Wednesday, August 1, 2012
The Dividing Wall of Ephesians 2: Question #9
Judah asked a great question. He said: "What's your take on Paul's "dividing wall, the enmity, the law of commandments contained in ordinances", which Messiah tore down in order to create one new man of Jew and gentile? Many Christians interpret this to mean the Torah was abolished by Messiah in order to create a single entity, One New Man, out of Jew and Gentile."
I didn't really have an opinion and then I remembered reading this recently:
Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, pg. 603 says "3. allogenes...(allos, 'another,' genos, 'a race') occurs in Luke 17:18, of a Samaritan. Moulton and Milligan illustrate the use of the word by the inscription on the Temple barrier, 'let no foreigner enter within the screen and enclosure surrounding the sanctuary,'..."
So I looked a little further. Barnes Notes on the Bible Says:
"And hath broken down the middle wall - There is an allusion here undoubtedly to the wall of partition in the temple by which the court of the Gentiles was separated from that of the Jews; see the notes and the plan of the temple, in Matthew 21:12. The idea here is, that that was now broken down, and that the Gentiles had the same access to the temple as the Jews. The sense is, that in virtue of the sacrifice of the Redeemer they were admitted to the same privileges and hopes."
Clarke's Commentary offers another take:
"Some think there is an allusion here to the wall called chel, which separated the court of Israel from the court of the Gentiles; but this was not broken down till the temple itself was destroyed: and to this transaction the apostle cannot be supposed to allude, as it did not take place till long after the writing of this epistle."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible says:
"...the allusion seems to be to the wall which divided the court of Israel from the court of the Gentiles, in the temple, and which kept them at a distance in worship."
But a lingering question remains, and one to which I hope someone out there may provide an answer.
Is the Anti-Torah, Christian interpretation of Ephesians 2:15, correct? Is the abolishment of "the law of commandments contained in ordinances ["dogma" in Greek] to be read as "Yeshua abolished the Torah"?
Posted by Peter at 11:57 AM