Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Rise of the False Teachers: Ron Cantor's Anti-One-Law Series

I feel sorry for these liberal Messianic Jews who promote such garbage.  And I regret that we have to even address this at all.  But we're obligated to analyze and respond to false teaching.  So here's Ron Cantor on why non-Jews shouldn't follow the Torah of Moses.  Read it and then we'll discuss.


PART ONE

PART TWO

PART THREE

PART FOUR


76 comments:

  1. Just like when the FFOZ shift from One Law took place four years ago at this time, now Messianic Jews like Ron Cantor are taking their shots at it.

    Could this not wait until after the High Holidays? Is it not in bad taste and poor decorum in a season when we should be coming together, to instigate theological fights?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just a few questions:

      First, if FFOZ has stepped away from the One Law idea, why does Messianic Gentile Toby Janicki wear a kippah in their latest videos?

      Second, and perhaps this has been answered somewhere else on this blog but here it goes:
      Why in Acts 21 does James seem to make such a clear distinction between "circumcision, Moses and the customs..." for Paul//Jewish believers while reiterating that gentiles should "keep no such thing" but observe the four commands given in Acts 15?

      And just to save time, I do not believe that the "no such thing" statement of James refers to the (Nazarite) vow, as some in the One Law circles have tried to say, simply because James is telling Paul to offer the sacrifices to end the vow not to begin it...

      "Another Anonymous"

      Delete
    2. Anonymous,

      Re: "Is it not in bad taste and poor decorum in a season when we should be coming together, to instigate theological fights?"

      Would you say Israel is the instigator when Hezbollah fires rockets into Tel Aviv and Israel responds with an Iron Dome?

      Nor should you call me the instigator when false teachers attack my family with their deceptive doctrines and I respond with my own defense system.





      Delete
    3. Peter,

      I think he was referring to the writer of that article bringing up this discussion during this time of holidays, I don't think he meant you.

      Delete
  2. I don't see anything new in regard to arguments that have already been dealt with from a One Law perspective, it seems he is only dealing with a few random comments people have made on his blogs or facebook pages and not actually dealing with any One Law perspectives given through leadership.

    In his third blog post, he says:

    Furthermore, it is very interesting that this verse (that One Law folks base their whole movement upon) is not even included in James’ letter to the congregations.

    That is news to me, I never knew I based my whole One Law belief on Acts 15:21... :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point, Zion. His argument is so one-sided with its straw men that it doesn't deserve a response.

      Delete
  3. It's just a tad weird (providential?) that I just hear about Ron Cantor 2 days ago, post a few thoughts on his articles myself, and then read this post by you Peter. Seeing as Ron didn't deal with any of the substance of One-Torah theology, nor any of its authors, I'm not sure very much needs to be said.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, after looking over the posts, I have to agree with you. It's all a bunch of rhetoric without any substance.

      He'll come around when he realizes that the non-Jews are just going to go elsewhere to learn the Torah of Moses. : )

      Delete
  4. Read the posts and the comments. Sorry to say, the guy is not a gentleman nor is he a scholar.

    I always asked, how people with nothing to say find a way to make money out of nothing....

    ReplyDelete
  5. Debates like these will continue to haunt the messianic scene as long as it cannot be demonstrated that Paul taught that the commandment of circumcision applies to Gentiles. As long as this cannot be demonstrated the whole idea of Gentile Torah observance is like a mountain hanging on a hair. Now, today's best scholars on Paul — Mark Nanos for instance, and James Dunn — don't support this idea.

    There is no text in the Corpus Paulinum which is supportive of Gentile circumcision, in any of the interpretations of this commandment. Not as part of ritual conversion, nor as part of what is called Gentile Torah observance.

    Therefore it seems better to me — as I have argued some time ago in another post on this website — to avoid the epitheta of heresy and false teaching here, and simply accept the fact that major currents within the messianic movement are following different interpretations of Scripture and make different assumptions and speculations about this particular problem. For the time being, there's no solution available. The position of Gentiles in the NT is simply not clear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you are putting too much stake in the physical act of circumcision, don't get me wrong, I completely agree with circumcision, however, saying that circumcision is not clear concerning gentiles who were coming into covenant, does not invalidate gentile believers responsibility to the Torah, this in itself is an assumption.

      Delete
    2. 1 Cor 7:17-19 comes to mind...

      Delete
    3. My position is to this is that if it should be the case that such a major commandment as circumcision doesn't apply to Gentiles, then there is a general problem with Gentile Torah observance, and particularly with the One Law vision. I agree that this problem doesn't necessarily invalidate Gentile responsibility to other Torah commandments, but it seriously complicates any direct appeal to the Pentateuch. For it will be questionable which commandments apply. It can no longer be assumed that all other commandments simply apply. If circumcision doesn't seem to apply to Gentile adults, then it will also be doubtful whether it applies to Gentile newborn sons. The next question will be whether Pidyon HaBen applies to Gentile firstborn.

      We would thus face the necessity of appealing to another source in order to find out which commandments are for Gentiles. And what would that source be other than the NT? And this would lead to the concept that only those commandments can surely be said to apply to Gentiles, which are mentioned in the NT.

      Such a concept would not only cause great damage to the One Law perspective, it would lead to all kinds of practical paralysis and paradoxes, for example concerning the interpretation of I Cor. 7:17-19. Does this text say that all commandments minus circumcision are for Gentiles? This depends on the meaning attributed to the phrase "the commandments of G-d". Are the commandments of G-d for Gentiles the same set of instructions as the commandments of G-d given for the Jews? If so, then the exception of circumcision becomes all the more enigmatic. This of course could lead to the reconsideration of the idea that circumcision perhaps does apply to Gentiles, after all. And we would have made a full circle in our train of thought and a new circle of doubts would start.

      In fact this circle of reasoning is not hypothetical. It accurately describes the constant theological and practical restlessness of the messianic movement. I suspect that, historically, this very restlessness, caused by the endless debates about how the Torah relates to Gentiles, that — besides anti-Judaism — has led to the prohibition of Torah observance by the Christian Church. The debates about the Torah must have become a big threat to its unity at the end of the first century. And the solution was found, as so often, not in unraveling the Gordian knot, but in cutting it through.

      The advantages of this decision were twofold: (1) The unity of the Church was saved and its attractiveness for Gentiles was increased; (2) The authority of the NT was saved and made stronger, because the attention was no longer focused on the riddle of its relation to the Torah.

      Delete
    4. Bravo Messianic 613! I don't think I have heard the problem summarized any better.

      I would say that some things are very clear and that we can know from the NT.

      1. Jews were to remain Jews in identity and practice. (Acts 21)

      2. Minimally, gentiles were to keep the four prohibitions give in Acts 15, as well as being moral people. (Acts 15, 21 & Galatians 5)

      3. Gentiles were not to be circumcised. (1Cor.7, Gal 5 & 6)

      Given the above minimally true statements, doesn't seem clear that the early apostolic community expected there to remain a distinction between Jew and gentile? Not in salvation or right standing before G-d, but in terms of identity and practice?

      I mean no offense, but I just do not see any basis for the One-Law concept in the NT. (Nor in the Hebrew bible for that matter.)

      Delete
    5. Sorry...I meant to say "doesn't *it* seem clear..." in the second to last paragraph...

      Delete
    6. I agree that this problem doesn't necessarily invalidate Gentile responsibility to other Torah commandments, but it seriously complicates any direct appeal to the Pentateuch. For it will be questionable which commandments apply.

      The problem concerning this, is that circumcision within the context of the Abrahamic Covenant is a sign and circumcision as we see in Exodus 12, is relatable to one command, which is in regard to being able to eat the Pesach lamb, anything beyond that plain reading is speculation...

      You seem to hold a completely different definition of circumcision as if it is the key to the whole Law of Moses, yet circumcision is a command pre-existing the Law of Moses. I don't say any of this to oppose circumcision, as you already know, I fully believe in it, I was circumcised the 8th day, continued on to my son as well and will teach him to do so as well, however, I still think there is a major issue here with context of circumcision.

      We would thus face the necessity of appealing to another source in order to find out which commandments are for Gentiles. And what would that source be other than the NT? And this would lead to the concept that only those commandments can surely be said to apply to Gentiles, which are mentioned in the NT.

      Not exactly, if it were that simple, you would not be having this discussion on what gentiles should and should not do, FFOZ tried to deal with this in their God-Fearers book, and yet if you even follow the most basic ideas on some of their blogs, their arguments even for gentile Sabbath observance is full of holes...

      Relying on circumcision as the heart of the issue is the single biggest mistake in my opinion, as if all of God's commandments rely on circumcision, clearly we have a misunderstanding of scripture if we think this. Even those among the Bilateral Ecclesiologist point to the Torah for commands gentiles should be keeping, even while at the same time, denying certain commands in the Torah for gentiles to keep. The question of whether a gentile should keep the Torah is a non-question, it’s already agreed upon in both sides of this argument, the question of how much or what applies has always been the argument, thus, looking back at circumcision is a matter of how you define or view that command. You clearly view circumcision as the end-all commandment, so did the Pharisees in Acts 15, so much in fact, that it hit at the very issue of salvation/covenant inclusion. This was not only disagreed upon for gentiles, but also for Jews.

      I think the real issue, is many are trying hard to make their faith in Yeshua line up with Rabbinic Judaism, and in some cases have to either accept the traditions of Modern Judaism over/against the understanding of the Apostolic Writings. There is a conflict, and this conflict to me is even more difficult.

      Take for example Acts 15, you have traditional Judaism saying one thing and the Apostles saying another, this division of understanding exist today.

      Consider the Apostolic understanding of Gentiles in the Messiah:

      *Are now sons of Abraham.
      *Have been grafted in.
      *Are now party to the commonwealth of Israel.
      *Are party to the covenants of promise.
      *Fellowheirs in the Body of Messiah.

      -All those without even being circumcised, but because of being in the Messiah, this is possible, this is a major conflict with Judaism.

      Would Rabbinic Judaism or Modern Judaism agree or recognize any of this? Of course not.

      Trying to reconcile these together is impossible and this to me is where we are left today. One is either going to accept one side or the other, and that is exactly what we are looking at. While accepting the other side, one has to decide how to interpret the text that conflicts.

      For example, if you are of the One Law perspective, you take the points made above literally, which means there is a conflict with Rabbinic Judaism, if one is of the BE perspective, you take the points above and make them metaphorical, to eliminate as much conflict with Rabbinic Judaism.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous,

      Re: "1. Jews were to remain Jews in identity and practice. (Acts 21)

      2. Minimally, gentiles were to keep the four prohibitions give in Acts 15, as well as being moral people. (Acts 15, 21 & Galatians 5)

      3. Gentiles were not to be circumcised. (1Cor.7, Gal 5 & 6)"

      As to your first point, we're in agreement.

      Your second point is where the problems start. First, that's a very sloppy exegesis of Acts 15. The four prohibitions dealt with specific pagan practices associated with temple cults. Why did he prohibit such pagan practices? Because James accepted Peter's argument that the non-Jews were to be included in G-d's people. Thus, as Peter said before the council, the non-Jews were included in covenant and thus saved by grace. The issue was whether Gentiles could only be saved by circumcision. You're reading it as if there was a completely different issue before the council! See the climax of Peter's argument which says it all. He counters the assertion in v.1 by saying that Gentiles are saved by faith alone.

      Furthermore, Galatians 5 (like 1 Cor. 7 and Acts 15) is addressing the false teaching that circumcision is what saves us. Read the context! Paul is angry about people who seek to justify themselves by the law. Paul never says that Gentiles are prohibited from ratifying their faith through circumcision.

      Delete
    8. I basically agree with everything you said above. I didn't say Acts 15 had to d with pagan worship even though I agree it does.

      But nothing you said above proves One Law. Nothing you said proves gentile obligation to keep the 613 mitzvot. In fact, for the most part it sounds like the same stuff Ron Cantor said in his blog.

      On the other hand I am not saying that One Law is a wrong position. I am merely agreeing with Messianic 613 that the NT is unclear as to gentile obligation all together.

      A good Shabbos to everyone if you are keeping it!

      Delete
    9. Nothing you said proves gentile obligation to keep the 613 mitzvot.

      Gentile obligation is already proven in covenant inclusion, when one joined the covenant, they took on the responsibilities of the covenant. The only way your argument would work, is to prove that gentiles are not in covenant with God... If you say they are in covenant, but are not responsible to keep all the commandments, you have not at all made this point... you are welcome to try, but you have nothing so far to uphold your statements.

      Delete
    10. Zion.

      In regards to your comments about trying to reconcile Rabbinic Judaism and Apostolic understanding of gentiles as well as "covenantal inclusion, I would argue that, without an understanding of Jewish thought, it is difficult to understand Paul the Pharisee properly.

      For example, here is something you may find interesting:

      In Gemarah Sanhedrin it says: "Maamar Kol Yisrael Yesh La'Hem Cheilek L'Olam HaBah"

      "All Israel has a share in the world to come." In other words, "All Israel will be saved".

      The Gemarah goes on to pose a question: "Why does it say "Kol/All" Israel. The word "All" seems superfluous. The answer: All refers not only to Klal Yisrael (Nation of Israel), but to the "Chasidie Umos Haolam", the "pious of the Nations".

      So in other words, Within Rabbinic thought, "All Israel" includes the pious of the other nations, but these "pious ones" are obviously still the "other nations".

      Now compare the above with Romans 11:

      25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel (the nation of Israel) has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles (pious of the nations) has come in, 26 and in this way "all Israel will be saved"....(NIV) (parenthetic insertions mine).

      Obviously, Paul's discussion is in the context of Messiah, but clearly he agrees with the distinction made in the Gemarah: "All Israel" includes, the pious of the nations. But the pious of the nations are not Israelites in the sense of nationhood.

      Comments such as "grafted in", "common wealth of Israel" etc. should be understood in this context. Gentiles are grafted in, are part of the covenant of promise, but are not Israel in the national sense, and as such do not have the obligations of national Israel in terms of the "613 Mitzvot".

      This, in part, is the reason that I advocate the Noahide Laws for gentiles. Paul is clearly evoking the Mishnaic/Rabbinic thought of his day(after all he did sit at the feet of Gamliel).

      It is this same Rabbinic thought that outlines the Torah requirements for the Ger Toshav, namely, the Noahide commands.

      Delete
    11. Comments such as "grafted in", "common wealth of Israel" etc. should be understood in this context. Gentiles are grafted in, are part of the covenant of promise, but are not Israel in the national sense, and as such do not have the obligations of national Israel in terms of the "613 Mitzvot".

      There would be no reason for the arguments of acceptance of gentiles among Jews (Acts 15), if it has no literal implications, there would not have ever been a conflict...

      Delete
    12. ...There would be no reason for the arguments of acceptance of gentiles among Jews (Acts 15), if it has no literal implications, there would not have ever been a conflict..."

      In spite of the fact that I find the above statement basically unintelligible and doubt anything I say will change your mind, I will attempt yet another response:

      The argument was not about acceptance of gentiles in Acts 15.

      That argument was already settled in Acts 11.

      The argument was about whether or not the gentile believers (who were already part of the community) were obligated to be circumcised and follow the Torah of Moses.

      The answer was no!!!!!!



      Delete
    13. The argument was about whether or not the gentile believers (who were already part of the community) were obligated to be circumcised and follow the Torah of Moses.

      That is not correct, the issue starts in Acts 15:1 and the issue revolves around covenant inclusion/salvation, why do you ignore this?

      Delete
    14. I'm not ignoring it but I'll concede the point because it makes no difference to my position.

      I state my position in a reply to Dan but just so I am clear:

      The Jerusalem council ruled that gentiles did not need to be circumcised and be required to keep the Torah of Moses to be saved. This is clear from the chapter.

      Our disagreement therefore revolves around the specific covenantal obligations for gentiles once they are saved.

      I hold that not only is it the NT position that circumcision and Moses are NOT necessary for SALVATION, but that the clear teaching of the NT is that circumcision and the Torah of Moses are NOT covenantal OBLIGATIONS for gentiles either. Jews, yes, gentiles no.

      Delete
    15. I hold that not only is it the NT position that circumcision and Moses are NOT necessary for SALVATION, but that the clear teaching of the NT is that circumcision and the Torah of Moses are NOT covenantal OBLIGATIONS for gentiles either. Jews, yes, gentiles no.

      How can a gentile be party to the covenant and yet not be responsible to the covenant? I don't see how you are settled with such a contradictory conclusion... The NT, is not at all clear on what a gentiles should or should not keep, or this would not be a discussion. Also, the NT, should not be the only source of understanding, concerning gentile inclusion, which ultimately ties into you having a problem connecting to a One Law position. One Law position takes all of scripture into account, we do not isolate our theology to the NT, in fact, no one should, this is how these contradictory conclusions come to be.

      Delete
    16. I'm not ignoring it but I'll concede the point because it makes no difference to my position.

      It makes a huge difference, it changes the context from: "what gentiles should observe" as you have argued, to: "gentiles cannot be included in the covenant without first being circumcised and thus their acceptance among the Jewish community". These are two different points.

      As I stated before, but it went over your head, if gentiles being grafted in, sons of Abraham, included in the commonwealth of Israel, considered sons of the Kingdom of God, and etc, has no literal implications, since you interpret these statements to be purely metaphorical or as some will say, "Spiritual terms", having no reality to them, then this issue would have been a non issue. The reality of gentiles being party members was a major issue for Judaism and the Jewish community, because the only way this was possible within Judaism, was to become a Jew, to go through the proselyte ritual, the idea that a gentile could be a covenant member minus being Jewish probably sounded crazy, and thus the issues of acceptance come to reality. If the only way to be a covenant member was to become a Jew, then how in the world or on what basis could the Jewish community accept these gentiles.

      The other issue arises, concerning the Law of Moses, you can't have Acts 15 saying that gentiles should not observe the Law of Moses, and yet Paul instructing gentiles in may of his writings concerning their conduct according to the Law of Moses, that is what we call a catch-22. This is why I say your points are contradicting, they can't stand, but you can believe whatever you like! :D

      Delete
  6. I don't see the problem. If gentiles are under the Abrahamic covenant, then circumcision is it's sign..Dah....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dan.

      Paul's point in Romans 4 about circumcision being a sign is that righteousness came by faith BEFORE circumcision. He is not making the point that gentile believers should become circumcised at all.

      I fact, if your right, than Paul contradicts himself in 1 Cor.7

      For Paul makes it very clear in 1 Corinthians 7:17-18 that gentiles should not get circumcised:

      17..."This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. 18 Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised..."

      The "signs" of the New covenant were:

      Immersion in the name of Jesus, the receiving of the Ruach Hakodesh and the resultant circumcised heart which produces the fruit of the Spirit. It is a circumcision "not made with hands" as Paul puts it Colossians 2:11.

      Given the above passages, plus Acts 15 and 21, I can't find any basis for the concept that non-Jews are required to be circumcised/keep the entire Law of Moses.

      Free to maybe, but certainly not obligated.

      We are required to produce fruit.
      We are required to keep those parts of the Torah written on our gentile hearts, namely the Moral Torah. For me, these are the shevah mitzvos b'nei Noach.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous,

      The only fly in your soup is Paul circumcising Timothy the Gentile...

      BTW, in 1 Cor. 7:17-19 Paul is not speaking on the ACT of circumcision, he refers to circumcision=Jews and Uncircumcision=Gentiles.

      Delete
    3. First, Timothy's mother was Jewish which made him halachicaly Jewish. He was not a gentile so I guess that's the "hair" in your soup.

      Second, Paul was adamant that Titus not be circumcised precisely because he was gentile.

      Thirdly, my whole point is that while I agree there is One Law, there remains a distinction between Jew and gentile. This includes physical circumcision which is for Jews. Yes, circumcision was given to Abraham. But after Sinai, it was only for born Jews and converts. If you don't get this point you misconstrue the whole intention of Paul and the Apostolic intentions. Which is precisely what you are doing.

      Delete
    4. Thirdly, my whole point is that while I agree there is One Law, there remains a distinction between Jew and gentile.

      One Law agrees.

      This includes physical circumcision which is for Jews. Yes, circumcision was given to Abraham. But after Sinai, it was only for born Jews and converts.

      You can't say it was given to Abraham, but then it changed, you are contradicting yourself and converts were still Gentiles, problem number two.


      If you don't get this point you misconstrue the whole intention of Paul and the Apostolic intentions. Which is precisely what you are doing.

      Agreed.

      Delete
    5. Zion,

      I am not contradicting myself at all. Converts were not gentiles.

      Prior to Sinai, all of Abraham's physical descendants were required be circumcised, even the sons of Ishmael.

      After the Sinaitic Covenent, the nation of Israel was formed. Of course, Abraham's physical descendants still had to be circumcised, but regarding gentiles, that is, non-Israelites, the Torah now made the distinction between the Ger Toshav and the Ger Tzedek. A distinction which did not exist in Abraham's day.

      So lets define the terms:

      Ger Toshav: Resident Alien or Gate Proselyte. They were NOT required to be circumcised but they did have certain commands they were to follow as well as certain restrictions while in the land of Israel. These were the righteous gentiles who lived in Israel.

      Ger Tzedek: Righteous proselyte/Religious Proselyte. These were individuals who became full Israelite citizens through conversion. They were required to be circumcised and keep "all 613 Mitzvot". In other words they were full Jews in every way. Its important to note that under the Sinaitic Covenant, to eat the Pesach sacrifice, a Ger Toshav had to convert, that is become a circumcised Ger Tzedek, a full Jew if you will. This is what is being commanded in Exodus 12.

      So, again, converts were not gentiles. You are confusing the status of a Ger Toshav with that of a Ger Tzedek.

      These facts shed light on the controversy in the NT. The believing Pharisees thought gentile believers had to be circumcised and become Ger Tzedekim. The Jerusalem council, in agreement with Paul, disagreed and, essentially, ruled that being a Ger Toshav was sufficient. And remember, a Ger Toshav did NOT/does NOT have to be circumcised.

      And this is why I contend that Paul, the Apostolic authorities, the NT and the Torah itself, clearly never, ever, ever, intended for Gentiles to be obligated in the mitzvah of circumcision.


      Delete
    6. You are talking nonsense...The term "Ger Tzadik" does not appear in Scriptures, nor in the Mishnah. It is a post Mishnaic invention of the Rabbis.

      also, if a convert is not a Gentile, then why did they kept being called "proselytes?"

      Delete
    7. What Dan said... the Ger who converts is still called a Ger, that does not get any more clear or plain in meaning...

      Delete
    8. Ger tzedek is in the Gemarah.

      The Toshav cannot eat the Passover sacrifice. Just read exodus 12:45 in Hebrew.

      Nonsense is trying to advocate that gentiles are obligated to be circumcised.

      I have no axe to grind, believe what you like.

      Delete
    9. Ger tzedek is in the Gemarah.

      As Dan said, it is not in the Torah.

      Nonsense is trying to advocate that gentiles are obligated to be circumcised.

      To be clear, the advocating of gentile responsibility is for those who are in covenant. Not gentiles outside of covenant, though I doubt you care to actually understand a One Law position, it is at least good for you to know.

      Delete
    10. The thing is that uncircumcised gentiles can participate in the Passover Seder, but just not eat from the Passover lamb. and since today we cannot sacrifice the Passover lamb, the whole issue is moot.

      Delete
    11. To Zion:

      I understand the One Law position. I just do not agree that once a gentile is in the covenant, they are obligated to be circumcised and keep the Torah of Moses as you believe. I have attempted to make a case for my position on numerous posts here. Take it or leave it.

      To Dan,

      I agree that uncircumcised gentiles can participate in a Passover Seder but not eat from the Passover lamb. But I must disagree that the whole issue is moot.

      The beginning of Acts 15 states that certain Jewish believers felt that in order to be saved, it was necessary to circumcise the gentiles and require them to keep the Torah of Moses. They may have felt this way, in part, because they believed that this was necessary in order for gentiles to "eat" the ultimate Passover Lamb, Yehsua which would be a salvation issue.

      Either way, I think all agree that the Jerusalem Council declared that being circumcised and keeping the Torah was not a means for Salvation.

      The arguments/discussions we are having here deal, as Zion said above, with covenantal obligations for gentiles once they are in the covenant. I simply disagree with the One Law position that the covenantal obligations for gentiles include circumcision and keeping the Torah of Moses. I believe that the covenantal obligations for gentiles are stated clearly in the NT. For example, Faith, Hope, Love, the fruit of the Spirit, refraining from Idolatry, Murder, Sexual immorality, gossip, etc. Essentially gentiles are to refrain from Idolatry and be moral persons, and be led by the Holy Spirit. Of course the same is true for Jewish believers.

      Where Zion and I appear to disagree is in the idea that covenantal obligations to gentiles include circumcision and keeping those mitzvot which I believe are excusive to ethnic/national Israel.

      Beyond the fact that I just don't see the One Law position as it is defined on this blog in the NT, I think it eliminates the distinction between Jew and gentile and is therefore another replacement theology.

      Delete
  7. To Dan and to Anonymous I would say that what I said should not be considered to be an attack on the One Law position. As I have emphasized in another discussion, the non-One Law solutions are not better and are equally problematic. Divine Invitation Theology, Noachidism for Gentile believers, the tradition of the Christian Church, to mention a few, are unsatisfactory from a systematic theological viewpoint and disruptive of the Unity of the One Body of Messiah.

    My basic attitude is thus not that the One Law solution should be given up because is lacks biblical proof, but that it should be followed without the fanaticism that it is the only acceptable solution to the riddle of the NT. There's a lot about Paul for instance that we do not know. Paul's main means of teaching was oral instruction and we have only his Epistles, the context of which is not often very clear.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Greet, what is not clear in Gen. 17:11?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bless you, Dan. Have a good Shabbos! : )

      As for me, I'm off to purchase some Shabbat ice cream and cake...oh, yeah.

      Delete
  9. I am a born again Christian and in my study what has helped me is that we need the Jews to help us to understand the Jewish customs and understanding the old testament better. We need each other, Many Jews need our Jesus whom we are willing to help you understand that he really is the Messiah and we are here to help anyone come to know him.... we need the old and the new testaments there is so much in both. Like a big puzzle that is coming together. You really cant understand scripture fully unless you believe in both the old and new testament. together.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Since in my opinion the reactions posted after my comments on August 30 are not very to the point, I conclude that I did not succeed in making clear the Pauline problem I wanted addressed. So I have decided to make a new effort here by appealing not to Paul’s epistles but by starting at the other end, the more or less accepted theological synthesis of the One-Law viewpoint by Tim Hegg, and the Pauline exegesis implied in it.

    In his well-known work, “Fellow Heirs”, Hegg tries to solve the circumcision problem in his teaching that it was the viewpoint of all the Apostles that “the Gentiles were to be received as though they were circumcised even before they underwent the physical cutting of the flesh. Before they could receive physical circumcision, they had to be well grounded in the truth that their covenant status was based upon their faith, not the declaration of Jewishness offered by the rabbinic ritual of proselytism.” (FH 82).

    What Hegg says here seems to be pure speculation, not backed by any apostolic or NT text. First, it is a huge assumption to say that “before they could receive physical circumcision, &c”, since the real question to be answered first is whether the Gentiles were to be circumcized at all. And second, where is it said that Gentiles had to postpone circumcision until after they were “well grounded in the truth &c”? This concept of a postponement leads to a complete subjectivation of the performance of the commandment, and I cannot find the faintest trace of such a suggestion in the NT texts.

    More particularly on Paul, Hegg goes on to comment on Timothy’s circumcision, and here he bases his argument for Gentile circumcision on the disputable and speculative opinion that Timothy was considered a Gentile, while remaining entire silent about the question of the specific reasons for his circumcision. His conclusion is (FH 83-84): “We may therefore presume that Paul’s perspective on Gentile circumcision was that until the Gentile believer was sufficiently mature in his faith, he should not receive circumcision. Once he was well grounded in the fact that his faith in the Messiah was the means of his covenant inclusion, he would be circumcised, a process that gained him no new pedigree, nor awarded him any more covenant status than what he already had. In this way, circumcision would be a seal of the covenant without any connection to the rabbinic ritual of proselytism.”

    Again, the idea that Gentile circumcision was to follow upon maturation in faith is completely speculative and without any textual support. This idea also presupposes that Paul distinguished between two types of circumcision for Gentiles: the pharisaic-rabbinic one which was part of the conversion procedure, which he presumably rejeced, and the scriptural one, which he presumably taught and which according to his teaching was to be administered without any connection to conversion. But where in Paul’s writing do we have an indication of this distinction? Where is this essential distinction made explicit? To my knowledge it is a purely speculative. Paul’s texts are silent on this. Here the mountain of the One-Law doctrine is hanging on the hair of an unproven and probably unprovable assumption.

    Last but not least, in “Fellow Heirs” Hegg is entirely silent on Titus, whose Gentile status is undisputed. In “The Letter Writer” he assumes that Titus was circumcised at some moment, but he doesn’t bring forth a shred of evidence for it. His assumption is completely self-serving and the only purpose of it is not to invalidate the One-Law perspective he wants to maintain. But the point is that this assumption as well as the other ones mentioned should be accurately demonstrated before taking this perspective as the theologically correct one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. since the real question to be answered first is whether the Gentiles were to be circumcized at all.

      That is actually obvious, the question to this is not an assumption but a logical connection. This is why there is an issue in Acts 15:1, how can gentiles be part of the covenant people and not be circumcised, Judaism would have never allowed such a thing, yet God was doing this...

      Since God was bringing gentiles in and they were not required to be circumcised in order to join, then when was it needed.

      The rest of the logical connections, if gentiles are in covenant with God, then they are responsible to the covenant regulations, this is an obvious connection... to what extant and how soon they would be required and to what level observance is far from clear.

      I cannot find the faintest trace of such a suggestion in the NT texts.

      I can't find the opposite, the only time frame we have is the 8th day for a new born, we have no scripture concerning those who are not newborns on any time frame.

      Delete
    2. Oh, it is obvious in Paul’s letters that Gentiles should be circumcised? This is something new for me, and I guess for the entire world of Pauline scholarship. Where dit you get that? From which text in Paul’s letters? Where does Paul give instruction that Gentiles are to be circumcised? Show me chapter and verse please.

      And yet you say that Gentiles are permitted to be part of the covenant people without circumcision. If this is a permission, then their uncircumcised state obviously is not a sin. So these Gentiles are not in a state of sin by being uncircumcised covenant members. This can only be the case if they are not subject to the commandment to get circumcised. For if the commandment is applicable to them, then it is a sin not to fulfil it, or to postpone it — which is essentially the same thing since as long as it is postponed it is not fulfilled.

      However, if it is not a sin to be in an uncircumcised state, then how can circumcison at a later time be a matter of obedience? What essential difference can time make here? How does something which was permitted at first forbidden at a later time?

      Your response shows exactly what I said, that you are turning the fulfilment of the commandment into a completely subjective affair, dependent on the whims and inclinations of the persons whom it concerns. Actually this is equals an undermining of the commandment itself and is completely contrary to the basic notion that we are to fulfil it as soon as it is applicable, which is what Avraham did. As soon as the commandment was revealed, “in the selfsame day as God had said unto him” (Gen. 17:23), Avraham did fulfil it.

      That Avraham was already a covenant member before he was circumcised has only one cause: the commandment of circumcision didn’t exist. There was no commandment to fulfil. And thus all appeal to the case of Avraham in order to postpone circumcision is entirely misplaced. If the commandment exists, and you are a covenant member in the position to fulfil it, then you simply have to carry out your obligation and there’s no wiggle room for subjective factors.

      But again I would stress that you show me chapter and verse for all this. Where is it said that Gentile newcomers should postpone their circumcision to a later stage of life? Where do we find all this in Paul’s writings? As I view it, this theory is built on assumptions and speculations, not on historical facts or exegetical results.

      The time-frame for the newborn is obvious, this in normal situations is the 8th day, as you say. The time-frame for new adult covenant members is no less obvious. Apart from the question whether in this case circumcision itself belongs to the initiation to the covenant according to Exodus ch. XII — a question I want leave aside now for argument’s sake — it is clear that the obligation exists as soon as these adults are covenant members. That’s simply the default option.

      You speak of logical connections, I’m sorry but I find your logic completely cripple here. I cannot find any logical connections in your proposal. Nor a hint of scriptural proof.

      Delete
    3. Where does Paul give instruction that Gentiles are to be circumcised?

      Paul does not have to give instruction concerning an already established law, and he also has no right to change the word of God... covenant responsibility is already defined in the scriptures. If a gentile is included in the covenant, then the gentile is responsible to its commands.

      The real question would be to find out how a gentile can be party to a covenant and not be responsible to its stipulations, since it is in essence your argument. Saying that Paul did not command gentiles to be circumcised, is not an argument.

      This is what you are basically arguing, "since Paul did not re-establish an already established commandment, then it does not apply to gentiles", this is a logical fallacy.

      And yet you say that Gentiles are permitted to be part of the covenant people without circumcision.

      No, that is what Paul says, gentiles are accepted as covenant members as if they are already circumcised.

      This can only be the case if they are not subject to the commandment to get circumcised.

      I never said they were not subject, my argument is over what time frame is required, unless you have a scripture giving a time frame other than they wanting to eat the Passover lamb, I don't see any reason to accept your assumptions.

      However, if it is not a sin to be in an uncircumcised state, then how can circumcison at a later time be a matter of obedience? What essential difference can time make here? How does something which was permitted at first forbidden at a later time?

      These are the real issues here, the issue is not whether gentiles should keep the commandments, this is clear, the issue is time... this is what is not clear at all in scripture...

      Your response shows exactly what I said, that you are turning the fulfilment of the commandment into a completely subjective affair, dependent on the whims and inclinations of the persons whom it concerns.

      I am not doing anything to the commandment, you have yet to prove the time frame given for adults, you use Abraham as an example of being circumcised the same day he heard the command, as what I assume to be your example, however Israel went 40+ years without circumcising, your argument falls apart here, how can this have ever been allowed if it is an immediate situation and even more so for a Israelite...

      Unless you can give a time command concerning circumcision for an adult male, you are playing on pure speculation.

      Where is it said that Gentile newcomers should postpone their circumcision to a later stage of life?

      I never stated that, I am only pointing out that the scriptures are not clear on any time frame for adult circumcision, it is purely speculation, you are only giving your opinion on the matter.

      But circumcision aside, how exactly are you deciding what level observance anyone should be at (including all the commandments), how do we decide this?

      Delete
    4. Your concession that a time-frame is not given is itself an indication that the underlying assumption, that circumcision is for Gentiles, is false.

      Delete
    5. Why would time frame be an issue? It is not with Rabbinic Judaism...Don't they call Yom Teruah, Rosh Hashanna and make it the beginning of the year?

      Delete
    6. Your concession that a time-frame is not given is itself an indication that the underlying assumption, that circumcision is for Gentiles, is false.

      You are making the assumption from the other side, you have no reality to prove a time frame, you gave your opinion, but it is only speculation. Thus to argue for the lack there of, is a logical fallacy (Absence Of Evidence).

      We do have evidence of gentile circumcision in the Torah, we have to reconcile that with the Apostolic Writings, we cannot ignore the Torah and only question gentile circumcision based on the NT, that is bad exegesis.

      Delete
    7. We have evidence of circumcision from the Torah, but it is ridiculous to maintain that Gentile circumcision is in the Torah, except in the sense that a Gentile was completely joined to Israel by the rite of circumcision (and keeping the Passover). But we were speaking of the Epistles of Paul, and it is an unfounded assumption that Paul extended Torah observance to Gentiles, which is a thing which should be proved and exegetically demonstrated, not something that should be held a priori. Exegesis is always about keeping such a prioris away and simply to look and to see what a text says, without concern for doctrinal or systematic considerations.

      And as to me making the assumption from the other side, this is utterly false. I'm not making the assumption that Torah is not for Gentiles, the only thing that I say is that it cannot be demonstrated that Paul taught Torah, in particular circumcision, for Gentiles. That a time-frame for Gentile circumcision is not given in the NT is not an assumption. There is simply no text at all that suggests such a time-frame, nor is there any text of Paul which distinguishes between a so-called biblical and a so-called rabbinical circumcision for Gentiles. All these things are assumptions and sometimes even assumptions on assumptions, mountains hanging on hairs, which a true exegete of the texts is simply not interested in.

      The theological theory of One-Law is based on assumptions, not on exegetical proof. That's my only point. This doesn't outrule One-Law Theology, since every theology worthy of the name has to make assumptions and speculations in order to get a unified whole of doctrine. This is true for Replacement Theology, for Divine Invitation Theology, for Messianic Noachidism, for Bilateral Ecclesiology. A consistent and complete theory is always underdetermined by its data, and has always to make assumptions and speculative distinctions. My point is that it is necessary to be honest about this and not arrogantly to claim that one has the pure biblical truth.

      All this has to do with the fact that Tradition and a teaching authority are necessary complements for understanding the biblical texts. These necessary complements are not available in our days, and perhaps we'll have to wait for the days of the return of Elijah before these things are restored. This state of affairs is the cause of much confusion. The only thing we can do about it is cultivating a modest academic and scholarly approach to the canonical texts, and separating systematic and doctrinal considerations from exegetical ones.

      Delete
  11. I do not agree about Timothy. The fact is that Timothy was not circumcised. It is also a fact that one who is not circumcised is cut off from his people. On that fact alone we cannot say that Timothy being a gentile is disputed. If Timothy was Jewish then he should have been circumcised on the 8th day, he was not.

    So now, the questions arises,1) What business did Paul to circumcise a Gentile? 2) What business had the Jews to demand his circumcision?

    So, it is obvious that Hegg is not speculating on Paul's motivation.

    As far as Titus is concerned, you saying that Titus was NOT circumcised in that moment is also an assumption. I conclude that Hegg is making a compelling argument here.

    Another thing to look at is, Isaac eventually circumcised his sons Jacob and Esau, yet Esau was "cut-off" of his people despite being circumcised...

    ReplyDelete
  12. To Zion's remarks I would comment that what you are presenting is an example of fallacious reasoning when you say that Paul does not have to give instruction concerning an already established law. The question at hand is whether Paul interpreted this law as applicable to Gentiles. It is pure speculation to rely on the presupposition that Paul thought that the Torah was applicable to Gentiles. This is just the thing that should be demonstrated in detail, not presupposed. There's no Pauline scholar who can accept your kind of assumptions and presuppositions, for to do so is to give up the main task of exegesis, which is to discover what is actually in the text without making such assumptions.

    To Dan I would say that although I do not exclude the possibility that Timothy was (considered) a Gentile according to first century halachah, but I don't think that this is demonstrated by the fact that he wasn't circumcised on the 8th day. For Timothy's father was a Greek, and his son's circumcision was probably neglected, as is often the case in mixed marriages. It could very well be that Timothy was considered a Jew of defected lineage, as some scholars have held, and that Paul accepted the responsibility to circumcise him, since Timothy would work together with and under the apostolic authority of Paul in the ministry of the Gospel. Paul thus repaired the defect and demonstrated that he took Torah observance as a serious matter for himself and for his Jewish companions.

    It would be very strange, however to assume to Titus was circumcised, since Paul emphatically reports that he wasn't (in Gal. 2:3). It seems to me that the interpretation which holds that Titus was not circumcised with the circumcision of the giyyur procedure, but was yet circumcised, is relying on speculative assumptions that are not in the texts.

    Whether Titus ever got circumcised is also a matter of speculation. The decisive point is here, however, that we cannot demonstrate either of the two alternatives. So to assume that he was, in order to uphold the One Law perspective is again an example of making speculative assumptions in order to save a doctrine one is endeared to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Messianic613,

      Have you read this:


      http://individual.utoronto.ca/mfkolarcik/texts/ShayeDCohenJBL.pdf


      You might find it interesting.

      Delete
    2. To Zion's remarks I would comment that what you are presenting is an example of fallacious reasoning when you say that Paul does not have to give instruction concerning an already established law. The question at hand is whether Paul interpreted this law as applicable to Gentiles.

      Hold on though, you are skipping an extremely important point, gentiles are now considered in covenant, covenant obligation in itself should be read within the scope of what Paul is talking about. In other words, you are putting the cart before the horse.

      It is pure speculation to rely on the presupposition that Paul thought that the Torah was applicable to Gentiles.

      Basically, what you are saying, is that Paul was oblivious to gentile covenant inclusion. I don't see you dealing with this point.

      This is just the thing that should be demonstrated in detail, not presupposed. There's no Pauline scholar who can accept your kind of assumptions and presuppositions, for to do so is to give up the main task of exegesis, which is to discover what is actually in the text without making such assumptions.

      Try to deal with the above.

      Delete
    3. The point of covenant membership is important, but if it is true what you yourself said, "there is an issue in Acts 15:1, how can gentiles be part of the covenant people and not be circumcised, Judaism would have never allowed such a thing, yet God was doing this..", the consequence would be that Gentiles in Messiah are entering the covenant on a different basis than those entering by means the procedure of Exodus ch. XII. While it is clear that in Exodus ch. XII circumcision is the completion of the initiation into the covenant — since only after circumcision the new covenant member enjoys all the rights and obligations — an initiation without circumcision is thus a new thing and introducing new consequences.

      If this is not so, everything becomes very confusing and improbable. For according to the standard teaching of the One Law theory, the new believers are under the obligations of the Torah at the moment they join the covenant by their faith. And yet at the same moment they obtain the permission to be uncircumcised covenant members and to remain uncircumcised for a non-defined stretch of time. This is simply unbelievable. In the social reality of community life this sends the message that circumcision is not a commandment at all.

      Delete
    4. the consequence would be that Gentiles in Messiah are entering the covenant on a different basis than those entering by means the procedure of Exodus ch. XII. While it is clear that in Exodus ch. XII circumcision is the completion of the initiation into the covenant — since only after circumcision the new covenant member enjoys all the rights and obligations — an initiation without circumcision is thus a new thing and introducing new consequences.

      Of course it is different than Judaism in that day, as we stated, or they would have never raised the circumcision issue, there would have never been a conflict. However, we also know that the Torah never required circumcision as a form of salvation/covenant inclusion, thus those claiming so in Acts 15:1 were wrong. What we clearly understand in the text, is that circumcision did allow for the eating of the Passover, but nothing more, and in this way, they were likened to a native born. From the context of Abraham, it was required of those who were part of the covenant. Reading the tradition of the proselyte into Exodus 12 is anachronistic, we have to approach Exodus 12 within its context and that also being connected to Abraham.

      Like I said before, there is a conflict with Judaism no matter how you look at it, Judaism today is no different, if Paul were here today, and made claims of "gentiles are now considered sons of Abraham because of their Faith in the Messiah", Judaism would laugh and say you are crazy... not just because of belief in the Messiah, but because Judaism does not view a gentile as even having the possibility of being considered sons of Abraham without either being a proselyte or an intermarriage being connected to the husband. The closest thing Judaism would call gentiles, is Bnai Noach, sons of Noah, but Paul called gentiles sons of Abraham, conflict, the issue is how you deal with this conflict. This is why I said, most people in trying to uphold traditional Judaism render all the claims of gentiles relationship to Israel and Abraham to be metaphorical (or Spiritual) and not to have any literal implications, but as I have already stated, there are too many contradictions with this view.

      In the social reality of community life this sends the message that circumcision is not a commandment at all.

      When Israel was uncircumcised for 40+ years, did it send that signal? Your argument is more an appeal to emotion than evidence, you are arguing 'that it sounds ridiculous, that someone who comes into covenant is not immediately responsible for every single jot and title day 1'... This is stated without any form of grace period, gentiles, especially in Acts 15 were pagans, taught and lived pagan ideology and beliefs, they could not accept Yeshua and immediately know all the Torah and thus be responsible, surely they had to learn and in time they would... What is more improbable in a community life setting, is to apply your idea that all the commandments are like a bucket of water dumped on new converts heads, and they are responsible without even knowing anything, that is absurd. In Judaism, they at least had a process, these gentiles just turning to the Lord, had no process, they were brought in simply by their faith, so they had to learn this over time... to me, this is common sense really.

      With regard though to time, it has to be defined by community.

      Delete
    5. What you say of not being immediately responsible for every jot and title and graciousness is all true, but this doesn't prove the main point, that Gentiles have to get bodily circumcised, either according to Acts ch. XV or Paul's Epistles.

      Perhaps the best exegetical case for full Torah observance of Gentiles is Yeshua's Great Commission, combined with his sayings in Mt. 5:17-20. But these are not specific enough, especially since they don't play a role in the discussion of Acts ch. XV. Nor are these remarks ever hinted at by Paul.

      Don't think that I glee that this cannot be proved. I would prefer to see that such a proof is possible. But this is simply how it is, and this fact will remain a main stumbling block and a pain the tochus for any future discussions between traditional Christian and Messianic theologians.

      In my viewpoint this doesn't take away that — despite this lack of strict exegetical proof — we as One Law Messianics have a good case to defend. For, as is well-known, in case of doubt about whether something is sinful it is always better to follow the stricter opinion or to avoid the entire situation where the doubt is about. In such a general doubt as to what exactly is demanded of Gentile believers, we cannot avoid the situation. Therefore we should follow the stricter opinion. If we have to choose between One Law on the one extreme and Noachidism on the other extreme of the messianic spectre, we thus should incline to the One Law viewpoint, since it is safer to assume that we have a full obligation of Torah observance than only a partial one. However, this is no proof, certainly not an exegetical proof, but only a halachic safety construction, a fence against possible transgression.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous,

    "The Jerusalem council ruled that gentiles did not need to be circumcised and be required to keep the Torah of Moses to be saved. This is clear from the chapter."

    I rest my case. The Torah was not given as means for salvation. You have nowhere to go so you are bringing salvation up...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dan, I agree with you that Torah is not kept to obtain salvation, and yet I believe that there's a relation involved here that shouldn't be neglected. We all know that a believer is called to live a life of sanctification and the failure to do so will end in being castaway. So in my understanding there are two requirements for salvation: (1) Turning to HaShem in true repentance and faith in Messiah; (2) perseverance in sanctrification until the end. Those who neglect (2) are in danger of being cut off, as is clear e.g. from the illustration of the vine and the branches in John ch. XV, and from the warnings of Paul in several places, e.g. in I Cor. 6:9-10 and Col. 1:23. Grace is the means by which we are saved, but this grace itself creates the responsibility of an obedient lifestyle.

      If it is true that Torah is for all believers in Messiah, and that transgression of the commandments is sin, and thus that a lifestyle of transgression is perseverance in sinning, then it seems that persisent transgression is incomptable with salvation and results in being cut off. And thus observance of Torah has to do with salvation. Not in the sense that new believers have first to keep Torah in order to get saved, but that believers are can only maintain their salvation by living according to the commandments.

      Delete
  14. One of the Anonymous commenters in this thread wrote:

    "We are required to keep those parts of the Torah written on our gentile hearts, namely the Moral Torah. For me, these are the shevah mitzvos b'nei Noach."

    I have a couple quick points:

    (1) the moral law (e.g. Natural Law or so-called "Noahide Law") has one HUGE problem: if you're only bound to moral laws that can be derived from reason alone then you don't need the Bible for guidance--you don't need any revealed laws. You don't need to be baptized or accept Yeshua or love the L-rd your G-d;

    (2) where does Torah say "this section is the moral law"? Torah doesn't divide that way but rather there are chukim and mishpatim. And they're indivisible from one another because it says Torah achat;

    (3) if you're only bound to Noahide Covenant then you're saying that you are not a part of the New Covenant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Point 3: I am not saying I am bound to the Noahide covenant for salvation. I am not. But I am not bound to the Sinaitic covenant either. I am bound to the New Covenant. That covenant is a new heart and new spirit mediated through acceptance of Yeshua. It is based on faith alone and as such is the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant of righteousness through faith.

      Now, as far as obligations/mitvos that I must obey under (New) "Covenant Inclusion", I argue that I am bound to those mitzvoth which pertain to me as a gentile. Accepting Yeshua's statement regarding Pharisaic authority in Mathew 23, I accept the Orthodox Rabbinic authority of today and therefore I study, teach and obey, with G-d's help, the seven laws. In fact I study them with Orthodox Rabbis.

      I accept that Jews who have entered the New Covenant are to keep the "613 Mitzvoth", that is to live fully as Jews, including the study ad practice of halacha as it is prescribed by Rabbinic Authority.

      I see nothing in the Acts, Paul or the entire NT that contradicts my opinion.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous,

      Orthodox Rabbinic Judaism would does not accept the NT and thus does not accept the authority of the Apostles, contradiction #1, Acts 15:1, Pharisees believed the gentiles could not be saved or included without the ritual proselyte, contradiction #2, Paul consider gentiles in the Messiah to be considered sons of Abraham, no Judaism would accept such statements, contradiction #3, the New Covenant, has the Law of Moses being written on the hearts of those party to it, contradiction #4, etc...

      I can do this all day long. :D

      Delete
    3. Do what? Make unintelligible statements that have little or nothing to do with my points.

      First, Yeshua upheld Rabbinic authority even though he vehemently argued with them on many points. Contradiction #1 of yours.

      Second, the fact is, the Pharisees accepted the arguments of Peter and James and as such does not deny their authority. James was likely a Pharisee himself at least according to later historians like Josephus. So it doesn't deny there authority at all. Contradiction #2.

      With regard to the Abrahamic Covenant, or the New Covenant for that matter, of course, Rabbinic authority doesn't accept it. If they did they would be Messianic. Your saying nothing there. But Paul's point in calling gentiles sons of Abraham is precisely to demonstrate that there is no need for gentiles to be circumcised and live like Jews! contradiction #3

      The NC has the law written on the heart. But that proves nothing regarding what laws are written there. Are the laws regarding the cohen hagadol written on non-Levite woman's heart? And if so is she required to be a cohen hagadol? contradiction #4

      I can do this all day long too!

      Your problem is you really don't present a clear structure to what you actually believe. So your are stuck "straining the gnat".

      Delete
    4. Do what? Make unintelligible statements that have little or nothing to do with my points.

      :D, someone is touchy.

      1# Yeshua found conflict in Rabbinic authority, this does not mean he found it all to be conflict, however there is not carte blanche as you suggest, see Mark 7, he concludes that some of their traditions neglect the commandments of God, you need to find balance in that statement.

      2# However it contradicts your statements, if it was not for the Apostles, the Pharisees would have had their way, which would have been detrimental to the Gospel. Also, you have to consider what satisfied the Pharisees in their decision?

      3# You admit that they don't accept it, and yet you follow their understanding, it would be like having the whole of scriptures available and yet only teaching from half the book and ignoring the rest of the revelation, it would make for an inconsistent message. Concerning calling gentiles sons of Abraham is contradictive to Judaism, this is why you are in contradiction and in contradiction to the Gospel and the NT. Judaism would only consider one a son of Abraham if they are circumcised according the proselyte tradition and many in Judaism consider Abraham to be the first Jew, we both know that is not correct, but at least if you take the time to consider what is being said, you will see the contradiction.

      4# The fact that the NC has the Law written on the heart in reference to the Mosaic, shoots your noachide claims out the roof, this was the contradiction, arguing which laws apply to men and women to levites an non levites is moot to the point being made.

      You offer nothing new to what has not already been dealt with...

      Delete
    5. There is at least one other Anonymous posting so just to be clear, I am the one the practicing Noahide one who has been posting over the last hour.

      I think we are both being "touchy" actually. You have been as inflammatory as I have.

      The truth is, from my point of view that is, that I think it is perfectly fine for you to hold the One Law view and your interpretation of it. I have considered your arguments. I do find them interesting but do not find them compelling enough to change my point of view.

      I only have one other thing to say, or rather quote. I need to give this discussion a rest. Take it as a victory if you like. For me we have passed the point of discussing the issue in a spirit of love and humility.

      I ask you to consider the following:

      Titus 3:3-11,

      At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

      9But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. 10Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. 11You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned. (NIV)

      All the best.

      Delete
    6. Thank you for the discussion... :D

      Delete
  15. As a lawyer, I hate it when people try to change the issue of Acts 15 to something other than

    (1) what was first mentioned in verse 1 (which was a covenant inclusion/salvation issue);

    (2) what was argued by Peter (that non-Jews are saved/included by faith/grace);

    (3) what was suggested by the rationale of the court (that the Prophets said non-Jews would follow Torah and be included in the New Covenant as members of Israel), by the holding of the court (that non-Jewish Believers as members of the covenanted people must immediately stop practicing cultic pagan rites--note that "pollutions of idols", "porneia", "strangled things", and "blood" were a common part of cultic celebrations at that time), and by the dicta of the court (that non-Jewish converts in the New Covenant will begin to learn the Torah of Moses--note that it doesn't say anything about Noah!).

    But I can't blame you, Anonymous. You're just repeating what the UMJC and others have taught you. I hope you'll come around to the truth in time.

    Shalom,

    Peter

    ReplyDelete
  16. As I said in my response above to a comment of Dan, so-called salvation issues cannot be separated from other issues, such as keeping the commandments and leading an obedient and devoted life. In much of evangelcial folk-theology there exists a kind of tight watershed between salvation issues and other issues, which to my view is not found in Scripture. From a consideration that views repentance and returning to HaShem as a matter of the heart and thus of the whole human person it is clear that there is no true repentance or devotion if we maintain a lifestyle of sinning. So following the instructions of HaShem that are meant for us is indeed important to maintain — however not to obtain — our salvation. We obtain our salvation by grace through faith, and after that we have the responsibility of perseverance until the end. Yeshua never separated salvation from obedience, since it would be hypocritical to do so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, well said...but it is important to understand that through the Holy Spirit, each believer that knows Yeshua may have some difficulty with this type of language. Underneath it all, they realize the truth of what you say but may be unable to adequately express it.

      What I'm trying to say is that every true believer comes to understand we are not free to continue to sin while at the same time understanding they need the righteousness of Christ.

      That we have disagreement on defining what is sin to us, Yeshua was not caught by surprise. There for he leaves it to us, "whosoever wants to be great", etc.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous,

    Re: "I am bound to the New Covenant. That covenant is a new heart and new spirit mediated through acceptance of Yeshua."

    (1) the New Covenant includes Sinaitic Torah (see Jer. 31:31-34; Ezek. 36:27);

    (2) The Abrahamic, Sinaitic, and New Covenant are all interrelated. The Abraham is actually a national covenant along with Sinaitic and New Covenant. And the Nation of Israel is under the rule of Sinaitic Law. Notice this type of thinking in Ephesians 2 where Paul refers to covenants plural.

    Happy Yom Teruah,

    Peter

    ReplyDelete
  18. Exactly, well said Peter.

    ReplyDelete
  19. After dialoguing with Dan, Zion and yourself, I definitely have a better understanding of the One Law position as all of you have defined/described it and I am thankful for that.

    I guess for me its like trying to put together pieces of a puzzle without the picture on the box. We must take different aspects of the cannon/covenants and attempt to create a unified picture. And I definitely think this is what we must do.

    One thing we agree on for sure is that there is only one correct way to put it together. I do see the inherent logic in the hermeneutic you have applied.

    It is difficult for me because personally, I have many Jewish friends who see Messianic Judaism in any form as a threat to their very existence. The anti-Semitism and bloodshed throughout the years on the part of Christianity is bad enough. MJ is viewed as being as bad or worse because they believe at the end of the day its disingenuous at best and a blatant attempt to destroy their faith and identity as a people at worst.

    The Religious Jews who fought and died to keep their form of Judaism alive, at the very least, deserve all of our respect.

    My solution has been, and I have felt that there is scriptural warrant for it as I have argued, that a respect for Rabbinic Law, clear distinctions between Jews and "Noahides", is in the spirit of the teachings of Paul and the Jerusalem Council. I not only completely respect the fact that you disagree, but I readily admit your points are compelling.

    Happy Yom Teruah to you and your family as well.


    ReplyDelete
  20. Shalom, shalom everyone.
    So, I'd like to offer my thoughts. I believe the Messianic movement is currently doing harm to the Jewish community as well as to the non-Jewish community by promoting the notion that non-Jews have the same responsibility to observe Torah in the manner as Jews are mandated to do. Now to be clear, I am not saying that non-Jews are not to observe Torah. I am saying they are not "mandated" to observe Torah in the same manner or to the extent that Jews are to do so. If, however, a non-Jew wishes to convert then s/he is now under the same mandate as a native born Jew. Paul was against the idea of circumcision to gain salvation. There are many commandments in the Torah. Some for women, some for men, priest, first born, etc. So just because one is Jewish does not mean all the commandments apply to him- or herself. The book of Act does a great job illustrating the early movement of believers. Synagogues were places of worship for Jews and if non-Jews wanted to learn more about the Torah...Moses is read in the synagogue.....However, when believing Jews walked into a synagogue, they did so under a mandate to learn Torah so they would know what was required of them. There is no such mandate for gentiles. Gentiles walk in to learn Torah and just as with Jews, to observe those aspects that apply to them. For instance, there is no mandate for believing non-Jewish males to be circumcised in the flesh. However, there was and still is a mandate for believing Jewish males to be circumcised. If a non-Jew wishes to observe all the commandments in the same manner as one who is born Jewish, then s/he should convert. No problem with that just as long as the conversion is not being done to gain or earn merit for salvation. But know that once conversion takes place, she or he will be responsible for observing a greater portion of the Torah than in his or her previous state as a non-convert. I believe not making this distinction is one of the problems that is plaguing the messianic movement today. Shalom, shalom

    ReplyDelete
  21. Rocco,

    Good to hear from you. And thank you for joining the discussion. I wonder if you would read this other post of mine and provide your rebuttal to my exegesis of key One Law passages:

    http://orthodoxmessianic.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-basis-for-one-law.html



    Thanks again for visiting. I hope to hear more from you in the future!

    ReplyDelete