Torah and New Testament Foundations-The Torah and Paul-Part 23

Protestant confessions about the Sabbath are also revealing. From the Anglican/Episcopal point of view, Isaac Williams said in “Plain Sermons on the Catechism”, vol 1, p 334-336, “And where are we told in the Scriptures that we are to keep the first day at all? We are commanded to keep the seventh; but we are nowhere commanded to keep the first day. The reason why we keep the first day of the week holy instead of the seventh is for the same reason that we observe many other things, not because of the Bible, but because the church has enjoined it.” The Baptist Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, in a paper read before a New York ministers conference, Nov 13, 1893, reported in the New York Examiner, Nov 16, 1893, said, “There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will be said, however, and in some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh day to the first day of the week. Where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament-absolutely not. To me it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during his three years intercourse with his disciples, often conversing with them upon a Sabbath question, never alluded to any transference of the day; also, that during the forty days of his resurrection life, no such thing was intimated. Of course, I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history, but what a pity it comes branded with the mark of paganism, and christened with the name of the sun god, adopted and sanctioned by the papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to the Protestants.”

Congregationalist Dr. R.W. Dale in “The Ten Commandments” (New York:Eaton & Mains), p.127-129 says, “It is quite clear that however rigidly or devotedly we may spend Sunday, we are not keeping the Sabbath. The Sabbath was founded on a specific Divine command. We can plead no such command for the obligation to observe Sunday. There is not a single sentence in the New Testament to suggest that we incur and penalty for violating the supposed sanctity of Sunday.” In a Lutheran study book called “The Sunday Problem” (1923, p. 36) it says, “We have seen how gradually the impression of the Jewish Sabbath faded from the mind of the Christian church, and how completely the newer thought underlying the observance of the first day took possession of the church. We have seen that the Christians of the first three centuries never confused one with the other, but for a time celebrated both.” In the Augsburg Confession of Faith, Article 28, written by Melanchthlon, approved by Martin Luther, 1530; as published in The Book of Concord of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Henry Jacobs, ed. (1911), p. 63, says, “They (Roman Catholics) refer to the Sabbath Day, as having been changed into the Lord’s Day, contrary to the Decalogue, as it seems. Neither is there any example whereof they can make more than concerning the changing of the Sabbath Day. Great, they say, is the power of the Church, since it has dispensed with one of the Commandments!”

Dwight L. Moody in “Weighed and Wanting” (Fleming He Revell Co: New York) p.47-48, said, “The Sabbath was binding in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. This fourth commandment begins with the word “Remember” showing that the Sabbath already existed when God wrote the law on the tables of stone at Sinai. How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they will admit that the other nine are still binding?”

We could go on and on with similar “confessions” but we think we have made the point. All of this is not uncommon, but the norm. Most people believe and think these things. The idea that Paul was attacking the Torah and the commandments is unfounded. He was not anti-Torah, but defined it’s purpose for being there and how it was to be followed. He did not attack the Sabbath or the festivals. He did not attack the kosher food laws or other things.

We find historically that Christianity moved away from the Torah. As a result, a heavy influence of Replacement Theology came in by the second century and the third century it was well entrenched. By the time Constantine came along in 325 A.D. it is being called Christianity. It has been there for so long now, it is accepted. It is accepted that what they are doing is right and Torah observance is wrong. It is time we go back and put Paul and the Torah in their proper place. What we have done here is just show the truth about the Torah, but it can be done with faith and grace as well. Torah, grace and faith, when they are properly understood, are linked. Then, when you have these in the right place, you will understand Paul’s Theology.

Beginning in Part 24, we are going to review the fact that Paul taught the Torah and lived it. We are going to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Paul was a Torah observant Jewish man who was a Pharisee from the School of Hillel. We are going to show that Paul taught the Torah, but it was not for salvation. We are going to show what Paul taught so that you can examine these things for yourself. Paul was not teaching people to offer sacrifices in their backyards because that could only be done in the Temple. He did not teach people to punish people by stoning because that could only be imposed by properly appointed judges. The vast majority of Paul’s teaching was not even recorded because it was done verbally, face to face. Most of his basic instruction for new believers was not included in his letters. In several congregations, he remained for over a year teaching them the Torah (1 Thes 4.1-2; 2 Thes 2.15; 2 Thes 3.6; 2 Tim 1.13, 2.2). So, in Part 24, we will bring out what Paul taught and then move into discussing the real Paul, not the one that Judaism puts forth and not the one Christianity puts forth. You will see that Paul really gets a “raw deal” not only from Jewish scholars but by Christian scholars as well.

Posted in Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

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