Monday 28 April 2014

Comments on more Rabbinic Objections

While commenting on Eli Cohen's facebook on a point raised by Messiah Truth Administrator Sophiee Saguy, I had a point raised to me by another Jewish person who gave me the following point:
"The NT is addition and subtraction to what was given at Sinai; Heb. 8:13 States the Torah is obsolete & vanishing away; Romans 10:4 States xrist is an end to the Torah; 2nd Cor. 3:13-16 States you are blinded by the mere reading of it; Col. 2:14 States the Torah is contrary to us, and that jezus took it from before us; nailing it to the cross; Gal. 3:23-26 States you cannot obtain righteousness by the Torah; that only b faith in jezus can you be found. Righteous; in stark contrast; G-D States his Torah is forever for all generation's ; in Jer. 31:35 G-D States his Torah shall never depart from before Israel; Psalms 19:8-15 States the Torah is perfect; restoring the soul."

Let's go through these texts one by one and see if they stand up to scrutiny.

Firstly I'll look at Psalm 19.
"Psalm 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
    refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right,
    giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
    giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is pure,
    enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
    and all of them are righteous.
10 They are more precious than gold,
    than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
    than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can discern their own errors?
    Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
    may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
    innocent of great transgression.
14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
    be pleasing in your sight,
    Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."

Psalm 19 doesn't speak of the Torah bringing righteousness, but rather it speaks of living a healthier and happier life in light of keeping Gods commands. If one has a clean conscience, he is bound to be on the whole happier and healthier than those with a guilty conscience.

In terms of saving you from your wretchedness, the Torah cannot do that and points you to Christ, who can make you righteous.

It is one thing to keep the Torah out of gratitude, because you love God and what he has done but its another matter to say that Torah can grant a legal declaration of justification before a holy God.

The next point is Colossians 2:14.
"Colossians 2:3 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you[d] alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.[e]

16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. 19 They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow."

The written code is not referring to the law, it is referring to the debt of sin that we owe that has been paid. In the next chapter it talks about what we should abstain from, namely immoral passions. No where does it say the Torah is contrary to us.

I have also written on the issue of whether Gentiles are to observe certain ordinances of the Torah in this article here:

In 2 Corinthians 3:13-16, We read the following:
"2 Corinthians 3:12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."

Paul is not saying you are blinded by reading the Torah, he is commenting on the spiritual state of Jews who deny Jesus who read the Torah in the synagogue. He is making a point that despite possessing the Torah, they cannot see Jesus in the scripture due to being spiritually blind.

Hebrews 8:13 actually says the OLD COVENANT is passing away or rather fulfilled, it is NOT talking about the Torah. Even if it was speaking about the Torah, it is talking about it's fulfillment and thus has completed it's task.

Romans 10:4 refers to Jesus as the "telos", which depending on context can either refer to END or GOAL.
"10 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

5 Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.”[a] 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’”[b] (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’”[c] (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,”[d] that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”[e] 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”[f]"

Christ is referred to as the goal that the Torah was pointing to and that he has brought about righteousness to those who would believe on him.

I am not sure what is being said about Jeremiah 31:35, unless verse 36 is being referred to:
"36 “Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,”
    declares the Lord,
“will Israel ever cease
    being a nation before me.”"

The decrees mentioned refer to what YHWH states in Jeremiah 31 as a whole, including the promise of the New Covenant. What YHWH says goes and he doesn't go back on his word. He is saying his decrees stand forever and that as a result, Israel will never vanish off the face of the earth. He is faithful to his promises and decrees, even if Israel is not faithful. If his decrees are false, then Israel would cease to exist and the fact the Jews still exist to this day, is a testimony to the fact that YHWH doesn't lie. He is not speaking on the Torah in this particular verse. Though the law is mentioned in passing, it's the decrees of God that aren't vanishing in the context.

Hope this helps.

Answering Judaism.

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