In Rom 1.1, Paul uses the word “servant” which is the Hebrew word “eved.” This word is also used for the Messiah and in Isa 40-66, we have what is called “The Servant Passages.” These chapters are full of information on the Messiah, the “Eved Mashiach” or “Servant Messiah” who is taking away sin.
In John 1.29, we have John the Baptist (Yochanon Ha Matvil) identifying Yeshua as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” The problem with this translation of “Lamb of God” is it doesn’t make sense to John’s hearer’s who had a festival and a Temple understanding. There was no lamb that took away the sins of the world, not in the festivals or the Temple services. The Passover lamb is not a “Korban Chata’at” or “sin offering,” it is a “Korban Shelem” or “peace offering.” The goat at Yom Kippur is not a lamb. So, what did he really say? In Aramaic, this can mean “servant of God who takes away the sins of the world.” This makes more sense, in light of the servant passages in Isaiah. The people would have immediately associated what John said with these chapters. In Galilean Aramaic, the phrase “tayla d’ alaha” can mean servant. Isa 53.7 says “like a lamb that is led to the slaughter (not to a sacrifice) is a simile. For more information of this, see “The Aramaic Origin of the Fourth Gospel” by C. F. Burney, p 107 and “The Christology of the New Testament” by Oscar Cullman.
So, Paul is saying he is a “servant” of the “Servant Messiah” in Rom 1.1, called to be a “sh’liach” and set apart for the “Basorah of God.” It is unbelievable how much you have to get through just to get to the truth of one verse because of the Hellenistic hold on our minds just to see Yeshua, Paul, the Scriptures or the terminology. In Christianity, you have a definition of the Gospel. We are not saying that what they say doesn’t have some truth to it, but it is not as complete as it should be. If a Christian is asked “Give me the Gospel,” the Christian will reply by saying John 3.16. That’s the Gospel. Another one they will say is what is called the “Roman Road to Salvation” in Rom 10.14-15. Gospel “tracts” will have “How to be saved” so being saved is equated with the the gospel. This is the terminology that is used. So, the gospel is found in the New Testament, not in the Tanak. By doing this, they have just rearranged a definition, or “replaced it” (Replacement Theology).
When Yochanon Ha Matvil started speaking, had Yeshua started teaching yet? No, he preceded him by at least 6 months. Did he “preach the gospel?” Yes, because he prepared the way for the Messiah. Did people go around saying “What is this gospel John is talking about?” No, they didn’t. We have our own definitions, but those definitions came after the time of Yeshua. When they talked about the gospel, they weren’t quoting John 3.16 or the “Roman Road to Salvation.” Christianity has a definition of the “gospel” and the Tanak has a definition of the Basorah. They should be the same, but they are opposite.
So, there is a problem. They should be saying the same things. How do we look at this? On the definition of “good news” it is easy to search out. For example, go to Isa 40.9-11 and Isa 52.7-10 and Isa 61.1-2. Look at some of the terms used. You will see “good news” and “his arm” (a term for the Messiah), “reward is with him” (Rev 22.12), “shepherd” (king), “peace”, “salvation”, God reigns” (as king), “restore Zion” (means bringing back the captives), “comfort” (John 16.7), “redeemed”, “bind up the brokenhearted”, “liberty”, “favorable year” and it goes on and on. Now, all of these have their own definitions, and it would take hours and hours to develop them because of all the “hellenization and anomatic” (no Torah) teaching that has redefined things.
For instance, when priests wash their hands and feet in the Temple, what do they use? The Kior, or Laver, fed by a stream in the Amah (conduit) that runs through the Temple. Where is the Kior located? In the Lishkat Ha Golah, or “Chamber of the Exiles.” Now, the term “restoring Zion” means “bringing the exiles back” from exile. The “Diaspora” will be over. Now, how important was that to the people? Water is used is Scripture for spiritual concepts. It is used in cleansing, with “living water” or “mayim chaim.” The ceremonies of the Parah Adumah (Red Heifer) and the Beit Ha Shoevah (House of the Water Pouring) used living water in the Temple. The Golah chamber with the Kior got its water from a stream called the Golah (Diaspora/exile). There was a promise connected to the water. As God brought the water into the Temple, so too will he bring the exiles back. When the Kingdom of God came, one of the first signs would be the in-gathering of the exiles and the Golah (exile/dispersion/Diaspora) would be over. That was the number one expectation of the people. Read Psa 126.1-5, and then go to Acts 1.4-6 and restoring the Kingdom meant the return of the exiles. For more information on what the people understood as The Gospel” (Basorah), get the book “The Messiah Texts” by Rafael Patai. Another good book is “Judaism in the First Century of the Christian Era” by George Foot Moore.
Here is a brief breakdown of what was understood as the “Basorah” or “gospel” as the people understood it. It includes, but it is not limited to, the following: the golden age of Israel and the Kingdom of God; David’s throne restored; Messiah has come; God reigns through him over the earth; peace has come; the Day of the Lord has come; true worship has been restored; the resurrection of the Just has occurred; righteousness is in the earth; the Torah has gone forth; all idolatry is gone; the exiles have come back; non-Jews believe. Now, the Messiah is the “agent” or “sh’liach” sent by God to bring all of this about. His task is to redeem man and the creation (all heaven and earth). We enter into this redemption by the grace (chessed) of God through “emunah” (faith/confidence). Now, this is totally different than the definition we have in Christianity. This was the expectation of the Jewish audience, not only in the Land of Israel, but also in the Diaspora where Paul taught. Paul says in Rom 1.2 that the “basorah” (gospel) came through the “prophets” in the Tanak.
In Rom 1.3 Paul declares that Yeshua was the Messiah, because many claimed to be at that time, and after. He says “concerning his son” and what he means is if you believe that Yeshua is the Messiah, and he was a descendant of David, than you will have to believe in the Virgin Birth. Why? Because there is a situation in Jer 22.24-30 that you cannot avoid. Yeshua is God’s son because of the Virgin Birth, but Paul is not referring to that aspect. Paul is referring to the title of “son” in regards to him being a king, based on 1 Chr 28.5-6. Psalm 2.7 says, “I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord; he said to me, “Thou art my son, today I have begotten thee.” The kings of Judah were seen as adopted by God and “son’s of God.” This is part of the coronation ritual. In John 1.49, Nathanael merges the titles of “Son of God” and “King of Israel.” The Kingdom of Heaven/God is a variation of the “Kingdom of the Lord” in 1 Chr 13.8. So, the term “Son of God” was a title for the Kings of Judah. Solomon was known as the “Son of God” and his son Rehoboam was known as the “Son of God.” All the kings in Matt 1.6-11 were known by the title of “Son of God.” In Matt 16.13-16 Yeshua is called “the Son of the Living God” and this was a title for the King of Israel. So, when Paul uses the terms “his son” and “descendant of David” in Rom 1.3, he is referring to the role of Yeshua as “Son of God” and “King of Israel” just like Nathanael did in John 1.49.
Let’s go back to Matt 1.11. Josiah did not “begot” Jeconiah. We have a problem, so we will begin to talk about this genealogy and the kings in Part 6, and continue to develop out Paul’s introductions and how the words he uses should be defined by the Torah. When we define his introductions, we will move into defining specific verses that have been taken out of context and misinterpreted.