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Proving Paul is Pro-Torah

Discussion in 'Messianic Judaism' started by Truthfrees, Apr 16, 2015.

  1. Truthfrees

    Truthfrees Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've been reading through and studying Paul's letters to understand his most controversial words that have been thought of as anti-Torah.

    I'll be posting 1st on his pro-Torah statements before I go into his misunderstood statements.

    Reading each chapter slowly and thoughtfully as a whole piece in context and in order helps to overcome the anti-Torah misunderstandings.

    I'll start with the book of Romans, and then progress through all his letters.

    If anyone wants to help me with this task please contribute all the pro-Torah statements Paul makes in Romans.

    Let's go Chapter by Chapter if possible.

    If that's too hard, just post any Pro-Torah statements Paul makes in any book, and I'll compile them chronologically. What ever is easier for you.

    Please no anti-Torah statements yet.

    We need to see the LONG list of Paul's Pro-Torah statements before we tackle what's commonly misunderstood as his anti-Torah statements.



    :wave:
     
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  2. Truthfrees

    Truthfrees Well-Known Member Supporter

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    PAUL'S PRO-TORAH STATEMENTS IN THE BOOK OF ROMANS CHAPTER 1

    CHAPTER 1 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans 1&version=NKJV

    1. "16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4) " - 1:16-17

    The phrase "the Jew 1st" and quoting Habakkuk 2:4 is a clear reference to Torah keeping, especially when in context of ALL the covenants being made with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the children of Israel, NOT the Gentiles.

    The Jew 1st - means the Jew is already in covenant with YHWH. Yeshua said he came for the lost sheep of Israel, not those who remained in covenant with YHWH. IOW, Yeshua came for the Jewish backsliders, not the faithful Jewish remnant. He also clearly said He only came for Israel. He didn't come for us, but through Israel, we're grafted in, and accepted as His beloved. Otherwise we only have the hope of the Noahide covenant for those who don't want to be grafted into Israel, which is fine too, if that's all someone wants.

    And also the Greek - means the Gentile is also allowed in, but it's for sure the Jew first. IOW, Jew first and also the Greek NOT Greek first and also the Jew.

    The righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith - means the covenants YHWH made with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the Children of Israel are ALL by FAITH. You're going to see faith in all of them. It also means faith upon faith. An allusion to one covenant building upon the other in a progression, not a replacement. The Mosaic covenant is a progression and improvement on the Abrahamic, but still includes all the good aspects of the Abrahamic. Likewise the Re-New-ed covenant is a progression and improvement on the Mosaic, but still includes all the good aspects of the Mosaic which includes the HOLY TORAH and HOLY MITZVOT. Only the curse has been dealt with by Yeshua becoming a curse for us. (Galatians 3:13) And also the permanent filling of the HOLY SPIRIT of YHWH has been added, making us a temple of YHWH's Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19)

    The Mosaic covenant and the Re-New-ed Covenant are still with the Jew, and any Gentiles still need to be officially grafted in. They can't just claim a covenant they see in the Bible without properly being grafted in.


    2. "28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them." - 1:28-32

    This is clearly an abridged list of Torah instructions YHWH expects Christians and Jews to keep. Paul's holy living instructions pasted together would add up to an abridged version of Torah instructions, and will help us see clearly how the controversial phrases are really Pro-Torah. This section here is clearly Pro-Torah. Nothing here says Torah has passed away. No, it's saying Torah keeping is still expected.

    Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1 - "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ." Christ was Torah observant, and Paul gave numerous Torah observant instructions.

    :wave:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2015
  3. Truthfrees

    Truthfrees Well-Known Member Supporter

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    PAUL'S PRO-TORAH STATEMENTS IN THE BOOK OF ROMANS CHAPTER 2

    CHAPTER 2 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans 2&version=NKJV

    3. "5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who “will render to each one according to his deeds”:(Job 34:11) 7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.

    12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel." - 2:5-16


    Paul is saying keeping the law, written on the heart or on the tablets, is required of Jews and Christians. Torah on the heart or Torah on the Tablets is still Torah. Torah hasn't passed away. It's is still a part of the Gospel of Christ. NOT for SALVATION or RIGHTEOUSNESS, but none the less still expected as a part of a wise and holy covenant lifestyle. Notice how doing good (mitzvot) is still there loud and strong in the Re-New-ed covenant? This is Pro-Torah talk for sure.

    4. "17 Indeed you are called a Jew, and stand on the law, and make your boast in God, 18 and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, 19 and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. 23 Do you dishonor God through breaking the law?" - 2:17-20, 23

    Torah keeping is again being promoted NOT denounced. Torah breaking is denounced. Teaching legalistic Torah while breaking Torah is a common attribute of those who think they can save themselves by working the Torah (works of the law). Workers expect to get paid what they are owed, something they have earned. Those in covenant with YHWH know they have all they need because YHWH made a covenant with them. Gratitude expresses itself in the honest desire to keep Torah. Teaching love for YHWH and HIS Torah is Judaism. Paul speaks approvingly to Torah lovers, and portentously to legalism, working Torah to save yourself by your own efforts.

    5. "25 For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? 27 And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law?" - 2:25-27

    Keeping Torah is STILL promoted. Breaking Torah is STILL denounced. This is Pro-Torah talk here.

    I believe many get swayed by the portentous language and the 2000 years of anti-Torah sentiments, and read anti-Torah into this, but if you study word for word, phrase for phrase, chapter after chapter, ascribing anti-torah theology to Paul is a mistake.

    :wave:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2015
  4. Lulav

    Lulav Older than ZIP Codes Staff Member Administrator CF Staff Trainer Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    It seems you have got it all figured out. I don't understand though why you start in the middle. If we are doing a thesis on Paul's theology don't you think it best to start in chronological order? And where was he writing from? Also to consider is the background of who he is speaking to, and since we only have one side, what other writings can we find to understand him better?

    Most agree on this Chronology.

    Thessalonians 1 Circa 50 CE From Corinth
    Thessalonians 2 Circa 51 CE From Corinth

    Galatians Circa 53CE (late Spring) From Antioch,Syria

    Corinthians 1 Circa 56CE (late winter) From Ephesus
    Corinthians 2 Circa 57CE (late summer) From Ephesus

    Romans Circa 57 (Winter) From Macedonia

    Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon Circa 61-63 CE while a prisoner in Rome

    1Timothy, Titus Circa 63CE From Nicopolis, right after being released from prison

    2Timothy Circa 67CE After being incarcerated in Rome again
     
  5. Aryeh Jay

    Aryeh Jay Veteran Supporter

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    Lualv, I think he is going by the order they appear in most Christian Bibles instead of order written. Most scholars agree that Mark was written before Matthew and the Pauline epistles are older than some Gospels, but that is not how they were arranged.


    However, by going in chronological order, where he is writing from and the intended audience, we can see how his “theology” may have changed or been shaped.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2015
  6. Lulav

    Lulav Older than ZIP Codes Staff Member Administrator CF Staff Trainer Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Ah, yes I think you're right, and all of Paul's letters precede the Apostles.
    But to understand Paul like he hopes to do I think we should go chronologically and see how his theology develops.

    The canon order with the order written next to them.

    1. Romans--------------#6
    2. 1 Corinthians--------#4
    3. 2 Corinthians--------#5
    4. Galatians-------------#3
    5. Ephesians------------#7
    6. Philippians------------#8
    7. Colossians------------#9
    8. 1 Thessalonians------#1
    9. 2 Thessalonians------#2
    10. 1 Timothy-----------#11
    11. 2 Timothy-----------#13
    12. Titus-----------------#12
    13. Philemon-------------#10
     
  7. AbbaLove

    AbbaLove Guest

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    The problem is when one assumes Paul's letters are a theological work in progress based on "his developing theology." There are a few times where Paul does say some issue is his own opinion; however, we should not be too quick to assume that any scripture we perceive as anti-Torah is his theology instead of the inspired Words of Elohim/Ruach HaKodesh.


    How to rightly interpret Paul's letters does seem to be a continual contentious sticking point between Christianity's general acceptance of Paul's letters as inspired by the Holy Spirit and what seems to be Messianic Judaism's continual questioning of certain aspects of Paul's "theology" as coming across as anti-Torah.

    The point that seems hard to swallow for some MJs is that Paul is no longer Saul the Pharisee who once persecuted Christians. From a broader CF perspective i imagine there are more than a few Administrators and Ambassadors that view MJs as part of the larger Body of Christ, commonly referred to as Christians.

    Another way to approach this is to define "Torah" from Paul's perspective as inspired by Elohim/Ruach HaKodesh as compared to his "Torah" theology as Pharisee Saul. Truthfrees is hopefully trying to explain (not an easy task) that Paul's understanding of "Torah," as inspired by Elohim/Ruach HaKodesh, is just as valid and even more valid than that of Pharisee Saul's previous understanding based on Pharisaical theology.

     
  8. danny ski

    danny ski Newbie

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    I think that this thread is trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Christianity disregards the Torah. Paul was as influential in creating Christianity as Jesus, if not more so. Ideas and dogmas don't grow out of nothing.
     
  9. yonah_mishael

    yonah_mishael הֱיֵה קודם כל בן אדם

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    It would seem wise to me also to ignore those books that the scholarly consensus has agreed did not actually come from Paul. If you want to understand what Paul thought and not what was written in his name, you have seven letters to read and interpret:

    Romans
    1 and 2 Corinthians
    Galatians
    Philippians
    1 Thessalonians
    Philemon (which is useless for theological purposes)

    None of the other works are really from Paul himself, thus it would be odd to use them in determining Paul's stance on this issue.
     
  10. Truthfrees

    Truthfrees Well-Known Member Supporter

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    :thumbsup: Thanks for this extremely useful information Yonah.

    Interestingly I believe these books are also the only ones with statements that appear anti-Torah.

    :wave:

    Thanks to everyone for posting your thoughts.

    I'm considering all you've said as it's very applicable to this topic.
     
  11. Truthfrees

    Truthfrees Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The point of this thread is:

    Paul makes clearly Pro-Torah statements too.

    So what's going on?

    He makes Pro-Torah Statements in the same letters that contain what looks like anti-Torah statements.

    There's a plethora of studies, writings, teachings, sermons, and theology focused on the anti-Torah statements.

    MJs are the lonely voice saying "Hey, what about Paul's Pro-Torah statements?

    Jews and MJs are the only ones honoring YHWH's Holy Torah as instructed.

    Well it's time we all look at the Pro-Torah statements honestly.

    Lets have an open mind and study Paul's Pro-Torah statements properly before we start to tackle the ones that look anti-Torah.

    We've got everything to gain and nothing to lose.

    For myself, it's Paul's Pro-Torah statements that convinced me he's 100% Pro-Holy-Torah, and this was the key to me unlocking the truth about his anti-work-the-law-to-save-yourself statements.

    Paul is against ANYTHING that puts the focus on the glory of self. The glory of self STEALS the focus away from the GLORY OF YHWH, HIS words, and HIS POWER. This is the same Torah message YHWH consistently gives in ALL scripture.

    If anyone finds any Pro-Torah statement please post it in this thread.

    :clap: To YHWH be all the glory.
     
  12. Truthfrees

    Truthfrees Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It's interesting that these 2 rules are in our MJ SOP:

    "No anti-Torah theology. No posts accusing or debating that Messianic Jews or Gentiles are ‘under the law’, or re-erecting the ‘wall of partition’, or that Torah has been made null and void, or done away with.

    No anti-Paul theology will be tolerated. We believe that the books of B'resheet (Genesis) to the book of Revelation to be the inspired word of Elohim."


    The MJ stance is that Paul is Pro-Torah.

    Let's do a good job of proving it.

    It is provable.

    Many here are doing an excellent job of addressing this issue all over this forum.

    Praise to YHWH for the good work you're doing.

    :clap:
     
  13. aniello

    aniello Guest

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    Quoting TF: (Quote button seems to not work for me)

    It's interesting that these 2 rules are in our MJ SOP:

    "No anti-Torah theology. No posts accusing or debating that Messianic Jews or Gentiles are ‘under the law’, or re-erecting the ‘wall of partition’, or that Torah has been made null and void, or done away with.

    No anti-Paul theology will be tolerated. We believe that the books of B'resheet (Genesis) to the book of Revelation to be the inspired word of Elohim."


    The MJ stance is that Paul is Pro-Torah.

    Let's do a good job of proving it.

    It is provable.

    Many here are doing an excellent job of addressing this issue all over this forum.

    Praise to YHWH for the good work you're doing.


    As an old Jew(Mom) who came to faith in Y'shua as The Messiah in 1958-9 while a member of Kol Emeth(Palo Alto, CA)[Conservative/Masorti] I have a question. In a teaching series that was intended to 'inoculate' us against 'that J*s*s business' as it was put, it dawned on me that Y'shua fulfilled something that the now Temple-less Judaism could not that is stilll required. Several of us(3 or 4) came to faith in Y'shua as a result of all this. The Apostle Paul was never ever mentioned, not even a derisive remark.

    Therefore may I ask why it is so necessary for y'all here to prove that Paul was Torah observant, supportive and so on?

    It is seeming to me that Paul is of primary importance here, not Y'shua. I find it disturbingly offensive.

    This MJ forum has become a gentile playground that has made it, in reality, a nearly Judenrein area where wannabe gentiles can 'play at jooze'.

    I don't care whether y'all like it or not.

    Now, briefly, in Acts 25:8(Paul's defense before Festus[Marshall Dillon's deputy]) Paul states he has not violated Temple, Torah nor Rome. In acts 28:last 2 verses, we see he taught the things of G-d(Torah) and those things concerning Y'shua. Either Paul was telling the truth or he was not. I believe he was telling the truth. However, I do not see him as soteriologicly essential. That's neither against him nor for him. Who is Primary to y'alll, Y'shua or Paul? Can't be both.

    To restate: Why is it so necessary to prove Paul was Torah observant-supportive? If it cannot be done, what is lost? If it can be done, what is gained?
     
  14. Truthfrees

    Truthfrees Well-Known Member Supporter

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    :thumbsup: Excellent points and questions. Well said on so many counts. Thank you. Your wisdom and insight are appreciated and accepted.

    1. I'd love to hear what points led you and your friends to faith in Yeshua. PLEASE share them here or privately with me by pm. This is one subject I can't get enough of.

    2. Thanks for pointing out ANYTHING offensive. Making less of Yeshua than Paul is a very good point. I'm thinking on that one. We should focus more on Yeshua. You're absolutely right. This forum is meant to be a place where Yeshua is lifted up and exalted as our Messiah Redeemer King. Thank you for bringing this up.

    3. Judenrein is an issue I've taken to my supervisors. I agree with you on this. The Jewish method of discuss and disagree but stay together is one our forum needs to learn. We seem more prone to the non-Jewish method of beating down anyone who disagrees to force compliance. We want to increase our Jewish population not decrease it. It's part of our SOF to be inclusive and respectful of Jewish people, identity, history, etc.

    4. Playing Jews is something I've heard described here a few times. I can't speak for everyone, but I'm not playing. I'm changing my lifestyle and so is my family and some of my friends to please YHWH according to the truth of scripture.

    IF we Messianic Gentiles are grafted into Israel, not simply separate and unique YHWH lovers like the Noahides, scripture seems to lead us MGs toward assimilation. Acts 15 especially implies that, starting with the 7 Noahide laws and ending with hearing Moses read each Shabbat. Noahides don't need to hear Moses read each Shabbat. Only those who assimilate do.

    IOW, if I'm grafted into Israel, I'm going to act like Israel, not a Noahide. I'm studying and changing as fast as YHWH helps me do so. I'm intensely serious about all this. Just as I won't back away from my life in Yeshua EVER, I'm not backing away from my grafted in life in Israel.

    5. Why should we defend Pro-Torah Paul? Because anti-Torah and anti-Semitism go hand in hand. You can't separate one from the other. Both are a sin against YHWH. In this forum many come in with anti-Torah AND anti-Semite attitudes. Have you ever seen a Torah lover despise Israel? Or an Israel lover despise Torah? I haven't. We deal with anti-Semite/Torah posts all the time. They almost ALWAYS quote Paul as their licence to do both of these "anti"s.

    Anti-Semite and anti-Torah posts either need to be addressed, or the posters and their posts banned from our forum. We can't remain silent in the face of these 2 antis.

    6. Many of us here agree with you on Paul telling the truth about Paul abiding by Torah completely.

    This is my reply right now. I'll think some more about all you've said.

    Any suggestions you have will be most welcome. In the Ambassador thread here we're posting all our ideas, which will be discussed by the Admins and Advisors. Please consider posting your thoughts. Your wisdom is appreciated.

    :groupray:
     
  15. Hoshiyya

    Hoshiyya Spenglerian

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    Even if you want to say these were not written by Paul, it would be completely logical to adress these epistles, since they in fact appear in Christian Bibles, and millions of people consider them Pauline in whatever sense of the term.
     
  16. Hoshiyya

    Hoshiyya Spenglerian

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    That's the essence of the whole thing, and what makes it so fascinating.

    It appears the vast majority of traditional Christians, Evangelicals, etc are not at all bothered by Paul's pro-Torah statements.
     
  17. yonah_mishael

    yonah_mishael הֱיֵה קודם כל בן אדם

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    Well, not if the point is to get at what Paul wrote. I mean, if you want to get at people in the Pauline movement wrote in the name of Paul, then you could include them. Why not?
     
  18. Truthfrees

    Truthfrees Well-Known Member Supporter

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    :thumbsup:

    Yes. I remember how the only sense I could make of all the Pro-Torah statements was: Torah USED TO BE GOOD but now it's bad.

    Praise YHWH for MJs and this forum where I learned the truth about Torah.

    The rewards of actioning a mitzvah are such a blessing.

    It's not works for salvation, it's rewards for obedience (Galatians 6:7).
     
  19. Norbert L

    Norbert L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ultimately it comes down to both even if a person has some anti-Paul thoughts.

    People mostly choose sides. A person is either against/prosecutes or stands/advocates for ideas/claims. Given that the words preserved for us by Paul, thousands of years later; not only does he state and claim to be an apostle of Christ but also he distinguishes between his office and those who are just apostles of men. Gal 1:1

    As an apostle of Christ, if a person is against him, then they are also in the danger zone of being anti-Y'shua, in other words they may be found against both. I say that as a broad general statement. I'm sure a lawyer :) could probably provoke some reasonable doubt surrounding such a statement.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2015
  20. Hoshiyya

    Hoshiyya Spenglerian

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    "Paul", whether the person or an attributed author-name, is what matters. For all we know a purple alien wrote them, it doesn't matter. The point is what these epistles, found in Bibles all over the world, are saying. AND, if Peter or Jude's epistles had the same issues that Paul's have, we would have to adress those as well.
     
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