Sunday, October 21, 2018

Was Jesus “a devout Torah-observant Jew”? Matthew 5

God allowed certificate of divorce: Deut. 24.1-4

·       But Jesus says: Mat 19.

God commands no work at all on the Sabbath: Deut. 5.13-15; Num. 15.32-36

·       But Jesus and his Apostles “always work”: Mat 12.1-14; John 5.17-19

God commands capital punishment: Deut. 22.22

·       But Jesus offers mercy instead: John 7

God commands “an eye for an eye”: Lev. 24.20

·       But Jesus says “love your enemies”: Mat 5.38-39

God commands lethal self-defense: Ex 22.2

·       But Jesus says “pray” for them: Luke 6.28-29

God commands “holy wars”: Deut. 20.17

·       But Jesus “rebukes” the sword: Mat 26.52

God demands a “vow,” “oath” to Him: Ex 22:10-11; Num. 30.3

·       But Jesus says “don’t swear at all”: Mat 5.33-36

God commands fasting: Lev 16:29; Num. 29:7-11

·       But Jesus says: Mark 2.18-22; Mat 9.14-17

Misc. Laws:

God commands “honor your parents”: Exod. 20.12; Deut. 5.16

·       But Jesus puts himself above your family: Mat 8.21-22; Luke 14.25-33; cf. Mat 12.46-50

God prohibits eating unclean food: Lev. 11; Deut. 14.

·       But Jesus says “all foods are clean”: Mar 7.19; cf. Luke 11.40

God says don’t even touch the sick: Num. 5

·       But Jesus heals the sick: Mar 14.3

God says don’t touch the dead: Num. 9.14

·       But Jesus raised the dead: Lazarus, dead child, Mar. 5.39-41

God commands for “unclean” women: Lev. 15.19-24

·       But Jesus heals them: Luke 8.43-48

God commands Temple tax payment: Ex. 30.13; 38.26

·       But Jesus says they’re free from it: Matthew 17:24-27

“Fulfilled” defined:

·       The Baptist, the last prophet of Torah: Luke 16.16; Mat 11.13

·       Because Jesus was “the end of Torah”: Rom 10.4

·       Paul not under Moses but Messiah: 1Cor 9.19-21

·       Predicated on Jesus as “Moses redux.”

·       Just like the Law and the prophets, the rabbis foresaw this….

Tomson, Paul and the Jewish Law, pp 94, 272.

“A tradition exists in ancient Jewish and Rabbinic literature that in the messianic age the Tora, or parts of it, will be abolished. [For example, at] the messianic banquet where Israel will dine of the evidently non-kosher Leviathan.”

Nidah 61b

The Rabbis taught that mitzvot will be nullified in the age to come. And rabbi Yochanan expounded: What does it mean "Freedom among the dead" (Ps 88:6)? When a man dies, he is free from the commandments.

R. Aqila says: "The Eternal sits and examines the new Torah which he will bestow in the future through the Messiah"

·       The Last Torah proponent: Luke 16.16; Mat 11.13

·       Fulfillment = change, phasing out.

·       The Cross as the apostolic focus! Col 2.14; Eph. 2.15

·       The “already-not-yet” principle.

Theological Dictionary of the NT

In different ways the Rabbis also argued that God’s work goes on on the Sabbath and that He is uninterruptedly active as Sustainer and Judge of the world. On the basis of these considerations the saying of Jesus stresses the constancy of the divine work, which is not affected even by the Sabbath. But Jesus then continues that as the Father works, so do I. [He claims] that divine authority is given to Him as the Son, and hence that His work cannot tolerate any interruption, even by the Sabbath. The Jews grasp what is being said: Jesus has not just broken the Sabbath but is abolishing it. The story of the breaking of the Sabbath thus raises the decisive question whether the authority of Jesus as the One whom God has sent is recognized or not.

In Mark 2.27 man and his needs are said to be of greater value than the commandment. The absolute obligation of the commandment is thus challenged….The second saying in v. 28 goes much further: “The Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.” The Christian community is confessing Jesus, the Son of Man, who as [lord Messiah] decides concerning the applying or transcending of the Sabbath. In His lordship Sabbath casuistry comes to an end.

“The Law is forced out of its key position by the person of Jesus Himself.”

Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels

“Jesus, living in the overlap between the old covenant and the new, is generally obedient to the Mosaic Law, but at the same time he makes clear that he has sovereign rights both to interpret and to set aside that Law. It is not, however, that Jesus consistently flaunts the traditions, for he attends the synagogue on the Sabbath, and displays habits at mealtime and at prayer that are consistent with the traditions. What we have, then, is a Jesus who does not go out of his way to break the traditions of his day but at the same time makes clear that he considers himself free to ignore them if need demands. What is impressive in Jesus’ teaching is the way in which he taught directly, and without reference to any other authority, what it was that God was demanding of his people. The Mosaic Law, if not discarded, is generally ignored–and this signals an important shift from both the OT and the Judaism of Jesus’ day.”

ADDENDUM: Apostolic churches

Jerusalem council: Acts 15; 21.25

·       Torah has become “a yoke!”

·       No circumcision!

Food laws: Rom. 14.14, 20

·       Some weak Christians.

Jewish calendar: Col. 2.16-17; Gal. 4; Rom. 14.5

·       One of the Torah shadows.

From Sabbath to Sunday: 1Cor 16.2

·       Collection changed from the Sabbath (tzedakah) to Sunday.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

A New Covenant, A New Law

“This cup is the blood of the new covenant; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

Luke 22.19; 1Cor 11.25

After Jesus had his last Passover we read in Luke 22.29:

“I covenant to you a kingdom, as my Father covenanted one to me.”

While this is a more precise rendering of the Greek, it’s made awkward by the fact that most of your translations don’t have it.

Messianic Torah

Some Rabbis, based on OT Jer. 31, taught that among the many things the Messiah [the Moses redivivus] would bring was a new Torah, i.e., revised, renewed or a spiritualized form of the current one.

Ezekiel 36 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

24 “I will take you out of those nations, bring you back to your own land.

25 I will wash away all your filth, the filth from those nasty idols.

26-27 I will also put a new spirit in you. [So] that you will obey my laws and carefully obey my commands.

28 Then you will live in the land. You will be my people, and I will be your God.

29-30 Land of “food and honey.”

Genesis: Sermon Mount

Jesus, “Moses reborn,” does away with some of the Old Law by spiritualizing things like marriage and lethal violence in general (“holy wars,” lethal self-defense).

Later the Apostles at the Jerusalem council stop enforcing Torah on new converts/proselytes via circumcision (acc. Gen 17; cp. Paul in Gal 2-5; Phil 3 etc.).

·       Circumcision focused because = “the whole Torah,” i.e., pars pro toto [a part of the whole], “a package deal”!

The When and Who of Passover changed:

·       When? Sunday [11x[1] in the NT; cp. Hos 6.2]. The Sabbath has become “a shadow,” [Col 2.16-17] i.e., ineffective! Communion not once a year!

Luke 22.19

“You shall be doing this to commemorate me.”

1Cor 5.8

“Let us be celebrating (the continuous sense of the present tense Greek verb)”

1Cor 11:18, 20, 33

Whenever you meet together in church…”

·       Who? Anyone! Under the Old Covenant you must be circumcised to eat the Passover meal: Ex 12.48! Jew & Gentiles at a food laws free fellowship table.

Wrong? “This is true for the Temple.” And Gentiles can only participate if they eat the unleavened bread, herbs, etc.

The point: The New Covenant is intimately tied to Jesus’ words, i.e., new laws regarding the Gospel about the coming KOG on earth.

NOTE the contrast:

Mat 5.18

“Until heaven and earth pass away, not one stroke of a letter of Torah will pass away until all is fulfilled.”

Mat 24.35

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”

So if you’re holding on to OC laws “you ain’t getting’ in!”

Ask someone to close with prayer after…

Communion Service: the bread

1Cor 11.23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread;

24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

The wine:

1Cor 11. 25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

[1] Matt.  16:21;  17:23; 20:19;  27:64;  Luke  9:22;  18:33;  24:7,  21,  46;  Acts  10:40; 1 Cor. 15:4.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Present Evil Age Bible study handout

Unger's Commentary on the Old Testament, vol 2, 1676.
The supernatural powers of evil behind the Persian gods and idols were demons, the dynamic of idolatry (see Isa. 24:21 ; Jer. 46:25; 1 Cor. 8:5; 10:20-21) and active agents in the government of the satanic world system (Eph. 6:12), of which the nations are a part.

Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible.
As the gods of the nations were demonized, so demons are said to be idols (‘elilim) in Hebrew [LXX Deut 32: 17 sedim; LXX Ps 105:37]. The LXX Isa 65.11 daimon renders the Hebrew name of the pagan god of Fonune (Gad), where the Israelites are said to have been "preparing a table for the demon". This conception of table fellowship with pagan gods who are in reality demons carries over into the NT: 1Cor 10.20-21: "that which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons"; Paul sets in opposition "the table of the Lord and the table of demons.”

Early views: Jewish
Jubilees 15.31-32; 19.26-29
“For there are many nations and peoples and all belong to God and over all of them He’s placed spirits in authority to lead them astray from Him. But over Israel He did not appoint any angel or spirit, for He alone is their ruler, and He will preserve them and require them at the hand of His angels and His spirits, and at the hand of all His powers in order that He may preserve them and bless them.”…Abraham called Jacob before the eyes of Rebecca his mother, and kissed him, and blessed him, and said: ‘Jacob, my beloved son, whom my soul loves, may God bless you….And the spirits of Mastema shall not rule over you or over your seed to turn you from God...’

The Qumran community describes the wicked form of government under “the rule of Belial.”

Justin Martyr, Dialogue 79
Justin proves against Trypho that the wicked angels have revolted from God:
The princes in Tanis are evil angels [Isa 30.4]. And, further, Zechariah [3.1 shows how] the Devil stood on the right hand of Joshua the priest, to resist him; and God said, 'The Lord, who has taken Jerusalem, rebuke you.’ And you are aware that David said, 'The gods of the nations are demons.'

Tertullian, 211 AD.
Is it lawful to make an occupation of the sword, when the Lord proclaims that he who uses the sword will die by the sword? Is the [military] laurel of triumph made of leaves, or of corpses? Is it adorned with ribbons, or with tombs? Is it wet with ointments, or with the tears of wives and mothers? It may be made of some [dead] Christians too. For Christ is also believed among the barbarians.

Origen, 248 AD.
Celsus also urges us to "take office in the government of the country, if that is required for the maintenance of the laws and the support of religion." But we recognize in each state the existence of another national organization founded by the Word of God, and we exhort those who are mighty in word and of blameless life to rule over Churches. Those who are ambitious of ruling we reject….it’s not for the purpose of escaping public duties that Christians decline public offices, but that they may reserve themselves for a more divine and necessary service in the Church of God--for the salvation of men.

Christian councils/orders and practice:

Egyptian Church Order AD 200-235
16.7 If someone is a gladiator, or one who teaches those among the gladiators how to fight, or a hunter who is in the wild beast shows in the arena, or a public official who is concerned with gladiator shows, either he shall cease, or he shall be rejected. 9 A military man in authority must not execute men. If he is ordered, he must not carry it out. Nor must he take military oath. If he refuses, he shall be rejected. 10 If someone is a military governor (has the authority of swords), or the ruler of a city who wears the purple, he shall cease or he shall be rejected.

Council of Nicaea, Asia Minor, AD 325
    If a military man wanted to convert, he would first have to do penitence for 10 years, which was even more than the penitence of 7 years required for someone who denied Christ under persecution. As many as were called by grace, and displayed the first zeal, having cast aside their military belts, but afterwards returned, like dogs, to their own vomit, (so that some spent money and by means of gifts regained their military stations); let these, after they have passed the space of 3 years as hearers, be for 10 years prostrators [worshipers, i.e., “pew people” only].


Sunday, July 1, 2018

"sons of God," Nephilim/demons handout

Dr. Michael Heiser, The Naked Bible Podcast 2.0, 94, “The Sin of the Watchers and Galatians 3-4.” Apr. 2, 2016.
“If you asked a Jew: Why’s the world is the way it is? Why do we get depravity? Why is humanity so messed up? You’d get Gen 3 or 6, one or the other, how the Watchers transmitted forbidden knowledge to humans and humans took that knowledge and basically perverted and turned it against themselves, things like lust and what not. And that’s going to be the real guts of why the world is in the awful condition it is. Then thirdly, of course, you’re going to have what happens at Babel. But in Christian theology, tradition, what people grow up hearing in church is Gen 3, the Fall only. And the OT never references Gen 3 as an explanation for the condition of the human heart or the condition of human wickedness.  And so the question really is: Are the NT writers only thinking about the Fall or the sin of the Watchers as well? Is what is in their heads include the book of Enoch and 2nd Temple material more broadly speaking?”

Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 49
“There’s growing agreement that the distinction here indicated by ‘flesh’ and ‘spirit’ is not between the material and immaterial parts of Christ’s person (i.e., his ‘body’ and ‘soul’), but rather between his earthly existence and his risen state [1Tim 3.16] i.e., bodily as resurrection always is in the NT.”

ISBE, Demon, Demoniac, Demonology, pp 827-29.
“Interest in the demons as such is absent. [They] belong to the unseen world, they’re incapable of manifestation except in the disorders which they cause—there are no materializations, no grotesque narratives of appearances and disappearances, no morbid dealing with repulsive details, no license of speculation in the narratives. In contrast with this reticence is not merely the demonology of primitive people, but also that of the non-canonical Jewish books.”

1 Enoch 15 BC
8 The giants who were born from body and flesh will be called Evil Spirits on the Earth, and on the Earth will be their dwelling. 9 And evil spirits came out from their flesh, because from above they were created, from the Holy Watchers was their origin and first foundation. ‘Spirits of the Evil Ones’ they will be called. 16.1 And the death of the giants, wherever the spirits have gone out from their bodies, their flesh will be destroyed, before the Judgment. Thus they will be destroyed until the Day of the Great Consummation is accomplished, upon the Great Age, upon the Watchers and the impious ones.

Philo, On Giants
II.6 When the angels of God saw the daughters of men that they were beautiful, they took unto themselves wives of all of them whom they chose. Those beings, whom other philosophers call demons, Moses usually calls angels; and they are souls hovering in the air…. And these beings are invisible to us [and some] have descended into bodies….as into a river. [Some are] carried away and swallowed up by the voracity of a most violent whirlpool; [others resist] with all their power….at first swim on the top of it, and afterwards fly back to the place from which they started.

Jubilees 10 BC
 1-3 Demons began to lead astray the children of the sons of Noah, and destroy them.

And the sons of Noah came to Noah and they told him concerning the demons which were leading astray, blinding and killing their children. Noah prayed before the Lord his God, and said: You know how the Watchers, the fathers of these spirits, acted in my day: and as for these spirits which are living, imprison them and hold them fast in the place of condemnation…

12-13 And [angels] explained to Noah all the medicines of their diseases, together with their seductions, how he might heal them with herbs of the earth. And Noah wrote down all things in a book as [the angels] instructed him concerning every kind of medicine. Thus the evil spirits were precluded from (hurting) the sons of Noah.

1st c. AD. Testament of Solomon
5.7-8 You [Solomon] are the son of a man, but although I was born of a human mother, I am the son of an angel….You have us to torture for a little while; then we shall disperse among human beings…I cause the wickedness of men to spread throughout the world. [I cause madness. I’m a serial killer].

17.1-5 And there came a spirit of shadowy human form having glowing eyes. And I asked him, saying: “Who are you?” He said: “I am a lecherous spirit of a giant human who died in the slaughter in the time of the giants. My dwelling is in desolate places. My activity is this: I sit near dead men in the tombs and at midnight I assume the form of the dead and if I seize someone, immediately I kill him with the sword. And if I am not able to kill (him), I make him demonized so they chew their flesh….”

Athenagorus (A.D. 137-175)
Some angels “fell into impure love of virgins, and were subjugated by the flesh. [Of these] were begotten whose who re called giants. [And] the souls of the giants, which are the demons who wander about the world, perform actions similar [to fallen angels. They] haunt the air and the earth, and are no longer able to rise to heavenly things…”

Lactantius (A.D. 304)
But they who were born from these, because they were neither angels nor men, but bearing a kind of mixed nature, were not admitted into hell, as their fathers were not into heaven. Thus there came to be two kinds of demons; one of heaven, the other of the earth….These contaminated and abandoned spirits, as I say, wander over the whole earth, and contrive a solace for their own perdition by the destruction of men. Therefore they fill every place with snares, deceits, frauds, and errors; for they cling to individuals….And these, since spirits are without substance and not to be grasped, insinuate themselves into the bodies of men; and secretly working in their inward parts, they corrupt the health, hasten diseases, terrify their souls with dreams, harass their minds with frenzies….