Monday, April 15, 2019

What does the phrase, “not under Torah” mean?

Galatians 5:15. But if you bite and devour one another--beware!--or else you consume one another. 16. I say then: you should walk through the Spirit and the lust of the flesh will not subdue you. 17. For flesh desires a thing that is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires a thing that is against the flesh, and both of these are opposed to one another so that you are not able to do as you wish. 18. If, then, you are led by the Spirit, you are not under Torah… (AENT)

“Under the Torah” is simply an idiomatic expression that refers to a false teaching that has never been true. The Dead Sea Scrolls confirm that this phrase “under the Torah” refers to strict religious halacha (“instruction” or “teaching,” which requires interpretation and application), not obedience to Torah itself.

When Paul speaks of being "under the law" or the "works of the law", he is speaking against legalism, and not against the Torah. There is no Hebrew word for the concept of "legalism" or "legalist" so Paul was hindered in his attempt to explain to the Gentiles that legalism was not what God intended.

Paul was not teaching against Torah observance by believers of Yeshua; rather, he was being careful in his language to make it clear that Torah was not given by God to be used in a legalistic manner.

Some people insist that there is no explicit text in the New Testament that commands us to "walk in Torah" or in any way continue to adhere to any of the commands of the old covenant. However, Romans 3:31 clearly says: 31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law....

We need to understand that Torah has not at any time “saved” anyone! YHWH saves when His people demonstrate a sincere obedience to His Righteous Instructions (Torah). Blind ritual (or religion) alone without the love of YHWH profits nothing. YHWH is “the Spirit” of the Renewed Covenant that “writes Torah upon the heart.”

For a deeper study, please see our website’s article: Understanding "under law"…

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