Ancient Israel

Torah Keeping for the Gerim/Sojourners in Ancient Israel

27 November, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

POSTED 27 JUNE, 2010 How much of Torah were the gerim/sojourners expected to keep, when compared to the natives of Israel? The sojourner or ger[1] (also commonly rendered as “alien” or “foreigner” in various English Bibles), the plural being gerim, was an outsider who entered into the community of Ancient Israel, and was certainly of a different class than a foreign worker or mere passer-by. The ger was one who acknowledged Israel’s God, repudiated idolatry, but had no inheritance in the Promised Land. Perhaps one of the most well known gerim was Ruth the Moabitess, who is classicly known for […]

Deuteronomy

Torah, Command not to “Add to”

27 November, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

UPDATED 20 JULY, 2011 In Deuteronomy 4:2 we are told not to add commandments to those of the Torah, yet in Judaism, and in the Messianic movement today, we have many people who follow traditions of men that some claim are “commanded,” or at least authorized by God. I am confused. Why do many non-Jewish Believers in the Messianic community, think that they can widely reject a majority of Jewish interpretations of the Torah, and associated tradition? Much of what one encounters in the views of various independent Messianics, is a great deal of significance given to a passage of […]

FAQ

Tongues

27 November, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

UPDATED 26 FEBRUARY, 2006 What do you believe about speaking in tongues? What occurred on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out? The issue about speaking in “tongues” is as much a debate in mainstream Christianity as it is in the Messianic movement. There are people in the Messianic movement today who come out of the varied charismatic movements, which frequently emphasize the gifts of the Spirit, speaking in tongues, and other so-called “signs and wonders.” In our experience, many who come out of these backgrounds are some of the hardest to convince of Torah observance […]

1&2 Thessalonians

1 Thessalonians 2:14-16

27 November, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

POSTED 09 MARCH, 2014 What am I to do with what is communicated in 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16? Does Paul really say that the Jewish people are responsible for the Messiah’s death? This entry has been reproduced and adapted from the commentary 1&2 Thessalonians for the Practical Messianic “For you, brethren, became imitators of the [assemblies] of God in Messiah Yeshua that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, who both killed the Lord Yeshua and the prophets, and drove us out. They are […]

FAQ

Textual Criticism

27 November, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

UPDATED 23 NOVEMBER, 2006 I have heard you use the term “textual criticism” before. What is this? Textual criticism, also known as “lower criticism,” as noted by F.F. Bruce, “is the restoration of the wording of a document when alterations have been introduced (deliberately or inadvertently) in the course of copying and recopying. Before the invention of printing, when each copy of a document had to be written out separately by hand, scribal errors were especially apt to occur” (ISBE).[1] It is employed to determine what the original reading of a Biblical text was, taking into account the oldest available […]

FAQ

Tefillin

27 November, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

UPDATED 05 DECEMBER, 2014 Do you believe that Messianics should wrap tefillin (phylacteries)? This entry has been adapted from Torah In the Balance, Volume II. One of the most misunderstood religious symbols, although certainly derived from Biblical commandments, and surely present in the Second Temple Jewish world of Messiah Yeshua, are tefillin,[1] also often known by the Greek-derived term phylacteries (sing. phulaktērion). The tefillin are a set of two leather boxes, one for the arm and hand (the opposite of whether the user is right or left handed), and one for the head, containing four Torah passages written on parchment, […]

FAQ

Talmud

27 November, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

UPDATED 21 AUGUST, 2006 What is your position concerning the Talmud? The two Talmuds, the Babylonian Talmud and the smaller Jerusalem Talmud, both compose several centuries of Rabbinic gemara or commentary on the Mishnah. The Mishnah was composed by approximately 200 C.E. and makes up what is considered to be the Oral Torah. According to Jewish tradition, two Torahs were given to Moses on Mount Sinai: the Written Torah (the Pentateuch or Chumash), as well as the Oral Torah or explanations on how to perform the Written Torah’s commandments. In Orthodox Judaism today, both the Written Torah and Oral Torah […]

Appointed Times

Sukkot

27 November, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

POSTED 13 OCTOBER, 2008 How do I celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles? My Messianic fellowship is going away to a large gathering of thousands of people and I cannot get off work. One of the instructions regarding Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles is, “Seven days you shall celebrate a feast to the LORD your God in the place which the LORD chooses” (Deuteronomy 16:15a). Few would disagree that this place or maqom is Jerusalem. (It is not some rural campground in North America or elsewhere.) The Feast of Tabernacles is a holiday where it was originally commanded, “Three times […]

FAQ

Smoking, Tobacco

27 November, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

UPDATED 12 SEPTEMBER, 2014 Would it be actually unkosher, and not just unhealthy, to smoke tobacco? The tobacco plant was unknown to the authors of Holy Scripture, given the fact that it grew in the Western Hemisphere. Tobacco was thusly also unknown to the Christian world until the discovery of the Americas in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries. It is obvious throughout history since, though, that not only have Christians (including many Christian leaders and theologians of note), but Jews (including many Jewish rabbis and thinkers) the world over, have been avid smokers of pipes, cigars, and cigarettes. Many Christians […]

FAQ

Septuagint (LXX)

27 November, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

UPDATED 17 AUGUST, 2006 Why do you consult the Septuagint frequently? The Septuagint (LXX) is the ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, dating at least two centuries before the First Coming of Yeshua. It was originally compiled for the Jewish community in Alexandria, and quickly became the authorized Scriptures of Diaspora Judaism. The Septuagint largely represents a Pharisaic style of theology, halachah, and messianic expectation, and clarifies many things in the Tanach where the Hebrew may be imprecise or vague. As should be expected, there are some distinct theological interjections into the text, as it is not a “word-for-word” […]

FAQ

Sensationalism, Messianic

27 November, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

UPDATED 30 DECEMBER, 2006 It seems to me as though many Messianic Bible teachers rely on sensationalism. Can you explain why this might be the case? In all candor, we cannot be responsible for other Messianic Bible teachers. Simply because one might call himself or herself “Messianic,” does not automatically mean that all Messianic Bible teachers are in agreement on various doctrinal issues, or for that same matter have the same kind of attitude or teaching style. It is very true that there is sensationalism employed by various teachers in the Messianic community today. Such teachers often rely on “one-liners” […]

FAQ

Scripture Interpretation

27 November, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

UPDATED 30 DECEMBER, 2006 Can you give me some basic guidelines for interpreting Scripture? (1) Always let Scripture interpret Scripture. Many things in the Bible can often be understood by looking at a variety of verses. If we consider God to be the ultimate author, then there are no (significant) contradictions in the text, and if something looks like it contradicts something else, it must be reconciled in some way. In all things, Yeshua the Messiah’s words stand as the final revelation. (2)Make regular use of Hebrew and Greek lexicons and dictionaries. Remember that there are limitations with English Bible […]

Eschatology

Sacrifices, in the Millennium

27 November, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

UPDATED 30 DECEMBER, 2006 Do you believe that there will be animal sacrifices during the Millennial Kingdom? If so, would these sacrifices be an affront to the final sacrifice of the Messiah? Ezekiel chapters 40-44, speaking of the Millennial Temple, tell us that there will be animal sacrifices during the Messianic Age. Ezekiel 44:10-11 describes the Levites in the Millennial Temple performing animal sacrifices: “But the Levites who went far from Me when Israel went astray, who went astray from Me after their idols, shall bear the punishment for their iniquity. Yet they shall be ministers in My sanctuary, having […]

FAQ

Sabbath Violation, Alleged by Yeshua

27 November, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

POSTED 19 FEBRUARY, 2006 How do you respond to the various claims that Yeshua broke the Sabbath? Some Christians are of the position that our Messiah Yeshua, the sinless Lamb of God and perfect sacrifice for our sin, actually broke the Sabbath. This is a serious claim because if He broke the Sabbath and if He sinned, then perhaps Yeshua could not be the Messiah and His sacrifice could not atone for our sin—which 1 John 3:4 tells us is lawlessness or disobedience to the Torah. There are two specific instances we will discuss that some Christians believe give reference […]

FAQ

Sabbath, Originated in Ancient Near Eastern Paganism

27 November, 2016 J.K. McKee 1

POSTED 05 MARCH, 2015 I have encountered statements to the effect that the Sabbath was not actually something prescribed by God for Ancient Israel, but instead something that Ancient Israel adapted from Ancient Near Eastern paganism. Can you help with this?! It can definitely come as a shock when today’s Messianic people hear the thought that the seventh-day Sabbath is believed by some to be a Mesopotamian or Canaanite import to the religious and spiritual practices of the Torah. It was very common among older liberal scholars to see the view expressed that the Hebrew Sabbath or Shabbat was not […]

FAQ

Sabbath, Jewish tradition

27 November, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

POSTED 16 FEBRUARY, 2006 To what extent, if any, do you believe that we should follow Jewish tradition in our Sabbath observance? Biblically, we are told that the Sabbath day is to be a time of rest for our bodies, and that we are to make it holy (Exodus 20:11; Deuteronomy 5:12). The Scriptures tell us that Shabbat is to be “a holy convocation” (Leviticus 23:3). How we “fill in the details” of doing this requires us to examine instances in the Scriptures where the Sabbath is being kept and determine with accuracy the halachah that was practiced in the […]

Eschatology

Sabbath Dismissal, Mark of the Beast

27 November, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

POSTED 05 MARCH, 2015 Is not keeping the Sabbath the mark of the beast? It is true that various Sabbatarian groups of the Twentieth Century, or at least people in such groups, have advocated that the mark of the beast of Revelation 13:16-17 is to be viewed in terms of not keeping the Sabbath and/or observing Sunday as a religious day.[1] Some of this has been associated with the theory that in the future, as the regime of the antimessiah/antichrist approaches, that Sunday will be enforced as a religious day, either in North America or in the world. As things […]

Appointed Times

Rosh HaShanah

27 November, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

POSTED 22 SEPTEMBER, 2008 Why does the Jewish community call Yom Teruah “Rosh HaShanah”? I thought the Biblical New Year began in the Spring. For many people in the independent Messianic movement, Exodus 12:2 settles the matter: “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you,” speaking of the month of Aviv (Exodus 13:4). Thus it is said that the worldwide Jewish Synagogue has been in error for millennia about designating the festival commanded in Leviticus 23:23-25 and Numbers 29:1-6 as “Rosh HaShanah,” and remembering the first […]

FAQ

Romans 10:4

27 November, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

POSTED 17 MAY, 2011 How can you say that the Law of Moses is still to be followed by Christians today, when it is quite clear that Jesus terminated the Law, being its end? This entry has been reproduced from the paperback edition of The New Testament Validates Torah Pastor: Romans 10:4: Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. “For Messiah is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” Many people read Romans 10:4, as it appears in most English Bible versions, and view it as being definitive evidence that […]

FAQ

Romans 1:26-27

27 November, 2016 J.K. McKee 0

POSTED 10 JANUARY, 2008 I have heard liberal Bible scholars teach that Romans 1:26-27 allows for homosexuality. Is this at all true? Paul’s epistle to the Romans is often considered to be his theological magnum opus, and for good reasons. It is a well drawn out presentation on the gospel as he proclaims it among the nations, as Paul is preparing to move to the Western Mediterranean, and wants the Roman Believers to know what the mission is that the Lord has entrusted to him. Most expositors agree that Romans was written against a backdrop of either Corinth or Achaia, […]

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