Import jQuery

McKee’s “One Law For All” article, Part 1

Much of the debate over the One Law issue has erupted on various Internet blogs, and on blogs there is often a dynamic present of provoking and antagonizing people to anger. It should go without saying that this is not a fruit of the Spirit.

-J.K. McKee

Today I am very happy to announce Messianic apologist J.K. McKee has published a landmark paper on the issue of the applicability of God’s commandments: One Law For All. 

(For the uninitiated, “one law” refers to verses in the first 5 books of the Bible which suggest there is a single law for both Israelites and those joined to Israel. It’s a big deal because it affects whether both Jews and gentiles should keep God’s commandments (One Law), or if the commandments are just for Jews (Bilateral Ecclesiology).

McKee is a good guy, I love him personally, I love him as a teacher and Bible scholar. He regularly rises above the fray: when all of us are busy fighting our Super Important Internet Battles, John is busy digging into the text. I’ve seen him bless folks that curse him out. Respond kindly to insults. I think in my years of knowing him, I’ve seen John lose his cool maybe once? Even his theological enemies will attest to this. It’s one of the reasons I follow his ministry: fruit of God’s spirit is evident there unlike any other ministry I know.

McKee’s organization, TNNOnline, is grounded in the Scriptures, Biblically conservative, free of pop theology, a bastion of apologetics, standing firm in the face of shifting ministerial alliances. If you’re a Messianic looking for stability, I would recommend John’s ministry before any other.

So when I hear John McKee has written a landmark paper, my ears perk up. When it’s on an issue so important to our movement, an issue I’ve put much thought and debate into over the last few years, one that affects even the Messianics in my congregation, I turn a careful ear.

This paper is important. It cuts past the distracting noise and goes to the heart of the matter, difficult as the subject matter is. As John puts it,

Sadly, when [one law] verses get mentioned among different Messianic teachers or leaders, rather than some reasonable discussion and constructive dialogue occurring, a great deal of accusations and misstatements are instead more likely to be made. The amount of negative emotions present, from all the various sides regarding the different One Law verses, has been quite disproportionate to the actual amount of careful dissection of these verses. There has been much written about the One Law subject matter, but most of it has unfortunately been in the form of refutations and counter responses to other teachers, with some territorialism quite easily detected.

I laughed at this only because it’s true. Accusations and misstatements…does that sound like any blogs to you? If not, you haven’t been reading many Messianic blogs lately.

Go check out the paper. I’ll be blogging about its contents in the next few weeks.

Have a good shabbat.


  1. I like this guy already. One of the things he seems to be emphasizing is what I've been trying to say all's not about what kind of label somebody hangs around your neck. It's about looking honestly at what the Bible is telling us to do and then to do it. That means, people can hang "One Law" on me forever and a day, but it's what I do that defines me, not a label someone else gives me just to make themselves feel better.

    McKee is either going to make a lot of friends or p*ss a lot of people with this paper...or both.

  2. Looking forward to reading this today!

  3. You are correct about John. I may not agree with everything he says, but he is always a gentleman.

  4. Just finished reading the whole thing. Very good content and direction. I applaud John's perseverance in researching and putting together relevant sources which made the text seem much more coherent in the area of Torah observance for humanity in general.

    Looking forward to the ensuing dialog.


  5. Gene,

    It is interesting to note that our dialog concerning the two houses of Israel dated: May 23, 2008, 06:21:02 AM now officially has 1500 views and zero comments.

    Perhaps we should try it again. I think we left off at Acts chapter 15.

    Maybe John McKee would read it.

  6. Thanks for posting, a very well balanced article.

  7. Very interesting. I was beginning to think James was the only one to break down a "One Law" perspective comprehensively. Nice to see, I will have to foreward this....

  8. I'm a little disappointed that Gene and Derek didn't weigh in on this one. I've been wondering about their perspective.

  9. And I've been wondering where John McKee has been in these discussions........I suppose writing the in-depth article. Hoping for some respectful interaction between the proponents of the various theologies. Others who do not post are reading these posts and have been influenced by them. Converts to various positions are being made....and for many, the verdict is still out.

  10. "I'm a little disappointed that Gene and Derek didn't weigh in on this one."

    John can be quite wordy with his stuff, and it's hard to address a 50 page article in one spiffy comment. Frankly, I didn't find much new in it to chew on, but if I had to describe the main thrust of his whole argument in support of validity of One-Law theology with a single word, it would: "equality."

    Which I think it's an emotional argument. This is because it's easy to demonstrate from scripture and natural observation that equality before G-d doesn't equal sameness in calling, gifts or rewards, or in case of Torah itself, applicability of various mitzvot to various groups of people.

    BTW, I have launched my own blog last night. You can find it on

    Expect some juicy (or Jewcy:) stuff to appear there in short order.

  11. Judah,

    Even though I have decided to stay away from blogging for the foreseeable future, I would like to publicly thank you for the kind words you have expressed toward myself and Outreach Israel Ministries/TNN Online. It is very encouraging to see that the "One Law for All" article has helped many people.

    Surely there is much more to address, as this exegesis paper was intended only to address passages that use "one law" terminology. The first footnote in the paper states that this has been reproduced from the forthcoming publication, the Messianic Torah Helper, which we hope to have released sometime next year.

    Blessings and kind regards!

  12. I will take the 5th amendment on this.....Don't want to spoil the lovefest.....


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