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To poster "Isa 58:12": Regarding Galatians
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Post Re: To poster "Isa 58:12" Isa 58:12
Tom Sterbens wrote:
Have you ever done much study of the book of Galatians?

What, in your opinion is the crux of Paul's concerns?

Thanks


why yes I have, where would you like to start my friend? Paul was speaking of the "legalism" of the pharisees laws
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10/16/10 4:34 pm


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Post Isa 58:12
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Were these Pharisees "born again" Pharisees?


no

Quote:
What legalism in particular were they espousing?


"Their" way for salvation
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Post Isa 58:12
Watch Tom

Tell me what you understand of Gal
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Post Isa 58:12
Tom Sterbens wrote:
Isa 58:12 wrote:
Watch Tom

I don't get it...


I will "show" you the pharisees legalism with what you have been taught on the Book of Gal
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10/16/10 7:30 pm


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Thanks


Hey thank you for the discussion Tom, Galatians is one of my favorites. But as to the Pharisees being born again It’s not possible. Messiah Y’shua described them in Matt 23:3 that they sit in Moshe’s seat (authority Ex 18:13) & all what they tell you to do, you do, but do not after “their” works (Matt 5:20), for “they” say & do not. & Matt 23:4 = Acts 15:10. My friend, that is not a saved, born again believer.

So that’s one of the importance of understanding what type of people these holy men were, they weren’t nice. & back to Gal, 2:4 this verse is in connection with the famous chapter in Acts 15 verse 1: & “certain men” which came down from Judea “taught” the brethren (saved) & said, “Except” you be circumcised after the manner of Moshe, you cannot be saved.

& in verse 5 those “certain men” of verse 1 stood up again, & they were the pharisees saying the same thing. Also do a word study on “sect” it gives you a deeper Truth of what they were doing. Again, these aren’t born again believers.

So Gal 2:4 says that “false brethren” (false is opposite of True) came in unawares (gr: pareisakto’s ; stealthily) to spy out (not a saved act) their Liberty (2 Cor 3:17 & James 1:25) which we have in Messiah, that “they might bring us into bondage” (Isa 5:13, Neh 9:16-17). Bondage is not keeping Torah, but now with the Faith in Y’shua we have the Liberty to keep the Spirit of the Torah as Y'shua is the Goal (not "end") of the Torah to all who believe Rom 10:4. Not in a legalistic fashion.

“Liberty” in Gal 2:4 & 2 Cor 3:17 is the greek word eletheria: It is a Freedom represented as including independence from “religious regulations” & “legal restrictions” i.e. legalism.

In Gal 2:11-12 the problem with Kepha, Peter was he was 2 faced, he ate with the goyim, gentiles, but when the judaizers (pharisees) came he withdrew & separated himself fearing “them” which were of the “circumcision” Acts 15:5.

I love this book, keep the questions coming if you have more. I pray you be Blessed in this Tom in Y’shua HaMashiach

Shalom Very Happy
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10/16/10 11:14 pm


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[quote="Isa 58:12"]
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So Gal 2:4 says that “false brethren” (false is opposite of True) came in unawares (gr: pareisakto’s ; stealthily) to spy out (not a saved act) their Liberty (2 Cor 3:17 & James 1:25) which we have in Messiah,


Just a comment, not necessarily to your position, but a comment none the less.

Some people have argued that Galatians 2 describes the situation in Acts 15, but this does not make sense. It was a popular view a couple of centuries ago, I guess, and the basis for some theories that Paul and James were at odds with each other. But it does not line up well with history.

In the 200's or 300's, the province of Galatia was changed so as not to include the 'first missionary journey' church area, which caused some conclusion. Commentators were postulating that Paul took a trip to Galatia that was not recorded in Acts. But in Paul's time, many of the first missionary journey churches were in what was known at that time as Galatia. After the Acts 15 council, Paul and Silas took the letter from the council to churches, including those in Galatia, showing that they still existed.

If the letter existed when Galatians was written, why didn't Paul refer to it? Why would the Judaizers have such a foothold if the apostles had already read the letter.

I am very much inclined to believe with the scholars who say that Galatians was written BEFORE the first missionary journey, and therefore do not take this 'false brethren' comment to refer to the Pharisees who argued for Gentile circumcision, unless they happened to be the same folks from an incident many years earlier.

Quote:

In Gal 2:11-12 the problem with Kepha, Peter was he was 2 faced, he ate with the goyim, gentiles, but when the judaizers (pharisees) came he withdrew & separated himself fearing “them” which were of the “circumcision” Acts 15:5.


The passage faults Peter for this, not the men who came from James. It does not say that they were Judaizers or Pharisees. (Paul was a Pharisee.) Peter may have acted like this out of fear of what they might say, rather than what they taught.
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10/17/10 1:39 pm


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Post Isa 58:12
Did you guys read the Scriptures I gave? & Tom, I see you called the pharisees "agitators". Why? My friend, thats like calling the terrorists "insurgents". Laughing
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10/17/10 7:35 pm


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So that’s one of the importance of understanding what type of people these holy men were, they weren’t nice. & back to Gal, 2:4 this verse is in connection with the famous chapter in Acts 15 verse 1: & “certain men” which came down from Judea “taught” the brethren (saved) & said, “Except” you be circumcised after the manner of Moshe, you cannot be saved.


Please see my previous message on why the incident in Acts 15 should be seen as occurring after the events of Galtians 2:4.

Have you considered this verse?
Acts 15:5.
5Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses."

What do you think about the idea of requiring Gentile Christians to play dress-up and pretend to be Jewish and keep the law of Moses?
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Post Isa 58:12
[quote="Link"][quote="Isa 58:12"]
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So that’s one of the importance of understanding what type of people these holy men were, they weren’t nice. & back to Gal, 2:4 this verse is in connection with the famous chapter in Acts 15 verse 1: & “certain men” which came down from Judea “taught” the brethren (saved) & said, “Except” you be circumcised after the manner of Moshe, you cannot be saved.


Quote:
Please see my previous message on why the incident in Acts 15 should be seen as occurring after the events of Galtians 2:4.


ok?

Quote:
Have you considered this verse?
Acts 15:5.
5Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses."


Yea, I did Link, I said it above, but I typed it as
Quote:
"& in verse 5 those “certain men” of verse 1 stood up again, & they were the pharisees saying the same thing. Also do a word study on “sect” it gives you a deeper Truth of what they were doing.


But i don't recognize your Scripture, what Bible is that from?

Quote:
What do you think about the idea of requiring Gentile Christians to play dress-up and pretend to be Jewish and keep the law of Moses?


Link my friend, & gentile is not a christian (Christ-like) & goyim, gentile means heathen, or someone who is lost. Because there is a difference between a Jew & gentile, they do different things.

Yes, the "legalism" of the pharisees were stuck as you said (lol):
Quote:
Gentile Christians to play dress-up and pretend to be Jewish and keep the law of Moses?


& your right about that, but Shaul, Paul delt with this problem in Rom 10:12, & Gal 3:28. What Shaul is talking about here is equality. In the days of rabbi Paul, the rabbi’s taught that the Jews were on a higher plain than a gentile that just converted.

And rabbi Paul is saying in this verse; no, no, no, not so, they are equal in the eye’s of Elohim, and he was referring to the Torah in Ex 12:48 as they were now as one born in the land.
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Post Isa 58:12
[quote="Tom Sterbens"]
Isa 58:12 wrote:
Did you guys read the Scriptures I gave? & Tom, I see you called the pharisees "agitators". Why? My friend, thats like calling the terrorists "insurgents". Laughing


I use the word "agitator" from Gal 1:7 "..there are some disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.."
disturbing>>ταράσσω>>tarasso - to agitate, stir up or trouble (same in Acts 15:24). It's the word used to describe them so it's the one I picked up.

Yes, your right sorry lol, it just seemed odd LOL. Mine translates as "trouble", same meaning.

Quote:
And yes I read the scriptures... however, you are leaping to conclusions based on concessions I am not willing to make at this point.


I'm not done yet Wink

Quote:
First and foremost is determining whether or not these agitators were believers or not. I believe they were. Paul's use of "false brothers" is certainly pejorative but not necessarily an estimation of their eternal condition of being "not saved." First and foremost is determining whether or not these agitators were believers or not. I believe they were.


Well if them being called "false brethren" wasn't convincing enough that they weren't saved & before I go into Galatains anymore. Lets see what these "pharisees" wanted to do for Messiah Y'shua.

Matt 12:14: Then the "pharisees" went out & held a council against Y'shua, how they might destroy Him.
Matt 27:35, 62-63 Mark 14:41. Svaed people dont want to destroy Messiah.

Quote:
And yes I read the scriptures... however, you are leaping to conclusions based on concessions I am not willing to make at this point.


What conclusions? I'm not even done Very Happy & before I go on could you just lay out your Scriptures for me, it would save me alot of time. Because this takes me awhile as I have alot of Scriptures I think about.
Thank you.

This is NOT to change the subject, I just have a quick question for you, because whenever I talk about Torah the Book of Gal always comes up first. It seems that people forget everything Y'shua said & hold on to Paul thinking he is above Messiah.

Paul said in 1 Cor 11:1: be you followers of me, as I am of Messiah. Messiah lived 1 John 3:4, Phil 2:8, 1 John 3:5 & taught Torah Mark 12:14. & I have many other examples, but i just wanted to know a "quick" thought from you on that. Do we keep Y'shua's Word, or do we keep Pauls? Its just a quick answer because I don't want to get side tracked on this, even though it fits Very Happy .

Shalom, Shalom
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Post The Antagonist in Galatians Mark Ledbetter
Before attempting to identify the “antagonist” in Paul’s epistle to the Galatians, or their spiritual relationship with God, it would be good to address what Paul says about their doctrine and their influence. It appears to be dramatic, so much so that their presence influenced the actions of the Apostle Peter (2:11-14, for which Paul rebuked Peter publicly) and “bewitched” certain members of the Galatian congregations.


As for the latter, some were guilty of deserting Christ (1:4), which meant that they had not simply changed their doctrinal perspective but their loyalties as well (1:6). Their “different gospel” can only be that which Paul addresses in his declaration regarding justification, a declaration that is definitive: "nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified." (Galatians 2:16, NASB95)

Paul repeats the expression “works of Law” three times to dramatic drive home that point that it is not through these “works” that the believer is justified but solely by faith in Christ Jesus. Many assume that “works of the Law” specifically refers to the Law itself, which cannot be the case in as much as Paul remained a Torah-observant Jew while also being justified by grace.

“Works of the Law,” therefore is a code-expression that must be deciphered and in doing so we gain insight into whom the antagonists were. More specifically the central issue was “circumcision.” In fact, Paul describes the antagonist as the “party of the circumcision,” literally, “the ones from circumcision.” This could only describe either a Jew or a Proselyte (or a Gentile that became a Jews by virtue of Circumcision). This “party” was responsible for wanting to take disciples away from Christ and to themselves (4:17), they seek simply to “boast in their flesh,” or pride themselves in their efforts (6:12), and oddly enough, proclaim circumcision to avoid persecution they would receive if they proclaimed the true Gospel, including the Cross (6:10).

If we can judge their character we might believe their “conversion” as suspect. They are described as “false brethren” that were “secretly brought in… to spy out their liberty… in order to bring” them into bondage. It they are born-again believers, something was left out in their discipleship.

That they are Pharisees there can be no doubt. The insistence that the Gentile converts be circumcised is revealing. The ritual of becoming a proselyte includes circumcision, water baptism, sacrificial offering, and commitment to both the Written and Oral Torah. Paul has no qualms regarding the value of the Torah and the Prophets (2 Timothy 3:15-16) as long as it is used “lawfully” (1Timothy 1:8f). The Oral Torah, from which the “works of the Law” find their origin, the Apostle clearly rejects.
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Post Isa 58:12
Shalom Tom, I wanted to bring something out in something you said:

Quote:
Next clarification: I teach Torah...and live by Torah...but I don't "do Torah" as a means of being made "righteous," (a key phrase for Paul in Galatians). You're references to Torah regarding Jesus Christ are great...I agree with them...but the advent of His death on the cross (initiating a New Covenant) and the "seal" of the promise of the Spirit have ended "doing Torah" as a means of being "righteous-ized." The law is now "written on our hearts" by the Spirit.


The 1st part (not In bold) I'm very glad that you teach Torah, & your 100% correct. We don't "do" Torah to be Righteous, Y'shua is the GOAL of the Torah "for" Righteouenss (Deut 6:25) to all who believe Rom 10:4. So the 2nd part in bold of your quote is not necessarily correct.

Yes Avraham's "faith" was counted to Him "for" Rigteousness, but he also had to keep the Oral Torah (Gen 26:5) before He Renewed it into stone. It takes "Faith" to keep Torah, Adonai said this about Avraham's Faith in Him. He said in Gen 18:19 For "I know him" that he "will" command his children.... they shall "keep" the Way... We are the children of Avraham, right? Wink

& in Gal 3:24-25 Shaul was saying when you recieve Messiah Y'shua, the Torah now works in a totally different Way. There ie no longer a need for the Torah to serve as a "school master". The Torah now works in the way it was originally designed for as the "Life style" of the Redeemed Very Happy .

I'm trying to go slow, LOL, I have sooo much to say Praise Adonai
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Post Re: The Antagonist in Galatians Isa 58:12
Mark Ledbetter wrote:
Before attempting to identify the “antagonist” in Paul’s epistle to the Galatians, or their spiritual relationship with God, it would be good to address what Paul says about their doctrine and their influence. It appears to be dramatic, so much so that their presence influenced the actions of the Apostle Peter (2:11-14, for which Paul rebuked Peter publicly) and “bewitched” certain members of the Galatian congregations.


As for the latter, some were guilty of deserting Christ (1:4), which meant that they had not simply changed their doctrinal perspective but their loyalties as well (1:6). Their “different gospel” can only be that which Paul addresses in his declaration regarding justification, a declaration that is definitive: "nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified." (Galatians 2:16, NASB95)

Paul repeats the expression “works of Law” three times to dramatic drive home that point that it is not through these “works” that the believer is justified but solely by faith in Christ Jesus. Many assume that “works of the Law” specifically refers to the Law itself, which cannot be the case in as much as Paul remained a Torah-observant Jew while also being justified by grace.

“Works of the Law,” therefore is a code-expression that must be deciphered and in doing so we gain insight into whom the antagonists were. More specifically the central issue was “circumcision.” In fact, Paul describes the antagonist as the “party of the circumcision,” literally, “the ones from circumcision.” This could only describe either a Jew or a Proselyte (or a Gentile that became a Jews by virtue of Circumcision). This “party” was responsible for wanting to take disciples away from Christ and to themselves (4:17), they seek simply to “boast in their flesh,” or pride themselves in their efforts (6:12), and oddly enough, proclaim circumcision to avoid persecution they would receive if they proclaimed the true Gospel, including the Cross (6:10).

If we can judge their character we might believe their “conversion” as suspect. They are described as “false brethren” that were “secretly brought in… to spy out their liberty… in order to bring” them into bondage. It they are born-again believers, something was left out in their discipleship.

That they are Pharisees there can be no doubt. The insistence that the Gentile converts be circumcised is revealing. The ritual of becoming a proselyte includes circumcision, water baptism, sacrificial offering, and commitment to both the Written and Oral Torah. Paul has no qualms regarding the value of the Torah and the Prophets (2 Timothy 3:15-16) as long as it is used “lawfully” (1Timothy 1:8f). The Oral Torah, from which the “works of the Law” find their origin, the Apostle clearly rejects.


Well said Very Happy
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Post Re: The Antagonist in Galatians bradfreeman
Mark Ledbetter wrote:
Before attempting to identify the “antagonist” in Paul’s epistle to the Galatians, or their spiritual relationship with God, it would be good to address what Paul says about their doctrine and their influence. It appears to be dramatic, so much so that their presence influenced the actions of the Apostle Peter (2:11-14, for which Paul rebuked Peter publicly) and “bewitched” certain members of the Galatian congregations.


The gist of Galatians seems simple enough. Salvation does not come through works--not secret "code-expression" observations or any other human effort. Salvation comes by faith. The rebuke to Peter was that he had escaped the bondage of observing the Law, then fell back into it through fear of man when the Jews came to town.


Quote:
As for the latter, some were guilty of deserting Christ (1:4), which meant that they had not simply changed their doctrinal perspective but their loyalties as well (1:6). Their “different gospel” can only be that which Paul addresses in his declaration regarding justification, a declaration that is definitive: "nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified." (Galatians 2:16, NASB95)

Paul repeats the expression “works of Law” three times to dramatic drive home that point that it is not through these “works” that the believer is justified but solely by faith in Christ Jesus. Many assume that “works of the Law” specifically refers to the Law itself, which cannot be the case in as much as Paul remained a Torah-observant Jew while also being justified by grace.


The important point to keep in mind is that the believer is justified "solely by faith in Christ Jesus". With that principle solidly at the center of our thinking, it really becomes irrelevant which legal yoke is being hung about the neck of the Galatian believers. You seem to go to a lot of effort to prove that the "Law" is not the "Law". Regardless, works don't save us! You seem to be arguing "those works don't save us, but these works will!"

Quote:
“Works of the Law,” therefore is a code-expression that must be deciphered and in doing so we gain insight into whom the antagonists were. More specifically the central issue was “circumcision.” In fact, Paul describes the antagonist as the “party of the circumcision,” literally, “the ones from circumcision.” This could only describe either a Jew or a Proselyte (or a Gentile that became a Jews by virtue of Circumcision). This “party” was responsible for wanting to take disciples away from Christ and to themselves (4:17), they seek simply to “boast in their flesh,” or pride themselves in their efforts (6:12), and oddly enough, proclaim circumcision to avoid persecution they would receive if they proclaimed the true Gospel, including the Cross (6:10).


It seems a bit of a stretch to argue that Paul would use terms that required deciphering when writing to Gentiles. The idea that the term "Law" is unclear does not jive with the rest of the book which is written in the plainest of terms using the simplest of illustrations.

Quote:
If we can judge their character we might believe their “conversion” as suspect. They are described as “false brethren” that were “secretly brought in… to spy out their liberty… in order to bring” them into bondage. It they are born-again believers, something was left out in their discipleship.

That they are Pharisees there can be no doubt. The insistence that the Gentile converts be circumcised is revealing. The ritual of becoming a proselyte includes circumcision, water baptism, sacrificial offering, and commitment to both the Written and Oral Torah. Paul has no qualms regarding the value of the Torah and the Prophets (2 Timothy 3:15-16) as long as it is used “lawfully” (1Timothy 1:8f). The Oral Torah, from which the “works of the Law” find their origin, the Apostle clearly rejects.


The 2 Timothy 3 and 1 Timothy 1 references are perfectly consistent with Paul's analysis of the role of the Law as a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. He does not, in either instance, expressly or implicitly add more to its role than that. In fact, if we read on in 1 Timothy 1 he expressly states that the law is not made for the righteous but adulterers, liars and murderers. Adultery, lying and murder were the written code.
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Post Response to Tom & Brad Mark Ledbetter
Tom & Brad, thanks for the questions and comments. They provide an opportunity for clarification.

RE: Spiritual Status of the Judiazers. I don’t know the actual status of their relationship with Jesus Christ. I believe what I called to question is the fruit they were bearing if they were His disciples, and if His disciples they had missed something in their training.

I agree that to just dismiss them as unbelievers would be inconsistent with Paul’s argument regarding justification and righteousness, but why he does describe them as “false brethren”:
Quote:
"But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage." (Galatians 2:4, NASB95)


In what sense are they “false,” how did they sneak in, and why would they “spy” their liberty, and why would they want to bring them into bondage (and bondage to what)? At face value, it would seem that they were a part of a conspiracy. Their activities were intentional; they intended to undermine Paul’s doctrine and influence. Are they overzealous Pharisees (Acts 15:1 & 5)?

I tend to believe that they were believers but they had not abandoned their pharisaic ways as the Apostle Paul had done and announced in Galatians 1:13-14
Quote:
"For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions." (Galatians 1:13-14, NASB95)


I believe that if we fail to take in account the fact that Paul was a Pharisee, one discipled by Gamaliel, and a rising star among the Pharisees prior to his conversion, we miss something in the discussion regarding “works of righteousness.” The Jewish New Testament provides some insight:
Quote:
14 and how, since I was more of a zealot for the traditions handed down by my forefathers than most Jews my age, I advanced in [traditional] Judaism more rapidly than they did.


And while I understand Brad’s point regarding the Law, it fails to address the fact that the Champion of the Gentile Believer continued to be Torah-observant. Consider his own testimony:

    Before Felix ~ Acts 24:14: “But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our Fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets.

    Before Festus ~ Acts 25:8: “… while Paul said in his own defense, ‘I have committed no offense either against the Law of the Jews or against the temple or against Caesar.’”

    Before Jewish Leaders in Rome ~ Acts 28:17: “… Brethren, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers…”


Paul was Torah-observant.

One more important point, while I do believe that the message is straight-forward, the message is not always simple when it is not taken in its historical and cultural context. The dynamics of the debate must consider the fact that Paul’s experience as a Pharisee had profound effects upon his perspective and his interpretation of the Written Word.

Yes, “works of righteousness” is a code-word for any effort that seeks to impose personal observation of the Torah rather than faith in Jesus Christ. Paul describes this in Romans 10:1-4.

The Law indeed is a tutor and guide that leads to the goal/end which is the Messiah through whom we are made righteous through faith in His death and resurrection. I have stated and believe such. The roll of the Torah: It provides instruction, context, insight, etc.

Finally, Paul taking Peter to task is important: Peter, Barnabus and the other Jews who ate comfortably with the Gentiles until the Judiazers arrived were guilty of a double-standard because they “feared” the “party of the circumcision.” Peter took the criticism and later corrected his position and later stood in defense at the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15).
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Post Table Fellowship Mark Ledbetter
I believe Mattison’s position has merit. I don’t think that Paul’s reference to table fellowship in Galatians 2:11-14 was included simply to tell the reader that he confronted Peter, Barnabas, and the other Jews that previously ate with the Gentile Believers until the “party of the circumcision” arrived on the scene.

Table Fellowship is an important cultural ritual that reflects “where table fellowship implies affection, intimacy and mutual confidence.” (1) It has both immediate and eschatological consequence.

Eschatological importance is reflected in Matthew’s narrative regarding the Centurion’s faith (8:5-13). The climax of the narrative is Jesus’ amazement at a faith found in the Centurion that was not found by the Jews and in a subtle rebuke Jesus declared:
Quote:
"Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel. “I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” And Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed that very moment." (Matthew 8:10-13, NASB95)


In Revelation 3:20 we find the Messiah standing at the door, knocking with this invitation to all that open the door to him: “I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with me.”

This activity was a part of the culture that evolved and observed in 1st century Judaism, especially among the Pharisees. As J. Neusner shares, “ The Pharisees give the impression of being a closed table fellowship sect.” (2) Referred to as Chavrot, table-fellowship groups emphasized “worship around meals and featuring purity rules that liken average Israelites to priests and the table at which a meal is eaten to the Temple alter. They were either ad hoc gatherings or ongoing associations to celebrate such things as feast days and the birth of children.” (3)

It should not be remarkable to find this custom continued among the early Believers, especially in context of the time and location of the events. The practice of the early church also reveals the role of table fellowship in the community of believers. In Acts 2:46 we read, "Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart…" (Acts 2:46, NASB95).

Paul’s objection to the behavior of Peter and the others reflects an underlying struggle that the predominant Jewish Church had with the influx of Gentile Believers. Although Peter’s experience at Cornelius’ house should have impacted his behavior, his withdrawal from the table with the Gentiles suggests that his internal struggle had not be resolved and only emerged by the peer pressure exerted by the arrival of the Jewish antagonists.

This issue was not an isolated issue. In the apocryphal work, Joseph and Aseneth, this same issue became part of the concern expressed by the work. While scholars debate the timing and origin of the work, the content is relevant to the discussion at hand: “A majority of scholars find a distinct connection between the story’s characters and plot-line and the author’s world. This is a story written by a Jew about Gentiles and Jews, and especially about a woman who converts from the worship of idols to faith in the God of Israel. As such the story relates to a world where Jews and Gentiles live in a common environment and interact with one another. It is a milieu in which “Jews lived in dynamic tension with Gentiles and struggled to maintain a distinctive Jewish identity; one in which table fellowship and intermarriage with Gentiles, including even marriage between a convert to Judaism and a born Jew, were live issues.” (4)

While the Apostle Paul addressed the issue locally with his actions and subsequent epistle to the Galatians, the issue later came to a head during the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:1). I was rebuffed on one occasion when I suggested that one of the issues addressed by the Jerusalem Council centered this same issue. The believing Pharisees represented in the debate set the criteria for Gentile acceptance – The Gentile had to conform to their brand of Judaism, Pharisee Judaism. The Pharisees prescribed a ritual that included baptism, sacrifice, circumcision, and commitment to Moses (or The Torah, both Written and Oral).

It is interesting to observe Peter’s participation in the debate. He obviously received Paul’s rebuke and arrived at the same conclusion – there is no reason to exclude Gentiles from the fellowship because both Jew and Gentile are saved/justified by faith.

The Council’s decree was that all that was needed for the Gentile Believer to be accepted in the Fellowship was that they cease from their pagan ways, including certain dietary prohibitions, viz., “what is strangled and from blood” (vv. 20). The Believing Gentile is to be accepted on the same basis and welcomed in the fellowship (expressed by table fellowship), as long as they refrained from pagan practices.

What both Paul and the Council concluded was that since both Jew and Gentile are both justified by the same method, then both parties should seek to eliminate any barriers that prohibit them from sitting down together and eating a common meal.

(1)Stern, D. H. (1996, c1992). Jewish New Testament Commentary : A companion volume to the Jewish New Testament (electronic ed.) (Re 3:20). Clarksville: Jewish New Testament Publications.
(2)Neusner, J., Neusner, J., Avery-Peck, A. J., Green, W. S., & Museum of Jewish Heritage (New York, N. Y. (2000). The encyclopedia of Judaism. "Published in collaboration with the Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York." (2:614). Brill "With more than 100 lengthy essays, this exceptional work on Judaism covers more than its historical framework. The Encyclopedia of Judaism provides complete and accurate coverage of Judaism--everything from its history, beliefs, and observances, from the beginning to modern times. It is an excellent source written by scholars."--"Outstanding Reference Sources," American Libraries, May 2001.
(3)Ibid.
(4)Nickelsburg, G. W. E. (2005). Jewish literature between the Bible and the Mishnah : A literary and historical introduction. "with CD-ROM". (2nd ed.) (336). Minneapolis: Fortress Press.
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Post Tom, perhaps you can help me "flesh out" my conclu Mark Ledbetter
Some suppose that the Pharisees were not “evangelistic,” or sought out others to join their exclusive fellowship. This would seem to contradict the rebuke of Jesus in Matthew 23:15, "“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves."

In general terms, the proselyte is “one who comes over” from paganism to embrace Judaism. The first recorded proselyte recorded is Ruth, who declared to Naomi, “…your people my people, and Your God will be my God” (Ruth 1:16-17).

The Pharisees were also known to send emissaries to Jewish communities throughout the Diaspora. Their intent was to win Hellenistic (Greek-thinking) Jews to the Pharisee position regarding Torah observation – Oral and Written.

With regards to Gentile proselytes, Pharisee tradition recognized were two types or classes.

    Ger-hatstsedeq or Ger-haberith – Proselyte of Righteousness or Proselyte of the Covenant.
    Gentiles that converted to Judaism were regarded as being “born again” and were known as “children of the covenant,” with the full rights and responsibilities of other Jews. They were also described as “perfect Israelites.” Their conversion, however, was not simply a profession of faith but required commitments:

      Water Baptism - When the Gentile stepped out of t he baptismal pool, he was regarded as having been “born anew.” They began a new relationship with Yahweh, with Israel, as well as to his own past, present, and future.

      Circumcision

      Sacrifice - Two pigeons or doves

      Commitment to observe the Torah – Oral and Written.


    Ger-ha-Shaar – Proselyte at the Gate, or God-Fearer
    Proselytes at the Gate were not prepared to make the commitments required of the Proselytes of the Covenant, but chose to live among Jews and observe specific laws. Cornelius is an example (Acts 10).


It seems possible that the antagonist (in Galatians), who were Pharisee Believers (Acts 15), continued to hold to these distinctions. In their mind, the Gentile was not completed unless he or she became a good Pharisee Jew. In their view, two things were lacking – Circumcision and Commitment to the Torah, which includes the Written Torah but predominant practice would imply emphasis upon the Oral Torah.

When the Apostle Paul describes himself as “advancing in Judaism,” this is not a generic reference but specifically can be described as Pharisaic Judaism. Failure to keep this in mind will lead to an erroneous conclusion regarding Paul’s position regarding the Torah.

It would seem apparent, therefore, that Paul is addressing a particular set of standards and practices that were not a part of Biblical Judaism based upon “the sacred writings” – The Torah, Prophets and Psalms/Writings – “that are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith that which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15, Luke 24:44).

Further, these same “sacred writings” are the “All Scripture” in 2 Timothy 3:16 that are “inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

In particular, Paul rejected the Oral Tradition of the Pharisees.

Further, he rejected any animosity that had been build into the observance of the Torah specifically because it promoted exclusivist values and actions (See the language of Ephesians 2:11-12 and the remedy for exclusivism through the Cross of Christ which destroyed the animosity created – not the Law of commandments in ordinances and the creation of “one new man.”)

I believe Paul’s chief concern was that the Body of Christ stand united, Jew and Gentile Believer and that his passionate stand of justification by faith was more to preserve “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).

Anyone contending that faith in Christ is insufficient for salvation, and consequently acceptance into the fellowship without reservation, was to be reproved and corrected; and if they refuse to hear the admonition, treated as a heretic – one that divides body – and excluded from the fellowship (Titus 3:10-11).

At stake was the witness of the Community of Believers, a witness that must be preserved at all costs. It was not whether one observe or failed to observe the Torah, but it was the intend in which the Torah was used (1 Timothy 1:8) -- to create bondage or lead us to the Messiah and His teachings and ways.
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10/20/10 10:23 am


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Isa 58:12 wrote:

Link my friend, & gentile is not a christian (Christ-like) & goyim, gentile means heathen, or someone who is lost. Because there is a difference between a Jew & gentile, they do different things.



The Bible uses the term 'Gentile' to refer to those who are Christians as well.

Acts 10:45
The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles.

See, this passage refers to them as Gentiles, but the Spirit had been poured out on them and they had been baptized

Acts 11:1
The apostles and the brothers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.

They are referred to as Gentiles even though they had recieved the word of God.

Acts 11:18
When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, "So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto l
life."

They have been granted repentence unto life even though they are Gentiles.

Acts 13:16
Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: "Men of Israel and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me!

Acts 13:26
"Brothers, children of Abraham, and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent.

Even prior to conversion, Gentiles are not 'pagans.'

Acts 15:14
Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself.

See, the people for himself is taken from among the Gentiles.

Acts 15:23
With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings.

And here these saints are called 'Gentile believers.'


If you were called as a Gentile, be a Gentile believer in Christ. Being Jewish or Hebrew does not make you any more holy before God if your faith is in Christ.
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10/20/10 4:09 pm


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Post Isa 58:12
Paul used the "term" gentile to point out what "people" he was speaking about Link. He couldn't have said:

Acts 15:14
Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Jews a people for himself.

Acts 13:16
Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: "Men of Israel and you Jews who worship God, listen to me!

Acts 11:18
When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, "So then, God has granted even the Jews repentance unto
life."

See Link, Paul used the term "gentile" to reveal who he was talking about. Now in Messiah Paull wrote to the "gentiles" in Rom 9:4:Who are Y'sraelites (spiritual Ex 12:48) to whom pertains the "adoption", & the Glory, & the Covenants, & the giving of the Torah, & the service of G-d, & the promises.
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10/20/10 4:25 pm


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Isa 58:12 wrote:
Paul used the "term" gentile to point out what "people" he was speaking about Link. He couldn't have said:

Acts 15:14
Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Jews a people for himself.

Acts 13:16
Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: "Men of Israel and you Jews who worship God, listen to me!

Acts 11:18
When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, "So then, God has granted even the Jews repentance unto
life."

See Link, Paul used the term "gentile" to reveal who he was talking about. Now in Messiah Paull wrote to the "gentiles" in Rom 9:4:Who are Y'sraelites (spiritual Ex 12:48) to whom pertains the "adoption", & the Glory, & the Covenants, & the giving of the Torah, & the service of G-d, & the promises.


I don't follow your point at all. Gentiles are partakers of the blessings of Abraham through Christ. But Paul is still talking about Israel in this book.

Romans 11:25 (NIV)
25I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.
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