Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Was Yeshua really the "end of the Law?"

You've all heard that Yeshua was the "end of the Law" but did you also know that the word "end" in this case never meant "termination" of Torah?

We’ve borrowed the following explanation from an appendix entitled, "Eighteen New Testament Misconceptions" in the Aramaic English New Testament:

#8: End of the Torah

Here is an important and very beautiful phrase that is equally apparent in both Aramaic and in Greek:

“Mashiyach is the end (Gk. telos) of the Torah, so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” Romans 10:4 (NIV)

While telos can mean, "end", it is very irresponsible to render it this way due to the flexibility of that term in the receiving language. In English, "end" has two meanings. The first is "termination" which is the majority usage of the word in English. However, we also have phrases such as "the ends do not justify the means." In this case, the lesser-used meaning is that of "goal", which applies in both Greek and English.

Rav Shaul clearly refers to the Torah itself as “perfect, righteous and good” (Romans 7:12), so it is very foolish to then think that he turns around and teaches the "termination" of Torah. Instead, and as Rav Shaul clearly teaches in Galatians 3, Torah is the tutor that instructs and brings people to Mashiyach. Then, when a person understands and accepts the fact that Y’shua is Mashiyach, he (Mashiyach) becomes Torah's goal.

This is also one of the many meanings behind the cryptic remark in Yochanan 1, calling Y'shua the "Word (Torah) made flesh." By extreme contrast, the NIV translation of Romans 10:4 is the exact opposite of what the original texts meant! NIV makes it sound like Rav Shaul is a train conductor calling out a stop--"End of the Torah! Everyone get off!"

Furthermore, in certain key Renewed Covenant passages, telos can only mean "goal":

“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to Elohim, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the goal (telos) is eternal life.” Romans 6:22

“The goal (telos) of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” I Timothy 1:5

“Obtaining as the goal (telos) of your faith the salvation for your souls.” 1 Peter 1:9

In Aramaic we find these same verses have the same reading as "goal" with the word saka. Like telos, the context provides the key to realizing the intended meaning. Because Rav Shaul continually upholds Torah in every way (Romans 3:31), then "goal" is also very consistent with the rest of his teaching.

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