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.”
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,
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).
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.