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Author Topic: Messianic Jews?  (Read 24965 times) Average Rating: 0
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deusveritasest
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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.

†IC XC†
†NI KA†
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Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute...

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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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Marc1152
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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.

†IC XC†
†NI KA†

"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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NorthernPines
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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.

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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.
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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


Quote
"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!

Quote
"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."

Quote
"(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!

Quote
"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!

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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


Quote
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?

Quote
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)  


Quote
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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.


Quote
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.
[/quote]

What kind of a-historical nonsense is that?


Quote
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?


Quote
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?


Quote
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.


Quote
Jesus DENOUNCED the oral traditions!


Quote
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.


Quote


"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.

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"!

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.

Quote
"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

Quote
"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').

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?

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!!

Quote
"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.

Quote
"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.

Quote
"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!

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"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.

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"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.

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 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.

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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

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