POSTED 28 OCTOBER, 2017
Pastor: Hebrews 10:1: The Law was only a shadow of good things to come.
“For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near.”
10:1 Anyone who reads Hebrews 10:1 closely from the NASU should immediately see the addition of the word “only” in italics, indicating that it was not in the original source text: “For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come.” Hebrews 10:1 actually opens with Skian gar echōn ho nomos tōn mellontōn agathōn, “For the law having a shadow of good things to come…” (KJV). The addition of the term “only” by the NASU translators is entirely unjustified (although to the NASU’s credit you can easily detect this addition, unlike some other versions), and purposefully intends to downplay the significance of the Torah, as though the only thing it can do is foreshadow Yeshua the Messiah and not instruct godly men and women in how to live in holiness.
What can also not escape readers’ notice is how echōn is a present active participle: “having.” What this means is that although the Levitical priesthood and sacrificial system point to Yeshua’s final sacrifice (Hebrews 10:5-8)—there are still more good things to come in the unfolding of salvation history. A definite feature of the author of Hebrews’ argument is that while Yeshua is exalted at the right hand of His Father in Heaven, He still has yet to return with all things subjected to Himself (Hebrews 2:8; 10:13; cf. Psalm 8:5-7; 110:1). Nowhere does our author say “the Law had a shadow.”
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Today’s broad Messianic movement is of the conviction that the Torah or Law of Moses is relevant instruction for God’s people in the post-resurrection era. This is a conviction firmly rooted within the teaching of Yeshua the Messiah, who explicitly said that He did not come to abolish or eliminate the Torah (Matthew 5:17-19). Yet throughout much of Christian history, and even more so today, many theologians and examiners have argued that Moses’ Teaching has been rendered inoperative, and/or that it was only to be followed by those in the pre-resurrection era. Many of today’s Messianic people, while having a witness of the Spirit that God’s commandments are to be written on their hearts and minds via the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:25-27), are not equipped well enough to answer common arguments delivered by evangelical Protestant family members, friends, acquaintances, or even various pastors or teachers that they know—when they quote verses to them from the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament), in support of the premise that the Torah of Moses has been abolished.
The New Testament Validates Torah is a massive resource that all of today’s Messianic Believers need, especially in the current season of growth, development, and expansion in which our faith community finds itself. This publication is an extensive compilation of data across the wide range of books and commentaries available from Messianic Apologetics. The core of this resource is an examination of fifty passages, which are commonly used as proof texts to claim that the Torah is not to be followed by God’s people today. Statements such as not being “under the Law” (Romans 6:14-15), “Christ is the end of the Law” (Romans 10:4), “All things are lawful” (1 Corinthians 6:12), ‘how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things” (Galatians 4:9), “abolishing…the Law of commandments contained in ordinances” (Ephesians 2:15), “having nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14), and even “Thus He declared all foods clean” (Mark 7:19)—among many—are thoroughly addressed. Considerable attention is given to various Hebrew and Greek issues, potential translation differences, and differences of perspective. Cross-examination and discussion with a wide number of commentators have also been offered, as well as an exploration of important subjects present within today’s Biblical Studies.
The New Testament Validates Torah is an important apologetic study that will benefit Messianic Believers and evangelical Christians alike. There is literally nothing in today’s Messianic movement that has compiled and packed as much information on Torah relevance for God’s people into a single book. Also, unlike some other publications issued on the message of Torah relevance, The New Testament Validates Torah is highly respectful to Protestant voices over the centuries who have valued what they have considered to be the “moral law” of the Old Testament, and seeks to fairly honor those who have preceded us in the faith, establishing common ground where possible.