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THE WRITTEN AND THE ORAL TORAH

 

In the beginning when the Apostles were still alive at the 1st century

gentile believers did not have doctrines and practices that differed

from those the Jewish believers had.  The very first decades they even

lived without the New Covenant Scriptures.  The Bible that they had

was the so called Old Testament.

 

All of them kept Sabbath and the holy convocations together.  They

did not know Sunday or other days off then because all other nations

did not have any days for resting.

 

The warnings that Paul many times gives have something with Judaism

to do, not with the things that God has ordained.  In the Greek texts

and the translations made from Greek these things are not easy to find

unless one stops to read them carefully and investigates them in peace

in there context.  Many translations do not spot the difference between

the Written Torah that God has given and the Oral Torah of the Jews.

(The Oral Torah is the tradition of men, which nowadays include e.g.

Talmud and all the connected literature.)

 

This causes confusion.  The teachings and advice that God has given

are decoded to “rudiments of the world”.  The Word of God is by no

means a rudiment of the world as are the additions made by men, in

this matter the additions taken from the Oral Torah made by the Jews.

 

“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of

an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath [days] which are

a shadow of things to come; but the body [is] of Messiah.”

(Col. 2:16,17).

 

When read belonging to its context these verses clearly mean that

those who obey God are not to be judged.  In some translations, e.g.

in the Finnish one (KR 33/38), verse 17 is provided with a word “just

or only a shadow” added in the clause all though it is not in the original

text as to make it carry an opposite meaning.  These thing are not ONLY

shadows of things to come but they ARE shadows and disclosers,

for ensamples.  

 

In general a shadow (e.g. shadow of man) reveals many things of the

one having the shadow, as does a holy convocation shadow.  ALL of

the convocations do teach us when we let the Spirit of God reveal them

to us and do not reject or abandon them.

 

These ensamples are described us as shadows because it is totally

impossible for us to comprehend what is in front of us to expect in the

Eternity but we can get a glimpse of it of these shadows thus seeing

something as through a glass, “dimly” (1 Cor 13:12).

 

In Greek Col 2:17 does not have the word only:

http://biblehub.com/text/colossians/2-17.htm

 

When Paul in an other letter talks about ensamples, the word “shadow”

is not needed because those things are seen clearly.  To Corinthians

Paul writes: “Now all these things happened unto them (Israelites in the

Wilderness) for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition,

upon whom the ends of the world are come” (1 Cor 10:11).  We do

understand this clearly when carefully reading their history, even

understanding ensample is not difficult: Paul warns us here not to

make the same mistakes lest having the corresponding consequences.

Reading the Church history we find out that this occurred nevertheless

all though warnings were given.

 

Before drawing too easy conclusions against the Law of God it is

utmost useful to try to find out about when Paul talks about the Torah

that God has given and when he refers to the additions that Jews made,

the Oral Torah.

 

Moshe Zew

 

 

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