Jewish roots / Jewish understanding of the Scriptures ?

For some time already I have encountered folks involved in Bible study and Christian fellowships who promote (and in no uncertain terms, but often rather vehemently) the position that a true understanding of the bibliical Scriptures can only be found if and when Scripture is understood in light of Jewish teaching and tradition.

Do you consider such an approach to be correct?

If so, what are the ramifications to which such procedure leads a Christian?

Would such an approach, if really adhered to, not require the dismissal of all NT Scriptures as uninspired and not belonging to the Holy Scriptures? On the other hand, if one were to accept the NT Scriptures as equally God-inspired as the OT Scriptures, would one then not be adhering to that Jewish approach to Scripture?

Comments

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 471

    The inspired NT scripture were mostly written by individuals who grew up ethnically and religiously Jewish. The whole concept of a Moshiach (Messiah) and often NT's style of argument makes little sense outside of that context and in experience ignoring that context can be dangerous.


    Christian (and other individuals) who ignore that concept tend to think that Christ is a last name of sort, and may have little idea that Christ is actually a title and the Greek equvilent of Moshiach (Messiah).


    Actually, before I became a Christian none of the Christians who approached never explained that Christ was the Messiah promised in the OT/Tanakh. Rather they quoted scriptures like John 3:16 without any explanation. I was came under the impress that Jesus was some how related to Zeus and was demigod of some short like Hercules.


    Later when I by chance discoverd the great Franz Delitzsch's translation of the Greek NT into Hebrew where my eyes opened.


    Is the Jewish appoarch that only approach? NO

    If the so called Hebrew roots movent helpful? NO, I do not think so.

    Are, Historical and culture studies important? Yes.


    Grace and Peace

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,959

    @Mitchell wrote

    The inspired NT scripture were mostly written by individuals who grew up ethnically and religiously Jewish. The whole concept of a Moshiach (Messiah) and often NT's style of argument makes little sense outside of that context and in experience ignoring that context can be dangerous.

    I agree with your thoughts here .... albeit, that was not to what I was pointing. That NT Scriptures follow on and are content wise connected to the OT Scriptures should be plain from reading the books.

    Christian (and other individuals) who ignore that concept tend to think that Christ is a last name of sort, and may have little idea that Christ is actually a title and the Greek equvilent of Moshiach (Messiah).

    Well, such error is found as well in Christian circles that know and believe in the coherence of content of OT and NT Scripture ... I would consider such a plain ignorance of meaning of words (possibly due to various reasons)

    Actually, before I became a Christian none of the Christians who approached never explained that Christ was the Messiah promised in the OT/Tanakh. Rather they quoted scriptures like John 3:16 without any explanation. I was came under the impress that Jesus was some how related to Zeus and was demigod of some short like Hercules.

    Wow ...untii now, I have only heard about "anti-Christians" who threw in the argument that the Greek word for "Jesus" was connected to the word "Zeus"

    Is the Jewish appoarch that only approach? NO

    If the so called Hebrew roots movent helpful? NO, I do not think so.

    Are, Historical and culture studies important? Yes.

    My concern was about Jewish roots/understanding of the Scriptures in essence meaning that one follows and adheres by OT Scripture (keeping of commandments, keeping of feasts, etc.) and arriving at rejecting Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Messiah/Christ in accordance with Jewish religious thought and doctrine.

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,034
    edited August 28

    Brethren,

    It's important to note that the writers of NT Scriptures were under "Inspiration" and not necessarily their words. The inspired writers used the language of their past to speak to their current audience. "The writers of the Bible were God's penmen, not His pen." They were fully involved in the production of their writings. Some of them, like Luke, gathered the information by interviewing eyewitnesses of Christ's ministry (Luke 1:1-3).


    God has revealed Himself and His will in specific statements of propositional truth to His prophets (Heb 1:1). Through the inspiration of the Spirit, He has enabled His prophets to communicate the divine revelation as the trustworthy and authoritative Word of God (2 Tim 3:15-16; 2 Pet 1:19-21). The same Spirit who has inspired the prophets has been promised to illuminate the minds of those who seek to understand the meaning of the divine revelation (John 14:26; 1 Cor 2:10-14).


    Numerous times in the NT, "it is written" is equivalent to "God says." For example, in

    • -- Heb 1:5-13, seven OT citations are said to be spoken by God, but the OT passages cited do not always specifically ascribe the statement directly to God (see Ps 104:4; Ps 45:6-7; Ps 102:25-27).
    • -- Rom 9:17 and Gal 3:8 (citing Exod 9:16 and Gen 22:18 respectively) reveal a strict identification between Scripture and the Word of God: the NT passages introduce the citations with "Scripture says," while the OT passages have God as the speaker. The OT Scriptures, as a whole, are viewed as the "oracles of God" (Rom 3:2).

    Others, like the authors of Kings and Chronicles, made use of historical records available to them. No, the Bible NOT originally inspired with divisions by chapters and verses. Sometimes, however, the verses aren't well divided, and this can mislead readers (e.g., in Revelation 20:5). The aforementioned is no reason for one to fall into one of the two ditches (extreme views of the Bible — "Biblical Errancy/Inerrancy"). The Bible is a Divine/human product. It behooves one to have a good grasp or understanding of these things, as well as "Hebrew-thought." Therefore, I agree with Mitchell that "Historical and culture studies" will justly add to one's understanding.


    Let me hasten to say; it's "fatness to the soul" that anyone professing Christianity should accept that all Scriptures (OT/NT) given by inspiration" (2 Tim 3:16; 1 Pet 1:21) and the self-authorization of the "Canon" is evident. Behold the Bible. It's the expressed will of God. The Church "came to recognize, accept, and confirm the self-authenticating quality of certain documents that imposed themselves as such upon the Church." In sum, the Church did not determine the Canon, but discovered it, did not regulate the Canon, but recognized it; the Church is not the mother of the Canon, but the child of the Canon, not its magistrate, but its minister, not its judge, but its witness, not its master, but its servant (see from Geisler and McKenzie). In accepting these truths, it helps to explain why Protestants do not accept the canonicity of the Apocrypha. Read, believe, and accept God's Word! CM


    SOURCES:

    -- Bruce M. Metzger, The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987), 287.

    -- Norman L. Geisler and Ralph E. MacKenzie, Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1995), 173.

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 471

    Greetings Wolfgang,


    My concern was about Jewish roots/understanding of the Scriptures in essence meaning that one follows and adheres by OT Scripture (keeping of commandments, keeping of feasts, etc.)

    What you have described so far sounds very similar to the so called Hebrew Roots movement. In my opinion this movement has absolutely nothing to do with Judaism nor for that matter with the Jews. Jews would never argue that non-Jews need to follow the 613 Mitzvot as the Torah was only given to the children of Israel in fact according to one opinion found in the Talmud Sanhedrin 59:a2


    And Rabbi Yoḥanan says: A gentile who engages in Torah study is liable to receive the death penalty; as it is stated: “Moses commanded us a law [torah], an inheritance of the congregation of Jacob” (Deuteronomy 33:4), indicating that it is an inheritance for us, and not for them.



    and arriving at rejecting Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Messiah/Christ in accordance with Jewish religious thought and doctrine.


    If the individuals are actually rejecting the NT and Jesus/Yeshua as the Messiah then what you are encountering might be some form of Noahidism . But then again this seems unlikely for the Bnai Noah are only required to follow the so called seven commandments of Noah not the rest of the Torah.


    To say it nicely, I believe one's time would be much better spent aquring at least an intermediate working knowledge of Biblical languages, then taking class on or reading books on exegesis, hermeneutics, and Philology.


    To say it a little more directly In my opinion neither the Hebrew Roots Movement nor Noahidism have presented any evident of being able to offer anything on value in regards to hermeneutics, interpretation, or exegesis. of scriptures.


    I think you have encountered a cult or a cult like group is group has nothing to do with Judaism and what this group is teaching is actually in direct contradiction with Jewish doctrine.


    Wow ...untii now, I have only heard about "anti-Christians" who threw in the argument that the Greek word for "Jesus" was connected to the word "Zeus"

    The Christians who tried to share with me the gospel did not teach this directly, but they also never explained how the name Jesus ment God would save his people and the only god I knew that have a name that looked or sounded like Jesus was Zeus. The contection between the OT and NT was never stated by those Christians, in fact they claimed that the entire OT was nailed to the cross and had passed away.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,959

    Hello Mitchell,

    thanks for your further thoughts with interesting information on a number of things I had not encountered or heard about before.

    Ma initial post was mostly sparked by a number of people (Christians) who have tried to tell me that we must understand the Scriptures according to Jewish tradiiton, custom, religion, etc ... quoting form various Jewish sources to support their idea and thereby questioning any other "non-Jewish" understanding as incorrect.

    As my manner is, I simply pursued their idea a little further than they were doing and arrived at the conclusion, that if they were to truly adhere to Jewish understand/religion they would of necessity have to deny that Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Messiah, and that of NT books are not part of the God-breathed Holy Scriptures. For all practical purposes, and to be consistent, they should not speak about their understanding being Christian, or else could not really speak of their understanding being Jewish.

    Of course, my premise is based on my understanding that OT based Jewish understanding and religion denies Jesus of Nazareth to be the promised Messiah and that Jews thus are still awaiting the initial coming of their Messiah. I admit, I may be wrong with this basic premise ...

  • @Wolfgang Of course, my premise is based on my understanding that OT based Jewish understanding and religion denies Jesus of Nazareth to be the promised Messiah and that Jews thus are still awaiting the initial coming of their Messiah. I admit, I may be wrong with this basic premise ...

    Humanly suspect premise agreement by Orthodox Judaism => https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthodox_Judaism and premise disagreement by Messianic Judaism => https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messianic_Judaism (albeit different Judaism groups have differences of opinion)


    Keep Smiling 😀

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,959
    edited September 1

    @Keep_Smiling_4_Jesus

    Humanly suspect premise agreement by Orthodox Judaism => https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthodox_Judaism and premise disagreement by Messianic Judaism => https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messianic_Judaism (albeit different Judaism groups have differences of opinion)


    Which of these is the normally thought of "Jewish" religion/"Judaism" when Christianity or other religions are compared to "Judaism" ?? Which of these would be thought of when reading in NT Scriptures about "Jew" in contrast to "Gentile" and "Christian" ? in other words, what is Biblically speaking "Judaism"? In light of Biblical Judaism, are "messianic Jews" then "Christians" or "Jews"?

  • @Wolfgang Which of these would be thought of when reading in NT Scriptures about "Jew" in contrast to "Gentile" and "Christian" ?

    My human speculation is modern "Pharisees" and "Sadducees" would be groups within Haredi Judaism (subset of Orthodox Judaism) => https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haredi_Judaism (who still have separate areas for men & women like Paul wrote about in NT).


    @Wolfgang In light of Biblical Judaism, are "messianic Jews" then "Christians" or "Jews"?

    Early churches of believers in Acts were a mixture of Messianic Jews and Gentiles (Goyim). The description "Christian" was a derogatory term applied to followers of The Way (since believers in Antioch refused to worship Roman pantheon). Jesus said: "I AM The Way, The Truth, and The Life." (which is my belief identification today with desire to live peacefully).

    Supreme Court of Israel considers Messianic Judaism to be a form of Christianity (so not eligible for Law of Return as Jews to Israel).


    Keep Smiling 😀

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,034

    Is it true that most of the writers of the Bible were Jewish? If so, would it be fitting to understand the Hebraic thoughts and Jewish life? At the same time, one needs to understand the Christianity is not Judaism. What says ye? CM

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,959

    Is it true that most of the writers of the Bible were Jewish? If so, would it be fitting to understand the Hebraic thoughts and Jewish life? At the same time, one needs to understand the Christianity is not Judaism. What says ye? CM


    I say that it is necessary to understand the cultural background in cases where the Biblical texts make reference to such background, use language of the day and culture, etc ... whether the background is "Jewish" or perhaps "Egyptian" or "nomadic culture", or "Roman", etc ...

    In recent years I have encountered quite a number of folks who overemphasize "Jewish" and tend heavily to some form of "Judaism", prescribing to pre-Christ ordinances and Law and feasts, etc.

    Some are into keeping a Jewish Seder meal claiming that is is the passover meal ... but is that really the passover meal as given as a remembrance to the children of Israel? or does it have elements from later Jewish customs rather than Scripture? What about the passover meal and its relevance after Christ accomplished that to which the memorial of the OT passover meal pointed?

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