Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Only the Torah-Observant May Enter "New Jerusalem": A Look at Revelation 22:14


"Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.  For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie," Revelation 22:14 (KJV)
In the primary texts of Rabbinic Judaism, the consensus of the Sages was that there are 2 segments of humanity:  Israel and the Idolaters (see Neusner's "Restoring Judaism" for an analysis of the Rabbinic texts).  Recently, I began to re-examine the Book of Revelation which also reflects this dichotomy as you can see from the above passage.  So the Biblical idea is very simple:  there are those who realize their calling as restored Humanity (via Yeshua, the "Last Adam") and those who reject this calling (i.e. the idolaters).  The restored Humanity gets to return to "Eden" and partake of the Tree of Life.  And so, in this paradigm, the Bible becomes a love letter written to all of humanity explaining how we can be restored to the Garden of Eden and once again have a face-to-face relationship with our loving Creator.



May everyone reading this make the decision--TODAY--to enter into His light and take hold of the Tree of Life.
"She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed," Proverbs 3:18


NOTES:

The above reading of Revelation 22:14 is found in the King James and Aramaic Bible but is also found in texts from circa 2nd century C.E. such as the following:

"Thus, too, again: Blessed they who act according to the precepts, that they may have power over the tree of life and over the gates, for entering into the holy city. Dogs, sorcerers, fornicators, murderers, out!" Tertullian, On Modesty (208 C.E.), quoting Revelation 22:14

"In the Apocalypse...'Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have power over the tree of life'," Cyprian (251 C.E.), quoting Revelation 22:14

2 comments:

  1. Like the post, but LOVE the Hannukiah. Where did that pic come from??

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    1. Yeah, I want one of those. I can't remember what site it was from but I remember doing a google image search for something like "menorah tree of life" and it came up. : )

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