Nazarene Space

1 Corinthians 7 - Remain where you were called.

What are everyone's thoughts on Paul's statement in this passage below? He appears to be saying that Gentiles should remain in their initial non-Torah observing status if they come to redemption in the Messiah during which. Contrastingly, he says that Jews should remain observing Torah when they are called to Yeshua as Shomrei Torah. What are your thoughts on his words?

Lamsa's Translation
1 Corinthians 7:
17 ¶ But every man, according as the Lord has distributed to him, and every man, as God has called him, so let him walk. And this I command also for all the churches.
18 If a man was circumcised when he was called, let him not adhere to the party of uncircumcision. And if he was uncircumcised, when he was called, let him not be circumcised.
19 For circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the Lord’s commandments is everything.
20 Let every man remain in the station of life in which he is called.
21 If you were a slave when you were called, do not feel concerned about it; but even though you can be made free, choose rather to serve.
22 For he who is called by our Lord, being a slave, is God’s free man; likewise he who is called, being a freeman is also Christ’s servant.
23 You have been bought with a price; you must not therefore become slaves of men.

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Passed by the International Nazarene Beit Din back in 2010:


A Ger who is circumcised and not immersed;
Rabbi Eliezer said: Behold this is a Ger
Thus we find of the fathers, they were circumcised and not immersed.
Immersed and not circumcised:
Rabbi Joshua said: Behold this is a Ger
Thus we find of the mothers, they were immersed and not circumcised.
And the Pharisaic sages say:
Immersed and not circumcised
Circumcised and not immersed
He is not a Ger until he is circumcised and immersed.
(b.Yev. 46a)

The International Nazarene Beit Din says:

There are three types of Gerim (Proselytes):
The Ger Toshav (Ex. 12:45; Lev. 25:45, 47) The Repentant Ger - These are any
from the Goyim who takes upon himself the seven precepts of Noach.

The Ger HaShar (Deut. 14:21, 24:14) The Ger at the Gate – These go
beyond the seven precepts of Noach as they begin learning more of the
Torah and incorporating it into their lives.

The Ger Tzadik- These are they who "become Jews" (Esther 8:17)

The Ger Toshav is immersed but not circumcised.
The Ger HaShar is immersed but not circumcised.
The Ger Tzadik is immersed and circumcised, as we read in the Torah
"And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not
circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people." (Gen. 17:14)
and again "All the Assembly of Israel shall keep it ... no
uncircumcised person shall eat thereof." (Ex. 12:47-48)

What of the proselyte who was already circumcised?

Said R. Simeon b. Eleazar, The House of Shammai and the House of Hillel did not
dispute concerning the one who was born circumcised, that it is necessary to
draw a drop of blood of the covenant of circumcision from him, for it is a
foreskin which is pressed in.

Concerning what did they dispute? Concerning a convert who converted already
circumcised. For the House of Shammai say, It is necessary to draw from him a
drop of blood of the covenant. And the House of Hillel say, ËœIt is not necessary
to draw from him a drop of blood of the covenant.
(b.Shabbat 135a)

The International Nazarene Beit Din Says:

In conflicts between the House of Hillel and the House of Shammai,
Hillel generally taught the more lenient halachot while Shammai
generally taught the more stringent halachot. The House of Hillel was
based in Chesed (Mercy) and the House of Shammai was based in Gevurah
(Severity) (see Zohar 3:245a). Yeshua's halachot were likewise based on
the precept of Chesed (see Mt. 12:7; Mk. 12:33) and most often agreed
with the House of Hillel against the House of Shammai. We have no
hesitation therefore in adopting the rule of the House of Hillel in
this case. When a person is already circumcised it is not necessary to
draw a drop of blood of the covenant from them upon conversion.

When is the commandment of circumcision loosed?

The Pharisees said:
Why were they not circumcised in the wilderness? — If you wish I might
say: Because of the fatigue of the journey; and if you prefer I might
say: Because the North wind1 did not blow upon them. For it was
taught: In all the forty years during which Israel was in the
wilderness the North wind did not blow upon them. What was the reason?
— If you wish I might say: Because they were under divine displeasure.
And if you prefer I might say: In order that the clouds of glory might
not be scattered.

Rabbi Papa said: Hence, no circumcision may be performed on a cloudy day
or on a day when the South wind blows; nor may one be bled on such a
day. At the present time, however, since many people are in the habit
of disregarding these precautions, The Lord preserves the simple.

The Pharisaic Rabbis taught: In all the forty years during which Israel was in
the wilderness there was not a day on which the North wind did not
blow at the midnight hour; for it is said, And it came to pass at
midnight, that the Lord smote all the firstborn etc. How is the
deduction arrived at? — By this we were taught that an acceptable time
is an essential.
(b.Yeb. 71b-72a)

Paul said:
If a man was called while circumcised, he should not return to
uncircumcision. And if he was called in un-circumcision, he should not be
circumcised.
...because of the urgency of the time...
...[because] the time is now shortened...
...[and because] the fashion of this world passes away.
(1Cor. 18-19, 26, 29, 31)

And likewise Paul said:
But I speak to those who do not have wives and to widows,
that it is profitable for them to remain like me…
(1Cor. 7:8)

Likewise this was
...because of the urgency of the time...
...[because] the time is now shortened...
...[and because] the fashion of this world passes away.
(1Cor. 7:26, 29, 31)

As we read also in the Book of Jasher:
"And Noah... refrained from taking a wife in those days,
to beget children, for he said, Surely now Elohim will destroy the earth,
wherefore then shall I beget children."
(Jasher 5:12)

The International Nazarene Beit Din says:
"An acceptable time for circumcision is essential."

The Pharisaic Rabbis taught:
If at the present time a man desires to become a proselyte, he is to be
addressed as follows: `What reason have you for desiring to become a proselyte;
do you not know that Israel at the present time are persecuted and oppressed,
despised, harassed and overcome by afflictions'? If he replies, `I know and yet
am unworthy', he is accepted forthwith, and is given instruction in some of the
minor and some of the major commandments. He is informed of the sin [of the
neglect of the commandments of] Gleanings, the Forgotten Sheaf, the Corner and
the Poor Man's Tithe. He is also told of the punishment for the transgression of
the commandments. Furthermore, he is addressed thus: `Be it known to you that
before you came to this condition, if you had eaten suet you would not have been
punishable with kareth, if you had profaned the Sabbath you would not have been
punishable with stoning; but now were you to eat suet you would be punished with
kareth; were you to profane the Sabbath you would be punished with stoning'. And
as he is informed of the punishment for the transgression of the commandments,
so is he informed of the reward granted for their fulfillment. He is told, `Be
it known to you that the world to come was made only for the righteous, and that
Israel at the present time are unable to bear either too much prosperity. or too
much suffering'. He is not, however, to be persuaded or dissuaded too much. If
he accepted, he is circumcised forthwith. Should any shreds which render the
circumcision invalid remain, he is to be circumcised a second time. As soon as
he is healed arrangements are made for his immediate immersion, when two learned
men must stand by his side and acquaint him with some of the minor commandments
and with some of the major ones. When he comes up after his ablution he is
deemed to be an Israelite in all respects.

In the case of a woman proselyte, women make her sit in the water up to her
neck, while two learned men stand outside and give her instruction in some of
the minor commandments and some of the major ones.
(b.Yev. 47a-47b)

The International Nazarene Beit Din says:

If at the present time a man desires to become a Ger Tzadik, he is to be
addressed as follows: `What reason have you for desiring to become a proselyte;
do you not know that Israel at the present time are persecuted and oppressed,
despised, harassed and overcome by afflictions'? If he replies, `I know and yet
am unworthy', he is accepted forthwith, and is given instruction in all of the
minor and all of the major commandments. He is informed of the sin [of the
neglect of the commandments of] Gleanings, the Forgotten Sheaf, the Corner and
the first, second and third tithes. He is also told of the punishment for the
transgression of the commandments. Furthermore, he is addressed thus: `Be it
known to you that before you came to this condition, if you had eaten unkosher
food you would not have become unclean, if you had profaned the Sabbath you
would not have been punishable; but now were you to eat unkosher food you would
become unclean; were you to profane the Sabbath you would face the penalty'. And
as he is informed of the punishment for the transgression of the commandments,
so is he informed of the reward granted for their fulfillment. He is told, `Be
it known to you that the world to come was made only for the righteous, and that
Israel at the present time are unable to bear either too much prosperity. or too
much suffering'. He is not, however, to be persuaded or dissuaded too much. If
he accepted, he is circumcised after having learned the commandments of the
Torah. Should any shreds which render the circumcision invalid remain, he is to
be circumcised a second time. As soon as he is healed arrangements are made for
his immediate immersion, when two learned men must stand by his side. Here he
shall pledge "Where you go, I will go, where you lodge, I will lodge, your
people will be my people and your Elohim my Elohim (Ruth 1:16), all the words
which YHWH has said will I do (Ex. 24:3) and I confess with my mouth that Yeshua
is the Messiah whom Elohim raised from the dead (Rom. 10:9). When he comes up
after his immersion he is deemed to be an Israelite in all respects. In the
case of a woman proselyte, women make her sit in the water up to her neck, while
two learned men stand outside.

19 "For circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the Lord’s commandments is everything."

The shoemaker should stay a shoemaker, but the sinner should not stay a sinner.
Keeping the Torah is everything, and circumicision is therefore seemingly not counted as a Torah commandment by Paul.

So then ....Paul had/has the authority to change the Torah as he pleases even after we are told at least 20 times it's forever and for all generations? Me thinks you may have a bit of contradiction in your theology.
He wasn't stating it was done away with!


Solomon Avar said:

19 "For circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the Lord’s commandments is everything."

The shoemaker should stay a shoemaker, but the sinner should not stay a sinner.
Keeping the Torah is everything, and circumicision is therefore seemingly not counted as a Torah commandment by Paul.

Yes the context of this quote is that Paul is addressing a group of apostates and telling them that THEIR circumcisions are nothing.

He didn't say "your/their circumcision", he just says "circumcision".

I don't believe he's changing the Torah, I believe he's saying that circumcision is not a commandment (for adults), as is evident from the text itself, and in harmony with the Torah, which commands 8-day old children (not adults) to be circumcised. Confer with the story of the Shechemites. But this is not about circumcision.

19 "For circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the Lord’s commandments is everything."

The shoemaker should stay a shoemaker, but the sinner should not stay a sinner. This is the point.

James Trimm said:

Yes the context of this quote is that Paul is addressing a group of apostates and telling them that THEIR circumcisions are nothing.

Incidentally, David did change the Torah.

Numbers 8:

23Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 24"This is that which belongs to the Levites: from twenty-five years old and upward they shall go in to wait on the service in the work of the Tent of Meeting; 25and from the age of fifty years they shall cease waiting on the work, and shall serve no more, 26but shall minister with their brothers in the Tent of Meeting, to perform the duty, and shall do no service. You shall do thus to the Levites concerning their duties."


1 Chron. 23:

24These were the descendants of Levi by their families—the heads of families as they were registered under their names and counted individually, that is, the workers twenty years old or more who served in the temple of the Lord. 25For David had said, “Since the Lord, the God of Israel, has granted rest to his people and has come to dwell in Jerusalem forever, 26the Levites no longer need to carry the tabernacle or any of the articles used in its service.” 27According to the last instructions of David, the Levites were counted from those twenty years old or more.


Did he sin in this regard ?
Or could God possibly have inspired it ?

I don't think Paul changed the Torah, but it would not be without precedent...


"THEIR circumcisions are nothing."

If he wanted to say "your/their circumcision is nothing", then he wouldn't follow it by saying "uncircumcision is nothing."


Solomon Avar said:

He didn't say "your/their circumcision", he just says "circumcision".

I don't believe he's changing the Torah, I believe he's saying that circumcision is not a commandment (for adults), as is evident from the text itself, and in harmony with the Torah, which commands 8-day old children (not adults) to be circumcised. Confer with the story of the Shechemites. But this is not about circumcision.

19 "For circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the Lord’s commandments is everything."

The shoemaker should stay a shoemaker, but the sinner should not stay a sinner. This is the point.

James Trimm said:

Yes the context of this quote is that Paul is addressing a group of apostates and telling them that THEIR circumcisions are nothing.

He starts by identifying "you" in 4:21 as "you that desire to be under the law"

Much of the confusion about Paul's teachings on the Torah involves two scripture phrases, which appear in the New Testament only in Paul's writings (in Rom. Gal. & 1Cor.). These two phrases are "works of the law" and "under the law", each of which appears 10 times in the Scriptures.

The first of these phrases, "works of the law", is best understood through its usage in Gal. 2:16. Here Paul writes:

knowing that a man is not justified by works of the law but by faith in Yeshua the Messiah,
even we have believed in Messiah Yeshua,
that we might be justified by faith in Messiah
and not by the works of the law;
for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

Paul uses this phrase to describe a false method of justification which is diametrically opposed to "faith in the Messiah". To Paul "works of the law" is not an obsolete Old Testament system, but a heresy that has never been true.

The term "works of the Torah" has shown up as a technical theological term used in a document in the Dead Sea Scrolls called MMT which says:

Now we have written to you some of the
works of the law, those which we determined
would be beneficial for you...
And it will be reckoned to you as righteousness,
in that you have done what is right and good before Him...
(4QMMT (4Q394-399) Section C lines 26b-31)

The second of these phrases is "under the law". This phrase may best be understood from its usage in Rom. 6:14, "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law but under grace." Paul, therefore, sees "under grace" and "under the law" as diametrically opposed, one cannot be both. The truth is that since we have always been under grace (see Gen. 6:8; Ex. 33:12, 17; Judges 6:17f; Jer. 31:2) we have never been "under the law". This is because the Torah was created for man, man was not created for the Torah (see Mk. 2:27). "Under the law" then, is not an obsolete Old Testament system, but a false teaching, which was never true.

There can be no doubt that Paul sees "works of the law" and "under the law" as categorically bad, yet Paul calls the Torah itself "holy, just and good" (Rom. 7:12), certainly Paul does not use these phrases to refer to the Torah itself.

So for Paul to tell someone that desires to be "under the law" that circumcision is of no value to them, is like a Baptist telling a Mormon that baptism is of no value to him.

There can be no doubt that Paul sees "works of the law" and "under the law" as categorically bad, yet Paul calls the Torah itself "holy, just and good" (Rom. 7:12), certainly Paul does not use these phrases to refer to the Torah itself.

I did not claim anything for or against this. I'm not challenging the Torah. I'm saying that Paul is assuming that circumcision is not a commandment for adults, but to be performed on 8-day old infants. This was made clear in my last posting.

Using your logic, Abraham would have been excluded...

Gen 17:14  “And an uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, his life shall be cut off from his people – he has broken My covenant.”



Excluded from what ?
Excluded from being a child ? Certainly.


mikha El said:

Using your logic, Abraham would have been excluded...

Gen 17:14  “And an uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, his life shall be cut off from his people – he has broken My covenant.”



Well then, your position doesn't hold water then does it? Abraham was past the 8th day and didn't require circumcision according to your theory. (Excluded from the Assembly of Israel of course.) 

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