Comments taken from COAS’ ‘Towards a Biblical Masculinity Part 1’
“The same resources (rabbinical teachings, talmud, hebrew language, etc.) are available to rabbis and Christians. Why are they any more equipped?” (Brad)
By plain and obvious calculations – simple math I guess. Christians, in average, likely spend about 1/4th of their biblical study in the Tanakh – and sometimes even less in the aspects of Law/Torah. (Over their lifetime). Rabbi’s spend – let’s see – 100% of their time in the Tanakh and a large part of that is devoted to the central part of the Tanakh – the Torah/Law. Isn’t it obvious where we should be directing these questions?
Now even if Christians spent ½ their time in the Tanakh – that is still 50% less than a rabbi and they would still stay was less informed on the Law/Torah since this is not Christianity’s central tenet/focus in the faith.
“The OT (to include Torah) is ABSOLUTELY Christian scripture. I assure you that we are just as loyal and faithful to understanding it as the rabbi. Your claim does not stem from ability to correctly interpret, but from a faith assumption that only answers from that perspective are accurate. You are putting the cart before the horse.” (Brad)
No cart and no horse – just brutal honesty. Brad you fail to remember I have been a Christian for 15 years also – 4 years earning a bachelor of theology – and well studied in these scriptures as well. My claims are not coming from some ‘assumption’ as you claim – but from a very well studied life (1/2 of my life in these teachings so far).
I admit the Torah/Tanakh are part of the Christian canon – I can see that quite obviously. But as for Christians being as loyal and faithful as Jewish adherents to it’s understanding – that’s just not a fact. I am sorry – it just isn’t.
What festivals do you celebrate according to the Jewish calendar? Do you keep kosher? Do you devote the majority of your study to the central themes and teachings in the Torah? Have you been circumcised (bris milah) as part of the ‘mitzvot’? Celebrate Hanukah? How about remembrance of Ha Shoah? Do you wear the traditional tefillin? How about Mezuzah attached to your doorposts?
It is a certifiable fact Jewish faith and Christian faith are very different – thus the primary focuses shift in one faith to the next…namely when dealing with scriptures.
Torah for Judaism and Paul’s teachings/gospels for Christianity. The Judaic faith owns the interpretive ground (so to speak) when it comes to dealing with Torah due to their years of extensive study (and tradition dealing with) in it.
Christianity focuses exclusively on the story of Jesus and the lenses of how the Tanakh can be viewed through the messiah. We have a rich church history – but the interpretive lense is solely rooted in viewing every and all things through Jesus – there is no recorded biblical history of Christians using Talmud, Mishnah, or Gemara (oral law)…if so…it is very very rare.
I have to go to the experts in the fields that they study in – this is wisdom. If I want to study aspects of the Messiah Jesus – I will turn for Christian opinion/viewpoints. If I want the Torah/Law explained to me – I will turn to rabbi’s. How does this not make sense?
“I cherish all of God’s word” (Brad)
I know you do Brad – I am not questioning your sincerity on your love for the texts.
“He revealed Himself through it out of love for us, and did so in a way that is graciously understandable to the child as well as the rabbi” (Brad)
I believe a lot of the bible is fairly understandable – but a lot of it takes some serious study also – there is a dual nature there. On one hand, living what is being asked is quite simple (in some senses) – morality and values. On the other hand, delving into topics like Numbers 31 and other passages – well that is not quite as easy. Some of this stuff takes a lot of mature study – I think we can all attest to that.
“To say that it is “over my head” because I am a Christian, is to say that my Christian beliefs render me incapable of understanding that which I cherish so deeply: the knowledge of God.” (Brad)
I would say study away then – I see no problem there. It is over most Christian’s heads though (maybe not yours) – only because the expertise in this scenario will come from rabbinical studies and not so much from Christian studies. If I am wrong – I will accept that…but have any of us approached a rabbi with any of these questions? No.