Pick the Scripture

Both of the quotations below are from early believers in Messiah.

One of them greatly influenced the Roman Church and its Protestant offspring.

The other made it into Scripture.

Can you guess which is which?

    1. My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world

      We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does not obey his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

      Everyone who breaks the Law sins; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

      I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.

    2. Let us therefore no longer keep the Sabbath after the Jewish manner, nor rejoice in days of idleness; for “he that does not work shall not eat."

      Let every friend of Christ keep the Lord’s Day as a festival, the resurrection-day, the queen and chief of all the days of the week. Looking forward to this, the prophet declared, "To the end, for the eighth day."

      Be not deceived with strange doctrines, nor with old fables, which are unprofitable. For if we still live according to the Jewish law, we acknowledge that we have not received grace. For the divinest prophets lived according to Christ Jesus. On this account also they were persecuted, being inspired by His grace to fully convince the unbelieving that there is one God, who has manifested Himself by Jesus Christ His Son, who is His eternal Word, not proceeding forth from silence, and who in all things pleased Him that sent Him.

      Be not deceived with strange doctrines, "nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies," and things in which the Jews boast. "Old things are passed away: all things have become new." For if we live according to the Jewish law, and the circumcision of the flesh, we deny that we have received grace.

      Therefore, having become His disciples, let us learn to live according to the principles of Christianity. For whosoever is called by any other name besides this, is not of God.

      It is absurd to profess Christ Jesus, and to Judaize. For Christianity did not embrace Judaism, but Judaism Christianity.

      It is absurd to speak of Jesus Christ with the tongue, and to cherish in the mind a Judaism which has now come to an end. For where there is Christianity there cannot be Judaism. [^]

The first quote is from Scripture, in 1 John.

The second quote is from Magnesians, a letter written by Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, around the time of Paul’s death.

Ignatius’ detestable theology had a great impact on the early believers; his writings were a clear forerunner of the Roman Catholic Church’s own doctrines: Ignatius is the first to abolish God’s Sabbath, replacing it with man’s Sun-day. He was also the first to describe the Church as “katholikos” or universal, from which the Catholic Church derives its name.

Armed with these anti-Jewish theologies, the Roman Catholic Church proceeded to persecute Jews and abolish most every form of keeping God’s commandments in the Torah, replacing Passover with Easter, Sabbath with Sunday, to name a few, creating a very distinct religion apart from, and very bitter towards, the original faith in the God of Israel.

The Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church still celebrate Ignatius and even have a special feast day dedicated to this man.

The Catholic Church’s offspring – Protestants and Evangelicals – have inherited much of this ugly theology. Perhaps this is why many gentile Christians today believe or sympathize with these terrible, anti-Jewish doctrines that have led to the deaths of thousands of Jews at the hands of Christians. It has also contributed to modern Christianity's foundation-less theology in which the forgiveness of sin is held high, but the obedience to God's commandments -- sin's adversary -- is largely ignored, leading to lawlessness and empty works.

20 comments:

  1. One thing I wanted to mention in the post, but couldn't quite fit in, was contempt he apparently held for the Torah:

    He uses a quote from New Testament ("If you don't work, you don't eat.") to invalidate God's commandment about the Sabbath.

    He labels the law and geneologies "fables". Yikes. This, despite the gospels quoting the Torah, and even the first gospel utilizing Torah's geneologies leading to Messiah. (Not to mention Messiah, Paul, and Stephen all upholding the Torah!)

    What a shame.

    Ignatius was also one of the first very visible leaders who desired martydom, perhaps even seeking it out. He wrote in a letter to the Romans,

    I am writing to all the Churches and I enjoin all, that I am dying willingly for God's sake, if only you do not prevent it. I beg you, do not do me an untimely kindness. Allow me to be eaten by the beasts, which are my way of reaching to God. I am God's wheat, and I am to be ground by the teeth of wild beasts, so that I may become the pure bread of Christ.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I know that the anti-Torah attitude has (perhaps unwittingly) pervaded the modern church. It is for that reason that I'm hesitant to tell my (Reformed Presbyterian) pastors back home that I now worship in a Messianic congregation.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Robyn:

    The Reformed tradition actually has one of the highest (at least historically) views of the moral Law of God, so you may have an eaiser time than others. Calvin himself said that the Law and gospel were not at odds with one another. One of my favorite Christian writers is Walter C. Kaiser, also from the Reformed tradition, who is pretty direct in his criticism of evangelicalism's dismissal of much of the Torah. His new book The Promise-Plan of God is a must read! (I say all of this as an Arminian, although Wesley likewise has many pro-Torah sentiments.)

    My advice is to focus on the areas where you agree, establishing common ground first. You still love and worship the same Lord, and believe that all are saved the same way by God's grace. But you do believe that there is more to God's Torah than just ethical or moral instructions. Perhaps then you can reasonably work through areas where you differ. Remember that these are our brethren, and we have a responsibility to maintain unity with them in the Spirit (Ephesians 4:3). Much of our communication breaks down when we fail to realize that there are Christians who think that dimissing the Law has been a big mistake.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @J.K.: Thank you! That is really good advice, and I have been reminding myself all the time that we are "on the same team" when it comes to our faith in Yeshua. I will keep your advice in mind when I talk to my pastors.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Judah, I'm gonna guess the second one, since it is in red writing, and therefore clearly spoken by christ.

    SIKE! Hahaha..

    ReplyDelete
  6. :) @ Aaron. I deliberately chose the dark red letters for the traditional Christian theology espoused by Ignatius.

    p.s. I think it's spelled "psych"!

    JK, a little off-topic, but I just took a listen to your latest Ephesians study. Wow! I love this stuff. I am going to go back and listen to the previous studies -- these are really helpful to me. Thanks for making them.

    Shalom guys.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm glad you like the Ephesians study. I've got four previous ones you may be interested in as well: James, Hebrews, Philippians, and Galatians.

    When the Ephesians study is closed, we will continue with Colossians-Philemon.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Cool. You know, I'm looking forward to hearing Ephesians 2; after I just finished my own study on that. You mentioned your Ephesians study in a previous comment, but I never got around to listening to it.

    These are long studies -- it will take me a little bit to get through all of Ephesians. :-)

    I'm also interested in hearing your thoughts on Romans. I did a deep study myself on Romans about 2 years ago and wrote down kind of my own interpretation, based off of a modern translation, over at Epistles Of Paul.

    I suspect your more intellectual study will blow the mind of this lowly, local community-college-educated guy. ;-)

    By the way, I was talking to my parents, Bob & Jacquie, about you -- they know of your family and met you at a book signing some time ago.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I do have thoughts on Romans, and this is not just because I took two exegesis classes on Romans in seminary! I will be producing a few papers on Romans' passages this next year, but am purposefully going to wait to conduct a Bible study because of its length at 16 chs. I would like to finish the Prison Epistles and Pastoral Epistles first before moving to Romans--because otherwise the smaller letters will not be done. There are already Messianic studies on Romans, which takes the edge off doing them over against the other Pauline letters.

    I can point you to an article here or there if you want information on a particular issue in Romans.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ooooh, I have questions for several issues in Romans. :-)

    The chapter (14?) telling us to regard every day/sabbath/holiday alike. I'd like to hear what others have to say on that.

    I've heard plenty of Christian theologians assert Paul is telling us that it doesn't matter whether we honor God's sabbath or Sunday (ignoring shabbat rest for a moment), and showing that God doesn't care whether we keep His appointed times.

    I haven't heard a great pro-Torah refutation of this. The best I've heard is, "Well, Paul is saying don't judge people that keep shabbat, the Feasts, etc."

    In a later chapter of Romans, Paul touches on vegans and meat-eating...but it sounds like he's saying, "If a brother says X is wrong, stop doing it for his sake."

    That seems like a slippery slope. (For any one issue, somebody, somewhere believes it's wrong.) Do other folks believe Paul is giving a nod to this slippery slope.

    I'd like to hear about "Christ is the end of the law". You seem well versed in Greek, and I know the Greek word there can mean "goal". Still, I'd like to read more about this and see if there are other varying opinions.

    I'm curious to hear some teaching on Romans 1 -- I've had some homosexual Christians explain this chapter to me, saying the Greek is unclear, and Paul may not be speaking about homosexuality.

    (Listening to the latest Ephesians study, I notice you mention this briefly.)

    These are just some things on my mind. (I'm not asking you to personally answer all of them.) I have my own theology on them, but that theology is loosely held. Strong opinions, loosely held. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. You're lucky that I've written on all four of these topics. Peruse my website for the following info:

    "To Eat or Not to Eat?"

    "Does the New Testament Annul the Biblical Appointments?"

    "Is Messiah the Termination of the Torah?"

    FAQ on Romans 1:26-27

    Commentators are strongly divided over Romans 10:4, with many who do favor "goal" over "end." The "goal" position is also making progress in terms of translation. The new TNIV renders telos as "consummation," which is far better than "end."

    ReplyDelete
  12. Awesome. I will check these out.

    Thanks man.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Robyn and JK's earlier comments were very telling.

    I can identify fellowships very close to my family who clearly perceive Law to be replaced.

    If I try to discuss it with them, I usually have a small quiet bet with myself as to how long it will take before the word "legalism" is thrown back.

    Normally it's around 30-60 seconds.

    I'm just doing a little word study- can someone verify this for me: in Hebrew the word TORAH is TAV-RESH-HEY, right?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Patrick,

    Hahah, 30-60 seconds, eh?

    Regarding the Hebrew spelling of Torah, let me first say I'm terrible at Hebrew. Take what I say with a huge potato sack of salt. ;-) I looked this up and it would appear Torah is spelled Tav Vav Resh Heh. TVRH or TWRH transliterated in English.

    Maybe someone more qualified can confirm this - Aaron or JK?

    ReplyDelete
  15. With regard to Col 2:16, Dan Juster says the translation is missing a few words. It should read, “Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to HOW YOU OBSERVE a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day--”. Basically what he was saying is don’t judge your brothers from other sects just because they don’t do things as you do.

    Read Dan Juster’s latest post.

    http://www.tikkunministries.org/newsletters/dj-dec08.asp

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have read something similar to what Isquez mentioned, but I can't remember where. *Maybe* it was in the "Complete Jewish Bible".

    ReplyDelete
  17. I missed that part of Juster's article. Could it be seen in another

    Colossians 3:16 includes three usages of the preposition en, appearing with three dative case nouns (indicating indirect object), "in food and in drink or in a festival." The NASU's "in regard" is probably is most as you an extrapolate this.

    The bigger controversy concerns v. 17 and how to render sōma. Is it "body" or "substance"? It it speaking of the Body of Messiah judging such matters, or is "substance" being contrasted with "shadow," regarding what these things mean now that Yeshua has come? Both are legitimate from a translation standpoint, but a value judgment needs to be made. I favor the "substance" view.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Judah,

    It is more correctly "psych", but people use "sike" as well. But that's stupid, I should have written it "psych".

    To Patrick and Judah,
    Yes, Torah is spelled tav, vav, reish, hei.
    The vav/waw holds the long "o" vowel, because it complements the vowel by adding an extra "w" sound at the end of it. At least in more original Hebrew than is commonly spoken today.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I hesitated to comment much on this one. I'll just say that, ironically, it is probable that Ignatius was discipled by the Apostle John. Think about it.

    Todd

    ReplyDelete
  20. In reading the quote from Ignatius, I would concur that there has been a negative influence on the Church from his sentiments. At the same time, though, what would really jump out at the reader should be his quotations from Scripture and the conclusions he has drawn. Is that how those verses should really be interpreted? Did all in the Second-Third Century Church interpret them the same way that he did?

    These should be the critical questions we should be asking ourselves?

    ReplyDelete