Part of the reason some are "rejecting Jesus" and the entire New Testament is because they never understood/comprehended the NT, in the first place. (Some have admitted they've never even READ the Bible, except for a few snippets; yet they're in counter-missionary Facebook groups, mouthing off about how they now "have finally found the truth.")
Facebook (actually, the entire Internet) reeks with people who believe themselves to be teachers when, in fact, they have all sorts of misunderstandings about Scripture. Take this comment, for instance:
"Why believe Paul when he's clearly teaching contrary to Yeshua's pro-Torah message?"
GARBAGE! That statement is completely false! Paul, NEVER taught against Torah! Please read these two articles to get an inkling as to why that statement is totally ludicrous. Paul’s writings have been misinterpreted and What does Galatians really say?
Internet (especially Facebook) "teachers" are leading each other astray. So, instead of clinging to what others tell you, why not read the ENTIRE BIBLE yourself, so that you can at least be knowledgeable enough to be able to discern good from bad teachings?
the problems with Paul begin in the first century, most of the apostles and the council in JerusalemReplyDelete
James had to write specific 'counter' pieces to Paul's writings so as to limit any further misunderstandings being derived from Paul's explanations
it is far from misplaced to see within Paul's ideas seemingly contradictory and questionable notions that could easily mislead
whatever we assume of Paul we can see this manner of expression and rhetoric was problematic in the day and now over two thousand years later is the chief source of misunderstanding within Christianity
we ask, would believers be more or less likely not to follow Torah but even more elementally to follow the Messiah's teachings if Paul's ideas were not present
and then knowing such a difference we ponder what sort of fruit we are dealing with, I try to keep and open mind but the problem with Paul is evident to a sufficient degree that we don't need to dismiss or call other potentially misplaced views as 'garbage' as these problems stem from the very beginning and even required James and others to try and clarify these matters
YOU WROTE: James had to write specific 'counter' pieces to Paul's writings so as to limit any further misunderstandings being derived from Paul's explanations.ReplyDelete
MY RESPONSE: You make some valid points, but It’s not true that James “countered” Paul’s writings. Did you read my article, above - http://therefinersfire.org/book_of_romans1.htm? Please read this one as well: https://www.therefinersfire.org/romans2.htm ? James clarified that Paul was hard to understand, but that was because Paul was trying to explain and translate the deeper meanings of Hebrew into Greek.
As you know, that is virtually impossible because no other language has “deeper” or “hidden” meanings as does Hebrew. Please read our blog notes from 2015 about Paul’s writings: http://blog.therefinersfire.org/2015/07/an-awesome-mini-teaching-about-how-paul.html and http://blog.therefinersfire.org/2015/07/interpretting-paul-and-his-letter-to.html and also please read our article that explains further: https://www.therefinersfire.org/second_thessalonians_2.htm
How is Peter supposedly “countering” Paul?
2 Peter 3: 15 And account the long suffering of Master YHWH to be redemption; as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom conferred on him, wrote to you; 16. as also in all his letters speaking in them of these things in which there is something difficult to be understood; (and) which they who are ignorant and unstable pervert, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures,  to their own destruction. (AENT)
Footnote: It’s rather shocking that Peter writes of how Paul’s letters had already been turned into a Torahless fiasco, even in Peter’s day! Certainly it was not the Pharisees who were renouncing Torah Observance, but the humanist, pagan and materialist, “modernists” who operated under “Christian” labels.
Paul never attempted to “mislead.” Why would he do that? His writings are an integral part of the Bible that serve to get people to THINK! But in order to understand him properly, one must have a good grasp of the Tanach, first! Most don’t seem to do that. They graze their way through the Bible and cherry pick….
the problem generally identifiable with Paul's writings is how easily and, by all historical recognition, how readily they take on a mercurial nature. That is there are various statements and key themes which can be easily read in ways contrary to the ideas the Messiah explainedReplyDelete
this is not solely a matter of individual disposition, rather and this is critical, there is a natural psychological disposition, we might call it religious psychology, where once you tell someone and they accept and internalise the notion they are no longer required to keep laws or guidelines, then it becomes that much harder to return to a Torah guided mindset
time and again Paul's writings oscillate around the apparent idea that we are not spiritually responsible, that "works" (a preciously generalised term for the subjects involved) are misguided, that faith "alone" is all that is expected and required
if someone mistakenly heeds that notion and often this is clearly then they can become focused on a 'faith only' rationale
this happens all the time, it happens today, I don't think every 'faith only' adherent is going anymore out of their way than what would be normal for someone whose faith is orientated on the premise that it is truly a "faith only" system
this is essentially the problem with Paul's writings, they are laced with expressions and ideas that can, intentionally or otherwise, goad persons into accepting misleading ideas
as I said before, one basic test, and one question that puts these issues into a fuller perspective: if we took all of Paul's writings out of the Bible would believers be more or less likely to follow the Messiah's teachings ?
unfortunately we know this answer, and we see James 2: 14 - 26 is a commentary on Romans 4, with the latter being a contrast between Abraham's 'works' (what were Abraham's works when distinguish from ceremonial aspects of the Torah ?) and faith. This makes it very hard for someone reading Romans 4 to conceptualise the meaning any other way except to broadly correspond works with doing what is good and right
likewise the first warning the Messiah gave to believers before beginning to teach and elaborate on the essential nature of the Torah was not to mistakenly assume the teachings were no longer to be followed or learned from (Matthew 5:19)
knowing where the greatest fulfillment of this idea that believers are to no longer keep and follow the Messiah's teachings is reason enough to if not agree with others, and I remain relatively neutral, then to at least recognise and acknowledge why some of these viewpoints might prevail. It is all things considered understandable why some might view Christianity and wonder why certain ideas, seemingly contrary to the essential ethos, are nonetheless prominent, and always these come back to Paul. Two thousand years later the same results are produced, so whether right or wrong, at least some measure of recognition of why persons hold this view can be understood
Thank you for your comment. While everything you say is sound - that there are various statements [of Paul] and key themes [in Paul's writings] which can be easily read in ways contrary to the ideas the Messiah explained, and that those contrary ideas lead to the notion that people are no longer required to keep the holy ways levied by the Creator, where you call it "a natural psychological disposition", I would call it "blinders". To see the fault on one's interpretation of Paul one only need read ALL of scripture so the contradiction is revealed. Then it becomes clear that it was the interpretation of Paul that was wrong, not YHWH's Torah. Then, your analysis begs the question of whether or not these people, the ones as you say, "internalise the notion they are no longer required to keep laws or guidelines, then it becomes that much harder to return to a Torah guided mindset", can actually have the Ruach, because the Ruach teaches (John 14:26) and reminds people what the Messiah said - not what (they think) Paul said. I struggle with this thought. That Christians who deny Torah over the misunderstood writings of Paul, can't possibly have the Ruach. How can they have the Ruach when they remain blinded by religious psychology?
I think we might and should all pose the same question to ourselves, practically always, are we keeping the commandments, the fullness of their meaning ? If not so, and I am willing to suppose few truly do, then a question of perfection is not an answer to why some heed Paul in mistaken ways. Indeed we can see Paul's ideas can and often typically are read to mean the law was 'nailed to the cross' (Colossians 2:14 - 16). Just as the aforementioned outline of Abraham's righteousness is distinguished between faith and worksReplyDelete
in many respects these ideas can be readily supposed to be retroactively defining the Bible, and indeed that is precisely how they have been taken
I won't judge persons that are raised in those environments, that read their Bible assuming Paul is saying such, because at least prima facie it can certainly appear that way, just as the apostles and disciples of the first century took specific issue with Paul on many of his ideas
the problem remains the same, historically and today, one way or the other, who do we judge ? No one, we understand why so many would assume these ideas, and try to help, principally in following Jesus' teachings