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Why do Christians consider the Judaic holy books to be relevent to thier religion and its theological justification?


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Initial post: 27 Dec 2012 21:42:48 GMT
Spin says:
Did not both Jesus and St Paul tell thier followers that the old "laws" and traditions were superceded? Is it simply because Jesus was a Jew that the Torah is considered by Christians to be part of Jesus "word", even though it was, according to the Gospels Judaism that convicted him and demanded his death?

Posted on 27 Dec 2012 23:03:32 GMT
Last edited by the author on 28 Dec 2012 08:03:03 GMT
Brendan says:
It is because the Laws in the Old Testament formed the basis of Covenants between God and the people of Israel (i.e. the Jews). The Covenant that binds Christians is the Covenant made by Christ which is between himself and all peoples (Jews and Gentiles alike).

The Old Testament forms the foundations of Christianity, and the coming of Jesus is viewed by Christians as a fulfillment of the prophecies of the Old Testament (which is where Christians and non-Christian Jews parted company). Indeed Christianity was a sect of Judaism and early Christians were viewed (and viewed themselves) as Jews.

Jesus was not convicted by or his death demanded by Judaism, his death was demanded by certain Jewish priests and a Jewish mob. People (not a religion) called for his death. This was also a fulfillment of OT prophecy.

The Torah is the first 5 books of the Bible (not the entire OT). Christians do not consider the OT, in itself, to be part of Jesus's Word, although as a Jew, Jesus taught from, and referred to the OT. We consider the Old Testament to be inspired by the Holy Spirit and the foundation for Christ's coming (indeed the entire New Testament is mirrored in the Old Testament).

I hope my reply has been of some use.

Best wishes,

Brendan

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Dec 2012 02:13:03 GMT
light says:
Spin,

Jesus' Law is love and Love supersedes the Law of rituals and strange customs, which the Jews had many of them. In fact some of the customs would interfere with human decency of helping someone on the Sabboth. Jesus did not over ride the Laws of Love, "Love your neighbor as yourself in this way you show you love to God." This has nothing to do with rituals and customs.

Posted on 28 Dec 2012 09:50:59 GMT
athanasius says:
Christianity is the fulfillment of Judaism so of course the Old Testament is relevant..all of it points to Jesus

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Dec 2012 10:04:45 GMT
Drew Jones says:
Except the phrophesy the Jews are waiting to transpire.

Posted on 28 Dec 2012 10:54:23 GMT
athanasius says:
no they rejected the messiah...but it time

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Dec 2012 11:21:28 GMT
Drew Jones says:
They rejected Jesus because he didn't fulfil the phrophesies of the Jewish messiah, that's why Christianity is an off-shot religion that tells it's members (and Jews) that it fulfilled *all* the prophesies rather than being Judeism.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Dec 2012 17:42:23 GMT
Spin says:
Brenden: I am familiar with the historical and theological reasons behind the issue, but they cannot be justified. Judaism, the religion, forms the basis of Jewish thought and morality; thought which denies the existence of the Messiah, thought which condemned Jesus for associating with prostitutes, Romans etc. The Gospels state that a specific section of Judaism condemned Jesus, but this section represented Judaism; they were not some minor sect within Judaism. They were the powerful elite of Judaism and had the ear of the Roman Governor. Further, the Gospels and the Acts contradict and oppose the dictates of the Torah and OT. There is no academically valid theological, moral or historical reason why the OT should be considered as part of christian corpus of texts. Indeed, for centuries the Church blamed the Jews for Christs death, a blame that led to the anti-semtism which culminated in the holocaust. So why persecute a religion while accepting its holy book? Taken on thier own, without reference to the OT, the Gospels and Acts present a very different relgious expression than the one employed today by the organised christian churches.

Posted on 28 Dec 2012 18:12:35 GMT
Brendan says:
A religion cannot condemn anyone. Only individuals, or groups of individuals can condemn. The condemnation and rejection of Jesus by the Jews is symbolic and represents our rejection of Christ. The Jews were simply fulfilling God's plan. Isaiah prophesised that the Suffering Servant would be despised, rejected and put to death.

The Old Testament is divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit. The coming of Jesus was a culmination of the events in the Old Testament leading up to his birth. The New Testament would simply not exist if it were not for the Old Testament. In fact the entire New Testament is mirrored in the Old Testament. Jesus was a Jew, does that mean he is also to be blamed for his own death? The Jews who rejected Jesus and condemned him to death. Jesus preached from the Old Testament and made reference to it. The New Testament Gospels are full of references to the Old Testament, acts carried out by Jesus reflect Old Testament prophecies. In ditching the Old Testament, you are ditching the symbolism of the Jewish exile (which symbolises the death of Christ) and the separation of the Israelites from God (which symbolises our separation from God) you ditch the waiting of the Israelites for their salvation (symbolising mankinds waiting for Salvation), but most crucially you are ditching all the prophesies of the coming of the Christ.

Christianity has Judaism as it's foundations, whether you like it or not. Without the Old Testament, Jesus would have been nothing more than another unconventional Jewish Rabbi. Without the Old Testament Jesus would have had no prophesy to fulfil. The New Testament could not exist (and would not have been written) without the Old Testament. The Old Testament, and Judaism, underpins Christianity.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Dec 2012 18:32:58 GMT
Spin says:
Brenden: The OT condemns many people. The Gospels condemn many people. Since the monotheistic faiths are based on these texts, these "religions" do indeed condemn. Secondly, I do not think a jew would agree with you that the Torah was inspired by a "Holy Spirit" (A christian concept). Third, the jews deny that Jesus was the Mesiah. They still await the Messiah. Fourth, of course the NT refers to the OT. Jesus was a jew in a jewish land. If the OT refered to the NT, then you might have a case. But it does not. Christians read what they want to believe into the OT, as Jesus did (but with more knowledge and experience of judaism). Lastly, the christian religion is based on Paukine doctrine, not the mission of Jesus. Paul rejected Judaism in favour of his new foubd faith. Even James, brother of Jesus, an adherent of the belief that the new faith should be rooted in judaism, objected to Pauls conception of the new faith as a one open to all.

Posted on 28 Dec 2012 18:54:23 GMT
Last edited by the author on 28 Dec 2012 19:05:42 GMT
Brendan says:
Whether or not Jews would disagree with me regarding the Holy Spirit, is immaterial. Whether or not most Jews deny Jesus as the Messiah is also immaterial. Not all Jews rejected Jesus, and those that accepted him them in effect formed a messianic sect of Judaism, which much later evolved into a separate religion, Christianity. Indeed, as you probably know, there are messianic Jews today.

All your post above does is say that Christians and most Jews interpret the Messianic prophesies of the Old Testament differently (and not forgetting too that Islam also has it's own interpretation of the Old Testament) which we all know anyway. You still fail to adequately support your assertion that the Old Testament has no relevance as a Christian scripture. Perhaps you are saying that some Jews think that Christians shouldn't use the Old Testament? What about Islam? Are they also banned from using it? Interestingly Islam also respects the New Testament (even if they view the Gospels as having been corrupted and Jesus's original Gospel as having been lost). Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course, but no one religion has a right to lay exclusive claim to any particular book, to the denial of others outside of their faith.

If, as a Christian, you reject the Old Testament, then you also reject Jesus as the Messiah, and to do this is to reject Christianity. The bottom line is that without the Old Testament Christianity has no foundations. Now a non-Christian could hold this view, but obviously a Christian cannot. Therefore to Christians, the Old Testament is a fundamental part of scripture.

Posted on 28 Dec 2012 18:59:16 GMT
Why is it immaterial if people believe in faiths older than yours?

Surely it must have occurred to you that they would say something similar about your beliefs, and their foundation.

Posted on 28 Dec 2012 19:03:34 GMT
Last edited by the author on 28 Dec 2012 19:04:52 GMT
Brendan says:
It's not immaterial in itself, but it is immaterial to the argument the poster is trying to support and the point he is trying to make to support his argument. The fact that the Jews do not believe in the Holy Spirit dies not preclude others from doing so, and it does not mean others cannot therefore believe that the Old Testament was inspired by the Holy Spirit. The post I am replying to is trying to argue that the Old Testament has no relevance to Christianity. Obviously to Christians this is simply not true. Therefore to Christianity (which is obviously made up of Christians) the Old Testament is crucial.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Dec 2012 19:18:29 GMT
Spin says:
Brenden: IOf your God represents Truth, then would you not think it better to klnow what the truth is? To consider the statement that the OT was inspired by the "Holy Spirit" as a truth is a somewhat dubious expression of christian trustworthiness. To claim the value of the OT to your faith yet say that what jews believe is "immaterial" is seriously misinfomed, not to say illogical. And indeed there are Messianic jews (I have a copy of their "biblE"; "The Complete Jewish Bible", David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Publications Inc, An interseting read. but Jesus spoke Aramaic not Hebrew). As with all religions with ties to other beliefs there will alwaysbe sects which meld one belief into another (the same is true of politics). Lastly, you are wrong in saying that to reject the OT is to reject Jesus. Jesus rejected the OT and its traditions. Well, at least that what the fathers of the church tell us.

Posted on 28 Dec 2012 19:53:18 GMT
The Jews believe that the Old Testament is inspired by God, which amounts to exactly the same thing as a Christian believes, since we believe that the Holy Spirit is God. It's also quite possible to support the doctrine of the Trinity (and many other things) exclusively from the Old Testament if you wish. The more you read the NT, the more you will realise what a tissue of quotations from the OT that it is. And that's exactly what we should expect. Are we to think Jesus was a humbug who invented His own religion or invalidated His own words? I think not. And Saint Paul was a high-ranking rabbi who studied under Gamaliel the Great. He wrote most of the NT, and he was hardly unconcerned with the OT since he quoted from it almost constantly.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Dec 2012 20:00:08 GMT
Spin says:
Wiliam: NO. Jews believe in a Creator God. Christians belief a prophet was that God. There is a vast difference between Judaic and christian theology; a fact christians would recognise if they actually researched the texts they blindly accept. Even their preists, bishops and popes know the great theological, doctrinal, and moral differences between faiths. But the laity rules, eh? The body of the church is not those who study the religion, but those who simply believe it.

Posted on 28 Dec 2012 20:48:31 GMT
Last edited by the author on 28 Dec 2012 20:55:26 GMT
Brendan says:
Spin,

Jesus did not reject the OT, however through his death He created a new Covenant with his people. This Covenant was a Covenant for all people, including the Gentiles. The Covenants of the OT (as I'm sure you know) were between God and the people of Israel, and were (and are) therefore not binding on Gentiles. Jesus's Covenant was for all mankind; Christians are bound by this Covenant and this Covenant alone. As Jesus preached a message of Salvation for all peoples (Isaiah eluded to this with his 'Light to the Gentiles' etc.) how could he preach adherence to covenants made specifically between God and the Jews?

The fact remains that for Christians to reject the OT is for Christians to reject the most fundamental part of their beliefs, i.e. that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah that has been prophesised to bring Salvation. Without the OT there is no prophesy, without prophesy there can be no Messiah. Christians are not bound by the Law of the OT, they cannot be if they are not Jews, and therefore not bound by the OT Covenants. However, without the prophesies (which is God's word spoken through the OT prophets) there can be no Christ. Therefore you cannot reject the OT as not being core to the foundations of your faith and be a Christian. From a Christian (not Jewish) theological standpoint the Old Testament is crucial to Christian belief and Scripture. I also accept that it is of course of similar importance to both Judaism and Islam.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Dec 2012 20:57:10 GMT
Last edited by the author on 28 Dec 2012 21:07:09 GMT
Spin says:
Brenden: I do not mean for this to sound offensive, but you are conditioned in the theology, christology and doctrines I am opposing. You quote the OT to defend the NT but with no justification except your belief that the NT and OT are one text. The Gospels attempt to trace Jesus' lineage to David; no further. Why? Because David is and was considered a great King of Israel. There is no proof whatsoever that Jesus was a descendant of David. That claim was made BEFORE Paul set out on his mission to include the world, not exclude them, in the new take on deity and humanity. Paul upset both Rome and Jerusalem...A "new" religion, indeed...

Posted on 28 Dec 2012 21:09:06 GMT
Last edited by the author on 28 Dec 2012 21:10:54 GMT
Spin says:
Christianity today has very little in common with the historical Jesus' message and mission.

Posted on 28 Dec 2012 21:09:16 GMT
Spin, I must respectfully disagree. I do not remotely doubt there are quite a few bishops and popes who have been (and are) so lost in heresy that they wouldn't recognise true Christianity if it bit them on the foot. Indeed I've met a few such, sadly. Regardless, it would not matter if every clergyman on earth asserted a doctrine contrary to the Scriptures, it would still be false. The Church Fathers are to be treated with respect, as learned men, but they are not God and they are not infallible. They and everything they assert is always to be checked against Scripture, and when found deficient those doctrines are to be dismissed immediately. Neither the laity nor the clergy rules. God rules, and His Word is always to be our final authority.

Christians believe in the Lord God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the same Creator God who made the universe and all that it contains. The Old Testament is His sacred word, and not one jot or tittle of it do we deny. We sometimes have a different idea about how certain verses should be interpreted, but that's another matter altogether. Disagreeing about what something means while still agreeing that it is holy and true is quite a vast common ground.

The doctrine of the Trinity is usually the one seized upon first when talking about differences, so we might as well talk about it for a moment. Jesus Himself flatly repeated and upheld the verse from Deuteronomy which states that "Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is One". But, in his conversation with the Sanhedrin, He explicitly claimed to be God when he told them that "Before Abraham was, I am!". Now, the "one" used in Deuteronomy is a word which does not necessarily mean a single unity. It can also mean something like "one rope" or "one dozen". . . a unity of constituent parts. We believe God is like that. He could never be "divided" and He is therefore One, but He does exist in three parts, if you will. There are several passages in the OT which are quite difficult to explain, if God is not a Trinity.

That is a difference of theology, no doubt, but it isn't such a vast difference as all that. If it were, then there wouldn't be hundreds of thousands of Messianic Jews (many of them extremely Orthodox) who find no conflict at all there. Nor do I. The truth can become more and more plain over time but it can never change. God is not a man, that He should lie.

And I stand by what I said. The NT is almost entirely made up of quotations from the Old. I know this because I HAVE read it (OT and NT both), many times, and in fact was a Bible teacher for years.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Dec 2012 21:20:54 GMT
Spin says:
William: But of course the NT refers tpo the OT. Except for Paul, the founder of your church, who rejected judaism as a part of the new faith. Christians do not have to be circumcised. They can eat pork. They allow women to attend prayers. Please, William. Do not allolw belief to blind you to truth. You refer to the OT only becauise the NT does not describe God in any way. You have no source of reference for deity other than the OT. Thus leading to the confusion called "The Trinity". Please. Of all things, christianity claims to represent truth and honesty. So, as I did many years ago, see thought and behaviours as a God might; objectively. A religion cannot hope to convert folk if it continues to deny reality and truth. You, and your fellows, think Jesus was God; Jesus did not think that. He knew that to think such was blasphemy. It is YOU who consider the man to be a "God". And that, precisely, is why you are not a christian.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Dec 2012 21:36:22 GMT
Brendan says:
Spin, you say of me that "you are conditioned in the theology, christology and doctrines I am opposing". And I suppose that you are not conditioned in your own Faith's theology and doctrines?

The OT is crucial to Christianity, because to hold otherwise would mean that the whole basis upon which Christianity is founded (i.e. Jesus Christ as the Messiah for all mankind) falls down. Some Jews accepted Christa s the Messiah (and went on to become the first Christians) others opposed Him. So Jews are still waiting for a Christ. If another came along would there still be no theological basis for him, unless all Jews were united behind him? There is plenty of theological justification for Jesus as the prophesised Messiah, your disagreement that he was the Messiah does not negate this. It is a matter of interpretation of the fulfillment of prophesies; Christian interpretation versus current Jewish interpretation. Jews do not have a monopoly on God or His holy scriptures.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Dec 2012 21:39:21 GMT
Brendan says:
"Except for Paul, the founder of your church, who rejected judaism as a part of the new faith."

Yet he still said, "Men, brethren, I am a Pharisee"

What is a Pharisee, other than a Jew?

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Dec 2012 21:42:47 GMT
Spin says:
Brenden: I was once a christian. I was so devoted my ambition was to be a Jesuit (Yes, believe it or not). I studied the bible, theology and religious history with a passion you would not believe. And all that research led me to conclude that the organised church is wrong. The church does not represent Jesus. It represents the christ.

Posted on 28 Dec 2012 22:02:06 GMT
Christianity claims to represent the true and the living God who never changes. Of course I refer to the OT, and of course it's valid. Your argument is as if you told me the only reason I referred to the first volume of an encyclopedia was because the information I needed wasn't to be found in the last volume.

Have you never even read the Bible? Did you overlook John 8:58 ("Very truly I tell you," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!") Did you overlook Genesis 1:26 (Then God said, "Let US make man in OUR image, in OUR likeness"), which is indisputably plural and which could not possibly have referred to anyone but God since He was the only one to have any part in creation. Did you not pay attention to Isaiah 53, or the prophecies in Daniel about the time when Messiah would come? Claiming to be God was exactly what the Sanhedrin condemned him for, because in their eyes yes it most certainly was blasphemy. It would be blasphemy for anyone to say such a thing, unless of course it were true.
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Discussion in:  religion discussion forum
Participants:  8
Total posts:  38
Initial post:  27 Dec 2012
Latest post:  1 Jan 2013

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