Nazarene Space

There is a ritual in Judaism of passing authority to teach via laying on of hands, called "smikah". When a Rabbi is ordained he receives SMIKAH via laying on of hands. The Rabbis claim a line of SMIKAH going back to Moses, "Apostolic" Christian groups often trace a similar line of "Apostolic Authority" going back to the Apostles... This is an interesting topic and I will post a starter post in the discussions section on this.

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The following post is my concerns in the oral torah for nazarenes discussion but they probably fit best here.

The article (correct me if I'm wrong) makes the following claims

1 - The Pharisees/Rabbinic Judaism have lost the authority to make halachic decisions.

My thoughts on this claim. It is clear that the article is well researched, but I feel that one important aspect of the first century setting is being left out. Although the article mentions the schools of Hillel and Shammai it does not address the true significance of this division in pharisaic Judaism. Around 30 to 40 years before Yeshua began his ministry there was a radical shift in Judaism. This changing of Judaism was instituted by Judas of Galilee. Josephus antiquities of the Jews book 18 chapter 1 tells about this crucial piece of history. Josephus tells us that one man Judas of Galilee created an alternate sect of Pharisaic Judaism. Through out all of Jewish history there was alway one form of oral Torah there were never any alternate schools of thought all the way until we come to the schools of Hillel and Shammai and then BOOM all of the sudden we have two radically different types of oral torah. Why? Because the man Judas of Galilee. Judas hate Roman interference in the state of Judeah so led a revolt against Rome. Part of his revolt against Rome included creating a new jewish religion, a new oral law. Josephus tells us that this new doctrine "added a great weight" to the traditions of the fathers. Josephus also says that "Such a CHANGE was made that added a mighty weight...which we were before unaquainted with." He tells of many other consequences of this brand new oral law. I dont want to post the whole chapter so i will post highlights and you can read it out of Josephus when you get a chance.

A - Judas of Galilee created a new form of anti-gentile pharisaic judaism.

B - This new pharisaic judaism added a great weight to the customs of the fathers

C - This new pharisaic judaism was extremely hypocritical, self serving

D - This new pharisaic judaism was nationalistic in nature and anyone who opposed it was murdered

E - This new pharisaic judaism was described as a rapidly growing infection that filled up the entire land of Judeah (IE a little leaven leavnes the whole lump)

F - According to Josephus, this new form of pharisaic judaism was the reason for all the hardships and destruction that came upon judea in the first century.

This brand new over burdern some anti-gentile corrupt form of pharisaic judaism took over the entire land of Judea in a very short period of time. By the time Yeshua was thirty the vast majority of all Judeans followed this new form of pharisaic judaism and only a handful of pharisees still followed the old kind and gentle form of oral law.

It was this alternate form of Pharisaic judaism that Yeshua came against and took away. All of Judeah followed, and was ruled by, this alternate form of pharisaic judaism. Only a handful of people opposed it such as the school of Hillel and later Yeshua and his disciples. It could just as easily be said that Yeshua took the keys away from (The corrupt anti-gentile-judas of galilee-school of shammai) Pharisees, and NOT all the pharisees.


2 - Yeshua gave halachic authority to "his students" therefore this authority CANNOT be found among rabbinic Judaism, but must be found among some group of christians.

There is a lot to be said about this claim from the above article.

FIRST - giving halachic authority to his students does not mean he took it away from the pharisees. In light of the above information about the corrupt form of pharisaic judaism, it could just as easily be said that Yeshua was giving halachic authority to his students who were pharisees who followed the school of hillel. In other words he was simply removing the leaders of the school of shammai and instituting new leaders who followed the school of hillel or atleast an oral torah extremely similar to hillel.

SECOND - It is an assumption not a proven fact that the rulings of the Talmud (mishnah, gemarah) are made by non believers in Yeshua. In Simcha Pearlmutters famous online testimony he shows that ancient Jewish documents, that were written by the Hazal, had information in them stateing that Yeshua is Mashiach. He shows a few different places in orthodox jewish texts that the leadership in Judaisms past did believe in Yeshua as the Mashiach and atonement for sin. Simcha spends most of this testimony explaining that many people through out the history of Judaism including the leaders, believed in Yeshua, but they kept this secret so as to save lives. One could just as easily assume that the vast majority of the talmud and all jewish doctrine today is derived FROM JEWISH believers in Yeshua. We must also remember that all of orthodox Judaism of today rejects the ruling of Shammai and accepts that of Hillel. Meaning that all the things that Yeshua came against they reject. The orthodox judaism of today is very close to what Yeshua asked. And for all we know most of them do secretly believe in Yeshua.

THIRD - Let us assume for a moment that Yeshua completely stripped all authority from Judaism and created a new body known as, lets say, the nazarenes. And lets say that these nazarenes were the direct students of Yeshua and they recieved the holy spirit and the authority to make decisions. And let us assume that they did not continue to live among mainstream judaism (even secretly). Let us assume that they decided to be completely seperate from Judaism. According to this scenario the true "way" would have died out about 1700 years ago. There has been no form of Christianity, of any kind, catholic or protestant, that has maintained an unbroken line of torah observant/oral torah observant followers. Which leads us to the only conclusion that we MUST MAKE UP OUR OWN way, which has never been the case for Israel.

It is much more likely that the many believers in Yeshua among Judaism (including even those who do not know his name but know his teachings) have maintained the true way of oral law. Lets face it there is no such thing as christian midrash. And we know that the NT uses Midrash. HOW IN THE WORLD ARE WE GONNA SAY WHAT STAYS AND WHAT GOES, when they are the ones who have maintained this info, (and more than likely the true belief in Yeshua).

Who are we to say "well I have the holy spirit because I got goose bumps at church ten years ago, and now I know about the Torah, therefore I must be the right person to decide what halacha is."

That line of thinking sounds some what naive and arrogant if you ask me. Even if I have missunderstood the implications of this article I do know of others who follow this line of thought. So hopefully what I have said can be positive information in further discussing this topic.
so to sum up, everyone has been missin out on Josephus saying that the new rabbinic school of Pharisees is what Yeshua was preaching against and their anti-gentile Oral Torah was the basis for Yeshua's arguments... and also the Apostles were actually Pharisees..

the problem is that Scripture shows that most of Yeshua's followers initially came from Yochanan the Baptist, so that actually means that they were Essene Jews and Pharisaic Jews so the second argument is not valid

yet it can be true about that new Jewisch school i can believe that yet it is again implying that Yeshua was a Pharisee which is to my understanding foolish, schools were human trains of thought about Torah and Mar-Yah Alaha yet Yeshua came from Mar-Yah Alaha Himself (!!!!) i think that would imply he had more knowledge about all of it then the Pharisees and that he was outside of being part of any Jewish sect yet he was the Unity all the Jewish sects should believe in..
making Yeshua into a Pharisee is the same thing as christians who make Yeshua out to be "jesus the law breaker" only difference is this messiah does Torah ...

btw did you know that most Jews of those days were actually non-secterian?
Shawn wrote:
"Let us assume for a moment that Yeshua completely stripped all authority from Judaism and created a new body known as, lets say, the nazarenes."

This very statement demonstrates your lack of understanding the issue. You use the term "Judaism" to mean Pharisaic Rabbinic Judaism only. Yeshua did NOT "strip all authority from Judaism" but rather from the Pharisaic Sanhedrin. It remained with Judaism, but now with the Nazarene sect. You contras the terms "nazarene" and "Judaism" as if they are two different things.

You really need to read my book Nazarene Theology. The first part of the book lays out the historical roots of Nazarene Judaism.

Nazarene Judaism did not simply proceed forth from Pharisaic Judaism, in fact logistically it sprang forth primarily from the Essene community. Essenism was as much "Judaism" as Pharieeism.

Essenes had been teaching for years that the Pharisees had become a hypocritical "whitened wall" and a "brood of vipers" and were awaiting a Messiah who would come fix things. These Essenes had separated from the Pharisees and created their own halachic courts. They believed that they were sons of light walking in the light, and others (such as Pharisees) were sons of darkness, walking in darkness) (terms which the Nazarenes used to distinguish their own community from others).

Yeshua, as Messiah, simply made this official with an authorized declaration, establishing "keys of authority" for his talmidim (Kefa and most of the 12 being of Essene not Pharisaic back ground).

As for this business about a "new Judaism" that was murderous after the fall of the Temple... that sounds more like Karaitism and things the neo-Karites like Avi ben Mordechai would be teaching, nothing like that has been taught by me.
"For all the readers here know that my arguments are not concatenated from dismembered prophesies or what not".

You're kidding, right? All the readers here? Perhaps you missed my reply's to your unscriptural assertions concerning gentiles in the other thread? Why would this reader take you seriously in this one? You think a bit to highly of yourself. Once again I find your arrogance nauseating.
James you said: "This very statement demonstrates your lack of understanding the issue. You use the term "Judaism" to mean Pharisaic Rabbinic Judaism only. Yeshua did NOT "strip all authority from Judaism" but rather from the Pharisaic Sanhedrin. It remained with Judaism, but now with the Nazarene sect. You contras the terms "nazarene" and "Judaism" as if they are two different things.

Your conclusion is exactly what I stated in the following thoughts of my statement. I totally agree that he did NOT strip all authority from Judaism but from the Sanhedrin. And that it remained with Judaism, the Nazarenes. I was not comparing and contrasting Judaism with Nazarenes, if my statement was understood as such then I over generalized my terms, sorry for that.

To respond to both James and Serkan in regards to the Essenes please understand that I totally agree that Yeshua and the body of Nazarenes came from the Essenes. I have also written a lengthy article/book in the many parallels between Essenes and the NT. I have not mentioned them in this discussion in order to first simplify the discussion and deal with halachic authority in general, then maybe a few decades (wink wink) from now we can start hammering out details.

It is currently my opinion (and I think we should all present our ideas of that time frame as OPINIONS and not as FACTS. Anyone presenting their opinions of what happened at the time of Yeshua and shortly there after as FULLY DEVELOPED FACTS is lieing to themselves. I think that we can only come to "best guesses" and "somewhat educated opinions" in regards to what happened at that time with each Jewish faction.) That the Essenes and the school of Hillel were not all that different. I think what we might see as diferences can be explained in the understanding that their are common Israelites and then there is what is known as the school of prophets. Perhaps for Hillel and his students their halacha was for the common Israeli citizens and the Essenes halacha was for the school of the prophets. But that is getting into a whole different topic.

My concern is still where do we as christians/messianic/two housers/ephraimites/modern day nazarenes claim to get halachic authority in determining what is and what isnt oral torah. I dont believe anyone coming out christianity inherited this authority. James says that he did not come from christianity but rabbinic judaism, but then says rabbinic judaism doesnt have halachic authority. Since I only know of James and his beit din claiming to have halachic authority for Nazarenes I must ask the following. (please understand there is no sarcasm in this question) if you did not receive halachic authority from christianity and you didnt receive it from rabbinic judaism then where does it come from? That is my concern.
We got our authority from the Torah (Deut. 16:18)
Devarim 16:18 appoint judges and officers (police) within all your gates (cities) which Hashem is giving you, according to your tribes. And they shall judge the people with righteous right ruleing (good Judges governing local cities).

=

Create international Sanhedrin with supreme halachic authority over any other existing claimants to halachic authority thus making you the one true form of Judaism?

How would the international nazarene beit din/sanhedrin thingy prevent Mr. John Doe, from reading that verse and deciding HE needs to create an international sanhedrin with supreme halachic authority? And whose would be the real one? Is it a "I was here first" situation? Is it a who ever happens to have the most Torah knowledge situation?
Shawn said:
Devarim 16:18 appoint judges and officers (police) within all your gates (cities) which Hashem is giving you, according to your tribes. And they shall judge the people with righteous right ruleing (good Judges governing local cities).

=



Create international Sanhedrin with supreme halachic authority over any other existing claimants to halachic authority thus making you the one true form of Judaism?

How would the international nazarene beit din/sanhedrin thingy prevent Mr. John Doe, from reading that verse and deciding HE needs to create an international sanhedrin with supreme halachic authority? And whose would be the real one? Is it a "I was here first" situation? Is it a who ever happens to have the most Torah knowledge situation?

Not "YOU", it's US. The members of the ONE BODY Yeshua prayed for and Jude mentions. Anything short of this constitutes sectarianism.

If John Doe realizes that Nazarene Judaism is the one true faith and wishes to start another group claiming halachic authority at his gates, ...and his doctrine lines up with the ONE true faith given, ...it's Kosher!
As I have said many times before (Shawn, if you read my blogs you should know this" in the ABSENCE of an International Nazarene Beit Din we were authorized (even directed) by Deut. 16:18 to create one. That circumstance no longer exists. Today there is such a body.
Perhaps its a "whoever YHWH calls first" situation. In the absence of an International Nazarene Beit Din, the pashat of Deut. 16:18 not only authorized, but mandated that we create one. This was done back in 1996. Doing so was a move toward unity. Creating a competing version now, would be an act of division.
Shalom everyone, James I think the pashat of Deut 16:18 is create local judicial systems with officers/police, and the pashat would also include being in the tribal land alotments. The pashat is speaking of having peacful communities with good law enforcement like we see today with our police and judicial system.

I think you would be better off calling your interepretation of creating an interational beit din of supreme spiritual authority a remez, drash, or sod. because in the pashat it just is not there.
Shalom Rick & Debbie Well it would depend on the dispute as far as who judges, a civil court or "local spiritual leader/s". If there is a car wreck, as an example, than it would have to be refered to civil courts. If we are talking about a simple offense between two parties (EXAMPLE John called Tommy a bad name and wont appologize.) Then visiting a person you both feel is your spiritual leader could be helpful. If you are talking about disputes in theological view points however, this is where things can get murky.

For some people perhaps they feel that Benny Hen/hin's (how ever its spelled) theology is the closest thing to correct and will therefore submit to what ever he decides.

For some people perhaps they feel that John Hagee's (how ever its spelled) theology is the closest thing to correct and will therefore submit to what ever he decides.

For some people perhaps they feel that a particular Rabbi's theology is the closest thing to correct and will therefore submit to what ever he decides.

For the Bereans they reviewed all the information and developed a well informed opinion on which they based their decisions. This method allows for continuous re-evaluation and further development of understanding/decision making.

It should be that there is a Sanhedrin that provides a correct theological point of view on all issues. At the time of Moshe, during a direct visitation from Hashem, this body of leaders was instituded and no one had any doubts on their decision making. However when we get to the time frame of Yeshua, theology had become very murky and there were varying opinions on theological view points. Thus we have a direct visitation of the Mashiach to clarify theological view points that had become muddled since last Hashem visited. Here we are again thousands of years from a direct visitation from Hashem and here we are again with confused, murky, and varyng opinions on theological points. Certainlty at the Mashiach's next visitation this will be lined out.

Currently I am at the state of making decisions based upon the Berean model as stated above. I currently feel that orthodox Judaism's explaination of spirituality and theology is the closest to resembling that of Yeshua's. I consider orthodox Judaism to be the most qualified organization to teach me spirituality. This is not to say that I would not want to fellowship with and learn from someone who calls themselves messianic/ephraimite/two houser/nazarene. However I feel that these organizations are also (relatively speaking) spiritual new born babies, just as myself. They are forming ideas and opinion each day (I hope) continually learning, growing, and adjusting their theology. As an example...

(the following are neither promoteing or detracting from either view they are simply my opinions and current understanding)

The WNAE statement of faith includes...

"We believe that the Bible, which includes both the Tanakh [Old Testament] and the Ketuvim Netzarim (New Testament) is the divinely inspired, infallible Word of Elohim in its original texts and manuscripts."

That is the WNAE's opinion and I have varrying opinion. I believe the Tanak is Scriptures and the NT should be considered a rabbinic text. It never intended to be scripture, it was not written as such save for the book of revelation. I believe only the book of Revelation has a scripture status. That is not to say that I think the NT is wrong. I believe the vast majority of it is good and useable.

The WNAE's statement of faith says...

"We believe he was born of a virgin" I have a varying opinion I currently understand that Rome hijacked the kabbalistic concept of the heavenly mother Yerushalayim (who is considered perpetually clean - virgin) and mixed this concept with the sun god myth and inserted this into the narrative of Yeshua's life. I also leave open the possiblity that the physical virgin birht is true but based upon what I have learned up to this point, I feel it is a Roman invention.

Now I have varying theological view points with the WNAE (Although I do not consider this problematic in any way as far as freindly fellowship is concerned).

Which brings us back to the murkyness I was describing earlier. I feel that we should all avoid elevating ourselves or our opinions to the status of infallible or authoritative over all others (Although I do feel that there is a remnent amongst orthodox Judaism who still hold correct theological view points on most if not all topics). If we can avoid self elevation until the Mashiach comes I am certain he will be able to elevate us all, rather than have to humble and lower us from our self elevation.

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