. That is true. But they also decided the burden of the law as unnecessary.

Soyeong
01-21-2014, 10:32 PM
Grace transforms and grace enables us to live holy lives pleasing to God.
Correct, Grace transforms us to be able to follow the Torah in a way that is holy and pleasing to him.


Born again Christian's walk in newness of life with new desires - they walk in the Spirit and exhibit the fruits of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
As part of the new Covenant, God is writing the Torah on our hearts, so lets do those things through keeping it.


Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Gal.5:22-25). Walking in the Spirit is far from a mindset that believes "Oh yay, I am not under the law so now I can sin all I want!", isn't it?
The law is how we know what sin is and sin is defined as the transgression of the Torah, so why to we behave like we can transgress it where we want?


No. We do not practice the law in its original form, but rather, the law as fulfilled and transformed by Christ as in accordance with the Kingdom of heaven. The validity of this understanding of Jesus’ fulfillment of the Old Testament is borne out when we look at Jesus’ exposition of the Law which follows beginning with Matt.5:21. Seven times, Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said to the ancients . . . but I say unto you.” That which the ancients were told is the teaching of the Law and the Prophets, not the man-made traditions for which Jesus rebuked the Jews at other points (Mt. 15). While Jesus does not deny the truth or validity of the Old Testament’s demands; he expands upon that truth or validity of the Old Testament’s demands, he expands upon that teaching, developing it in accordance with the arrival of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Correct, to fulfill the law is to fill it up with meaning, to give us a complete understanding of it, to interpret it the way that it was meant to be understood, not to do away with it.


Moreover, the liberty children of God have under the New Covenant and in Christ, is discussed in Romans 14.

Romans 6:15-18 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves,[c] you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 1

Being free from the legalism of the Torah does not mean we are free to transgress it.

Paprika
01-21-2014, 10:37 PM
I agreed since the beginning that he was talking about the Mosaic Law, but he was specifically talking about a perverted way in which it was kept.
Asserted, but not shown. There is nothing pointing to oral law in the text, only what you choose to read in to defend your stance.



In order to argue against Romans 6:15-18, you need explain what Paul means when he says that we shouldn't sin even though we are not under the law and that we should continue to be obedient to God.
I believe I have shown that in Romans 1 all mankind know that some of God's dikaiwmata while they do not have the nomos or the gramamtos. It is thus possible to know what is sin apart from nomos


Jesus didn't ask them what Moses said, Jesus explained why Moses gave the ruling, but didn't agree with it, and he gave the ruling same ruling as it has been since the beginning.
Doesn't change the fact that Moses allowed something and Jesus disallowed it. A change in the law.


Towards the end of Acts, around 21-26.
It's not there. Sorry.

Paprika
01-21-2014, 10:50 PM
When there is disagreement, I think preference should be given to what aligns with their culture rather than what constitutes a rejection of it.

Sigh. I see you're not even addressing most of what I said. And what precisely is their culture? The generalized "Jewish" culture? The generalized "Roman" culture in Rome?


Matthew 5:17 “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.

Here Jesus is saying he did not come to abolish the nomos or the Prophets, but to complete our understanding of them, such as what he just did with the Sermon on the Mount.
He altered the law on divorce.


Acts 21:19-20 After greeting them, he related one by one the things that God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20 And when they heard it, they glorified God. And they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed. They are all zealous for the law,

Being zealous for the nomos is shown in a positive. These Jewish believers never lost their Jewish identity, after all Jesus is the Jewish Messiah.
No no no. You've just raised another passage that kills your argument. Say Paul had been teaching them to keep the Torah in the 'new', 'right' way. The Jews in Jerusalem would not have heard that "you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or walk according to our customs." On the contrary, the Gentiles who listened to Paul would cling to Moses, circumcise their children (which is a commandment, not an oral law), even though they might not follow all of the oral tradition. (Surely you're not going to say that ALL oral tradition had been bad). The Gentiles would be keeping the law, perhaps in a different Spirit, but keeping it all the same, and the Jews would be possibly puzzled but rejoicing. Sure, there would be debate on which oral tradition should be followed, but that is par for the course and normal for Pharisees like Paul.

Re: legalism I'll need to see the arguments in detail for that; the stand is insufficient because I can quote you other writers on Paul who disagree, and that leads nowhere.

Paprika
01-21-2014, 10:59 PM
When Paul tells us that Cephas ate with the Gentiles and lived like a Gentile, you wish that what he really said was that Cephas ate kosher with the Gentiles and he only lived like a Gentile with respect to some oral ceremonial laws but with respect to all of the other laws, Cephas did not live like a Gentile. Problem is, this is Paul's letter to the Galatians, not Soyeong's letter to the Galatians. No offense, but I will stick with the letter Paul wrote.

I think Soyeong makes a false dichotomy that the Mosaic Law properly understood is good, and oral law is completely bad. By no means was all oral law a monolithic whole, by no means was it bad, by no means did all Pharisees agree on what the oral law contained, but neither did they condemn each other for all disagreements on the oral law.

Soyeong
01-22-2014, 12:25 AM
Good on those Jews! I really don't bother about them though.

The point is that Jews views the law as being eternal, so there is a disconnect if you think they all went along with the law no longer needing to be kept without trying to stone anyone who suggest that.


No he said that Until Heaven and Earth pass away the Law would not pass away. The Law therefore passes away in Matt 24.
Good point, but that hasn't happened yet.


Well while the word for law is torah, it just means the teaching of God which doesn't necessarily include the dietary laws.
It's true that it means teaching of God, but it was used to refer either the first five books of the Bible, the entire OT, the OT and the Talmud, or all teachings. It was never used to refer to a set of laws smaller than the first five books.


Yes it is to point to Christ who is better than the law. And Christ did annul some laws of the torah (unless you want to suppose the sacrificial laws are still to be kept.)
The Hebrew word is mikraw, which means a rehearsal, like a wedding rehearsal is the shadow of the wedding. A shadow is not different sort of thing than what is casting it. The Torah is rehearsal of the good things to come and point to Jesus as the full understanding of the law, not to a different law.

Hebrews also talks about priests doing sacrifices in the present tense, so sacrifices were ongoing up until the destruction of the Temple. Paul also paid for sacrifices in Acts as part of the Nazarene vow. There will be sacrifices in the Millennium.


You're honestly sure about that? Even if the Bible doesn't talk much about it, what about the church traditions?
If church tradition contradict God's commands, then they are wrong.

Yes man did not create God's laws. But God made those laws for a specific context. Just like the sacrificial laws.

Exodus 31:16 Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever.

Does that strike you as a temporary thing meant for a specific context? This is no indication that the laws given were only for a specific context.


Also, note that in Colossians keeping certain laws was not something you should be judged by (eg laws of religious festivals)

Colossians 2:13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,

The Colossians were mainly new Gentile coverts.

Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits[a] of the world, and not according to Christ.

Colossians 2:18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions,[d] puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,

They had been exposed to heresy to try to deprive them of spiritual blessings.

Colossians 2:20-23 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

This was a description of the heresy. The commands of God listed in verse 16 were never to defraud people. Rather, it was Paul just finished encouraging the Colossians, reminding them of their circumcision and life in Jesus. He was saying no one should judge them for their faithfulness in keeping God's commands and holy days. Those are rehearsals of the good things to come.

It was most likely ascetics who were engrossed in elemental principles who were judging the Colossian for keeping those things and Paul saying not to listen to them.


There are no different rules in the new covenant? So you mean we still have to be circumcised and engage in the sacrificial laws (Which are part of the Torah)?
We can't keep the sacrificial laws because there is no Temple.


Ok then.

How do you propose we translate Mark 7:19 though
http://biblehub.com/mark/7-19.htm

All of these suggest it is the purifying of all meats.
Please note the title of this thread. I think my opening post sufficiently answers that question.

Scrawly
01-22-2014, 08:35 AM
Correct, Grace transforms us to be able to follow the Torah in a way that is holy and pleasing to him.

Yes we practice the law as fulfilled and transformed by Christ, not the law in its original form, in accordance with the kingdom of God as children of God, where there is no Jew nor Gentile.


As part of the new Covenant, God is writing the Torah on our hearts, so lets do those things through keeping it.

I will do what the New Covenant spells out and that includes liberty in Christ to worship on any day I choose and eat what ever I choose as per Romans 14.


The law is how we know what sin is and sin is defined as the transgression of the Torah, so why to we behave like we can transgress it where we want?

Sin is also defined as that which does not proceed from faith (Rom. 14:23). Christian's living in the Spirit don't want to displease God and they don't - if they walk by the Spirit and exhibit the fruit of the Spirit.


Correct, to fulfill the law is to fill it up with meaning, to give us a complete understanding of it, to interpret it the way that it was meant to be understood, not to do away with it.

Yes, but let's take a look at Leviticus 24:20:

fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; whatever injury he has given a person shall be given to him.

Now, let's take a look at Matthew 5:38-40:

You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’h 39But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.

Quite a radical transformation of Torah, isn't it? It's almost something earth shattering - like the ushering in of a New Covenant and Kingdom.


Romans 6:15-18 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves,[c] you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

Christian's are slaves to Christ, whom we serve in the Spirit:

"For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." (Rom. 8:3-4)


Being free from the legalism of the Torah does not mean we are free to transgress it.

You need to see the Torah in light of the New Covenant and the coming of Christ and His kingdom. The focus is now Christ and life in the Spirit. I simply do not find your insistence upon Torah reflected in the New Testament, rather, I see its fulfillment in Christ and the Epistle's and letters go on to spell that out more fully.

Soyeong
01-22-2014, 06:34 PM
You're missing the point. All of this is your imagination; none of it is in the text.
I'll admit that Paul wasn't exactly clear about what he meant by "living like a Gentile," so we're both interpreting it to mean something that isn't in the text. However, I think if we take a step back and try to objectively interpret the NT through the cultural lens that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, who kept the Torah perfectly, and who taught his Jewish disciples to act and think like him as with any rabbi/disciple relationship, and that the disciples were likewise zealous for the Torah, just as the Jews in Acts 21:20 were, and that the Gentiles were joining a Jewish religion, then I think the NT makes a lot more sense.

It is not unreasonable at all to assume that new converts to a religion would be interested in learning how to keep it and in not offending other members of the religion. Peter's vision in acts 10 was never interpreted by him to abrogate kosher laws, and he would sooner stone someone who was teaching against keeping them than break them himself. Keeping the Torah was completely ingrained into who Jews were as a people, and they would never have had any fellowship with anyone who was not keeping it.


You believe your view is implied by what Paul says subsequently, but you ignore what is actually in the text, no need for it to be implied: Cephas ate with the Gentiles, lived like a Gentile and then separated himself from the Gentiles when the men from James came upon the scene.

Again, you're also assuming what Paul meant by that, but your assumption is based on your culture; not his.

Acts 10:22 The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.”

God-fearing Gentiles were those who were Torah compliant, but had not undergone circumcision. Righteousness is not received through human efforts, but through faithful obedience to God's commands. In order to be respected by all Jewish people he would have needed to be Torah compliant, so without a doubt Cornelius served kosher food to Peter when came. Perhaps other gentiles in Galatians 2 weren't Torah compliant, but I think he serves as the model for Gentile inclusion into the religion, otherwise there would have been no fellowship.


We already know from a much earlier eye-witness that Cephas ate with the Gentiles and lived like a Gentile.
I encourage you to at least take a look at the site. If they were Torah compliant everywhere else in Acts, then perhaps your assumption about what Paul is saying is wrong.

http://www.fogwhistle.ca/acts/evidence.html


When Paul tells us that Cephas ate with the Gentiles and lived like a Gentile, you wish that what he really said was that Cephas ate kosher with the Gentiles and he only lived like a Gentile with respect to some oral ceremonial laws but with respect to all of the other laws, Cephas did not live like a Gentile. Problem is, this is Paul's letter to the Galatians, not Soyeong's letter to the Galatians. No offense, but I will stick with the letter Paul wrote.
There were God-fearing Gentiles who kept the Torah, but had not followed the conversion ritual. The Jews still did not eat with or associate with them because they would become ritually unclean. The difference between how they lived was the ritual purity laws. If Peter was no longer following those laws because of his vision, then he would be living like a Gentile.

If Peter were free to eat something that wasn't kosher and he chose to eat with people who only ate kosher, then he would not be acting out of line with the Gospel. On the other hand, agreeing with the circumcision group that said Gentiles had to be circumcised and obey all of the written and oral law in order to be saved would have acted against it. Problem is, this is Paul's letter to the Galatians, not robrecht's letter to the Galatians. No offense, but I will stick with the letter Paul wrote.


Nothing is unclean in and of itself, all things are clean. Face it, you don't find that in the Torah or the Talmud.
Again, the context of Romans 14 is disputable matter of opinion where the law gives no clear word, not whether or not it was a good idea to follow God's commands. The word used in Romans 14:14 is the one that generally refers to ritual purity. If Jews were looking down on Gentiles because they weren't keeping ritual purity laws, then that would have caused exactly the type of internal conflict Paul is addressing in this chapter. If on the other hand, Gentiles were openly sinning by breaking the Torah, then Jews would rightfully not have any fellowship with them in the same way we don't have fellowship with others who openly sin.


You are, of course, free to believe whatever you want about sin, but you are not able to say truthfully that Paul said eating something unclean was a sin. He does not say that. He says everything is clean. It is only a sin for those who believe it is a sin because they act against their conscience.
He said everything was ritually unclean of itself. This again goes back to the mix-up in Mark 7 where they are clearly talking about kosher food being made ritually unclean by eating it with unwashed hands. There are two different ways something can be unclean, and to use them interchangeably is to force your interpretation into what is being said.

Quantum Weirdness
01-22-2014, 09:13 PM
The point is that Jews views the law as being eternal, so there is a disconnect if you think they all went along with the law no longer needing to be kept without trying to stone anyone who suggest that.


They also generally view the Trinity as being wrong and that circumcision is necessary to enter a covenant with God. Do you think circumcision is necessary?



Good point, but that hasn't happened yet.
Debatable. Wanna do some discussion on the Eschatology forum?
In any case, the Law is going to pass away? Even the sacrificial ones?



It's true that it means teaching of God, but it was used to refer either the first five books of the Bible, the entire OT, the OT and the Talmud, or all teachings. It was never used to refer to a set of laws smaller than the first five books.
Apparently, it also had the meaning of revelation in general
Quote
"In rabbinic literature, the word 'Torah' bears seven meanings: (1) the written Torah; (2) the one whole Torah, oral and written, revealed by God to Moses at Sinai; (3) a particular thing, such as a scroll, containing divinely revealed words; (4) revelation in general; (5) a classification or rules, as in 'the torah of…,' meaning 'the rules that govern ….'; (6) the act of studying the Torah; and (7) the status of teaching, namely, deriving from the Torah, as against deriving from the scribes."
http://www.christianthinktank.com/finaltorah.html
(N.B I also recommend you read out the rest of that article )
So basically torah would mean the new revelation God was giving.




The Hebrew word is mikraw, which means a rehearsal, like a wedding rehearsal is the shadow of the wedding. A shadow is not different sort of thing than what is casting it. The Torah is rehearsal of the good things to come and point to Jesus as the full understanding of the law, not to a different law.
I dunno where I was arguing from Hebrew.
Ok then about the Torah.



Hebrews also talks about priests doing sacrifices in the present tense, so sacrifices were ongoing up until the destruction of the Temple. Paul also paid for sacrifices in Acts as part of the Nazarene vow. There will be sacrifices in the Millennium.

Ok on the bolded part. Where and what's the context?




Exodus 31:16 Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever.

Does that strike you as a temporary thing meant for a specific context? This is no indication that the laws given were only for a specific context.

Read Miller's Article on this
http://www.christianthinktank.com/finaltorah.html
(More specifically part 3)




Colossians 2:13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,

The Colossians were mainly new Gentile coverts.

Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits[a] of the world, and not according to Christ.

Colossians 2:18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions,[d] puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,

They had been exposed to heresy to try to deprive them of spiritual blessings.

Colossians 2:20-23 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

This was a description of the heresy. The commands of God listed in verse 16 were never to defraud people. Rather, it was Paul just finished encouraging the Colossians, reminding them of their circumcision and life in Jesus. He was saying no one should judge them for their faithfulness in keeping God's commands and holy days. Those are rehearsals of the good things to come.

It was most likely ascetics who were engrossed in elemental principles who were judging the Colossian for keeping those things and Paul saying not to listen to them.

Another argument I could make is that these things in Col 2:16 likely refer to the law since the phrase "shadow of things to come" is also applied to the law. Rules about the Sabbaths, holy days seem to allude to the Torah. Another thing is that (after I looked at the passage again) there appears to be no logical link between 2:9-17 and 2:18. 2:18 appears to follow from 2:8 with 2:9-17 being somewhat of a parenthetical note. That which is beyond 2:17 does not and cannot define the context for 2:16.
Finally, the word for eat in 2:16 is different than the word "taste" in 2:21


We can't keep the sacrificial laws because there is no Temple.
And we never have to again.



Please note the title of this thread. I think my opening post sufficiently answers that question.

Yeah I think that translation is strained. The literal Greek text has no such qualifications.

Scrawly
01-23-2014, 07:05 AM
I'll admit that Paul wasn't exactly clear about what he meant by "living like a Gentile," so we're both interpreting it to mean something that isn't in the text. However, I think if we take a step back and try to objectively interpret the NT through the cultural lens that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, who kept the Torah perfectly, and who taught his Jewish disciples to act and think like him as with any rabbi/disciple relationship, and that the disciples were likewise zealous for the Torah, just as the Jews in Acts 21:20 were, and that the Gentiles were joining a Jewish religion, then I think the NT makes a lot more sense.

It is not unreasonable at all to assume that new converts to a religion would be interested in learning how to keep it and in not offending other members of the religion. Peter's vision in acts 10 was never interpreted by him to abrogate kosher laws, and he would sooner stone someone who was teaching against keeping them than break them himself. Keeping the Torah was completely ingrained into who Jews were as a people, and they would never have had any fellowship with anyone who was not keeping it.



Again, you're also assuming what Paul meant by that, but your assumption is based on your culture; not his.

Acts 10:22 The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.”

God-fearing Gentiles were those who were Torah compliant, but had not undergone circumcision. Righteousness is not received through human efforts, but through faithful obedience to God's commands. In order to be respected by all Jewish people he would have needed to be Torah compliant, so without a doubt Cornelius served kosher food to Peter when came. Perhaps other gentiles in Galatians 2 weren't Torah compliant, but I think he serves as the model for Gentile inclusion into the religion, otherwise there would have been no fellowship.


I encourage you to at least take a look at the site. If they were Torah compliant everywhere else in Acts, then perhaps your assumption about what Paul is saying is wrong.

http://www.fogwhistle.ca/acts/evidence.html


There were God-fearing Gentiles who kept the Torah, but had not followed the conversion ritual. The Jews still did not eat with or associate with them because they would become ritually unclean. The difference between how they lived was the ritual purity laws. If Peter was no longer following those laws because of his vision, then he would be living like a Gentile.

If Peter were free to eat something that wasn't kosher and he chose to eat with people who only ate kosher, then he would not be acting out of line with the Gospel. On the other hand, agreeing with the circumcision group that said Gentiles had to be circumcised and obey all of the written and oral law in order to be saved would have acted against it. Problem is, this is Paul's letter to the Galatians, not robrecht's letter to the Galatians. No offense, but I will stick with the letter Paul wrote.


Again, the context of Romans 14 is disputable matter of opinion where the law gives no clear word, not whether or not it was a good idea to follow God's commands. The word used in Romans 14:14 is the one that generally refers to ritual purity. If Jews were looking down on Gentiles because they weren't keeping ritual purity laws, then that would have caused exactly the type of internal conflict Paul is addressing in this chapter. If on the other hand, Gentiles were openly sinning by breaking the Torah, then Jews would rightfully not have any fellowship with them in the same way we don't have fellowship with others who openly sin.


He said everything was ritually unclean of itself. This again goes back to the mix-up in Mark 7 where they are clearly talking about kosher food being made ritually unclean by eating it with unwashed hands. There are two different ways something can be unclean, and to use them interchangeably is to force your interpretation into what is being said.

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility. By abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility{Eph. 2:13-16}

Christ. The cross. The third humanity. The body of Christ. These are the focus of the New Covenant.

You are, however, quite right about Torah being so ingrained in the Jews that they would not have any fellowship with anyone who was not keeping it. Indeed the "Jew's who were zealous for the law" in Acts 21:19-21 is actually a remarkable testimony to the unanimity of the Christian Jews in their attachment to the Law of Moses, and throws light upon the Epistle to the Galatians and many other passages in St. Paul's Epistles. It explains the great difficulty experienced in the early Church in dealing with converts from Judaism.

robrecht
01-29-2014, 05:03 AM
I'll admit that Paul wasn't exactly clear about what he meant by "living like a Gentile," so we're both interpreting it to mean something that isn't in the text. I do not assume what is not in the text, but I will explain that in a moment. Paul was a little more clear than you admit: Cephas lived like a Gentile and ate with the Gentiles.


However, I think if we take a step back and try to objectively interpret the NT through the cultural lens that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, who kept the Torah perfectly, and who taught his Jewish disciples to act and think like him as with any rabbi/disciple relationship, and that the disciples were likewise zealous for the Torah, just as the Jews in Acts 21:20 were, and that the Gentiles were joining a Jewish religion, then I think the NT makes a lot more sense. The text of Paul’s letter to the Galatians is the only relatively objective matter here. Interpretations of that text are more subjective, and some are even more subjective than others. Trying to discern the historical reality behind the text, some 25 years earlier during the life and earthly ministry of Jesus is much more tentative and hypothetical. There are indeed indications that Jesus would have kept the law of Moses perfectly, but there are also other indications (from our earliest sources) that he was not so strict about some of this, eg, eating with sinners and tax collectors, being accused of being a drunkard and a glutton. You want to claim that one of these earlier possibilities is objective historical fact, and then interpret later texts based on this assumption. From an historico-critical perspective, this is backwards. Of course, you are not obligated to follow an historico-critical methodology. You could adopt midrashic, gematric, historicizing, theological or many other different approaches to a text. But these other approaches are not well suited for trying to establish historical likelihood, let alone objective historical fact.


It is not unreasonable at all to assume that new converts to a religion would be interested in learning how to keep it and in not offending other members of the religion. Of course not, I never said it was. But keep in mind that Paul certainly did offend other members of his ‘religion’, be they Jewish or Jewish Christian, as did Jesus before him.


Peter's vision in acts 10 was never interpreted by him to abrogate kosher laws, and he would sooner stone someone who was teaching against keeping them than break them himself. I’m not so sure that you know exactly how Peter interpreted his vision, but we do know that Luke tells us how the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem reacted to Peter’s actions following the vision: “Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?” You imagine that Cornelius kept kosher, but if that were the case, why was it so disturbing that Peter ate with them? I don’t believe it is forbidden in the Torah to eat kosher with Gentiles. But rather than speculate about Peter’s exact interpretation of his vision, why not just listen to God’s interpretation, as given by Luke: “What God has made clean (ἐκαθάρισεν), you must not call profane (κοίνου).” Note again the repeated complementary application (in the vision) of both word groups (κοινός, καθαρίζω). Note also Peter’s association of profane and unclean (πᾶν κοινὸν καὶ ἀκάθαρτον … κοινὸν ἢ ἀκάθαρτον).


Keeping the Torah was completely ingrained into who Jews were as a people, and they would never have had any fellowship with anyone who was not keeping it. True, perhaps, depending on what you mean by fellowship, but Jesus ate with sinners, was accused of being a glutton, and Peter ate with Cornelius, and the Gentiles in Galatia, and he lived as a Gentile. Where do we see Paul instructing his communities what they must not eat in order to be a Christian? Nowhere. The kingdom of God is not about eating and drinking.


Acts 10:22 The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.”

God-fearing Gentiles were those who were Torah compliant, but had not undergone circumcision. Righteousness is not received through human efforts, but through faithful obedience to God's commands. In order to be respected by all Jewish people he would have needed to be Torah compliant, so without a doubt Cornelius served kosher food to Peter when came. Perhaps other gentiles in Galatians 2 weren't Torah compliant, but I think he serves as the model for Gentile inclusion into the religion, otherwise there would have been no fellowship. ‘Without a doubt’ is merely the expression of your subjective certainty. You cannot possibly demonstrate this, merely assert it. Thanks for conceding the possibility that some Gentiles in Galatians 2 ‘were not Torah compliant’.


God-fearing Gentiles were those Gentiles who were Torah compliant, but had not undergone the conversion ritual to become a proselyte. You are oversimplifying and making assumptions. The nature of and Jewish attitudes toward ‘God-fearers’, ‘God-worshippers/pious’, ‘Judaizers’, and the two rabbinic types of ‘proselytes’
(גר תושב and a גר צדק) is not generally so precise and, when it is, it is also disputed. Luke does use the term God-fearers for proselytes who worship in the synagogue (Ac 13,16.26.4), but he also uses ‘God fearing’ in a general way (Lk 1,50 18,2.4 23,40 Ac 10.35) that does not support your assumption that Cornelius kept kosher and all of the Torah except circumcision. He does not use the term ‘proselyte’ for Cornelius, not even in the sense of a גר תושב, yet you want to assume that he was something very precise, much more than a גר תושב, yet just shy of being a גר צדק. This sense is not in the text, nor well attested in contemporary and even later literature. There are much later rabbinic texts that I have not looked at yet. What are your original sources for your description of Cornelius’ status?


I encourage you to at least take a look at the site. If they were Torah compliant everywhere else in Acts, then perhaps your assumption about what Paul is saying is wrong.

http://www.fogwhistle.ca/acts/evidence.html
Websites are fine, and I agree with you that this one is off-topic, but if you want to make a good argument, go to the original sources and adopt a credible method. From what I’ve read of this link, the argument is made that the resurrected Jesus, in his unrecounted private instruction of the apostles prior to Pentecost did not abrogate the laws pertaining to Jewish feasts, and presumably other matters. You should know by now that I do not disagree with this. This is not debated by any serious scholars that I know. We have a non-Christian Jewish source that tells us that James was very well respected by all (well not quite all) Jews in Jerusalem up until his death. By the way, the suggestion in the link that the ‘house’ mentioned in Ac 2,2 might refer to the Temple is a stretch.


There were God-fearing Gentiles who kept the Torah, but had not followed the conversion ritual. The Jews still did not eat with or associate with them because they would become ritually unclean. The difference between how they lived was the ritual purity laws. If Peter was no longer following those laws because of his vision, then he would be living like a Gentile. Again, Paul does not say that Cephas ate kosher with the Gentiles and lived like a Gentile only with respect to some oral or ceremonial laws. These are assumptions that you are reading into the text. Exactly which ritual purity laws are you proposing that Peter stopped following as a result of his vision? Paul and others certainly were involved in creating communities that included both Jew and Gentile. Did Paul want divided communities in which Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians were still divided by kosher rules? Nowhere does he seem to say this. Nowhere.


If Peter were free to eat something that wasn't kosher and he chose to eat with people who only ate kosher, then he would not be acting out of line with the Gospel. That was most likely Peter’s perspective. But Paul’s perspective in Galatians was protective of the gospel freedom that he and his communities had, where there was ‘neither Jew nor Gentile, for all were one in Christ Jesus.’ Pulling away from eating with the Gentiles, not just by Peter, but by the rest of the Jews in Galatia and even Barnabas, threatened that evangelical unity.


On the other hand, agreeing with the circumcision group that said Gentiles had to be circumcised and obey all of the written and oral law in order to be saved would have acted against it. Problem is, this is Paul's letter to the Galatians, not robrecht's letter to the Galatians. No offense, but I will stick with the letter Paul wrote. Cute, but I have not added anything to Paul’s letter to the Galatians. But it is true that the great majority do not interpret the letter as you do. Not because they add text to the letter, but because we do not (see following post) ...

robrecht
01-29-2014, 05:04 AM
But it is true that the great majority do not interpret the letter as you do. Not because they add text to the letter, but because we do not:

Paul says Cephas ate with the Gentiles and lived as a Gentile.

He does not say that Cephas only ate kosher with Gentiles who kept kosher.

Luke does not say that Cornelius kept kosher, but he does that Peter’s eating with Gentiles was objectionable to the circumcision party in Jerusalem.

Mark interprets Jesus’ parable as implying the cleansing of all food.

Mark does not say ‘cleansing not all but only kosher food’.

In Mark, Jesus says, “there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile.”

He does not say, “there are indeed many things outside a person that by going in can defile.”

Jesus says “whatever (literally all things) goes into a person from outside is not able defile.”

Jesus does not say, “well, not everything, strike that, I meant to say that some things going in from the outside are indeed able to defile, but some aren’t, now that you mention it, I suppose.”

And why is it that nothing going into a person from outside can defile? Because it does not go into the heart but into the stomach and then out into the latrine. That rationale is true for all foods, is it not? It is not the case that only kosher foods go into the stomach and then out into the latrine, but unclean food goes not into the stomach but into the heart. Stick with the words in the text, don’t add to them or change them.


Again, the context of Romans 14 is disputable matter of opinion where the law gives no clear word, not whether or not it was a good idea to follow God's commands. The word used in Romans 14:14 is the one that generally refers to ritual purity. If Jews were looking down on Gentiles because they weren't keeping ritual purity laws, then that would have caused exactly the type of internal conflict Paul is addressing in this chapter. If on the other hand, Gentiles were openly sinning by breaking the Torah, then Jews would rightfully not have any fellowship with them in the same way we don't have fellowship with others who openly sin. I’ve already corrected your apparent misunderstanding of the usage of κοινός (with reference to Maccabees and now Luke’s usage in Acts, there are many other texts that could be cited). If you think I am mistaken, please clarify exactly your lexical argument. Maybe I am not following what you are trying to say.


He said everything was ritually unclean of itself. This again goes back to the mix-up in Mark 7 where they are clearly talking about kosher food being made ritually unclean by eating it with unwashed hands. There are two different ways something can be unclean, and to use them interchangeably is to force your interpretation into what is being said. I think you meant to say that Paul said everything was ritually clean of itself, not ritually unclean, right? Why would Paul supposedly be talking about ritual purity in this, or any other context? You have not contested my reading of Mark 7 so it is pointless to bring it up here..

robrecht
02-01-2014, 11:20 AM
Part 2 of split post


I'll be the first to admit that I am not certain or sure how to handle Romans. Not that I don't have some initial ideas about the meaning but I am aware that under different schema greatly divergent meanings can be obtained. Thus I do not want to handle Romans as a whole, because of my ignorance, and because I think one must lay out one's schema properly so that others may be clear where one is coming from, which will take quite some time and space. But if you insist, I'll try to cover as much as I am able to, with a almost non-existent understanding of Greek.

I'll start with Romans 1, bolding for emphasis:

Now, I think we can agree that referrent of this extract is mankind in general. If so, we note that mankind in general "know God's righteous decree". What can this be? It is not the Mosaic Law, or the "law of faith" that those in Christ have. So we have a third "law" (my word, not Paul's) here (though it is the first mentioned) - Paul claims that there is a decree from God that some things are wrong that mankind in general are aware of, but they ignore it. In Greek it is dikaiwma. Now, why do I say that it is a 'third law' of sorts?

In Romans 2 amongst other things Paul mentions the law (nomos). He does say in 2:26 that "if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision?", the part in bold being dikaiwmata tou nomou, where, I believe, dikaiwmata is the plural of dikaiwma. So we see that mankind in general knows righteous commandments from God, of which type also exists in the law (of Moses). This is important when taken in conjunction with another bit, that "all who have sinned apart from the law will also perish apart from the law". My point here is that it is possible to recognise sinful behavior apart from the Law of Moses and the Law of the Spirit. But the Jews have the written code, the grammatos.

Now for Romans 3. "Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law". This appears to say that the law only holds only for those "under the law", ie the Jews, but I don't insist on this point. "Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith." Paul here, besides the dikaiwma in Chapter 1, and grammatos (of Moses) and nomos of Chapter 2, introduces the law of faith.

Okay, I think I have settled the preceding context as much as I can. On to the point you brought up from 3:31:
"Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law."

The key question revolves around the meaning of 'nullify' and 'uphold', and for that we need to first know the semantic range of the Greek. 'Nullify' is katargoumen,

whereas 'uphold' is histanomen


With regards to this, I believe that faith establishes the law by fulfilling it, but not in its current form, as per Galatians: "For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”…and the fruit of the Spirit is love,…" I don't think this interpretation is ruled out by 3:31; one needs to work one's way through the rest of the letter to confirm or deny it.

I may do that if I have the time and energy. Having worked this far, I am aware that I am getting further and further out of my depth if I attempt to keep whatever extracts discussed and comments I make in context. For example, Romans 7:22-23 is complex due to mentioning 3-4 different "laws" (nomw and nomon). I also think that in Romans 2, grammatos, that is, the written code of Moses is not necessarily coidentifiable with the more abstract nomos. I posit that nomos in general is not talking about the law of Moses in general, but it is the abstraction of that, a rough definition would be the way God wants man to live. Also, I suggest that if you can't deal with the subtleties and complexities of nomos and its conjugates, you may not want to conclude anything definitive about it.

robrecht: if you could spare a little time to give a critique of this post it would be very much appreciated.Hi, Paprika. Sorry for the delay, I just now saw your request. I do think Paul is probably speaking of the law of Moses in Romans 7,22, but that does not mean that he would not see analogies in other forms of law. In general, do not try to derive too much from a single word when doing exegesis. Meaning is also derived from a variety of contexts and Paul is notoriously difficult to interpret sometimes. Just ask 'James'! I think the first crucial point/question to embrace when trying to interpret Paul is his understanding of the 'faith of Jesus' in it's various explicit and implicit contexts. While this has traditionally (especially within Protestantism) been translated as 'faith in Jesus' (objective genitive), it is (in my opinion, following a number of great exegetes) better understood in context as something like the 'faith(fullness) of Jesus' (subjective genitive). We are not saved by having orthodox beliefs about the hypostatic union, but by putting into practice the same faithfulness and trust that Jesus himself displayed, despite the fact that he was judged as guilty of breaking the law and died a death that showed him to be cursed by the law. It is worthwhile to study Greek, so keep it up, but Paul's letters are certainly not the easier texts to start with--the gospel of John has a rather small vocabulary and relatively simply syntax. After you do the exercises in a good Greek grammar a few times, then I would venture into the gospel.

Paprika
02-01-2014, 07:33 PM
Thanks for the advice :smile: I'm aware of the dispute over pistis christou, but I'm not sure what to make of it . Could you recommend any books or articles on the issue?

RBerman
02-01-2014, 07:46 PM
Thanks for the advice :smile: I'm aware of the dispute over pistis christou, but I'm not sure what to make of it . Could you recommend any books or articles on the issue?

I believe it gets some attention in John Piper's book responding to NT Wright's views: http://www.amazon.com/Future-Justification-Response-N-Wright/dp/1581349645

Paprika
02-01-2014, 08:00 PM
I believe it gets some attention in John Piper's book responding to NT Wright's views: http://www.amazon.com/Future-Justification-Response-N-Wright/dp/1581349645
I googled and found the ebook on Piper's website. Will check it out.

robrecht
02-01-2014, 08:21 PM
Thanks for the advice :smile: I'm aware of the dispute over pistis christou, but I'm not sure what to make of it . Could you recommend any books or articles on the issue?The last article I read on this was over 20 years ago, but I still remember how excited I was to understand Paul in a whole new light. There's been a ton of scholarly articles on this and I haven't followed the discussion in detail so I really don't know which articles are best. I was recently reading NT Wright's new 2 volume work, Paul and the Faithfulness of God, and he has a good approach to Paul, including the subjective genitive. It's a lot of material with only one relatively small section discussing the subjective genitive, but it's a good start for a comprehensive approach to Paul. But if you really want to focus intensively on the subjective genitive, this guy has a bibliography of over 100 articles:

http://epistletothegalatians.wordpress.com/faithfulness-inof-christ-bibliography/

Paprika
02-01-2014, 08:49 PM
I believe it gets some attention in John Piper's book responding to NT Wright's views: http://www.amazon.com/Future-Justification-Response-N-Wright/dp/1581349645
I'm afraid I can't find any discussion on this phrase at all in the book.

Paprika
02-01-2014, 08:51 PM
The last article I read on this was over 20 years ago, but I still remember how excited I was to understand Paul in a whole new light. There's been a ton of scholarly articles on this and I haven't followed the discussion in detail so I really don't know which articles are best. I was recently reading NT Wright's new 2 volume work, Paul and the Faithfulness of God, and he has a good approach to Paul, including the subjective genitive. It's a lot of material with only one relatively small section discussing the subjective genitive, but it's a good start for a comprehensive approach to Paul. But if you really want to focus intensively on the subjective genitive, this guy has a bibliography of over 100 articles:

http://epistletothegalatians.wordpress.com/faithfulness-inof-christ-bibliography/
Thanks for the link! I'm a big fan of Wright's work and my plan is to read his series on Christian Origins in order. Though it is very very tempting to skip ahead.

robrecht
02-28-2014, 10:05 AM
... Right, there was a commandment against idolatry, but it doesn't meticulously define which actions counted as that (See the Talmud). If you were at a pagan ritual and ate meat that you knew had been sacrificed to idols, then it was idolatry. However, if you were eating meat that had been sold on the market or at someone's house and you didn't know whether it had been sacrificed to idols, then you could eat that possibly had been sacrificed to idols with a clear conscious. ...
I'm not sure this is true. Do you have any references of original sources to back this up? Perhaps it was a disputed question? I noticed that Larry Schiffman touched on this issue in response to a reader's question, and Larry, who is a great scholar specializing in Judaism(s) of this time period, seems to disagree with you:

Reader question: I recently read on your wonderful website:

“The law presumes that meat found in the possession of a non-Jew may have been slaughtered by him. Although forbidden to be eaten, such meat may be sold or benefit may be otherwise derived from it.”
Would you please say a little more about this? Not as it relates to the minim, but specifically as it relates to Gentiles. I have been told by others that Hellenistic Jews in the first century were allowed to eat meat obtained from Gentiles, with the presumption that it had not been sacrificed to idols. Is that true?

Answer: Jews were required ‎to eat meat that was ritually slaughtered. When the New Testament speaks of “eating with Gentiles,” they are talking about “carrion,” that is, non-kosher slaughter meat as well as meat and milk mixed together. I believe that this means that meat in the hands of non-Jews cannot be assumed to be kosher and hence may not be eaten.

http://lawrenceschiffman.com/blog/

Soyeong
02-28-2014, 11:12 AM
Sorry for not getting back to this thread sooner. It tends to eat up a lot of my time and I get burnt out after a while, but I do plan to get back to it.

Soyeong
03-07-2014, 09:32 PM
I'm not sure this is true. Do you have any references of original sources to back this up? Perhaps it was a disputed question? I noticed that Larry Schiffman touched on this issue in response to a reader's question, and Larry, who is a great scholar specializing in Judaism(s) of this time period, seems to disagree with you:

The Talmud has a number of rulings about eating meat that was sold in the market by Gentiles, so that was not a disputable matter to Jews. However, it became a disputable matter with the inclusion of Gentiles, so Paul gave his ruling in 1 Corinthians 8 and 10.


Answer: Jews were required ‎to eat meat that was ritually slaughtered. When the New Testament speaks of “eating with Gentiles,” they are talking about “carrion,” that is, non-kosher slaughter meat as well as meat and milk mixed together. I believe that this means that meat in the hands of non-Jews cannot be assumed to be kosher and hence may not be eaten.

http://lawrenceschiffman.com/blog/

I agree that Jews could not assume that meat eaten with Gentiles was kosher, so it was all considered to be non-kosher regardless of whether it actually was. God-fearers were Gentiles who had not converted to Judaism, but followed Jewish laws, customs, beliefs, and practices. Cornelius was a God-fearer, so kept kosher and certainly would have prepared kosher food for Peter when he visited.

robrecht
03-08-2014, 12:22 AM
The Talmud has a number of rulings about eating meat that was sold in the market by Gentiles, so that was not a disputable matter to Jews. ... Again, can you please cite these passages in the Talmud? My understanding from Larry Shiffman is that it may have been allowed to profit from the meat of Gentiles (eg, buying and selling), but not to eat it. Is that not correct? Thanks.

Soyeong
03-11-2014, 10:53 PM
Again, can you please cite these passages in the Talmud? My understanding from Larry Shiffman is that it may have been allowed to profit from the meat of Gentiles (eg, buying and selling), but not to eat it. Is that not correct? Thanks.

I'm not an an expert on the Talmud, but I did fine this:

http://halakhah.com/rst/kodoshim/43d%20-%20Chullin%20-%2089b-120a.pdf

robrecht
03-12-2014, 05:49 AM
I'm not an an expert on the Talmud, but I did fine this:

http://halakhah.com/rst/kodoshim/43d%20-%20Chullin%20-%2089b-120a.pdf
Hi, Soyeong.

If you are not an expert on the Talmud, then on whom are you relying on for your opinion about what the Talmud says?

Part of the problem with arguing by link, is that it may be unclear exactly what position you are taking or which part of a longer link you are referring to. This link is to a document of 104 pages. Do you want me to read the whole thing and then guess what part of your position is supposedly supported by something you read here? I scanned the first quarter of the document and it seems to me thus far that it strongly supports the view of Rabbi Schiffman that Jews were only allowed to eat meat that was ritually slaughtered. Many of the rulings discussed here have to do with meat that has been ritually slaughtered and further prepared by Jewish butchers and then supplied to Gentile meat sellers to then be sold to Jews. Very stringent rulings are discussed to ensure that Jews may indeed buy only meat that has been ritually slaughtered and correctly prepared and that there be no possibility of confusion about this.

But before I spend time reading all 104 pages, would you like to point to any specific passage that contradicts this initial impression?

Soyeong
03-12-2014, 04:12 PM
Hello robrecht,

I'm not an expert on the Talmud, but I don't need to be one in order to know that it meticulously defines what counts as idolatry. I'm sorry, I was not trying to make an argument by link, I was just trying to give you a reference you asked for. I should have told you to do a search for meat, but from what I can tell your initial reading appears to be correct. However, what the Talmud says on the subject came in conflict with Jews eating with Gentiles who were not keeping the Talmud. In 1 Corinthians, Paul ruled that if you were at a pagan ritual and ate meat that you knew had been sacrificed to idols, then it was idolatry. However, if you were eating meat that had been sold on the market or at someone's house and you didn't know whether it had been sacrificed to idols, then you could eat that possibly had been sacrificed to idols with a clear conscious. This goes against what the Talmud says, but it does not go against what the Torah says.

robrecht
03-13-2014, 03:44 AM
Hello robrecht,

I'm not an expert on the Talmud, but I don't need to be one in order to know that it meticulously defines what counts as idolatry. I'm sorry, I was not trying to make an argument by link, I was just trying to give you a reference you asked for. I should have told you to do a search for meat, but from what I can tell your initial reading appears to be correct. However, what the Talmud says on the subject came in conflict with Jews eating with Gentiles who were not keeping the Talmud. In 1 Corinthians, Paul ruled that if you were at a pagan ritual and ate meat that you knew had been sacrificed to idols, then it was idolatry. However, if you were eating meat that had been sold on the market or at someone's house and you didn't know whether it had been sacrificed to idols, then you could eat that possibly had been sacrificed to idols with a clear conscious. This goes against what the Talmud says, but it does not go against what the Torah says.I was merely looking for a reference to support your interpretation of the Talmud and Jewish practice as you described it. Paul's practice was not the same as described in the Talmud and there is, as of yet, no reference to support your view of common Jewish practice at the time.

As for Paul's practice, he does not say that it would be idolatry to knowingly eat meat offered to idols, rather he is concerned about causing scandal to those whose conscience was weak (1 Cor 8,1-13 10,25-29 NRSV):


"Now concerning food sacrificed to idols: we know that "all of us possess knowledge." Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2 Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; 3 but anyone who loves God is known by him. 4 Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that "no idol in the world really exists," and that "there is no God but one." 5 Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth -- as in fact there are many gods and many lords -- 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

7 It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as food offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8 "Food will not bring us close to God." We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. 9 But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols? 11 So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed. 12 But when you thus sin against members of your family, and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them2 to fall.


25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience, 26 for "the earth and its fullness are the Lord's." 27 If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, "This has been offered in sacrifice," then do not eat it, out of consideration for the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience --
29 I mean the other's conscience, not your own. For why should my liberty be subject to the judgment of someone else's conscience?

robrecht
03-13-2014, 03:59 AM
... God-fearers were Gentiles who had not converted to Judaism, but followed Jewish laws, customs, beliefs, and practices. Cornelius was a God-fearer, so kept kosher and certainly would have prepared kosher food for Peter when he visited.The idea that Cornelius kept kosher has been added by you. It is not found in the text and it should not be assumed. As I pointed out above, you are oversimplifying and making assumptions about what it means to be a 'God fearer'. The nature of and Jewish attitudes toward ‘God-fearers’, ‘God-worshippers/pious’, ‘Judaizers’, and the two rabbinic types of ‘proselytes’ (גר תושב and a גר צדק) is not generally so precise and, when it is, it is also disputed. Luke does use the term God-fearers for proselytes who worship in the synagogue (Ac 13,16.26.4), but he also uses ‘God fearing’ in a general way (Lk 1,50 18,2.4 23,40 Ac 10.35) that does not support your assumption that Cornelius kept kosher and all of the Torah except circumcision. He does not use the term ‘proselyte’ for Cornelius, not even in the sense of a גר תושב, yet you want to assume that he was something very precise, much more than a גר תושב, yet just shy of being a גר צדק. This sense is not in the text, nor well attested in contemporary and even later literature. There are much later rabbinic texts that I have not looked at yet. What are your original sources for your description of Cornelius’ status?