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The New Testament Validates Torah: Does the New Testament Really Do Away With the Law?
 
 

The New Testament Validates Torah: Does the New Testament Really Do Away With the Law? [Kindle Edition]

J.K. McKee

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Product Description

The New Testament Validates Torah is a study that all Messianic Believers need, especially in the current season of considerable growth and expansion in which our broad faith community finds itself. On the whole, today’s Messianic movement holds that the Torah or the Law of Moses remains valid instruction for God’s people, and that Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) did not come to abolish or do away with it (Matthew 5:17-19). Yet throughout much of Christian history, many theologians have argued that the Law has been rendered inoperative, and/or that it was only to be followed by those in the pre-resurrection era. Many Messianics are incapable of responding to the common arguments delivered by their Christian family members, friends, acquaintances, or even various pastors and teachers that they know, who quote verses to them from the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament) which supposedly prove that the Law has been “done away.”

Has Moses’ Teaching been abolished? This publication is a lengthy study that analyzes and critically examines, in detail, a wide number of New Testament passages that are commonly offered as proof texts to claim that the Torah is not to be followed by those in the post-resurrection era. 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), “abolishing…the Law of commandments contained in ordinances” (Ephesians 2:15), “having nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14), and many more, are considered. Considerable attention is given to the Greek source text of the Apostolic Scriptures, and where translation errors into English appear to have been made by various modern versions. 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 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 Christian voices over the centuries who have valued what they have considered to be the "moral law" of the Old Testament, and seeks to honor those who have preceded us in the faith.

About the Author

J.K. McKee (B.A., University of Oklahoma; M.A., Asbury Theological Seminary) is the editor of TNN Online (www.tnnonline.net) and is a Messianic apologist. He is a 2009 recipient of the Zondervan Biblical Languages Award for Greek. He is author of numerous books, dealing with a wide range of topics that are important for today’s Messianic Believers. He has also written many articles on theological issues, and is presently focusing his attention on Messianic commentaries of various books of the Bible.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1812 KB
  • Print Length: 220 pages
  • Publisher: TNN Press (10 Dec 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007007DRQ
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More About the Author

J.K. McKee (B.A., University of Oklahoma; M.A., Asbury Theological Seminary) is the editor of TNN Online (www.tnnonline.net) and is a Messianic apologist. He is a 2009 recipient of the Zondervan Biblical Languages Award for Greek. He is author of several books, including: The New Testament Validates Torah, Torah In the Balance, Volume I, and When Will the Messiah Return? He has also written many articles on theological issues, and is presently focusing on Messianic commentaries on various books of the Bible. As the editor of TNN Online, John's ministry has capitalized on the Internet's ability to reach people all over this planet. TNN speaks with challenging, provocative, and apologetic articles to a wide Messianic audience, and those Christians who are interested in Messianic beliefs. In the past decade, TNN Online has emerged as a moderate and Centrist voice in a Messianic movement that is trying to determine its purpose, relevance, and mission to modern society. John feels a strong calling to assist in the development and maturation of our emerging Messianic theology.

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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive guide for defending the validity of Torah 5 Nov 2012
By Judah Gabriel Himango - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book presents a reasoned and convincing argument for Torah observance for Messiah's followers today. Framed in the Scriptures and engaged with biblical scholarship, McKee argues for the ongoing validity of Torah for Messiah's disciples.

Practical, Scriptural rebuttals to anti-Torah beliefs are explained in detail. McKee's arguments for Torah play out as responses to the arguments of a typical evangelical pastor who believes the Law is done away with. I found this technique practical. So many of us have heard these exact arguments preached from the pulpit and parroted by our Christian friends; having straightforward answers presented with detail and brevity gives us a solid base for defending our convictions.

Is the Law only for Jews? Or only for the ancients? The book addresses this argument in detail, showing from Scripture and Jewish scholarship that God's instruction predated Sinai. He lays a foundational understanding that sees God's instruction as timeless, instruction applicable to today's believers.

Or was the Law only a stopgap measure until Christ? This commonly-held Christian view has some basis in the New Testament Scriptures, where Paul states in Galatians that the Law was added "until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made." But does it mean the Law is now useless since Messiah's arrival? McKee shows how this couldn't be a proper interpretation in light of Messiah's own statements on the enduring nature of the Torah (Matthew 5:17-20) and indeed in light of the Scriptures broad view of the Torah. McKee offers an interpretation that sits in harmony with Messiah and the Scriptures: it speaks of the Torah's powerlessness to provide final redemption.

McKee addresses nearly 30 verses - literally every verse used against Torah observance I've heard in my 20 or more years in the Messianic movement - and provides answers that are engaged with modern scholarship, given in light of the Greek text, and supported in the broad view of the Scriptures.

Take for example his dealing with the difficult passage in Romans 8:2, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death."

Does this mean Jesus has set us free from the Torah?

McKee examines the Greek text to find "tou hamartias kai tou thanatou" (the law of sin and death) may not actually refer to the Mosaic Law. But if it did, he reasons, it would then mean commandments such as "You shall not murder" - laws designed to prevent death, are somehow producing death. Non sequitur.

McKee suggests two alternative views of this Scripture, interpretations that do no harm to the Torah and fit within the Scripture's broad view of the Torah. He concludes by citing Christian scholarship, where N.T. Wright interprets the verse as the Torah remaining God's law, not responsible for bringing death, but instead continuing to be active in a believer's life (pp 113-114).

This same thorough, Scriptural analysis is typical in the book. For the nearly 30 verses traditionally presented against Torah observance, McKee gives detailed responses, answers that consult scholarship, examine the Greek text, and sit in harmony with the broad view of the Scriptures.

The book concludes with practical advice for believers looking into the Messianic lifestyle, advising a gradual approach to Torah observance that keeps Messiah's command at the center.

The New Testament Validates Torah is a guide for believers seeking holiness in God's commandments. Scriptural and engaged with biblical scholarship, it equips believers with the truth of God's Torah and amplifies your ability to defend your convictions from the Scriptures. Grab the book and see for yourself.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thorough analysis. 26 Jan 2007
By J.L. Populist - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This the most detailed book that I have read about Torah observance in the Messianic lifestyle.

Mr.McKee discusses the idea that Scripture is often divided-the OT is for the Jews and the NT is for the church. He explains why this is not Biblically correct.

He does an analysis of Scripture and the greek and hebrew word meanings in context to verify that the NT does in fact validate following Torah.

There are some intersting tibits about how far back in history Torah was followed. Prior to Moses and Mt. Sinai.

The meaning of "ekklesia" is covered as well as the meaning of "Torah". While I thought of Torah as "law",that isn't what it means at all.

This book is a very detailed study, and the author has obviously done a lot of research.

I recommend this book for anyone interested in the Messianic lifestyle.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read for Every Messianic 21 Mar 2013
By Peter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
McKee begins NTVT with a proposition that must be very arresting for most Christians unfamiliar with Messianic Judaism:

"Many Christians today are of the false impression that the Apostolic Scriptures tell us that the Law of Moses or the Torah is no longer to be followed and is relatively unimportant for today...they...have misinterpreted the Apostolic Scriptures...because they do not have a foundation in the Torah and Tanach."

This false impression of G-d's Law causes the following evil:

"...the Body of Believers today has lost much of its direction for the future. There are many problems among those in our faith today. The foremost of these problems is the widespread proliferation of sin and unbiblical behavior, which results in people having an ineffective spiritual walk and being unable to fulfill the mission of God in the world."

McKee's proposition in the book is that Believers, both Jew and Gentile, should follow:

"[Yeshua's] commandments...[which] are not just vague concepts, but are instructions that we encounter within the first five books of Scripture, the Law of Moses or the Torah."

At the close of the introduction, McKee makes a rather bold claim, that appreciating G-d's instructions (i.e. Sinaitic Torah) will:

"...help you in your walk of faith...enable you to know our Creator on a deeper level, as He has surely saved you by grace bud made you for good works (Ephesians 2:8-10)...[and] grow in your faith..."

In short, he begins his book with the bold claim that the Torah solution will (1) help in your daily walk of faith; (2) enable a deeper knowledge of the Creator; (3) help you to understand the complementary relationship between grace and good works.

Methodologically, McKee proceeds to show the typical Christian claims that the Law is invalid and then show the reality that the New Testament Validates Torah. Here is a sampling of his methodology:

CHRISTIAN CLAIM:

The Law makes us more sinful and is therefore harmful.

Christians cite to Romans 5:20 for this point which reads, "The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more." Along with this they cite Romans 7:8-9, "But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died."

REALITY:

While McKee agrees that a consequence of the Law was that "...the people surely started breaking [it]...", he explains that this was merely one negative consequence outweighed by the benefit of having "...laws and injunctions to keep [the Ancient Israelites] in line..." and that, after all, the evil of an increased capacity for sin has been entirely negated by a super-abounding of grace. The Law itself is not harmful but rather human nature. In fact, McKee explains that the Law is wisdom (citing Deuteronomy 4:6; 26:18-19; 28:1). And what could be more beneficial than wisdom?

CHRISTIAN CLAIM:

The Law was intended to be temporary until Christ.

Christians cite to Galatians 3:19 as evidence: "Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made." G. Walter Hansen shows the common Christian interpretation of this verse, "The Mosaic Law came into effect at a certain point in history and was in effect only until the promised Seed, Christ, appeared...[T]he law was in effect for a relatively short period of time limited in both directions by the words 'added' and 'until'."

REALITY:

McKee disagrees that Paul meant the entire Sinaitic Law was temporary. Rather, he agrees with Dunn's assessment of Galatians 3:19 "[T]he purpose of the law as it was generally recognized within the (OT) scriptures and the Judaism of Paul's time...[was] as a means of dealing with transgressions. In other words, what was probably in mind here [in Gal. 3:19] was the whole sacrificial cult at whose centre was the provision of means for covering sin and removing guilt..."

CHRISTIAN CLAIM:

No one can keep the Law; therefore, no one should try to keep the Law.

REALITY:

McKee uses Paul's own response, "Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law," (Romans 3:31).

CHRISTIAN CLAIM:

Hebrews 7:18-19 tells us that the Law was set aside.

The passage actually reads, "For on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God."

REALITY:

"This 'setting aside'...does not involve the Torah as a whole somehow being abolished, but rather...the Levitical priesthood being removed to the side, likely until Yeshua returns and the Temple service is restored in the Millennium with Him present (cf. Ezekiel chs. 44-48)....The very reason why this specific Torah instruction can be considered as 'weak and ineffectual' (NRSV) is because 'the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak' (Hebrews 7:28)--which is a human problem--not because God's instruction on the priesthood is somehow bad." Also, the fact that the Law made nothing perfect does not mean that the Law was bad. McKee quotes from Donald Guthrie who writes, "...It is characteristic of law--not merely Mosaic law, but all law--that it has made nothing perfect..."

These are just some of the examples of Christian claims to the invalidity of the Torah. McKee systematically covers the other claims which are based on faulty interpretations of Matthew 5:17; John 1:17; Romans 3:20; 3:28; 4:5; 6:14; 6:23; 7:4; 8:2-3; 10:4; 11:6; 1 Corinthians 6:12; 10:23; 2 Corinthians 3:14; Galatians 2:16; 3:13; 3:24-25; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2:14-15; Philippians 3:9; Colossians 2:14; 1 Timothy 1:9; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5,7; 3:9; Hebrews 7:12, 18-19; 8:13; 10:1,9.

In Part II of the book, in addition to tackling the difficult Pauline concepts of "under the law" and "under grace", McKee presents some key Messianic views of the New Covenant:

(1) "...the New Covenant...does have continuity with the Sinai Covenant that preceded it (Exodus 19:1-24:11)....One of the essential realities of the New Covenant is God writing the Law onto the hearts of His people!...just as takes place with Jeremiah 31:31-34, [Christians tend to overlook] 'I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances' (Ezekiel 36:27)....It is unfortunate that among Christian commentaries, there is not a huge amount of reflection on Ezekiel 36:27, which clearly states how the work of God's Spirit will cause His people to obey His commandments. This aligns with the Jeremiah 31:31-34 New Covenant promise of God writing His Torah onto their hearts,";

(2) The New Covenant is a national covenant: "The decree is issued that a time is coming when a new agreement will be made 'with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah' (Jeremiah 31:31). These are nationalistic designations...";

(3) The New Covenant is inclusive of Gentiles. "...the restoration of Israel is bigger than just the Jewish people, as the work of the Messiah has surely incorporated people from all nations who call upon the Creator God into the Israel of God (Galatians 6:16)."

One of the last sections of the book is entitled "How Do You Become Torah Observant?" In this section, McKee says "There are three critical aspects of Torah obedience where most of the 'growing pains' and/or struggles for today's Messianic Believers are found. They are obeying the command to honor the seventh-day Sabbath or Shabbat, celebrating the appoint times or moedim of Leviticus 23, and following the kosher dietary laws..." He explain that the journey toward Torah begins with these first three steps.

He goes on to explain why these steps present difficulties, "You may see that as you commit yourself to a fuller obedience which many are unwilling to have, that you may lose friendships and relationships with people...This is because how you are practicing your faith convicts them, yet they are unwilling to make these changes...Yeshua tells us that this is not unique..."And everyone who has left houses or brothers and sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name's sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life' (Matthew 19:29).

Next, he addresses one of the most critical questions that a Messianic will face: "Do you stay in church or do you leave?" He answers diplomatically that "...as you commit yourself further and further to a path of Torah obedience...your time in your church will probably not last." The reason he suggests is that "...the time will come when you are ready to move on because your church is not feeding you spiritually the way that it used to. Have faith that the Lord will bring you new friends who will share your perspective of the Scriptures, and who are just as sincere in their faith as you are."

He also warns to be wary of congregations that exclude Gentile Believers, "...there are other Messianic congregations where only Jewish Believers are largely ministered to, and non-Jewish Believers are not considered to be a part of Israel along with them." Yet he admonishes the reader to "Treat others with fairness and respect."

There's so much wisdom in this book that a meager book review cannot adequately cover. I hope each of you will purchase two copies of this book: one as a continual reference for your family and another to donate to a local pastor with whom you are building bridges.

Thank you J.K. McKee for all of your hard work in compiling this wonderful resource! May G-d raise up many such workers in our fledgling movement!

Shalom,

Peter
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT Reference Guide 9 April 2013
By Hope Egan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
There are a variety of questions that messianic believers get, over and over and over again. But since proper interpretation often requires proper understanding of the original, historical, grammatical, social background of the text, it's sometimes hard to remember what I've learned about each subject. "What does 'works of the law' really mean?" or "What does 'Jesus fulfilled the law' really mean?" The answers to these common questions are complex, so it's extremely helpful to have a reference guide to answer them. (The need is so great my husband and I attempted to create an apologetic spreadsheet many years back to help us with this as we dialogued with others.) This book contains an easy-to-use Table of Contents that points the reader to whatever passage (or topic) is being addressed. The actual content is very detailed and scholarly, yet still accessible to a layperson.

For believers who aren't theologians or seminarians, but who are grounded in their belief in Torah's applicability, "The New Testament Validates Torah" is a great, in depth reference guide that will help you better understand a variety of New Testament verses that are typically used to explain why Torah is not for today.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent 22 July 2005
By D. A. Rosales - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
i am a gentile believer and was baptisted in december 04, and have been researching feverously about the law and how to become a better person for the lord and do his works and spread his word to others. this book can help you do that. although John is a two house movement believer (which is a very interesting concept and i am looking into even more so) i think they way he explains Paul's writings and all things that would seem to contradict what the entire bible tells us is perfect. i definantely believe all people should keep and study the torah as it will make us all better people.

this book is amazing and i recommend it to everyone. he is the editor of tnnonline.net and i recommend people check that out too.
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