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Featured Was The Jerusalem Decree Authoritative?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Minister Monardo, Jul 23, 2020.

  1. Minister Monardo

    Minister Monardo Witness

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    Did the church under the apostles and elders, have the authority to dismiss the claim that
    non-Jews living among the nations must be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses?
    Who was it that made this claim?

    Acts 15:5. But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying,
    “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”

    So who had the authority in this matter, Pharisees or apostles?


    The Jerusalem Decree

    22 Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send
    chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas
    who was also named Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren.
    23 They wrote this letter by them:
    The apostles, the elders, and the brethren,
    To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia:
    Greetings.
    24 Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, “You must be circumcised and keep the law”—to whom we gave no such commandment—
    25 it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
    26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth.
    28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things:
    29 that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.
    Farewell.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2020
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  2. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    pros·e·lyte

    noun
    1. a person who has converted from one opinion, religion, or party to another.
    Although considered to be a part of the Jewish religion like Cornelius, they were not considered to be Jews. As the Jesus movement was an extension of the previous Jewish religion, perhaps they did not feel the need to retain the requirements of a proselyte to the Temple religion.
     
  3. Daniel9v9

    Daniel9v9

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    Yes, the Council of Jerusalem was authoritative in the sense that they are apostolic, sent and built on Christ. The Pharisees (as a religious body, not individuals) opposed and rejected Jesus Christ, so they hold no authority over the Church.

    Paul sheds light on this controversy in Galatians, particularly in Galatians 5.
     
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  4. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    Apparently, James had the authority. (Acts 15:19)
     
  5. HARK!

    HARK! Well-Known Member Staff Member Trainee Supporter

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    Wow!

    Here is the same verse from a literal translation:

    (CLV) Ac 15:24
    "Since, in fact, we hear that some coming out from us disturb you with words, dismantling your souls, whom we gave not assignment,

    The Jerusalem Council

    There are two sides to this debate. I want to say right out of the gate, that you can't come back, 2000 years later, and add a third side to this debate.

    The first group are non believers. they follow the traditions of men, the Talmud. They don't even keep the Torah.

    (CLV) Ac 15:1
    And some, coming down from Judea, taught the brethren that, "If you should not be circumcised after the custom of Moses, you can not be saved."

    Their argument is that you cannot be saved unless you show the outward sign. This is not what Torah teaches. Was Abraham saved before or after he showed the sign?

    Abraham wasn't circumcised until he was 99.

    (CLV) Gn 17:24
    Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he had the flesh of his foreskin circumcised.


    Are disciples of Yahshua saved before or after Baptism?

    Here is the other side of the Argument. These men are believers:


    (CLV) Ac 15:5
    Yet some from the sect of the Pharisees who have believed rise up, saying that they must be circumcised, besides charging them to keep the law of Moses.

    This group argues that you must be circumcised to keep the law.

    These are the only two arguments that are being made.

    One is that you must be circumcised to keep the law of Moses. This is the law that Yahshua preached throughout his ministry unto death; as he called us to follow his example.

    The other is that you must be circumcised to be saved. These are the only two sides to this debate.

    You can't come in 2000 years later and add your own argument.

    Here is the ruling:

    (CLV) Ac 15:20
    but to write an epistle to them to be abstaining from ceremonial pollution with idols, and prostitution, and what is strangled, and blood.

    This is of the bare minimum that newcomers must respect to even share table fellowship with believers.

    Why? (and this part seems to be ignored by those who have contempt for the law that Yahshua preached throughout is ministry unto death):

    (CLV) Ac 15:21
    For (because) Moses, from ancient generations, city by city, has those who are heralding him, being read on every sabbath in the synagogues."


    Now shortly after Paul left this meeting; he circumcised Timothy himself.

    (CLV) 1Co 11:1
    Become imitators of me, according as I also am of Christ.

    Messiah followed the Torah, not the Talmud.

    Genesis 17 (CLV)

    9 And saying is the Elohim to Abraham, "And you shall keep My covenant, you and your seed after you for their generations. 10 This is My covenant, which you shall keep between Me and you and your seed after you for their generations: Circumcise to yourselves every male. 11 And circumcised shall you be in the flesh of your foreskin. And it comes to be for a sign of the covenant between Me and you. 12 And a son of eight days shall be circumcised by you, every male of your generations, homeborn or acquired with money from any foreigner, he who is not of your seed. 13 With circumcision shall be circumcised the homeborn and the one acquired with your money. And My covenant comes to be in your flesh for a covenant eonian (FOREVER)

    James' authority was backed by YHWH's authority.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2020
  6. Minister Monardo

    Minister Monardo Witness

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    Acts 13: TLV
    38 Therefore, let it be known to you, brothers, that through this One is proclaimed to you the
    removal of sins, including all those from which you could not be set right by the Torah of Moses.
    39 Through this One everyone who keeps trusting is made righteous.
    40 “Be careful, then, so that what is said in the Prophets may not come upon you:
    41 ‘Look, you scoffers,
    be amazed and vanish away.
    For I am doing a work in your days—
    a work you will never believe,
    even if someone tells it to you in detail.’”

    42 As Paul and Barnabas were going out, the people kept begging them to speak these things to them the next Shabbat.
    43 When the synagogue meeting broke up, many of the Jewish people and God-fearing inquirers followed Paul and Barnabas, who were speaking with them and trying to persuade them to continue in the grace of God.
    44 The following Shabbat, almost the entire city came together to hear the word of the Lord.
    45 When the Jewish leaders saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and tried to contradict what Paul was saying by reviling him.
    46 Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, It was necessary for the word of God to be
    spoken to you first. Since you reject it and judge yourselves unfit for eternal life—behold,
    we turn to the Gentiles.

    47 For so the Lord has commanded us,
    ‘I have placed you as a light to the nations,
    so that you may bring salvation to the end of the earth.’
    48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were thrilled and glorified the word of the Lord; and
    as many as had been inscribed for eternal life believed.
     
  7. Minister Monardo

    Minister Monardo Witness

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    At the Jerusalem Council, and throughout the New Testament, there has only been one question:
    Brethren, what must we do to be saved?

    Acts 15:11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in
    the same manner as they.
    Asked and answered.
    8 So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as to us,
    9 and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
     
  8. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You have claimed we should keep the laws in the Torah, you are questioning he right of Christians not to follow Jewish laws and traditions.

    I have to ask are you a follower of Jesus or a follower of Moses?

    If you follow Jesus why arecyou obsessed with legalism?
     
  9. Minister Monardo

    Minister Monardo Witness

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    Here is the question being posed in the OP:
    So who had the authority in this matter, Pharisees or apostles?
    No scripture is without significance. Here we are told specifically that it is the sect of the
    Pharisees who are insisting to the necessity that non-Jews be circumcised and commanded
    to keep the law of Moses
    .
    Acts 15:5. But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying,
    It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
    Now, look carefully at Peter's words that follow:
    Acts 15:7. And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.

    Hence, Peter is not just offering his esteemed opinion on the matter, he is claiming God given authority to speak on the matter by way of a divine vision confirmed three times in Acts 10. This becomes the basis of him preaching the Gospel to the entire household of Cornelius, in which all who heard and believed were baptized in the Holy Spirit, just as the apostles had on the day of Pentecost. This was witnessed by six other brethren besides Peter. Many had not even been water baptized, but that followed after.
    Also note that he says that this was established "a good while ago". The timeline presented by Paul in Galatians shows that the council in Acts 15 is taking place some 17 years later.


    Acts 10:45. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came
    with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.

    Notice that the scriptures are already referring to believing Jews as "the circumcision", to distinguish from non-Jewish believers, who are referred to as the "uncircumcision":
    Romans 3:30.
    Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
    Ephesians 2:11. Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands—
    So what are we to believe in this regard?
    Ephesians 2:13. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by
    the blood of Christ.
    Why Gentiles in the flesh?
    Romans 2:
    28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh;
    29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision of the heart, in the Spirit,
    not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.

    Finally, Peter was called to task immediately on this matter in Acts 11:
    1 Now the apostles and brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received
    the word of God.
    2 And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision contended with him,
    3 saying, “You went in to uncircumcised men and ate with them!”
    4 But Peter explained it to them in order from the beginning, saying:
    Peter recounts his vision.
    12 Then the Spirit told me to go with them, doubting nothing. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house.
    Not just Peter's testimony, 6 other witnesses.
    15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning.
    16 Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
    17 If therefore God gave them the same gift as us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ,
    who was I that I could withstand God?
    18 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying,
    Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.

    I now will say that your concern that I am obsessed with legalism was misguided. If I must now tip my hand, I will come down in favor of Peter being authoritative in these deliberations, supported by Paul and Barnabas. James merely acted as spokesperson for the group.
    Sincerely, follower of Yeshua.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2020
  10. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    Yes, the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem is authoritative. The Torah is non-binding on Christians.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  11. Der Alte

    Der Alte This is me about 1 yr. old. Supporter

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    I have seen quite a few "literal" translations. They all seem to reflect the assumptions/presuppositions of the person doing the translating.
    For a literal translation of the OT I choose the 1917 Jewish Publication Society translation.
    For a literal translation of the NT I go with the Eastern Greek Orthodox Bible.
    Who better than the native Hebrew and Greek speaking scholars know the correct translation of Hebrew and Greek words.

    EOB 1 Corinthians 11:1 Now the apostles and the brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God.[1]
    Acts of the apostles 15:5 However, some believers from the sect of the Pharisees arose and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to command them to keep the law of Moses!”
    ...
    Acts of the apostles 15:20-21 Instead, we should write to them to abstain from the pollution of idols, from sexual immorality, from what is strangled, and from blood. 21 For from generations of old, Moses has had in every city those who preach him, being read every Sabbath in the synagogues.”[3]
    Acts of the apostles 15:24 We have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words and unsettled your souls by saying: ‘You must be circumcised and keep the law,’ although they had no such commission from us.
    Cleenewerck. L. (Ed.). (2011). The Eastern/Greek Orthodox Bible: New Testament. Laurent A. Cleenewerk
    https://azbyka.ru/otechnik/books/or...tament-(The-Eastern-Greek-Orthodox-Bible).pdf
    The Eastern/Greek Orthodox Bible EOB—New Testament 96 can be viewed or D/L at the above link. For any doubts/questions about the EOB version please read the 200 page preface which documents the extensive Greek scholarship supporting this translation.
    = = = = = = = = =
    JPS Genesis 17:9-13
    9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.
    10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
    11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.
    12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.
    13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
    The Hebrew Bible (Tanakh): A new digital edition of the JPS 1917 translation

     
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  12. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No it was a reasonable concern following two of your posts that were stressing obedience to OT laws rather than to obedience to Jesus.
     
  13. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    Jesus and His crowd followed those OT laws and the gentiles were only freed of a few specific ones of them where they not?
     
  14. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    The Jewish sages count 613 distinct mitzvot--instructions or commandments--in the Torah. There are a lot of very different sorts of commandments. Some of them are universal, like don't murder. Murder wasn't just wrong for Jews, it has always been wrong for everyone, just ask Cain. Those, obviously, apply to us, as they apply to everyone. But the very specific commands for the Jews, those which marked them as a special covenant people, such as the sorts of foods to eat, the days to observe, laws concerning ritual purity, or how the Sanhedrin was to dole out justice (both against offender and for the offended), how marriage and divorce work, etc etc. Those are unique to the Torah, that is, they are uniquely given to the Jews as part of God's covenant.

    As a Gentile Christian I don't see the point in pretending I'm Jewish when I'm not. Whether or not Jewish Christians observe some of these things, that's really up to them and their personal choice--Jewish Christians are no more obligated to observe them then Gentile Christians are; but at least I understand why a Jewish Christian might want to retain some of their Jewish history, tradition, and identity. But that's really what we have though, freedom, whether we eat this or that food doesn't matter, as long as we do so with a pure conscience before God. It's why Paul says that both being circumcised and not being circumcised are irrelevant, it just doesn't matter, but that both have a place at Christ's Table without distinction, for there is now neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, slave nor free, but we are all one in Christ Jesus.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  15. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    True, we were not considered proselytes.
     
  16. Der Alte

    Der Alte This is me about 1 yr. old. Supporter

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    Galatians 3:23-25
    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.[the law]
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2020
  17. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    So do you follow any of the OT laws, if so why.
     
  18. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    I follow first and foremost the ones that mirror Jesus' two condensed commandments.
     
  19. HARK!

    HARK! Well-Known Member Staff Member Trainee Supporter

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    I see another question.

    (CLV) Mk 10:17
    And at His going out into the road, lo! one certain rich man, running toward Him and falling on his knees before Him, inquired of Him, "Good Teacher! What shall I be doing that I should be enjoying the allotment of life eonian?"

    (CLV) Mk 10:18
    Now Jesus said to him, "Why are you terming Me good? No one is good except One, God.

    (CLV) Mk 10:19
    With the precepts you are acquainted: You should not be murdering. You should not be committing adultery. You should not be stealing. You should not be testifying falsely. You should not be cheating. `Be honoring your father and •mother.'"

    (CLV) Mk 10:20
    Now he averred to Him, "Teacher, all these I maintain from my youth."

    (CLV) Mk 10:21
    Now Jesus, looking at him, loves him, and said to him, "Still one thing you are wanting. Go. Whatever you have, sell, and be giving to the poor, and you will be having treasure in heaven. And hither! Follow Me, -picking up the cross."

    Must we be saved to receive eternal life?
     
  20. HARK!

    HARK! Well-Known Member Staff Member Trainee Supporter

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    Yes, we must be aware of bias.

    Clearly your source does not conform to textual criticism; therefore it presents known forgeries, with respect to scripture.

    Acts 15:24

    MT: Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, “You must be circumcised and keep the law”—to whom we gave no such commandment
    CT: Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, to whom we gave no such commandment

    List of major textual variants in the New Testament - Wikipedia

    No matter how accurately a biased forgery is translated; it's still a translation of a biased forgery.

    Thank you for bringing this key point to our attention.
     
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