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Author Topic: Messianic Jews?  (Read 25100 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: May 29, 2003, 06:50:33 PM »

Is anyone here familiar with the so-called "Messianic Jews?"

I have encountered some of them on another web site.

All of them seem to believe one must keep the Mosaic Law, including the Saturday Sabbath, and that believers of Jewish origin should be organized in groups separate from other (Gentile) Christians.

Many of them are apparently very aggressive Arians (they deny the deity of Christ).

Anyone have any further info on them (history, etc.)?
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2003, 07:15:00 PM »

I know one of them who lives here. They are not one united group. In fact some are in different congregations. I think most of them do believe in Christ's Divinity. From what I know the majority of them are very influenced by Adventist Protestantism and are not part of any Apostolic Church. Some would say that the Church of Jerusalem (the one of Peter) was the true one because it allowed the Jews to preserve the Law, while the one of Paul was the "false" one and a mixture of Pagan beliefs. (This is typical Adventist-like theology)

They are discouraged to join them because of all the lies the Protestants have said about Orthodox and Catholic Churches. However, in Argentina there is a more and less large group of Catholic Messianic jews. They still preserve the Jewish traditions.
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2003, 07:30:50 PM »

Since we are discussing this, I thought it might be interesting to read some of the canons on Jews.

CANON LXV of the 85 CANONS:

If any Clergyman, or Layman, evter a synogogue of Jews, or of heretics, to pray, let him be both deposed and excommunicated.

CANON LXX of the 85 CANONS:

If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, or anyone at all who is on the list of clergymen, fasts together with the Jews, or celebrates a holiday together with them, or accepts from them holiday gifts or favors, such as unleavened wafers, or anything of the like, let him be deposed from office. If a layman do likewise, however, let him be excommunicated.

CANON XI of the 102 CANONS:
Let no one be enrolled in the sacerdotal list, or any layman, eat the unleavened wafers manufactured by the Jews, or in any way become familliar with the Jews or call them in case of sickness, or take any medicines from them, or even bathe with them in public bathing beaches or bathhouses. If anyone should attempt to do this, in case he is a clergyman, let him be deposed from office; or in case he is a layman, let him be excommunicated.
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2003, 08:47:39 PM »

Of course, quoting canons without further explanation or advice from those in charge of interpreting and implementing the canons is somewhat useless and rather dangerous.  For instance, I'm excommunicated because my doctor is Jewish?  Come on, now.
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2003, 11:37:08 AM »

I just found them interesting.  Shocked
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2003, 11:38:19 AM »

Of course, quoting canons without further explanation or advice from those in charge of interpreting and implementing the canons is somewhat useless and rather dangerous.  For instance, I'm excommunicated because my doctor is Jewish?  Come on, now.  

I agree, Mor.  I wouldn't even go about asking if my physician were Jewish (or Moslem) for that matter--I'd be more concerned with his competence in his medical field.  I hardly think that this canon is seriously applied today--most Orthodox Christians, I would bet, are totally unaware of it (unless it is harangued weekly by some fanatical priest from the ambon, which I have yet to hear of).

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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2003, 11:54:41 AM »

One thing I think we can glean from the canons Nik presented is that certainly Christians are not to live under the Mosaic Law or to keep Jewish festivals or holidays.

What really troubles me about the MJ movement is the apparent ethno-centric nature of it, as if God has a set of favorites - the natural descendants of Jacob - and the rest of us are second-class Christians.

MJs even eschew the title Christian, and will not call St. Paul Paul, but refer to him as "Sh'aul" instead.

How can anyone read Galatians and imagine that the followers of Christ are still under the Law?
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« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2003, 12:20:03 PM »

I'll bet the increasing popularity of this movement is related to the increasing popularity amung Evangelicals of the idea that all of the OT promises still apply to Israel, and that the Jews are still the chosen people.  They take the idea that the Church was grafted in and the Jews that reject Christ are not true Jews as saying that God broke His promise to the Jews.  They think that to honour that promise, God must still see Israel as Israel, and the Church must be something separate, made up by men.  They can't see that the Church is Israel.
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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2003, 01:15:30 PM »

Quote
What really troubles me about the MJ movement is the apparent ethno-centric nature of it, as if God has a set of favorites - the natural descendants of Jacob - and the rest of us are second-class Christians.

And the ironic thing is that most modern Jews haven't a drop of blood in them that relates them to Jacob.  
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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2003, 01:42:27 PM »

Quote
What really troubles me about the MJ movement is the apparent ethno-centric nature of it, as if God has a set of favorites - the natural descendants of Jacob - and the rest of us are second-class Christians.

And the ironic thing is that most modern Jews haven't a drop of blood in them that relates them to Jacob.  


Sez who?
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« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2003, 12:36:22 AM »

One thing I think we can glean from the canons Nik presented is that certainly Christians are not to live under the Mosaic Law or to keep Jewish festivals or holidays.

I do not completely agree with that. The overall historical approach of the Church is to say that Jews do not have to become Gentiles and Gentiles do not have to become Jews as a pre-condition to joining the Church.  Jews can keep doing what they do but as a matter of culture and not ritual.

For one thing the Jerusalem Apostles did that themselves. The Jerusalem Church, and especially James, was very big on the maintenance of Jewish custom.  Re-read the discussions between them and Paul in Acts from this perspective.

Quote
What really troubles me about the MJ movement is the apparent ethno-centric nature of it, as if God has a set of favorites - the natural descendants of Jacob - and the rest of us are second-class Christians.

And the ironic thing is that most modern Jews haven't a drop of blood in them that relates them to Jacob.  


Sez who?


Says history. History is replete with instances of whole segments of people converting to Judaism during the Middle Ages for a variety of reasons. Some of those groups are the ancestors of today’s Jews. Father Timothy Ware briefly mentions one of them in his book “The Orthodox Church.”

On the other hand this fact is abused by anti-Semites who write books like “The Thirteenth Tribe” and “Chosen People from the Caucasus.” Jews, not being the ‘real Jews’ is of little importance theologically so it is best to ignore that subject.    
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« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2003, 01:01:46 AM »

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On the other hand this fact is abused by anti-Semites who write books like “The Thirteenth Tribe” and “Chosen People from the Caucasus.” Jews, not being the ‘real Jews’ is of little importance theologically so it is best to ignore that subject.    

I just brought it up because I find it to be an interesting fact.  I don't share the anti-Jewish feelings though of the people that abuse this fact.
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« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2003, 01:16:44 AM »

Says history. History is replete with instances of whole segments of people converting to Judaism during the Middle Ages for a variety of reasons. Some of those groups are the ancestors of today’s Jews. Father Timothy Ware briefly mentions one of them in his book “The Orthodox Church.”

One need only go to Israel to see how hard it is to claim a common ancestry with a straight face.  Jews of every race, ethnicity, and nationality reside there.  It is a melting pot.  Arabs are more Semitic than today's Jews, yet only the ignorant would claim that we are all Arabs in the ethnic sense of the world (altogether we are the descendants of Arabs and Arabized Semites.....as well as Europeans in some cases owing to the episodes of history wherein they came to this region) despite the fact we look more Semitic.

Quote
On the other hand this fact is abused by anti-Semites

True, it can be abused.  Truth has a habit of being claimed by both those who would disclose it faithfully, and those--anti-Semites or otherwise--who would use it to support a theory or ideology of their own.

Quote
Jews, not being the ‘real Jews’ is of little importance theologically so it is best to ignore that subject.

Except when hardliners such as Israeli settlers and Jewish supremacists start spouting garbage concerning their spiritual superiority and higher worth as the only people meriting human dignity and respect by virtue of this biological lineage.    

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« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2003, 08:22:28 AM »

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From: Linus7 on Yesterday at 11:54:41am
One thing I think we can glean from the canons Nik presented is that certainly Christians are not to live under the Mosaic Law or to keep Jewish festivals or holidays.

 
Quote
Reply from Aklie Semaet:
I do not completely agree with that. The overall historical approach of the Church is to say that Jews do not have to become Gentiles and Gentiles do not have to become Jews as a pre-condition to joining the Church.  Jews can keep doing what they do but as a matter of culture and not ritual.

For one thing the Jerusalem Apostles did that themselves. The Jerusalem Church, and especially James, was very big on the maintenance of Jewish custom.  Re-read the discussions between them and Paul in Acts from this perspective.

I don't agree. In Ephesians 2 St. Paul says Christ has made of the two (Jews and Gentiles) one in His Church. There is one Olive Tree, one Fold, and one Shepherd.

I don't have the references handy, but I recall a number of times when the Fathers have said that it is wrong for Christians to retain Jewish customs. One thinks especially of St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch in the closing decades of the first century.

I have nothing against Jews. My wife's grandmother, Rachel, was a Jew who converted to Holy Orthodoxy. But she didn't start her own special "Messianic" sect; she became an Orthodox Christian.

There may be many Jews who have some of Jacob's DNA, but then again, there are probably some of us Christians who also carry it and don't realize it. After all, there were plenty of Jews in Europe who converted and married Christians. It is interesting to speculate on the origins of many Palestinian Christians. They may have a greater claim to natural descent from Jacob than most of today's Jews.

And, of course, there are many Jews who are not natural descendants of Jacob. Remember the mass conversion of the Turkic Khazars during the Middle Ages.

Ultimately, natural descent from Jacob is not what's important.

And that is the point where the MJ movement's errors begin.

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« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2003, 10:00:51 AM »

Leaders plan to broaden dialogue:

Thessaloniki, Hellas:

Jewish and Orthodox Christian leaders plan to form a joint commission to broaden interfaith dialogue and examine Jewish concerns in Eastern Europe, a top Jewish envoy said.

The new panel was announced at a Thessaloniki conference on relations between Jews and Orthodox Christians. The move would greatly expand high-level Jewish-Christians contacts, which have been dominated by the Vatican.

"It would be a significant step," said Israel Singer, chairman of the World Jewish Congress, on Tuesday."The lines of communication between the Jewish and Christian communities would be stronger."

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual head of the world's 200 million Orthodox Christians, has urged Orthodox churches to show greater openness and abandon deep-rooted suspicions toward others.
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« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2003, 02:06:16 PM »

Linus, to my knowledge, up until now since its founding, the Ethiopian Church has always retained and preserved its Jewish customs.  Obviously, there was nothing objectionable about this back then.  There shouldn't be now, I would think.

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« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2003, 08:00:54 PM »

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual head of the world's 200 million Orthodox Christians

I read this in a GOA press release/story, but I have to disagree the EP is not the spiritual head of me.
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« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2003, 08:05:03 PM »

Nicholas, you are correct. Bartholomew is not the eastern pope. I just wish that the media would get this right.
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« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2003, 08:12:28 PM »

Nicholas, you are correct. Bartholomew is not the eastern pope. I just wish that the media would get this right.

Well this time, the media in question is the GOA itself!  Shocked
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« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2003, 10:12:04 PM »

Association of Hebrew Catholics
http://hebrewcatholic.org/index.html

A representative form this group did a nice show on EWTN not long ago.

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« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2003, 12:56:08 AM »

Nicholas, you are correct. Bartholomew is not the eastern pope. I just wish that the media would get this right.

Well this time, the media in question is the GOA itself!  Shocked

Well what do you expect since the GOA is under the EP?
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« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2003, 08:31:04 PM »



"If we are still living in the practice of Judaism, it is an admission that we have failed to receive the gift of grace (St. Ignatius, Letter to the Magnesians, 8 ).

"To profess Jesus Christ while continuing to follow Jewish customs is an absurdity. The Christian faith does not look to Judaism, but Judaism looks to Christianity, in which every other race and tongue that confesses a belief in God has now been comprehended (St. Ignatius, Letter to the Magnesians, 10).


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« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2003, 09:16:22 PM »

Linus7,

I am familiar with the quotes of the fathers and councils prohibiting Jewish practices.  However, what does one make of the Ethiopian Christains who integrated many Jewish practices into their tradition.  Also the Council of Jerusalem did not forbid the contiued practice of Jewish traditions, it simply forbade Jewish Christians from imposing them on Gentile Christians.  If modern Jewish converts wish to maintain their culture I do not think it should be a cause for scandal or digging up canons that had a specific purpose in a specific context.  

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« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2003, 10:15:57 PM »

I think it depends on what one means by "customs."

Obviously the Christian liturgy is dependent upon the tradition of Jewish synagogue worship, so, in a sense, the Church has preserved "Jewish customs."

But in the MJs we are talking about a movement that believes it is necessary for all believers to adhere to the Mosaic Law, including the Saturday Sabbath. We are also talking about a movement that creates an ethnic caste system within Christendom, a movement that eschews the honorable name of Christian, and a movement that contains a sizeable and aggressive Arian component.

Customs are fine, as long as they are not elevated to some sort of indispensable religious status. I mean, I like bratwurst cooked in beer and served with spicy mustard, and I think everyone should. I also enjoy Blutwurst (blood sausage).

But I don't think I am some sort of Nietzschean Superman or a member of the Master Race.

I don't think God has any special ethnic or racial favorites.
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« Reply #24 on: June 02, 2003, 12:02:05 AM »

Linus7,

Forgive me for being unclear, I assumed your post was in response to my posting of the Hebrew Catholic site.  I would agree the fundamentalist Protestant Messianic Jewish thing is a lost cause.  

I do think it interesting the Hebrew Catholics are seeking a canonical jurisdication for themselves so they can develop and protect a Hebrew Use for the Latin Church.  I am curious how others would view this.  I saw one of their leaders speak on EWTN and he was very sincere, not a zionist, and very knowledgeable about his Catholic faith.

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« Reply #25 on: June 02, 2003, 12:59:32 AM »

Linus7,

Forgive me for being unclear, I assumed your post was in response to my posting of the Hebrew Catholic site.  I would agree the fundamentalist Protestant Messianic Jewish thing is a lost cause.  

I do think it interesting the Hebrew Catholics are seeking a canonical jurisdication for themselves so they can develop and protect a Hebrew Use for the Latin Church.  I am curious how others would view this.  I saw one of their leaders speak on EWTN and he was very sincere, not a zionist, and very knowledgeable about his Catholic faith.

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Lance -

No problem. I was not referring to the Hebrew Catholics.

I did look briefly at the link you provided.

Frankly, I am not big on ethnic stuff being mixed with the Christian faith. It gets in the way and tends to exclude rather than include.

I don't see the need for people to have special ethnic enclaves or clubs within the Church.

I look at the Jewish issue this way: choose: be a Jew or be a Christian.

Within one's own family or social club the preservation of ethnic customs is a fine thing. But I don't think one should tie them to one's religion and thus imply a superior sanctity for them.

I know I will probably get jumped on by people who will tell me the Orthodox Church is a key component of their ethnic identity. Great. But Norse mythology was a key component of my ancestors' ethnic identity. Thank God they chose truth and the salvation of their souls over ethnicity!
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« Reply #26 on: June 02, 2003, 12:18:49 PM »

I do think it interesting the Hebrew Catholics are seeking a canonical jurisdication for themselves so they can develop and protect a Hebrew Use for the Latin Church.

That is an unfeasible project.  I think we are past the time of development of new Rites.  Rites developed over the course of centuries out of cultural beds within certain geographic areas (and traditional culture is eroding quickly in our times and our new world).  The solid culture and historical progression of Egyptian civilization contributed to the birth of the Coptic Christian traditions when the region embraced Christianity.  There can be no comparison between this and a Novus Ordo-ish project to create a synthetic Hebrew rite out of whole cloth for converts who happen to have 'Jewish ethnicity' (a good deal of whom are not even immersed in their respective traditions, like most 20/21st century folk who have joined the "world community"), are scattered across the globe, come from every conceivable ethnic and racial background (and hence don't share a common tradition [or history] as one geographically based society but come from starkly differing cultural milieus), and fail to form a strong unity.  Any notions of rite creation of any kind, Hebrew or otherwise, is simply artificial, a 'project' that suits the modernist engineer and his thought paradigm very well.  I think Joe Sobran's famous quote can apply to the religious sphere: "Anything called a 'project' is unconstitutional."  

The whole endeavour to conjure up any sort of rite ex nihilo is the sort of comittee-creation extravaganza that can benefit no Church.

The closest thing to a "Jewish Rite" is of course the organic and Jewish traditions of Ethiopia.  The Syrian Rites are the sort of Semitic Rites that can appeal to the Sephardic, Semitic Jew.  And of course in the most general sense, Jewish tradition is present in every Rite by way of Temple traditions influencing the Liturgy.

Linus, to briefly reply to your statement, ultimately it was cultures (not remotely close to the artificially engineered modern sort we presently have in North America), multi-ethnic or otherwise, that created the very Rites of the undivided Church, societies whose customs and cultural ethos were enshrined in the religious traditions that made up the fabric of their religoius lives.  They should be given due honour and not scuttled while taking and enjoying the spoils (the ritual traditions that form the essence of religious praxis) for the sole purpose of (rightfully) preventing the Churches from being nothing more than ethnic social clubs that care not for important religious, spiritual, and societal issues and concerns (such as abortion).  The devil works from both extremes.

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« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2003, 12:00:59 PM »

Quote
Linus, to briefly reply to your statement, ultimately it was cultures (not remotely close to the artificially engineered modern sort we presently have in North America), multi-ethnic or otherwise, that created the very Rites of the undivided Church, societies whose customs and cultural ethos were enshrined in the religious traditions that made up the fabric of their religoius lives.  They should be given due honour and not scuttled while taking and enjoying the spoils (the ritual traditions that form the essence of religious praxis) for the sole purpose of (rightfully) preventing the Churches from being nothing more than ethnic social clubs that care not for important religious, spiritual, and societal issues and concerns (such as abortion).  The devil works from both extremes.

I understand what you are saying, Sam, but I am not sure I would equate culture with ethnicity, at least not absolutely. One can be fully Orthodox, religiously and culturally, without being a Greek or a Russian or a Serb or a whatever.

If everyone had always bound religion and ethnicity inextricably, then the Greeks would still be worshiping Zeus, the Syrians Baal, and the Germans Wotan, because "that's whom our people worship, whom we have always worshiped, and, well, aren't we his chosen ones?"
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« Reply #28 on: June 23, 2003, 05:04:09 AM »

I don't have the references handy, but I recall a number of times when the Fathers have said that it is wrong for Christians to retain Jewish customs.

It is interesting to note that after the Jerusalem Synod Paul himself circumcised Timothy a mixed Jewish and Greek disciple. “Paul wanted to have him go on with him. And he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in that region, for they all knew his father was a Greek.” (Acts 16:3).

Nevertheless some Pharisees falsely accused Paul of still teaching otherwise. So when he returned to Jerusalem the Council made an interesting decision, which I believe settles the whole matter:

“But they have been informed about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying they ought not to circumcise their children nor walk according to the customs.” The council then told Paul to demonstrate that the accusations were false by demonstrating that he is a faithful Jew that does “walk orderly and keep the law.” He was told to undergo a purification ritual of seven days and an offering in the Jewish temple and Paul agreed and underwent it, only to be interrupted when a crowd of Pharisees recognized him and started to beat him (Acts 21:22-40).

So contrary to being wrong the Apostles themselves maintained Jewish custom, it became wrong when some of them tried to impose this practice on Gentiles coming to the Church as some kind of a pre-condition. And it is that practice which the Jerusalem Synod rejected. As far as the Church fathers are concerned, their comments must be balanced with the exact historical circumstances and contexts in which they made them.

Ultimately, natural descent from Jacob is not what's important.

Of course. And St. Peter made it abundantly clear that the mantle of Jacob’s seed has been passed on spiritually to the Church. We, as the Body of Christ, are the Holy Nation, the Royal Priesthood. The biological significance of Abraham’s seed became insignificant after Jesus was born.

Customs are fine, as long as they are not elevated to some sort of indispensable religious status.

That is all that we have been saying. They are simply a part of the continuous culture maintained by a vibrant tradition.

There is nothing religiously mandatory about it. There is no law, say, that requires that I have a priest come and bless my house before I move in it. That is just a part of my custom. At some Ethiopian restaurants you may notice the owner, in the early hours of the morning, pouring tebel (‘holy water’) around the premises. But there is nothing in any cannons or Church edicts that say this must be done, it is just what IS done. It is part of the small ‘t’ traditions that all Old World churches have, something to fully integrate the Church in every aspect of your life and culture, praxis, to borrow a favorite word from Samer. It is a way to make Christianity holistic and a total way of life. In contrast, in societies like ours, the life of a Christian has been reduced to a Sunday service (and maybe a Wednesday and Friday service for the pious) but still nothing resembling the ‘old days.’

It is interesting to speculate on the origins of many Palestinian Christians. They may have a greater claim to natural descent from Jacob than most of today's Jews.

Yes of course they do, and as surprising as it sounds that is not a controversial perspective in professional circles the way it is in political circles. Anthropologists use indigenous Palestinians, and not Israeli immigrants, as reference populations for research. Palestinian x-rays and available skeletons are used to compare with ancient Israelite skeletons found in excavations. Traditional aspects of modern Palestinian culture are referred to for throwing light on ancient customs in the Holy Land.
 
I also enjoy Blutwurst (blood sausage).

I am not familiar with that but it sounds sinful Smiley

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« Reply #29 on: June 23, 2003, 05:20:08 AM »

Except when hardliners such as Israeli settlers and Jewish supremacists start spouting garbage concerning their spiritual superiority and higher worth as the only people meriting human dignity and respect by virtue of this biological lineage.

Well personally I would just prefer to throw rocks at them. Arguing truth doesn’t seem to get anywhere with that crowd except perhaps to hear a lecture of how their great grandpa was deported to a concentration camp in Germany and how that, by some twist in logic, somehow justifies them taking someone else’s land thousands of miles away from a people who had nothing to do with the atrocities in Europe.

But if have the stomach for those type of debates go for it, but don’t complain about developing an ulcer, and please don’t try to cure it with ArakaiGǪ Grin
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« Reply #30 on: June 23, 2003, 02:49:51 PM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!

The several Messianic Jewish Groups that I have found  actually have roots back to the Four Square Gospel Church .  Many of their Rabbis were trained there.  as mentioned above, many are not legally Jews in that their mothers were not Jewish---many come from mixed marriages and  Messianic Judaism seems to be the way they have chosen to celebrate both sides of their heritage.

The worship varies from  almost Orthodox Jewish worship ( Tzzitsm  skull caps, and prayerbooks written in Hebrew and English) to modern charismatic worship that is not much different than any other charismatic church your would go to with the exception of the use of Yesuah and Messiah instead of Jesus Christ.

The several groups that I have met are falling into the old heresies and controversies that the early church fell into Ariansims, Manicheanism, and others.  As they do not recognize the Ecumenical cOuncils, they reject for the most part the Holy Spirit driven directions that the Church  recieved  that finalized and clarified doctrines that the Messianic Jewish movement is now being  troubled with.

Your brother in Christ,
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« Reply #31 on: June 23, 2003, 08:46:31 PM »


I am certainly not an expert on the so-called Messianic Jews. When I have encountered them they seem very proud based upon a supposed natural descent from Jacob, a descent which causes them to emphasize the Old Testament and the keeping of the Law and to refer to non-Jewish Christians as "strangers."

They insist on using a sort of pidgin Hebrew for religious terms, calling Jesus Yeshua (or Yashua, depending on who is doing the talking), using Mashiach for Christ, and referring to the OT as the Tanakh, for example.

I realize those terms may be highly correct, but we don't speak Hebrew; we speak English. If carried to extremes one would properly write Jesus' Hebrew name in Latin characters as auhseY, since Hebrew is written from right to left.

Besides, Jesus and His disciples spoke Aramaic, not Hebrew.

I think I mentioned this before, but Messianic Jews also tend to write the word "God" as G*d, omitting the "o". This seems to be an attempt to carry over the traditional prohibition against writing or speaking God's name into English, but it seems just plain g**fy to me.

I have the impression that Messianic Judaism is a heresy that has been spawned by Dispensationalism, which asserts a radical distinction between Israel and the Church and insists that the OT promises to national Israel are yet to be fulfilled.
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« Reply #32 on: June 28, 2003, 01:43:20 PM »

Putting aside the various protestant theologies which actually underlie most messiani jewish sects (save the small groups who often call themselves "ebionites", based on the old jewish heretical sect who rejected the divinity of Christ and the virgin birth), the one big flaw of the MJ groups, is their lack of appreciation of the oness of believers.  How emphatically can it be stated - neither Jew, nor Greek.

The Scriptures themselves state that to be ethnically decended from Abraham means nothing - for God could turn stones into biological descendents of Abraham.

Rather, what makes a true son of Abraham, a spiritual semite, is to inherit the promises made to Abraham.  This is a point often overlooked in studies of St.Paul - a big them for St.Paul is the idea of being a "child of the promise."  For example, while both Ishmael and Isaac were Abraham's son, simple biological descent did not make both inheritor's of the sacred/messianic promise given to Abraham - no, it was only Isaac who became the inheritor.  Same with Isaac's sons - it was not both Esau and Jacob who inherited the promise, but Jacob.

Thus, blood lineage of itself means nothing - something that never seemed to sink into the Jewish mindset, which explains why so many of them felt justified in resisting both St.John the Baptist and our Lord Jesus Christ.  Rather what matters, is to be the "child of promise."

It is precisely for this reason, St.Paul teaches, that the "seed of Abraham" cannot be understood to refer to all who gentically issue forth from him.  In the strictest sense, that "seed" is absolutely singular - the Person of Jesus Christ, Who as it was, was the inheritance of those who succeeded in the line of "children of promise."

An interesting phenomenon (certainly foreshadowing the advent of the "Church") in the Old Testament, is that it is always the younger of the two children who ends up inheriting the promises of God (not Ishmael, but Isaac; not Esau, but Jacob.)  This is why St.Paul says that those under the Old Covenant, are spiritual Hagar (labouring under bondage), where as the Church of the Apostles are the freemen of Sarah.  The institution of "the Church", while historically younger than the Synagogue, is the corporate "child of promise", inheritor of the "seed of Abraham."

I'm always amazed at how so many avowed students of Scripture can overlook such a dominating theme in St.Paul's writings, yet claim their soteriology and the other peculiarities of their doctrine to be "Pauline" in origin.

Seraphim
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« Reply #33 on: July 01, 2003, 09:46:05 AM »

I find it frusterating that they claim that they've always existed, and where always there as the gentile Church deviated and persecuted them from Apostolic times until today.  It's even more infuriating that when Baptists claim to be the descendents of John the Baptist's disciples without historical break since it's important to them.
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« Reply #34 on: July 27, 2003, 05:55:06 PM »

I am new to this forum, as I am investigating the Orthodox Church. I am a fairly long-time poster over at another Christian Forum, and my record there is on view for anyone who may suspect me of being a Judaizer or "Messiaic Jew." In fact, Linus7 knows me from that board, and we have touched on this subject briefly in private.

I am a person of Jewish descent, born of a Jewish mother and a Jewish father. I accepted Christ as Messiah several years ago, but am only now really starting to explore the world beyond Protestantism.
When I first accepted Christ, I was courted by the Messianic Jews, but their stuff really just feels to me kinda like Christianity put through one of those goofy Internet Dialect sites so that it sounds like my Jewish great-grandmother reading the Gospel.
I also disagree with any school of thought which seeks to separate Christians of Jewish descent from the rest of the body of Christ. I also just plain don't like the attitude of many of the MJs I have interacted with.

But (and you knew a "but" was coming) the world for a very long time allowed us (Eastern European, or Ashkenazi, Jews) no ethnicity but "Jewish." After I abandoned the Jewish faith, but before I accepted Christ, I experimented with what the heck to call myself. Some of my family is from Belorussia, but how could I call myself Belorussian when Jews in the area were not acccepted by the residents of that nation? The same for my family from Poland and Hungary.
I am a Christian of Jewish descent.  What else can I possibly call myself? (and don't take the easy way out and say "American," I am a veteran and proud of my country and know that I am an American)
As to the claims that today's Jews have (almost) no blood link to Jacob, etc. - You obviously aren't considering Sephardic Jews, right? You know, the dark-skinned ones who look almost indistinguishable from Arabs? Such as my wife? Remember also that Judaism became a people by absorbing people from all over. And that in recent history many abuses of the Jews have left Jewish women with children by non-Jews ( a result of assault) which they did not abort. My dad has blue eyes and so does my oldest son, and my mom had the complexion of a woman just back from holiday in Greece.
And my own face has a hint of the Slavic. So what then? Do you criticise descendants of Ruth for not having blood ties to Abraham? Converts became Jews.

Forgive my rambling, but I wrestle very seriously with these questions and their implications. My allegiance is to Christ and the body of believers I will be joining. But I must respect that my wife is not Christian, though even with her parents staying with us this weekend I attended Divine Liturgy at a local Greek Orthodox church.
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« Reply #35 on: July 27, 2003, 06:10:39 PM »

I know what you mean about what to call one's self being confusing sometimes.  My family's decent is English, Irish, Scottish, dutch, maybe German, possibly a few others, who knows... I'm a convert to the Coptic Orthodox Church, and I was visiting a friend yesterday and he introduced me to 3 priests he's staying with.  When it came up that I'm not Catholic, but Coptic Orthodoxy, they asked where I was from and it was about 2 in of confusion before I realized what was going on after they said "an Egyptian from Europe??" and clarified that I'm a convert :-)

As for "what I am", I'm a Canadian nationally, various European by decent, and Coptic Orthodox Christian in religion.

Wouldn't the same apply to you?  Wouldn't you be a Jewish Christian, ie a person of Jewish descent who is of the Christian faith?  (Although, like me, it'd probably take a moment's explanation after you were to say Jewish Christian  Smiley)
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« Reply #36 on: July 27, 2003, 06:17:44 PM »

"Wouldn't you be a Jewish Christian, ie a person of Jewish descent who is of the Christian faith?"

Probably, but for two things:

1.) To say something like that has sometimes had the effect of making other Christians feel that I am thinking myself "special" for being of Jewish descent...

and/or...

2.) Saying something like that makes many Christians assume that I am a Messianic Jew or a Judaiser, etc.

Yet another problem comes from my fellow Jews who feel that I am denying my Jewishness if I don't say that I am Jewish.

It's a minefield I dance in...  Tongue

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« Reply #37 on: July 27, 2003, 07:43:33 PM »


Yes, very interesting... and very complicated.

Permit me to complicate things more.   You and I are Turks (Caucasian / Central Asians).  But what is a Turk?  Is a Turk a golden-locked blue eyed Tartar king or is he a yellow skinned slanted-eyed Seljuk?  The vast majority of Turks from Turkey have little TRADITIONAL TURKISH blood.  But that does not make them less Turkish than a Uyghur!  

Likewise, take the example of the Syrian (Syriac) Orthodox Church.  Most Syrian Orthodox are not from the country Syria.  Most are not even Middle Eastern (they are Malayalee Indians).  Yet, they are all rightly Syrians. One has to ask, what is a Syrian then?  This question is continually debated to this day.  Aside from the present day political connotation, the next most common understanding is "A semitic believer in Christ."  You can rightly be called a Syrian.

What I like about Christianity so much is that "there is no more Jew nor Greek, but one in Christ Jesus."  And really, what makes anyone one thing or another?  AND does being one thing mean we are exclusively that thing?  One of the greatest Syrian Orthodox fathers is St. Severius of Antioch, who is called the "Crown of the Syrians."  I'm called Syrian by my Syrian peers, though I have no realistic historical connection to "Syria."  My blood is European and Turkic.  In the end though, what am I?  I hope to just be a simple follower of Christ.  Does that mean I am Syrian? Turk?  Italian?  Celtic?  All of the above?  I think that if we dwell on names and constantinly try to define ourselves, we get distracted from the bigger picture.  And I will argue, that self-definition can frequently be considered an act of pride.  What good are any of these bloodlines, languages, cultural traditions, if Christ is absent from them?

Let's be all things to all people... but only as Orthodox Christians.   We're one of many, but let us be one as God is one.

Okay, that was my rant. Forgive me.   Cool
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« Reply #38 on: July 27, 2003, 10:28:44 PM »

Tribe -

I do not see anything at all wrong with calling oneself a Jewish Christian or a Christian of Jewish descent. I also do not see anything at all wrong with a certain feeling of pride (not the overweening pride that is one of the "7 Deadly Sins") in the fact that God chose your ancestors to bless the world and that God the Son chose, of all the peoples in the world, to become a Jew.

If I was a Jew, I would certainly be delighted about all that!

Heck, we owe you guys a lot!  Grin

My problem with the MJs is that they are just wrong-headed. They want to subject us all to the yoke of the Law, and they seem to want to turn back the clock and make the universal Gospel a tribal and nationalistic mythos.

MJism misses the progressive expansion of God's covenants and the fact that the newest and last of them encompasses all of mankind.

They're just too darned elitist.
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« Reply #39 on: July 28, 2003, 12:41:17 AM »

Okay, that was my rant. Forgive me.   Cool

Nothing to forgive - that was an excellent post.  Smiley

I am however curious as to why you say that I am a Turk. Does it have anything to do with...  the Khazars??  Cheesy

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« Reply #40 on: July 29, 2003, 10:54:22 AM »

Okay, that was my rant. Forgive me.   Cool

Nothing to forgive - that was an excellent post.  Smiley

I am however curious as to why you say that I am a Turk. Does it have anything to do with...  the Khazars??  Cheesy



Now we're talkin'!

What I MEANT to say before was, 'One of the greatest Syrian Orthodox fathers is St. Severius of Antioch, who is called the "Crown of the Syrians," was a Greek.'
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« Reply #41 on: July 29, 2003, 09:55:59 PM »

Tribe,

While I'll grant there is some reason to believe that there is a lot of "non-Abrahamic" blood in European Jewry (for various reasons), I think it's a bit of a moot point.  If various peoples (through marriage or conversion) were assimilated into Judaism, then that's what they are - Jews.  That would also have been a reasonable manner of definition in the Old Testament - if one is accepted into the people, observes the Torah, etc., they would have been regarded as Israelites (like Ruth.)

I think the problem is in a way created by both non-Jews and Jews themselves, in imagining that there is something racial about Judaism.  This was created in part by non-Jews when they got so paranoid that even ethnic Jews who converted to Christianity were considered suspect (thus the idea they are somehow "Jews" in a sense beyond religious affiliation.)  The situation is created by Jews themselves, however, when they doggedly regard even die hard atheists as being "Jews."  For example, the spectacle of white, American atheists being allowed to come to Israel under the "law of return" for being supposedly "Jews."

Of course, the complication is that Judaism itself always was something of a "tribal" religion, in which one's belonging was not only religious, but also ethnic.  What I think is neglected by modern Jews, however, is that the Bible itself states that someone who does not "observe the Law" is cut off from the people.  It's the negligence or underplaying of this which creates the "I'm a child of Abraham" pride, which is very misplaced pride, since even in the Old Testament status as "God's people" was not unconditional...observe what happened to the 10 tribes even within the "Old Testament period."

This was a key part of both St.John the Baptist's message, and that of the Lord Jesus.  God is capable of making anyone "His"...and just the same, it is possible for someone who was "His", to cease to be such by infidelity.  When the Lord Jesus came, the doors were opened wide to the world, to become inheritors of God on a new, more important basis - Christ's Precious Blood.  Sadly, most ethnic Jews made themselves unfaithful, by choosing not to participate in this "New Covenant", which had been foretold by their own Prophets (and by the very giver of the Old Law himself, Moses.)

"Judaizing" in it's various forms, is the contamination of the liberality of the Gospel with this unwarranted ethnic pride.  Whether it comes in the form of "the Gospel is only for the Jews" as some early Judaizers felt, or in more mitigated forms (Jews being somehow separate from other believers, somehow better, or of differing obligations, etc.) which persist to our day, it's the same contaminant; which is precisely why the Church was so vigilant in forbidding the possibility of this error growing (since one of it's likely results would not simply have been keeping ethnic Jews separate from other believers - but also would have resulted in the idea of "double conversion"...a "gentile" Christian being circumcized so he to can be one of those "uber-Christians".)

Seraphim
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« Reply #42 on: July 29, 2003, 10:59:32 PM »

I agree, Seraphim Reeves.
I think that if Jews today did not recognize non-religious Jews as being Jewish, the world's Jewish population would drop to an incredibly low number. This could be frightening.

Believe me, when my Dad was aksing me how I could believe in Christ and stuill be a Jew, I asked him how Freud (as elf-described "godless Jew") could be considered Jewish, or Marx, or even my Dad himself, or  any other atheist Jews could still be considered Jewish if I could not be.
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« Reply #43 on: September 25, 2003, 06:33:49 PM »

I know this is an old thread, but if anyone is interested in finding out something about what Messianic Jews believe, he should check out this thread on another site.

It's an eye-opener!
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« Reply #44 on: September 26, 2003, 05:02:10 AM »

It's an eye-opener!

Oy vey Shocked !

you weren't kidding about that.

unworthy John.
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« Reply #45 on: September 27, 2003, 04:17:17 PM »

These messianic judaists vindicate the prudence of the Holy Fathers, who not only rejected the dogmatic dimension of Judaizing, but also (from a very early time - probably in the time of the Holy Apostles themselves if the witness of the Apostolic Fathers means anything) began censoring even the sentimental/secondary attachment to "judaic" rituals or customs, even if they allegedly were not being performed in a sectarian/heretical manner (with the attitude they were essential to salvation, or were anything other than cultural relics.)

The fact, is there is not a single Judaic feast, or ritual, which has not had it's emblematic significance fulfilled by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Not only this, but there is not a single such rite or feast which has not be superceeded by an infinitely clearer/superior feast or rite...

- the circumcision which is according to the flesh, replaced by the circumcision of the soul consumated in Holy Baptism

- the endless MANY sacrifices of heffers and goats offered at the ONE Jerusalem Temple, superceeded by the ONE sacrifice of Golgotha, renewed at the MANY Orthodox Altars present wherever the faithful gather...

- The Passover from physical slavery superceeded by the Passover from death and spiritual slavery

- The Pentecost of the giving of the Law written on stone, superceeded by the Pentecost of the descent of the Holy Spirit Who writes the Law on men's hearts

etc., etc.

At best, Judaizing externally is redundent and sentimental - at worst, it is a back door for sectarianism and pride.

Seraphim
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« Reply #46 on: September 27, 2003, 07:13:27 PM »

Seraphim Reeves,

That was a good post.  Smiley
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« Reply #47 on: September 28, 2003, 08:54:43 AM »


At best, Judaizing externally is redundent and sentimental - at worst, it is a back door for sectarianism and pride.


Look, I refuse to raise myself up as an expert on messianic Jews. They do strike me as, well, a bit wierd.

But this post doesn't seem to be about them. It seems to be about being smug in having found The Right Way and congratulating oneself about having done so.
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« Reply #48 on: September 28, 2003, 12:12:05 PM »

Quote
But this post doesn't seem to be about them. It seems to be about being smug in having found The Right Way and congratulating oneself about having done so.

To quote one of my younger cousins: "whatever..."

Seraphim
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« Reply #49 on: September 28, 2003, 10:48:55 PM »


At best, Judaizing externally is redundent and sentimental - at worst, it is a back door for sectarianism and pride.


Look, I refuse to raise myself up as an expert on messianic Jews. They do strike me as, well, a bit wierd.

But this post doesn't seem to be about them. It seems to be about being smug in having found The Right Way and congratulating oneself about having done so.


I don't see Seraphim's post that way at all. I thought it was pretty thoughtful and also very accurate.

I am not an expert on the Messianic Jews either. I suspect they have been more than a little influenced by Ellen G. White and Seventh Day Adventism, but it is difficult to pin them down because they don't seem to be unfiied but rather a collection of sects.

One of the weirdest things I have seen any of them write is the claim that our Lord Jesus is the "incarnate Torah."
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« Reply #50 on: April 01, 2010, 08:46:34 PM »

I know this is an old thread, ...
Old, but informative.
 
... but if anyone is interested in finding out something about what Messianic Jews believe, he should check out this thread on another site.

It's an eye-opener!
This whole thread is an eye-opener!  Unfortunately, people will believe anything and everything.
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« Reply #51 on: April 01, 2010, 09:24:34 PM »

My mother-in-law just told me today that her "Campbellite" Christian Church is having a traditional Passover Seder at her church on Good Friday, being orchestrated by some Messianic Jews. I held my tongue and nodded, but I threw up in my mouth a little.

She doesn't even know who Thomas and Alexander Campbell are (the ones who founded the church she has been a member of for some 60 years), let alone what a proper Great Friday service should look like. God forgive me for my judgment. It is just hard to stand by and say nothing, but I know that it is extremely rude and presumptive to correct one's elders.

Should I really remain silent in the situations, or would it be better to speak up?

I want peace in the family, but sometime I feel like I'm using that as a cop-out instead of gently nudging her toward the deeper Truth the her tradition contains only traces of.
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« Reply #52 on: April 01, 2010, 10:39:01 PM »

A piece of Advice to your Presbyterian Mother in Law: ask her from where she traces her line of teaching: Thomas Campbell...or the Apostle Thomas? If she says Mr. Campbell upholds the Apostles ask her to prove it...with his line of succession from the Apostles and the ways he has preserved their teachings across the centuries, the entire exegetical history from day one. Point her to the gravity of this issue, that its no joking matter:

As I have just said, and now I again say it, that if any one announce to you differently from what ye received, let him be accursed.
-Galatians 1:9

if she is unable to, point her that this is a direct violation of Paul's command to Timothy to preserve the teaching through laying on of hands, tradition, and the correct interpretation of the established sacraments of the Church. That should keep her thinking a bit.
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« Reply #53 on: June 18, 2010, 08:09:07 PM »

Quote
One of the weirdest things I have seen any of them write is the claim that our Lord Jesus is the "incarnate Torah."
This is a little weird. On the other hand, we said that Christ is the Word of God made Flesh- Incarnate. The Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets, and the Torah is the first part of the Old Testament.

One thing that is funny to me- I think many Messianic Jews where yarmulkes. My understanding is that this wasn't done in Jesus' time. I read that Jews began the practice in medieval Europe to distinguish themselves from bare-headed Christian men and covered Christian women (who covered heads based on St Paul's teachings). It seems that continuing to wear yarmulkes goes against Old Testament practices, and could even come from an attempt to go against Christian customs.

Likewise I heard that they often have ideas like Arianism and get the impression they have a "literal" (ie. sola scriptura) reading of the Bible.

I find Messianic Judaism attractive because Christianity comes from OT Judaism, but some of what we find in Messianic Judaism might not even come from OT Judaism or Christianity.

It is interesting to speculate on the origins of many Palestinian Christians. They may have a greater claim to natural descent from Jacob than most of today's Jews.

Yes of course they do, and as surprising as it sounds that is not a controversial perspective in professional circles the way it is in political circles. Anthropologists use indigenous Palestinians, and not Israeli immigrants, as reference populations for research. Palestinian x-rays and available skeletons are used to compare with ancient Israelite skeletons found in excavations. Traditional aspects of modern Palestinian culture are referred to for throwing light on ancient customs in the Holy Land.
 
I also enjoy Blutwurst (blood sausage).

I am not familiar with that but it sounds sinful Smiley

Wow! Why does the Israeli government not recognize this when it insists to make Palestine a land for Jews by bulldozing thousands of Palestinian houses, and replacing them with settlers?
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« Reply #54 on: June 18, 2010, 08:30:05 PM »

One of the weirdest things I have seen any of them write is the claim that our Lord Jesus is the "incarnate Torah."

I can explain this. The key is understanding the meaning of the Hebrew word torah, it means instruction/ordinance/statute. The understanding of Yeshua as "Torah Incarnate" is rooted in Him saying: "I am the way, the truth and the life". Since Yeshua is the embodiment of YHWH, He is therefore the embodiment of all YHWH's instructions (torah).
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« Reply #55 on: June 18, 2010, 08:34:11 PM »

One of the weirdest things I have seen any of them write is the claim that our Lord Jesus is the "incarnate Torah."

I can explain this. The key is understanding the meaning of the Hebrew word torah, it means instruction/ordinance/statute. The understanding of Yeshua as "Torah Incarnate" is rooted in Him saying: "I am the way, the truth and the life". Since Yeshua is the embodiment of YHWH, He is therefore the embodiment of all YHWH's instructions (torah).

This sounds very good. Christ is the Logos incarnate, and God's instructions, when "spoken", are part of His word.
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« Reply #56 on: June 20, 2010, 12:38:42 PM »

Bravo rakovsky, you got it. Smiley
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« Reply #57 on: June 20, 2010, 03:43:05 PM »

I find Messianic Judaism attractive because Christianity comes from OT Judaism, but some of what we find in Messianic Judaism might not even come from OT Judaism or Christianity.

That's because Chrisitanity comes from OT Christianity, and Judaism comes from NT Judaism (Pharisees, scribes, etc.)

It is interesting to speculate on the origins of many Palestinian Christians. They may have a greater claim to natural descent from Jacob than most of today's Jews.

Yes of course they do, and as surprising as it sounds that is not a controversial perspective in professional circles the way it is in political circles. Anthropologists use indigenous Palestinians, and not Israeli immigrants, as reference populations for research. Palestinian x-rays and available skeletons are used to compare with ancient Israelite skeletons found in excavations. Traditional aspects of modern Palestinian culture are referred to for throwing light on ancient customs in the Holy Land.
 
I also enjoy Blutwurst (blood sausage).

I am not familiar with that but it sounds sinful Smiley

Wow! Why does the Israeli government not recognize this when it insists to make Palestine a land for Jews by bulldozing thousands of Palestinian houses, and replacing them with settlers?
I remember an a Jew telling me how there is no such thing as archeology there: they dig until they find something Jewish/Hebrew, and then they stop.
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« Reply #58 on: June 21, 2010, 12:04:07 PM »

I find Messianic Judaism attractive because Christianity comes from OT Judaism, but some of what we find in Messianic Judaism might not even come from OT Judaism or Christianity.

That's because Chrisitanity comes from OT Christianity, and Judaism comes from NT Judaism (Pharisees, scribes, etc.)

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism both came from 2nd Temple Judaism? Calling second Temple Judaism "NT Judaism" just doesn't sit well with me personally. It carries too much of a bias from a historical perspective. It would be like a devout Lutheran saying "Lutheranism comes pre-Reformation Lutheranism of the Eastern Church of the 5th century!" When in fact there was no Lutheran Church at the time. (Calvinists do the same thing with St. Augustine implying the early Church were in fact all Presbyterians)

It's a bias which I don't think is at all necessary considering the weight of evidence of 2nd Temple Judaism falls heavily in favor of Christianity being a more direct and loyal descendant of, than Rabbinic Judaism is. (though both are descendants, the similarities and theology between Christianity and the 2nd Temple period as you know, are striking)

I of course don't disagree with the point you're making at all, just the phrases "NT Judaism" and "Old Testament Christianity" I'm quibbling over. Smiley
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« Reply #59 on: June 21, 2010, 12:33:40 PM »

I find Messianic Judaism attractive because Christianity comes from OT Judaism, but some of what we find in Messianic Judaism might not even come from OT Judaism or Christianity.

That's because Chrisitanity comes from OT Christianity, and Judaism comes from NT Judaism (Pharisees, scribes, etc.)

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism both came from 2nd Temple Judaism? Calling second Temple Judaism "NT Judaism" just doesn't sit well with me personally. It carries too much of a bias from a historical perspective. It would be like a devout Lutheran saying "Lutheranism comes pre-Reformation Lutheranism of the Eastern Church of the 5th century!" When in fact there was no Lutheran Church at the time. (Calvinists do the same thing with St. Augustine implying the early Church were in fact all Presbyterians)

It's a bias which I don't think is at all necessary considering the weight of evidence of 2nd Temple Judaism falls heavily in favor of Christianity being a more direct and loyal descendant of, than Rabbinic Judaism is. (though both are descendants, the similarities and theology between Christianity and the 2nd Temple period as you know, are striking)

I of course don't disagree with the point you're making at all, just the phrases "NT Judaism" and "Old Testament Christianity" I'm quibbling over. Smiley
"For Christianity did not believe into Judaism, but Judaism Christianity, that so every tongue which believeth might be gathered together to God." St. Igantius, Epistle to the Magnesians X (c. 105).

I'm somewhat more worried on the bias Rabbinic Judaism=Judaism, and which includes the Talmud and Dead Sea Scrolls but excludes the NT.

As for analogies, I'd include the attempt of Anglicans to read back their origins beyond the Supremacy Act to beyond Synod of Whitby etc.

But I think we are in agreement, beyond terminology.
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« Reply #60 on: June 21, 2010, 01:12:22 PM »

Quote
One of the weirdest things I have seen any of them write is the claim that our Lord Jesus is the "incarnate Torah."
This is a little weird. On the other hand, we said that Christ is the Word of God made Flesh- Incarnate. The Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets, and the Torah is the first part of the Old Testament.

One thing that is funny to me- I think many Messianic Jews where yarmulkes. My understanding is that this wasn't done in Jesus' time. I read that Jews began the practice in medieval Europe to distinguish themselves from bare-headed Christian men and covered Christian women (who covered heads based on St Paul's teachings). It seems that continuing to wear yarmulkes goes against Old Testament practices, and could even come from an attempt to go against Christian customs.

Likewise I heard that they often have ideas like Arianism and get the impression they have a "literal" (ie. sola scriptura) reading of the Bible.

I find Messianic Judaism attractive because Christianity comes from OT Judaism, but some of what we find in Messianic Judaism might not even come from OT Judaism or Christianity.

It is interesting to speculate on the origins of many Palestinian Christians. They may have a greater claim to natural descent from Jacob than most of today's Jews.

Yes of course they do, and as surprising as it sounds that is not a controversial perspective in professional circles the way it is in political circles. Anthropologists use indigenous Palestinians, and not Israeli immigrants, as reference populations for research. Palestinian x-rays and available skeletons are used to compare with ancient Israelite skeletons found in excavations. Traditional aspects of modern Palestinian culture are referred to for throwing light on ancient customs in the Holy Land.
 
I also enjoy Blutwurst (blood sausage).

I am not familiar with that but it sounds sinful Smiley

Wow! Why does the Israeli government not recognize this when it insists to make Palestine a land for Jews by bulldozing thousands of Palestinian houses, and replacing them with settlers?

Likewise I heard that they often have ideas like Arianism and get the impression they have a "literal" (ie. sola scriptura) reading of the Bible.


Actually, just he opposite is the case. Rabbinic Judaism is squarely based on Traditional interpretation of Scripture, not a literally reading. In fact, the Karaite Jews are critical of this approach and consider themselves to take their practices directly from scripture without the various Rabbinical interpretations which have led to some pretty nonsensical rules ( Tie your left shoe before your right she..etc.) 

Wow! Why does the Israeli government not recognize this when it insists to make Palestine a land for Jews by bulldozing thousands of Palestinian houses, and replacing them with settlers?[

Really?? Is that what happened?.. just one day out of the blue they show up and bulldoze Palestinians for no discernible reason, just some sort of pure evilness? Really ? 

I heard that when a Jihadist walks onto a public bus or sidewalk cafe with a bomb strapped to his body and murders every man woman and child, that they then go to his home and take it down...  My version seems a bit more defensible.
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« Reply #61 on: June 21, 2010, 01:23:09 PM »


Just a reminder to everyone this is the Religious Topics Forum, and not a Politics Forum. Can we try and stay away from Middle Eastern politics and keep things in the realm of the topic at hand. I realize sometimes the line between the two can be fine, but let's see if we can drop the Political talk. Thanks . . . .

NorthernPines, Religious Topics Forum Moderator
« Last Edit: June 21, 2010, 01:31:26 PM by NorthernPines » Logged
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« Reply #62 on: June 21, 2010, 01:26:45 PM »

Quote
One of the weirdest things I have seen any of them write is the claim that our Lord Jesus is the "incarnate Torah."
This is a little weird. On the other hand, we said that Christ is the Word of God made Flesh- Incarnate. The Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets, and the Torah is the first part of the Old Testament.

One thing that is funny to me- I think many Messianic Jews where yarmulkes. My understanding is that this wasn't done in Jesus' time. I read that Jews began the practice in medieval Europe to distinguish themselves from bare-headed Christian men and covered Christian women (who covered heads based on St Paul's teachings). It seems that continuing to wear yarmulkes goes against Old Testament practices, and could even come from an attempt to go against Christian customs.

Likewise I heard that they often have ideas like Arianism and get the impression they have a "literal" (ie. sola scriptura) reading of the Bible.

I find Messianic Judaism attractive because Christianity comes from OT Judaism, but some of what we find in Messianic Judaism might not even come from OT Judaism or Christianity.

It is interesting to speculate on the origins of many Palestinian Christians. They may have a greater claim to natural descent from Jacob than most of today's Jews.

Yes of course they do, and as surprising as it sounds that is not a controversial perspective in professional circles the way it is in political circles. Anthropologists use indigenous Palestinians, and not Israeli immigrants, as reference populations for research. Palestinian x-rays and available skeletons are used to compare with ancient Israelite skeletons found in excavations. Traditional aspects of modern Palestinian culture are referred to for throwing light on ancient customs in the Holy Land.
 
I also enjoy Blutwurst (blood sausage).

I am not familiar with that but it sounds sinful Smiley

Wow! Why does the Israeli government not recognize this when it insists to make Palestine a land for Jews by bulldozing thousands of Palestinian houses, and replacing them with settlers?

Likewise I heard that they often have ideas like Arianism and get the impression they have a "literal" (ie. sola scriptura) reading of the Bible.


Actually, just he opposite is the case. Rabbinic Judaism is squarely based on Traditional interpretation of Scripture, not a literally reading. In fact, the Karaite Jews are critical of this approach and consider themselves to take their practices directly from scripture without the various Rabbinical interpretations which have led to some pretty nonsensical rules ( Tie your left shoe before your right she..etc.) 

Wow! Why does the Israeli government not recognize this when it insists to make Palestine a land for Jews by bulldozing thousands of Palestinian houses, and replacing them with settlers?[

Really?? Is that what happened?.. just one day out of the blue they show up and bulldoze Palestinians for no discernible reason, just some sort of pure evilness? Really ? 

I heard that when a Jihadist walks onto a public bus or sidewalk cafe with a bomb strapped to his body and murders every man woman and child, that they then go to his home and take it down...  My version seems a bit more defensible.
Due to the above warning, can't answer here. Just research when a) Jihadists begin a appearing and b) when the policy of bulldozing non-Jewish homes started.
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« Reply #63 on: June 21, 2010, 01:33:25 PM »


I'm somewhat more worried on the bias Rabbinic Judaism=Judaism, and which includes the Talmud and Dead Sea Scrolls but excludes the NT.

As for analogies, I'd include the attempt of Anglicans to read back their origins beyond the Supremacy Act to beyond Synod of Whitby etc.

But I think we are in agreement, beyond terminology.


I agree that we agree, except in terminology! Smiley
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« Reply #64 on: June 21, 2010, 04:07:37 PM »

Quote
One of the weirdest things I have seen any of them write is the claim that our Lord Jesus is the "incarnate Torah."
This is a little weird. On the other hand, we said that Christ is the Word of God made Flesh- Incarnate. The Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets, and the Torah is the first part of the Old Testament.

One thing that is funny to me- I think many Messianic Jews where yarmulkes. My understanding is that this wasn't done in Jesus' time. I read that Jews began the practice in medieval Europe to distinguish themselves from bare-headed Christian men and covered Christian women (who covered heads based on St Paul's teachings). It seems that continuing to wear yarmulkes goes against Old Testament practices, and could even come from an attempt to go against Christian customs.

Likewise I heard that they often have ideas like Arianism and get the impression they have a "literal" (ie. sola scriptura) reading of the Bible.

I find Messianic Judaism attractive because Christianity comes from OT Judaism, but some of what we find in Messianic Judaism might not even come from OT Judaism or Christianity.

It is interesting to speculate on the origins of many Palestinian Christians. They may have a greater claim to natural descent from Jacob than most of today's Jews.

Yes of course they do, and as surprising as it sounds that is not a controversial perspective in professional circles the way it is in political circles. Anthropologists use indigenous Palestinians, and not Israeli immigrants, as reference populations for research. Palestinian x-rays and available skeletons are used to compare with ancient Israelite skeletons found in excavations. Traditional aspects of modern Palestinian culture are referred to for throwing light on ancient customs in the Holy Land.
 
I also enjoy Blutwurst (blood sausage).

I am not familiar with that but it sounds sinful Smiley

Wow! Why does the Israeli government not recognize this when it insists to make Palestine a land for Jews by bulldozing thousands of Palestinian houses, and replacing them with settlers?

Likewise I heard that they often have ideas like Arianism and get the impression they have a "literal" (ie. sola scriptura) reading of the Bible.


Actually, just he opposite is the case. Rabbinic Judaism is squarely based on Traditional interpretation of Scripture, not a literally reading. In fact, the Karaite Jews are critical of this approach and consider themselves to take their practices directly from scripture without the various Rabbinical interpretations which have led to some pretty nonsensical rules ( Tie your left shoe before your right she..etc.)  

Wow! Why does the Israeli government not recognize this when it insists to make Palestine a land for Jews by bulldozing thousands of Palestinian houses, and replacing them with settlers?[

Really?? Is that what happened?.. just one day out of the blue they show up and bulldoze Palestinians for no discernible reason, just some sort of pure evilness? Really ?  

I heard that when a Jihadist walks onto a public bus or sidewalk cafe with a bomb strapped to his body and murders every man woman and child, that they then go to his home and take it down...  My version seems a bit more defensible.
Due to the above warning, can't answer here. Just research when a) Jihadists begin a appearing and b) when the policy of bulldozing non-Jewish homes started.

Due to the above warning I cant answer any more than ISA has except to say to look up when the Jewish communities were wiped out in all the Arab Countries and the homes and businesses "bulldozed"

Perhaps someone would like to start a thread on this.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2010, 04:08:47 PM by Marc1152 » Logged

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« Reply #65 on: June 21, 2010, 04:24:48 PM »

Done Marc. You'll find the new thread in the Politics section.
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« Reply #66 on: June 21, 2010, 08:00:41 PM »

Wow! Why does the Israeli government not recognize this when it insists to make Palestine a land for Jews by bulldozing thousands of Palestinian houses, and replacing them with settlers?[

Really?? Is that what happened?.. just one day out of the blue they show up and bulldoze Palestinians for no discernible reason? Really ?  

Yes Marc. The Israeli Committee against House Demolitions counts over 24,000 homes bulldozed since Israel's occupation began based on official Israeli and UN sources. The website says:
Houses demolished as punishment for the actions of people associated with the houses. Although this is thought of by most people as the main reason why houses are demolished, in fact punitive demolitions account for only 8.5% of all defined demolitions.

To keep this thread on topic, my post is moved to: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,28363.msg447603.html#msg447603
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« Reply #67 on: June 21, 2010, 08:45:29 PM »

NAZARENE,
Regarding Israel's relationship to the church, you may like the book SURPRISE BY CHRIST, a former Messianic Jew, now an Orthodox Priest. he has an interview here:
http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/illuminedheart/surprised_by_christ
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« Reply #68 on: June 23, 2010, 04:31:09 PM »

Wow! Why does the Israeli government not recognize this when it insists to make Palestine a land for Jews by bulldozing thousands of Palestinian houses, and replacing them with settlers?[

Really?? Is that what happened?.. just one day out of the blue they show up and bulldoze Palestinians for no discernible reason? Really ?  

Yes Marc. The Israeli Committee against House Demolitions counts over 24,000 homes bulldozed since Israel's occupation began based on official Israeli and UN sources. The website says:
Houses demolished as punishment for the actions of people associated with the houses. Although this is thought of by most people as the main reason why houses are demolished, in fact punitive demolitions account for only 8.5% of all defined demolitions.

To keep this thread on topic, my post is moved to: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,28363.msg447603.html#msg447603

A Jewish group.. No?  Any chance of a Syrian group advocating peace with Israel? Was there ever an Iraqi Group opposed to the confiscation of Jewish property? Maybe an Iranian Peace movement? I bet not. Which is the essential difference between  Israel and her enemies.

How many Jewish settlements were taken down by the Israeli's or does that not count?

What is the official Israeli Government figures or do we simply assume the most left wing groups are the most reliable?
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« Reply #69 on: June 23, 2010, 04:57:09 PM »

"If we are still living in the practice of Judaism, it is an admission that we have failed to receive the gift of grace (St. Ignatius, Letter to the Magnesians, 8 ).

"To profess Jesus Christ while continuing to follow Jewish customs is an absurdity. The Christian faith does not look to Judaism, but Judaism looks to Christianity, in which every other race and tongue that confesses a belief in God has now been comprehended (St. Ignatius, Letter to the Magnesians, 10).



hey here in Ethiopia we still folow the old testment's lows so does this mean that we are not following CHRIST
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« Reply #70 on: June 23, 2010, 05:05:45 PM »

"If we are still living in the practice of Judaism, it is an admission that we have failed to receive the gift of grace (St. Ignatius, Letter to the Magnesians, 8 ).

"To profess Jesus Christ while continuing to follow Jewish customs is an absurdity. The Christian faith does not look to Judaism, but Judaism looks to Christianity, in which every other race and tongue that confesses a belief in God has now been comprehended (St. Ignatius, Letter to the Magnesians, 10).



hey here in Ethiopia we still folow the old testment's lows so does this mean that we are not following CHRIST

Some would say no.  The same type, however, will quote the OT on why women shouldn't commune at certain times and other such pet issues.  Nothing wrong with Hebrews acting like Hebrews.
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« Reply #71 on: June 23, 2010, 06:09:16 PM »

"If we are still living in the practice of Judaism, it is an admission that we have failed to receive the gift of grace (St. Ignatius, Letter to the Magnesians, 8 ).

"To profess Jesus Christ while continuing to follow Jewish customs is an absurdity. The Christian faith does not look to Judaism, but Judaism looks to Christianity, in which every other race and tongue that confesses a belief in God has now been comprehended (St. Ignatius, Letter to the Magnesians, 10).



hey here in Ethiopia we still folow the old testment's lows so does this mean that we are not following CHRIST

Well if you're not following Christ then neither were the Apostles as they themselves kept the Torah.
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« Reply #72 on: June 23, 2010, 06:10:47 PM »

NAZARENE,
Regarding Israel's relationship to the church, you may like the book SURPRISE BY CHRIST, a former Messianic Jew, now an Orthodox Priest. he has an interview here:
http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/illuminedheart/surprised_by_christ

His book has been recommended to me before and I'll get it when I'm able to (I don't live in the US which means I'll have to import it). Will listen to the interview when I have a moment to spare.
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« Reply #73 on: June 23, 2010, 07:10:57 PM »

"If we are still living in the practice of Judaism, it is an admission that we have failed to receive the gift of grace (St. Ignatius, Letter to the Magnesians, 8 ).

"To profess Jesus Christ while continuing to follow Jewish customs is an absurdity. The Christian faith does not look to Judaism, but Judaism looks to Christianity, in which every other race and tongue that confesses a belief in God has now been comprehended (St. Ignatius, Letter to the Magnesians, 10).



hey here in Ethiopia we still folow the old testment's lows so does this mean that we are not following CHRIST

Well if you're not following Christ then neither were the Apostles as they themselves kept the Torah.


 What is meant by "...kept the Torah"?  Thank you.  Smiley
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« Reply #74 on: June 23, 2010, 08:19:54 PM »

Wow! Why does the Israeli government not recognize this when it insists to make Palestine a land for Jews by bulldozing thousands of Palestinian houses, and replacing them with settlers?[

Really?? Is that what happened?.. just one day out of the blue they show up and bulldoze Palestinians for no discernible reason? Really ? 

Yes Marc. The Israeli Committee against House Demolitions counts over 24,000 homes bulldozed since Israel's occupation began based on official Israeli and UN sources. The website says:
Houses demolished as punishment for the actions of people associated with the houses. Although this is thought of by most people as the main reason why houses are demolished, in fact punitive demolitions account for only 8.5% of all defined demolitions.

To keep this thread on topic, my post is moved to: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,28363.msg447603.html#msg447603

A Jewish group.. No?  Any chance of a Syrian group advocating peace with Israel? Was there ever an Iraqi Group opposed to the confiscation of Jewish property? Maybe an Iranian Peace movement? I bet not. Which is the essential difference between  Israel and her enemies.
Marc,

No, it is not just a Jewish group, it is an Israeli group inside Israel attacking Israel's violations.
You are suggesting that if Israeli groups condemn the State of Israel's crimes under International law against Christians, that shows Israeli society is honorable. Great! Are you one of those who condemns the Israeli army's expulsion of Christians?

Please follow the example of our Orthodox hierarchs and join their letter to Obama for peace:
Petition to End Israeli Army's Demolition of Orthodox Homes.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,28376.0.html

How many Jewish settlements were taken down by the Israeli's or does that not count?

Doesn't count because the settlements in the occupied territories, often built on top of Christian villages, violate international law. That is why the US government requests their removal.

If Israel wants a ONE-STATE solution, FINE, the settlements can stay. But Israel CLAIMS it wants a two-state solution. Under a Two-State Solution, you cannot have settlements scattered throughout an independent Palestine.

So does Israel want a Two-State Solution and its settlements are an dishonest violation of its announcements and intentions?

Or does Israel keep settlements all over Palestine because it wants to take over Palestine and its announcements about peace are a lie?

You have a duty to tell us the truth!

What is the official Israeli Government figures or do we simply assume the most left wing groups are the most reliable?
I think that we as Orthodox do assume that what our hierarchs say is true.
Further, the ICAHD looked well-researched, and there is strong anecdotal evidence from Palestinian Christians on the petition thread, the destruction of Christian monasteries and cemeteries etc.
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« Reply #75 on: June 23, 2010, 08:27:34 PM »

One of the weirdest things I have seen any of them write is the claim that our Lord Jesus is the "incarnate Torah."

How is that weird at all?
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« Reply #76 on: June 23, 2010, 08:30:24 PM »

One of the weirdest things I have seen any of them write is the claim that our Lord Jesus is the "incarnate Torah."

How is that weird at all?

Weird means strange and "Incarnate Torah" is an unfamiliar term. The familiar term is "Word Made Flesh." Please see Nazarene and my earlier discussion about why these terms are similar.
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« Reply #77 on: June 23, 2010, 08:31:27 PM »

and the Torah is the first part of the Old Testament.

"Torah" does not always have such a limited meaning in historical Jewish usage.
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« Reply #78 on: June 23, 2010, 08:32:53 PM »

One of the weirdest things I have seen any of them write is the claim that our Lord Jesus is the "incarnate Torah."

I can explain this. The key is understanding the meaning of the Hebrew word torah, it means instruction/ordinance/statute. The understanding of Yeshua as "Torah Incarnate" is rooted in Him saying: "I am the way, the truth and the life". Since Yeshua is the embodiment of YHWH, He is therefore the embodiment of all YHWH's instructions (torah).

Also, it was my understanding that in Hellenistic Judaism, Torah came to take on a meaning very similar to Logos itself.
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« Reply #79 on: June 23, 2010, 08:36:45 PM »

"If we are still living in the practice of Judaism, it is an admission that we have failed to receive the gift of grace (St. Ignatius, Letter to the Magnesians, 8 ).

"To profess Jesus Christ while continuing to follow Jewish customs is an absurdity. The Christian faith does not look to Judaism, but Judaism looks to Christianity, in which every other race and tongue that confesses a belief in God has now been comprehended (St. Ignatius, Letter to the Magnesians, 10).

hey here in Ethiopia we still folow the old testment's lows so does this mean that we are not following CHRIST

Well if you're not following Christ then neither were the Apostles as they themselves kept the Torah.

Jesus' critics complained that Jesus and the apostles did not keep the sabbath in a strict way and drank alot. Jesus had answers for them.

Generally, I think they did keep the Torah, although some parts of the Torah like the 1. Mikvahs, 1. the passover lamb, 3. the feast of first fruits have apparently been transformed into Christian customs: 1. Water/Holy Spirit Baptism, 2. Communion meal where Jesus is the lamb, 3. The Paskhal Holiday of Resurrection/Easter.

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« Reply #80 on: June 23, 2010, 08:37:45 PM »

One of the weirdest things I have seen any of them write is the claim that our Lord Jesus is the "incarnate Torah."

I can explain this. The key is understanding the meaning of the Hebrew word torah, it means instruction/ordinance/statute. The understanding of Yeshua as "Torah Incarnate" is rooted in Him saying: "I am the way, the truth and the life". Since Yeshua is the embodiment of YHWH, He is therefore the embodiment of all YHWH's instructions (torah).

Also, it was my understanding that in Hellenistic Judaism, Torah came to take on a meaning very similar to Logos itself.

What did you have trouble with when reading my and Nazarenes' earlier posts on the subject?
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« Reply #81 on: June 23, 2010, 08:39:27 PM »

One of the weirdest things I have seen any of them write is the claim that our Lord Jesus is the "incarnate Torah."

I can explain this. The key is understanding the meaning of the Hebrew word torah, it means instruction/ordinance/statute. The understanding of Yeshua as "Torah Incarnate" is rooted in Him saying: "I am the way, the truth and the life". Since Yeshua is the embodiment of YHWH, He is therefore the embodiment of all YHWH's instructions (torah).

Also, it was my understanding that in Hellenistic Judaism, Torah came to take on a meaning very similar to Logos itself.

What did you have trouble with when reading my and Nazarenes' earlier posts on the subject?

I don't think there was any mention of the likening of "Torah" and "Logos" in the Hellenistic period of Judaism a la Philo.
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« Reply #82 on: June 23, 2010, 08:42:28 PM »

One of the weirdest things I have seen any of them write is the claim that our Lord Jesus is the "incarnate Torah."

I can explain this. The key is understanding the meaning of the Hebrew word torah, it means instruction/ordinance/statute. The understanding of Yeshua as "Torah Incarnate" is rooted in Him saying: "I am the way, the truth and the life". Since Yeshua is the embodiment of YHWH, He is therefore the embodiment of all YHWH's instructions (torah).

Also, it was my understanding that in Hellenistic Judaism, Torah came to take on a meaning very similar to Logos itself.

What did you have trouble with when reading my and Nazarenes' earlier posts on the subject?

I don't think there was any mention of the likening of "Torah" and "Logos" in the Hellenistic period of Judaism a la Philo.
OK, so you are saying that it is weird too.
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« Reply #83 on: June 23, 2010, 09:03:27 PM »

One of the weirdest things I have seen any of them write is the claim that our Lord Jesus is the "incarnate Torah."

I can explain this. The key is understanding the meaning of the Hebrew word torah, it means instruction/ordinance/statute. The understanding of Yeshua as "Torah Incarnate" is rooted in Him saying: "I am the way, the truth and the life". Since Yeshua is the embodiment of YHWH, He is therefore the embodiment of all YHWH's instructions (torah).

Also, it was my understanding that in Hellenistic Judaism, Torah came to take on a meaning very similar to Logos itself.

What did you have trouble with when reading my and Nazarenes' earlier posts on the subject?

I don't think there was any mention of the likening of "Torah" and "Logos" in the Hellenistic period of Judaism a la Philo.
OK, so you are saying that it is weird too.

No, I'm pointing out that given more developed understandings of Torah that it is not weird to think of Jesus as the inhominate Torah, as it is not that different from saying that He is the inhominate Logos.
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« Reply #84 on: June 24, 2010, 12:02:12 PM »


Ok, for starters the tangent about Middle Eastern Politics has been split off and merged with rakovsky's new thread/poll which can be found here http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,28376.0.html Go there, and talk about Israeli politics, or one of the other threads which are currently discussing similar topics.

I am keeping this thread open for the moment, because I believe it's an important topic and the discussion may be beneficial to a great many people now and in the future. However one more infraction of the Forum Rules where someone tosses in Middle Eastern politics, specifically after my warning to NOT interject Middle Eastern politics and the thread will be locked, and whoever the person is who brings up Middle Eastern politics will be given a public warning.

I feel I'm being pretty lenient on this issue, so I hope no one decides to see how far they can push my leniency.

Thanks for understanding . . . .

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« Reply #85 on: June 24, 2010, 12:44:28 PM »

"If we are still living in the practice of Judaism, it is an admission that we have failed to receive the gift of grace (St. Ignatius, Letter to the Magnesians, 8 ).

"To profess Jesus Christ while continuing to follow Jewish customs is an absurdity. The Christian faith does not look to Judaism, but Judaism looks to Christianity, in which every other race and tongue that confesses a belief in God has now been comprehended (St. Ignatius, Letter to the Magnesians, 10).



hey here in Ethiopia we still folow the old testment's lows so does this mean that we are not following CHRIST

Well if you're not following Christ then neither were the Apostles as they themselves kept the Torah.


 What is meant by "...kept the Torah"?  Thank you.  Smiley

They kept the 10 Commandments, the Sabbath, the Feasts and a Kosher diet. Paul also once took the Nazarite vow and circumcised Timothy.

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« Reply #86 on: June 24, 2010, 01:02:11 PM »

One of the weirdest things I have seen any of them write is the claim that our Lord Jesus is the "incarnate Torah."

I can explain this. The key is understanding the meaning of the Hebrew word torah, it means instruction/ordinance/statute. The understanding of Yeshua as "Torah Incarnate" is rooted in Him saying: "I am the way, the truth and the life". Since Yeshua is the embodiment of YHWH, He is therefore the embodiment of all YHWH's instructions (torah).

Also, it was my understanding that in Hellenistic Judaism, Torah came to take on a meaning very similar to Logos itself.

Funny you should mention that, I once came across one Messianic Bible translation that reads in John 1: "In the beginning was the Torah...", meant in the way I explained it of course.
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« Reply #87 on: June 24, 2010, 06:29:20 PM »

Nazarene,

Did you get to listen to the podcast by Rev. Bernstein? I think you would like it!
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« Reply #88 on: June 24, 2010, 06:58:32 PM »

Nazarene,

Did you get to listen to the podcast by Rev. Bernstein? I think you would like it!

I plan to do so tomorrow.
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« Reply #89 on: June 24, 2010, 08:36:51 PM »

His book looks pretty good too.

Fr. Bernstein follows a trend in Orthodoxy critical of various atonement theologies. I would like to see how to square our Orthodox view with the prophecy in Isaiah 53, the doctrines about sacrifice in Old Testament Judaism, and the image of Jesus as the lamb of God.

Perhaps you can say a few words about this.
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« Reply #90 on: June 24, 2010, 08:50:19 PM »

More on Philo, Torah, and Logos:

"Torah (Hebrew, "teaching," "law, docrine") is designated as the teachings of the Jewish religion. In the Pentateuch the term "Torah" can mean all laws on a particular subject, Leviticus 7:2, or the summation of all laws, Deuteronomy 4:44. The Torah is also used to refer to the Pentateuch in contrast to the Prophets and Hagiography, as in Tanach, and later a distinction was made between the written and oral law. Although the rabbis taught that "Moses received the Torah from Sinai, " they also taught it was in existence before the creation of the world, and Rabbi Akiva declared it to have been "the precious instrument by which the world was created." Rav Hoshaiah equated it with Wisdom described in the Book of Proverbs, and Philo, in his discussion of logos (word of God), identified the logos with the Torah. Such conjectures led to much discussion among several later Jewish philosophers.

However, it is generally agreed that the purpose of the Torah was to make Israel a kingdom of priests, a holy nation (Deuteronomy 33:4), and much Hebrew poetry is concerned with the sweetness and joy entailed in keeping it (Psalms 19 and 119). Nevertheless, the message of the Torah is claimed to be for all humanity, and "a pagan who studies the Torah is like a High Priest." Hillel, in a famous exchange, summarized the Torah in the maximum, "What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow" (B. Shab, 31a), and Akiva maintained its overriding principle was "Love you neighbor as yourself" (Leviticus 19:18). Maimonides laid down in his thirteen principles of the Jewish faith that the Torah is immutable and that it was given in its entirety to Moses. The belief in the divine origin of both the written and oral Torah remains the touchstone of Orthodox Judaism. The Karaites accepted the written but not the oral law, while the Progressive movements tend to distinguish between the moral and ritual law.

The Torah, by many, is considered the cornerstone of the Jewish religion and law, thus the scrolls are thought to be most holy and sacred by the pious. Every synagogue keeps several scrolls, frequently protected in a luxurious covering of rich fabric often decorated with silver ornaments. A.G.H."

http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/t/torah.html

*emphasis mine*
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« Reply #91 on: June 25, 2010, 04:57:15 AM »

More on Philo, Torah, and Logos:

"Torah (Hebrew, "teaching," "law, docrine") is designated as the teachings of the Jewish religion. In the Pentateuch the term "Torah" can mean all laws on a particular subject, Leviticus 7:2, or the summation of all laws, Deuteronomy 4:44. The Torah is also used to refer to the Pentateuch in contrast to the Prophets and Hagiography, as in Tanach, and later a distinction was made between the written and oral law. Although the rabbis taught that "Moses received the Torah from Sinai, " they also taught it was in existence before the creation of the world, and Rabbi Akiva declared it to have been "the precious instrument by which the world was created." Rav Hoshaiah equated it with Wisdom described in the Book of Proverbs, and Philo, in his discussion of logos (word of God), identified the logos with the Torah. Such conjectures led to much discussion among several later Jewish philosophers.

However, it is generally agreed that the purpose of the Torah was to make Israel a kingdom of priests, a holy nation (Deuteronomy 33:4), and much Hebrew poetry is concerned with the sweetness and joy entailed in keeping it (Psalms 19 and 119). Nevertheless, the message of the Torah is claimed to be for all humanity, and "a pagan who studies the Torah is like a High Priest." Hillel, in a famous exchange, summarized the Torah in the maximum, "What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow" (B. Shab, 31a), and Akiva maintained its overriding principle was "Love you neighbor as yourself" (Leviticus 19:18). Maimonides laid down in his thirteen principles of the Jewish faith that the Torah is immutable and that it was given in its entirety to Moses. The belief in the divine origin of both the written and oral Torah remains the touchstone of Orthodox Judaism. The Karaites accepted the written but not the oral law, while the Progressive movements tend to distinguish between the moral and ritual law.

The Torah, by many, is considered the cornerstone of the Jewish religion and law, thus the scrolls are thought to be most holy and sacred by the pious. Every synagogue keeps several scrolls, frequently protected in a luxurious covering of rich fabric often decorated with silver ornaments. A.G.H."

http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/t/torah.html

*emphasis mine*

Come to Orthodox Christianity.net and get your Talmudic lesson from deusveritasest!

"Oral Torah" is the Talmud people!

Hello? The Talmud is anti-Christ!!

"The Karaites accepted the written but not the oral law,"... Good for them! They still don't accept Christ - but at least they're not vehemently anti-Christ like the vast majority of 'Jews' are!

Thus - the Karaites are the closest thing to O.T. Hebrew Israelites. The majority of those who call themselves 'Jews' today are essentially Pharisees. Christ warns us in the N.T. to beware the leaven of the Pharisees! The Talmud is that leaven!!

For the 'Jews' of today, the Talmud supercedes the Tanakh (the written law) and makes the commandments of God of no effect - as our Lord Jesus says in the Scripture.

Orthodox Christians should not be studying Talmud as if it's a good thing.

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« Reply #92 on: June 25, 2010, 10:48:54 AM »



Come to Orthodox Christianity.net and get your Talmudic lesson from deusveritasest!

Considering the topic of the thread, it seems an appropriate "lesson" to get.

Quote

"Oral Torah" is the Talmud people!


Yes, well, sort of! And sort of not. Do you even know what the "Oral Torah" actually is? Do you know what the Talmud actually is? Why it exists? Why the Rabbis began to write down the Oral Torah? Have you personally read the Talmud? What do you actually know about it in context? In history? Are you aware there are actually two Talmud's? Did you know the Talmud is not a "thing" or "a book" anymore than "the Bible" is a book? Rather the Talmud is a collection of writings, commentaries, exegesis, and interpretations of the written law?


Quote

"The Karaites accepted the written but not the oral law,"... Good for them!


Yeah, the Sadducees didn't accept the Oral Law either, and they were the ones DIRECTLY responsible for the Crucifixion of Jesus. (the high priests were all Sadducees, NOT Pharisees) Strange you would take THAT side of 2nd Temple Judaism.

Quote
They still don't accept Christ - but at least they're not vehemently anti-Christ like the vast majority of 'Jews' are!

You do realize Jesus was a Jew, right?

Quote
Thus - the Karaites are the closest thing to O.T. Hebrew Israelites.

Not really! However assuming you are on to "something", I must ask which O.T. Israelites? From which era of Israelite history? If you're talking direct descendants throughout human history, then you are WAY off. The Karaites are the closest thing to the Sadducees, NOT Old Testament Israelites. And exactly what does that even mean? O.T. Israelites? Are you talking pre-Babylonian Exile Jews? If that's the case, then the people who are the closest to the pre-Babylonian Israelites in theology and practice are most likely the Samaritans. (they don't accept Christ either BTW) This is speaking from a purely historical POV. From a Christian POV, we would of course say, Orthodox Christianity is the closest, but that's another discussion entirely. Smiley



Quote
The majority of those who call themselves 'Jews' today are essentially Pharisees. Christ warns us in the N.T. to beware the leaven of the Pharisees!

You do realize that Jesus was more than likely a Pharisee, right? No wait, you probably do NOT realize that! Well, he likely was. For further serious, scholarly reading on the subject, see the books titled, In the Shadow of the Temple: Jewish Influences on Early Christianity by Oskar Skarsuane, and Jesus and Judaism by EP Sanders. Both can be gotten at Amazon.com, and probably through your local library. These two are the top minds in the field of Christian origins. If you want an ultra-conservative-traditional Christian view, take a look at NT Wright's book The Resurrection of the Son of God, again available at Amazon.com, or your local library. He also has an unofficial website, www.ntwrightpage.com, that contains all his lectures and papers. You'll see that he also agrees that Jesus was VERY Jewish, and that early Christianity was as Jewish as anything else. And that Jesus basically considered himself a Pharisee.

If you do not accept these people because of their "fancy book learnin'" well, just go to the New Testament itself.

Jesus accepted an after life.

 Jesus accepted the belief in Angels.

 Jesus accepted the Resurrection of the dead.

Jesus believed in demons.

Jesus accepted the ORAL traditions, which you call "the anti-Christ"? How can I say that? because with the exception of angels, none of those things I just listed can be found ANYWHERE in the the written Torah, the Tanakh. That is why the Sadduccees were so opposed to such beliefs. They were the first "Sola Scriptura" believers one might say. And yet Jesus accepted all these "oral" teachings as coming directly from Moses on Mt. Sinai. The Sadduccees did NOT accept these things, but the Pharisees DID. In fact they were the popularizing movement of such doctrines as the Resurrection of the dead. Now of course as Christians we believe those things to be in fact true teachings. But then that creates a BIG problem for someone like yourself. If there is in fact an after life, and a Resurrection of the dead, it is an historical and Biblical fact that it was the Pharisees who were the ones teaching these truths at the time of Jesus.

It's also true that some of Jesus followers were in fact Pharisees, and that Jesus was invited into the homes of Pharisees. Something which would NEVER had been done if Jesus had been a Sadducee. We also know Jesus was neither a Zealot, or an Essene, though there is certainly Essene influence in his teachings. Of course, the Essene's believed in an oral teaching too. What ever one thinks or believes about Jesus' teachings, a couple of things are certain;

One, he was NOT a Sadducee,

Two he accepted an oral teaching (after all he refers to the Pharisees sitting in the seat of Moses...now, tell me where there is ANY reference in the written Old Testament to a "seat of Moses"? You won't find it. It was an ORAL teaching!

Three, this oral teaching was supposed to be debated and argued in Midrashic fashion until the teachers reached a correct interpretation the Tanakh.

Four, Jesus believed "most" of the Pharisees had misinterpreted The Law and become to rigid, and bound to the wrong issues. This of course doesn't make all Jews to follow somehow evil, anymore than all Orthodox Christians are evil because some crazy monks in the 5th century tore a pagan philosopher to shreds inside a Church. (yes that really happened)



Quote
For the 'Jews' of today, the Talmud supercedes the Tanakh (the written law) and makes the commandments of God of no effect - as our Lord Jesus says in the Scripture.

No, not at all. Where do you get such ideas that the Talmud supercedes the Scriptures? Nonsense. The Talmud is simply commentary, exegesis, argument, debate etc. It attempts to interpret the written Torah in light of the ever changing human condition, and in light of the deepening of human knowledge. Jews no longer stone adulterers (nor do we). Why? Because the Talmud teaches them not to. The Talmud is for all intents and purposes Judaism's version of the Church fathers, the Councils and in particular the Canons of the Church.  Just like Judaism, Christianity needs a method for interpreting the Scriptures, otherwise everyone can make the Bible say anything they want it to say. That's what the Talmud does for Judaism, just as the Church fathers, the councils and canons do for Orthodoxy.


Quote
Orthodox Christians should not be studying Talmud as if it's a good thing.

First, how is one to know whether something is good or bad if one does not take the time to actually READ it for themselves? Simply because someone else told you so? Do you take EVERYTHING in life, and base all your views on the basis of someone else's "authority"? If so, how do you decide who's authority to follow? Are you not the least bit curious to know if what someone tells you is in fact true? Or do you just go by whoever hates Jews, and assume "well they hate Jews, they must be right!"Huh?

Secondly, St. Jerome studied  not only the Hebrew Scriptures, but he studied with Rabbis and their writings. (what would become the Talmud) Is he not an authority you should follow? Is he not in fact an Orthodox saint? Who are you to tell great saints like Jerome were wrong to study Jewish writings? BTW he wasn't the only saint to do so, many did.

What are exactly afraid of by studying the Talmud? Forget the Talmud. Just start with 2nd Temple Judaism, which is what those books I recommended do. If want to see just how Jewish Orthodoxy is, just start reading, learning and studying from different points of view. Jesus was a Jew. Probably a Pharisee, and he, and all the Apostles believed in an Oral Law. These are facts of history, and Biblical facts. If and when you ever get to the point of not fearing Jews, and not fearing Judaism, the New Testament will begin to open up to you in so many new ways. Things that Jesus said that just never made sense before, will all of sudden make perfect sense in light of seeing Jesus as a Jew. Arguments made by St. Paul, or St. John which seem a bit weird, will all of sudden become clear in light of the methods of intra-Jewish debate in late antiquity. But by fearing all this knowledge, IMO you are closing the Scriptures to yourself. You are locking them away out of some fear that some group is telling you what to do, controlling the news . . . when what you really should fear is that what is really controlling you and telling you what to think, is this fear. As long as your eyes are closed to this deeper meaning, there are just some parts of the Bible that just will never make sense to you. Or will only make sense a little bit. But once discovering the Jewish understanding of Torah, Word and Logos, the idea of Jesus ministry becomes so much deeper. It's your choice to not go that deep. But some of us do. Hopefully you will too someday.


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« Reply #93 on: June 25, 2010, 10:54:45 AM »

More on Philo, Torah, and Logos:

"Torah (Hebrew, "teaching," "law, docrine") is designated as the teachings of the Jewish religion. In the Pentateuch the term "Torah" can mean all laws on a particular subject, Leviticus 7:2, or the summation of all laws, Deuteronomy 4:44. The Torah is also used to refer to the Pentateuch in contrast to the Prophets and Hagiography, as in Tanach, and later a distinction was made between the written and oral law. Although the rabbis taught that "Moses received the Torah from Sinai, " they also taught it was in existence before the creation of the world, and Rabbi Akiva declared it to have been "the precious instrument by which the world was created." Rav Hoshaiah equated it with Wisdom described in the Book of Proverbs, and Philo, in his discussion of logos (word of God), identified the logos with the Torah. Such conjectures led to much discussion among several later Jewish philosophers.

However, it is generally agreed that the purpose of the Torah was to make Israel a kingdom of priests, a holy nation (Deuteronomy 33:4), and much Hebrew poetry is concerned with the sweetness and joy entailed in keeping it (Psalms 19 and 119). Nevertheless, the message of the Torah is claimed to be for all humanity, and "a pagan who studies the Torah is like a High Priest." Hillel, in a famous exchange, summarized the Torah in the maximum, "What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow" (B. Shab, 31a), and Akiva maintained its overriding principle was "Love you neighbor as yourself" (Leviticus 19:18). Maimonides laid down in his thirteen principles of the Jewish faith that the Torah is immutable and that it was given in its entirety to Moses. The belief in the divine origin of both the written and oral Torah remains the touchstone of Orthodox Judaism. The Karaites accepted the written but not the oral law, while the Progressive movements tend to distinguish between the moral and ritual law.

The Torah, by many, is considered the cornerstone of the Jewish religion and law, thus the scrolls are thought to be most holy and sacred by the pious. Every synagogue keeps several scrolls, frequently protected in a luxurious covering of rich fabric often decorated with silver ornaments. A.G.H."

http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/t/torah.html

*emphasis mine*

Come to Orthodox Christianity.net and get your Talmudic lesson from deusveritasest!

"Oral Torah" is the Talmud people!

Hello? The Talmud is anti-Christ!!

"The Karaites accepted the written but not the oral law,"... Good for them! They still don't accept Christ - but at least they're not vehemently anti-Christ like the vast majority of 'Jews' are!

Thus - the Karaites are the closest thing to O.T. Hebrew Israelites. The majority of those who call themselves 'Jews' today are essentially Pharisees. Christ warns us in the N.T. to beware the leaven of the Pharisees! The Talmud is that leaven!!

For the 'Jews' of today, the Talmud supercedes the Tanakh (the written law) and makes the commandments of God of no effect - as our Lord Jesus says in the Scripture.

Orthodox Christians should not be studying Talmud as if it's a good thing.

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"The Karaites accepted the written but not the oral law,"... Good for them! They still don't accept Christ - but at least they're not vehemently anti-Christ like the vast majority of 'Jews' are!

That is a gross miss statement. Jews are the ones that first taught that there would be a Messiah and he would be the Anointed of God, The Christ. That belief has never changed and they look forward to the coming of Christ. They disagree that Jesus is that Messiah based on Scriptural Analysis ( he did not meet many of the signs we are to look for to determine if The Christ has actually come).

I once saw a debate between a Rabbi and a Protestant Pastor. The first thing the Rabbi did was to thank Christians for spreading their common  faith ( in One God ) around the World. He said flaws in Judaism have prevented them from doing so. He then preceded to take apart the Christian Pastor on the Spiritual Identity of Jesus, verse by verse. No objective person could have thought the Pastor had won the debate. So it is far more than some sort of "Blindness" that prevents Jews from believing Jesus is the Christ.

Jesus was in accord with basic Pharisaical teachings. His philosophical outlook on the poor and loving God and loving neighbor were not the first time these things had been taught by Jews. He was also of the strain within Judaism that was rather free of the Temple in that one could worship in the home or where just a few gathered. This approach to worship was why the Pharisees were able to survive the expulsion and go elsewhere.        
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« Reply #94 on: June 25, 2010, 11:02:36 AM »

BTW, if you want an actual scholarly and historical view of a "surviving" remnant of pre-exilic/pre-Deuteronomist Judaism existing at the time of Jesus, check out Margaret Barker's work: http://www.margaretbarker.com/

Of course you'll find out that her thesis (which is actually quite convincing at times) doesn't support ANY of your hypothesis's at all (except for the one where you say the Pharisaic tradition was not original Judaism)....however you'll also find that in her work, this underlying remembrance among the regular populace still accepted an oral teaching and was not quite as monotheistic as later histories tried to imply (verified by recent archaeological digs) and that the reason "monotheisitic" Jews so readily accepted an idea of Jesus being "the Son of God" was because a psuedo Trinitarian theology already existed, but was suppressed by the Deutoronomist historians who put redacted and edited the 5 books of Moses. She also has several books out about how Orthodox Christian Liturgy is a direct descendant, through living memory (ie: oral tradition/torah) of not the 2nd Temple, but Solomon's Temple. Or in other words, she doesn't support your thesis at all that Jesus was a psuedo Protestant, rejecting oral tradition. But you might find the whole Pharisaic vs Solomon's Temple memory being reconstituted in Christian worship interesting. Of course you'll probably freak out when she gets to the part where pre-exile Jews believed in more than one God. But I like her work, and it might be something you might find at least intriguing.
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« Reply #95 on: June 25, 2010, 11:10:06 AM »



Jesus was in accord with basic Pharisaical teachings. His philosophical outlook on the poor and loving God and loving neighbor were not the first time these things had been taught by Jews. He was also of the strain within Judaism that was rather free of the Temple in that one could worship in the home or where just a few gathered. This approach to worship was why the Pharisees were able to survive the expulsion and go elsewhere.        

I had forgotten about that. The idea that the home is as much of a temple as the actual temple was, and that ALL are in some sense "priests, a holy nation" is a Pharisaic teaching. Now our friend Saint Iant will undoubtedly say "no it's a teaching from God"...and yes, I would agree. But it was the Pharisees who expounded that teaching to the general populace for 250 years before Christ, and during Christ's lifetime. But I'm not sure rational debate and discussion is where this thread is going to end up. Too bad too, because this is really an important and enlightening topic.

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« Reply #96 on: June 25, 2010, 12:15:39 PM »



Come to Orthodox Christianity.net and get your Talmudic lesson from deusveritasest!

Considering the topic of the thread, it seems an appropriate "lesson" to get.

Quote

"Oral Torah" is the Talmud people!


Yes, well, sort of! And sort of not. Do you even know what the "Oral Torah" actually is? Do you know what the Talmud actually is? Why it exists? Why the Rabbis began to write down the Oral Torah? Have you personally read the Talmud? What do you actually know about it in context? In history? Are you aware there are actually two Talmud's? Did you know the Talmud is not a "thing" or "a book" anymore than "the Bible" is a book? Rather the Talmud is a collection of writings, commentaries, exegesis, and interpretations of the written law?


Quote

"The Karaites accepted the written but not the oral law,"... Good for them!


Yeah, the Sadducees didn't accept the Oral Law either, and they were the ones DIRECTLY responsible for the Crucifixion of Jesus. (the high priests were all Sadducees, NOT Pharisees) Strange you would take THAT side of 2nd Temple Judaism.

Quote
They still don't accept Christ - but at least they're not vehemently anti-Christ like the vast majority of 'Jews' are!

You do realize Jesus was a Jew, right?

Quote
Thus - the Karaites are the closest thing to O.T. Hebrew Israelites.

Not really! However assuming you are on to "something", I must ask which O.T. Israelites? From which era of Israelite history? If you're talking direct descendants throughout human history, then you are WAY off. The Karaites are the closest thing to the Sadducees, NOT Old Testament Israelites. And exactly what does that even mean? O.T. Israelites? Are you talking pre-Babylonian Exile Jews? If that's the case, then the people who are the closest to the pre-Babylonian Israelites in theology and practice are most likely the Samaritans. (they don't accept Christ either BTW) This is speaking from a purely historical POV. From a Christian POV, we would of course say, Orthodox Christianity is the closest, but that's another discussion entirely. Smiley



Quote
The majority of those who call themselves 'Jews' today are essentially Pharisees. Christ warns us in the N.T. to beware the leaven of the Pharisees!

You do realize that Jesus was more than likely a Pharisee, right? No wait, you probably do NOT realize that! Well, he likely was. For further serious, scholarly reading on the subject, see the books titled, In the Shadow of the Temple: Jewish Influences on Early Christianity by Oskar Skarsuane, and Jesus and Judaism by EP Sanders. Both can be gotten at Amazon.com, and probably through your local library. These two are the top minds in the field of Christian origins. If you want an ultra-conservative-traditional Christian view, take a look at NT Wright's book The Resurrection of the Son of God, again available at Amazon.com, or your local library. He also has an unofficial website, www.ntwrightpage.com, that contains all his lectures and papers. You'll see that he also agrees that Jesus was VERY Jewish, and that early Christianity was as Jewish as anything else. And that Jesus basically considered himself a Pharisee.

If you do not accept these people because of their "fancy book learnin'" well, just go to the New Testament itself.

Jesus accepted an after life.

 Jesus accepted the belief in Angels.

 Jesus accepted the Resurrection of the dead.

Jesus believed in demons.

Jesus accepted the ORAL traditions, which you call "the anti-Christ"? How can I say that? because with the exception of angels, none of those things I just listed can be found ANYWHERE in the the written Torah, the Tanakh. That is why the Sadduccees were so opposed to such beliefs. They were the first "Sola Scriptura" believers one might say. And yet Jesus accepted all these "oral" teachings as coming directly from Moses on Mt. Sinai. The Sadduccees did NOT accept these things, but the Pharisees DID. In fact they were the popularizing movement of such doctrines as the Resurrection of the dead. Now of course as Christians we believe those things to be in fact true teachings. But then that creates a BIG problem for someone like yourself. If there is in fact an after life, and a Resurrection of the dead, it is an historical and Biblical fact that it was the Pharisees who were the ones teaching these truths at the time of Jesus.

It's also true that some of Jesus followers were in fact Pharisees, and that Jesus was invited into the homes of Pharisees. Something which would NEVER had been done if Jesus had been a Sadducee. We also know Jesus was neither a Zealot, or an Essene, though there is certainly Essene influence in his teachings. Of course, the Essene's believed in an oral teaching too. What ever one thinks or believes about Jesus' teachings, a couple of things are certain;

One, he was NOT a Sadducee,

Two he accepted an oral teaching (after all he refers to the Pharisees sitting in the seat of Moses...now, tell me where there is ANY reference in the written Old Testament to a "seat of Moses"? You won't find it. It was an ORAL teaching!

Three, this oral teaching was supposed to be debated and argued in Midrashic fashion until the teachers reached a correct interpretation the Tanakh.

Four, Jesus believed "most" of the Pharisees had misinterpreted The Law and become to rigid, and bound to the wrong issues. This of course doesn't make all Jews to follow somehow evil, anymore than all Orthodox Christians are evil because some crazy monks in the 5th century tore a pagan philosopher to shreds inside a Church. (yes that really happened)



Quote
For the 'Jews' of today, the Talmud supercedes the Tanakh (the written law) and makes the commandments of God of no effect - as our Lord Jesus says in the Scripture.

No, not at all. Where do you get such ideas that the Talmud supercedes the Scriptures? Nonsense. The Talmud is simply commentary, exegesis, argument, debate etc. It attempts to interpret the written Torah in light of the ever changing human condition, and in light of the deepening of human knowledge. Jews no longer stone adulterers (nor do we). Why? Because the Talmud teaches them not to. The Talmud is for all intents and purposes Judaism's version of the Church fathers, the Councils and in particular the Canons of the Church.  Just like Judaism, Christianity needs a method for interpreting the Scriptures, otherwise everyone can make the Bible say anything they want it to say. That's what the Talmud does for Judaism, just as the Church fathers, the councils and canons do for Orthodoxy.


Quote
Orthodox Christians should not be studying Talmud as if it's a good thing.

First, how is one to know whether something is good or bad if one does not take the time to actually READ it for themselves? Simply because someone else told you so? Do you take EVERYTHING in life, and base all your views on the basis of someone else's "authority"? If so, how do you decide who's authority to follow? Are you not the least bit curious to know if what someone tells you is in fact true? Or do you just go by whoever hates Jews, and assume "well they hate Jews, they must be right!"Huh?

Secondly, St. Jerome studied  not only the Hebrew Scriptures, but he studied with Rabbis and their writings. (what would become the Talmud) Is he not an authority you should follow? Is he not in fact an Orthodox saint? Who are you to tell great saints like Jerome were wrong to study Jewish writings? BTW he wasn't the only saint to do so, many did.

What are exactly afraid of by studying the Talmud? Forget the Talmud. Just start with 2nd Temple Judaism, which is what those books I recommended do. If want to see just how Jewish Orthodoxy is, just start reading, learning and studying from different points of view. Jesus was a Jew. Probably a Pharisee, and he, and all the Apostles believed in an Oral Law. These are facts of history, and Biblical facts. If and when you ever get to the point of not fearing Jews, and not fearing Judaism, the New Testament will begin to open up to you in so many new ways. Things that Jesus said that just never made sense before, will all of sudden make perfect sense in light of seeing Jesus as a Jew. Arguments made by St. Paul, or St. John which seem a bit weird, will all of sudden become clear in light of the methods of intra-Jewish debate in late antiquity. But by fearing all this knowledge, IMO you are closing the Scriptures to yourself. You are locking them away out of some fear that some group is telling you what to do, controlling the news . . . when what you really should fear is that what is really controlling you and telling you what to think, is this fear. As long as your eyes are closed to this deeper meaning, there are just some parts of the Bible that just will never make sense to you. Or will only make sense a little bit. But once discovering the Jewish understanding of Torah, Word and Logos, the idea of Jesus ministry becomes so much deeper. It's your choice to not go that deep. But some of us do. Hopefully you will too someday.



Post of the month?
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« Reply #97 on: June 25, 2010, 12:59:17 PM »

I second this for post of the month.

For some brief background info concerning 2nd Temple Judaism see this page:

What You Never Knew About the Pharisees

For more, this series of articles:

The Religious World of Jesus
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« Reply #98 on: June 25, 2010, 01:55:42 PM »

I second this for post of the month.

For some brief background info concerning 2nd Temple Judaism see this page:

What You Never Knew About the Pharisees

For more, this series of articles:

The Religious World of Jesus

Call the question:

All in favor of Post of the Month... Please stand.
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« Reply #99 on: June 25, 2010, 03:08:36 PM »

I
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« Reply #100 on: June 25, 2010, 03:42:34 PM »

I as well
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« Reply #101 on: June 25, 2010, 05:14:24 PM »

Nomination duly noted. Wink
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« Reply #102 on: June 25, 2010, 07:37:30 PM »

More on Philo, Torah, and Logos:

"Torah (Hebrew, "teaching," "law, docrine") is designated as the teachings of the Jewish religion. In the Pentateuch the term "Torah" can mean all laws on a particular subject, Leviticus 7:2, or the summation of all laws, Deuteronomy 4:44. The Torah is also used to refer to the Pentateuch in contrast to the Prophets and Hagiography, as in Tanach, and later a distinction was made between the written and oral law. Although the rabbis taught that "Moses received the Torah from Sinai, " they also taught it was in existence before the creation of the world, and Rabbi Akiva declared it to have been "the precious instrument by which the world was created." Rav Hoshaiah equated it with Wisdom described in the Book of Proverbs, and Philo, in his discussion of logos (word of God), identified the logos with the Torah. Such conjectures led to much discussion among several later Jewish philosophers.

However, it is generally agreed that the purpose of the Torah was to make Israel a kingdom of priests, a holy nation (Deuteronomy 33:4), and much Hebrew poetry is concerned with the sweetness and joy entailed in keeping it (Psalms 19 and 119). Nevertheless, the message of the Torah is claimed to be for all humanity, and "a pagan who studies the Torah is like a High Priest." Hillel, in a famous exchange, summarized the Torah in the maximum, "What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow" (B. Shab, 31a), and Akiva maintained its overriding principle was "Love you neighbor as yourself" (Leviticus 19:18). Maimonides laid down in his thirteen principles of the Jewish faith that the Torah is immutable and that it was given in its entirety to Moses. The belief in the divine origin of both the written and oral Torah remains the touchstone of Orthodox Judaism. The Karaites accepted the written but not the oral law, while the Progressive movements tend to distinguish between the moral and ritual law.

The Torah, by many, is considered the cornerstone of the Jewish religion and law, thus the scrolls are thought to be most holy and sacred by the pious. Every synagogue keeps several scrolls, frequently protected in a luxurious covering of rich fabric often decorated with silver ornaments. A.G.H."

http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/t/torah.html

*emphasis mine*

Come to Orthodox Christianity.net and get your Talmudic lesson from deusveritasest!

"Oral Torah" is the Talmud people!

Hello? The Talmud is anti-Christ!!

"The Karaites accepted the written but not the oral law,"... Good for them! They still don't accept Christ - but at least they're not vehemently anti-Christ like the vast majority of 'Jews' are!

Thus - the Karaites are the closest thing to O.T. Hebrew Israelites. The majority of those who call themselves 'Jews' today are essentially Pharisees. Christ warns us in the N.T. to beware the leaven of the Pharisees! The Talmud is that leaven!!

For the 'Jews' of today, the Talmud supercedes the Tanakh (the written law) and makes the commandments of God of no effect - as our Lord Jesus says in the Scripture.

Orthodox Christians should not be studying Talmud as if it's a good thing.

†IC XC†
†NI KA†

I'm rather tired of you doing this. Did you completely ignore the bold? I quoted that passage just to point out the later association of the concepts of "Torah" and "Logos" in the pre-Advent Judaic tradition. And I thought the previous context of the conversation and furthermore the bold in the text would have made that clear. But in your typical over-rigorism you glomped onto the content that I wasn't even quoting it for for the sake of going on yet another titillating anti-Judaic rant. I would appreciate it if you stopped co-opting my posts like that.
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« Reply #103 on: June 25, 2010, 08:43:30 PM »

I once saw a debate between a Rabbi and a Protestant Pastor. The first thing the Rabbi preceded to take apart the Christian Pastor on the Spiritual Identity of Jesus, verse by verse. No objective person could have thought the Pastor had won the debate.

MARC,

Please enligten us what ideas we Christians have about Jesus' identity are so wrong and therefore blasphemous?


I asked an ethnic Jewish friend who served in the Israeli army once why he did not join Judaism. He answered because he did not want to get circumcised and have to follow all the kosher rules, and second because the idea is that ethnic Jews are special, but he knows lots of gentile goyim who are good people too. A sense of superiority of one ethnicity over another is insulting, whatever the Old Testament theological justifications.
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« Reply #104 on: June 25, 2010, 09:15:25 PM »

Quote
The Rabbi... said flaws in Judaism have prevented them from doing so... Jesus was in accord with basic Pharisaical teachings. His philosophical outlook on the poor and loving God and loving neighbor were not the first time these things had been taught by Jews.

Maybe these flaws, like looking down on gentiles, were basic pharisaic teachings.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2010, 09:22:15 PM by rakovsky » Logged
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« Reply #105 on: June 26, 2010, 02:44:03 AM »

I nominate Northern Pines' post for 'Longest Winded, Most Thoroughly Judaized Pseudo-Intellectual' post of the year!

Quote from: Northern Pines
"Considering the topic of the thread, it seems an appropriate "lesson" to get."

The topic is 'Messianic Jews'... Are you telling us that 'Messianics' are also Talmudic? Well - that explains a lot then!

Quote
"Yes, well, sort of! And sort of not. Do you even know what the "Oral Torah" actually is? Do you know what the Talmud actually is? Why it exists? Why the Rabbis began to write down the Oral Torah? Have you personally read the Talmud? What do you actually know about it in context? In history? Are you aware there are actually two Talmud's? Did you know the Talmud is not a "thing" or "a book" anymore than "the Bible" is a book? Rather the Talmud is a collection of writings, commentaries, exegesis, and interpretations of the written law?"

Oh I know what the Talmud is! Do you? You don't sound like you do. You sound like a seriously Judaized Protestant who has accepted the Pharisaic lies he's been fed. You sound like someone who's trying hard to sound smart - but whose excessive usage of apostrophes where they're not needed belies the reality that they're just repeating 'Jewish' (pharisaic) lies verbatim. The truth is that through their "exegesis and interpretations of the written law" they have made the commandments of God of no effect.

'Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, "Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread." He answered and said to them, "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?

For God commanded, saying, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' But you say, 'Whoever says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God"-- then he need not honor his father or mother.' Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' "

When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, "Hear and understand: Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." Then His disciples came and said to Him, "Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?"

But He answered and said, "Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch."'
- Matthew 15:1-14


~~~ ~ ~ ~~~
 

'Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches.

Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, "Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?" He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'

"For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men--the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do." He said to them, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.

For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' But you say, 'If a man says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban"--' (that is, a gift to God), then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do." '
- Mark 7:1-13


Quote
"Yeah, the Sadducees didn't accept the Oral Law either, and they were the ones DIRECTLY responsible for the Crucifixion of Jesus. (the high priests were all Sadducees, NOT Pharisees)"

Well, at least you're not trying to say that the Romans were responsible... Perhaps there's hope for you yet. Where do you get the idea that all of the high priests were Sadducees?

Regardless, the high priests were appointed at the behest of the Edomite Herodians, and they could easily be (and were) deposed if they were disobedient.

Quote
"You do realize Jesus was a Jew, right?"

Well that's a whole 'nother can of worms right there! Suffice to say for now - that I realize that's what you all think... because you've been Judaized beyond all recognition.

Jesus was a Judahite - but Jesus was not a Judean. Please see the thread I started entitled "'Jews' = Judahites, 'Jews' = Judeans, 'Jews' = Edomites" HERE... I'll start another new thread for that discussion!

Quote
" O.T. Israelites? Are you talking pre-Babylonian Exile Jews? If that's the case, then the people who are the closest to the pre-Babylonian Israelites in theology and practice are most likely the Samaritans."

Yes Samaritans and Karaites are very close... My main point was - the true faithful Israelites did not follow the Talmudic oral laws because they did not exist. The oral laws are an invention; a fabrication attributed to Moses which annul God's true commandments. The majority of people know nothing of the Talmud/'oral torah' - nevermind the blasphemies contained within. Most people think today's 'Jews' just meekly study the Old Testament, and await the Messiah Whose coming they somehow innocently missed.

My main point being - anyone who follows the anti-Christ Talmudic/'oral laws' is most definitely NOT an Israelite in the eyes of God. Most 'Christians' are sadly deceived when it comes to the truth of these matters.

Quote
"You do realize that Jesus was more than likely a Pharisee, right?"

HA HA HA HA!! NONSENSE!!

Virtually all of Matthew 23 is a blistering condemnation of the scribes and the Pharisees! A sample:

"Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation."
Matthew 23:33-36


John 8 is also notable... How anyone could read it and think that Christ was a Pharisee is beyond me.

'Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.

You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God."
- John 8:42:47


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"Jesus accepted an after life.

 Jesus accepted the belief in Angels.

 Jesus accepted the Resurrection of the dead.

Jesus believed in demons."

Jesus is God! Of course He knew the truth of those matters! And just because the Pharisees got a few things right doesn't mean that Jesus was one of them! The Taoists and the Greeks also got some things right too... does that mean Jesus is a Greek Taoist Pharisee? HA!

Look at the verses I've quoted above... does it look like Jesus was speaking to His 'fellow' Pharisees? HA!

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"Jesus accepted the ORAL traditions, which you call "the anti-Christ"?"

Jesus DENOUNCED the oral traditions!

"Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?"... "Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites!"... "And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men."... "For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men"... "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition."... " making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down."

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"(Jesus) refers to the Pharisees sitting in the seat of Moses...now, tell me where there is ANY reference in the written Old Testament to a "seat of Moses"? You won't find it. It was an ORAL teaching!"

Yes! Jesus refers to the Pharisees sitting in Moses' seat... IN A NEGATIVE CONTEXT!  And the Talmud was written long after Christ's time on earth! Just because it's in the Talmud now - doesn't mean it was found in the oral 'traditions of men' in the New Testament era!

The Talmud mentions Jesus also... does that mean that the oral 'tradition of the elders' also spoke of Jesus? Since Christ came before  the Talmud... we should assume that the writers of the Talmud plagarized Christ's teachings - not the other way around!

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"No, not at all. Where do you get such ideas that the Talmud supercedes the Scriptures?"

Where do you get the idea that (for the 'Jews') the Talmud doesn't supercede the O.T. Scriptures?

"If the Bible is the cornerstone of Judaism, then the Talmud is the central pillar, soaring up from the foundations and supporting the entire spiritual and intellectual edifice. In many ways the Talmud is the most important book in Jewish culture, the backbone of creativity and of national life. No other work has had a comparable influence on the theory and practice of Jewish life, shaping spiritual content and serving as a guide to conduct."
- Rabbi Steinsaltz (The Essential Talmud, pg. 3)

"The Talmud is to this day the circulating heart's blood of the Jewish religion. Whatever laws, customs or ceremonies we observe — whether we are Orthodox, Conservative, Reform or merely spasmodic sentimentalists - we follow the Talmud.

The Bavli [Babylonian Talmud] has formed the definitive statement of Judaism from the time of its closure to the present day."
— Rabbi Dr. Neusner (The Sacred Chain - A History Of The Jews, pg 112)


Evidence of this may be found in the Talmud itself:

"My son, be more careful in the observance of the words of the Scribes than in the words of the Torah (Old Testament)."
- Erubin 21b

"There is greater stringency in respect to the teachings of the Scribes than in respect to the Torah … so that a Biblical law may be transgressed."
- Sanhedrin 88b


The supremacy of the Talmud over the Bible in the Israeli state may also be seen in the case of the Black Ethiopian Jews. Ethiopians have more knowledge of the Old Testament than the Israelis.

However, their religion is so ancient it pre-dates the Scribes Talmud, of which they have no knowledge. According to the N.Y. Times of Sept. 29, 1992, p.4:

"The problem is that Ethiopian Jewish tradition goes no further than the Bible or Torah; the later Talmud and other commentaries that form the basis of modern traditions never came their way."

Because they don't traffic in Talmudic traditions, the Black Ethiopians are discriminated against and have been forbidden to perform marriages, funerals and other services in the Israeli state.

"The rise of the Talmud to its dominant role in Jewish life was not without challenge. Its authority was rejected by a group of Babylonian Jews, led by a certain Anan ben David, in the middle of the eighth century. They organized a sect known as the Karaites (from Kara, the study of Scripture), which sought to center Judaism on the sole authority of the Bible.

Fierce polemics developed between the Karaites and the Rabbinites, as the defenders of Talmudic authority were called. The Karaites have persisted as a small sect, and several thousand of them still exist in scattered communities in various parts of the world."
- The Wisdom of the Talmud, by Ben Zion Bokser (intro)

"Thus the ultimate authority for orthodoxy is the Babylonian Talmud. The Bible itself ranks second to it in reality, if not in theory."
- Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, 'Authority' p. 637.

"The Jewish religion as it is today traces its descent, without a break, through all the centuries, from the Pharisees. Their leading ideas and methods found expression in a literature of enormous extent, of which a very great deal is still in existence. The Talmud is the largest and most important single piece of that literature … and the study of it is essential for any real understanding of Pharisaism."
- 'Pharisees', Universal Jewish Encyclopedia (1943)


I could give you more... But that's probably sufficient.

As for the rest of your post - it's simply condescending, implying that you know something of which I am ignorant... when in fact - the exact opposite seems to be true!



deusveritasest,

Don't quote the anti-Christ Talmudic rabbis and I won't say anything!

†IC XC†
†NI KA† 
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Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.
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« Reply #106 on: June 26, 2010, 02:54:58 AM »

If as is alleged, the Talmud is derogatory about a blasphemer named Yeshua, this could be proof Yeshua existed. Further, Talmud accepts that messianic interpretations of Isaiah 53 are valid, while I think official Judaism today generally rejects that interpretation.

Whatever the criticisms, Judaic oral tradition is valuable from a critical Christian perspective.
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« Reply #107 on: June 26, 2010, 11:16:34 AM »

I once saw a debate between a Rabbi and a Protestant Pastor. The first thing the Rabbi preceded to take apart the Christian Pastor on the Spiritual Identity of Jesus, verse by verse. No objective person could have thought the Pastor had won the debate.

MARC,

Please enligten us what ideas we Christians have about Jesus' identity are so wrong and therefore blasphemous?


I asked an ethnic Jewish friend who served in the Israeli army once why he did not join Judaism. He answered because he did not want to get circumcised and have to follow all the kosher rules, and second because the idea is that ethnic Jews are special, but he knows lots of gentile goyim who are good people too. A sense of superiority of one ethnicity over another is insulting, whatever the Old Testament theological justifications.

I am sorry that I confused you. I was speaking to the idea among Christians that it is nearly incomprehensible that Jews have not accepted Jesus as The Messiah. The fact is that their case for not doing so is perfectly reasonable and based squarely on scripture. At the end of the day I don't think they have come to the correct conclusion but Christians should not be scratching their heads in wonderment why more Jews don't convert or have some hard feelings based both on sober interpretation of Theology and of course the unfortunate history between the two groups. 
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« Reply #108 on: June 26, 2010, 12:28:41 PM »

I nominate Northern Pines' post for 'Longest Winded, Most Thoroughly Judaized Pseudo-Intellectual' post of the year!

Cute!  Grin


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Oh I know what the Talmud is! Do you? You don't sound like you do. You sound like a seriously Judaized Protestant who has accepted the Pharisaic lies he's been fed.

A strange accusation considering you are not even Orthodox. BTW, exactly what Church  are you a member of?

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The truth is that through their "exegesis and interpretations of the written law" they have made the commandments of God of no effect.

For someone who doesn't like Protestants, you sure use a LOT of Protestant arguments to support your POV.


I'm not even going to respond to you proof texting of Scripture. For one thing, you did exactly what everyone who feels like they are losing a debate do; rather than respond in dialogue to my points and attempt to refute them through rational means, discussion, conversation and saying "I see you're point, but I think you are wrong because of so and so reason" you simply resorted to flooding the debate with "proof texts", non sequiturs, in a last ditch effort to prove to yourself that you have the truth and that God has called you to be a bearer of that truth. William Lane Craig (a famous Protestant apologists) uses the exact same trick in his debates when he feels like he's losing. (which I admit, is rare because he is a good debater)  


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Well, at least you're not trying to say that the Romans were responsible... Perhaps there's hope for you yet.

Well the Sadduccees were the one's who brought charges against Jesus, but it was in fact the Romans who carried out the execution. They were the only ones with the authority to do so. And don't give me any crap about Pilate being "innocent of this man's blood"...Pilate was a brutal tyrant as attested to not only by Josephus, but by Roman historians as well.

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Where do you get the idea that all of the high priests were Sadducees?

Hmm, well it's this little field of study called history! I suggest you take a look at it. It's opens up a fascinating world of knowledge. Smiley
 
The books I mentioned are good starters actually. You could also try reading Josephus, (who Jews considered a traitor to his people, so even though he's a "Jew" you should feel just fine about reading him).  

The Sadduccees were the priestly aristocracy and they ran the Temple. The Pharisees a lay movement within Judaism and did NOT run the Temple. For someone who claims to know all about "The Jews" I'm surprised you do not know this very simple and elementary fact of Christian history. If you are not aware of even THIS, why do you expect anyone to take you seriously on anything else you might say? It would be like claiming to know all about geology, but never having heard of the theory of plate tectonics.

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Regardless, the high priests were appointed at the behest of the Edomite Herodians, and they could easily be (and were) deposed if they were disobedient.

Huh? What kind of non sequitur is that? My point was that the high priesthood in the Temple at the time of Jesus was controlled by Sadducees, you say "that's irrelevent because the Herodian Dynasty could change the high priest whenever they liked?" What?!!!! First, your assumption is wrong. The Herod's were puppets of Rome. it was Rome that deposed and installed new high priests at will, not the Herods. And even if it was the Herodians, who cares? How does that have any bearing on the discussion at hand? It was the Sadducees who were in charge of the Temple. According to the New Testament it was the high priest who handed over Jesus to the Romans, and in fact the priests are the ones who in fact bought off Judas Iscariot. As for the Pharisees, they were actually split on the issue of Jesus, some like Joseph of Arimathea and Nikodemus (as well as some unnamed Pharisees) were either followers of Jesus, or really respected him. But of course you're changing the subject so often that I suppose none of this even matters at this point.


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"You do realize Jesus was a Jew, right?"

Well that's a whole 'nother can of worms right there! Suffice to say for now - that I realize that's what you all think... because you've been Judaized beyond all recognition.

Jesus was a Judahite - but Jesus was not a Judean.
[/quote]

What kind of a-historical nonsense is that?


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Please see the thread I started entitled "'Jews' = Judahites, 'Jews' = Judeans, 'Jews' = Edomites" HERE... I'll start another new thread for that discussion!


Why would I take YOUR lone word as authority on this subject OVER the multiply attested witnesses of 2000 years of historians and archeaologists, not to mention modern sciencr and....lest we forget the 2000 year old Orthodox Christian understanding that Jesus was a Jew! Who are you to overrule Christ's Church on such an issue?

I'm supposed to take your word over the witness of the very Church that Jesus founded? Are you serious?


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Yes Samaritans and Karaites are very close... My main point was - the true faithful Israelites did not follow the Talmudic oral laws because they did not exist. The oral laws are an invention; a fabrication attributed to Moses which annul God's true commandments.

Then why on earth did Jesus accept oral teachings and traditions such as, oh...let's see, baptism! Yes, baptism is NOT a Christian invention, nor is it an invention of John the Baptist. It was a Jewish invention, or "innovation" that was co-opted by John, and later Christianity itself.

And I must ask something in regards to your hostility to "oral" teachings . . .  why on earth are you, a person who claims to want to be Orthodox opposed to oral teachings, when in fact Orthodoxy is based in large part on oral teachings? None of this makes any sense.



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"You do realize that Jesus was more than likely a Pharisee, right?"

HA HA HA HA!! NONSENSE!!

Virtually all of Matthew 23 is a blistering condemnation of the scribes and the Pharisees!

So that's your reply? to laugh? And then "proof text" the Bible? Where is the rational dialogue? The discussion? Where is your historical and scholarly evidence that Jesus was in fact one of the other known sects of 2nd Temple Judaism?  

Again, this just shows just how absolute you're lack of knowledge of 2nd Temple Judaism actually is. Yes, Jesus "condemned" the Pharisees. Of course if you knew the slightest bit about Judaism of his time, you would clearly see this is how Jews of the SAME sect actually debated one another. You most strongly oppose those whom are the closest to you in beliefs. That's just how the Rabbis debated. For someone who claims to know all about the Talmud, I'm surprised you have not noticed this before within the Talmud, how the Rabbis seemingly violently oppose one another at times, and yet can all remain devout Jews and get along in the end. The same thing can be seen with the Old Testament Prophets who often used far harsher language than Jesus ever did, but in the end, they were all Jews, and that is what bound them together.

If you're actually interested in the idea of Jesus being a Pharisee, which I doubt, (or at least closer to them than any of the other Jewish sects of His time) I'll once again recommend those books. Of course I doubt you're interested because of this abject fear you have of anything Jewish. Why is that? Did a Jewish kid beat you up in the 4th grade or something?


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"Jesus accepted an after life.

 Jesus accepted the belief in Angels.

 Jesus accepted the Resurrection of the dead.

Jesus believed in demons."

Jesus is God! Of course He knew the truth of those matters! And just because the Pharisees got a few things right doesn't mean that Jesus was one of them!

First, Jesus is the 100% God-Man. Yes He is God. He is also 100% human, with a human soul, human mind, human will. His Divinity does not invalidate His humanity in ANY way. Jesus had to learn to speak, and read just like another other 1st century Palestinian Jew.

Second, that is your answer? The Pharisees "got a few things right" via the oral teaching? Wait a minute. I thought the oral teaching was ALL bad? Now some of it is right and some of it is wrong? Do you not see the contradiction?


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Look at the verses I've quoted above... does it look like Jesus was speaking to His 'fellow' Pharisees? HA!

Actually, yes it does! Again, if you knew anything of intra-Jewish debate, Midrash and theological argument, you would see this quite easily.


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Jesus DENOUNCED the oral traditions!


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Yes! Jesus refers to the Pharisees sitting in Moses' seat... IN A NEGATIVE CONTEXT! 

But Jesus did not deny that such a concept of "Moses' seat" actually existed. He actually validated the doctrine of Moses' seat, (which was an oral tradition)...the negative was that He said do as those who sit in the seat say, not as they do. But Jesus never said "Moses' seat is an oral tradition, it's a false doctrine"...nope. He accepted it as a valid belief, even thought it cannot be found in ANY Old Testament writing.


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"If the Bible is the cornerstone of Judaism, then the Talmud is the central pillar, soaring up from the foundations and supporting the entire spiritual and intellectual edifice.

Yeah? And your point being? Am I supposed to take this in a negative light? Sounds pretty much like what St. Paul wrote about the CHURCH being the pillar and the ground of truth. (ie: not the Bible, the Church)


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In many ways the Talmud is the most important book in Jewish culture, the backbone of creativity and of national life. No other work has had a comparable influence on the theory and practice of Jewish life, shaping spiritual content and serving as a guide to conduct."
- Rabbi Steinsaltz (The Essential Talmud, pg. 3)

Sounds pretty much like what many Orthodox saints have said about Philokalia to me!


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"The Talmud is to this day the circulating heart's blood of the Jewish religion. Whatever laws, customs or ceremonies we observe — whether we are Orthodox, Conservative, Reform or merely spasmodic sentimentalists - we follow the Talmud.

Sounds a lot like what many Orthodox would say about Holy Tradition. Smiley

Saint Iant, you really do seem like a nice fellow. But why on earth do you have so much hate and rage for the Jews? It's irrational, and frankly un-Christian. You can quote all the proof texts from the Bible you want to show how "angry" Jesus was with this group or that group, but it doesn't matter. Because you are not Jesus. And have no authority to take that attitude upon yourself. In the end, no matter what you think about Jews, Romans, Herodians, or any other group, Jesus while being nailed to the cross cried out, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do!" If Jesus forgave them, and asked the Father to forgive them, then who are you to not do the same?






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« Reply #109 on: June 26, 2010, 03:02:46 PM »

But I'm not sure rational debate and discussion is where this thread is going to end up. Too bad too, because this is really an important and enlightening topic.



As long as we IGNORE THE TROLL it can. I for one am delighted when Christians research the "Hebrew Roots" of their faith, and am more than willing to listen to what you have to share on the subject. Smiley
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« Reply #110 on: June 26, 2010, 06:44:43 PM »

NorthernPines, debating with fundamentalists who know nothing about theology is always a mistake. It goes nowhere and just leaves you more irritated. I suggest you don't bother with Saint Iaint. His anti-semitism and Christian fundamentalism are both so deeply rooted that to challenge them is to challenge his entire worldview, which he simply wont allow.
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« Reply #111 on: June 26, 2010, 11:16:59 PM »

^^^The statement that Jesus was not a Judean is to refer to Him as a Galilean.  Of course, he was born and registered in Judea being of the lineage of David, so this point is nonsense.   Jesus was a Jew.   
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« Reply #112 on: June 27, 2010, 01:17:49 AM »

Northern Pines,

First, I wish to offer a public apology for the rude, personal things I said in my last post. That was uncalled for.

The substance of my post however - I maintain.

Quote from: NP
"A strange accusation considering you are not even Orthodox. BTW, exactly what Church  are you a member of?"

I've spoken to plenty of Orthodox who were not (supposedly) former Protestants... They didn't sound anything like some of you guys! As soon as I find one that isn't Judaized beyond recognition - I'll let you know.

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"For someone who doesn't like Protestants, you sure use a LOT of Protestant arguments to support your POV."

What "Protestant arguments"?  Quoting from Scripture is not "Protestant argument"!

Quote from: Fr. George
From HERE... "Well done, sir.  Refuting the argument of a protestant with scripture is wonderful, and in keeping with Orthodoxy."

Quote from: NP
"Well the Sadduccees were the ones who brought charges against Jesus,"

The Sadducees were involved... But it wasn't only the Sadducees:

'Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him.'

'Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven.'

'Then Jesus said to them, "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees."'

'How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread?--but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees." Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.'
- Matthew 12:14; 16:1; 16:6; 16:11-12


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" And don't give me any crap about Pilate being "innocent of this man's blood"..."

Crap? Seriously? Now the events as recounted in the Bible are just "crap" to you?

It's not "crap"  at all NP... It's Holy Scripture. Just because the witness of the Bible (and the teaching of the Church) disagrees with your assertions, now the Bible is "crap"?

'Pilate said to them, "What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?" They all said to him, "Let Him be crucified!" Then the governor said, "Why, what evil has He done?" But they cried out all the more, saying, "Let Him be crucified!" When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it." And all the people answered and said, "His blood be on us and on our children."'
- Matthew 27:22-25

'And there was one named Barabbas, who was chained with his fellow rebels; they had committed murder in the rebellion. Then the multitude, crying aloud, began to ask him to do just as he had always done for them. But Pilate answered them, saying, "Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?" For he knew that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, so that he should rather release Barabbas to them. Pilate answered and said to them again, "What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?" So they cried out again, "Crucify Him!" Then Pilate said to them, "Why, what evil has He done?" But they cried out all the more, "Crucify Him!" So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.'
- Mark 15:7-15

'Then Pilate asked Him, saying, "Are You the King of the Jews?" He answered him and said, "It is as you say." So Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, "I find no fault in this Man." (...)

Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, said to them, "You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him; no, neither did Herod, for I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him. I will therefore chastise Him and release Him" (for it was necessary for him to release one to them at the feast). And they all cried out at once, saying, "Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas"-- who had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city, and for murder. Pilate, therefore, wishing to release Jesus, again called out to them. But they shouted, saying, "Crucify Him, crucify Him!" Then he said to them the third time, "Why, what evil has He done? I have found no reason for death in Him. I will therefore chastise Him and let Him go." But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed.'
- Luke 23:3-4; 23:13-23

'Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?" Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?" And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, "I find no fault in Him at all. "But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?" Then they all cried again, saying, "Not this Man, but Barabbas!"'

'Pilate then went out again, and said to them, "Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him." Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, "Behold the Man!" Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, "Crucify Him, crucify Him!" Pilate said to them, "You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him."'

'Jesus answered, "You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin." From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, "If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar's friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar."'
- John 18:37-40; 19:4-6; 19:11-12


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"The Sadduccees were the priestly aristocracy and they ran the Temple."

The lists of the High Priests I found list some  of them as Sadducees... But not all of them.

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"It was Rome that deposed and installed new high priests at will, not the Herods. And even if it was the Herodians, who cares? How does that have any bearing on the discussion at hand?"

It means that in Christ's time - the High Priests did what they were told by the ruling Edomite Herods! Or if they didn't do what they were told... They wouldn't be High Priest for long.

"After the Exile, the succession seems to have been, at first, in a direct line from father to son; but later the civil authorities arrogated to themselves the right of appointment." (...)

"Herod nominated no less than six high priests; Archelaus, two. The Roman legate Quirinius and his successors exercised the right of appointment, as did Agrippa I., Herod of Chalcis, and Agrippa II." (...)

"But after the brief heyday of national independence had come to an inglorious close, the high-priesthood changed again in character, in so far as it ceased to be a hereditary and a life office. High priests were appointed and removed with great frequency."


^From: Jewish Encyclopedia - High Priest

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"What kind of a-historical nonsense is that?"

Well, it's pretty simple really. A 'Judahite' was a member of the tribe of Judah (which Jesus was)...

A 'Judean' was someone who lived in Judea (which Jesus wasn't.)...

During His time on earth, Jesus of Nazareth was a Galilean - NOT  a Judean.

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"...lest we forget the 2000 year old Orthodox Christian understanding that Jesus was a Jew! Who are you to overrule Christ's Church on such an issue?"

2,000 years ago the English word 'Jew' did not exist. Jesus was a Judahite ('Jew')... But He was not a Judean ('Jew').

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"Yes, baptism is NOT a Christian invention, nor is it an invention of John the Baptist. It was a Jewish invention, or "innovation" that was co-opted by John, and later Christianity itself."

Where do you get that idea from?

Quote
"And I must ask something in regards to your hostility to "oral" teachings . . .  why on earth are you, a person who claims to want to be Orthodox opposed to oral teachings, when in fact Orthodoxy is based in large part on oral teachings?"

There's a big difference between following the traditions of Christ's Apostles (guided by the Holy Spirit)... And following the 'traditions of men' instituted by the anti-Christ synagogue of Satan found in the Talmud! Come on!!

JESUS IS NOT (AND NEVER WAS) A PHARISEE!!

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"But Jesus did not deny that such a concept of "Moses' seat" actually existed. He actually validated the doctrine of Moses' seat, (which was an oral tradition)...the negative was that He said do as those who sit in the seat say, not as they do. But Jesus never said "Moses' seat is an oral tradition, it's a false doctrine"...nope. He accepted it as a valid belief, even thought it cannot be found in ANY Old Testament writing."

What makes you think the concept of Moses' seat was an oral tradition before Christ's time? I'm saying - if it's in the Talmud now... It's because the rabbis plagarized it! The Talmud was penned long after Christ's time!!

Show me that it was part of an oral tradition before  Jesus' time. You can't.

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"Sounds pretty much like what St. Paul wrote about the CHURCH being the pillar and the ground of truth."

I know you didn't just compare the Church to the Talmud.

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"Sounds pretty much like what many Orthodox saints have said about Philokalia to me! (...) Sounds a lot like what many Orthodox would say about Holy Tradition."

Now you're just talking silliness. There is no comparison man!

Quote
"Saint Iaint, you really do seem like a nice fellow. But why on earth do you have so much hate and rage for the Jews?"

Telling the truth is not hate. Jesus Christ is the truth... Therefore - the truth is love! There is most definitely no "rage" in me.

Quote
"If Jesus forgave them, and asked the Father to forgive them, then who are you to not do the same?"

Obviously the 'Jews' of today are not the same 'Jews' which handed up Christ to be crucified. I have no need to forgive them... They're long gone. Either the Father forgave them or He didn't. I hope He did.

And I can forgive the 'Jews' of today - while also reproving and exposing their evil deeds, their anti-Christ blasphemies and their lies.

'Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.

Therefore He says: "Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light." See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.'
- Ephesians 5:6-17


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« Reply #113 on: June 27, 2010, 03:37:09 AM »

Saint Iaint, what are your views on the Holocaust? Do you think it happened? Do you think the number of murdered Jews, or the methods of their murder, or the extent of the genocide, were fabricated or exaggerated? I'm extremely interested on your views on that matter.

So am I.
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« Reply #114 on: June 27, 2010, 10:06:08 AM »

Said Rabbi Joseph, "Come and take note: A girl three years and one day old is betrothed by intercourse. And if a Levir has had intercourse with her, he has acquired her. And one can be liable on her account because of the law prohibiting intercourse with a married woman. And she imparts uncleanness to him who has intercourse with her when she is menstruating, to convey uncleanness to the lower as to the upper layer [of what lies beneath]. If she was married to a priest, she may eat food in the status of priestly rations. If one of those who are unfit for marriage with her had intercourse with her, he has rendered her unfit to marry into the priesthood. If any of those who are forbidden in the Torah to have intercourse with her had intercourse with her, he is put to death on her account, but she is free of responsibility [M.Nid. 5:4].
Sanhedrin 7/55B [132]

R. Nahman bar Isaac said. "They made the decree that a gentile child should be deemed unclean with the flux uncleanness [described at Lev.15], so that an Israelite child should not hang around with him and commit pederasty [as he does]."
For said R. Zira, "I had much anguish with R. Assi, and R. Assi with R. Yohanan, and R. Yohanan with R. Yannai, and R. Yannai with R. Nathan b. Amram, and R. Nathan b. Amram with Rabbi [on this matter]: 'From what age is a gentile child deemed unclean with the flux uncleanness [described at Lev.15]'? And he said to me, 'On the day on which he is born.' But when I came to R. Hiyya, he said to me, 'From the age of nine years and one day.' And when I came and laid the matter before Rabbi, he said to me, 'Discard my reply and adopt that of R. Hiyya, who declared, "From what age is a gentile child deemed unclean with the flux uncleanness [described at Lev.15]? From the age of nine years and one day."'
[37A] Since he is then suitable for having sexual relations, he also is deemed unclean with the flux uncleanness [of Lev.15]."
Said Rabina, "Therefore a gentile girl who is three years and one day old, since she is then suitable to have sexual relations, also imparts uncleanness of the flux variety."
Abodah Zarah 36B-37A [133]

A girl three years and one day old is betrothed by intercourse. "A girl three years old may be betrothed through an act of sexual intercourse," the words of R. Meir. And sages say, "Three years and one day old."
And if a Levir has had intercourse with her, he has acquired her. And they are liable on her account because of the law prohibiting intercourse with a married woman. And she imparts uncleanness to him who has intercourse with her when she is menstruating to convey uncleanness to the lower as to the upper layer. If she was married to a priest, she eats heave offering. If one of those who are unfit for marriage has intercourse with her, he has rendered her unfit to marry into the priesthood. If one of all those who are forbidden in the Torah to have intercourse with her did so, they are put to death on her account. But she is free of responsibility.
If she is younger than that age, intercourse with her is like putting a finger in the eye.
(Mishnah Niddah 5:4) [134]
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« Reply #115 on: June 27, 2010, 01:05:33 PM »

Said Rabbi Joseph, "Come and take note: A girl three years and one day old is betrothed by intercourse. And if a Levir has had intercourse with her, he has acquired her. And one can be liable on her account because of the law prohibiting intercourse with a married woman. And she imparts uncleanness to him who has intercourse with her when she is menstruating, to convey uncleanness to the lower as to the upper layer [of what lies beneath]. If she was married to a priest, she may eat food in the status of priestly rations. If one of those who are unfit for marriage with her had intercourse with her, he has rendered her unfit to marry into the priesthood. If any of those who are forbidden in the Torah to have intercourse with her had intercourse with her, he is put to death on her account, but she is free of responsibility [M.Nid. 5:4].
Sanhedrin 7/55B [132]

R. Nahman bar Isaac said. "They made the decree that a gentile child should be deemed unclean with the flux uncleanness [described at Lev.15], so that an Israelite child should not hang around with him and commit pederasty [as he does]."
For said R. Zira, "I had much anguish with R. Assi, and R. Assi with R. Yohanan, and R. Yohanan with R. Yannai, and R. Yannai with R. Nathan b. Amram, and R. Nathan b. Amram with Rabbi [on this matter]: 'From what age is a gentile child deemed unclean with the flux uncleanness [described at Lev.15]'? And he said to me, 'On the day on which he is born.' But when I came to R. Hiyya, he said to me, 'From the age of nine years and one day.' And when I came and laid the matter before Rabbi, he said to me, 'Discard my reply and adopt that of R. Hiyya, who declared, "From what age is a gentile child deemed unclean with the flux uncleanness [described at Lev.15]? From the age of nine years and one day."'
[37A] Since he is then suitable for having sexual relations, he also is deemed unclean with the flux uncleanness [of Lev.15]."
Said Rabina, "Therefore a gentile girl who is three years and one day old, since she is then suitable to have sexual relations, also imparts uncleanness of the flux variety."
Abodah Zarah 36B-37A [133]

A girl three years and one day old is betrothed by intercourse. "A girl three years old may be betrothed through an act of sexual intercourse," the words of R. Meir. And sages say, "Three years and one day old."
And if a Levir has had intercourse with her, he has acquired her. And they are liable on her account because of the law prohibiting intercourse with a married woman. And she imparts uncleanness to him who has intercourse with her when she is menstruating to convey uncleanness to the lower as to the upper layer. If she was married to a priest, she eats heave offering. If one of those who are unfit for marriage has intercourse with her, he has rendered her unfit to marry into the priesthood. If one of all those who are forbidden in the Torah to have intercourse with her did so, they are put to death on her account. But she is free of responsibility.
If she is younger than that age, intercourse with her is like putting a finger in the eye.
(Mishnah Niddah 5:4) [134]


And where'd you get these quotes from, answering-christianity.com? Are you a fan of Osama Abdallah?

Seriously which translation of the Talmud is this, can you give me the name? Where did you get these quotes? I googled them and only found them on tasteless Christian bashing Muslim sites like the one mentioned above.

If you want to study the Talmud or quote it, you should use one of the reputable Jewish translations preferably with commentary, like Soncino which is available here: http://www.come-and-hear.com/talmud/. You wouldn't study or quote a Muslim translation of the Bible would you? And get an Orthodox Rabbi to explain it to you, only once you understand how they interpret the Talmud can you form an opinion on it. I have strong opinions on the Quran and other Muslim literature but I studied them and Muslim commentaries about them to make sure I understood how they interpret these writings.

Just quoting religious literature (no matter which religion) out of context from sources which do not stem from the adherents of those writings does not add anything valuable to any debate. It only makes one look ignorant or biased or too lazy to do any proper scholastic research.

To quote some Jewish answers from other internet discussion groups regarding these quotes that are floating around the net and others like them:

On the first: Guilt occurred on whom? The adult or the child? Maybe they think a 9 year old would have enough sense to refuse, and anyone younger wouldn't so no guilt incurred.

On the second, Augustine was debating with pagans that a raped virgin woman remained a virgin (the question of virginity was not just ethical, but a financial thing, which supposedly determined a woman's worth). This subject was an issue of debate for a while, this was not just an isolated debate among Rabbi's.


I learned this, but you have a terrible link. Let me explain.
A man that has intercourse with a child (girl) under three, is not Hayav, and the child doesn't lose her virginity. Of course, it is wrong, but it doesn't fall under the category of "Biah". There are issues of: Sh'mirat Negia etc...
Source(s):
Orthodox Jew; Chid"a's commentary on the Talmud.


You are becoming more and more pathetic to watch every day. Your citation in Ketoboth is clearly a cut and paste, since I have that tractate and folio 11a has nothing on that subject. You should have read it yourself, with some commentary; it's on 11b, anyway:

Rav Yehudah said in the name of Rav: A male child who has relations with a female adult causes her to be like one who was injured with a stick... Rava said: This is what was meant - an adult male who has relations with a female child has not done anything because less than this [three years old] is like sticking a finger into an eyeball.

While those unused to these Talmudic discussions might be taken aback by the use of euphemisms, the discussion here relates to the dowry for virgins and non-virgins. It has nothing to do with what acts are allowed, encouraged, forbidden, or discouraged. It is, indeed, ironic that this passage has been manipulated from its original context of a financial discussion into one of a religious discussion. While there are numerous talmudic passages of a religious nature, this one discusses dowries and not forbidden and permitted relations!

The Talmud relates that a virgin is entitled a higher dowry. While the tell-tale sign of virginity is the release of blood due to the breaking of the hymen on the wedding night, there are occasions when the hymen has already been broken such as when the woman suffered an injury. The Talmud here quotes Rav Yehuda in the name of Rav that a sexual act with a male minor is not considered to be a loss of virginity because one of the participants is not fully active. While the female's hymen may have been broken, she has not engaged in what can be classified as a sexual act (although it is certainly child abuse).

The Talmud continues and quotes Rava as saying that a sexual act between a male adult and a female under the age of three is also not considered a loss of virginity (although it is child abuse). Since the girl is too young for her hymen to be broken, she is still considered a virgin.

Nowhere is the Talmud permitting such behavior. Sex outside of a marriage is strictly forbidden (Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Ishut 1:4, Hilchot Na'arah Betulah 2:17; Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 26:1, 177:5) as is this obvious case of child abuse. The Talmud is only discussing ex post facto what would happen if such a case arose.

That non-marital sexual relations is prohibited is stated explicitly by Maimonides in the following passage from his ground-breaking legal code Mishneh Torah:

Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Ishut 1:4

Whoever has licentious relations with a woman without marriage bonds is lashed by biblical mandate.

The claim that the Talmud, or normative Judaism, permits sexual relations with a minor is almost entirely incorrect. The slight truth in it is that, in certain societies in history, people were sometimes married as young as ten. While this was most recently done in Czarist Russia in order to avoid being drafted into the Czar's army (which was made especially difficult for Jews), it is not currently done. However, even in that case, marriage is required before having sexual relations. Judaism as a religion prohibits sexual relations, indeed even minor touching such as holding hands, outside of marriage.

Another epic fail by one of YA's most pathetic people.
Source(s):
http://talmud.faithweb.com/articles/three.html


http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100604124949AAcK8TY

A casual analysis though leads me to this. The section refers to Moses' order to destroy a city and kill most of the idolators living there save for small children. The point is that anyone who is not a virgin must be killed. The age reference I think is an oblique comparison that any child, a PAGAN child who might have been already raped (under the age of 11-12) might still technically be a virgin since the hymen could forseeably grow back, in this case, in a child about the age of three. The declaration is for the Rabbi to specifically examin the child's hymen to see if it has already been punctured and grown back. If it has grown back - and the point here is not AT that age but FROM that age, then the child is technically a virgin.

I will check my own Mishnah to see if this a misquote flying around the internet.


Traditional age of majority is 12 for girls and 13 for boys. Those quotes are just opinions of some rabbis, and nothing more. There is absolutely nothing in the scripture to that regard. Nor does anyone marry 3-year-olds, LOL.

12 is the age at which most females reach puberty, not physicial maturity. Pregnancy at such age is very dangegerous because the hips haven't developed properly. Either way, it all has to be viewed in context, including the historical one, i.e. giving consideration to the lifestyle and practices of the time.

In the ancient times when death from disease or in battle was common, people did get marry that young, and often had some ten children by the age of 25, in pretty much every culture. They had to do that, or otherwise the population would die out. On the contrary, some Medieval Jewish communities in Eastern Europe had a practice of marrying 13-15 year old boys to women in their late teens to early twenties. That was done for purely practical reasons, which got nothing to do with religion. The women that age are fully developed and are ready for child-bearing, which the boys that age are just the right biological age "to be fruitful and multiply."

The scenario in the first post sounds like a discussion of an outlandish hypothetical scenario. There are tens of thousands of rabbis out there. Could there be one that thinks marrying 3-old to be appropriate? Well rabbis aren't immune to schizophrenia. Aside from that, like I said, you have to read what is being said in context to really know what it is they are talking about. Personally, I've never heard of anyone being married before reaching the age of 18.


http://www.israelforum.com/board/showthread.php?t=8936

Quote a reputable Jewish translation, add some commentary from a reputable Orthodox Rabbi and then we can talk.


Post edited to be in compliance with the forum wide Moratorium on discussing homosexuality http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25372.0.html.

Northern Pines, Religious Topics Forum Moderator




 Seeing as how you've already been Warned previously about the still in effect Moratorium, and that your previous warning happened in the last 30 days, I feel that I have no choice but to give you another green dot warning which is to last 20 days. If you feel like this is unfair please use the appeal process by PMing Fr. George.

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« Reply #116 on: June 27, 2010, 01:32:22 PM »

Iaint, can you please explain what Jesus meant when He said the following:

ὅτι ἡ σωτηρία ἐκ τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων ἐστίν.
The salvation is from the Jews/Judeans.

 
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« Reply #117 on: June 27, 2010, 05:15:09 PM »

Northern Pines,

First, I wish to offer a public apology for the rude, personal things I said in my last post. That was uncalled for.

Apology accepted!


Quote

The substance of my post however - I maintain.

Quote from: NP
"A strange accusation considering you are not even Orthodox. BTW, exactly what Church  are you a member of?"

I've spoken to plenty of Orthodox who were not (supposedly) former Protestants... They didn't sound anything like some of you guys! As soon as I find one that isn't Judaized beyond recognition - I'll let you know.

So now you're implying that every Orthodox who doesn't hate Jews, who doesn't deny the 2000 year old teaching of the Church that Jesus is a Jew, through the line of David, sent as the Messiah of the Jews, is somehow not quite Orthodox? (ie: your quote (supposedly) former Protestants) implies that you don't really consider me as "truly" Orthodox. Well if in your mind, to be a "real" Orthodox Christian I must hate Jews, then I'm happy to let you down.)

And the ironic thing is that you yourself are not Orthodox! And yet you feel the desire to mandate and tell others that they aren't Orthodox enough for you? Ooookay!!!





Quote
Quote
"For someone who doesn't like Protestants, you sure use a LOT of Protestant arguments to support your POV."

What "Protestant arguments"?  Quoting from Scripture is not "Protestant argument"!

The Protestant arguments, which you seem quite familiar with BTW, that deny the validity of Oral Tradition. Those Protestant arguments.



Quote

Quote
" And don't give me any crap about Pilate being "innocent of this man's blood"..."

Crap? Seriously? Now the events as recounted in the Bible are just "crap" to you?

It's not "crap"  at all NP... It's Holy Scripture. Just because the witness of the Bible (and the teaching of the Church) disagrees with your assertions, now the Bible is "crap"?

No, but the whole argument that Pilate was an innocent "victim" of the Jewish leaders' political power, and that he had no choice in the matter is total crap! It's not historical. And I'm sorry to tell you, but Christianity, if it is true, is a historical faith. Our faith must be coherent and not contradict historical facts.

 Facts like, Pilate was a brutal tyrant who crucified people just for the fun of it. that's why he was recalled from from Judea by Rome, because he was too brutal. You of course managed to quote some fine "proof texts" from the Gospels that portrays Pilate in a certain light, or so you think. However you failed to quote anything that contradicts your interpretation, of which there are many examples.

For example, the Gospel of Luke clearly depicts him being in collusion with Herod Antipas as to the maltreatment of Jesus. Luke even recorded that Pilate was so impressed with how bad Herod and his guards treated  Jesus that Pilate actually became friends with Herod.

That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies.
Luke 23:12 NIV

Does this sound like a man who truly believed he was "innocent of this man's blood"? Read the story in context. Pilate didn't like Herod BEFORE the trial of Jesus, but upon seeing how well Herod had mistreated Jesus (whom you claim Pilate sincerely believed to be innocent), he decided Herod was someone he'd actually like to be friends with after the trial. Yeah...Pilate was just a real super guy wasn't he?! I mean, we know from the New Testament, and other historical documents (which apparently you're not the least bit concerned with) that Herod put John the Baptist to death unjustly. And yet, that didn't seem to endear Herod in the eyes of Pilate. It actually took Herod mocking a completely innocent man, in the most humiliating ways, before Pilate thought he was "good" (wicked?) enough to become friends with.  

I find it very interesting that in your quoting of the trial of Jesus in Luke, you managed, somewhat conveniently to skip right over verse 12 in chapter 23.




Quote
Quote
"The Sadduccees were the priestly aristocracy and they ran the Temple."

The lists of the High Priests I found list some  of them as Sadducees... But not all of them.


May we see this list that you found? What is your source for this list? The High priests from the Hasmoneans until the destruction of the Temple were as far as I know all Sadducees. (I could be mistaken) And even if they weren't, the one who was in charge at Jesus trial, Caiphas the high priest WAS a Sadducee, so it's irrelevant whether or not anyone else was or not. The Sadducean priesthood were known collaborators with Rome, which is why they were so unpopular among not only Jesus and the early Christians, but EVERYONE.


Quote
During His time on earth, Jesus of Nazareth was a Galilean - NOT  a Judean.

What do you mean "during His time on earth"? Jesus is STILL a Jew. He is still the Incarnate Son of God. He didn't stop being human after the Resurrection, he's just a Resurrected human.



Quote
2,000 years ago the English word 'Jew' did not exist. Jesus was a Judahite ('Jew')... But He was not a Judean ('Jew').

But all the fathers of the Church use the word Judean to refer to Jesus.  You're inventing distinctions whole cloth, to suit your own personal dogmas. (none of which have ANYTHING to do with Orthodox Christianity, the Creed, the Councils, or the cycle of services) Distinctions that no historian would consider legitimate. All our Liturgical texts refer to Jesus as a Jew (or Judean if you insist)...Mary was a Jew, Joseph was a Jew...John the Baptist was a Jew. His father, Zacharias was a Temple Priest for crying out loud. And John was the cousin of Jesus. So right there, by blood, Jesus was certainly a Jew. But you'll gloss over this evidence I'm sure, because it doesn't fit into the box you've built around the Bible.

Quote

Quote
"Yes, baptism is NOT a Christian invention, nor is it an invention of John the Baptist. It was a Jewish invention, or "innovation" that was co-opted by John, and later Christianity itself."

Where do you get that idea from?

It's that field of study, which you don't seem to care for much, called history, not to mention archaeology also proves this as well.


Quote

JESUS IS NOT (AND NEVER WAS) A PHARISEE!!

Ok, but the burden of proof is on you! There were 4 distinct sects of Judaism at the time of Christ. Sadducees, Pharisees, Zealots and Essenes. Show me your evidence that Jesus was closer to the other 3 sects, and you might have a case. Now if you say "Jesus was God, he belonged to none of these"...okay, I can buy that. The problem you have of course then is if Jesus was NOT at least very close in tradition to one of these Jewish sects, that means Jesus would have been proclaiming a NEW teaching whole cloth (or a long lost teaching that no Jew could have possibly known about in the 1st century)...so no one at the time could be considered responsible for not recognizing Jesus as the Messiah, since he in fact was teaching stuff no one had ever heard before. Either way, you have your job cut out for you. You cannot just say "Jesus was not a Pharisee" you have to then bring up some new evidence that shows that Jesus was actually a Sadducee, Zealot, or Essene. This is how history works. Do you have such evidence that has been overlooked by Biblical scholars for the last 200 years? You'll make a fortune and rewrite Christian history if you do. And even if Jesus was not a Pharisee per se, He was far closer to the Pharisees then He was with any of the other Jewish sects of the time. This is a fact of history, but I know, facts have a habit of getting in the way of good stories. Smiley




Quote
What makes you think the concept of Moses' seat was an oral tradition before Christ's time?

Uh, because Jesus talks about it!?! Jesus makes a reference to it, quite explicitly, and everyone apparently knew exactly what He was referring to. So the concept MUST have existed prior to Jesus using the phrase.  In fact we know it existed through excavations of ancient synagogues, where there is a "chair" or a "throne" where the head Rabbi would sit, as the leader of the congregation. Interestingly enough, this is exactly where Orthodoxy gets the concept of a "Bishop's throne". When and if you ever attend an Orthodox Liturgy, you'll be quite shocked as to just how Jewish everything actually is. And how closely our Churches are patterned after ancient synagogues and the Temple. In fact our whole Liturgy is basically a merging of the synagogue service and the Temple Sacrificial service . . . co-opted and fully realized within the reality of the presence of Christ. Sorry, but if you're looking for an anti-Jewish faith, Orthodoxy just ain't it.



Quote
I'm saying - if it's in the Talmud now... It's because the rabbis plagarized it! The Talmud was penned long after Christ's time!!

So were the Gospels, (written long after the time of Jesus) does that disprove them? Besides Jesus talks about it, it must have been a concept known to people. Why else would He mention it?


Quote
Show me that it was part of an oral tradition before  Jesus' time. You can't.

BEFORE Jesus time? Are you serious? To ask such a question really does show that you know absolutely nothing about the ancient world, or 2nd Temple Judaism. Besides I don't need to show this one point. So in this case I concede that you're right. I cannot "prove" with concrete archaeological evidence that the doctrine existed before Jesus...of course I cannot prove that there even was a Jesus of Nazareth . . . but of course that's not how history is done. History is about probabilities, what most likely happened,  and which explanation(s) are most probable. Sometimes we dig up concrete evidence. Sometimes we don't. In this case I plead my ignorance on the subject. I don't know if there is concrete evidence of it BEFORE Jesus....however using the historical method, considering that Jesus mentions such a doctrine, leads me to believe that the most likely explanation is that He was refering to a belief widely known at the time.

 But as far as Moses's seat goes, I need not prove anything anyways. Jesus accepted many other teachings that were not part of the then Canonical Hebrew Scriptures. I've mentioned some previously. But  of course you just said, "well Jesus was God of course He got that stuff right!" But that takes the debate out of the real world of history entirely and into the realm of personal subjective experience or belief. Which is what this whole "debate" comes down to in the end. You are not looking for evidence, dialogue or rational debate. You are looking to "convert" people to your point of view. Which is fine. You can try...but do not ask or expect anyone on here to knowingly go against 2000 year old Church teaching that Jesus was a Jew, through the line of David, the seed of a Jewish Mother, and the Jewish Messiah sent to the Jews. Some accepted Him, many rejected Him, but then according to St. Paul we shouldn't boast against the branches (the Jews) who were cut off so we could be grafted on to the tree. For we, the Gentiles are the wild olive branch, grafted in....but if we boast against the natural branch (ie: the Jews) we can just as easily be cut off, and they can be grafted back onto the tree, in our place. I think St. Paul's advice is something we should all take to heart.

We need to worry about our own Salvation, and not be so concerned with convincing other people we have chosen the right path or the right Church, or worse, demonize other human beings just to make ourselves feel like we're part of a special "in group" that those "others" are not a part of. Because we never know if and when God might choose to cut us off and replace us with those "others" we dislike so much.

But Saint Iant, you can believe what you like. You seem to have the truth wrapped up in a neat little package that you use to throw names out against other people. Maybe someday you can unwrap that truth, and share it to build people up, instead of tearing people down just to make yourself feel like you have a purpose in life.

I likely will not reply to this thread again because I feel our "dialogue" has been exhausted. But I will be keeping an eye on it never the less. Smiley





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« Reply #118 on: June 27, 2010, 05:37:47 PM »

You know what NorthernPines, keep going, sure I doubt you'll able to get him to see the light, but rest of us here will benefit from your knowledge.
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« Reply #119 on: June 27, 2010, 05:50:52 PM »

You know what NorthernPines, keep going, sure I doubt you'll able to get him to see the light, but rest of us here will benefit from your knowledge.

I second this. Thanks so much for the excellent, thoughtful and intelligent posts, NorthernPines!!
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« Reply #120 on: June 27, 2010, 06:34:44 PM »



To quote some Jewish answers from other internet discussion groups regarding these quotes that are floating around the net and others like them:

On the first: Guilt occurred on whom? The adult or the child? Maybe they think a 9 year old would have enough sense to refuse, and anyone younger wouldn't so no guilt incurred. This doesn't suggest rape, but sodomy. Homosexuality was clearly condemned in the Torah so the adult would have guilt no matter what. (if adults are even among the subjects involved in this question.)



 It seems that you have gone from posting a rebuttal to proselytizing your brand of Judaism.  This is unacceptable and a violation of OC.net policy.  Second, you have violated the moratorium on homosexuality... again.
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« Reply #121 on: June 27, 2010, 06:50:01 PM »



To quote some Jewish answers from other internet discussion groups regarding these quotes that are floating around the net and others like them:

On the first: Guilt occurred on whom? The adult or the child? Maybe they think a 9 year old would have enough sense to refuse, and anyone younger wouldn't so no guilt incurred. This doesn't suggest rape, but sodomy. Homosexuality was clearly condemned in the Torah so the adult would have guilt no matter what. (if adults are even among the subjects involved in this question.)



 It seems that you have gone from posting a rebuttal to proselytizing your brand of Judaism. This is unacceptable and a violation of OC.net policy.

How so? I quoted Rabbinical Jewish responses, as they are the ones that adhere to the Talmud, so they know it and understand it better than anyone else. So by your reasoning I was also trying to proselytize readers into Islam by quoting Ibn Kathir's Tafsir in the other thread?

 Second, you have violated the moratorium on homosexuality... again.

OK fine that was a mistake on my part as I forgot again, let the moderators delete that particular quote.

You can stop feeling so proud of yourself now.
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« Reply #122 on: June 27, 2010, 07:38:23 PM »

Iaint, can you please explain what Jesus meant when He said the following:

ὅτι ἡ σωτηρία ἐκ τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων ἐστίν.
The salvation is from the Jews/Judeans.

 
Yes, Orthodox minds want to know.
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« Reply #123 on: June 28, 2010, 02:26:12 PM »



To quote some Jewish answers from other internet discussion groups regarding these quotes that are floating around the net and others like them:

On the first: Guilt occurred on whom? The adult or the child? Maybe they think a 9 year old would have enough sense to refuse, and anyone younger wouldn't so no guilt incurred. This doesn't suggest rape, but sodomy. Homosexuality was clearly condemned in the Torah so the adult would have guilt no matter what. (if adults are even among the subjects involved in this question.)



 It seems that you have gone from posting a rebuttal to proselytizing your brand of Judaism.  This is unacceptable and a violation of OC.net policy.  Second, you have violated the moratorium on homosexuality... again.
So you take it upon yourself to enforce your interpretation of the rules rather than report the offending post to the moderators so they can review it in the light of the official interpretation of the rules?

"It seems that you have..."  What do you see specifically in Nazarene's post that makes you think she's proselytizing us?
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« Reply #124 on: June 28, 2010, 04:57:59 PM »

There were 4 distinct sects of Judaism at the time of Christ. Sadducees, Pharisees, Zealots and Essenes. Show me your evidence that Jesus was closer to the other 3 sects, and you might have a case.

Just a little scholarly point of clarification: There are four sects which remain known to us in the 21st century. And even then, our knowledge is based on very, very few primary sources. The LORD could have been a part of another grouping of Jews at the time which is now lost to us. Also, we're not even clear on who or what exactly the Essenes are, as different sources on them contradict one another. Was the community at Qumran (Dead Sea Scrolls community) an Essene group? Probably, but we don't know for sure. Were their pools used for baptisms? Maybe, but they could have just been for bathing and ritual purity issues.

Most of this is gray, and in many cases the Church's tradition is as reliable a source as anything else, but obviously not always, as there are some instances of things in tradition that are verifiably false on historical grounds. Anyway, I'm just pointing out that most of the issues you are bringing into the discussion are only bringing in more problems rather than providing any real solutions. You're right to critique Saint Iaint's assumptions, but I also find it problematic to jump right on board with the currently popular assertion that the LORD was verifiably a Pharisee. The Church's tradition has given us a different understanding of what a Pharisee is, and usually the Christ is not a part of that picture. This assertion might rather be the product of an intellectual fad where something counterintuitive is posited as a revolutionary idea, and because it isn't verifiably false everybody gets on board with the new, "edgy" idea.
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« Reply #125 on: June 28, 2010, 05:17:59 PM »

There were 4 distinct sects of Judaism at the time of Christ. Sadducees, Pharisees, Zealots and Essenes. Show me your evidence that Jesus was closer to the other 3 sects, and you might have a case.

Just a little scholarly point of clarification: There are four sects which remain known to us in the 21st century. And even then, our knowledge is based on very, very few primary sources. The LORD could have been a part of another grouping of Jews at the time which is now lost to us. Also, we're not even clear on who or what exactly the Essenes are, as different sources on them contradict one another. Was the community at Qumran (Dead Sea Scrolls community) an Essene group? Probably, but we don't know for sure. Were their pools used for baptisms? Maybe, but they could have just been for bathing and ritual purity issues.

Most of this is gray, and in many cases the Church's tradition is as reliable a source as anything else, but obviously not always as there are some instances of things in tradition that are verifiably false on historical grounds. Anyway, just pointing out that most of the issues you are bringing into the discussion are only bringing in more problems than providing any real solutions. You're right to critique Saint Iaint's assumptions, but I also find it problematic to jump right on board with the currently popular assertion that the LORD was verifiably a Pharisee. The Church's tradition has given us a different understanding of what a Pharisee is, and usually the Christ is not a part of that picture. This assertion might rather be the product of an intellectual fad where something counterintuitive is posited as a revolutionary idea, and because it isn't verifiably false everybody gets on board with the new, "edgy" idea.

Wow.  Excellently said.
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« Reply #126 on: June 28, 2010, 05:35:38 PM »



To quote some Jewish answers from other internet discussion groups regarding these quotes that are floating around the net and others like them:

On the first: Guilt occurred on whom? The adult or the child? Maybe they think a 9 year old would have enough sense to refuse, and anyone younger wouldn't so no guilt incurred. This doesn't suggest rape, but sodomy. Homosexuality was clearly condemned in the Torah so the adult would have guilt no matter what. (if adults are even among the subjects involved in this question.)



 It seems that you have gone from posting a rebuttal to proselytizing your brand of Judaism.  This is unacceptable and a violation of OC.net policy.  Second, you have violated the moratorium on homosexuality... again.
So you take it upon yourself to enforce your interpretation of the rules rather than report the offending post to the moderators ...

 Since you're asleep most of the time, someone had to do it.  Regardless - done and done.
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« Reply #127 on: June 28, 2010, 05:43:48 PM »



To quote some Jewish answers from other internet discussion groups regarding these quotes that are floating around the net and others like them:

On the first: Guilt occurred on whom? The adult or the child? Maybe they think a 9 year old would have enough sense to refuse, and anyone younger wouldn't so no guilt incurred. This doesn't suggest rape, but sodomy. Homosexuality was clearly condemned in the Torah so the adult would have guilt no matter what. (if adults are even among the subjects involved in this question.)



 It seems that you have gone from posting a rebuttal to proselytizing your brand of Judaism.  This is unacceptable and a violation of OC.net policy.  Second, you have violated the moratorium on homosexuality... again.
So you take it upon yourself to enforce your interpretation of the rules rather than report the offending post to the moderators ...

 Since you're asleep most of the time, someone had to do it.  Regardless - done and done.

You guys crack me up with your back-and-forth routine!  Cheesy
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« Reply #128 on: June 28, 2010, 06:05:40 PM »

There were 4 distinct sects of Judaism at the time of Christ. Sadducees, Pharisees, Zealots and Essenes. Show me your evidence that Jesus was closer to the other 3 sects, and you might have a case.

Just a little scholarly point of clarification: There are four sects which remain known to us in the 21st century. And even then, our knowledge is based on very, very few primary sources. The LORD could have been a part of another grouping of Jews at the time which is now lost to us. Also, we're not even clear on who or what exactly the Essenes are, as different sources on them contradict one another. Was the community at Qumran (Dead Sea Scrolls community) an Essene group? Probably, but we don't know for sure. Were their pools used for baptisms? Maybe, but they could have just been for bathing and ritual purity issues.

Most of this is gray, and in many cases the Church's tradition is as reliable a source as anything else, but obviously not always, as there are some instances of things in tradition that are verifiably false on historical grounds. Anyway, I'm just pointing out that most of the issues you are bringing into the discussion are only bringing in more problems rather than providing any real solutions. You're right to critique Saint Iaint's assumptions, but I also find it problematic to jump right on board with the currently popular assertion that the LORD was verifiably a Pharisee. The Church's tradition has given us a different understanding of what a Pharisee is, and usually the Christ is not a part of that picture. This assertion might rather be the product of an intellectual fad where something counterintuitive is posited as a revolutionary idea, and because it isn't verifiably false everybody gets on board with the new, "edgy" idea.

Essay on Jesus the Jew:

http://www.moshereiss.org/christianity/03_hillel/03_hillel.htm
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« Reply #129 on: June 28, 2010, 06:25:37 PM »



To quote some Jewish answers from other internet discussion groups regarding these quotes that are floating around the net and others like them:

On the first: Guilt occurred on whom? The adult or the child? Maybe they think a 9 year old would have enough sense to refuse, and anyone younger wouldn't so no guilt incurred. This doesn't suggest rape, but sodomy. Homosexuality was clearly condemned in the Torah so the adult would have guilt no matter what. (if adults are even among the subjects involved in this question.)



 It seems that you have gone from posting a rebuttal to proselytizing your brand of Judaism.  This is unacceptable and a violation of OC.net policy.  Second, you have violated the moratorium on homosexuality... again.
So you take it upon yourself to enforce your interpretation of the rules rather than report the offending post to the moderators ...

 Since you're asleep most of the time, someone had to do it.  Regardless - done and done.
Just a suggestion, though.  Next time you want to scold someone, you might want to leave that to those who actually have the authority to mete out such discipline.  Otherwise, your vigilanteism just comes across as patronizingly rude to the object of your reproof.

That said, back to the topic of discussion...
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« Reply #130 on: June 28, 2010, 06:56:28 PM »


Just a little scholarly point of clarification: There are four sects which remain known to us in the 21st century. And even then, our knowledge is based on very, very few primary sources.

The Dead Sea Scrolls are hardly "very few" primary sources. While they were written by the dead sea sect (which I'm quite aware not everyone agrees that they were in fact Essenes), there is quite a bit of information about the other movements within Judaism at the time.

Quote
The LORD could have been a part of another grouping of Jews at the time which is now lost to us.

Indeed He could have. ANYTHING is possible, but historical study and historians "do history" by what is most probably. Not by "what was possible". i

With that said, I do agree with you in some ways. And of course that's why I posted a link to to Margaret Barker's website, because that is in fact what she argues quite convincingly I might add. (see the link I posted previously) In fact I personally hold to HER hypothesis for a number of reasons. For starters, her thesis explains in the simplest terms why in fact 1st century Jews so readily accepted Jesus as Messiah, when in fact He hadn't conquered Rome, and why they in fact so easily thought Him to be Divine. See her book 'The Great Angel: A Study of Israel's Second God' where she quite extensively shows how and why supposedly absolutist monotheistic Jews, so easily saw Jesus as Divine. (ie: they weren't absolute monotheists to put it simply, though that simplistic way of seeing it is not the best way of putting it)

Your points are also validated by the Dead Sea Scrolls which are FULL of allusions and writings that don't fit into any of the 4 major sects of 2nd Temple Judaism.

Quote
Most of this is gray, and in many cases the Church's tradition is as reliable a source as anything else, but obviously not always, as there are some instances of things in tradition that are verifiably false on historical grounds. Anyway, I'm just pointing out that most of the issues you are bringing into the discussion are only bringing in more problems rather than providing any real solutions.

I see your point, sort of. However I don't believe my arguments bring in "more" problems than solutions, because first I wasn't trying to post "solutions" to anything. My intention all along was to challenge certain assertions, and to show that the burden of proof lay on Saint Iant to show that Jesus was not only not a Pharisee, but that Jesus was "something else." he says in big bold letters Jesus was not a Pharisee, but gives NO historical evidence as to why he feels this to be the case. Other than of course proof texting the Bible which shows Jesus blasting "the scribes and Pharisees" in harsh language. of course using that logic, one could say the Old testament prophets were not even Israelites, because they do the same thing. of course this is all nonsense, in the same way it would be nonsense to say Saint Maximus wasn't Orthodox because he blasted the Orthodox Patriarchs. Smiley

The biggest problem is that Saint Iant is not very accepting of historical sources outside the new Testament.  So in that light we are simply stuck with grouping Jews as either Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots because that's all the NT talks about. He does seem to accept the Essenes, so I threw them in, even though there is no explicit reference to them in the NT. (though they are possibly alluded to).



Quote
You're right to critique Saint Iaint's assumptions, but I also find it problematic to jump right on board with the currently popular assertion that the LORD was verifiably a Pharisee.


Actually that's not the "popular" assertion at all. The idea that Jesus was a Pharisee is highly contested among scholars and historians. it's true that the leading Jesus historians around today lean in that direction, but I don't know of any of them who claim with any absolute authority that this is a verifiable fact. Only that it is more probable than the other options available. I apologize for giving the impression I was claiming this as a verifiable fact. (I didn't think I was giving that impression actually but I guess I was) And I certainly wasn't trying to speak for the leading scholars in the field. Even EP Sanders, who basically is the leading proponent of this theory, clearly states in his book 'Jesus and Judaism' that he is only suggesting that by what we know at the present time, that Jesus was likely a Pharisee, or at least associated himself with them more than He did the other Jewish movements of the time. His mind is not been made up, and I'm sorry I implied/spoke for scholars who have not made up their mind on the issue. This is why, I of course posted references to scholarly works, websites etc for people to read themselves, and decide whether they agree or disagree.


As far as the Church's tradition goes, "Pharisee" has come to mean something in an allegorical or spiritual sense. And I have no problem using the word in that way. I in fact have done so, and believe there are many "Pharisees" within Christian Church. But we're not talking about the allegorical meaning of the term, we're talking about a specific historical Jewish movement in the 1st century. In similar light, sometimes people refer to JW's as "Arians" but that's really not accurate, unless one is just using the term "Arian" in a generic allegorical sense.

I DO believe the Church has  things to tell us about that historical aspect as well. I never meant to imply it did not. But when one is debating someone who refuses to even dialogue, one is limited to the number of nuances and side debates one can use.


Quote
This assertion might rather be the product of an intellectual fad where something counterintuitive is posited as a revolutionary idea, and because it isn't verifiably false everybody gets on board with the new, "edgy" idea.

Well it's hardly "new", as it has been around for many decades.

 History, is in a way a lot like science....historians love nothing more than to DISPROVE a popular hypothesis. And just because I posted books that support the idea Jesus was a Pharisee (or something pretty close) doesn't mean there are not other ideas out there. Again that's why I posted Barker's website, but there are others as well. Plus the idea that Jesus was a Pharisee is actually not all that popular among Jesus scholars, as Sander's work highly contradicts much of the work done in the field for the last 40 years. It especially flies in the face of the Jesus Seminar's work. The problem is, Sander's is basically considered one of the top Jesus scholars in the world, and his work is so well done, that he's hard to just write off as a crack pot. And unlike our friend Saint Iant, he uses evidence and the historical method to back up his theory.

 Lawrence Schiffman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Schiffman is one of the leading figures in study of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and I don't believe he sees Jesus as a Pharisee. (though it's been awhile since I've read/listened to his work) JD Crossan, and Marcus Borg do not either. Even NT Wright, who definitely sees Jesus as a "Jewish Jesus" doesn't really outright claim Jesus was a Pharisee, but takes the middle road on the issue. However he does believe Jesus accepted Pharisaical doctrines.

In the end, most Jews of the 2nd Temple period didn't fit into ANY of these sects. So you're right in that it's  unfair to say "so and so" was a Pharisee.  The major movements in Judaism at the time were sort of like political parties, and while many people might have identified closely with one or the other, they weren't "joining" any one group. Most peasant Jews were pretty eclectic about their beliefs, and in fact believed all sorts of things, as is obvious from the New Testament itself. There is a great Jewish scholar who has some great lectures online about the eclectic views of 1st century Jews, but his name has slipped my mind. (He was born a Jew, converted to Evangelical Christianity, then returned to Judaism....he is a member of a Synagogue in one of the Carolinas...if anyone knows who I'm refering to please post a link to his website)


Anyways I still believe the main point I was getting is correct: Jesus accepted Pharisaic doctrines, this makes Him closer to Pharisaical thought than it does to the thought of the Sadducees for sure. We know Jesus was not a Zealot because he didn't attempt a violent revolution. And we know he was not a member of the Essenes/Dead Sea sect because He visited and worshipped in the Temple. He of course could have been eclectic. Most Jews were. And I already conceded He may not have been a Pharisee at all in a previous post, but He was still closer to the Pharisees than to these other 3 sects. You rightly point out that Jesus may have been something else, and I tend to agree with that, with some reservations. Again I find Barker's work pretty convincing, and far more "edgy" than this idea. And yet very few have latched on to her views. Historians don't just latch onto "edgy" and "new" ideas for the fun of it. Most new ideas, particularly among Biblical scholars are actually maligned . . . in the end I'm personally agnostic about whether Jesus was actually a Pharisee or just one by association. The whole point of my posts was to give Saint Iant a "new" view of Jesus he hadn't seen before.  One that is not just "possible" but at least moderately probable. More probable that Jesus being a Sadducee, Zealot or Essene/Dead Sea sect that's for sure. He could have been something else . . . and there are plenty of convincing views as to what that might have been in other scholar's work. Which means Jesus was probably eclectic, though I still believe He at least sympathized with Pharisaical beliefs and teaching. Sometimes "fads" are wrong, but sometimes "fads" turn out to be absolutely correct. I suppose only time will tell, but in the mean time the fun part of it all is to dig and study and be open to new possibilities. At least it is for me.

NP
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« Reply #131 on: June 28, 2010, 06:59:38 PM »

There are some people in Ukraine who very seriously argue that Jesus was a Ukrainian. The extreme west of Ukraine is often referred to as Halychyna (former Austrian Galizien), and Jesus was a Galilean. Galilee and Galizien are of the same root. Also Galatians were most definitely Ukrainians. And because it is said many times in the Gospels that Jesus sailed across the sea, it most definitely means that He lived on the Black Sea coast.  Cool
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« Reply #132 on: June 28, 2010, 07:14:33 PM »

There are some people in Ukraine who very seriously argue that Jesus was a Ukrainian. The extreme west of Ukraine is often referred to as Halychyna (former Austrian Galizien), and Jesus was a Galilean. Galilee and Galizien are of the same root. Also Galatians were most definitely Ukrainians. And because it is said many times in the Gospels that Jesus sailed across the sea, it most definitely means that He lived on the Black Sea coast.  Cool

LOL!

That actually in my mind proves my point that in history "anything is possible" but history is not done by what is possible, but by what is probable. I mean there are ideas that Jesus traveled to India. Is it possible? Actually it's not only possible, but pretty believable considering ancient trade routes and such.  Of course we need something called evidence. Other than the fact it's possible, Jesus went to India there is simply  NO credible historical evidence inside or outside the New Testament to back up such an assertion. So yes, it's "possible" but with the total lack of evidence it can be stated pretty soundly that Jesus never visited India. Now we could dig up some evidence that might prove He in fact did, but from what we now know it's highly improbable. I think the point Alveus was getting at was my posts were coming across as too dogmatic, and I didn't intend that. But as you clearly demonstrate, we cannot just go by what's "possible" but rather what is most probable. And Jesus being Ukranian is highly improbable, though ANYTHING is possible. Smiley





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« Reply #133 on: June 28, 2010, 07:17:28 PM »

There are some people in Ukraine who very seriously argue that Jesus was a Ukrainian. The extreme west of Ukraine is often referred to as Halychyna (former Austrian Galizien), and Jesus was a Galilean. Galilee and Galizien are of the same root. Also Galatians were most definitely Ukrainians. And because it is said many times in the Gospels that Jesus sailed across the sea, it most definitely means that He lived on the Black Sea coast.  Cool

Reminds me of the whole Anglo-Israelism/Christian Identity group of people.  Tongue
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« Reply #134 on: June 28, 2010, 08:01:08 PM »


What you never knew about the Pharisees

The world of Jesus and the apostles
 
To interpret the New Testament, it is essential that one have an understanding of the world of the founders of Christianity. Because it has lacked this, the Christian church has misunderstood much of the New Testament, and arrived at several incorrect assumptions including:
 
Jesus and the apostles were rejecting Judaism and its Law, and starting an entirely new religion.
Paul was anti-Semitic.
All “Jews” and “Pharisees” persecuted and crucified Jesus.
The Jews have rejected their Messiah, so the Christian church has replaced Israel in God’s plan.

 
All of these commonly held beliefs within Christianity are either untrue, or at best partially true. To address them properly, we must first go back to the time of Christ and take a look at the world Jesus and the apostles lived in.
 
In the years before the rise of Rome, the Jews, after centuries of captivity, finally won their freedom from a tyrannical Syrian king named Antiochus Epiphanes, one of the greatest despots of the ancient world. (You can read about this struggle if you get a Catholic Bible and go to the books of 1st and 2nd Maccabees.) The belief among the Jews was that God had punished Israel by delivering it into the hands of occupying nations for its failure to follow the Law of Moses. Now, with their freedom finally won, some key leaders of the Jews resolved that they would never again come under bondage from their rebellion, and so they determined they would follow God and honor His commandments so that Israel would know His blessings rather than His curses and punishments. In its zeal to observe the commandments, the nation gave birth to several fanatical groups dedicated to promoting holiness. At the forefront of this movement was a group that came to be known to us as...
 
The Pharisees
 
The word Pharisee means “pure,” or “separated,” and was an apt term for this group of ultra-Orthodox men who distanced themselves from the unrighteous while they established many extraneous commandments in connection with their pursuit of holiness. In the time of Jesus, there were several thousand Pharisees in Israel led by two main schools of philosophy:
 
The School of Shammai. It is difficult for us, in our culture, to comprehend the structure of the theocratic government of Israel in the time of Christ. But the most important group in Israel was the Pharisees who sat under the teachings of a rabbi named Shammai, who founded his school shortly before Jesus was born. The closest example in our world to understanding them would be to equate them with Mullah Omar and the Taliban, for they were ultra-conservative religious fundamentalists with a pathological devotion to obeying hosts of man-made traditions and commandments. Most believed, among other things, that the Hebrew descendants of Abraham were the only people beloved of God, and that no other people were of value in His sight. Salvation was thus only available to Jews--and so, in their early days, the Shammaiites wouldn’t even welcome Gentile converts to Judaism.
 
This attitude caused Pharisees from the school of Shammai to hate all Gentiles, and left them with little regard even for Jews who didn’t follow them. (In one case, nearly attacking the sage Hillel for bringing a sacrifice to the Temple on a day they disapproved of.) In the days of Shammai, so passionate was their hatred of Gentiles that around 10 AD, Shammai passed 18 edicts specifically meant to force separation between Jews and Gentiles. The specifics of all these edicts have been lost, but among them was a prohibition of entering the house of a Gentile lest a Jew thereby become defiled, and even eating with or purchasing food from a Gentile was forbidden.
 
Because of Shammai’s influence, these edicts became laws of Israel. Thus, when you read, for instance, of Peter being criticized for entering the house of a Gentile and eating with him, this criticism traces itself to the edicts passed by this school, which were apparently being followed by the Christian Jews in the earliest days of the church.
 
The school of Shammai, which was politically proactive, also had close ties to the infamous Zealots, a group of fanatics who favored armed revolt against Rome. It’s critical for you to note that virtually every time you see Jesus or the apostles in strife against what the Bible labels as “Pharisees,” it is almost certainly referring to Pharisees or ex-Pharisees from the School of Shammai. Even before he became a Christian, Paul would have had many differences with his fellow Pharisees from this school, which would be the dominant influence in Judaism until the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD.
 
Of lesser influence in Israel was...
 
The School of Hillel. The school of Hillel was far more liberal, and its founder was renowned for placing people and justice at the heart of Judaism, whereas Shammai stressed strict observance of religious laws.*
 
* To give one example of just how legalistic Shammai was, Jewish history records that when his daughter-in-law gave birth to a son during Sukkot--when the people build tabernacles to stay in for that Festival--Shammai tore the roof off the daughter-in-law’s room and had the bed covered over with boughs so his newborn grandson wouldn’t be in technical violation of a commandment! In another incident, he even had to be shamed by his fellow rabbis into allowing a hungry child to be fed during a period when the Jews were required to fast.
 
While Hillel’s followers acknowledged that the Jews were God’s special people, they willingly accepted Gentile converts to Judaism in the belief that the God of Abraham allowed all to worship Him who would turn from idolatry. When you read about Hellenistic Jews--or about Jews with Greek names--this was the school whose rabbis would typically have accepted these Gentiles into the Jewish faith. (This school, however, was not specifically a Hellenistic movement.)
 
Soon after the time when Jesus, at age 12, was in the Temple astonishing the priests with his wisdom, Hillel (with whom Jesus may have been interacting) died and was eventually succeeded by his grandson Gamaliel, who was Paul’s tutor. Modern-day Judaism traces its roots to the teachings promoted by the followers of Hillel who survived the destruction of Jerusalem and began codifying their teachings around 200 AD.
 
Hillel was so wise that even two sayings we commonly attribute to Jesus were supposedly coined by Hillel before his death, and were being quoted by Jesus in the Gospels. These were the Golden Rule, along with the summary of the Law and the prophets (Love God with all of your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself). Whenever you see Jesus interacting positively** with the Pharisees (for instance, with Nicodemus or the rich young ruler), he is probably interacting with Pharisees from the school of Hillel.
 
A good example of the differences between Hillel and Shammai can be seen in the many cases where “the Pharisees” watch Jesus to see if He will heal someone on the Sabbath. We can reasonably surmise that these are Shammaiites by the fact that the school of Shammai viewed attending to a sick person on the Sabbath as work, while the school of Hillel viewed this as a good deed that was permissible on the Sabbath.
 
Another example of the struggle over Jesus between both schools is seen in John 9:16: “Therefore said some of the Pharisees (probably from the school of Shammai) This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the Sabbath day. Others (probably from the school of Hillel) said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.”
 
On the one hand, you can see the school of Shammai rejecting Jesus outright while Pharisees from the school of Hillel aren’t sure. This also helps illustrate the philosophical differences between the two schools, with the Shammaiites holding to a legalistic requirement that absolute rest must be observed on the Sabbath, while the Hillelites are open to the idea that healing is a good deed, and thus permissible on the Sabbath.
 
In another case, Matthew 19:3 clearly shows Pharisees from the school of Hillel ‘testing’ Jesus on the question of divorce, which they allowed for almost any reason. Despite knowing this group is specifically trying to trick Him, Jesus avoids the tongue-lashing He delivers to Shammaiites in chapter 12 (calling those Pharisees a “generation of vipers”) and merely answers the question.
 
** This is not to say that the school of Hillel was without problems. Among them was the fact that the Pharisees could not divorce themselves from the idea that they were righteous men because, in their view, they followed God’s commandments, some sincerely, some hypocritically. This caused them initially to reject the ministry of John the Baptist, and by this to ultimately be removed from the plan God had for them even before they rejected Christ (Luke 7:30). Hillel, for all his good qualities, also expressed the view that only the sages who followed the commandments were the true people of God, but where he and Shammai would have differed is that Shammai would have held the sinful masses in contempt, while Hillel would have hoped they could have been encouraged to embrace righteousness.
 
The Pharisees also favored the rich over the poor because of the prevailing attitude that poverty was a sign of the curse of God, while prosperity was believed to show the approval of God on one’s life. (This, despite the fact that Hillel was himself a relatively poor man.)
 
The attitude sometimes carried over into the Sanhedrin’s legislative abilities, and so the Pharisees were known on occasion to abuse the right given them under the Law of Moses to enact laws clarifying points that the greater Law did not directly address. This had the effect, in some cases, of subverting the principles of the Law to favor those of wealth and power, something Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for. An example is Hillel’s institution of the prosbul, which overturned the requirement of debts being forgiven or property having to be returned to its original owner during Sabbath years. Hillel’s well-meant intention was to help the less fortunate who were finding that their fellow Jews would not loan money to them as a Sabbath year approached, and the thought was that by exempting certain transactions from being canceled upon arrival of such a year, needy Jews would have a greater chance at receiving help. The foreseeable result, of course, was that some who got into debt never found a way out, and ancestral property, which was to remain within a given family, either had to be sold to pay off the creditor, or else passed to him despite the fact that the Torah otherwise meant for it to be held perpetually within the family.
 
Shammai, meanwhile, went even further in favoring the wealthy, holding the view that only the rich should be taught the Scriptures, saying: “Do not instruct a man unless he is wise and meek and the son of wealthy parents.” (Babylonian Talmud supplement Aboth de R. Nathan A3.)

 
While Jesus was frustrated over the Pharisees’ conscious denial that they were sinners because of their perceived obedience to the commandments, philosophically He and the school of Hillel did have much in common, just as an evangelical Christian might relate in many ways to a conservative politician, although there might still be major differences between them. Paul, it must be remembered, was from the school of Hillel and rabidly anti-Christian. Gamaliel, in contrast, appeared to be somewhat tolerant of the Movement, and the fact that Paul relates that he sought out the High Priest for the authority to persecute Christians rather than his own tutor, who headed the Sanhedrin, may suggest there was disagreement between Paul and Gamaliel on how to handle the followers of Christ. However, since Jesus got on well with some key members of the school of Hillel, coupled with the fact that He twice quotes Hillel, He must have found some good in the school, unlike that of Shammai which He regularly opposed.
 
Despite this, the Gospels show that the school of Hillel as a whole ultimately rejected Christ, although this appears to have been motivated by the fact that He laid too many theological bombshells on them by claiming to be God in the flesh, and so--perhaps reluctantly--the key members of the school of Hillel rejected Him because they just couldn’t make the transition in thought from a rabbinic to a Christian understanding of what the Messiah would be. In contrast, the school of Shammai simply rejected Him out of spite and bitterness.
 
Now as the years passed, Israel was again brought under subjection to its enemies--this time Rome--and the response in the minds of many of the Pharisees was to presume that this was God’s punishment for Israel’s failure once again at obeying the commandments with enough zeal. Thus, they became even more fanatical at keeping the Law, formulating hosts of rules and regulations created with the intention of regulating every aspect of Jewish life in the belief that this would guarantee their obedience to the commandments and either result in God’s freeing the nation or else sending the promised Messiah who would deliver the nation from bondage. Thus, the Pharisees in many ways became the Thought Police of Israel, forcing the ordinary citizens to observe their customs so that Israel would regain its independence.
 
While they had no direct oversight of the Temple, the Pharisees controlled the synagogues, and this was the base of their power.
 
Now someone might say: “Well, I believe the Bible as written, and you seem to make a distinction between these two groups while it doesn’t, so I think they were all bad!”

I have no problem with someone who takes the Bible at face value. My point is not to say that the Bible offers untruths about the Pharisees, but that a surface reading of what it says paints a distorted picture if one doesn’t know the full background of the times.
 
We can prove this by the case of Pontius Pilate. If all we had was the Gospels to go by, the picture we would probably draw from him was that he was basically an honorable ruler who sincerely made every attempt to keep an innocent man from being crucified. The truth is, non-Biblical history shows he was a despot so extreme in his cruelties that even Vitellius, the Syrian governor in authority over him, expelled him from office. (Then, after being ordered back to Rome to face charges, he committed suicide.) In the one instance we see of his life, however, the Gospels show that--probably from the influence of the Holy Spirit temporarily neutralizing any demonic influence on him so that mankind alone would be responsible for the Crucifixion--he acted in an almost compassionate manner.
 
After the Pharisees, there was one other important group in Israel...
 
The Sadducees
 
The Sadducees take their name from the priest Zadok who supported Solomon against Adonijah when he attempted to appoint himself King of Israel. (See the 1st chapter of 1st Chronicles.) Unlike the Pharisees, who were made up of both rabbis and influential lay people, the Sadducees were priests who controlled the Temple in Jerusalem, the heart of Jewish worship. They rejected the oral traditions of the Pharisees, and had a number of odd religious beliefs that included denying the reality of spirits, the Resurrection, the existence of Satan, the supernatural, miracles, and a coming Messiah. In the time of Jesus, the head of the Sadducees was the priest Annas, father-in-law of Caiaphas. So influential was Annas that six of his sons or near relatives occupied the position of High Priest in the Temple during his lifetime. Annas and his cronies were effectively the local Mafia in Jerusalem, and were hated by the people for their abuses. They were so unpopular that some Jewish writings from the 1st century survive that reveal the feelings the common people had for them:
 
Woe is me for the house of Boethus!
Woe is me for their club!
Woe is me for the house of Hanan!
(Annas)
Woe is me for their whisperings!
Woe is me for the house of Kantheras!
(Caiaphas)
Woe is me for their pen!
Woe is me for the house of Ishmael!
Woe is me for their fist!
For they are the high priests;
Their sons are the treasurers;
Their sons-in-law are the temple-officers;
And their servants beat the people with clubs!

 
--Babylonian Talmud, Pesachim 57a.
 
The Sadducees also had a group within them known as the Herodians, who had ties to King Herod, and sought to return the Herods to full control of the land.
 
While the Sadducees were few in number, their control of the Temple, along with their wealth, gave them an important position of authority within...
 
The Sanhedrin
 
The word Sanhedrin refers to a religious court. In the time of Christ, there were two Sanhedrins operating in Jerusalem, the first of which was a 23-member court run by the Sadducees that handled local affairs. Acts 5:25 shows this group and the Great Sanhedrin coming together to discuss the problem of the Christians.
 
Its larger counterpart, the Great Sanhedrin, was comprised of 70 elders with a president, who in the time of Jesus was Gamaliel. The Great Sanhedrin functioned much like a combination of the Senate and Supreme Court, and most of its members at the time of the Crucifixion were Pharisees from the school of Shammai.*** You will note in the Book of Acts that Gamaliel, the president of the Great Sanhedrin, encouraged tolerance of the Christians, but because he and his followers were outnumbered by Sadducees and Shammaiite Pharisees, the Great Sanhedrin ultimately elected to persecute the Christians. At the trial of Jesus before the elders of Israel, Gamaliel (and certainly Paul) may not have been in Jerusalem, although the circumstances that would have prevented this would have been extraordinary. The quorum held to try Jesus was hurriedly assembled and included almost across the board members who were either Sadducees, or else Pharisees from the school of Shammai, while possibly only Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimithea represented the school of Hillel. The outcome was inevitable, especially because of the threat Jesus posed to the Sadducees.
 
In their view, this man was an unparalleled danger standing in direct contradiction to their theology across the board. For one, he is casting out devils the Sadducees deny exist. He miraculously resurrects Lazarus just three miles from Jerusalem in the presence of numerous witnesses including hostile Pharisees, and--worst of all--he presents himself at the Temple during Passover when the city swelled to over a million Jews, and declares he is a Messiah the Sadducees deny is coming. Thus, in their own self-interest, the Sadducees, more so than the Pharisees (some of whom certainly did want Jesus dead), forced the issue of trying and slaying Jesus.
 
Evidence of this can be seen in the fact that the Sadducees, and not the Pharisees...
 
Arranged with Judas to betray Christ (Matt. 26)
Set a guard at the tomb (Matt. 27)
Arrested the apostles (Acts 5)
Gave letters to Paul authorizing the persecution of the church in Damascus (Acts 9)
 
*** In the time of Hillel and Shammai, both men co-chaired leadership of the Great Sanhedrin, with Hillel heading the body during times of general assembly and Shammai holding the position when the body met as a court of law. If this tradition held over to the time of the Crucifixion, and if it was the Great Sanhedrin that put Christ on trial (unlikely), someone from the school of Shammai might have overseen the tribunal during the trial of Jesus without the need of Gamaliel’s presence. That, or Caiaphas may have presided over the meeting. All three groups, despite their differences, had two things in common: they all believed that a man was declared by God to be righteous based on his obedience to the commandments, and they didn’t believe they were sinners because of their often sincere zeal in obeying those commandments.****
 
**** In Jewish thought there were three classes of people: The unrighteous (who were predestined for hell), the sinners (the average people who needed to come into full compliance with the commandments), and the righteous (or saints), who followed the commandments. Of these groups, only the righteous had their names written in the Book of Life. When Jesus warns that someone who calls his brother “raka” is in danger of hellfire, He is referring to someone, who, in a Calvinistic manner, labels a fellow Jew as predestined to be one of the rashim--the Unrighteous who are bound for hell and have no hope of repentance. Beyond that, this train of thought was itself flawed in that it missed the fact that all are ultimately sinners, and that the only true tzzadikim--“righteous ones”--are those who are justified by faith in Messiah apart from obeying the commandments. But this does help us understand the philosophical viewpoint of the religious leaders at the time, and how that those who would be accepted by God would have to divorce themselves from the thought that obedience to the commandments was the direct foundation of how one gained eternal life.
 
Pharisees in the Book of Acts
 
The Sadducees begin to disappear from Scripture after the Crucifixion, although they were a major supporter of persecuting the church. From the beginning of the ministry of Paul, however, most of the problems in the church trace themselves to Pharisees that had been brought up in the school of Shammai. Some of these actually converted to Christianity, and when you read in Acts about some “Pharisees which believed,” this passage speaks of those who were primarily from the school of Shammai. These Pharisees kept their philosophies and opposed Gentiles coming into the faith despite Peter’s revelation with Cornelius in Acts 10. However, they were outnumbered by other proselytes from the school of Hillel, and thus Gentiles were accepted as converts.
 
The biggest argument within the church during this period centered on whether the Gentile converts needed to convert to Judaism, become circumcised, and obey the Law of Moses--or whether they could be accepted by God solely by their faith in the Messiah alone, apart from keeping the Law. The conclusion by James and the other elders in the Christian Sanhedrin they formed was that the Gentiles should only observe some basic commandments and become a part of the church without need of being circumcised.
 
Christian Pharisees from the school of Shammai adamantly opposed this decision. In their view, Jesus was a Messiah only for the Jews, and Gentiles had no place in the church. Nor did they necessarily believe that one could be saved only by faith--for they still held to the idea that righteousness and salvation was directly tied to obeying the commandments of the Law.*****
 
Their solution, in protest, was to form cliques and send out representatives to the Gentile churches overseen by Paul, teaching new converts that they must become circumcised and obey the Law of Moses. This probably wasn’t done out of a sincere disagreement with Paul, but these Judaisers taught this doctrine to the Gentiles with the specific intention of causing them to become disillusioned and drop out of the church.
 
***** Pharisees from the school of Hillel would have had an easier time with this concept, although they too would need to change their way of thinking. Further, to get an idea of how inflammable the concept of Gentiles being allowed salvation was, read Acts chapter 22, in particular verse 22. You will notice that as Paul speaks to a hostile crowd of Jews (made up primarily of Shammaiites), they listen patiently as he declares that Jesus is the Messiah. Only when he claims that God sent him to the Gentiles does the crowd instantly explode and seek to stone him on the spot!
 
You can see the fruit of the actions of the Judaisers in the Book of Galatians. Paul goes absolutely ballistic over the fact that the Galatians have left the understanding of salvation through faith in order to start practicing circumcision and obeying the Law of Moses as instructed by these Shammai-taught Pharisees. He even goes so far as to wish these former Pharisees who interfered with his converts would castrate themselves! Despite this, Paul himself never divorced himself from his Pharisee upbringing in the school of Hillel. In fact, in Acts 23:6 Paul states “I am a Pharisee, the son of Pharisees.” In Greek, this is written in the continuing present tense, showing that Paul is asserting he continues to be a Pharisee, not that he had once been a Pharisee! The error on the part of Christianity (and Judaism) has been in failing to realize that Paul was simultaneously moving in two different worlds: a Torah-observant Jewish world, and a non-observant Gentile world; and Paul’s writings to the latter leave some with the false impression he was teaching that Mosaic Law has no place in Christianity for anyone.
 
As time progressed, the church became so filled with Gentiles and with Jews who were not adherents to the teachings of Shammai that the influence of the Judaisers waned until it died out altogether, although some of these Pharisees were probably absorbed into the Ebionites, a Christian-Jewish sect that accepted Christ as Messiah but rejected the writings of Paul. They survived in Judea until Constantine.
 
The School of Shammai, meanwhile, took a major hit when the revolt of AD 66-70 failed, and when a “heavenly voice” in AD 70 was supposedly heard in Yavneh instructing the Jews to follow the rulings of Hillel over Shammai. Interestingly, the term Pharisee also starts disappearing as the school of Shammai itself starts diminishing to be replaced by the ascendancy of the school of Hillel.
 
Thus, the influence of the (Jewish) Pharisees in the church withered until it died out. Ironically, many of the Gentiles who would assume leadership of the faith would fall into the same pattern followed by their Pharisee predecessors over the centuries, creating hosts of man-made doctrines meant to force believers into compliance with religious commandments, so we Gentiles are ultimately no better than the Jews who preceded us.
 
Finally, the greatest tragedy has been in Christianity’s failure to realize who the true enemies of the Gospel really were, and thus Jews throughout the ages have suffered persecution by some “Christians” who were too ignorant to realize that the real enemy died out in the 1st century.

I hope this section on the Pharisees has been enlightening.

Please check page 7 for an interesting follow-up to this article.

ADDENDUM

Although this site is not specifically one written for Jews about their history, occasionally I have had some Jewish visitors. In Judaism, Hillel and Shammai are viewed somewhat akin to the way Christianity views Peter and Paul, and some Jewish visitors have questioned my rationale for portraying Shammai and his followers in the negative light that I do, and my assertion that they opposed Gentile proselytes. I thought it may be helpful to quote some portions of the Jewish Encyclopedia on the two schools, which, being an Orthodox Jewish work, will obviously not present the New testament as being accurate, but will show part of the basis for my beliefs about the Shamaiites and their legalistic attitudes, and hatred for Gentiles whom they blamed for their problems.

The Jewish Encyclopedia on the differences between the schools of Hillel and Shammai

The Hillelites were, like the founder of their school...quiet, peace loving men, accomodating themselves to circumstances and times, and being determined only upon fostering the Law and bringing man nearer to his God and to his neighbor. The Shamaiites, on the other hand, stern and unbending like the originator of their school, emulated and even succeeded his severity. To them, it seemed impossible to be sufficiently stringent in religious prohibitions.

The disciples of Hillel "the pious and gentle follower of Ezra", evinced in all their public dealings the peacefulness, gentleness and conciliatory which had distinguished their great master....The Shamaiites, on the contrary, were intensely patriotic and would not bow to foreign rule. They advocated the interdiction of any and all intercourse with those who were either Romans or in any way contributed to the furtherence of Roman power or influences.

...Their religious austerity, combined with the hatred of the heathen Romans, naturally aroused the sympathies of the fanatic league, and as the Hilelites became powerless to stem the public indignation, the Shamaiites gained the upper hand in all disputes affecting their country's oppressors.

...As the nations around Judea made common cause with the Romans, the zealots were naturally inflamed against every one of them, and therefore the Shamaiites proposed to prevent all communication betwen Jew and Gentile by prohibiting the Jews from buying any article of food or drink from their heathen neighbors. The Hilelites, still moderate in their reigious and political views, would not agree to such sharply defined exclusiveness; but when the Sanhedrin was called to consider the propriety of such measures, the Shamaiites, with the aid of the Zealots, gained the day....During the discussions that were carried on under these circumstances, many Hilelites are said to have been killed; and there and then the remainder adopted the restrictive porpositions known in the Talmud as the 18 articles. On account of the violence that attended those attachments, and because of the radicalism of the enactments themselves, the day upon which the Shamaiites thus triumphed over the Hilelites was regarded as a day of misfortune.

Graetz on Gentile proselytes and the school of Shammai

In the school of Shammai the Pharisaic principles were carried to the very extreme. It was only due to the yielding disposition of the followers of Hillel that peace was not disturbed, and that a friendly relationship existed between the two schools of such opposite views and characters. The school of Shammai were not only severe in their explanations of the laws, but entertained very stern and rigid opinions on nearly all subjects. They were particularly harsh and repellant toward proselytes to Judaism. Any heathen who came to the school of Shammai requesting to be received into the community might expect but a very cold and repellant reception. The school of Shammai cared not for proselytes....

--Graetz HISTORY OF THE JEWS vol 2



Source: http://www.centralcal.com/crist2.htm

« Last Edit: June 28, 2010, 08:20:16 PM by Nazarene » Logged
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« Reply #135 on: June 28, 2010, 08:10:36 PM »


I've read this one before. As long as it's remembered that the Rabbi is discussing Yeshua as a man (not Yeshua as God, the Rabbis can't help us there, though so some statements in the Kabbalah can), then aside from a few details which contradict the Gospels (eg: that Yeshua was born in "Bethlehem of Galilee" not Bethlehem in Judea), it's quite an accurate description. Especially impressive is his comparison of Yeshua and Jeremiah.
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« Reply #136 on: June 28, 2010, 11:19:08 PM »

deusveritasest,

Don't quote the anti-Christ Talmudic rabbis and I won't say anything!

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I was simply citing a historical reality and the evidence of a teaching of Philo of Alexandria, which showed that ancient Hellenistic Judaism taught the equivocation of the Torah (meaning something other than the Pentateuch) and the Logos. I was not in any way advocating any theological opinions of Rabbinical Judaism. So what is the problem?
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« Reply #137 on: June 29, 2010, 04:22:35 AM »

Feanor & LBK,

Quote from: Feanor
"Saint Iaint, what are your views on the Holocaust? Do you think it happened? Do you think the number of murdered Jews, or the methods of their murder, or the extent of the genocide, were fabricated or exaggerated? I'm extremely interested on your views on that matter."


Quote from: LBK
"So am I."

Ha! Nice try. Maybe some other time...



Quote from: Theophilos78
"Iaint, can you please explain what Jesus meant when He said the following:

'The salvation is from the Jews/Judeans.'"

Sure... No problem. It's a simple mistranslation.

I'm not sure what 'version' of Scripture you're using... but most translations render John 4:22 as:

 "(...) for salvation is of the 'Jews.'"

The Greek word used here is "Ek" (#1537) which means "origin."  The correct translation of this word is “OUT OF” not “of.”

Look at the following texts.  Every other place in Bible when the word “Ek” is used, it is always translated “OUT OF” not “of.”

"'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For OUT OF ('Ek' #1537) you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.'" 
- Matthew 2:6


"And you, O Bethlehem, House of Ephratha, though you are fewest in number out of thousands of Judah, yet OUT OF ("Ek" #1537) you shall come forth the One to be ruler of Israel. His goings forth were from the beginning, even from everlasting." (OSB Septuagint) 
- Micah 5:1


"For it is manifest that OUT OF ("Ek" #1537) Judah has sprung our Lord...”
- Hebrews 7:14


It is therefore clear that the word “Ek” from the original Greek should be translated as “OUT OF.”

So really John 4:22 should read as follows:

 "(...) for salvation comes out of Judea."

Jesus of course was born in Bethlehem of Judea.



Marc1152,

The link you provided - 'Essay on Jesus the Jew' is a piece of garbage.

If there are any inquirers on here reading this - please don't imagine that any of this Pharisaic, Talmudic, rabbinical GARBAGE has anything to do with the Orthodox faith... None of this 'Jewish' junk has anything  to do with true Orthodox Christianity!

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Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.
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« Reply #138 on: June 29, 2010, 04:50:10 AM »

Marc1152,

The link you provided - 'Essay on Jesus the Jew' is a piece of garbage.
How so?

If there are any inquirers on here reading this - please don't imagine that any of this Pharisaic, Talmudic, rabbinical GARBAGE has anything to do with the Orthodox faith... None of this 'Jewish' junk has anything  to do with true Orthodox Christianity!
Says who?
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« Reply #139 on: June 29, 2010, 05:49:39 AM »


Quote from: Theophilos78
"Iaint, can you please explain what Jesus meant when He said the following:

'The salvation is from the Jews/Judeans.'"

Sure... No problem. It's a simple mistranslation.

I'm not sure what 'version' of Scripture you're using... but most translations render John 4:22 as:

 "(...) for salvation is of the 'Jews.'"

The Greek word used here is "Ek" (#1537) which means "origin."  The correct translation of this word is “OUT OF” not “of.”

Look at the following texts.  Every other place in Bible when the word “Ek” is used, it is always translated “OUT OF” not “of.”

"'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For OUT OF ('Ek' #1537) you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.'" 
- Matthew 2:6


"And you, O Bethlehem, House of Ephratha, though you are fewest in number out of thousands of Judah, yet OUT OF ("Ek" #1537) you shall come forth the One to be ruler of Israel. His goings forth were from the beginning, even from everlasting." (OSB Septuagint) 
- Micah 5:1


"For it is manifest that OUT OF ("Ek" #1537) Judah has sprung our Lord...”
- Hebrews 7:14


It is therefore clear that the word “Ek” from the original Greek should be translated as “OUT OF.”

So really John 4:22 should read as follows:

 "(...) for salvation comes out of Judea."

Jesus of course was born in Bethlehem of Judea.

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The translation I gave read FROM the Jews. I see that this is in line with the translation you suggested: OUT OF.

However, this modification does not solve the problem. the specific prophecy referring to Judea in Matthew's Gospel has a different word than Jesus' statement in John 4. To compare from the original language:

καὶ σὺ Βηθλεέμ, γῆ ᾿Ιούδα,
οὐδαμῶς ἐλαχίστη εἶ ἐν τοῖς ἡγεμόσιν ᾿Ιούδα (Matthew 2:6)

ἡ σωτηρία ἐκ τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων ἐστίν. (John 4:22)

Ιούδα and Ιουδαίων are obviously not identical.

The context is also important. Why did Jesus utter that sentence in response to a Samaritan woman who used plural personal pronouns while making a contrast between herself and Jesus? What was that distinction based upon?

Finally, the word Ιουδαίων in John 4:22 occurs in the verse below:

Οὔσης οὖν ὀψίας τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ τῇ μιᾷ τῶν σαββάτων, καὶ τῶν θυρῶν κεκλεισμένων ὅπου ἦσαν οἱ μαθηταὶ συνηγμένοι διὰ τὸν φόβον τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων... (John 20:19)

Do you think this is another case of mistranslation and it should read "for fear of the one from Judah" instead of "for fear of the JEWS"?

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« Reply #140 on: June 29, 2010, 10:45:43 AM »

Quote from: NP
"So now you're implying that every Orthodox who doesn't hate Jews, who doesn't deny the 2000 year old teaching of the Church that Jesus is a Jew, through the line of David, sent as the Messiah of the Jews, is somehow not quite Orthodox? (ie: your quote (supposedly) former Protestants) implies that you don't really consider me as "truly" Orthodox. Well if in your mind, to be a "real" Orthodox Christian I must hate Jews, then I'm happy to let you down.)

And the ironic thing is that you yourself are not Orthodox! And yet you feel the desire to mandate and tell others that they aren't Orthodox enough for you? Ooookay!!!"

Were you - or were you not previously an Evangelical Protestant? You're still a Zionist by the sound of it!

Why are you putting words in my mouth? I don't hate anyone. I'm asserting that you've carried over a great deal of your Protestant nonsense - and much of it is not Orthodox.

Though I have yet to settle on where the true  Church might be - I know what I believe... I feel I'm certainly more Orthodox in what I believe than you are.

You sound like one of those Muslim fanatics like the members of the Muslim Brotherhood who even accuse their devout Muslim relatives who are not part of their terrorist group of being infidels, because in their minds they are not Muslim enough for them.

I reiterate - the 2,000 year old teaching of the Church is not that "Jesus is a 'Jew'"... Or "Messiah of the 'Jews'" because the word 'Jew' did not exist until at least the 15th century.

So you're saying that Jesus is not a Jew just because the Orthodox Church didn't use the English word "Jew"? Considering that the Orthodox Church didn't use the English language in first place, this is about as ridiculous as it gets.

Jesus was a Hebrew... An Israelite... A Judahite. He was the Lion of Judah - not of Judea. Judah was the tribe He was born into... Judea was a Roman province in Palestine.

Did you know that in modern Greek the Jews are called Ivrea, after the Hebrew word Ivrit both of which mean Hebrew(s)?

He was known as 'Jesus of Nazareth'. Nazareth was in Galilee - not in Judea.

FatherHLL has already pointed out the fallacy of this argument:

^^^The statement that Jesus was not a Judean is to refer to Him as a Galilean.  Of course, he was born and registered in Judea being of the lineage of David, so this point is nonsense.   Jesus was a Jew.   


I don't deny the validity of Apostolic Christian oral tradition... But I do deny the Babylonian oral tradition of the anti-Christ Pharisees. To affirm the Talmudic oral traditions in NOT Orthodox!

Many of the oral traditions that are recorded in the Talmud did indeed become Apostolic Christian traditions. The Apostles introduced very few new traditions, the majority of the traditions they handed down to the Church were either modified versions of those that were already in existence or they simply gave new interpretations of what those original traditions symbolize.

Quote
"No, but the whole argument that Pilate was an innocent "victim" of the Jewish leaders' political power, and that he had no choice in the matter is total crap! It's not historical. And I'm sorry to tell you, but Christianity, if it is true, is a historical faith. Our faith must be coherent and not contradict historical facts."

Say whatever you want... The fact is that Pilate washed his hands of the matter, said he found "no fault" in Christ and tried to release Him - while the Judeans demanded that He be crucified. You can put your faith in so-called 'historians'... I'll put my faith in the (true) Orthodox Church and the Scriptures.

Your approach to Holy Scripture in light of history is waaaayyyyy off! The Apostles did not specifically write to us the 21st century Christians. They didn't need to mention that Pilate was a sadistic brute because their immediate readership already knew this. Neither did they need to distinguish the Shammai Pharisees from the Hillel Pharisees because, again their original readership, almost all of whom were Jewish knew all about them because they visited Jerusalem every year for Pesach and Shavuot, had relatives in Israel and studied in Israel under these Pharisaical Rabbis. The 1st century Church knew exactly which Pharisees Jesus was always in opposition with and why, they were not surprised at all. Likewise they knew everything about the Sadducees, and they were not surprised at how they reacted to  Him, they knew that the Sadducees did not believe that a Messiah would come, so their rejection of Him was totally expected. We, the 21st century believers, on the other hand DO need to do historical research in order to understand what Our Master and His Apostles were talking about because we were not there.

Quote
"What do you mean 'during His time on earth'? Jesus is STILL a Jew. He is still the Incarnate Son of God."

Jesus is God... God is not a 'Jew'. 'Jews' are Pharisees... God is not a Pharisee. You need to stop reading the Talmud buddy!

The Essenes and Sadducees were Jews as well, and today the Kairates and Messinics are Jews too, even the Rabbinical Jews acknowledge this.

Please show me where Church fathers refer to Christ as a 'Judean'. The Bible is clear that Christ was of Nazareth in Galilee. The Bible in English (as I've detailed) translates Judahites as 'Jews' and also translates Judeans as 'Jews'. WHY?!?

Dude, "Judahite" is Anglicanized from the Hebrew word Yehudim, and "Judean" is Anglicanized from the Greek word Ioudea. Most of the popular English version of the Bible are translated from Hebrew and Greek.

And again see FatherHLL's quote.

Not all of the Judeans were Judahites and not all of the Judahites lived in Judea! Why is this so hard for everyone to grasp?

Jesus, Mary, etc. were certainly all Judahites (of the Israelite tribe of Judah)...

Anna the lady in who was present at Jesus' dedication was of the tribe of Asher, Paul mentions that he was of the tribe of Benjamin, and most of the Sadducees (and John the Baptist's parents) were of the tribe of Levi. But they all called themselves Yehudim!

Here Paul says he's an Israelite of the tribe of Benjamin:

{Romans 11:1} I ask then, did God reject his people? May it never be! For I also am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

But here he says that he's a Jew:

{Acts 21:39} But Paul said, "I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city. I beg you, allow me to speak to the people."

But all of the Judeans were not Judahites! Many of the Judeans (who are called 'Jews' in English Bibles) were not even Israelites at all! Many of the 'Jews' (Judeans) in the New Testament narrative were actually racially Edomites!

And your proof for this?

Certainly, the so-called 'Jews' of today are neither Judahites or Judeans! The only connection they have to the 'Jews' of the Bible is that they follow the religion of the Pharisees (which since Christ's time has been anti-Christ!)... The recipients to the promises made to Abraham are those who accept and obey Jesus the Christ in faith.

Lemme guess, they're really Khazars? Actually a lot of Jews today can trace their ancient tribal lineage.

A Pharisaic 'ritual bath' is not the same thing as baptism. Man - you are SO Judaized it's not even funny!


I would certainly call the service of Baptism in many churches especially the sacramental churches like the Orthodox Church a "ritual bath". The rituals differ but they are still rituals, it sure looks that way to me. BTW Mikvah was also and is still done for repentance in Judaism, it is alluded to in Ezekiel and the Psalms, so neither the Church or even John the Baptist invented it.

As much as you want to try to divorce Christianity from anything Jewish the fact is you cannot, where else were the Apostles to draw inspiration for their rituals from? The idolatrous pagans?

Quote

JESUS IS NOT (AND NEVER WAS) A PHARISEE!!


Quote
"Ok, but the burden of proof is on you!"

"For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven."
- Matthew 5:20

In light of what NorthernPines has already stated regarding how Jews criticized other Jews of the same sect, this doesn't prove anything one way or another.

Quote
"Now if you say "Jesus was God, he belonged to none of these"...okay, I can buy that."

That's what I say. And because 'Jew' today means 'Pharisee' - not 'Judean' or 'Judahite' as it did in the Bible... I also say Jesus is not a 'Jew' as the word is (erroneously) understood today.

"Jew" today does not mean "Pharisee" it means both an adherent to Judaism (no matter what sect) and an ethnic Hebrew or someone with at least some Hebrew blood connection.

Quote
"When and if you ever attend an Orthodox Liturgy, you'll be quite shocked as to just how Jewish everything actually is."

I've been thanks... Nothing was 'Jewish'! 'Jewish' is Pharisaic. Pharisaism is anti-Christ. The Orthodox Christian liturgy is not at all Pharisaic.

*chuckles*

I will allow that Orthodoxy is Israelitish... but the Israelites looked forward to the coming of the Christ - and the Hebrew Scriptures spoke of Christ. Any "religion" today which rejects Him is not of Israel, and the Zionist entity occupying Palestine should not be calling themselves 'Israel' because Israel they ARE NOT!!

Do you hold to some "British Israelism" theory?

Quote
"Jesus was a Jew, through the line of David, the seed of a Jewish Mother, and the Jewish Messiah sent to the Jews."

No sir... Jesus was a Judahite through the line of David, born of a Judahite mother, and the Messiah of the whole world, sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

See above.

Quote
"Some accepted Him, many rejected Him, but then according to St. Paul we shouldn't boast against the branches (the Jews) who were cut off so we could be grafted on to the tree. For we, the Gentiles are the wild olive branch, grafted in....but if we boast against the natural branch (ie: the Jews) we can just as easily be cut off"

I think maybe you should read that chapter again! You're talking about 'Jews' this & 'Jews' that... But Romans 11 NEVER mentions 'Jews' once!

Israel is not (and never has been) synonymous with 'Jew'.

According Paul it is, again see quotes above where he calls himself an Israelite and a Jew. What you will not find anywhere in the NT is the statement "New Israel" which you are advocating, as one forum member explained:

I don't like this idea of "replace". The Biblical metaphor is that of a tree which gets groomed by the husbandman (namely God). People leave the household of faith and others enter it at any time they want, God does not create a "new tree". This has happened in every chapter of the bible if you think about it: Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, Reuben and Judah, the Samaritans and the Jews, the lost tribes who left their brethren versus the people that stayed, Judas versus the other Apostles, etc. I don't view any of these cases as God creating a "new" tree of faithful. Further, I don't really like this triumphalist attitude since scripture says a branch of the Church which does not bear fruit can be cut off and the old branches easily re-instated (Romans 11:21).

The idea of "replacement" is not to be found anywhere in the NT, neither is the phrase "New Israel". There is, always has been, and always will be only one tree of Faith. Some of the people who were originally part of this tree were cut off, others who were not have been grafted in. But these wild branches are and will always be wild branches they will never be natural branches, but that does not mean that they are of lessor value. The point is the tree itself has always been the same tree.

As for this:

Quote from: Northern Pines
"Considering the topic of the thread, it seems an appropriate "lesson" to get."

The topic is 'Messianic Jews'... Are you telling us that 'Messianics' are also Talmudic? Well - that explains a lot then!

Most Messianics use the Talmud for historical research but that's about it. The Talmud is above anything else a catalogue of Jewish writings and opinions of many different Rabbis spanning a few hundred years. Some of these writings are authentic, some are not. Some of these writings date to the 1st century, some do not. Some of these writings conflict with Meshiach's teachings, some do not. Most of these writings cannot be attribute to Jewish believers in Meshiach, but a few can (because they slipped through the editing process).

The Talmud is not the most important thing to us, but it's not completely useless either.

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« Reply #141 on: July 01, 2010, 02:56:24 AM »

Dear Theophilos78,

Thank-you for your calm, reasoned reply.

Quote
"The translation I gave read FROM the Jews. I see that this is in line with the translation you suggested: OUT OF.

However, this modification does not solve the problem. The specific prophecy referring to Judea in Matthew's Gospel has a different word than Jesus' statement in John 4. To compare from the original language:

(...) Ιοuδα and Iouδαιωv are obviously not identical."

Thank-you... that's what I'm getting at here. Just as 'Judah' and 'Judea' are two different words - with correspondingly different meanings, so also are 'Judahite' and 'Judean' two different words with different meanings. Judah was first one of the twelve tribes (the tribe out of which the Messiah was to come), then a place (the Southern kingdom of Judah). Judea was only a place (a Roman province in Christ's time).

At the time that the prophecy in the book of Micah was written... (Bethlehem in) Judah referred to the land portioned to the tribe of Judah among the 12 (13) tribes. At the time that Matthew was written , Bethlehem was in Judea (the Roman province).

Jesus (of the tribe of Judah) was born in Bethlehem in Judea - but Jesus was not a Judean. His family and all of the original apostles save Judas were Galileans.

"The specific prophecy in Matthew's Gospel"  does not refer to 'Judea'... it refers to 'Judah'.

Quote
"... (John 20:19)

Do you think this is another case of mistranslation and it should read 'for fear of the one from Judah' instead of 'for fear of the JEWS'?"

I think it should read as it means... "... for fear of the Judeans,"

Look at this verse:

"After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him."
- John 7:1


That's from the NKJ... My old 1929 Bible says:

"After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for He would not walk in Jewry,  because the Jews sought to kill Him."

But weren't there 'Jews' in Galilee? There were Israelites; Judahites in Galilee... But they would have been of course Galileans - NOT Judeans!

There's quite a big difference in the perceived connotations of "He would not walk in Jewry"  and "He would not walk in Judea"... isn't there?

So what if instead of reading, "... because the Jews sought to kill Him." ... the passage read (as it should) "... because the Judeans sought to kill Him." ?


†IC XC†
†NI KA†

Thanks for your reply, but I still fail to understand one point. If we make a comparison between John 4:22 and John 20:19, the supposed distinction between the words Judahite and Judean disappears:

ὅτι ἡ σωτηρία ἐκ τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων ἐστίν.

καὶ τῶν θυρῶν κεκλεισμένων ὅπου ἦσαν οἱ μαθηταὶ συνηγμένοι διὰ τὸν φόβον τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων.

Both these verses have the same word: Ιουδαίων.

If you focus on John 20:19 and claim that the word Ιουδαίων means JUDEAN, you should conclude that the verse in John 4:22 reads "The salvation is from the Judeans". The Evangelist seems unaware of the distinction you are making between the English words Judahite and Judean since he used in both instances one single word in Greek.

Peace,
Theophilos
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« Reply #142 on: April 27, 2011, 08:32:03 AM »

This topic has been split with posts about the holocaust moved to

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,35549.msg560637/topicseen.html#msg560637

Please let's keep on topic. Thanks, SC
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« Reply #143 on: April 27, 2011, 11:38:09 AM »

This topic has been split with posts about the holocaust moved to

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,35549.msg560637/topicseen.html#msg560637

Please let's keep on topic. Thanks, SC


When I clicked on the new link, I got a MALWARE alert from my virus protection. Appropriate, don't you think?
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« Reply #144 on: April 27, 2011, 06:50:33 PM »

This topic has been split with posts about the holocaust moved to

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,35549.msg560637/topicseen.html#msg560637

Please let's keep on topic. Thanks, SC


When I clicked on the new link, I got a MALWARE alert from my virus protection. Appropriate, don't you think?

It is either providential or because of a very good malware program.
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« Reply #145 on: April 27, 2011, 09:28:14 PM »

This topic has been split with posts about the holocaust moved to

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,35549.msg560637/topicseen.html#msg560637

Please let's keep on topic. Thanks, SC


When I clicked on the new link, I got a MALWARE alert from my virus protection. Appropriate, don't you think?

It is either providential or because of a very good malware program.

I'm cool with it either way! Smiley
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« Reply #146 on: April 27, 2011, 10:42:10 PM »

This topic has been split with posts about the holocaust moved to

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,35549.msg560637/topicseen.html#msg560637

Please let's keep on topic. Thanks, SC


When I clicked on the new link, I got a MALWARE alert from my virus protection. Appropriate, don't you think?

Yea, I got a malware alert as well when I went to look at the thread earlier. Now it seems to have gone away or it's just not alerting me anymore.
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« Reply #147 on: May 12, 2011, 11:09:30 AM »

Father Bernstein's Interview about His Book Surprised by Christ

Since we discussed Father Bernstein's book Surprised by Christ and his interview, and because he came to Orthodoxy from the Messianic Jewish movement, I am attaching my notes on his interview. I agree with what he said, except where I noted.

In particuler, I would like to draw attention to the discussion about Orthodoxy's emphasis on being saved as a state or process, versus evangelical Protestantism's emphasis on one moment of Salvation, in comparison with Judaism's focus on living a certain way. Fr. Bernstein finds Orthodoxy's emphasis consistent with Judaism's emphasis. But in my opinion, perhaps these are really three different ways of looking at similar things. Also, perhaps the Evangelical Protestant emphasis on a moment of Salvation is the same as in other branches of Protestantism. Below are my notes:

Judaism, Orthodox Christianity, and Protestantism: Moments, Process, and Moment of Receiving Blessings from the Atonement

The interviewer says some people might be wondering why Orthodoxy's understanding of a deifying process of salvation matters, and isn't it enough to accept Christ died for our sins. Fr. Bernstein answered that No it isn't. For orthodox the emphasis is upon Jesus dying for us to heal us, not on dying instead of us, but healing is a lifelong process and we begin with repentance and belief in Jesus, but it has to continue...

Fr. Bernstein explains that this acceptance is something we embrace through our lives and make real, and not a one time event, it's ongoing and involving a lifetime of struggle. He said he finds this consistent with his Jewish upbringing. This makes sense, because being part of the Jewish religion focuses alot on continuing rituals and practices rather than emphasizing a single moment, like circumcision, as the personal, single saving act in the person's religious experience.
However, I do see a difference between the attitudes of Orthodox Christianity and Judaism here. In OT Judaism, the cleansing, atoning act of sacrifice happened for the person at the moment of the sacrifice, and thus the person continually had to participate in sacrificial acts, each of which cleaned the person. In the kind of Protestant emphasis Fr. Bernstein is referring to, there is one sacrifice- Christ's, and there is an emphasis on the moment when the believer accepts this one sacrifice. So in both OT Judaism and the referred-to Protestantism, there is an emphasis on a single salvific/atoning moment or moments for the believer. Orthodox Christianity's emphasis on the other hand, can be seen as a continuing renewal. So while Judaism and Orthodox Christianity both focus on a period of the believer's religious experience and Protestantism focuses on a single moment of salvation when the Atonement's blessing is received, OT Judaism also focuses on single moments when it comes to receiving the blessings of ritual sacrifices, while Orthodox portrays the receipt of the blessings more as a continuous receipt of blessings from the Atonement.

He said Jews see salvation as a lifelong process of struggle, and not as an instant event. And I think that's true in a way. One explanation can be that Rabbinical Judaism no longer uses sacrifices and thus thinks less about moments of saving atonements and more about an ongoing religious experience. And it's true that Judaism emphasizes the continuous period of one's religious life, rather than just one moment in that religious life. But still, when it comes to receiving the blessings of atoning sacrifices, it appears that in OT Judaism those blessings were for limited time only, and thus each year a sacrifice was demanded for the sins of the preceding year. Yet in Orthodox Christianity, the sacrifice's blessing is continuous. Also, I am not sure Judaism would use the term "salvation" to refer to either the lifelong process of struggle or the yearly Temple sacrifice of atonement.


In summary:
Evangelical Protestantism: Its concept of Salvation focuses on the one moment when the person accepts Christianity and receives the blessing of Christ's one atoning sacrifice. They sometimes talk in terms of the moment that they were saved when they accepted Christ's sacrifice.
Counterargument: Perhaps their view of Salvation isn't really limited to just one moment, because they sometimes say things like "I am saved".

Orthodoxy: It describes Salvation as a process where the person becomes more righteous and more like God, which includes receiving the blessings and forgiveness from Christ's one sacrifice. It also teaches that at the time the person accepts Christ's one atoning sacrifice, the person has his/her sins forgiven and cleaned, and that they continue to have their sins forgiven and cleaned.

Judaism: It focuses on the person following God and following Judaism and its laws, the Torah. In Old Testament Judaism there were yearly sacrifices of atonement. Each sacrifice cleaned the people's sins at the moment of the sacrifice. There were also ideas about Israel's redemption, which were connected to its freedom from bondage by stronger nations like Egypt and Babylon.

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« Reply #148 on: May 12, 2011, 05:24:03 PM »

Father Bernstein's Interview about His Book Surprised by Christ
 
(...)

Orthodoxy: It describes Salvation as a process where the person becomes more righteous and more like God, which includes receiving the blessings and forgiveness from Christ's one sacrifice. It also teaches that at the time the person accepts Christ's one atoning sacrifice, the person has his/her sins forgiven and cleaned, and that they continue to have their sins forgiven and cleaned.

Judaism: It focuses on the person following God and following Judaism and its laws, the Torah. In Old Testament Judaism there were yearly sacrifices of atonement. Each sacrifice cleaned the people's sins at the moment of the sacrifice. There were also ideas about Israel's redemption, which were connected to its freedom from bondage by stronger nations like Egypt and Babylon.



I would like to challenge the bolded point above...

Where has he gotten this idea? It sounds as if he's defining Protestantism there... not Orthodoxy.

It is my understanding that what he's saying is accomplished through Baptism and Confession... not merely through intellectual acceptance of Christ.

What about Baptism? What about Chrismation? What about the Eucharist?

And this guy's a Presbyter?

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« Reply #149 on: May 12, 2011, 05:58:25 PM »

^I believe those are Rakovsky's notes on the book, not quotations from the book itself. 
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« Reply #150 on: May 12, 2011, 06:52:02 PM »


^I believe those are Rakovsky's notes on the book, not quotations from the book itself. 
 

Thanks for the reply FatherHLL,

Good call... I should have realized that. I listen to the interview in question quite a while ago and I didn't recall him saying anything like that (although I do seem to remember there were a couple of things he had said I disagreed with).

My mistake.



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« Reply #151 on: May 12, 2011, 07:31:02 PM »

What about Baptism? What about Chrismation? What about the Eucharist?
That's how you accept the sacrifice.
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« Reply #152 on: May 12, 2011, 07:55:45 PM »

Saint Iaint,

^I believe those are Rakovsky's notes on the book, not quotations from the book itself.  

Yes, these are my own ideas. If I wrote in a sentence something like "Fr. Bernstein says..." or "He says", then in that sentence I am writing what the person said.

Otherwise, like in the sentence "One explanation can be that Rabbinical Judaism...", I am writing my own ideas and explanations.
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« Reply #153 on: May 12, 2011, 08:01:08 PM »

OK, here I am color coding it. Whatever is in purple is the direct idea of Fr. Bernstein or the interviewer.

Father Bernstein's Interview about His Book Surprised by Christ

Since we discussed Father Bernstein's book Surprised by Christ and his interview, and because he came to Orthodoxy from the Messianic Jewish movement, I am attaching my notes on his interview. I agree with what he said, except where I noted.

In particuler, I would like to draw attention to the discussion about Orthodoxy's emphasis on being saved as a state or process, versus evangelical Protestantism's emphasis on one moment of Salvation, in comparison with Judaism's focus on living a certain way. Fr. Bernstein finds Orthodoxy's emphasis consistent with Judaism's emphasis. But in my opinion, perhaps these are really three different ways of looking at similar things. Also, perhaps the Evangelical Protestant emphasis on a moment of Salvation is the same as in other branches of Protestantism. Below are my notes:

Judaism, Orthodox Christianity, and Protestantism: Moments, Process, and Moment of Receiving Blessings from the Atonement

The interviewer says some people might be wondering why Orthodoxy's understanding of a deifying process of salvation matters, and isn't it enough to accept Christ died for our sins. Fr. Bernstein answered that No it isn't. For orthodox the emphasis is upon Jesus dying for us to heal us, not on dying instead of us, but healing is a lifelong process and we begin with repentance and belief in Jesus, but it has to continue...

Fr. Bernstein explains that this acceptance is something we embrace through our lives and make real, and not a one time event, it's ongoing and involving a lifetime of struggle. He said he finds this consistent with his Jewish upbringing. This makes sense, because being part of the Jewish religion focuses alot on continuing rituals and practices rather than emphasizing a single moment, like circumcision, as the personal, single saving act in the person's religious experience.

However, I do see a difference between the attitudes of Orthodox Christianity and Judaism here. In OT Judaism, the cleansing, atoning act of sacrifice happened for the person at the moment of the sacrifice, and thus the person continually had to participate in sacrificial acts, each of which cleaned the person. In the kind of Protestant emphasis Fr. Bernstein is referring to, there is one sacrifice- Christ's, and there is an emphasis on the moment when the believer accepts this one sacrifice. So in both OT Judaism and the referred-to Protestantism, there is an emphasis on a single salvific/atoning moment or moments for the believer. Orthodox Christianity's emphasis on the other hand, can be seen as a continuing renewal. So while Judaism and Orthodox Christianity both focus on a period of the believer's religious experience and Protestantism focuses on a single moment of salvation when the Atonement's blessing is received, OT Judaism also focuses on single moments when it comes to receiving the blessings of ritual sacrifices, while Orthodox portrays the receipt of the blessings more as a continuous receipt of blessings from the Atonement.

He said Jews see salvation as a lifelong process of struggle, and not as an instant event. And I think that's true in a way. One explanation can be that Rabbinical Judaism no longer uses sacrifices and thus thinks less about moments of saving atonements and more about an ongoing religious experience. And it's true that Judaism emphasizes the continuous period of one's religious life, rather than just one moment in that religious life. But still, when it comes to receiving the blessings of atoning sacrifices, it appears that in OT Judaism those blessings were for limited time only, and thus each year a sacrifice was demanded for the sins of the preceding year. Yet in Orthodox Christianity, the sacrifice's blessing is continuous. Also, I am not sure Judaism would use the term "salvation" to refer to either the lifelong process of struggle or the yearly Temple sacrifice of atonement.


In summary:
Evangelical Protestantism: Its concept of Salvation focuses on the one moment when the person accepts Christianity and receives the blessing of Christ's one atoning sacrifice. They sometimes talk in terms of the moment that they were saved when they accepted Christ's sacrifice.
Counterargument: Perhaps their view of Salvation isn't really limited to just one moment, because they sometimes say things like "I am saved".

Orthodoxy: It describes Salvation as a process where the person becomes more righteous and more like God, which includes receiving the blessings and forgiveness from Christ's one sacrifice. It also teaches that at the time the person accepts Christ's one atoning sacrifice, the person has his/her sins forgiven and cleaned, and that they continue to have their sins forgiven and cleaned.

Judaism: It focuses on the person following God and following Judaism and its laws, the Torah. In Old Testament Judaism there were yearly sacrifices of atonement. Each sacrifice cleaned the people's sins at the moment of the sacrifice. There were also ideas about Israel's redemption, which were connected to its freedom from bondage by stronger nations like Egypt and Babylon.

So most of this is actually my commentary on Fr. Bernstein's and the interview's ideas.
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« Reply #154 on: May 12, 2011, 08:29:50 PM »

Father Bernstein's Interview about His Book Surprised by Christ
 
(...)

Orthodoxy: It describes Salvation as a process where the person becomes more righteous and more like God, which includes receiving the blessings and forgiveness from Christ's one sacrifice. It also teaches that at the time the person accepts Christ's one atoning sacrifice, the person has his/her sins forgiven and cleaned, and that they continue to have their sins forgiven and cleaned.

Judaism: It focuses on the person following God and following Judaism and its laws, the Torah. In Old Testament Judaism there were yearly sacrifices of atonement. Each sacrifice cleaned the people's sins at the moment of the sacrifice. There were also ideas about Israel's redemption, which were connected to its freedom from bondage by stronger nations like Egypt and Babylon.



I would like to challenge the bolded point above...

Where has he gotten this idea? It sounds as if he's defining Protestantism there... not Orthodoxy.

It is my understanding that what he's saying is accomplished through Baptism and Confession... not merely through intellectual acceptance of Christ.

What about Baptism? What about Chrismation? What about the Eucharist?


Saint I,

Part of my point is that Orthodoxy, Protestantism, and Judaism all see the benefits from the sacrifice come at a certain moment. So it isn't necessarily true that they are all different in this regard, with Protestantism focusing on a moment and Orthodoxy Judaism focusing on a process instead.

With Protestantism it's true, especially with the evangelicals, that they talk about the one moment the person was saved by accepting Christ. But perhaps they actually see this as an ongoing state afterwards as they talk about BEING SAVED.

With Orthodoxy there's less focus on the one moment, but I think- and this is my own commentary- that Orthodoxy also allows for the idea that a person's salvation starts at a certain moment, and then the salvation from Christ's Atonement continues, as I said: "It also teaches that at the time the person accepts Christ's one atoning sacrifice, the person has his/her sins forgiven and cleaned, and that they continue to have their sins forgiven and cleaned"

So Orthodoxy might actually accept that at the moment of intellectual acceptance, the process of salvation begins. As the Bible says: "Whoever believes on" Christ will be saved.
There were some saints in our church who were martyred as catechumens. Thus, in their case, the rites you mentioned, like even confession, isn't necessary alone in determining salvation.


Furthermore, there are three ways to get around your question:
Quote
It is my understanding that what he's saying is accomplished through Baptism and Confession... not merely through intellectual acceptance of Christ.
What about Baptism? What about Chrismation? What about the Eucharist?

One way is saying like Nicholas Myra answered that, Yes these are ways to accomplish the salvation. Then one would add that these things, not just intellectual acceptance, are ways to accomplish salvation, but that the process of salvation still begins with that one moment when the intellectual acceptance occurred, like when people told Jesus they believed and He said their sins were forgiven.

A second way to get around your question is to say No, those things don't actually accomplish the forgiveness/cleaning, they merely confirm it.
Remember, in the part that you put in bold I only was talking about the cleaning and forgivness part of salvation, rather than all aspects that Orthodoxy associates with Salvation. Orthodoxy associates theosis, and becoming righteous with Salvation too, for example.

Now of the things you mentioned, Baptism and Chrismation deal with the coming of the Holy Spirit, and the Eucharist is communion itself.
Now it's true that we talk about the Eucharist as healing and associate it with freeing from sins, but I am not sure how far the Eucharist goes in cleaning the sins, because I have heard confession compared to cleaning one's hands before going to a meal. This suggested to me that we try to be cleaned spiritually before communing with the Eucharist.

What about Confession? Well I've also heard it said in Orthodoxy that the Confession is rather a confirmation of an earlier forgiveness and that the forgiveness actually occurs when the person recognizes his/her sins, repents about it, and maybe that this includes the person asking God's forgiveness even before they go to Confession. Yes I have heard something like this. And it makes some sense too, because in confession for example, you are actually supposed to be confessing your sins to God, and He forgives you. So this can happen outside Confession too, where you confess to God and He forgives you.

I admit this sounds somewhat Protestant in reasoning, but I heard it in an Orthodox context- I forget where, and this doesn't mean that Confession is unimportant or meaningless, as the Bible describes the Christians confessing to eachother.

So maybe a second way is to say: No, those rituals don't actually accomplish the forgiveness/cleaning, they merely confirm it.

A third way to get around your question might be to say, yes the cleaning begins at the moment of the ritual, like, say, Confession instead of intellectual acceptance. But even in that case there is a moment at which the cleaning occurs. And perhaps this cleaning continues throughout the religious experience.

Health and Happiness to you.
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« Reply #155 on: May 14, 2011, 08:43:55 PM »

What about Baptism? What about Chrismation? What about the Eucharist?
That's how you accept the sacrifice.

Yes, thanks... but I meant that these things are (as far as we are concerned) absolutely required in the context of our conversation here and to our ongoing salvation.



Hi Rakovsky,

Thanks again for the replies...

I must apologize... I was only trying to be funny w/ the Gary Coleman pic. I hope it didn't bother you... a poor attempt at humor.

I thought you were saying that sins are forgiven by believing. I say sins are forgiven by Baptism and then continually through confession.

I'm not saying God cannot forgive whom He will forgive... but I am saying that as far as we are concerned and according to the Orthodox Church forgiveness comes first through Baptism and then through confession.

Belief does not make one a Christian or confer forgiveness.

‘So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.“‘
- John 20:21-23


Our Creed says specifically:

"We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins."

When one is received into the Church who has been previously Baptized in the correct form, they are required to make a complete confession of all sins from one's  "youth up". Then, following their renunciation of their formerly held beliefs and recital of the Creed the Prayer of Absolution is spoken.

Only then can they be considered to have their sins forgiven through the power of the Church to bind and to loose. Only then can they be Chrismated.

Thanks again for the all of the effort you put in to your replies.

All the best to you as well,

†IC XC†
†NI KA†
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« Reply #156 on: May 18, 2011, 02:12:21 PM »

The article Jesus the Jew by Rabbi Reiss

Since Marc1152 and Nazarene recommended Rabbi Reiss's article "Jesus the Jew", I am attaching my review of the article.

In this post, I would like to address the four issues from my review that I find the most thought-provoking:

(1) Whether Jesus' response about the greatest commandments was unique or typical

The author is correct when he says:
Quote
When Jesus was questioned by a Pharisee as to which commandment he viewed as the most basic he responded "the first is `Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’ (Deut. 6:4-5). (The first verse, the doxology is known to Jews as the ‘Shmai’). The second is this `love your neighbor as yourself' (Lev. 19:18)." (Mark 12:28-34, Matt. 22:34-40, Luke 10:25-28). These replies of Jesus were a typical Pharisee proclamation. Rabbi Akiva the major second century sage called love your neighbor as ‘the major principle of the Torah (JT Nedarim 9:4).
One implication of this paragraph is that Jesus' basic teachings are less unique than they sound to a non-Jew unfamiliar with the typical rabbinical ideas of what are the most basic commadnments. The implication is that rather than coming forth with unique ideas, He was just saying the kinds of things other rabbis would say.
However, just because the replies were typical doesn't mean that they were typically used by rabbis as a response to what were the two most important commandments. The First of the Ten Commandments is that the Israelites shouldn't have any other Gods, and the second is not to make idols. The third is not to take God's name in vain and the Fourth is to Remember the Sabbath. So it seems possible that other rabbis could have answered this question differently, perhaps saying that the greatest commandments were to follow God alone and to keep the Sabbath.
Rabbi Akiva might have found love your neighbor to be the major principle. But that doesn't mean all the Rabbis did. Offhand, it's at least rational that one could respond that "The major principle" is love of God, love of God's laws, love of righteousness, etc., rather than love one's neighbor.

(2) Whether St James was saying to avoid eating with gentiles because they weren't following kosher, were pagans, or because they were Christians who simply happened to be gentiles.

I sympathize with the author here: <<"It is clear that Jesus like his brother James never ate non-kosher food (Gal. 2:12-13)">>, and it's a simple assumption that he is right about this topic.
But Gal. 2:12-13, which the author cites, doesn't clearly say that Jesus and James never ate non-kosher food, or cleary deal with the topic of kosher food.
That passage in Galatians says: "For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation."
This merely shows that James taught not to eat with gentiles. It isn't clear why from the passage by itself. Maybe it was because they weren't following kosher rules, but that isn't clear, because my impression is that sometimes religious Jews eat things made by gentiles like bread I guess even if the gentiles don't try to follow kosher rules. I mean it seems unlikely that they would choose to starve rather than eat bread or fish or some vegetables prepared by gentiles. They seem like such simple things, that it seems too hard to make an absolute ban simply because gentiles don't knowingly try to make things in a kosher way.
So another possible explanation for this verse is that James simply wanted to avoid such close association with gentiles as eating their meals with them.
Another possibility, offhand from reading this, was that James and the others were merely objecting to eating with gentiles who were pagan in particular.

(3) Whether it was OK under Jewish law to pick and crush grain on the Sabbath as Jesus did

Although I am surprised to learn it, I trust Rabbi Reiss that:
Quote
"Issues such as healing on the Sabbath and picking or crushing from the field, issues greatly debated in the Gospel of Matthew (as well as other Gospels), were within the acceptable range of interpretations found in the many sides of Judaism in the first century... There is nothing in Jesus' position regarding the Sabbath suggesting abrogating the law."
It's alittle strange for me to hear this and I retain some doubt, because it seems that these involve physical effort, and so would be prohibited as working on the Sabbath. Healing apparently involves phsyical effort, because when the menstruating lady touched Jesus to be healed, the Bible says He felt power go out of Him. Likewise, crushing grain involves physical effort, and thus these can be considered some form of work, that is, physical exertion.
Today, I think Orthodox Jews, who descend from the pharisees and from the School of Hillel which the author says took over the pharisees after the Temple's destruction, put alot of emphasis on avoiding work on the Sabbath. Plus, the author hasn't added explanations showing why or how crushing grain on the Sabbath could be OK.
Further, since some pharisees rejected his act of crushing grain, and the Shammaites who were the main school in phariseeism had a very conservative attitude toward rules of ritual, it's possible that the controlling school in phariseeism felt He was breaking a rule. The author's idea was that Jesus' actions were within the acceptable range of interpretations, but this may be from the author's perspective of what was acceptable. Perhaps from the Shammaites' perspective, this was not an acceptable position.
Now, it makes sense one could object that the Hillelites were a big school. However, the author earlier mentioned "Hillel’s view that the Rabbi’s had the right and obligation to interpret the Torah and the majority ruled." This suggests that since the Shammaites were the majority, that the Shammaites' positions ruled. It could be that the Hillelites were free to posit new ideas, but in practical terms their position meant that they would have to accept the Shammaites' view when it came to practices, such as picking grain on the Sabbath.
Another response could be that some other Judaists besides the Hillelites could have dissented from the Shammaites' view. But in that case, whether one considers the dissenters' view acceptable in Judaism depends on the premise of what one considers to be Judaism. If one's view of Judaism is rigid, then one could say the dissenters weren't following the rules. And if one's view of Judaism is so broad and liberal, one could say early Christianity was still within it, since after all, it still had the Old Testament and included pharisees.

(4) Whether Rabbi Reiss is implying Jesus could have been the Messiah and should be regarded like a whole hearted and worthy King of the House of David

The author is right that:
Quote
<<"Hillel’s disciple Johanan ben Zakai left the messianist's to their fate and removed himself and his students from Jerusalem and began a movement that would eventually become Rabbinic Judaism. After Rabbi Akiva’s mistaken belief in the Messiahship of Bar Kokhba (132-135 CE) failed Hillel’s view completely succeeded. Since shortly after the Bar Kokhba failure pushing for a messianic state was strictly forbidden by the Talmud (BT Ketubah 111a). Maimonides tells us about failed messiahs. ‘If he does not meet with full success or is slain, it is obvious that he is not the final Messiah promised in the Torah. He is to be regarded like all the other wholehearted and worthy Kings of the House of David who died’ (Mishna Torah, Judges, 11:4).>>
I am confused about why the author added the last sentence in this passsage, about Maimonaides' words. The first part of the paragraph discusses history and the failure of Messianism. But in the quotation, Maimonides isn't describing specific failed Messiahs or saying that they existed.
Rather, Maimonides is saying two things: (1)the Messiah must either be fully successful or be killed, (2) if he is a failed Messiah, then he is to be regarded like a wholehearted and worthy King of the House of David.
How should the reader apply this quotation of Maimonides to the essay's topic and the paragraph's topic?
Well, regarding the failed Messiah mentioned in the paragraph, since Bar Kokhba was killed, Maimonides' quote means that he could have been the Messiah. And regarding Jesus, it means that Jesus could have been the Messiah too, because He was killed.
Further, the quote means that if Rabbinical Judaism is right and Kokhba and Jesus are both failed Messiahs, then they should each be treated like a wholehearted and worthy King of the House of David.
Since in the next, concluding sentence of the essay the author considers himself a coreligionist of Jesus, it sounds like the point of this quotation from Maimonides is to show that Jesus fit within an important possible qualification for the Messiah- being killed- and that if Jesus is a failed Messiah, then He should still be treated like a wholehearted and worthy King of the House of David.
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« Reply #157 on: May 18, 2011, 09:08:34 PM »

The article Jesus the Jew by Rabbi Reiss

Since Marc1152 and Nazarene recommended Rabbi Reiss's article "Jesus the Jew", I am attaching my review of the article.

In this post, I would like to address the four issues from my review that I find the most thought-provoking:

(1) Whether Jesus' response about the greatest commandments was unique or typical

The author is correct when he says:
Quote
When Jesus was questioned by a Pharisee as to which commandment he viewed as the most basic he responded "the first is `Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’ (Deut. 6:4-5). (The first verse, the doxology is known to Jews as the ‘Shmai’). The second is this `love your neighbor as yourself' (Lev. 19:18)." (Mark 12:28-34, Matt. 22:34-40, Luke 10:25-28). These replies of Jesus were a typical Pharisee proclamation. Rabbi Akiva the major second century sage called love your neighbor as ‘the major principle of the Torah (JT Nedarim 9:4).
One implication of this paragraph is that Jesus' basic teachings are less unique than they sound to a non-Jew unfamiliar with the typical rabbinical ideas of what are the most basic commadnments. The implication is that rather than coming forth with unique ideas, He was just saying the kinds of things other rabbis would say.
However, just because the replies were typical doesn't mean that they were typically used by rabbis as a response to what were the two most important commandments. The First of the Ten Commandments is that the Israelites shouldn't have any other Gods, and the second is not to make idols. The third is not to take God's name in vain and the Fourth is to Remember the Sabbath. So it seems possible that other rabbis could have answered this question differently, perhaps saying that the greatest commandments were to follow God alone and to keep the Sabbath.
Rabbi Akiva might have found love your neighbor to be the major principle. But that doesn't mean all the Rabbis did. Offhand, it's at least rational that one could respond that "The major principle" is love of God, love of God's laws, love of righteousness, etc., rather than love one's neighbor.

(2) Whether St James was saying to avoid eating with gentiles because they weren't following kosher, were pagans, or because they were Christians who simply happened to be gentiles.

I sympathize with the author here: <<"It is clear that Jesus like his brother James never ate non-kosher food (Gal. 2:12-13)">>, and it's a simple assumption that he is right about this topic.
But Gal. 2:12-13, which the author cites, doesn't clearly say that Jesus and James never ate non-kosher food, or cleary deal with the topic of kosher food.
That passage in Galatians says: "For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation."
This merely shows that James taught not to eat with gentiles. It isn't clear why from the passage by itself. Maybe it was because they weren't following kosher rules, but that isn't clear, because my impression is that sometimes religious Jews eat things made by gentiles like bread I guess even if the gentiles don't try to follow kosher rules. I mean it seems unlikely that they would choose to starve rather than eat bread or fish or some vegetables prepared by gentiles. They seem like such simple things, that it seems too hard to make an absolute ban simply because gentiles don't knowingly try to make things in a kosher way.
So another possible explanation for this verse is that James simply wanted to avoid such close association with gentiles as eating their meals with them.
Another possibility, offhand from reading this, was that James and the others were merely objecting to eating with gentiles who were pagan in particular.

(3) Whether it was OK under Jewish law to pick and crush grain on the Sabbath as Jesus did

Although I am surprised to learn it, I trust Rabbi Reiss that:
Quote
"Issues such as healing on the Sabbath and picking or crushing from the field, issues greatly debated in the Gospel of Matthew (as well as other Gospels), were within the acceptable range of interpretations found in the many sides of Judaism in the first century... There is nothing in Jesus' position regarding the Sabbath suggesting abrogating the law."
It's alittle strange for me to hear this and I retain some doubt, because it seems that these involve physical effort, and so would be prohibited as working on the Sabbath. Healing apparently involves phsyical effort, because when the menstruating lady touched Jesus to be healed, the Bible says He felt power go out of Him. Likewise, crushing grain involves physical effort, and thus these can be considered some form of work, that is, physical exertion.
Today, I think Orthodox Jews, who descend from the pharisees and from the School of Hillel which the author says took over the pharisees after the Temple's destruction, put alot of emphasis on avoiding work on the Sabbath. Plus, the author hasn't added explanations showing why or how crushing grain on the Sabbath could be OK.
Further, since some pharisees rejected his act of crushing grain, and the Shammaites who were the main school in phariseeism had a very conservative attitude toward rules of ritual, it's possible that the controlling school in phariseeism felt He was breaking a rule. The author's idea was that Jesus' actions were within the acceptable range of interpretations, but this may be from the author's perspective of what was acceptable. Perhaps from the Shammaites' perspective, this was not an acceptable position.
Now, it makes sense one could object that the Hillelites were a big school. However, the author earlier mentioned "Hillel’s view that the Rabbi’s had the right and obligation to interpret the Torah and the majority ruled." This suggests that since the Shammaites were the majority, that the Shammaites' positions ruled. It could be that the Hillelites were free to posit new ideas, but in practical terms their position meant that they would have to accept the Shammaites' view when it came to practices, such as picking grain on the Sabbath.
Another response could be that some other Judaists besides the Hillelites could have dissented from the Shammaites' view. But in that case, whether one considers the dissenters' view acceptable in Judaism depends on the premise of what one considers to be Judaism. If one's view of Judaism is rigid, then one could say the dissenters weren't following the rules. And if one's view of Judaism is so broad and liberal, one could say early Christianity was still within it, since after all, it still had the Old Testament and included pharisees.

(4) Whether Rabbi Reiss is implying Jesus could have been the Messiah and should be regarded like a whole hearted and worthy King of the House of David

The author is right that:
Quote
<<"Hillel’s disciple Johanan ben Zakai left the messianist's to their fate and removed himself and his students from Jerusalem and began a movement that would eventually become Rabbinic Judaism. After Rabbi Akiva’s mistaken belief in the Messiahship of Bar Kokhba (132-135 CE) failed Hillel’s view completely succeeded. Since shortly after the Bar Kokhba failure pushing for a messianic state was strictly forbidden by the Talmud (BT Ketubah 111a). Maimonides tells us about failed messiahs. ‘If he does not meet with full success or is slain, it is obvious that he is not the final Messiah promised in the Torah. He is to be regarded like all the other wholehearted and worthy Kings of the House of David who died’ (Mishna Torah, Judges, 11:4).>>
I am confused about why the author added the last sentence in this passsage, about Maimonaides' words. The first part of the paragraph discusses history and the failure of Messianism. But in the quotation, Maimonides isn't describing specific failed Messiahs or saying that they existed.
Rather, Maimonides is saying two things: (1)the Messiah must either be fully successful or be killed, (2) if he is a failed Messiah, then he is to be regarded like a wholehearted and worthy King of the House of David.
How should the reader apply this quotation of Maimonides to the essay's topic and the paragraph's topic?
Well, regarding the failed Messiah mentioned in the paragraph, since Bar Kokhba was killed, Maimonides' quote means that he could have been the Messiah. And regarding Jesus, it means that Jesus could have been the Messiah too, because He was killed.
Further, the quote means that if Rabbinical Judaism is right and Kokhba and Jesus are both failed Messiahs, then they should each be treated like a wholehearted and worthy King of the House of David.
Since in the next, concluding sentence of the essay the author considers himself a coreligionist of Jesus, it sounds like the point of this quotation from Maimonides is to show that Jesus fit within an important possible qualification for the Messiah- being killed- and that if Jesus is a failed Messiah, then He should still be treated like a wholehearted and worthy King of the House of David.

Hi again Rakovsky,

A few things...

Quote
The second is this `love your neighbor as yourself' (Lev. 19:18)." (Mark 12:28-34, Matt. 22:34-40, Luke 10:25-28). These replies of Jesus were a typical Pharisee proclamation. Rabbi Akiva the major second century sage called love your neighbor as ‘the major principle of the Torah (JT Nedarim 9:4).

How can anyone prove that Christ's answers "were a typical Pharisee proclamation"?

If anything, I think that the quote from the second century lends more credence to the notion that the rabbi took from the existing teachings of Christ.

Now if you had a quote from the 2nd century before Christ...

Quote
I sympathize with the author here: <<"It is clear that Jesus like his brother James never ate non-kosher food (Gal. 2:12-13)">>

Kosher isn't in the Bible.

Kosher is defined by the oral laws as set in the Mishnah of the Talmud.

Jesus actually told the Pharisees:

Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, "Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread." He answered and said to them, "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?

For God commanded, saying, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' But you say, 'Whoever says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God"-- then he need not honor his father or mother.'

Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.
Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' "
- Matthew 15:1-9


~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Also see:

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.

Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations-- "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle," which all concern things which perish with the using--according to the commandments and doctrines of men?
These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.
- Colossians 2:13-23


~~~ ~~~ ~~~

And:

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.
- Titus 1:13


Quote
Further, the quote means that if Rabbinical Judaism is right and Kokhba and Jesus are both failed Messiahs, then they should each be treated like a wholehearted and worthy King of the House of David.
Since in the next, concluding sentence of the essay the author considers himself a coreligionist of Jesus, it sounds like the point of this quotation from Maimonides is to show that Jesus fit within an important possible qualification for the Messiah- being killed- and that if Jesus is a failed Messiah, then He should still be treated like a wholehearted and worthy King of the House of David.

Yeah maybe... except the Talmud is quite explicit and very clear that the 'rabbis' considered Jesus a magician Who led Israel astray, that Jesus practiced sorcery w/ His "membrum" and by cutting Himself, that He set up a brick as an idol and worshiped it, that Mary was a harlot, that Jesus' father was actually a Roman soldier, and that He is now in Hell boiling in excrement.

So I guess all that overrules the rest.

†IC XC†
†NI KA†


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Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute...

Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.
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« Reply #158 on: May 20, 2011, 11:30:25 PM »

I would like to comment on Nazarene's article, posted earlier in the thread. My review was several pages long, so I am posting it as an attachment to this post. However, I would like to particularly point out two thought-provoking topics from the article.



Nazarene's Article "What You Never Knew About the Pharisees"
 


Whether early Christians continued to follow strict, conservative Shammaite pharisaic oral teachings, particularly those against visiting and eating with gentiles.

The problem with continuing these oral teachings is that they sound like the kind of strict oral teachings Jesus disagreed with, like the rule against picking grain on the Sabbath.

I trust the author and it makes sense when he/she writes:
Quote
around 10 AD, Shammai passed 18 edicts specifically meant to force separation between Jews and Gentiles. The specifics of all these edicts have been lost, but among them was a prohibition of entering the house of a Gentile lest a Jew thereby become defiled, and even eating with or purchasing food from a Gentile was forbidden.

Because of Shammai’s influence, these edicts became laws of Israel. Thus, when you read, for instance, of Peter being criticized for entering the house of a Gentile and eating with him, this criticism traces itself to the edicts passed by this school, which were apparently being followed by the Christian Jews in the earliest days of the church.
Now the case of Peter being criticized for eating makes sense in light of this edict. But the connection between the two raises a problem, because those commentators who talk about the schools of Shammai and Hillel around Jesus' era portray Jesus as closer to Hillel, who was liberal on such questions. Further, the New Testament records Jesus healing gentiles, and portrays Him as critical of pharisaic traditions, and breaking the Shammaite rules, for example by picking grain on and healing on the Sabbath. So it's surprising to see Peter being criticized for eating in the gentile's house based on a rule by Shammai.
Now one explanation could be that James and those that criticized Peter weren't as liberal as Jesus, but that's strange because they would've been His followers, and they were a tight-knit group.

I am not sure about the statement that Shammai's rules were "apparently being followed by the Christian Jews in the earliest days of the church." The case with Peter being criticized, wherein the criticism sounds like it matches Shammai's edict, suggests that this particular edict was followed by the church.
But first of all it isn't clear how strongly or wholly the Church followed this edict because St Peter's first action was not to follow it, and St Paul said that by giving in to the criticism, St Peter was "clearly in the wrong."
Second, it's possible the Church followed this edict but not others, as Jesus didn't follow all the Shammaites' rules, since for example He didn't have His disciples do the handwashing ritual. And that wasn't even just a Shammaite rule, it was a general pharisaic rule.



Whether Judaism had Calvinistic ideas of predestination regarding people's salvation
And Whether Christianity taught faith-only salvation in contrast to Pharisaic ideas that obeying the commandments were a foundation for salvation.


I am unsure if the author is right in describing Christianity's idea of Salvation here:
Quote
"In Jewish thought there were three classes of people: The unrighteous (who were predestined for hell), the sinners (the average people who needed to come into full compliance with the commandments), and the righteous (or saints), who followed the commandments. Of these groups, only the righteous had their names written in the Book of Life. When Jesus warns that someone who calls his brother “raka” is in danger of hellfire, He is referring to someone, who, in a Calvinistic manner, labels a fellow Jew as predestined to be one of the rashim--the Unrighteous who are bound for hell and have no hope of repentance.

Beyond that, this train of thought was itself flawed in that it missed the fact that all are ultimately sinners, and that the only true tzzadikim--“righteous ones”--are those who are justified by faith in Messiah apart from obeying the commandments.

But this does help us understand the philosophical viewpoint of the religious leaders at the time, and how that those who would be accepted by God would have to divorce themselves from the thought that obedience to the commandments was the direct foundation of how one gained eternal life.
I read elsewhere that in Judaism there were 3 classes based on salvation, and that the term "rashim" refers to the unrighteous. And OK, it makes sense that only the righteous had their names in the Book of Life.

But I have some doubt that it means the rashim were predestined for hell "in a Calvinistic manner", because I was not aware that Judaism had the idea of Calvinist predestination. I thought that such predestination was thought out or thought up by Calvin during the Reformation, because, after all, it's referred to as "Calvinistic". Traditional Christianity, for example, lacks predestination. The practical result of the Calvinist idea about predestination is that the person practically has no hope for repentance, because it was predestined that the person wouldn't repent, so to speak. Now Calvinism can respond that sure, the person can voluntarily choose to repent. But according to Calvinism, where God has only elected some people and those He elected have irresistible grace, the practical result is that those He hasn't elected don't have the chance to repent. I allow that maybe I don't understand Calvinism's idea of predestination correctly, but this is how it seems to me.

Now maybe actually some of the nonelect can repent based on John the Baptist's words or the prophets' call to repent, but this isn't really enough as they would lapse again into sin, or wouldn't take the added step of accepting Christ, which is needed for salvation. And this creates another problem for saying that the idea of the unrighteous is like Calvinism, because in this supposed Judaic idea of predestination, acceptance of Jesus Christ isn't a requirement. So in this Judaic predestination concept, it seems strange to think that the unrighteous person has no hope of repentance, because this predestination concept would violate the idea of free will even stronger by saying that the person couldn't even hope to choose to repent. That is, with Calvinism, the lack of free will exists in the unelect person's inability to accept Christ, but with this supposed Judaic predestination, the person wouldn't even be able to repent.

The website Bible.cc 's entry on Matthew 5:22 cites Jesus as saying "And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council.", which is what the author is referring to in this passage.

It's true from the Christian view that Judaism's view of the three classes "was itself flawed in that it missed the fact that all [besides Christ] are ultimately sinners". However, it isn't clear to me that from a Christian view, "that the only true tzzadikim--“righteous ones”--are those who are justified by faith in Messiah apart from obeying the commandments".
(1)There are the Old Testament righteous, who did not know of Jesus the human person, in the Old Testament, but it can be said from a Christian point of view that Christ preached to them in Hades during His descent into it.
Plus, Paul in Romans talks about gentiles being judged by their conscience, so maybe those who didn't hear about Christianity or the Israelite religion could still be saved, which means that they were righteous. In Orthodoxy we say that we know not how God will judge.
(2) It isn't clear to me that in traditional Christianity, that it is "apart from obeying the commandments" that Christians are justified by faith in Christ. The commandments have important ideas like loving God and loving one's neighbor. In Orthodoxy we have the idea that being saved also means becoming like God, having communion with Christ. Naturally, if someone in communion with Him, it seems that following Christ and following God's commandments are part of that.
Faith in Christ makes one righteous, but it isn't the only part of being righteous, as a righteous person would do things that are right, like God's commandments.

So I am unsure that understanding these three classses is helpful for understanding "that those who would be accepted by God would have to divorce themselves from the thought that obedience to the commandments was the direct foundation of how one gained eternal life" If the author is correct that obedience to the commandments was the direct foundation, then he/she is right that this understanding of classes based on obedience to commandments helps show us that the pharisees would have to divorce themselves from the idea that obedience to the commandments was the direct foundation for salvation, since the pharisees connected the classification those who were/were not saved based on this idea of obedience to commandments.

However, it isn't clear to me that in Christianity obedience to God's commandments isn't at least part of the direct foundation of gaining eternal life. That is, it seems to me that following what Christ says is part of a foundation of gaining eternal life too. For example, Christ calls us to repent. Well, repenting and following Christ is also part of a foundation for us to be in communion with Him, because if we just have faith, but think we are saved but never repent, then it seems like we wouldn't really be saved. And if we never do what He says, like praying or going to Church or loving others, but think we are saved anyway, then the salvation wouldnt seem very real either. So loving God, which even the OT commandments say to do, repenting, following Christ, etc. also seem like part of a direct foundation for salvation and eternal life. So I am not sure that obeying God's commandments are not the direct foundation, although it makes sense that they alone wouldn't be, and that one must have faith too.

Still, it sounds right that following alot of rabbinical oral teachings like the handwashing ritual wouldn't be much of a basis for salvation, because it doesn't seem like a particularly moralistic rule. On the other hand, if there were rabbinical teachings saying to do righteous things, be righteous, love God, or have faith in God, then it seems like there could be rabbinical teachings that could be part of a foundation for salvation, just as they might be in Christianity. And it seems like there are such good teachings.
The upshot is that oral teachings per se wouldn't be salvific, but some of them could be a foundation for salvation.

I feel like this discussion by the author is a version of or repetition of  Luther's idea that salvation is communion with Christ, and the tool or means by which this communion occurs is faith, and that works are only indirectly involved. I am not sure this is reconcilable with Orthodoxy, or whether this is a semantic argument about salvation.
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« Reply #159 on: May 21, 2011, 02:37:46 PM »

The Shammaite school was dominant during Jesus's lifetime. There was also a smaller school, the Hillel School, in existence. Jesus seemed to be repeating the idea's of Rabbi Hillel, ie healing on the Sabbath, mixing with Gentiles and having a focus on the Golden Rule.  

Go on to any large American College Campus and you will likely find a "Hillel House" where Jewish Students can get a Kosher meal and fellowship. Same guy.
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Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
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« Reply #160 on: May 23, 2011, 01:43:38 AM »

Nigula Qian Zishi,

Thanks for citing the canons, which were relevant to the discussion about Messianic Jews like you said. You cited:
Quote
CANON LXV of the 85 CANONS:

If any Clergyman, or Layman, evter a synogogue of Jews, or of heretics, to pray, let him be both deposed and excommunicated.

CANON LXX of the 85 CANONS:
If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, or anyone at all who is on the list of clergymen, fasts together with the Jews, or celebrates a holiday together with them, or accepts from them holiday gifts or favors, such as unleavened wafers, or anything of the like, let him be deposed from office. If a layman do likewise, however, let him be excommunicated.

CANON XI of the 102 CANONS:
Let no one be enrolled in the sacerdotal list, or any layman, eat the unleavened wafers manufactured by the Jews, or in any way become familliar with the Jews or call them in case of sickness, or take any medicines from them, or even bathe with them in public bathing beaches or bathhouses. If anyone should attempt to do this, in case he is a clergyman, let him be deposed from office; or in case he is a layman, let him be excommunicated. http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,1326.0.html
I think that "the 85 Canons" may refer to the Canons of the Holy Apostles. It appears that these canons refer to nonChristian religious Jews when they say "Jews", because it wouldn't make sense for them to refer to all Jews, as most of the Apostles  were Jews.

I'm unsure if these canons are still in effect, since Fr. George suggested on the thread about Patriarch Irineos lighting a candle at a synagogue that if a canon is disregarded for long enough, it becomes invalid, and it seems like these canons aren't often discussed or thought about in the Church today. Further I note that there was the case with the Iconoclast controversy, that the canon, approved by a previous Ecumenical Council, that banned ikons was rejected by a later Ecumenical Council. Also, I note that Rome didn't adopt all the Canons of the Holy Apostles, so it isn't clear to me whether these canons you mentioned, some of which seem to be from the Canons of the Holy Apostles, would be considered approved by an Ecumenical Council.

Regarding CANON LXV, I am doubftul about whether this canon is good and right, because the apostles themselves attended synagogues, where I assume they prayed, as they prayed in the Temple.

Regarding Canon LXX, This is confusing and could be a bad rule. For example, if they are just fasting at the same time or having a service at the same time, it seems this would be incredibly impractical. Christians traditionally fast leading up to Passover.

Perhaps a group of Jews could choose to fast in a matching time period, since, for example, I think Jewish Passover and Orthodox Paskha coincided in 2010. In that case, the Orthodox would have to call off their fast to avoid fasting at the same time as the Jews, and calling off such an important fast should, violate the Canons, or at least Church tradition.

The same criticism could be made if the Canon also is viewed as banning the celebration of a feast the same time as a group of Jews, since by the coincidence of calendars Jews could be celebrating a Saturday Passover the same day as, say, the Orthodox "Sabbath of Lights" service of Holy Week in Jerusalem.

This would make more sense if this ban refers to deliberately and jointly coordinating fasting and festivities with the official Judaic community, or trying to participate in their fasts and festivals. But still, this seems like a problematic rule, because, for example, Jesus taught in the synagogue and was in the Temple during Hanukkah. Plus, the early Christians frequented non-Christian synagogues. It's foreseeable that such close relations could have involved mutual fasting, like if the Judaic synagogue they visited announced and observed the fasting. So this seems like a bad rule because it could prohibit the kind of acts the apostles took in the Judaic community and which appear to be portrayed in the New Testament in a positive way.

Further, the absolute prohibition about taking holiday gifts or favors like unleavened bread from followers of Judaism sounds excessive, as St Paul said it was even OK to eat food sacrificed to pagan Gods, so long as the consumer didn't give his/her own eating act a pagan religious meaning.

I am confused what Canon XI means when it refers to the unleavened bread when it says: "Let no one be enrolled in the sacerdotal list, or any layman, eat the unleavened wafers manufactured by the Jews,"

This could make sense if it was referring to the Feast of the Unleavened Bread, which happens during Passover. The objection to this would be that the Eucharist is the fulfillment of the Old Testament Passover celebration, so continuing to celebrate it with the unleavened bread would contradict the idea that this festival has been fulfilled with the Eucharist.

And I would disagree with making this requirement absolute for all circumstances, because for example, even the New Testament said it could be OK for Christians to eat food offered for idols, so long as the Christians didn't accept the pagan ideas about the idols and merely ate it as food.

It seems strange for this to be a ban on eating Jewish-style unleavened bread, because Roman Catholics and Armenians for many centuries have used unleavened bread in the Eucharist based on the style used in Jewish Passover meals. Not to mention that I somewhat remember reading elsewhere that the Liturgy of St James or the Syriac Oriental Orthodox used unleavened bread at one point.

Plus, Canon XI's prohibition against "in any way becom[ing] familliar with the Jews or call[ing] them in case of sickness, or tak[ing] any medicines from them, or even bath[ing] with them in public bathing beaches or bathhouses" appears to run contrary to the New Testament, because Christ set us an example when He ate with nonChristian pharisees and sinners, told us to love even our enemies, and commanded us to visit the sick. Christ didn't refuse the sponge offered to Him on the cross and gave us the story of the Good Samaritan, so it seems His example and teaching are to accept aid even from people of heretical religions, which in the case of the Samaritan was the Samaritan religion. Likewise, He bathed in the same waters of the Jordan where unbaptized people had been bathing.

Yes I agree that they are interesting, because the canons play a significant role in Orthodox thought, and here it appears they touch strongly on the topic of Judaic and Christian relations. So I am thinking about mentioning them on my blog rakovskii.livejournal.com , where I wrote about early Christianity's relations with the Jewish community, and I'm thinking about how to explain the canons' in regards to those relations.

Peace



Linus7,

I agree with your view of the canons cited:
Quote
One thing I think we can glean from the canons Nik presented is that certainly Christians are not to live under the Mosaic Law or to keep Jewish festivals or holidays.
The canons cited clearly say to avoid keeping Jewish festivals or holidays like you said.
I find the term "Jewish festival" to be unclear though. The Sabbath was a holy day observed by the Jews and also respected by Jesus, I presume. When the pharisees chided Jesus about picking grain then, His response wasn't that the Sabbath wasn't to be observed, but that it was possible to do at least some work on the sabbath. It's true that observance of the Sabbath as it was performed on Saturday then became an observance for Sunday. But nonetheless, the principle of observing a or the Sabbath remains.

Also, the New Testament notes that Jesus walked in the Temple on Hanukkah. Hanukkah was a pre-Christian feast observed by religious Jews. So it isn't clear whether this canon refers to all holidays and feasts observed by Jews or just non-Christian Jewish holidays and feasts.

But it appears to me most likely that the canon refers to all holidays and feasts observed by Jews, and that the canon's author would take the view that we don't actually observe the Saturday Sabbath, since we moved its observance to Sunday, and that we don't celebrate Hannukkah either. In that case, it would mean that Christians don't live under the Mosaic law either, because the Mosaic law says to keep the Sabbath.

You ask:
Quote
How can anyone read Galatians and imagine that the followers of Christ are still under the Law?
The way they might do this would be to claim that Paul didn't correctly represent the views of Christ's followers. There was a pharisaic group that proposed before the Council of Jerusalem that Christians should be circumcized, whether or not they were Jewish. So the person in your question could take the view that the pharisaic proposal was right, and not only that, but in addition Christians would still be under the law. In my opinion, nonetheless, this goes against the view from Jesus Christ that the law had been fulfilled. I think that St Paul made a good analysis too. Such a person in your question would take the view that Christ hadn't relieved His followers of the burden or responsibility of following the Law, because the person would ignore or wouldn't notice that Christ had relieved this Christians of being under it- assuming that He actually did.

You write:
Quote
Quote
I do not completely agree with that. The overall historical approach of the Church is to say that Jews do not have to become Gentiles and Gentiles do not have to become Jews as a pre-condition to joining the Church. Jews can keep doing what they do but as a matter of culture and not ritual.
For one thing the Jerusalem Apostles did that themselves. The Jerusalem Church, and especially James, was very big on the maintenance of Jewish custom. Re-read the discussions between them and Paul in Acts from this perspective.
I don't agree. In Ephesians 2 St. Paul says Christ has made of the two (Jews and Gentiles) one in His Church. There is one Olive Tree, one Fold, and one Shepherd.
I don't have the references handy, but I recall a number of times when the Fathers have said that it is wrong for Christians to retain Jewish customs. One thinks especially of St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch in the closing decades of the first century.
I have nothing against Jews. My wife's grandmother, Rachel, was a Jew who converted to Holy Orthodoxy. But she didn't start her own special "Messianic" sect; she became an Orthodox Christian.
There may be many Jews who have some of Jacob's DNA, but then again, there are probably some of us Christians who also carry it and don't realize it. After all, there were plenty of Jews in Europe who converted and married Christians. It is interesting to speculate on the origins of many Palestinian Christians. They may have a greater claim to natural descent from Jacob than most of today's Jews.
At least one canon says that to become a Christian, a Jew must cease keeping the Saturday Sabbath. And another canon says Christians can't keep Jewish holidays. So this places alot of doubt on the comment that in the Church's overall historical approach, " Jews can keep doing what they do". Ephesians 2 describes Jews and gentiles being united in His Church. Likewise, the New Testament describes this unity as there being one olive tree, one Fold, and One Shepherd, who are Christ. The Fold in particular is the Churhc which is Christ's body.

I recall hearing on the thread about the "Church's Teaching on the Jews" that St Chrysostom opposed Christians observing Jewish feasts, like the Canons say. I assume that Ignatius made a similar statement since you write: One thinks especially of St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch in the closing decades of the first century. So on one hand we have such important Church fathers going against retaining customs. But then on the other hand, the Council of Jerusalem and Paul's letters both say for Jewish Christians to maintain their circumcision. So it could be that the Church changed its view, or that Ignatius was writing merely to a gentile Christian audience. Also, it's hard to reliable discuss the merits of their commentaries when we don't have them here- I don't have the references handy either.

Congratulations on your wife's grandmother becoming Orthodox. I find such big leaps of conversion interesting. The people have often thought things from different angles, thought things "outside the box" so to speak.

I agree when you say:
Quote
Jacob's DNA... there are probably some of us Christians who also carry it and don't realize it. After all, there were plenty of Jews in Europe who converted and married Christians. It is interesting to speculate on the origins of many Palestinian Christians.
Naturally, the Palestinian Christians were native people in the Holy Land who became Christian, nearly all before the medieval Arab invasion. Thus, their main ethnic base is not Arab. In pre-Islamic times, besides Jews, the Holy Land also had a minority of Canaanites, Philistines, Samaritans, Greeks, Romans, and Syrians. But the main population was Jewish, Judean, or both. I remember reading that in the 5th-6th centuries, most of the Holy Land became Christian. So it is hard to avoid the conclusion that Palestinian Christians are to a large extent, if not mostly, Jews.
DNA research shows that Palestinian Christians are closely related to Jews in ethnicity.
"They may have a greater claim to natural descent from Jacob than most of today's Jews", because unlike most Jews today, the Palestinian Christians have been living in the Middle East for almost the last 2000 years.

You are right that
Quote
Ultimately, natural descent from Jacob is not what's important.
St Paul writes that adoption for God is as legitimate as physical birth. Still, natural descent can still be meaningful, as awareness of it can motivate some people to more of a connection with their religious heritage from the Old Testament, which points to Christ. Also, St Paul wrote about Jews becoming Christian in connection with the idea that God made a promise to their forefathers, and in connection with the idea of "all Israel" being saved. So while salvation doesn't depend on physical descent, physical descent might still have at least some significance, like if it helps people think of themselves more strongly as part of God's people, like part of a continuity going back to the people in Old Testament times. It can be like saying that if someone's parents are very religious, this might help them to be religious too. For St Paul at least, it seems that the idea that God made a promise to the ancestors of the Jews of his time was significant for those Jews.

Thank you for sharing the quotes from Ignatius:
Quote
"If we are still living in the practice of Judaism, it is an admission that we have failed to receive the gift of grace (St. Ignatius, Letter to the Magnesians, 8 ).

"To profess Jesus Christ while continuing to follow Jewish customs is an absurdity. The Christian faith does not look to Judaism, but Judaism looks to Christianity, in which every other race and tongue that confesses a belief in God has now been comprehended (St. Ignatius, Letter to the Magnesians, 10).
Here, the reference to "Judaism" seems somewhat vague. A very broad reading of the term here appear problematic. After all, saying "Amen" at the end of prayers, having a Sabbatical "Day of Rest", reading the Old Testament, gathering in religious buildings, having priests, and avoiding blood foods as one Canon says, all appear to be practices of Judaism and Jewish customs in the broad sense of those terms.
On the other hand, a more narrow meaning of "Judaism" makes sense, as in phariseeism. Christ for example criticizes the practices of the pharisees.
Further, St Ignatius was a non-Jew, so even if he accepted Jewish Christians as being "of the circumcision", he would still oppose "us" practicing Judaism and Jewish customs. I assume that the "Magnesians" he writes to are also non-Jews.
If non-Jews have received grace as non-Jews, then this suggests that they were OK as non-Jews, and it makes sense that they wouldn't need to "live in the practice of Judaism", as he writes: If we are still living in the practice of Judaism, it is an admission that we have failed to receive the gift of grace. In fact one interpretation could be that even Jewish Christians wouldn't need to live in Judaic practices either, as they had been spiritually freed from the Law. In that case though, simply following some Judaic practices as a custom doesn't necessarily seem to be an admission that they haven't been freed from it as a law. For example, if the speed limit is raised to 55 and I keep driving 50, it doesn't necessarily mean I don't recognize the change in the law.

Still, when St Ignatius writes "To profess Jesus Christ while continuing to follow Jewish customs is an absurdity", it sounds like he is setting forth a broad principle, not just referring to the behavior of non-Jewish Christians.

One possibility could be that St Ignatius was setting forth one view among several in the early Church, just as some Christians had disagreed before the Council fo Jerusalem about whether gentiles required circumcision if they became Christian.
Another possibility is that the Church in fact had decided not to follow many unique Jewish customs, and that for example, circumcized Jewish Christians in the Church wouldn't circumcize their Christian children.

When St Ignatius says
Quote
The Christian faith does not look to Judaism, but Judaism looks to Christianity,
, it's a bit confusing. As to the question, in what way is it looking, I think he means Judaism expects, points to, hopes for Christianity. Judaism in this sense is the religion of the Jewish people in pre-Christian times. So naturally, in this sense, Christianity does not "look to" Judaism, that is, it doesn't look ahead to it, expecting, pointing, hoping for it.
The statement is alittle confusing, because Christianity does looks at, ie. consider, what the prophets said in pre-Christian Judaism, but it doesn't look to them in the same sense that the prophets looked forward to and hoped for Christianity.

Also, St Ignatius' dichotomy between Judaism and Christianity exists in that they are two distinct ideas. But it seems that there is overlap too. From a Christian point of view, one may say that Christianity is the correct religion for the people of Judah, that is, it's correct Judaism.

With this in mind, I have some doubt that "To profess Jesus Christ while continuing to follow Jewish customs is an absurdity". It's at least somewhat absurd to follow some customs, like Yom Kippur, if that which they prefigured has been fulfilled. On the other hand, if there is a custom of fasting among the Jews, since Jesus taught His disciples to fast sometimes, this seems OK. Also, resting on a Saturday Sabbath doesn't seem particularly absurd. I think the New Testamemt doesn't specify that we shouldn't rest on Saturday. And it doesn't seem like this custom has been fulfilled in Christianity in such a way that it's absurd to rest then. I understand that Christianity respects Sunday like it was a day of rest, but resting for two days doesn't seem bad.  Also, from a religious point of view, circumcision doesn't appear inherently absurd for all Christians. Circumcision was a physical sign of belonging to God, and we can say that we are now more spiritually-oriented. But still, Jesus also rose in the flesh. So at most, circumcision appears unnecessary for salvation. But it doesn't appear completely absurd. An idea that circumcision was needed for salvation seems absurd, though from a Christian viewpoint.

Finally, it's confusing what St Ignatius means when he writes that in "Christianity... every other race and tongue that confesses a belief in God has now been comprehended." Maybe it means that Christians who had the Holy Spirit at Pentecost understood every other race and tongue. It's possible to say that people from every, or almost every, race and tongue have comprehended belief in God. But this quote says the opposite- that someone has understood every race and tongue in Christianity. It seems most likely to me though that St Ignatius is referring to the idea that every race and tongue has people who have become Christian, and thus he concludes that in the Church those races and tongues are understood in the sense that people of those races and tongues are in the Church and understand them.

These two quotes from St Ignatius seem pretty on point about early Christianity's relation to Judaism, so I am considering mentioning it on my blig rakovskii.livejournal.com

I agree with you when you write:
Quote
I think it depends on what one means by "customs." Obviously the Christian liturgy is dependent upon the tradition of Jewish synagogue worship, so, in a sense, the Church has preserved "Jewish customs."

It appears to me that you are right that the Church preserved Jewish customs in the sense that our liturgy is dependent on the tradition of Jewish synagogue worship. And synagogue worship seems like a kind of custom. Now, one might try to differentiate between customs and worship, but I find this to be a false dichotomy. After all, Jewish customs like the pharisees' handwashing ritual includes a prayer that talks nicely to God, and thus may be considered a kind of worship.

So if the canons and fathers say don't do any Jewish c