- Hebrew Roots/Messianic Movement
Frequently Asked Questions
About Hebrew Roots
Hebrew Roots FAQ's
Under the Law
Myth: The handwriting of ordinances in
Colossians 2:1 refer to the oral law or oral Torah, also known
as the Talmud. The oral law is inferred in the NT in other of
Paul's writings, like Galatians, which is the correct
understanding of "under the Law".
A. If we look at
the context of verse 14, the "handwriting of ordinances" is not
the oral Law as some might believe. It is clear that Paul is
speaking against the tradition of men in verse 8, which the oral
law - known as the Talmud.
2:6-15 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the
Lord, so walk ye in him: 7. Rooted and built up in him, and
stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding
therein with thanksgiving.
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain
deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of
the world, and not after Christ.
9. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead
10. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all
principality and power:
11. In whom also
circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in
putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the
circumcision of Christ:
12. Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen
with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath
raised him from the dead.
13. And you,
being dead in
your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh,
hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against
us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way,
nailing it to his cross;
15. And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a
shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
The definition of
"the handwriting of ordinances":
1) a handwriting, what one has written by his own hand
2) a note of hand or writing in which one acknowledges that
money has either been deposited with him or lent to him by
another, to be returned at the appointed time
Part of Speech: noun neuter
1) doctrine, decree, ordinance
1a) of public decrees
1b) of the Roman Senate
1c) of rulers
2) the rules and requirements of the law of Moses; carrying a
suggestion of severity and of threatened judgment
3) of certain decrees of the apostles relative to right living
Part of Speech: noun neuter
Please note that handwritten means something written down. As
the oral Law was spoken, not written down, until the Talmud was
compiled, Paul was not referring to that. Handwritten ordinances
[not doctrine aka dogma] was the Mosaic Law. Dogma, in this
context, means the Law, not doctrines. The oral law is not
against anyone. It is an interpretation of Torah as we read in
the Talmud - which is considered to have more authority than the
written Word of God.
God hand wrote the law with His finger.
Exodus 31:18 And he gave unto Moses,
when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount
Sinai, two tables of testimony,
tables of stone, written with
the finger of God.
Deuteronomy 9:10 And the LORD delivered unto me two tables
of stone written with the finger of God; *and
on them was written according to **all** the words*,
which the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst
of the fire in the day of the assembly.
Paul explains in
Ephesians 2 that it is the Law - "the law of commandments
contained in ordinances" [old covenant] that was abolished, not
the oral law:
Ephesians 2:15 Having abolished in his
flesh the enmity, even the law
of commandments contained in ordinances;
for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making
The enmity was
the law because it was death to those who could not keep it -
which is true even today. Under the old covenant, no one can
keep the law and therefore; one receives death, not life. The
New Covenant in the blood of Christ is a new law which has
replaced the Mosaic Law. The enmity or reason for opposition
being abolished, ties in with the fact that these commandments
were what separated Israel from the Gentiles. Those commandments
which told Israel how to be set apart and different to the
nations. Those are what were abolished thus reconciling both Jew
and Gentile in Him.
If one says these dogma are commandments of men i.e. rabbinical
laws, how could Jesus death do away with these if Jesus never
recognized these anyway?
Jesus ate with unwashed hands and his disciples did not adhere
to the traditions of the elders? Even without these pharisaical
additions the Mosaic law's intention was to set apart a people
for God. The laws were intended to create this "enmity", to
create a distinction between the set apart and the profane.
Galatians does not refer to the oral law. When a person is under
the works of the law, they are "under the old covenant" and its
law of death for non-compliance. This is what Paul is speaking
of. The oral law is the tradition of man, not the Law of Moses
[the old covenant], nor the Law of God.
Galatians 2:15 We who are Jews by
nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
16 Knowing that a man is not
justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus
Christ, even we have believed
in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of
Christ, and not by the works of
the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be
Galatians 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God?
God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could
have given life, verily righteousness should have been by
22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the
promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that
23 But before faith came, we
were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should
afterwards be revealed.
24 Wherefore the law was our
schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that
we might be justified by faith.
25 But after that faith is
come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ
Jesus did not die
to save us from the oral law, but to atone for sin:
Galatians 4:4 But when the fulness of
the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman,
made under the law, 5 To
redeem them that were under the law,
that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Just so there is
no mistake as to what Paul wanted to convey:
Tell me, ye that desire to be under
the law, do ye not hear the law?
22. For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by
a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23.
But he who was of the bondwoman was
born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by
promise. 24. Which things are an allegory: for these are the
two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth
to bondage, which is Agar. 25.
For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to
Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
26. But Jerusalem which is
above is free, which is the mother of us all.
27. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest
not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the
desolate hath many more children than she which hath an
husband. 28. Now we, brethren,
as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
29. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted
him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. 30.
Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the
bondwoman and her son: for the
son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the
freewoman. 31. So then, brethren, we are not children of the
bondwoman, but of the free.
The OT shows us
that *all* the Laws that God gave Moses were written down and
that these laws were the ones to be obeyed:
thou wilt not observe to do **all the words of this law**
that are **written** in this book*,
that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE
LORD THY GOD;
Deuteronomy 30:10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of
the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes
are **written** in this book of the law,
and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart,
and with all thy soul.
11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is
not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.
book of the law**
shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate
therein day and night, *that
thou mayest observe to do according to **all that is
for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou
shalt have good success.
Joshua 8:31-34 As Moses the servant of the LORD commanded
the children of Israel,
**as it is
written in the book of the law of Moses,**
an altar of whole stones, over which no man hath lift up any
iron: and they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the
LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings. 32.
**And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of
which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel.
33. And all Israel, and their elders, and officers, and
their judges, stood on this side the ark and on that side
before the priests the Levites, which bare the ark of the
covenant of the LORD, as well the stranger, as he that was
born among them; half of them over against mount Gerizim,
and half of them over against mount Ebal; as Moses the
servant of the LORD had commanded before, that they should
bless the people of Israel. 34. And afterward
all the words** of the law, *the
blessings and cursings,
to all that is written in the book of the law.**
Joshua 23:6 Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to
**all that is written** in the book of the law
of Moses*, ***that
ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the
1Kings 2:3 *And keep the charge of the LORD thy God*, to
walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his
commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, *as it
in the law of Moses*,
that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and
whithersoever thou turnest thyself:
What did Jesus
say of the traditions of the Pharisees, which some refer to as
the oral law/Torah aka the Talmud:
Matthew 15:1-3 Then came to Jesus
scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, 2.
Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders?
for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. 3. But he
answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress
the commandment of God by your tradition?
Mark 7:5-9 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why
walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the
elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? 6. He
answered and said unto them,
Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is
written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their
heart is far from me. 7. Howbeit in vain do they worship me,
teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8. For
laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition
of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such
like things ye do. 9. And he said unto them, Full well ye
reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own
Mark 7:13 Making the word of
God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have
delivered: and many such like things do ye.
Myth: Christians are
antinomians because they don't keep the Sabbath on Saturday and
therefore violate Torah.
Myth. We need to
keep the Sabbath, as part of the commandments, and to not do so
means we are lawless or "anti-nomian".
It needs to be clarified that Sunday, which many Christians
observe as a remembrance of Christ being risen on the first day
of the week, does not replace the Sabbath as some suggest is the
purpose. It is fully a new day, just as the New Covenant brought
the new priesthood and new laws. And just as the Sabbath was a
shadow of things to come, the rest we have in Christ cannot even
begin to be compared to the physical rest offered by the Sabbath
rest bound to the Mosaic Law. A shadow of something simply does
not give the true image.
The Sabbath was given as a sign of the
Sinai Covenant to the children of Israel after they were
delivered from Egypt.
Deuteronomy 4:8 And what nation
is there so great,
that hath statutes and judgments so
righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?
Exodus 16:25-30 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for
to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye
shall not find it in the field. 26. Six days ye shall gather
it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath,
in it there shall be none. 27. And it came to pass,
that there went out some of the people on the
seventh day for to gather, and they found none. 28. And the
LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my
commandments and my laws? 29. See, for that the LORD hath
given you the sabbath, therefore
he giveth you on the sixth
day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place,
let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. 30. So
the people rested on the seventh day.
remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence
through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm:
therefore the LORD
thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.
Nehemiah 9:13-14 Thou camest down also upon mount
Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them
right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and
And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst
them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy
These verses show that the Sabbath was
first given to the people of Israel through Moses along with the
other commandments at Mount Sinai.
Those who believe Christ should understand
that we are in a different covenant, which was promised by God
in Jeremiah 31. Because of that, no longer is the Sabbath
binding on those who enter into the New Covenant.
The NT teaches that the Sinai Law or
Mosaic Law contained shadows of the good things to come in the
New. The Sabbath was one of these.
Colossians 2:16. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in
drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon,
or of the sabbath days: 17. Which are a shadow
of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
The true meaning of the
Sabbath wasn't just the cessation of work and rest for the body
but was also spiritual. Work wasn't the primary issue here
obviously, since the priests did work on the Sabbath. Jesus
brought the issue forward when the Pharisees accused the
disciples of profaning the Sabbath.
Matthew 12:1-5 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath
day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and
began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. 2. But
when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him,
Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon
the sabbath day. 3. But he said unto them, Have ye
not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and
they that were with him; 4. How he entered into the house
of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for
him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only
for the priests? 5. Or
have ye not read in the law,
how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple
profane the sabbath, and are blameless?
Matthew 12:6-8 But I say unto you, That in this place is
one greater than the temple. 7. But if ye had
known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not
sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. 8.
For the Son of man
is Lord even of the sabbath day.
Matthew 12:9-13 And when he was departed thence, he
went into their synagogue: 10. And, behold, there was a
man which had his hand withered. And they asked him,
saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days?
that they might accuse him. 11. And he said unto them, What
man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and
if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay
hold on it, and lift it out? 12. How much then is
a man better than a sheep?
Wherefore it is lawful to do
well on the sabbath days.
13. Then saith he to the man,
Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth;
and it was restored whole, like as the other.
Messianics often say that we must keep the
Sabbath because Jesus "kept it". In John 5 we see where Jesus is
accused of breaking the Sabbath and he defends Himself by saying
that He worked as His Father worked.
John 5:16 And therefore
did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him,
because he had done these things on the sabbath day.
17 But Jesus answered them,
worketh hitherto, and I work.
18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because
he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God
was his Father, making himself equal with God.
19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I
say unto you,
The Son can
do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for
what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son
Paul nowhere taught that we had to
continue to keep the Sabbath like the Children of Israel had
been required to while under the Sinai covenant.
Colossians 2:14-17 Blotting out
the handwriting of
ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to
us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15.
And having spoiled principalities and powers, he
made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
16. Let no man therefore judge
you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of
the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
17. Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is
One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth
every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in
his own mind. 6.
He that regardeth
the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that
regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it.
He that eateth,
eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that
eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God
Hebrews 4 shows us that the Sabbath rest
we obtain now, is through the New Covenant and Jesus.
Hebrews 4:3-11 For
we which have believed do
enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if
they shall enter into my rest: although the works were
finished from the foundation of the world.
4. For he spake in a
certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And
God did rest the seventh day from all his works. 5.
And in this place again, If they shall enter into my
rest. 6. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must
enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached
entered not in because of unbelief: 7. Again, he limiteth
a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a
time; as it is said,
To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
8. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not
afterward have spoken of another day.
9. There remaineth
therefore a rest to the people of God.
10. For he that is
entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own
works, as God did from his. 11.
Let us labour therefore to
enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same
example of unbelief.
Jesus is that promised rest.
Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour
and are heavy laden, and
I will give you rest.
29. Take my yoke upon
you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and
ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30. For my yoke
is easy, and my burden is light.
We rest from the
labour of trying to earn our righteousness with God. The Law
showed that none of us can obtain righteousness by our own
efforts. According to the Law, it had to be kept as a whole.
Galatians 3:9-13 So then they which
be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. 10. For as
many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for
it is written, Cursed
every one that continueth not in all things which are
written in the book of the law to do them. 11. But that
no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is
evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12. And
the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall
live in them. 13. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of
the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written,
Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
Deuteronomy 27:26 Cursed be he that
confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them.
And all the people shall say, Amen.
That was the point of the Law to
show us our need for Christ, of a Saviour and Redeemer and the
need to have spiritually new circumcised hearts. The Law also
increased the abundance of sin.
Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But
where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
Romans 7:13 Was
then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But
sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that
which is good; that sin by the commandment might become
If we were not aware of our
sinfulness we wouldn't see the need for a Redeemer or the need
of a New Covenant. IF the Law truly made us righteous there
would have been no need for either.
Hebrews 7:11-12 If therefore
perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it
the people received the law,) what further need was there
that another priest should rise after the order of
Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? 12.
For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity
a change also of the law.
Hebrews 7:18-19 For there is verily
a disannulling of the commandment going before for the
weakness and unprofitableness thereof. 19. For the law made
nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did;
by the which we draw nigh unto God.
Since the Law
pointed to Christ
And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt,
and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence
through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore
the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.
We see how in
the Old Covenant the Sabbath rest was given after redemption
from the bondage in Egypt. This was a shadow of the deliverance
from sin that Jesus has obtained for us.
The rest we
have in Christ is in knowing and trusting that He will change
our hearts when we take up our Cross daily and follow Him.
Luke 9:23-24 And he said to them
all, If any man will come after me, let him deny
himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24. For
whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever
will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all
ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give
you rest. 29. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I
am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your
souls. 30. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is
Myth. Acts 15 tells us that we
are to learn and keep the law of Moses and that Gentiles who
convert can start with just the basic list, but should become
fully obedient to the law over time as they grow spiritually.
In Acts 15, the apostle
Peter makes it clear that Gentiles who come to the faith
do not have to be circumcised or keep the law of Moses
Acts 15:1-11 And
certain men which came down from
Judaea taught the brethren, and said,
Except ye be circumcised
after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
2. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small
dissension and disputation with them, they determined
that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go
up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this
question. 3. And being brought on their way by the church,
they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the
conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto
all the brethren. 4. And when they were come to Jerusalem,
they were received of the church, and of the
apostles and elders, and they declared all things that
God had done with them. 5. But
there rose up certain of the
sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was
needful to circumcise them, and to command them to
keep the law of Moses.
6. And the apostles and elders came together for to
consider of this matter. 7. And when there had been much
rose up, and said unto
them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while
ago God made choice among us,
that the Gentiles by my mouth
should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness,
giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
9. And put no
difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by
faith. 10. Now
therefore why tempt ye
God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples,
which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11.
But we believe
that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be
saved, even as they.
Acts 15:13 And after they had held their peace,
answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which
from among the Gentiles are turned to God: 20. But that we write unto them, that they
abstain from pollutions of idols, and from
fornication, and from things strangled, and from
For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach
him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole
church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch
with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed
Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren: 23.
And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting
unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and
Syria and Cilicia: 24.
Forasmuch as we have heard,
that certain which went out from us
have troubled you with
words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be
circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such
It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to
send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
26. Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our
Lord Jesus Christ. 27. We have sent therefore Judas and
Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by
mouth. 28. For
it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you
no greater burden than these necessary things; 29.
That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood,
and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which
if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
Act 15:30 So when they were dismissed, they came to
Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together,
they delivered the epistle: 31 Which when they had
read, they rejoiced for the consolation.
In verse 10 we see what Peter
responds to the Pharisee believers that insisted on Law keeping
Acts 15:10-11 Now therefore
why tempt ye God, to put a
yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our
fathers nor we were able to bear? 11. But we believe that
through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be
saved, even as they.
We see that neither they nor
their fathers were able to bear the yoke of the Law and Peter
then asked those that insisted on circumcision and the keeping
of the Law, why they were forcing this yoke upon Gentile
believers. They made the keeping of the Law a salvation issue,
which many do today as well.
Moses yoke and Jesus' yoke were
not the same. Jesus said:
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are
heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29.
Take my yoke
upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in
heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30. For my
yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith
Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with
the yoke of bondage.
In this chapter the apostle James
actually regarded those Pharisees who believed but were saying
that the Gentiles had to be circumcised and keep the Law, as
having troubled believers and having subverted their souls.
James then stresses that they had given no commandment for
Gentiles to get circumcised and keep the Law.
Forasmuch as we have heard,
that certain which went out from us
have troubled you
with words, subverting your souls,
Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom
we gave no such commandment:
1) to pack up baggage in
order to carry it away to another place
1a) to move one’s
furniture (when setting out for some other place)
2) of an enemy
3) of a place
3a) to overthrow, ravage
destroy towns lands etc.
4) to turn away violently
from a right state, to unsettle, subvert
Part of Speech:
verb Related Word by
Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G303 (in
the sense of reversal) and a derivative of G4632
The apostles, elders and Holy
Spirit agreed with James as we see in the following verses
Then pleased it
the apostles and elders, with
the whole church, to
send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul
namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men
among the brethren: 23.
And they wrote letters by them after this
apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto
the brethren which are of the Gentiles in
Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:
24. Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went
out from us have troubled you with words,
subverting your souls,
saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to
whom we gave no such commandment:
25. It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord,
to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and
Paul, 26. Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of
our Lord Jesus Christ.
15:27. We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall
also tell you the same things by mouth. 28.
For it seemed good
to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater
burden than these necessary things; 29.
That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood,
and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which
if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
We see that
the letter which was written in response to this question of
a requirement of observing the Law and circumcision is distributed with witnesses
to the Gentiles who are coming to the faith. There is no
mention of obeying the whole Law or circumcision, just of those
four necessary things.
these specific issues many other times as well, and to the
Galatians he wrote:
Galatians 6:12-15 As many as desire to make a fair
shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised;
only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of
Christ. 13. For neither they themselves who are
circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you
circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. 14.
God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our
Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me,
and I unto the world. 15. For in Christ Jesus neither
circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a
There was no mention within the
letter of instructions sent by the apostles, elders and church
in Jerusalem of them being
temporal, or that they should go to synagogues to learn the Law.
In fact, Jesus warned that they would be put out of the
Matthew 10:17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up
to the councils, and they will scourge you in their
Mark 13:9 But take heed to yourselves:
for they shall
deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye
shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers
and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.
Luke 12:11-12 And
when they bring you unto the
synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers,
take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or
what ye shall say: 12. For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in
the same hour what ye ought to say.
John 16:1-3 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye
should not be offended. 2. They shall put you out of the
synagogues: yea, the
time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he
doeth God service. 3. And these things will they do unto
you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.
apostle Paul, before turning to Christ, spoke of the persecution
to the believers:
Acts 26:10-12 Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and
many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received
authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to
death, I gave my voice against them. 11. And
I punished them oft in
and compelled them to blaspheme;
and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them
even unto strange cities. 12. Whereupon as I went to
Damascus with authority and commission from the chief
As a final note, this is also why
many believers did not go to the synagogues, and rather, met in
private or homes.
that in Acts 15:21. For Moses
of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being
read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
...that it means that the list of four things to
abstain from was merely the beginning of becoming "Torah
observant", because it says that Moses, since the law was given,
was being preached every sabbath, so the new Gentile believers
could still learn these things.
However, the reality is, James
and the elders were pointing out that Moses had been taught for
all those years. So what the law was about wasn't 'new' and they
were not being commanded to follow the law, which is what the
entire issue was about. In fact, the apostle Paul
wrote this concerning the focus on and reading of the law of Moses:
2 Corinthians 3:9-16
For if the ministration of
condemnation be glory, much more doth the
ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. 10. For even
that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect,
by reason of the glory that excelleth. 11. For if that which
is done away was glorious, much more that which
remaineth is glorious.
12. Seeing then that we
have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: 13. And
not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that
the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end
of that which is abolished: 14.
But their minds were
blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken
away in the reading of the old testament;
is done away in Christ. 15. But even unto this day, when
Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. 16.
Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall
be taken away.
This is also
partly why Judaism and Christianity are different beliefs. Those
practicing Judaism, while following rabbinic Judaism which involves
the Talmud and kabbalah, attempt to follow the Law of Moses even
without the Temple and priesthood, while Christians, those being
Jews and Gentiles, follow
Jesus Christ and the New Covenant. Notice that Paul, a Jew,
speaks of a difference in when he was in 'the Jews religion' and
then preached Christ.
But I certify you, brethren, that the
gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
12. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught
it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. 13. For ye
have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews'
religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of
God, and wasted it: 14.
And profited in the Jews'
religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more
exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. 15. But
when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb,
and called me by his grace, 16. To reveal his Son in
me, that I might preach him among the heathen;
immediately I conferred not
with flesh and blood:
1Corinthians 1:23 But we preach
Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto
the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called,
both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the
wisdom of God.
Paul likens being under the
Law to spiritual adultery.
Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law
by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another,
even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should
bring forth fruit unto God.
5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which
were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth
fruit unto death.
6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead
wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of
spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
We cannot thus be under the
Law and bring forth fruit for Christ. Paul says there that we
are dead to the law and married to Christ. He clearly says we
are serving according to the Spirit of the Law not the letter.
Attempting to live under the letter and authority of the Law is
in direct contradiction to the words of Paul where he says:
now we are delivered from the law,
dead wherein we were held;
should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of
Hebrew Roots FAQS & Myths
Basic Doctrinal Issues
Under the Law
Sacrifices, Feasts, Celebrations
God & Jesus
Who Is Jesus
for Hebrew and Greek Word definitions from Strong's Exhaustive
Concordance by James Strong
"Thayers" > Thayer's
Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament
>Brown-Driver-Brigg's Hebrew Definitions
All Scripture King James Version unless otherwise
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