July 11, 2022
Is Christianity correct when they teach that the Rebbe Yeshua (Jesus) has replaced the Law (Heb. Torah) of God when He gave His response to the scribe’s question, “Rabbi, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” The problem is that we do not really understand the question. The question is not, “What is one question I can do instead of the others?” But instead, the question is, “What commandment(s) can I use to help me organize the commandments, so that I can better understand what they are all about?”
The Commandments – “What Are They About?”
The question about how to understand what the commandments are all about has been going on since the time of Mosheh (Moses) in the Exodus. For example,
- Mosheh’s (Moses’) summary – Deuteronomy 10:12-13.
“And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the LORD’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?”
- David’s summary – Psalm 15:1-5.
“O LORD, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness. And speaks truth in his heart. He does not slander with his tongue. Nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; In whose eyes a repropate is despised. But who honors those who fear the LORD; He swears to his own hurt, and does not change; He does not put out his money at interest, nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.”
- Ezekiel’s summary – Ezekiel 18: 5-9.
“But if a man is righteous, and practices justice and righteousnes, and does not eat the mountain shrines or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, or defile his neighbor’s wife, or approach a woman during her menstrual period – If a man does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, does not commit robbery, but gives bread to the hungry, and covers the naked with clothing, if he does not lend money on interest or take increase, if he keeps his hand from iniquity, and executes true justice between man and man, if he walks in My statutues and My ordinances so as to deal faithfully – he is righteous and will surely live,” declares the LORD.”
- Micah’s summary – Micah 6:8.
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
- Habakkuk’s summary – Habakkuk 2:4.
“But the righteous man will live by his faith.“
Consequently, now, in contrast to these historical answers, when the scribe asks the Rebbe Yeshua (Jesus) this question, he is asking Him to engage in this ancient question about the commandments that go all the way back to Moshe (Moses) in the Exodus. And in response to his question, the Rebbe Yeshua (Jesus) says,
The foremost is, “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God is One LORD; And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.'” The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
A Jewish Scribe’s Response
And the scribe said to Him, “Right, Rabbi, you have truly stated that He is One; and there is no one else besides Him; and to love Him with the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as himself, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
Yeshua’s Response to the Scribe:
And how did the Rebbe Yeshua (Jesus) respond to the scribe?
And when Yeshua (Jesus) saw that He had answered intelligently, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that, no one would venture to ask Him any more questions. (Mark 13:28-34)
In His response the Rebbe Yeshua (Jesus) combined the Sh’ma (Deuteronomy 6:4-5) and He combines it with a verse from the Holiness Code, Leviticus 19: 18b. Notice here that another Jew, who was a lawyer, agreed with His response. So, are Christians right that He REPLACED the Torah (“Law”) with this teaching? No, they are not. The Rebbe Yeshua (Jesus) is not REPLACING the Law (Heb. Torah) by stating this teaching, as Christianity has been traditionally teaching; instead, He is summarizing the commandments in the Law (Heb. Torah). As anyone knows who has written a summary, the summary does not REPLACE that which it is summarizing; instead, it reveals how the person who is giving the summary views or understands what He is summarizing.
In other words, when the Rebbe Yeshua (Jesus) gave His summary of the Torah (i.e., Law), He was saying that when He views the commandments (all 613 of them), He does not see “legalism,” “bondage,” or “death,” as many Christians do; instead, He sees “love” – instructions on how to love God and instructions on how to love one another.
The New Testament – A Hebrew Original?
In fact, I can demonstrate that every argument that Christianity has given against the Torah (“Law”) and why they believe Christians do not have to keep it, and I can disprove each one by placing the passage back into their original contexts – the Hebrew Scriptures (aka, “Old Testament”) and Second Temple Judaism – and also by examining the original languages (Koine Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic). Although the copies of the “New Testament” are written in Greek, five of the Early Church Fathers testify that Matthew originally wrote his Gospel in Hebrew, and Jerome, who lived in the fourth century, C.E., testified that someone had come along and translated his Hebrew Gospel into Greek. By his time, Jerome no longer knew who had done it. Our English translation of the book of Matthew is based off of the Greek translation – not the original that Matthew wrote.
All the books of the “New Testament” were written by Torah-observant Jews. Some used to argue that Luke was a Gentile (non-Jew), and not a Jew. But modern researchers now argue that Luke was probably a convert to Second-Temple Judaism. Consequently, even though the “New Testament” books that we have were translated from Greek manuscripts, there was probably a Hebrew original, either in the mind of the writers or there was a Hebrew manuscript that was used to translate the ideas from that manuscript into Greek for their Greek-speaking audience. In either case, there was a “Hebrew original” somewhere that had existed.
The Four Missing Epistles of Paul –
Also, there are FOUR epistles written by Sha’ul Paulus (Paul) that we do not have as part of our Bible. They have allegedly disappeared through the course of history. Eusebius, in his history, records that Sha’ul Paulus (Paul) mentions his wife in one of his epistles. We do not have that epistle in our Bibles, so it makes me wonder if she was mentioned in one of the missing four epistles. We are also missing what should be I Corinthians (mentioned in I Corinthians 5:9), 3 Corinthians (mentioned in 2 Corinthians 2:4), I Ephesians (mentioned in Ephesians 3:3), and his epistle to the Laodiceans (mentioned in Colossians 4:16).
In Ephesians 3:3, Sha’ul Paulus (Paul) says that he gave us a brief description of “the mystery of Christ.” Could it be that this brief description went against “the gospel” that was being preached by the Roman Catholic Church – “the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Messiah),” but another gospel was discussed, which the Rebbe Yeshua (Jesus) taught and trained His disciples to teach – the reunification of the two kingdoms of Israel (the Northern Kingdom of Israel, including those Gentiles (non-Jews) who wished to attach themselves to Isra’el, and the Southern Kingdom of Judah).
Israel – God’s One and Only Bride
In the Bible, God only has ONE Bride, and she was named “Israel” by Him, just as Adam named his wife, “Woman” at first, and then after the Fall, he named her Chavah (trans. “Eve”). God did not ditch His Bride, for another “Bride” called “the Church.” The Bible does not teach that “the Christian Church” has REPLACED Isra’el (called “Supersessionism” or “Replacement Theology”), nor does it teach that Isra’el and the “Christian Church” are two separate bodies (called “Dispensationalism”); instead, it teaches that we Gentiles (non-Jews) have been engrafted, or made a part, of the nation and people of Isra’el. There is only ONE TREE in God’s Kingdom, and that is Isra’el. She is the only one that the Jewish Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) is coming back for, so if there are people who are not part of God’s bride, Isra’el, then He is not coming back for those people.
We Need to Have God’s View of His Bride – Not Our Own.
The problem here is that most people think of Isra’el as this small country sitting in the Middle East. God’s view of Isra’el is much larger in scope than what most Jews or Christians might believe. God’s view of Isra’el includes all of the descendants from all thirteen tribes of Isra’elites who had been scattered throughout the world. And there are people who do not even know that they are, in some way, descended from these thirteen tribes, but God will awaken something in them to give them a hunger for the Torah and for biblical teachings of the Tanakh (“Old Testament”) and Israeli History. But Isra’el also includes all those Gentiles (non-Jews) who wish to attach themselves to Isra’el. It is the union of all three of these groups, which I believe that was briefly discussed by Sha’ul Paulus (Paul) in his missing epistle (letter) to the Ephesians: “The Mystery of the Moshiach [Messiah].”