Saturday 31 May 2014

Comments on Shituf

"Does a gentile who believes in the divinity of Jesus in accordance with the Nicene Creed commit idolatry? While gentiles are not obligated to obey all the commandments that are obligatory for Jews, one of the commandments which is binding on gentiles is the prohibition against idolatry.

From the Jewish point of view, are gentile Christians idolaters? The answer, according to the dominant Jewish view, is that they are not. In Jewish literature, the term that came to be used for the trinitarian concept of God was shittuf (partnership). The prevailing Jewish view is that belief in shittuf does not constitute idolatry for gentiles but does so for Jews. The reason for this is that the definition of what constitutes idolatry is different for Jews and gentiles. Belief in shittuf, the belief that God shares his being in equal partnership with Jesus and the holy spirit, is not idolatry by the standard of idolatry demanded of gentiles. But the very same belief held by a Jew constitutes idolatry by the standard applicable to Jews.

It is for this reason that Judaism does not condemn Christian trinitarianism as idolatry unless those holding the belief are Jews who are bound by the covenant of Sinai."

These are the comments made by a Jews4Judaism page on Facebook regarding the concept of shituf.

Shituf explains that for Gentiles to ascribe mediators and other powers to God would not be idolatry for them but a Jew themselves would not be allowed to do that, however it is to simplistic to say that and I'd rather link to a reliable scholar on this matter.

The late Dr Immanuel Schochet explains what Shituf is and how it applies in a given situation in his debate with Michael Brown in part 7 of the debate (7:04-7:57):

One important note I want to stress here is that it is debated as to whether or not Christianity is valid shituf according the the Rabbinic perspective, most contend that it is not. yourphariseefriend, Messiah Truth and Outreach Judaism are examples of groups that don't recognise Christianity as valid shituf and see it as rank idolatry.

I also do have my contention with the Jews that Christianity is idolatry and am convinced that it isn't idolatrous (Although there are heretical groups such Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox that sadly engage in this and Unitarians who deny the Trinity for a another reason, hold to a different form of idolatry).

Putting the issue of the Trinity and the Deity of Christ aside which both I defend in other materials, Why does Rabbinical Judaism have some of it's adherents hold to this strange belief and concept of Shituf?

Interesting concept that it is, Wouldn't this idea of higher powers be something contradicted by the TANAKH itself? One might argue and say I have shot Jesus in the foot, however I haven't considering the Trinitarian doctrine acknowledges that Jesus is YHWH, though he is not the Father. The Triunity of YHWH would not be condemned by the TANAKH itself:

These are just my comments on the concept of Shituf.

Answering Judaism.

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