- Paperback: 136 pages
- Publisher: Messianic Jewish Publisher (1 Jun. 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1880226944
- ISBN-13: 978-1880226940
- Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 14 x 0.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 784,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
They Loved the Torah: What Yeshua's First Followers Really Thought about the Law Paperback – 1 Jun 2001
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More About the Author
Did Yeshua observe the Law? Did Paul teach his congregations to abandon the Torah? Was the devout Je....
Top Customer Reviews
It clearly show how Jesus, Paul and the other apostles were Torah observant, and how many of the key gentiles were God-fearers (torah observant in all but ritual conversion).
Cannot recommend it highly enough and for the price - even better
This is a must read if you are interested in the Jewish roots of the Christian faith, Jesus in His original Jewish context or Messianic Judaism. Very sensibly answers a lot of difficult questions.
The westernised "Jesus" (who never existed anyway) just has to move over to make way for the Hebrew Rabbi that he really was...or I should say...IS? The followers of Jesus, and the apostle Paul's life in particular, become far more real when you get an understanding of their background and the culture they lived in. Potentially a life changing book...if you have the guts to let the principles it espouses affect you!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
First, the positives:
(1) The book does a great job of examining many of the misconceptions about the early church and Yeshua (Jesus) himself. The author shows that there is much to suggest that most people in the early church did in fact remain Jews and continue to observe the Torah.
(2) The book shows that Yeshua was in fact a Torah-observant Jew. Many of the passages which have been argued as supporting that Christ was not Torah-observant are examined, and explained as consistent with, not contrary to, Jewish theology of the day. The best examples are those where Yeshua argued that it was OK to heal on Shabbat (Sabbath); the author shows us that this was not a unique discussion between the P'rushim (Pharisees).
(3) Closely related to (2) above, the author does a good job of showing that when our scripture tells us that Christ said something to a group of religious leaders, he was doing just that--addressing a GROUP of religions leaders, and that the religious leaders Christ was addressing at that time was not necessarily exemplary of the whole, or even the majority, of Jewish religious thought of the day.
(4) The book is pretty concise, and can be completed in a fairly short time. That, coupled with the low price, makes it a good book to add to your library.
Now, the cons...I list these because they are what I see as real areas in which the author could have improved his work. I am not disagreeing with what the author wrote, his religious ideology, or anything of the sort.
(1) As I read the book, it occurred to me that in order to really understand everything that the author is trying to convey to you, in some places a previous study on some Jewish words, concepts, and ideas is really necessary. Not to say that you will be crippled if you don't have that background, but you will find yourself at a slight, but real, disadvantage. The catch-22 is this: if you have that background, then you already know much of what this author is going to tell you!
(2) While I agree with the author's premise, and mostly with his conclusions, sometimes his rationale in arriving at the conclusion is a little dubious. For example, in order to prove to you, the reader, that Christ observed the kashrut (kosher) laws of his time, you are shown that the scriptures never tell you about Christ eating anything that was not allowed under kashrut. In fact, the author only really points out three kinds of food which Christ ate (or endorsed): bread, fish, and figs. Well, that's all well and good, but anyone who has had Logic 101 knows that you simply cannot prove a positive with a negative. Therefore, attempting to prove (with three foods) that Yeshua was kashrut-observant merely because the scripture doesn't tell us otherwise is a problem. The author excludes the most convincing evidence for this point which he is trying to make: that Kefa (Peter) later said when he had his vision with the unclean animals that he had never eaten anything forbidden by kashrut. A better logic than that which the author employs is to show that if Yeshua had not observed kashrut, and taught that it was not necessary, then Kefa's strong objection to the command to eat something forbidden by kashrut would not have been so strong: it would not have been revolutionary to him if Christ had already taught him that kashrut was optional. (In fact, the author does mention this exchange in order to prove that Kefa was Torah-observant, but does not employ it to show that Christ followed kashrut, instead choosing the logic discussed above.)
(3) While the author does a relatively good job of showing that the earliest Christians followed Torah, he does not discuss when that changed--namely, it appears that by the time the book of Hebrews was written, its audience had been forced out of the Jewish community by virtue of their Christian faith. As a result, they were not able to partake in Jewish rites and ceremonies, which may have been the reason for the letter (see "The Theology of the Letter to the Hebrews," by Barnabus Lindars, (1991)). Unfortunately, the author doesn't discuss this change in the Christian-Jewish dynamic. This is a very nit-picky point, and I know that. However, I do think it would make the book better if at least some discussion of that change were included.
Overall, it is a good book, with the slight reservations discussed above. The author does not try to persuade you of a dogma that would require non-Jews to observe the rigorous laws of the Torah. Rather, his point is well taken, that we should not discard it or consider it irrelevant, but should cherish it and study it for the things it teaches us.
He does an amazing job showing us the answer through the New Testement!
Dr. Friedman's thoughts will leave quite an impression on your mind and heart! Thank you for writing this book and I look forward to much more..........
What I really liked was the readability of this book. The reader will not be intimidated by scholarly language and endless footnotes. For those of you that are struggling with the historical interpretations that speak of Jesus's disregard for the Torah, GOOD. This book should help firm up those concerns and provide you with a valuable line of reasoning for debating the subject.