Archive for the ‘Torah’ Category

The Power of Paradigms (כ״ו בכסלו ה׳תשע״ו (December 8, 2015))

[This teaching was originally taught coinciding with Parashat KiTisa – Ex30:11-34:35.]   Paradigms shape: how we see the world; how we understand words; how we read and interpret texts (including, of course, the scriptures). Much of our language is paradigmatic; the words are given meaning by the paradigm in which they’re used. Change the paradigm […]

To Eat or Not To Eat, That Is The Question (כ״ה באב ה׳תשע״א (August 25, 2011))

Romans chapter 14 is often quoted as proof that Paul (Rabbi Sha’ul of Tarsus) taught and believed that the dietary laws and holy days of the Torah (especially Shabbat) have been done away with. This is very easy to do when we read those verses from a 21st century western Christian paradigm as if they […]

The woman caught in adultery – did Yeshua really set aside the Law and replace it with grace? (כ״ב בתמוז ה׳תשע״א (July 24, 2011))

I would like to take a look at the account in chapter 8 of John’s Gospel, when the Scribes (the soferim) and the Pharisees (Prushim) brought to Jesus (Yeshua) a woman “caught in adultery”. It has been said that “Jesus set aside the Law of Moses in dealing with this woman, and replaced it with […]

Acts 15 and Acts 10 – what do they really say about the Law? (כ״ב בתמוז ה׳תשע״א (July 24, 2011))

This article was born out of an extended “conversation” on facebook during which a number of New Testament scriptures were quoted in order to justify non-observance of “The Law” by non-Jewish believers. As is often the case, these scriptures were quoted out of context, as if they were written yesterday (or, at least, in our […]

As long as the answer is right, who cares if the question is wrong? (כ״א במרחשון ה׳תשע״א (October 29, 2010))

Older computer users who are familiar with Unix (or Linux) may well remember a program called “fortune” which would display a short, randomly chosen message as a logon greeting for users. It was usually a humorous or profound one-line quote. I have a modern version of this on my desktop – it changes the quote […]

Until John… (כ״ה באייר ה׳תש״ע (May 9, 2010))

Until – At first reading of this passage in English, it sounds like Jesus is contrasting two periods of time – the time of the Law and the Prophets up until John the Baptist, and then the time after John the Baptist when the “kingdom of God is preached and everyone is pressing into it”. […]

Ritual vs Moral Purity (כ״ט בניסן ה׳תש״ע (April 13, 2010))

Hi everyone. Today I came across the following article on Dr Skip Moen’s web site that I thought was worth reposting here. It deals with the difference between ritual purity and moral purity – something that is very poorly understood in western Christianity today. (The original article can be found here).

Thoughts on Passover (ט׳ בניסן ה׳תש״ע (March 24, 2010))

Hi all. It’s been a while since the last update, but Passover (Pesach) is coming up and the timing this year is particularly interesting. This year, the days fall out exactly as they did in the year Jesus (Yeshua) was crucified.

A Living Sacrifice (ה׳ באדר ה׳תש״ע (February 19, 2010))

What does it mean to present oneself as a “living sacrifice”?

Under the substitutionary sacrificial system, when an animal is brought as a sacrifice, as a substitute for the one bringing the sacrifice, can it be sacrificed whilst still alive? Of course not.

The Torah is very specific about what is to happen when an animal is brought as a sacrifice:

* it must be from your own herd i.e. it must cost you something
* it is set apart (holy, sanctified) for God
* it must be inspected by the priest
* it must be killed in a specific way, by having its throat slit and its blood drained out.
* it must be lifted up onto the altar by the one bringing the sacrifice.

In other words, if it is still alive, it cannot be a sacrifice. It must be dead before it is placed onto the altar. You cannot present a “living” sacrifice.

So how can Paul write this to the believers (remember, both Jews and Proselytes meeting in the synagogues) in Rome?

In Paths of Righteousness (כ״ב בשבט ה׳תש״ע (February 6, 2010))

Ps 23:3 He restores my soul: He leads me in paths of righteousness for His names´ sake. This is a pretty typical English translation of this very well known verse of probably the best known and most oft quoted Psalm of David. We have generally considered it to mean that He will direct us, day […]

Times of Refreshing (כ״ב בשבט ה׳תש״ע (February 6, 2010))

In Exodus 31:17, when Moses is recounting the creation story to Israel, we read “…and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed”. The phase “and was refreshed” is vayinnafash (vav-yod-nun-nun-fey-shin). Nafash (to catch ones’ breath, to breathe, to rest) is from the same root as nefesh (living soul), which we find in the […]

Led by the Spirit or under the Law? Is that the right question? (כ״ב בשבט ה׳תש״ע (February 6, 2010))

I’m reminded of a passage in Galatians 5 that is often interpreted by the church as justification for not obeying the commandments of God; When do you become “under the law”?