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Author Topic: What happened to the Law?  (Read 4957 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 27, 2011, 04:18:20 PM »

I was reading this:
http://www.judaismvschristianity.com/The_Law_stands.htm
And it brought up some things that I think have not been entirely dealt with. To start, a lot of what this guy says is just plain wrong. However, he talks about the Law in relation to Christianity. How exactly are we to view the Law now? It is still wrong to murder, commit adultery, etc. Yet we ignore the Sabbath. Why? I know there was a lot of debate in the early Church about certain "Judaizers". It just seems to me that the early Church did a "pick and choose" job with how the Law applied to them. Thoughts?
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2011, 04:28:56 PM »


I don't think that we "pick and choose", we simply don't achieve perfection.

All the laws hold fast, we just can't discipline ourselves to follow them.  Our not following the laws, doesn't mean that they are invalid.

As for the Sabbath, we celebrate Sunday as the Lord's Day.   We attend Divine Liturgy and refrain from doing "work" as much as possible on this day.

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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2011, 04:35:42 PM »

So if the Law was not abolished, why do we not follow it? And how did the Sabbath switch days?
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2011, 04:42:46 PM »


What do you mean by "not following" it?

I try to follow it, don't you?

I don't always succeed, but, I try.
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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2011, 04:47:08 PM »

Are you following the Kosher laws? Do you keep the Sabbath on Saturday? What happened to these laws? Are they abolished, or just ignored?
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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2011, 04:54:24 PM »

I was reading this:
http://www.judaismvschristianity.com/The_Law_stands.htm
And it brought up some things that I think have not been entirely dealt with. To start, a lot of what this guy says is just plain wrong. However, he talks about the Law in relation to Christianity. How exactly are we to view the Law now? It is still wrong to murder, commit adultery, etc. Yet we ignore the Sabbath. Why? I know there was a lot of debate in the early Church about certain "Judaizers". It just seems to me that the early Church did a "pick and choose" job with how the Law applied to them. Thoughts?
The Sabbath rest was fulfilled by Christ in the Tomb.  Murder, adultery, etc. cannot be "fulfilled."
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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2011, 04:55:27 PM »

So if the Law was not abolished, why do we not follow it? And how did the Sabbath switch days?
Christ fulfilled the Sabbath in the Tomb and rose on the 1st day of the New Creation.
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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2011, 06:09:47 PM »

Saturday is still considered holy, at least according to the allowances for wine and oil that are made every saturday that falls in a fasting period (with very few exceptions). We gather for worship on sunday because we gather to commemorate our Lord rising from the tomb freeing us from death and corruption.

Part of the curse of Adam was "cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground... Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken."

If part of the curse is to bound to labor, then a day of rest can be a symbol of freedom from that curse. The day of rest on the Sabbath was fulfilled as our Lord rested in the tomb on the Sabbath day. Our freedom from the curse is fully realized on the next day, that is the eighth day of the new creation, which we celebrate as the Lord's day in honor of His glorious resurrection that grants us our rest in Him.
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And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2011, 06:17:52 PM »

Where, though, does it say that we no longer keep the Sabbath? What about the dietary laws, and the Cleanliness laws? Where did they go?
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2011, 06:20:48 PM »

As far as Kosher, the Apostles discerned in Acts 15 that the Holy Spirit did not require Gentile Christians to eat or otherwise live according to Kosher or other laws (ie circumcision), except for eating blood, which remains prohibited for Christians.

As far as ritual purity, refer to St Peter's vision. "Call nothing unclean which I have made clean."
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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2011, 06:22:39 PM »

I appreciate all of the responses thus far. I just fail to grasp the subject. Are there any church fathers that deal in depth with this issue?
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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2011, 06:25:34 PM »

Where, though, does it say that we no longer keep the Sabbath?

We do observe Saturdays as a holy day. But Sunday is more important, as the Lord's resurrection. I can't give a citation unfortunately, but I have read that we should avoid servile work on Saturdays if possible, with a strict prohibition on Sundays.

And really, in proper usage the Divine Liturgy and cycle of services is celebrated every day, so every day is holy to God. We just commemorate the Resurrection on Sundays, and that is the most important day of the week.
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« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2011, 06:27:27 PM »

I just remembered: Another reason why the Sabbath has fallen somewhat "out of favor" is the long-standing prohibition on observing the same days as Jews. That is why we fast on Wednesdays and Fridays, while the Jews fast (or used to) on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
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« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2011, 06:41:37 PM »

As far as Kosher, the Apostles discerned in Acts 15 that the Holy Spirit did not require Gentile Christians to eat or otherwise live according to Kosher or other laws (ie circumcision), except for eating blood, which remains prohibited for Christians.

As far as ritual purity, refer to St Peter's vision. "Call nothing unclean which I have made clean."

The kosher and ritual laws were fulfilled in Christ. The Jews were chosen to bring Christ into the world. God gave them the Law when he seperated them to Himself as a holy poeple chosen to bring forth the Messiah. The rituals were signs of what Christ would accomplish and were fulfilled in His actions. The dietary laws and circumcision were there to serperate the Jews from the gentiles. Once Christ came to reconcile both in Himself, the laws that had kept the gentiles seperated, were no longer applicable because a) the jews did what they were seperated to do when they bore the Messiah and b) the gentiles were no longer to be excluded as unclean but to be grafted into God's chosen people. Circumcision which was the fleshly sign of being inculded in God's chosen people in Israel, was replaced with baptism which unites into Christ through His death and resurrection bringing us into His chosen people in the new covenant.

The blood was still prohibited because it is the life of the creature, and that life rightfully belongs to God.

Sexual immorality was prohibited because of it's relation to marriage and the fidelity of only being joined to what God has joined together, especially as a symbol of Christ and His Church.
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And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2011, 06:54:08 PM »

How exactly did the kosher laws separate the Jews, and why did they matter? And the vision of Peter in Acts had more to do with accepting Gentiles, and less about food restrictions, am I correct?
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« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2011, 07:32:58 PM »

The Mosaic Law was given to Israel alone, and its aim was to single Israel out from among the nations of the world for the sake of her dedication to God.

The sacrifice of the cross ended this separation as St. Paul says:

Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh – who are called “uncircumcision” by the so-called “circumcision” that is performed on the body by human hands – that you were at that time without the Messiah, alienated from the citizenship of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who used to be far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, the one who made both groups into one and who destroyed the middle wall of partition, the hostility, when he nullified in his flesh the law of commandments in decrees. He did this to create in himself one new man out of two, thus making peace, and to reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by which the hostility has been killed. (Ephesians 2:11-16)
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« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2011, 11:29:35 PM »

From Webster's Dictionary:
Quote
Main Entry: nul·li·fy
Pronunciation: \ˈnə-lə-ˌfī\
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): nul·li·fied; nul·li·fy·ing
Etymology: Late Latin nullificare, from Latin nullus
Date: 1595
1 : to make null; especially : to make legally null and void
2 : to make of no value or consequence
It seems to indicate by the passage in Ephesians that Christ made the law null, or without consequence. So which is it? Did He complete the Law, or make it void?
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« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2011, 09:47:33 PM »

Quote
For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
What does this verse from Matt 5 mean exactly? Until what is accomplished?
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« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2011, 12:44:58 AM »

Wikipedia has an article called Sabbath in Christianity and I found this:
Quote
seventh day Sabbath observance by Gentile Christians prevailed in the 3rd and 4th centuries. Some authorities continued to oppose this as a Judaizing tendency.[1] For example, the Council of Laodicea (canon 29) states Christians must not Judaize by resting on Sabbath but must work that day and then if possible rest on the Lord's Day and any found to be Judaizers are anathema from Christ.
Isn't the Sabbath an eternal obligation?
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« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2011, 01:15:41 AM »

Saturday is still the Sabbath and most Orthodox sources I have read indicate that the Church teaches such.
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« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2011, 01:22:25 AM »

PFN,

St. Paul is your man. And some good answers above and not so good. But one thing that drives me nutty is when people say the Jews celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday. In our secular world it is from Friday eveningish to Saturday eveningish. The particulars about exactly when it starts and ends are probably not apropos nor do I have the time to chime in about them.

Others can if they so desire.

Again go to St. Paul and his discussion on the role of the Law before Christ for Israel and the role of the Law of Israel for Jews after Christ, and Gentiles after Christ.

Most interesting is that St. Paul argues for his point of view from the Hebrews Scriptures. Beautiful stuff.

FWIW.
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« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2011, 01:42:52 AM »

But one thing that drives me nutty is when people say the Jews celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday. In our secular world it is from Friday eveningish to Saturday eveningish.

I'm sure people on an Orthodox forum are significantly more inclined to acknowledge "Saturday" as possibly meaning sunset Friday to sunset Saturday.
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« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2011, 01:46:15 AM »

Hebrews 4:1-10.  Hebrews 8:10.
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« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2011, 01:51:35 AM »

But one thing that drives me nutty is when people say the Jews celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday. In our secular world it is from Friday eveningish to Saturday eveningish.

I'm sure people on an Orthodox forum are significantly more inclined to acknowledge "Saturday" as possibly meaning sunset Friday to sunset Saturday.

Are Orthodoxy more inclined to start their Mondays at work on Sunday evening?

You might be right given the set of Orthodox here (nerds), but I am talking in general. Orthodox or otherwise, nearly everyone I every speak with who has little contact with Jewish folks thinks their Sabbath is on Saturday as the secular world understands it. And in the rare occasion they know when it begins, they think it lasts till Sunday morning.

Again. Irrelevant. Just a rant directed at no one in particular.

 
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« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2011, 01:52:13 AM »

Hebrews 4:1-10.  Hebrews 8:10.

It's not for nothing Hebrews is reading during the Lenten season.
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« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2011, 02:42:29 AM »

But one thing that drives me nutty is when people say the Jews celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday. In our secular world it is from Friday eveningish to Saturday eveningish. The particulars about exactly when it starts and ends are probably not apropos nor do I have the time to chime in about them.

If they celebrate the Sabbath from Friday evening to Saturday evening, then it is on Saturday. Liturgically, the day ends (and the next day begins) at sunset. This is why we can say Christ was in the tomb for 3 days. He wasn't literally in the tomb for 3 24 hour periods.
This is also why fasting for the "next day" usually begins after Vespers, because as soon as the Sun sets, the day switches. That is also the reason we celebrate some of the services for "Great and Holy ... such and such" during Holy Week on the "day before", it's because they are vespers and served at sunset. So we sing about Christ's crucifixion (technically) the day before it actually happened.

As for the whole question about the Law and such... First of all, we must remember that Christ fulfilled the law, and he issued the new covenant with God's people.
We must also remember that the Church is God's people, not the modern-day Jews. The Church is the continuation of Judaism, Israel, Hebrews etc... We are the same group. Therefore, it would technically be proper to ask Jews why they don't follow the New Covenant issued by God himself, and why they still hold to the Old Covenant which was fulfilled in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
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« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2011, 03:36:57 AM »

From Webster's Dictionary:
Quote
Main Entry: nul·li·fy
Pronunciation: \ˈnə-lə-ˌfī\
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): nul·li·fied; nul·li·fy·ing
Etymology: Late Latin nullificare, from Latin nullus
Date: 1595
1 : to make null; especially : to make legally null and void
2 : to make of no value or consequence
It seems to indicate by the passage in Ephesians that Christ made the law null, or without consequence. So which is it? Did He complete the Law, or make it void?

He completed the Law. Jesus is the END of the Mosaic Law.

When the promises and predictions in the Law about the Messiah and His Kingdom came true, the Law was also fulfilled in Jesus and through Jesus.
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« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2011, 03:38:26 AM »

But one thing that drives me nutty is when people say the Jews celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday. In our secular world it is from Friday eveningish to Saturday eveningish. The particulars about exactly when it starts and ends are probably not apropos nor do I have the time to chime in about them.

If they celebrate the Sabbath from Friday evening to Saturday evening, then it is on Saturday. Liturgically, the day ends (and the next day begins) at sunset. This is why we can say Christ was in the tomb for 3 days. He wasn't literally in the tomb for 3 24 hour periods.
This is also why fasting for the "next day" usually begins after Vespers, because as soon as the Sun sets, the day switches. That is also the reason we celebrate some of the services for "Great and Holy ... such and such" during Holy Week on the "day before", it's because they are vespers and served at sunset. So we sing about Christ's crucifixion (technically) the day before it actually happened.

As for the whole question about the Law and such... First of all, we must remember that Christ fulfilled the law, and he issued the new covenant with God's people.
We must also remember that the Church is God's people, not the modern-day Jews. The Church is the continuation of Judaism, Israel, Hebrews etc... We are the same group. Therefore, it would technically be proper to ask Jews why they don't follow the New Covenant issued by God himself, and why they still hold to the Old Covenant which was fulfilled in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Exactly... awesome answer.

As I understand it - Saturday is still the sabbath... always has been.

But Christians worship on Sunday; the Lord's Day; the mystical Eighth Day.

The traditional work week was (and still is as far as I'm concerned) Monday to Friday...

Saturday (the Sabbath) is a day of rest, and Sunday is a day of worship.

As for the Mosaic Law (as opposed to the Talmudic Law followed by today's 'Jews') it has been fulfilled in Christ, all of mankind has been offered entrance into His New Covenant with the world, and the Law has been made obsolete and has passed away with the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD.

"Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."
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« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2011, 03:39:03 AM »

Quote
For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
What does this verse from Matt 5 mean exactly? Until what is accomplished?

God is the protector of His word forever. Jesus did not deny the Law, but gave it a new meaning.
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« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2011, 03:45:14 AM »

Wikipedia has an article called Sabbath in Christianity and I found this:
Quote
seventh day Sabbath observance by Gentile Christians prevailed in the 3rd and 4th centuries. Some authorities continued to oppose this as a Judaizing tendency.[1] For example, the Council of Laodicea (canon 29) states Christians must not Judaize by resting on Sabbath but must work that day and then if possible rest on the Lord's Day and any found to be Judaizers are anathema from Christ.
Isn't the Sabbath an eternal obligation?

Sabbath was made for man, not man for Sabbath. The Son of Man is the Lord of the Sabbath.

The shift of Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday in the Church is similar to every celebration and feast's gaining new meaning in Christ. As we no longer celebrate the Passover of the Mosaic Law, but the Lord's Pascha, we also celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday, which became the day of the new creation in Christ.

By no coincidence does John the Evangelist emphasize the difference between Moses and Jesus as well as between the Law and Grace & Truth in the prologue to his Gospel. 
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« Reply #30 on: March 01, 2011, 04:04:27 AM »

A few points:

1) Purity laws (corpse impurity, menstrual impurity, childbirth impurity, etc.) were for entering the Temple or for eating holy food.  Being impure did not mean being in sin.  For example, burying one's parents was considered a moral duty but it inevitably made one impure.  When the temple was destroyed, those laws became largely null and void.  As for others, it is my understanding that in many Orthodox Churches women will not commune when menstruating, etc. and that men are not to commune after a noctural emission.  Similarly, couples are to refrain from sexual activity before communion.  These practices reflect those purity laws.

2) The Apostles and first generations of Christians were not innovating when they didn't not impose the Mosaic Law on Gentile converts.  Already there was a (at least theoretical) category of people known as "God-fearers".  God-fearers were Gentiles who, while not full Jewish converts (i.e. didn't keep all the holidays, weren't circumcised, etc.), didn't participate in idolatrous worship, etc.  There was debate as to whether or not Gentiles needed to be circumcised, etc. even before the beginning of Christianity.  Even today many Jews consider all those who follow the "Noahide Laws" to be counted among the "righteous of the nations".  The reason being is that from the Jewish standpoint the Mosaic Law is for those in the covenant of Abraham.  Gentiles are not in the covenant of Abraham but all humankind is in the covenant God made with Noah, thus the Noahide Laws are binding on all.  The Noahide Laws are very similar to the degree from the Apostolic Council in Acts.

3) The Fathers didn't discuss this stuff probably because it was a non-issue.  That Gentiles didn't need to keep the Mosaic Law was already decided in the Apostolic period at the beginning of their ministry.

Much of this information is from E.P. Sander's book Judaism: Practice and Belief: 63 BCE - 66 CE.
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« Reply #31 on: March 01, 2011, 04:15:50 AM »

Another thing:

I'ver heard the idea that the Law was fulfilled in Christ many times, but I'm not sure what that's supposed to tell us or what it's supposed to mean.  I also can't think of any Bible verses that mention that in those words (but it could be that my memory simply fails me). 

I have a feeling that the idea that Christ fulfilled the Law is a sort of "easy answer"- with no offense intended to those who offer it.  I think perhaps the case is simply that the Apostles judged that certain aspects of the Mosaic Law were unapplicable to Gentile converts for reasons we are not entirely sure of.  But as I said above, the Apostles had a precedent for that decision.
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« Reply #32 on: March 01, 2011, 04:40:57 AM »

For starters, from Luke 24:

44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” 45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
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« Reply #33 on: March 01, 2011, 07:50:03 AM »

Also, Sabbath for us has a new meaning...

While Jews rested on the Sabbath because God rested on the Seventh Day, we rest (and are supposed to focus on our faith, like Sunday) because God himself rested in the Tomb on the 7th Day. It is in anticipation that we rest on the Sabbath, in anticipation of the resurrection of Christ, the rising of our God. At his eternal victory over death. We don't rest on the Sabbath due to an adherence to a law fulfilled by Christ, but rather it's because of Christ himself that we rest.

The law was simply in place for man. It is what we needed until God himself became man to save us. The law wasn't bad, man's abuse of it was. We have not forgotten the law. It's just been completed. It was simply a preparation for the coming of Christ. Mankind was prepared for the coming of God, I think we can think of the law as kind of like a fast. The fast exists for us so we can prepare ourselves for the end goal. When we reach that goal, do we still fast, or do we feast?
In the same way, is it right to adhere to a law that was in place to prepare man, when Christ has already come and God has manifested himself among us?

The law pointed to Christ. We no longer offer blood sacrifices, because those simply prefigured Christ's sacrifice. Now we offer the ultimate bloodless sacrifice. We no longer worship solely on the Sabbath in anticipation of the Lord's resurrection, because Christ has risen and we now worship on the mystical 8th day, the Lords day. The day he vanquished death itself.

Christianity isn't in opposition to Judaism, nor the New Covenant in opposition to the Old, it's simply a fulfillment and the proper continuation of it. As Christians, we are the successors to Abraham, to Moses, to David, to the Prophets, to all the ancient Hebrews, Israelites and Jews. The Church has remained the same, always, Ancient Israel has just been fulfilled in the Church, not replaced by it.
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« Reply #34 on: March 01, 2011, 08:01:57 AM »

I don't have the time to write much at the moment; but what this thread needs is a dose of the New Perspective on Paul, which is regarded by many Orthodox today as to an enormous extent a return to the first millennium view. It removes not only many key old Protestant objections to Orthodoxy, but also dismantles the case of liberal Protestant scholarship that Jesus and Paul were in hopeless contradiction in their views of the law (e.g. Rudolf Bultmann). N. T. Wright, J. D. G. Dunn, E. P. Sanders and others out and out affirm Luther was wrong about the negative statements on the law in Paul being a reference to what the Reformation (and much biblical scholarship afterward) thought of as "works righteousness." Galatians was written to counter "Judaizers" who were claiming Gentile Christians had to become full-blown Jews, circumcised etc., to be saved, a radical view even among the ancient Rabbis who held that an uncircumcised Gentile could be a "Godfearer" who followed the Noahide laws and be right with God without becoming a full-blown proselyte (full Jew). Many of the Rabbis would have been as horrified by the claim that a man must be circumcised to be saved as Paul was. Galatians was not a tract against the validity of Gods moral law, by any means (cf. also whereas the OP link claims Paul actually contradicts his own position this notion effectively dissolves with the NPP as well). It should also be kept in mind both that the OT predicted Gentiles/non-Jews would worship the God of Israel after the advent of the Messiah, and more importantly, that the OT is the only ancient Near Eastern covenant document which predicted the covenant would come to an end and be replaced by a new covenant (e.g. Jer 31:31 etc.).

For example (minor bias alert, but still good introductory remarks),
http://www.thepaulpage.com/a-summary-of-the-new-perspective-on-paul/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Perspective_on_Paul  

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« Reply #35 on: March 01, 2011, 08:54:13 AM »

I don't have the time to write much at the moment; but what this thread needs is a dose of the New Perspective on Paul, which is regarded by many Orthodox today as to an enormous extent a return to the first millennium view. It removes not only many key old Protestant objections to Orthodoxy, but also dismantles the case of liberal Protestant scholarship that Jesus and Paul were in hopeless contradiction in their views of the law (e.g. Rudolf Bultmann). N. T. Wright, J. D. G. Dunn, E. P. Sanders and others out and out affirm Luther was wrong about the negative statements on the law in Paul being a reference to what the Reformation (and much biblical scholarship afterward) thought of as "works righteousness." Galatians was written to counter "Judaizers" who were claiming Gentile Christians had to become full-blown Jews, circumcised etc., to be saved, a radical view even among the ancient Rabbis who held that an uncircumcised Gentile could be a "Godfearer" who followed the Noahide laws and be right with God without becoming a full-blown proselyte (full Jew). Many of the Rabbis would have been as horrified by the claim that a man must be circumcised to be saved as Paul was. Galatians was not a tract against the validity of Gods moral law, by any means (cf. also whereas the OP link claims Paul actually contradicts his own position this notion effectively dissolves with the NPP as well). It should also be kept in mind both that the OT predicted Gentiles/non-Jews would worship the God of Israel after the advent of the Messiah, and more importantly, that the OT is the only ancient Near Eastern covenant document which predicted the covenant would come to an end and be replaced by a new covenant (e.g. Jer 31:31 etc.).

For example (minor bias alert, but still good introductory remarks),
http://www.thepaulpage.com/a-summary-of-the-new-perspective-on-paul/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Perspective_on_Paul  



I totally agree! it seems that too many Christians, even Orthodox are so influenced by the Western idea that Sunday "replaces" the Sabbath that we just accept that that is "the way it always was." Scholars like NT Wright and EP Sanders (especially Sanders' book Jesus and Judaism, and his book on Paul, which I cannot recall the title at the moment) will shed so much "new" light on this subject that these guys had me smacking my forehead with my palm crying out, "why didn't I see this before?" of course I didn't because no matter what we think we know, 1st century Judaism is a such a foreign and alien world to us that it takes a LOT of work and unlearning to really take that into our minds and begin to understand what was going on. The truth is though the "new" perspective is not really new, and I've heard Wright invoke Orthodoxy and our theologians a number of times as he argues that some strains of Christianity this stuff never died out. I think even in Biblical scholarship the simplest explanation is likely to be the best one, and the "new" perspective makes SO much sense out of so many things I cannot see a better theory as of yet. Worth reading these guys indeed.
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« Reply #36 on: March 01, 2011, 10:22:06 AM »

A few points:

1) Purity laws (corpse impurity, menstrual impurity, childbirth impurity, etc.) were for entering the Temple or for eating holy food.  Being impure did not mean being in sin.  For example, burying one's parents was considered a moral duty but it inevitably made one impure.  When the temple was destroyed, those laws became largely null and void.  As for others, it is my understanding that in many Orthodox Churches women will not commune when menstruating, etc. and that men are not to commune after a noctural emission.  Similarly, couples are to refrain from sexual activity before communion.  These practices reflect those purity laws.

2) The Apostles and first generations of Christians were not innovating when they didn't not impose the Mosaic Law on Gentile converts.  Already there was a (at least theoretical) category of people known as "God-fearers".  God-fearers were Gentiles who, while not full Jewish converts (i.e. didn't keep all the holidays, weren't circumcised, etc.), didn't participate in idolatrous worship, etc.  There was debate as to whether or not Gentiles needed to be circumcised, etc. even before the beginning of Christianity.  Even today many Jews consider all those who follow the "Noahide Laws" to be counted among the "righteous of the nations".  The reason being is that from the Jewish standpoint the Mosaic Law is for those in the covenant of Abraham.  Gentiles are not in the covenant of Abraham but all humankind is in the covenant God made with Noah, thus the Noahide Laws are binding on all.  The Noahide Laws are very similar to the degree from the Apostolic Council in Acts.

3) The Fathers didn't discuss this stuff probably because it was a non-issue.  That Gentiles didn't need to keep the Mosaic Law was already decided in the Apostolic period at the beginning of their ministry.

Much of this information is from E.P. Sander's book Judaism: Practice and Belief: 63 BCE - 66 CE.

Actually the Fathers talk a lot about this, to explain the type's fullfilment. For instance, circumcision: the Fathers point out that it was needed to set the Israelites apart from the pagan nations (take for instance what Dina's brothers tell her rapist what he has to do to marry her).  St. John points out that alone out in the wilderness they didn't circumcize, but when they were to enter among the nations in Palestine, they did at Gilgal.  Baptism now sets us apart in the real and true sense.
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« Reply #37 on: March 01, 2011, 11:29:18 AM »

I guess what the article linked above said that stuck with me the most was that Paul's equating the Law with something that was unable to make man righteous. Yet we see many righteous in the OT, take for instance Elijah, who clearly with the grace of God conquered death, and ascended to Him. So the Law, in some way was able to make us righteous, and acceptable to God. So if through the Law some conquered death, how exactly did Christ complete it?

Also thanks to all so far, very good responses! Smiley
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« Reply #38 on: March 01, 2011, 11:44:15 AM »

As far as Kosher, the Apostles discerned in Acts 15 that the Holy Spirit did not require Gentile Christians to eat or otherwise live according to Kosher or other laws (ie circumcision), except for eating blood, which remains prohibited for Christians.


I had no idea there was a prohibition on "eating" blood?  Does this mean blood sausages, blood pudding, etc.. are verboten?   (Not that I'm at all inclined to eat them; I'll eat a lot of weird stuff, but mmm, not that kind.)
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« Reply #39 on: March 01, 2011, 11:53:58 AM »

I guess what the article linked above said that stuck with me the most was that Paul's equating the Law with something that was unable to make man righteous.

Yes, this is exactly what St. Paul strove to teach. Read his epistle to the Romans.

Yet we see many righteous in the OT, take for instance Elijah, who clearly with the grace of God conquered death, and ascended to Him.

The Mosaic Law was or is NOT equal to the grace of God. What justifies a man is not the Law, but one's faith. Read Hebrews 11.

As a side note, it is theologically inaccurate to say that Elijah conquered death. He was taken away lest he tasted death. Since he did not experience death, it is impossible to say that he conquered death.

So the Law, in some way was able to make us righteous, and acceptable to God. So if through the Law some conquered death, how exactly did Christ complete it?

Again, it was not the Law, but faith. People obtained grace through their faith, not by observing the Law. There was actually no Mosaic Law prior to Moses!
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« Reply #40 on: March 01, 2011, 11:56:53 AM »


I had no idea there was a prohibition on "eating" blood?  Does this mean blood sausages, blood pudding, etc.. are verboten?   (Not that I'm at all inclined to eat them; I'll eat a lot of weird stuff, but mmm, not that kind.)

For it seemed best to the Holy Spirit and to us not to place any greater burden on you than these necessary rules: that you abstain from meat that has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what has been strangled and from sexual immorality. (Acts 15:28-29)
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« Reply #41 on: March 01, 2011, 12:34:13 PM »

(...) Gentiles are not in the covenant of Abraham but all humankind is in the covenant God made with Noah, thus the Noahide Laws are binding on all. 

The Noahide Laws are very similar to the degree from the Apostolic Council in Acts.

What are 'Gentiles'?

In your opinion - are Christians 'Gentiles'?

Who is "in the covenant of Abraham"?

"The Jews," you will probably say... but Abraham was not a 'Jew' nor were there any 'Jews' in existence anywhere on earth when God made His covenant with Abraham.

This tells us to whom the promises were made:

Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed," who is Christ.

And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law.

But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

For you (Christians) are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
- Galatians 3:16-29


As for the so-called 'Noahide Laws'... They are "similar to the decrees of the Apostolic Council"?



Christianity (TRUE Christianity, wherein the Church affirms the Divinity of Jesus the Christ) is considered idolatry according to the Noahide laws as outlined by the Neo-Pharisees and their new Sanhedrin.

The prescription for the punishment of idolaters (Christians) who transgress the Noahide laws by proclaiming the Divinity of Jesus Christ and the truth of the Trinity - is capital-punishment; death by decapitation.

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« Reply #42 on: March 03, 2011, 09:39:16 PM »

Within the Hebrew Scriptures there are many references to the Messiah. It seems that a lot of the verses that spoke of a Messiah were "spiritualized" because Jesus didn't literally fulfill them. Was there a movement within Judaism, before Christ came, that spiritualized these verses, or was this strictly the work of the early Christian community?

Also, were there any that taught a second coming of the Messiah, before the early Church?
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« Reply #43 on: March 04, 2011, 11:43:57 AM »

Within the Hebrew Scriptures there are many references to the Messiah. It seems that a lot of the verses that spoke of a Messiah were "spiritualized" because Jesus didn't literally fulfill them. Was there a movement within Judaism, before Christ came, that spiritualized these verses, or was this strictly the work of the early Christian community?

Also, were there any that taught a second coming of the Messiah, before the early Church?
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« Reply #44 on: March 05, 2011, 12:33:47 AM »

Within the Hebrew Scriptures there are many references to the Messiah. It seems that a lot of the verses that spoke of a Messiah were "spiritualized" because Jesus didn't literally fulfill them. Was there a movement within Judaism, before Christ came, that spiritualized these verses, or was this strictly the work of the early Christian community?

Also, were there any that taught a second coming of the Messiah, before the early Church?

Judging by the disciples' actions after Christ was crucified and before they knew He was risen, I would say that there were things the apostles themselves didn't understand until they saw Him risen from the dead and He explained it to them. One could even argue that they still didn't fully get it until they received teh Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

I think most of the things you're thinking of are understood in the spiritual context of Christ's victory over death, but we are also awaiting the end of all things at the second coming with the general resurrection and the judgement.
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« Reply #45 on: March 05, 2011, 12:42:31 AM »

But from a skeptics point of view, doesn't that seem quite convient? Christ comes, his followers claim he is the long awaited Messiah. Except, he didn't fulfill any of the requirements in a literal way, and many of the requirements will take place during a second coming. This sounds quite contrived. Which prophesies did Christ actually fulfill literally?
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« Reply #46 on: March 05, 2011, 12:47:13 AM »

But from a skeptics point of view, doesn't that seem quite convient? Christ comes, his followers claim he is the long awaited Messiah. Except, he didn't fulfill any of the requirements in a literal way, and many of the requirements will take place during a second coming. This sounds quite contrived. Which prophesies did Christ actually fulfill literally?

I think one of the things that surprised everyone is that noone expected the same person to fulfill both, messianic and suffering servant prophecies. There is also the fact that they were wanting a military leader and were focused on the things of this world that pass away and not on the eternal things of God.
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« Reply #47 on: March 05, 2011, 09:58:19 AM »

Within the Hebrew Scriptures there are many references to the Messiah. It seems that a lot of the verses that spoke of a Messiah were "spiritualized" because Jesus didn't literally fulfill them. Was there a movement within Judaism, before Christ came, that spiritualized these verses, or was this strictly the work of the early Christian community?

Also, were there any that taught a second coming of the Messiah, before the early Church?

Well firstly, which 'version' of the "Hebrew Scriptures" are you talking about? And which verses are you talking about?

I would also argue that - because the OT Scriptures had the purpose of foretelling the coming of the Messiah... you could say that ALL of the Scriptures are in fact "Christian Scriptures" which are to be interpreted according to the Apostolic deposit of faith.

The Masoretic texts of the Scriptures used today are not the same as those Scriptures which were used in early and pre-Christian times.

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« Reply #48 on: March 05, 2011, 11:46:30 AM »

Well if it all comes down to which version, then we are surely on shaky ground indeed. From what I understand the Messiah was supposed to be a man who would restore Israel and usher in a time of worldwide peace. Which has not happened, yet. Although there are some verses pertaining to the Godhood of the Messiah, it seems much more of the verses do NOT suggest his divinity. And it seems a bit problematic, that the verses pertaining to world peace did not happen. Instead we wait for a Second Coming, which even the early Church thought was imminent, but was not. Now we wait for the eschaton, which could be imminent, but is still not fulfilled in the way the early Church thought that it would be. So a lot of the Christian interpretation of Messiah is a bit strained in more than one way. Thoughts?
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« Reply #49 on: March 05, 2011, 12:52:57 PM »

Well if it all comes down to which version, then we are surely on shaky ground indeed. From what I understand the Messiah was supposed to be a man who would restore Israel and usher in a time of worldwide peace.

Yes, this was the way the Jews interpreted the predictions and prophecies in the Torah. It is also not surprising that most of the prophets arose in Israel at the time of suffering and deportation. Their predictions were naturally about the redemption of Israel and her return to the golden days of King David, from whose line would descend the Messiah, the eternal and almighty King of Israel.

And it seems a bit problematic, that the verses pertaining to world peace did not happen. Instead we wait for a Second Coming, which even the early Church thought was imminent, but was not.

I do not think that the early Church deemed the Second Coming to be imminent. Even in the parable of the Ten Maidens Jesus implied that His return would take a long time. (When the bridegroom was late, they all fell asleep...)

Now we wait for the eschaton, which could be imminent, but is still not fulfilled in the way the early Church thought that it would be. So a lot of the Christian interpretation of Messiah is a bit strained in more than one way. Thoughts?

Jesus came to make peace between the Jews and the Gentiles by dying for both and destroying the wall of partition.

I think it is also possible to claim the opposite: the Jewish interpretation of the Messiah was naturally a bit strained in more than one way. They focused on the Messiah's Hebrew identity and thought that He would redeem only Israel and only politically because at the time of the prophecies Israel was under occupation and the people suffered greatly under the Gentile rule.
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« Reply #50 on: March 05, 2011, 01:11:08 PM »

To say that it was just because the prophets arose during times of persecution that we see Messianic prophecies of liberation and worldwide peace, does not negate the fact that that is what the prophecies say. Which Christ did not literally do yet. And did the Jews really have an idea of Second Coming?
As for the imminent return of Christ, are you really claiming that the early Church did not believe that he was coming back very soon? Perhaps within their generation?
Another question: If Messiah was to be from the line of David, yet had no earthly father, how can he be son of David? And the two geneologies that are found in the two Gospels are totally at variance with one another. How do we, and how did the early Church reconcile all of this?
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« Reply #51 on: March 05, 2011, 03:47:32 PM »

To say that it was just because the prophets arose during times of persecution that we see Messianic prophecies of liberation and worldwide peace, does not negate the fact that that is what the prophecies say.

I failed to understand what you meant here. It looks like circular reasoning to me. Could you please elaborate?  Huh

Which Christ did not literally do yet. And did the Jews really have an idea of Second Coming?

I do not know for sure if the Jews had an idea of the Second Coming. Besides, their not knowing anything about the Second Coming does not mean that the Torah did not contain this teaching. Their interpretation of the Torah does not allow this association unlike ours.

Above all, it is not accurate to suggest that the Jews always interpreted the Torah correctly. According to John 1, the Jewish priests asked John the Baptist if he was the same person as Elijah because they mistakenly interpreted the prophecy in Malachi literally.

As for the imminent return of Christ, are you really claiming that the early Church did not believe that he was coming back very soon? Perhaps within their generation?

Some may have thought it that way, but the New Testament does not openly support this view.

Another question: If Messiah was to be from the line of David, yet had no earthly father, how can he be son of David?

Mary was from David's line too. You should also not forget that Jesus was bound to Joseph's genealogy through Mary and was considered the son of Joseph.

And the two geneologies that are found in the two Gospels are totally at variance with one another. How do we, and how did the early Church reconcile all of this?

There are a few different theories, but the most commonly favored one is that the genealogy in Matthew belongs to Joseph whereas the one in Luke to Mary.
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« Reply #52 on: March 05, 2011, 04:26:44 PM »

Quote
I failed to understand what you meant here. It looks like circular reasoning to me. Could you please elaborate?
Forgive me. I thought that you were implying that all of the Messianic prophecies were of liberation, just because the Jews were always being dominated. I was just trying to point out that the prophecies are still valid, and still call for a Messiah that liberates his people from physical enemies.
As far as the Lineage going through Joseph, how does this work within Judaism? Would this be seen as adoption? Or would it be totally rejected outright? To actually be of Davidic decent, wouldn't he have to have a literal physical father?

Also, the OT talks a lot about different laws being eternal. I know of the language regarding a new covenant being made, but how does the new covenant negate the eternality of the Old?
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« Reply #53 on: March 05, 2011, 05:09:09 PM »

Forgive me. I thought that you were implying that all of the Messianic prophecies were of liberation, just because the Jews were always being dominated. I was just trying to point out that the prophecies are still valid, and still call for a Messiah that liberates his people from physical enemies.

We are still waiting for the fulfilment of such prophecies. According to the canticle in Luke 1, even Zechariah thanked God for sending the Messiah and liberating His people from her enemies:

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,because he has come to help and has redeemed his people.

For he has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David,

as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from long ago,

that we should be saved from our enemies,

and from the hand of all who hate us
.

He has done this to show mercy to our ancestors,

and to remember his holy covenant –

the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham.

This oath grants that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies,

may serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him for as long as we live.

However, it is also possible to say that Israel rejected the Messiah and lost her chance for liberation from the hands of her enemies until the Second Coming.

As far as the Lineage going through Joseph, how does this work within Judaism? Would this be seen as adoption? Or would it be totally rejected outright? To actually be of Davidic decent, wouldn't he have to have a literal physical father?

I do not know how Judaism would react to this. Are God's promises bound by the way Jews consider and evaluate them? The Old Testament designates the promised Messiah as the son of Abraham and David. Does this mean Abraham and David were Messiah's physical fathers?

Also, the OT talks a lot about different laws being eternal. I know of the language regarding a new covenant being made, but how does the new covenant negate the eternality of the Old?

Then why was there a need for a new covenant ?
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« Reply #54 on: March 05, 2011, 05:43:18 PM »

If Christianity was false, why would God let it spread to 2.2 billion people worldwide?

And I thought Christ's Church was the new Israel.
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« Reply #55 on: March 05, 2011, 05:50:48 PM »

If Christianity was false, why would God let it spread to 2.2 billion people worldwide?

And I thought Christ's Church was the new Israel.
We should all convert to Islam based on that logic...
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« Reply #56 on: March 05, 2011, 05:53:21 PM »

If Christianity was false, why would God let it spread to 2.2 billion people worldwide?

And I thought Christ's Church was the new Israel.
We should all convert to Islam based on that logic...

If Christ was the false messiah and savior, why would He let it spread? Because none of us would convert to the real messiah if he showed up.

BTW Islam isn't as big as Christianity is.
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« Reply #57 on: March 05, 2011, 05:59:07 PM »

Quote
I do not know how Judaism would react to this. Are God's promises bound by the way Jews consider and evaluate them? The Old Testament designates the promised Messiah as the son of Abraham and David. Does this mean Abraham and David were Messiah's physical fathers?
This is the Protestant logic when it comes to the Orthodox Church. What's it matter what the Orthodox Church teaches etc.
I think you are playing with me concerning genealogy. If it weren't so important that Christ was son of David, why have the genealogies? And most of what I have heard about the geneology, even Fr. Hopko, suggests that they contradict, and are not in harmony.
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« Reply #58 on: March 05, 2011, 06:13:24 PM »

This is the Protestant logic when it comes to the Orthodox Church. What's it matter what the Orthodox Church teaches etc.

Do you consider the Jewish traditions and interpretations of the Torah sacred and infallible? I do not.

I think you are playing with me concerning genealogy.

Pardon me?  Huh

If it weren't so important that Christ was son of David, why have the genealogies?

This is a straw-man since I did not say that the geneaologies were not important.

And most of what I have heard about the geneology, even Fr. Hopko, suggests that they contradict, and are not in harmony.

Fr. Hopko is free to believe it that way. However, I do not have to agree with him on this issue.  Wink
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« Reply #59 on: March 05, 2011, 07:02:11 PM »

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Do you consider the Jewish traditions and interpretations of the Torah sacred and infallible? I do not.
No I don't think that they are infallible. But if we are seeing interpretations that are totally foreign to the Torah being used by Christians, shouldn't we be a little concerned?
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« Reply #60 on: March 05, 2011, 07:50:11 PM »

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The Tanakh gives several specifications as to who the messiah will be. He will be a descendent of King David (2 Samuel 7:12-13; Jeremiah 23:5), observant of Jewish law (Isaiah 11:2-5), a righteous judge (Jeremiah 33:15), and a great military leader. From: religiousfacts.com/Judaism

It seems that two of the requirements for being Messiah are not/have not been fulfilled by Jesus. Please correct me, and provide links if possible, but if Jesus had no earthly father, how could he be a decendant of David? He wouldn't even have Davidic blood in him.
Also, he was not a military leader. Can we really say that he will be when he returns? I know we have some military imagery with the Apocalypse, but that could definitely be taken as symbolic.
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« Reply #61 on: March 06, 2011, 10:18:22 AM »

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Do you consider the Jewish traditions and interpretations of the Torah sacred and infallible? I do not.
No I don't think that they are infallible. But if we are seeing interpretations that are totally foreign to the Torah being used by Christians, shouldn't we be a little concerned?

You are speaking as if we Christians fabricated our own interpretation of the Old Testament and put it in the place of its original interpretation. All of Jesus' apostles were of Hebrew origin, and they all said that they could understand the scriptures in the power of the Holy Spirit.
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« Reply #62 on: March 06, 2011, 10:57:46 AM »

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The Tanakh gives several specifications as to who the messiah will be. He will be a descendent of King David (2 Samuel 7:12-13; Jeremiah 23:5), observant of Jewish law (Isaiah 11:2-5), a righteous judge (Jeremiah 33:15), and a great military leader. From: religiousfacts.com/Judaism

It seems that two of the requirements for being Messiah are not/have not been fulfilled by Jesus. Please correct me, and provide links if possible, but if Jesus had no earthly father, how could he be a decendant of David? He wouldn't even have Davidic blood in him.
Also, he was not a military leader. Can we really say that he will be when he returns? I know we have some military imagery with the Apocalypse, but that could definitely be taken as symbolic.

In your quote I cannot see a Biblical reference to the assertion that the Messiah would be a military leader.

Jesus' mother descended from David's line too.

http://www.answering-islam.org/BibleCom/mt1-1.html

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« Reply #63 on: March 06, 2011, 12:59:44 PM »

I very much appreciate the link provided concerning genealogy. I have tried to reconcile this issue in the past, and still have the same feelings. There are SO many assumptions present within all of the "theories" of Christ's lineage. And I refer to them as theories, because no one really knows for sure, do they? Which brings up more issues. One of the major ways of proving Christ as the son of David has multiple theories as to how that supposedly works. A big problem for me.
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« Reply #64 on: March 08, 2011, 05:41:48 AM »

I very much appreciate the link provided concerning genealogy. I have tried to reconcile this issue in the past, and still have the same feelings. There are SO many assumptions present within all of the "theories" of Christ's lineage. And I refer to them as theories, because no one really knows for sure, do they? Which brings up more issues. One of the major ways of proving Christ as the son of David has multiple theories as to how that supposedly works. A big problem for me.

Here is another article on the theme of genealogies: http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/CHRISTIA/library/infancy3.html
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« Reply #65 on: March 08, 2011, 03:42:28 PM »

I read the last link that you provided, and it still presents 4 theories of Christ's ancestry. I am really starting to lose my faith, and I'm not joking. I have looked at all of the verses in the OT that supposedly prove that Jesus is Messiah, and ALL of them are ripped out of context by the early Church. When read chapter by chapter, instead of verse by verse, these proof texts fall apart completely. Can anyone help me? Am I missing something?
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« Reply #66 on: March 08, 2011, 04:12:13 PM »

I read the last link that you provided, and it still presents 4 theories of Christ's ancestry. I am really starting to lose my faith, and I'm not joking. I have looked at all of the verses in the OT that supposedly prove that Jesus is Messiah, and ALL of them are ripped out of context by the early Church. When read chapter by chapter, instead of verse by verse, these proof texts fall apart completely. Can anyone help me? Am I missing something?

Maybe what you are missing is the witness of the entire Church--from Christ and His Apostles until today, which witnesses that the Gospel is true.
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« Reply #67 on: March 08, 2011, 04:13:46 PM »

The same could be said of any religion though.
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« Reply #68 on: March 08, 2011, 05:40:57 PM »

I read the last link that you provided, and it still presents 4 theories of Christ's ancestry. I am really starting to lose my faith, and I'm not joking.

Are you losing your faith because we have different theories about the origin of the genealogies?  Huh


I have looked at all of the verses in the OT that supposedly prove that Jesus is Messiah, and ALL of them are ripped out of context by the early Church.

Not ripped out of context, but reinterpreted from a Messianic perspective. Those predictions were mostly implicit and subtle, and even the apostles could not find any relation between them and Jesus prior to their receiving the Spirit of God.

When read chapter by chapter, instead of verse by verse, these proof texts fall apart completely. Can anyone help me? Am I missing something?

The prophecies find meaning in and through Christ. You mistakenly presume that Jesus lived His life and carried out His ministry on earth to fulfill the Old Testament prophecies in the form of a to-do list. What determines the fulfillment is not the prophecies, but Christ. This is why you should not evaluate Christ in the light of the prophecies, but the prophecies in the light of Christ's factual words and actions.
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« Reply #69 on: March 09, 2011, 12:54:14 AM »

I understand where you are coming from, but the Church sought it's legitimacy not as a new religion, but as the New and Completed Israel. So what did they do? They sought to legitimize themselves using the Torah, and the Prophets. The problem is this, it appears that they just used a bunch of verses way out of context, and contrived a couple genealogies, which completely contradict each other, and no one seems to know why, or even how, Jesus is a son of David based on the ancestry given. To say that the verses in the Torah, or the Prophets must be interpreted in a "messianic" manner just means that we must look for Christ in every nook and craney, even when it demolishes the context of the entire chapter, or book, to do so. Which, I'm sorry, is completely unacceptable. The verses have a meaning, not just to the Jews, but a meaning in, and of, themselves.

Please give me some Scriptural proof that Christ is Messiah. I ask this not to mock, or ridicule any of you. I really want to believe. At this point, I am finding it very difficult to do so.
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« Reply #70 on: March 09, 2011, 04:13:13 AM »

I understand where you are coming from, but the Church sought it's legitimacy not as a new religion, but as the New and Completed Israel. So what did they do? They sought to legitimize themselves using the Torah, and the Prophets.

Using in the sense of abusing?  Wink

The problem is this, it appears that they just used a bunch of verses way out of context, and contrived a couple genealogies, which completely contradict each other, and no one seems to know why, or even how, Jesus is a son of David based on the ancestry given.

No one denies the immediate context of the Old Testament scriptures. As I said before, the apostles did not take the Old Testament into their hands and then fabricated a story to prove that Jesus was the promised Messiah. They did not bother to adapt Jesus' actions to the Old Testament.

The number of theories does not prove that the genealogies contradict each other or were later invented. They exist in different Gospels, in different locations, with many differences in form and content. They are not one and same.

To say that the verses in the Torah, or the Prophets must be interpreted in a "messianic" manner just means that we must look for Christ in every nook and craney, even when it demolishes the context of the entire chapter, or book, to do so. Which, I'm sorry, is completely unacceptable. The verses have a meaning, not just to the Jews, but a meaning in, and of, themselves.

Not every nook and craney... We do not have to and cannot find predictions by our efforts.

Please give me some Scriptural proof that Christ is Messiah. I ask this not to mock, or ridicule any of you. I really want to believe. At this point, I am finding it very difficult to do so.

Read from some patristic texts on this issue. I could also suggest talking to a Jewish convert to Christianity or a Messianic Jew. Ask them how they view the apostolic interpretation of the Old Testament prophecies.
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« Reply #71 on: March 09, 2011, 09:29:20 AM »

Quote
No one denies the immediate context of the Old Testament scriptures. As I said before, the apostles did not take the Old Testament into their hands and then fabricated a story to prove that Jesus was the promised Messiah. They did not bother to adapt Jesus' actions to the Old Testament.
I'm sorry but I must respectfully disagree. That is the whole point of the Gospel writers, Paul, Peter, etc. Jesus is Messiah, and we will show you, because he is all over the Old Testament. Except, we must do an interpretive headstand to make that the case...
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« Reply #72 on: March 09, 2011, 05:18:23 PM »

Have you read St Justin Martyr's Dialogue with Trypho?
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« Reply #73 on: March 09, 2011, 05:29:13 PM »

PoorFoolNicholas,

Am I allowed to ask you a personal question related to our discussion?

I see that you have modified some of your profile information and laid emphasis on Old Testament figures and references. Why is that? You previously said you were losing your Christian faith? Have you decided to leave Christianity and be a Jew now? If so, why have you decided to be Jewish? A person who loses one's Christian faith does not automatically and inevitably become a follower of Judaism.  Huh
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« Reply #74 on: March 09, 2011, 05:36:41 PM »

Absolutely fine to ask brother. I guess it is something that I've struggled with for a while now. And no I would not classify myself as Jewish, but if I have followed the Judeo-Christian God my entire life, and am losing faith in the Christian part, where else could I go? Certainly not Islam. Outreachjudaism.org is a site that I think all should take a look at. It seems to refute almost all of the Christian Messianic claims. Look for the question and answer section.
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« Reply #75 on: March 09, 2011, 06:42:35 PM »

Have you read St Justin Martyr's Dialogue with Trypho?
If you think that it will be helpful to me I'll read it tonight, after I put the kids to bed.  Wink Thank you Melodist!
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« Reply #76 on: March 09, 2011, 06:58:31 PM »

Have you read St Justin Martyr's Dialogue with Trypho?
If you think that it will be helpful to me I'll read it tonight, after I put the kids to bed.  Wink Thank you Melodist!

It's kind of long, but discusses some of the issues of division between Christianity and Judaism.
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« Reply #77 on: March 12, 2011, 05:16:30 PM »

Another thing that I was wondering about is this: what's with the verses in the Gospels that are clearly made up, as in they are not in the Torah/Prophets? An example would be, And he shall be called a Nazarene.
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« Reply #78 on: March 12, 2011, 06:58:21 PM »

Another thing that I was wondering about is this: what's with the verses in the Gospels that are clearly made up, as in they are not in the Torah/Prophets? An example would be, And he shall be called a Nazarene.

The hebrew word used in the Torah for describing the "branch" that will grow out of the stem of Jesse in Is 11:1 is "netzer". I believe this was meant to be a play on words.
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« Reply #79 on: March 12, 2011, 07:04:34 PM »

I have never heard that interpretation before. Another issue which is strange to me: Out of Egypt I have called my son. Now when read within it's context, this verse has absolutely nothing to do with Christ in Egypt. What about these and other verses that appear to be wrenched from their normal context?
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« Reply #80 on: March 12, 2011, 07:25:55 PM »

Another thing that I was wondering about is this: what's with the verses in the Gospels that are clearly made up, as in they are not in the Torah/Prophets? An example would be, And he shall be called a Nazarene.

Note that Matthew used the word "prophet" with a plural marker in his Gospel only while referring to this prophecy.

Being called/identified as a Nazarene had negative implications in Israel in Jesus' time:

Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the law, and the prophets also wrote about – Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael replied, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:45-46)

When Jesus was known as a Nazarene, He was despised by His people. The Old Testament has a few prophecies which say that the Messiah will be disparaged and rejected.
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« Reply #81 on: March 12, 2011, 07:30:08 PM »

I have never heard that interpretation before. Another issue which is strange to me: Out of Egypt I have called my son. Now when read within it's context, this verse has absolutely nothing to do with Christ in Egypt. What about these and other verses that appear to be wrenched from their normal context?

It is natural because the statement "Out of Egypt I have called my son" gained a new sense through Christ. Matthew's reference to that verse shows that Christ is the new Israel and the Son of God, who went to Egypt and spent some time there in accordance with God's plan.
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« Reply #82 on: March 12, 2011, 09:08:05 PM »

Quote
It is natural because the statement "Out of Egypt I have called my son" gained a new sense through Christ. Matthew's reference to that verse shows that Christ is the new Israel and the Son of God, who went to Egypt and spent some time there in accordance with God's plan.
I appreciate you replying in such helpful ways. But this is my point, you are arguing that a verse with absolutely no Christological, or Messianic allusions whatsoever, suddenly takes on a completely Messianic meaning beginning with the incarnation. This logic is strained indeed. And I do not say so to belittle you personally, but the Church's hermeneutic is awful IMO.
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« Reply #83 on: March 12, 2011, 09:13:39 PM »

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Out of Egypt I have called my son. Now when read within it's context, this verse has absolutely nothing to do with Christ in Egypt. What about these and other verses that appear to be wrenched from their normal context?

Joseph the All-Comely, son of Jacob the Patriarch, is frequently referred to liturgically as a type (analogy) of Christ. This is but one Orthodox explanation of the phrase "Out of Egypt I have called my son". Have a look at the Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete, for starters.

Another is the Exodus, where the Israelites (spiritual sons of Jacob, father of Joseph the All-Comely), under the leadership of Moses, were called out of Egypt, and Pharaoh's slavery. It is no accident that Exodus is one of the OT books read daily during Great Lent.


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« Reply #84 on: March 12, 2011, 10:45:43 PM »

Here is the entire chapter that contains the verse:
Quote
Hosea 11

The LORD’s Love for Israel

 1(A) When Israel was a child,(B) I loved him,
   and out of Egypt I(C) called(D) my son.
2(E) The more they were called,
   the more they went away;
(F) they kept sacrificing to the Baals
   and burning offerings to idols.
 3Yet it was(G) I who taught Ephraim to walk;
   I took them up by their arms,
   but they did not know that(H) I healed them.
4(I) I led them with cords of kindness,[a]
   with the bands of love,
and(J) I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,
   and(K) I bent down to them and fed them.

 5(L) They shall not return to the land of Egypt,
   but(M) Assyria shall be their king,
   (N) because(O) they have refused to return to me.
6(P) The sword shall rage against their cities,
   consume the bars of their gates,
   and devour them(Q) because of their own counsels.
7My people are bent(R) on turning away from me,
   and though(S) they call out to the Most High,
   he shall not raise them up at all.

 8How can I give you up, O Ephraim?
   How can I hand you over, O Israel?
(T) How can I make you(U) like Admah?
   How can I treat you(V) like Zeboiim?
My heart recoils within me;
   my compassion grows warm and tender.
9I will not execute my burning anger;
   I will not again destroy Ephraim;
(W) for I am God and not a man,
   (X) the Holy One in your midst,
   and I will not come in wrath.[c]

 10(Y) They shall go after the LORD;
   (Z) he will roar like a lion;
when he roars,
   his children shall come trembling(AA) from the west;
11they shall come trembling like birds(AB) from Egypt,
   and(AC) like doves(AD) from the land of Assyria,
   and I will return them to their homes, declares the LORD.
12[d] Ephraim(AE) has surrounded me with lies,
   and the house of Israel with deceit,
but Judah still walks with God
   and is faithful to the Holy One.

Here is my issue: it seems that we are arguing that only 1 verse is to be applied to Jesus. I am assuming that we do not think that Christ ever bowed the knee to Baal. But this is strange. How can only this verse apply, when clearly being used out of context? I have a feeling that many of the Fathers used an allegorical method to interpret the OT for a reason. Because, at the end of the day, the verses have to be interpreted that way or they won't work at all. I'm also starting to see the reason why many in the early church disliked the Jews so much. They had some reasonable, and valid points regarding OT interpretation.

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« Reply #85 on: March 13, 2011, 07:46:07 AM »

Here is the entire chapter that contains the verse:
Quote
Hosea 11

The LORD’s Love for Israel

 1(A) When Israel was a child,(B) I loved him,
   and out of Egypt I(C) called(D) my son.
2(E) The more they were called,
   the more they went away;
(F) they kept sacrificing to the Baals
   and burning offerings to idols.
 3Yet it was(G) I who taught Ephraim to walk;
   I took them up by their arms,
   but they did not know that(H) I healed them.
4(I) I led them with cords of kindness,[a]
   with the bands of love,
and(J) I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,
   and(K) I bent down to them and fed them.

 5(L) They shall not return to the land of Egypt,
   but(M) Assyria shall be their king,
   (N) because(O) they have refused to return to me.
6(P) The sword shall rage against their cities,
   consume the bars of their gates,
   and devour them(Q) because of their own counsels.
7My people are bent(R) on turning away from me,
   and though(S) they call out to the Most High,
   he shall not raise them up at all.

 8How can I give you up, O Ephraim?
   How can I hand you over, O Israel?
(T) How can I make you(U) like Admah?
   How can I treat you(V) like Zeboiim?
My heart recoils within me;
   my compassion grows warm and tender.
9I will not execute my burning anger;
   I will not again destroy Ephraim;
(W) for I am God and not a man,
   (X) the Holy One in your midst,
   and I will not come in wrath.[c]

 10(Y) They shall go after the LORD;
   (Z) he will roar like a lion;
when he roars,
   his children shall come trembling(AA) from the west;
11they shall come trembling like birds(AB) from Egypt,
   and(AC) like doves(AD) from the land of Assyria,
   and I will return them to their homes, declares the LORD.
12[d] Ephraim(AE) has surrounded me with lies,
   and the house of Israel with deceit,
but Judah still walks with God
   and is faithful to the Holy One.

Here is my issue: it seems that we are arguing that only 1 verse is to be applied to Jesus. I am assuming that we do not think that Christ ever bowed the knee to Baal. But this is strange. How can only this verse apply, when clearly being used out of context?

The introductory verse refers to the Children of Israel at the time of the Exodus, thus a past event and a past community, but connects these to the Children of Israel living under occupation at the time of the prophets. If I follow your reasoning, I must conclude that the first verse in this chapter makes no sense because the Children of Israel did not keep sacrificing to Baal at the time of the Exodus.
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« Reply #86 on: March 13, 2011, 11:29:19 AM »

Quote
If I follow your reasoning, I must conclude that the first verse in this chapter makes no sense because the Children of Israel did not keep sacrificing to Baal at the time of the Exodus.
I don't think I follow your reasoning to be perfectly honest. The first verse in chapter eleven can only apply to Messiah if it is used allegorically. I am not saying there is anything wrong with an allegorical method, but it shouldn't completely abuse the context of said verse(s).
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« Reply #87 on: March 13, 2011, 08:07:47 PM »

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The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners;
This is from Isaiah 61:1

Quote
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,

This quote is from Luke 4:18. What is interesting is that the author of Luke adds to the verse in Isaiah. He adds recovery from blindness, to more fully show that the verse pertains to Jesus Christ. This seems, at least on the surface, to be very misleading.
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« Reply #88 on: March 14, 2011, 03:31:40 AM »

Quote
If I follow your reasoning, I must conclude that the first verse in this chapter makes no sense because the Children of Israel did not keep sacrificing to Baal at the time of the Exodus.
I don't think I follow your reasoning to be perfectly honest. The first verse in chapter eleven can only apply to Messiah if it is used allegorically. I am not saying there is anything wrong with an allegorical method, but it shouldn't completely abuse the context of said verse(s).

This is the second time you are accusing me of dishonesty (Last time you said I was playing a game with you about the genealogies).

What is so dishonest about showing that Hosea 11:1 is not actually about the past community of the Children of Israel and their Exodus from Egypt under Moses' leadership?
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« Reply #89 on: March 14, 2011, 03:51:16 AM »

Quote
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners;
This is from Isaiah 61:1

Quote
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,

This quote is from Luke 4:18. What is interesting is that the author of Luke adds to the verse in Isaiah. He adds recovery from blindness, to more fully show that the verse pertains to Jesus Christ. This seems, at least on the surface, to be very misleading.

I can see the reference to the blind in Isaiah 61:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me; he has sent me to preach glad tidings to the poor, to heal the broken in heart, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind...

ΠΝΕΥΜΑ Κυρίου ἐπ᾿ ἐμέ, οὗ εἵνεκεν ἔχρισέ με· εὐαγγελίσασθαι πτωχοῖς ἀπέσταλκέ με, ἰάσασθαι τοὺς συντετριμένους τὴν καρδίαν, κηρύξαι αἰχμαλώτοις ἄφεσιν καὶ τυφλοῖς ἀνάβλεψιν

http://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/septuagint/chapter.asp?book=43&page=61

Jesus quoted from the Septuagint version of Isaiah. Blaming Luke for textual addition by disregarding the Septuagint and focusing on the late-dated Masoretic text is quite misleading indeed.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #90 on: March 14, 2011, 10:53:35 AM »

Quote
If I follow your reasoning, I must conclude that the first verse in this chapter makes no sense because the Children of Israel did not keep sacrificing to Baal at the time of the Exodus.
I don't think I follow your reasoning to be perfectly honest. The first verse in chapter eleven can only apply to Messiah if it is used allegorically. I am not saying there is anything wrong with an allegorical method, but it shouldn't completely abuse the context of said verse(s).

This is the second time you are accusing me of dishonesty (Last time you said I was playing a game with you about the genealogies).

What is so dishonest about showing that Hosea 11:1 is not actually about the past community of the Children of Israel and their Exodus from Egypt under Moses' leadership?

Theophilos--I do not think that PFN is accusing you personally of being dishonest. As he said, he finds fault with your reasoning and perhaps he should have used another adjective more appropriate to a critique of logical argumentation.

PFN--May I ask you if you are approaching this topic as a non-Christian at this point? It seems to me that your views have evolved and even solidified to a point where it may be important for Theophilos and others to know where you are coming from.
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« Reply #91 on: March 14, 2011, 12:43:53 PM »

Firstly, I never intended to accuse you of dishonestly, if that came through in my posts, then please forgive me.

Now let's look at this:

Quote
Christians such as Origin and Lucian (third and fourth century C.E.) had an enormous impact on creating and shaping the Septuagint that missionaries use to advance their untenable arguments against Judaism.  In essence, the present Septuagint is largely a post-second century Christian translation of the Bible, used zealously by the church throughout the centuries as an indispensable apologetic instrument to defend and sustain Christological alterations of the Jewish scriptures.

The fact that the original Septuagint translated by rabbis more than 22 centuries ago was only of the Pentateuch and not of prophetic books of the Bible such as Isaiah is confirmed by countless sources including the ancient Letter of Aristeas, which is the earliest attestation to the existence of the Septuagint.  The Talmud also states this explicitly in Tractate Megillah (9a), and Josephus as well affirms that the Septuagint was a translation only of the Law of Moses in his preface to Antiquities of the Jews.1 Moreover, Jerome, a church father and Bible translator who could hardly be construed as friendly to Judaism, affirms Josephus' statement regarding the authorship of the Septuagint in his preface to The Book of Hebrew Questions.2  Likewise, the Anchor Bible Dictionary reports precisely this point in the opening sentence of its article on the Septuagint which states, "The word 'Septuagint,' (from Lat septuaginta = 70; hence the abbreviation LXX) derives from a story that 72 elders translated the Pentateuch into Greek; the term therefore applied originally only to those five books."

In fact, Dr.  F.F.  Bruce, the preeminent professor of Biblical exegesis, keenly points out that, strictly speaking, the Septuagint deals only with the Pentateuch and not the whole Old Testament.  Bruce writes, "The Jews might have gone on at a later time to authorize a standard text of the rest of the Septuagint, but . . . lost interest in the Septuagint altogether.  With but few exceptions, every manuscript of the Septuagint which has come down to our day was copied and preserved in Christian, not Jewish, circles."outreachjudaism.org
If this is true, and I await correction, then it seems that the verse in question, was never part of the Septuagint, because it was only the Torah that was originally translated into Greek. The parts of Isaiah seem to come from purely Christian translators, making it even more suspect.
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« Reply #92 on: March 14, 2011, 12:49:16 PM »

Quote
PFN--May I ask you if you are approaching this topic as a non-Christian at this point? It seems to me that your views have evolved and even solidified to a point where it may be important for Theophilos and others to know where you are coming from.

To be honest I have no idea what I am right now. I am so thankful, for all of you that have replied with helpful bits of info along the way. I do not want to lose my faith in Christ and His Church. I ask that you are lenient with me, and I beg all of you, destroy all of the arguments that I bring to this discussion. I want to believe, and when everyone shows me the errors in my thoughts, which I am sure are many  Wink, this will only help solidify my faith in Christianity.
Again, a big thanks to all that have helped so far, and forgive me if I have offended you in any way.
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« Reply #93 on: March 14, 2011, 02:11:22 PM »

Quote
PFN--May I ask you if you are approaching this topic as a non-Christian at this point? It seems to me that your views have evolved and even solidified to a point where it may be important for Theophilos and others to know where you are coming from.

To be honest I have no idea what I am right now. I am so thankful, for all of you that have replied with helpful bits of info along the way. I do not want to lose my faith in Christ and His Church. I ask that you are lenient with me, and I beg all of you, destroy all of the arguments that I bring to this discussion. I want to believe, and when everyone shows me the errors in my thoughts, which I am sure are many  Wink, this will only help solidify my faith in Christianity.
Again, a big thanks to all that have helped so far, and forgive me if I have offended you in any way.

Thank you for your honesty and sincerity and please forgive me for not realizing the intense internal struggle and pain that you have been experiencing. May the Lord bless your spiritual trek.

Regarding the substance of your questioning, I am not a Biblical scholar but I think we can safely say that a non-Christian will read the Holy Scriptures, particularly the Old Testament, differently than a Christian. The reason, acknowledged by Orthodox, heterodox and agnostic scholars alike, is the paradigm-shifting salvific story of Jesus the Christ, God and Man. Just read the Creed and see if the hair on your arms will not stand up at the awesomeness of it all.

It is impossible, as it was also impossible to the Apostles (especially to Saint Paul), to look to history, to the relationship between God and His chosen people (indeed the entire universe), to the Law if you please, without using the prism of the Cross and the Resurrection. So, you can have exegesis with or without that paradigm-shifting Gospel, but it becomes extremely difficult if one trues to have both approaches at the same time.
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« Reply #94 on: March 15, 2011, 04:14:09 AM »

Firstly, I never intended to accuse you of dishonestly, if that came through in my posts, then please forgive me.

Now let's look at this:

Quote
Christians such as Origin and Lucian (third and fourth century C.E.) had an enormous impact on creating and shaping the Septuagint that missionaries use to advance their untenable arguments against Judaism.  In essence, the present Septuagint is largely a post-second century Christian translation of the Bible, used zealously by the church throughout the centuries as an indispensable apologetic instrument to defend and sustain Christological alterations of the Jewish scriptures.

The fact that the original Septuagint translated by rabbis more than 22 centuries ago was only of the Pentateuch and not of prophetic books of the Bible such as Isaiah is confirmed by countless sources including the ancient Letter of Aristeas, which is the earliest attestation to the existence of the Septuagint.  The Talmud also states this explicitly in Tractate Megillah (9a), and Josephus as well affirms that the Septuagint was a translation only of the Law of Moses in his preface to Antiquities of the Jews.1 Moreover, Jerome, a church father and Bible translator who could hardly be construed as friendly to Judaism, affirms Josephus' statement regarding the authorship of the Septuagint in his preface to The Book of Hebrew Questions.2  Likewise, the Anchor Bible Dictionary reports precisely this point in the opening sentence of its article on the Septuagint which states, "The word 'Septuagint,' (from Lat septuaginta = 70; hence the abbreviation LXX) derives from a story that 72 elders translated the Pentateuch into Greek; the term therefore applied originally only to those five books."

In fact, Dr.  F.F.  Bruce, the preeminent professor of Biblical exegesis, keenly points out that, strictly speaking, the Septuagint deals only with the Pentateuch and not the whole Old Testament.  Bruce writes, "The Jews might have gone on at a later time to authorize a standard text of the rest of the Septuagint, but . . . lost interest in the Septuagint altogether.  With but few exceptions, every manuscript of the Septuagint which has come down to our day was copied and preserved in Christian, not Jewish, circles."outreachjudaism.org
If this is true, and I await correction, then it seems that the verse in question, was never part of the Septuagint, because it was only the Torah that was originally translated into Greek. The parts of Isaiah seem to come from purely Christian translators, making it even more suspect.

First, there is a huge difference between translating the five books of the Torah first and translating only those five books. People coming together to translate the Hebrew Bible into Greek would definitely translate also the other books of the Torah, not only the first five books attributed to Moses unless they denied the authenticity of the rest in the same way as the Sadducees.

Second, the sources I have teach that the whole Old Testament was translated into Greek. For instance:

Quote
Septuagint, abbreviation Lxx, the earliest extant Greek translation of the Old Testament from the original Hebrew, presumably made for the use of the Jewish community in Egypt when Greek was the lingua franca throughout the region. Analysis of the language has established that the Torah, or Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament), was translated near the middle of the 3rd century bc and that the rest of the Old Testament was translated in the 2nd century bc. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/535154/Septuagint 

Quote
Despite its legendary character, Aristeas' account gained credence; Aristobulus (170-50 B.C.), in a passage preserved by Eusebius, says that "through the efforts of Demetrius of Phalerus a complete translation of the Jewish legislation was executed in the days of Ptolemy"; Aristeas's story is repeated almost verbatim by Flavius Josephus (Ant. Jud., XII, ii) and substantially, with the omission of Aristeas' name, by Philo of Alexandria (De vita Moysis, II, vi). the letter and the story were accepted as genuine by many Fathers and ecclesiastical writers till the beginning of the sixteenth century; other details serving to emphasize the extraordinary origin of the version were added to Aristeas's account" The seventy-two interpreters were inspired by God (Tertullian, St. Augustine, the author of the "Cohortatio ad Graecos" [Justin?], and others); in translating they did not consult with one another, they had even been shut up in separate cells, either singly, or in pairs, and their translations when compared were found to agree entirely both as to the sense and the expressions employed with the original text and with each other (Cohortatio ad Graecos, St. Irenæus, St. Clement of Alexandria). St. Jerome rejected the story of the cells as fabulous and untrue ("Praef. in Pentateuchum"; "Adv. Rufinum", II, xxv). likewise the alleged inspiration of the Septuagint. Finally the seventy two interpreters translated, not only the five books of the Pentateuch, but the entire Hebrew Old Testament. The authenticity of the letter, called in question first by Louis Vivès (1492-1540), professor at Louvain (Ad S. August. Civ. Dei, XVIII, xlii), then by Jos. Scaliger (d. 1609), and especially by H. Hody (d. 1705) and Dupin (d. 1719) is now universally denied. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13722a.htm 

Third, the presumption that the prophetic books of the Torah were translated and shaped by Christian writers in the second century A.D. is hillarious and illustrates that the Jewish imagination knows no boundaries. Even if we accept for a moment the absurd theory that Jesus added some verses into some parts of the Torah by running the risk of being called a liar and sent a secret message to some Christian writers living two centuries after Him so that they would tamper with the Septuagint, adapt it to His modifications, and thus save Him from the charges of fraud, the differences between the Septuagint and the late-dated (partly corrupted and unreliable) Massoretic text of the Hebrew Bible are not confined to the quotations in the New Testament.
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« Reply #95 on: March 15, 2011, 05:21:50 AM »

(...) Gentiles are not in the covenant of Abraham but all humankind is in the covenant God made with Noah, thus the Noahide Laws are binding on all. 

The Noahide Laws are very similar to the degree from the Apostolic Council in Acts.

What are 'Gentiles'?

Gentiles are non-Jews.  That is the way the NT defines them.  I don't see why that would be controversial with you.

Quote
In your opinion - are Christians 'Gentiles'?

I suppose this could be answered in several ways.  On the one hand there is neither Jew nor Greek in Christ.

Quote
Who is "in the covenant of Abraham"?
I'm not sure.  I imagine Christians now.

Quote
"The Jews," you will probably say... but Abraham was not a 'Jew' nor were there any 'Jews' in existence anywhere on earth when God made His covenant with Abraham.

I'm afraid I don't understand your point.

Quote
This tells us to whom the promises were made:

Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed," who is Christ.

And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law.

But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

For you (Christians) are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
- Galatians 3:16-29

Ok.

Quote
As for the so-called 'Noahide Laws'... They are "similar to the decrees of the Apostolic Council"?



Christianity (TRUE Christianity, wherein the Church affirms the Divinity of Jesus the Christ) is considered idolatry according to the Noahide laws as outlined by the Neo-Pharisees and their new Sanhedrin.
How does that mean the decision at the Council of Jerusalem doesn't resemble the Noahide laws?

Quote
The prescription for the punishment of idolaters (Christians) who transgress the Noahide laws by proclaiming the Divinity of Jesus Christ and the truth of the Trinity - is capital-punishment; death by decapitation.
Really?
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« Reply #96 on: March 15, 2011, 08:53:48 AM »

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...the differences between the Septuagint and the late-dated (partly corrupted and unreliable) Massoretic text of the Hebrew Bible are not confined to the quotations in the New Testament.
So it seems the debate comes down to which translation/version is better? Are you saying that the Jews do not use any documents older than the Septuagint?
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« Reply #97 on: March 17, 2011, 09:32:04 AM »

Are there any verses within the OT that suggest that the Messiah will come twice?
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« Reply #98 on: August 06, 2011, 06:57:59 AM »

The Law of letter is abolished in Christ and superseded by the Cross... The Cross is the Law of the Spirit... there is no greater , moral, ethical , etc, way of living than in the Cross.
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« Reply #99 on: August 07, 2011, 06:21:36 PM »

Old Law did send people to Hell not being powerfull. So we see Jesus saving from hell King david, Isaiah and Adam and Abraham.

As christians we follow New Law that can send people to Heaven.
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