Friday, October 19, 2012

The Three Foundational Principles of One Law Theology

One Law Theology (i.e. racially egalitarian ecclesiology in contradistinction to bilateral ecclesiology) is a type of Messianic Jewish Theology [MJT] that promotes unity between Jews and gentiles on the basis of three principles.  Here are, what I believe to be, the three foundational principles of this Theology:





PRINCIPLE 1:  The Torah commands Israelites to treat all citizens of Israel equally under the law.

Commentary on Principle 1:  The Torah technically creates separate classes for Levites, Kohanim, and Kings.  But the One Law passages of the Tanak do not refer to these exceptions.  The One Law passages refer to common citizenship.  Common citizenship is how I like to refer to the citizenship that applies to all Israelites who are not Levites, Kohanim, or Kings.  Using this term is the only way that I've found to contextualize the specific type of citizenship being discussed in the One Law passages.

PRINCIPLE 2:  Anyone who is authorized to participate in the Feast of Passsover is a de facto Israelite citizen.

Commentary on Principle 2:  The Passover was a family feast elevated to national signficance.  The blood represented that of family.  In the Old Covenant, the Torah specified that only the circumcised males could eat the family meal of Passover and be reckoned as part of the Israelite family.    

PRINCIPLE 3:  All who covenant with Yeshua partake in the Feast of Passover and are, therefore, citizens of Israel.

Commentary on Principle 3:  Paul writes to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 5) and explains that Yeshua is the Passover Lamb.  Paul further explains that it is Yeshua's own blood that initiates one into the New Covenant (1 Cor. 11).  Paul directly connects Yeshua's blood to citizenship in Israel in Ephesians 2.  

24 comments:

  1. Maybe I did not sleep very well last night, but I cannot make anything out of these principles. Can you clear them for us?

    What I mean is, since women are not circumcised, are they excluded from eating the Passover? How about women only eat the bitter herbs? LOL!

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    1. Dan,

      These principles merely show the legal context for One Law Theology [OLT]. OLT proposes that all Believers in Yeshua, regardless of race, may not have rights in Medinat Yisrael but that they have rights in Adat Yisrael (the covenantal polity of Israel).

      So these principles, and forgive me for not explaining, are the prima facie case for One Law Theology. These principles are the evidence that we must put forth in order prove the One Law proposition that gentiles have rights/duties in Adat Yisrael (i.e. an obligation to Torat Moshe).

      Does that help?

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    2. Also, there's probably a better way of stating these principles. If anyone has a simpler explanation then feel free to share.

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  2. "Does that help?"

    No.

    Example: "PRINCIPLE 2: Anyone who is authorized to participate in the Feast of Passsover is a de facto Israelite citizen."

    A Gentile who is circumcised just so he can attend and eat the Passover, but does not join the assembly of Israel.

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    1. Dan,

      I don't understand what you mean. Can you rephrase?

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    2. I agree with Dan, covenant entrance is not based on circumcision. The mixed multitude and Israel itself agreed to covenant at Mount Sinai without the children being circumcised, thus they entered covenant, minus circumcision. Of course they could not eat the Passover, they were still in covenant. We simply see in Joshua 5 a fulfillment of the command to circumcise, but with people who were already in covenant. Thus saying circumcision is the entrance is moot.

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    3. Zion,

      Re: "The mixed multitude and Israel itself agreed to covenant at Mount Sinai without the children being circumcised, thus they entered covenant, minus circumcision."

      Bnai Yisrael was circumcised for the Passover and THEN all of those of Bnai Yisrael then proceeded to Sinai. Thus, all of Bnai Yisrael had to be circumcised at Sinai. Right?

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    4. Zion,

      It's like this: Passover was the betrothal and Shavuot was the marriage ceremony. This means that G-d proposed (so to speak) only to the those who participated in the Passover. If you propose to girl A and then you go to the chuppah and girl B says "I accept" is it a marriage? If you didn't propose to girl B then she can't accept because she doesn't have the power of acceptance (authorized by your offer). In the same way, any uncircumcised person at Sinai couldn't have accepted G-d's proposal. He didn't give them the power of acceptance. Does this make sense?

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    5. Bnai Yisrael was circumcised for the Passover and THEN all of those of Bnai Yisrael then proceeded to Sinai. Thus, all of Bnai Yisrael had to be circumcised at Sinai. Right?

      The fact that Joshua has to circumcise Israel, proves that Israel was not circumcised at Mount Sinai or before. Some argue only the children were not circumcised at Mount Sinai. Regardless, they were still in covenant, and if the Mixed Multitude were among them, so were they. Entrance into covenant was based upon an agreement, between God and Man, and it was based on, "we will do all that you say", not "we will circumcise ourselves". Although circumcision is a command, and a seal of the Abrahamic covenant, the fact that they were still in covenant or part of the covenant without being circumcised, proves that covenant relationship was not based on circumcision. If they were outside of covenant, or cut off then I would agree, but we see that was not the case.

      Paul teaches what true covenant entrance is, in Romans 5. Abraham comes into covenant before being circumcised, this is the standard set and how it would be forever to reap the eternal blessings of the covenant.

      Circumcision is good and should be done, I was circumcised the 8th day, and I also circumcised my son the 8th day. But this was and is not the entrance, faith is the entrance. And even for Jews, who are naturally part of the covenant, they are natural inheritors of the temporal covenant blessings, but to reap the eternal blessings of the covenant, one must have faith. No different for Jew or Gentile when it comes to the eternal blessings, all must have the faith of our father Abraham, native or adopted.

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    6. Zion,

      Re: "The fact that Joshua has to circumcise Israel, proves that Israel was not circumcised at Mount Sinai or before."

      Let's look at that passage in Joshua:

      "All the people that came out had been circumcised, but all the people born in the wilderness during the journey from Egypt had not." (Joshua 5)

      This says that they were circumcised. The only ones who weren't circumcised were the ones born in the wilderness.

      I don't believe that circumcision initiates one into the covenant. Like you guys, I see it as a sign. I think that a Jew who is born to Jews is a member of the Old Israeli Covenant.

      However, to join the New Israeli Covenant, Yeshua is the one who does the initiating. It seems to be the blood operating first and then later the water. Note that the Israelites were all circumcised in Egypt because of the above verse and then note that they were all immersed at Sinai because it says they washed their clothes. These two things represent Yeshua's blood and the Ruach's cleansing water.

      1 John 5 "6 This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree."

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    7. This says that they were circumcised. The only ones who weren't circumcised were the ones born in the wilderness.

      Right, but the ones who were not circumcised were still in covenant, that is why circumcision per covenant status is moot.

      I don't believe that circumcision initiates one into the covenant. Like you guys, I see it as a sign. I think that a Jew who is born to Jews is a member of the Old Israeli Covenant.

      Thanks for clarifying, I thought you were saying that circumcision was the entrance into the covenant.

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    8. Zion,

      Re: "Right, but the ones who were not circumcised were still in covenant, that is why circumcision per covenant status is moot."

      I just realized which part you guys were disagreeing with. Correct me if I'm mistaken, but was this the offending portion from the post:

      "In the Old Covenant, the Torah specified that only the circumcised males could eat the family meal of Passover and be reckoned as part of the Israelite family."

      But what's really wrong with it? Think of it this way: What if you were an Ancient Israelite and your son was not circumcised but you were circumcised. You would be allowed to eat the Passover meal (unless I'm mistaken). But your son wouldn't be allowed to eat the Passover meal. If Passover is a public expression of family, then excluding your son from Passover would be tantamount to excluding him from the family. He might literally be family and be Jewish (because even an uncircumcised Jew is still a Jew). But what good is Jewishness is you can't participate in Passover? It says that the entire Adat Yisrael MUST celebrate Passover. But if a Jew is uncircumcised that he is FORBIDDEN to celebrate Passover. Thus, such a Jew is excluded from Adat Yisrael. Am I wrong? Please correct me if I'm wrong (I'm serious). I'm just human and I could be mistaken.

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  3. Read my comment on "Evidence from Mishnah that immersion..."

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  4. "Bnai Yisrael was circumcised for the Passover and THEN all of those of Bnai Yisrael then proceeded to Sinai. Thus, all of Bnai Yisrael had to be circumcised at Sinai. Right?"

    Note you said "circumcised for the Passover," Not "circumcised to become part of Israel." They all were part of Israel BEFORE they were circumcised.

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  5. "It's like this: Passover was the betrothal and Shavuot was the marriage ceremony. This means that G-d proposed (so to speak) only to the those who participated in the Passover. If you propose to girl A and then you go to the chuppah and girl B says "I accept" is it a marriage? If you didn't propose to girl B then she can't accept because she doesn't have the power of acceptance (authorized by your offer). In the same way, any uncircumcised person at Sinai couldn't have accepted G-d's proposal. He didn't give them the power of acceptance. Does this make sense?"

    You cannot wear two hats in these discussion. Take of the lawyer hat and support your arguments with Scriptures.

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    1. Dan and Zion,

      I don't think circumcision is the entrance to the covenant. That's why I carefully worded Principle 2 as "authorized". I believe that uncircumcised gentiles are authorized even without circumcision.

      I also think that Israel was circumcised at Sinai because it says:

      "All the people that came out had been circumcised, but all the people born in the wilderness during the journey from Egypt had not." (Joshua 5)

      If they were all circumcised who came out of Egypt then they were all circumcised at Sinai (unless there were male babies born between the Passover in Egypt and the Shavuot at Sinai).

      I also believe that Adat Yisrael didn't exist before Exodus 12. They had to come together as a federation in order to create Adat Yisrael. Prior to Passover, the twelve tribes didn't operate as a federal entity. There were just twelve separate tribes not operating as a single entity.




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  6. So, when Moses said to Pharaoh: "let my people go," he really meant the Indonesian people....

    Also, I guess that Ex. 12:3 where God mentions "Adat Israel" happened AFTER the Exodus...Good to know....

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    1. Dan,

      What do you think Adat Yisrael was? It's different from the kahal. It's different from the Am Yisrael. The Edah is a constitutional gathering of citizens. They couldn't be citizens of a federal entity (the confederation of the shevatim) until Passover. Once the Edah was established then they could receive the Constitution (Torah) at Sinai.

      I don't understand where you are disagreeing. I'm not suggesting that anyone can be excluded on the basis of circumcision in the New Covenant. Yeshua does not exclude the uncircumcised.

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    2. Dan,

      If it says the entire Edah must celebrate Passover (i.e. all of Adat Yisrael) but it also says "no uncircumcised male may eat of it" then that means an uncircumcised Jew may not eat of it, doesn't it? And if this is true then that means an uncircumcised Jew is not part of Adat Yisrael. But if I'm wrong then please tell me where I'm wrong. And also explain the proper way to understand it.

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    3. Keep in mind that in Joshua 5 it says "Israelites" and not "Adat Yisrael." This might be because while they were Am Yisrael they were not able to function as Adat Yisrael.

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  7. "Once the Edah was established then they could receive the Constitution (Torah) at Sinai. "

    You are contradicting yourself here:

    "Keep in mind that in Joshua 5 it says "Israelites" and not "Adat Yisrael." This might be because while they were Am Yisrael they were not able to function as Adat Yisrael."

    Last time I checked Joshua 5 was AFTER Sinai?

    I told you to take the lawyer hat off.....

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    1. Tell you what, I'm going to write up a post in the next few minutes laying out all of my thoughts on Am, Edah, and Kahal. And then you can show me precisely where I'm going wrong. I truly would like to understand this better. But I'll have to first organize all of my thoughts. Should have the new post up momentarily...

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  8. b"h

    1 Cor. 5

    "Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Messiah, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."

    Since Paul is obviously in a "Drash" mode of teaching it is very dangerous to assume what he says actually applies as "Pashat."

    In other words, the notion that Messiah as "Passover" in 1Cor 5:7 means that he has supposedly "replaced" Israel's yearly Passover is an egregious non-sequitur.

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    1. I don't think that the Messiah as Passover replaced Passover. I believe that Passover will be practiced once again in the Messianic Kingdom. I'm guessing--and this is just my theory--that there will be a lot of circumcisions to come prior to the re-instituting of the Passover via the new Messianic Temple (i.e. Ezekiel's Temple)--just like there were many circumcisions recorded in Joshua 5 that had to be performed in order that the reproach of Egypt be rolled away.

      I could be wrong. Who knows?


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