“and is the Word of HaShem” (Israel)
You do know this is Greco-Roman in nature – this concept – correct? From John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Amy Jill Levine on the works of Philo “The Jewish philosopher Philo of A1exandria spoke of the manifestation of God on earth; he called this the “Logos” (Greek for “word”), which is the same term some early Christians applied to Jesus (as in the opening words of the Gospel of John, “In the beginning was the word”).”
For more on this line of reasoning see: http://www.myjewishlearning.com/history_community/Ancient/IntellectualTO/Philo_.htm
“Philo…His philosophy, much of it in the Platonic mold, is a blend of the personal God of the Hebrew Bible and the abstract, perfect deity required by Greek metaphysics” (From Text to Tradition: A History of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism (Ktav) – Lawrence Schiffman)
“We do not hold to any belief that I’m aware of that once you simply believe Yeshua is the Messiah that you cease to be a Gentile – since this is not normative in Judaism at all to recognize such as a Gentile” (Israel)
(a) Are you actually Jewish and a convert to Judaism? Or just a Messianic that is a convert of Christianity?
(b) You are asking for Gentiles to be Jewish – this is undeniable. I will break this down a bit more – but for starters – circumcision is a Jewish ritual (cultural and law) – Gentile cultures (including my own) really pay no mind to it as some standard of obedience.
“Instead we fully believe, and can rightly document, that once someone decides to submit to the lordship of King Messiah, that they will make full teshuvah, and thus get circumcised, and do a mikvah of conversion since these things are clearly understood from the Torah as necessities to right behavior.” (Israel)
I repeat, if I desire to become a Judaic follower and convert to Judaism then I will follow these things – as they request. But if I want to be a Gentile Christian – then I see absolutely no need for it. Do I really have to make Paul’s case all over again – and the real Jerusalem Council from Acts? I will.
Acts 15:1 “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” (problem statement)
Acts 15:2 “Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them” (Paul is not on board with the idea)
Acts 15:5 “”It is necessary to circumcise them and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses.” (Circumcision – conversion – and Torah – standard guide – mentioned)
Acts 15:6 “The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter” (This was not a sure-fire case – it was to be debated amongst the council)
Acts 15:9-11 “He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.” (Peter’s verdict on the matter – nothing about circumcision or even halakah).
Acts 15:19-20 “Therefore it is my judgment that we do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles, but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood.” (James judgment – 4 things – none of which are circumcision and 4 commandments only)
Acts 15:21 “For Moses from ancient generations has in every city those who preach him, since he is read in the synagogues every Sabbath.” (Point – this Jewish tradition will carry on irregardless – no matter if we include the Gentile masses or not)
How can one claim – from Acts 15 – the inclusion of the Gentiles into the Christian faith is through Jewish conversion? Nothing of the sort is so much as mentioned or upheld by Pharisee’s, Peter, or James (and the Holy Spirit for that matter – vs. 28).
Now for Paul.
Romans 4:12-13 “and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised. For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.” (Paul makes a differentiation between law and faith here – which includes those who were uncircumcised – the Romans he is writing to in this letter).
1 Corinthians 7:18-19 “Was any man called when he was already circumcised? He is not to become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called in uncircumcision? He is not to be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God” (Good summation of Paul’s position on this)
Galatians 2:7-9 “But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised (for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles), and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.” (Paul re-hashes Acts 15 in this letter – and guess what – nothing wrong with being uncircumcised – and this was quite understood by Paul and the real Jerusalem Council).
Galatians 5:6 “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love” (another good summation of Paul’s opinion of circumcision)
Colossians 2:11 “and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;” (Apparently circumcision ‘without hands’ – via faith – is also quite adequate)
Titus 1:10 “For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision” (Amazing – but this is a letter from Paul from so long ago – dealing with this same issue I am here today).
Fact is, if a Gentile wants to follow the Messiah – he can – and does not need to be circumcised or follow any rituals for that matter – these decisions were agreed upon by James, Peter, John, Pharisee’s, and Paul. Yet, for some reason, the Messianics of this age have to be correct? I will do more than prove this movement wrong – if we continue down this path – you have little to no scriptural backing for your position Israel.
If you feel the need to lose your culture – embrace Judaism – and follow it’s tenets – then so be it – I do not feel that need – I like my culture (First Nations in Canada/America – or Indian as you might know us). I follow the Messiah and his teachings (which I will give you are based on Torah – including also most of Paul’s works) – but I am not Jewish (sorry) and there is no requirement for me to be (according to the early church fore-runner’s of this faith to Gentiles).
I will come and debate you on your turf also – but I have to admit – you must shame Paul first before your position can hold any true weight.