Saturday, December 1, 2018

“The Law is a curse?” What does that really mean?

Christianity insists that the Law is a curse because one cannot possibly fulfill all its requirements. It is said that, while the Law (Torah) itself is perfect and holy, those who try to justify themselves before its holy Author bring not His blessing, but His curse upon themselves.

To begin with, this “Law is a curse” thing stems from a misinterpretation of Galatians 3:10-14. The “Law” actually refers to YHWH’s Torah (first five Books of Moses, which contain all of YHWH’s Divine Instructions in Righteousness, without which we would have no blueprint for moral, holy living)

Secondly, the thing we must ask ourselves is this: Where in Scripture are we told that everyone must fulfill ALL the requirements of Torah, OR that anyone would be justified by “the Law?” The answer to both questions? Nowhere!

YHWH always required the blood of innocent animals to atone for our sins (Leviticus 17:11), accompanied, of course, by prayer and repentance (2 Chronicles 7:14, Acts 3:19, etc.) along with a genuine desire to turn from our sins! After all, why bother offering a sin sacrifice if you’re not truly repentant or serious about refraining from committing that same sin in the future?

And here’s the thing about those original “613” Torah rules: They were NEVER a “curse” to mankind! They were Divine Rules for people to follow! (How could YHWH’s Divine Rules EVER be considered “a curse?”) Most were for the Levite priests; not the people. Some were only for men, and some were only for women. Consequently, nobody could, nor was ever expected to, “do all 613.” That is simply NOT what YHWH asked of us!

So, concerning the Galatians 3 misunderstandings by Christianity, to reiterate, we must understand from this passage is that the curse does not refer to “the Law.” The curse is the penalty levied for not keeping the Law! Torah points out what is good and bad, and where we fail and fall short of God’s will; but it cannot pronounce us “righteous”; that was NEVER its purpose.

The main problem here is that the Greek mistranslates as “law” the word “Torah”. The ONLY remedy is to view Scripture from a “Hebrew” instead of the “Greek” mindset.

So, let’s take a look at that pesky Galatians 3 passage, as it appears in the Aramaic English New Testament, along with footnotes designed to help you understand the Hebraic context:

Galatians 3: 10. For those who are servants of Torah are still under a curse, for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not act[1] on all that is written in this book of Torah.” 11. But that no man is made righteous by Torah before Elohim is evident, for it is written, “the righteous will live by faith”.[2]

12. Thus Torah is not made by faith, but whosoever will do the things that are written in it, will live in it.[3] 13. But Mashiyach has redeemed us from the “curse of Torah”[4] by becoming accursed[5] for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”.[6] 14. That the blessing of Awraham might come to the Gentiles through Y’shua the Mashiyach; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (AENT)

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Deuteronomy 28:26

[2] Habakkuk 2:4

[3] Leviticus 18:5

[4] See Deuteronomy 21:22-23. Y’shua committed no capital crime. Pharisees were warning Jews off Y’shua by saying that he had become a curse because he hung on the torture stake. The Pharisees tried to vilify Y’shua before the Jewish people. Paul is repeating this accusation of the Pharisees for the benefit of “Messianic Pharisees” (see Tosefta Sanhedrin IX.7).

“Messianic Pharisees” (Galatians 2:4) were likely weary of being shunned by their people (see Matthew 10:39) and wanted back into the synagogues, so they were posturing themselves as Ebionites (a Judaistic Christian Gnostic sect of the 2d century a.d. that observed the Torah in part, rejected Paul, accepted only the Gospel of Matthew, and held an adoptionist Christology).

Today “Messianic Pharisees” or Ebionites, attend Orthodox synagogues and are enamored with traditional Rabbinical Judaism; they believe Y’shua is Mashiyach, but not the Arm of YHWH or YHWH Tsidkenu revealed. Paul is using the strongest words possible to affirm the Truth by reminding certain Galatians that they are trying to dilute the Netzarim Faith with traditional Pharisaism.

In 2,000 years, little has changed; many Orthodox Rabbis still call Y’shua a bastard and a curse of the Jewish people because he “hung on the stake.” Some Rabbis will even provide a mock funeral for Jews who follow Y’shua, and teach that the family member is as though they never existed; so if one can understand the duress that certain “Messianic Pharisees” were under, then one can understand why Paul chose such severity of words!

[5] There are 12 specific curses mentioned in Deut. 28:15-26; however, one can also apply this to the entire Torah simply because if anyone knowingly or unknowingly sins but does not seek forgiveness and restitution, they are under a curse, certainly not a blessing. There is a "Y" in the road of every choice we make; one road leads to blessing, the other to a curse.

[6] Y'shua was "accursed" by his accusers, but Christians teach that YHWH and Torah accused Y'shua. However, Y'shua was the Perfect Lamb. He never broke Torah; therefore could never come under any curse of Torah. We come under the curse when we sin and refuse to turn to YHWH!

There is SO much more that could be added to this, but the bottom line is: Torah is NOT a “curse.” Torah shows us what sin is and sets a standard for Perfection. Torah points us to Redemption, Salvation and Deliverance and a time of reckoning when those who are dead will awake to everlasting life or everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:1-10).

As Paul wrote:

Romans 3: 31 "Do we then nullify the Torah through faith? Not at all! Rather, we ESTABLISH the Torah."

No comments:

Post a Comment