The U.S. Congress officially recognized the Noahide Laws in legislation which was passed by both houses. Congress and the President of the United States, George Bush, indicated in Public Law 102-14, 102nd Congress, that the United States of America was founded upon the Seven Universal Laws of Noah, and that these Laws have been the bedrock of society from the dawn of civilization. They also acknowledged that the Seven Laws of Noah are the foundation upon which civilization stands and that recent weakening of these principles threaten the fabric of civilized society, and that justified preoccupation in educating the Citizens of the United States of America and future generations is needed. For this purpose, this Public Law designated March 26, 1991 as Education Day, U.S.A.
So, exactly what are these laws? What is their purpose? Where do they come from? Are they Biblical? Are they the same as the Ten Commandments? Are they Jewish? Are they Christian? What do they have to do with me and other people living in our society today?
These are a few of the questions that are being asked more and more each day as people hear the terms "Noachide Law", "Laws of Noah", "the Seven Laws", "the Seven Laws of Noah", or "Universal Laws", "Laws for All Mankind", etc.
The belief in "Universal Laws" or "Laws for All Mankind" presupposes the belief in a Universal or Supreme Lawgiver This is exactly the way the Bible begins. It begins with such a presuppostion in God as the Supreme Creator; "In the beginning, God....." (Gen. 1:1).
Next, a definition is in order to clarify the original meaning of the word "Law" as used in the Scriptures. The English word Law is a translation of the Hebrew word Torah. The Greek word Nomos, used in the Greek translations of the Scriptures, is also a translation of the Hebrew word Torah. Many reading about "the Law" in the Scriptures usually read it with the connotation of "Legalism" attached. Torah does not have this primary meaning in Hebrew but simply means Teachings, Direction, or Instruction. It gives direction and instructs people as to how they are to live in an ethical and moral way among their fellow humans and before God. "He has shown you, O man, what is good. What does Yahweh require of you, but to act justly, To love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" (Micah 6:8). "So that the law [Greek Nomos; Hebrew Torah] is holy, and the commandment holy, and righteous, and good" (Rom. 7:12).
In the Foreword of the book The Spirit of the Law by Ron Moseley, Roy Blizzard wrote:
Roy Blizzard also said:
"The underlying idea of law, as it is used in the Bible, is that of teaching and instruction. Law is God instructing His people that they may know how to live in a moral and ethical way, pleasing unto Him, and at peace with our fellow man. Law is instruction that, if followed, will enrich one's life, if ignored will diminish it. Law was for the purpose of instructing man how he was to live here in this world."
"The idea of law in Hebrew is not something that, if trangressed, is going to get you zapped."
God has given moral, ethical, and spiritual laws (Torah) to mankind for which obedience brings blessings and for which disobedience, which is sin, brings penalties. These laws are found within the Holy Scriptures and they were given as guidelines for living and to improve the quality of life. They were also given to define what sin actually is. "Everyone who sins also commits lawlessness. Sin is lawlessness." (1 John 3:4). The emphasis of these laws is not to the laws themselves as an "end to the means", but as a "means to the end"; that end being faith, trust, and reliance, in the Lawgiver. They are not obeyed as a way to earn salvation without faith, but are to be obeyed out of gratitude and love to God, The Lawgiver, as a proof and an example of faith.
It is a fact that some of these laws, or categories of laws, pertain to different people, or groups of people, and not to others. Some of these laws pertain to all people and some pertain only to the nation of Israel, and even to various people, or groups, within the nation of Israel. The High Priest was given various laws which do not apply to others. The Levites were given various laws which do not apply to other tribes in Israel, and the people of Israel were given various laws which do not apply to any other people, or nation. The "Ten Commandments", which a lot of people are familiar with, are assumed, by many, to be laws for all mankind. But, reading about these laws in the Scriptures, and in context, if one is honest, they will see that they were actually given only to the nation of Israel.
Moses went up to God, and Yahweh called to him out of the mountain, saying, "This is what you shall tell the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: `You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice, and keep my covenant, then you shall be my own possession from among all peoples; for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel......"
God spoke all these words, saying, "I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. .....(Exodus 19:3-6; 20:1-2)
Then follows the text in Exodus 20:3-17 where the Ten Commandments are recorded, which briefly stated are:
Who was God speaking to when He gave the Ten Commandments? The children of Israel! Who were the people that God brought out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage? The children of Israel! Notice that the "you" and "your" in the passages quoted are referring to "the children of Israel."
Even though the moral principles contained in these Ten Commandments could apply to everyone, it can be seen that, in reality and when read in context, the Ten Commandments, these laws, were given only to the children of Israel, and not to any other nation or people.
Along with the Ten Commandments, additional, more extensive laws were given to the Children of Israel, to prepare them to be a nation of priests to all the other nations of the world. These laws, including the Ten Commandments, are known as the Mosaic Law because they were given through Moses. These laws also pertain to no other nation, or people, except the nation of Israel, and most specifically to them dwelling in the land God promised to them, the land of Israel. Along with these laws were promises of additional blessings if obeyed and additional penalties if disobeyed.
In "Everyman's Talmud" we read:
"In a liturature written by Jews for Jews it is but natural to find exceptional prominence given to the people of Israel. Indeed, the classification of the world's inhabitants may there be said to be Israel and the other nations. It was a cardinal dogma that Israel was the chosen people. This is, of course, a Biblical doctrine; but it receives the richest amplification in the treatment of the Rabbis. Over and over again in the Talmud stress is laid upon the intimate and unique relationship which exists between God and His people." [page 59]
"If, however, Israel is the chosen people, it is not for the purpose of receiving special marks of favouritism from God. Far from being in a better position than the other nations from the material point of view as the result of this choice, Israel bears a heavier responsibility and his liability to punishment is greater." [page 60]
The main responsibility of Israel is the guardianship of the Torah, the Divine Revelation. Since the purpose of the world's creation was the glorification of God's name through the medium of the Torah, and Israel was to be its recipient, it follows that 'Israel was in the thought of God before the creation of the Universe' (Gen. R. 1.4) ..... No self-glorification is here meant, since the sayings refer only to Israel as the guardian of the Torah and therefore state a spiritual fact." [pages 60-61]
To this agree the words of the Paul, a Messianic Jew and an Apostle to the Gentiles, concerning the special status of the people of Israel in the plan of God: "Then what advantage does the Jew have? Or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way! Because first of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God" [Romans 3:1-2]. And, " .... my relatives according to the flesh, who are Israelites; whose is the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service, and the promises ...." [Romans 9:3-4]
We read further in "Everyman's Talmud" that:
".... Furthermore, they did not look upon the Torah as their exclusive possession. On the contrary, it was destined for all mankind, and happy the day when all nations accepted it." [page 62]
When we read about the Torah in this respect, we should realize that it is not just referring to the Mosaic Law that was given exclusively to Israel, but also includes the Law for all nations, the Noachide Law.
Continuing in "Everyman's Talmud", we read:
" .... The finest expression of this thought is found in the exposition of the verse, 'Ye shall therefore keep My statutes, and Mine ordinances; which if a man do, he shall live by them' (Lev. 18:5): Whence is it deduced that even a Gentile who obeys the Torah is the equal of the High Priest? From the words 'which if a man do he shall live by them.' Similarly it is said, 'this is the law of mankind, Lord God' (2 Sam. 7:19). It is not stated, 'this is the law of the priests, or of the Levites, or of Israel,' but 'the law of mankind.' ..." [page 62-63]
"The universalistic scope of this doctrine is most impressive and contradicts the belief which prevails that the outlook of Rabbinic Judaism is essentially narrow and racial. ....."
"The ideal of the religion of the rabbis was the extension of God's Kingship over all the peoples of the world ...." [page 63]
But, what about this "law of mankind", the laws (Torah), or commandments, that apply to everyone?
It has been said that the basic laws which apply to all people were made known to Adam with the exception of the law pertaining to eating meat with its life, its blood in it. This particular law was not made known to Adam because meat for food was not given to him and his descendants in the beginning. The provision of meat for food was later given to Noah and his descendants after the flood. After the flood it is Noah who stands for the whole human race, as Adam had done in the beginning. Consequently, these laws, which are actually seven categories of laws, are commonly designated as the seven commandments of the "children of Noah" (bnei Noah), or the Seven Laws of Noah, or the Noachide, Noahide, Noahite, Laws.
The Encyclopedia Britannica says this about the Noahide laws:
"This Noachide, or universal, code to which all mankind is subject must, in the nature of things, be more rational than the Mosaic code, more accessible to intellectual perception. Rationality is, in fact, its principal characteristic, even it principal component. ....."
"With respect to its nobility and holiness, the Law of Noah need not fear comparison with the Law of Moses itself; for it was not only the Law of Adam, of Noah, and of all the patriarchs before Abraham, but also of Abraham, of Isaac and Jacob, of all their children and descendants, and of Moses himself before the revelation at Sinai." ("Israel and Humanity", page 260)
"Noahide Laws, also called NOACHIAN LAWS, a Jewish Talmudic designation for seven biblical laws given to Adam and to Noah before the revelation to Moses on Mt. Sinai and consequently binding on all mankind.
Beginning with Genesis 2:16, the Babylonian Talmud listed the first six commandments as prohibitions against idolatry, blasphemy, murder, adultery, and robbery and the positive command to establish courts of justice (with all that this implies). After the Flood a seventh commandment, given to Noah, forbade the eating of flesh cut from a living animal (Gen. 9:4). Though the number of laws was later increased to 30 with the addition of prohibitions against castration, sorcery, and other practices, the "seven laws," with minor variations, retained their original status as authoritative commandments and as the source of other laws. As basic statutes safeguarding monotheism and guaranteeing proper ethical conduct in society, these laws provided a legal framework for alien residents in Jewish territory. Maimonides thus regarded anyone who observed these laws as one "assured of a portion in the world to come." Throughout the ages scholars have viewed the Noahide Laws as a link between Judaism and Christianity, as universal norms of ethical conduct, as a basic concept in international law, or as a guarantee of fundamental human rights for all."
Although references to these laws are found scattered throughout the Scriptures, the first known written compilation, or list, of these laws was in the second century of the Common Era. David Novak wrote in his book, "Jewish-Christian Dialogue, A Jewish Justification":
"The first explicit presentation of the Noahide laws is in the Tosefta, a work commonly believed to have been edited in the late second century of the Common Era. There we read: 'Seven commandments were the sons of Noah commanded: (1) concerning adjudication, (2) and concerning idolatry, (3) and concerning blasphemy, (4) and concerning sexual immorality, (5) and concerning bloodshed, (6) and concerning robbery, (7) and concerning a limb torn from a living animal.'" [page 27]
In Chart form, these Laws, or categories of Laws, are:
These are the fundamental principles, or laws, that represent the standard of a civilized society and are incumbent upon all people.
True happiness comes when one desires to help another. The family unit is the ultimate expression of that desire. In a wholesome family, man's desires find fulfillment, as his selfish inclination gives way to selfless love.
In the book "Israel and Humanity", Elijah Benamozegh writes concerning these Seven Laws that:
"It is clear that each of them represents not a single commandment but rather an entire group of related obligations. It was indeed natureal to organize the entire Law of Noah into general categories, by analogy with the Law of Moses, in which each precept -- and they are vastly more specialized -- includes a larger or smaller number of particular provisions." (page 261)
"We must repeat that this list of commandments offers nothing more than a method of classification. ..... It regards justice as the purely instrumental aspect of the Noachide code, and as an inevitable result of the very existence of this code." (page 263)
Also, in this book "Israel and Humanity", Elijah Benamozegh has some interesting comments concerning the relationship Noachide Law and Mosaic Law:
"It is God's design that the life of Jews be anchored in the Law of Moses, and the life of Gentiles, in the Laws of the Sons of Noah, based on the covenant that God established with surviving humanity after the flood in Gen. 9. But the two laws are doubly interlocking. The Noachide Law is part of the Mosaic Law, though it was, of course, given to all men earlier, while the Mosaic Law as a whole has as a primary object the preservation and propagation of Noachism among the Gentiles. That is to say that there is but a single, fundamental Law, or an ethico-essential religious system for all men, and it is instilled in the Noachic Mitzvot (Law [Commandments])."
"Although the Noachide Laws are an authentic expression of Torah, it has often been obscured or ignored, and is even now not very widely understood by Jews themselves." [page 18]
"The Mosaic Law includes in its entirety the Noachid: 'Every precept which was given to the sons of Noah and repeated at Sinai was meant for both [Noachides and Israelites]' (Sanhedrin 59a)." [page 19]
Now, let's look at the Noachide Laws (Laws for all People) and the Ten Commandments (Laws for the Children of Israel) in chart form, side by side.
[Laws for All People]
[Laws for Children of Israel]
The numbers in the brackets, [ ], in the Noachide Law table indicate the corresponding Law in the Ten Commandments table. Likewise, the numbers in the brackets, [ ], in the Ten Commandments table indicate the corresponding Law in the Noachide Law table. Notice there is one Law in each table that is shown in a Teal Color. These are Laws that have no corresponding Law in the other table. Keeping the Sabbath is not a required Law for anyone except the Children of Israel, although it may be voluntarily observed by anyone. Eating flesh with the life of it, the blood of it, is not listed in the Ten Commandments but is extensively dealt with in the other dietary laws given to the Children of Israel.
Also, in that book, "Israel and Humanity", is found some food for thought concerning these Laws and the relationship of Judaism and Christianity:
"If Christianity should consent to reform itself according to the Hebraic ideal, it will always be the true religion of the Gentile Peoples." [page 36]
"It was that very faith in the universal religion which the Jews believed was contained in its essence in their ancient doctrine, and whose sway they must one day establish, which gave birth to Christian preaching. It is this which gave the disciples of Jesus their conviction that they were the instruments of a universal mission, and the courage to pursue its fulfillment to the ends of the earth. On this point the agreement between Israel and Christianity was unalterable." [page 45]
"It is Judaism's ideal which Christianity has done its utmost to attain; Judaism's assurances of the Gentile's religious calling which it has sought to realize; Judaism's Messiah and messianism which it has declared it was bringing to the nations. Here is a fact on which everyone agrees." [page 46]
"Everyone who is deeply concerned with the future of mankind dreams of a religious life which fully respects both the needs of faith and the essential principles of modern reason. One understands also the need to link our religion to the past and to uphold everything in the traditional beliefs which is compatible with these same rational principles." [page 49]
"How important need it be that hatred, prejudice, weakness, and crime have cut an abyss of separation between Christians and Jews! The two religions themselves are and will remain sisters. The beliefs and aspirations of the soul do not know these blind repulsions, and if they are fundamentally united and interdependent, no power on earth will be able to separate them permanently. Indeed, to the contrary, they will know at the proper moment how to join their energies of spirit and intelligence, so that in serene contemplation of the truths of history and doctrine, they will recognize their original kinship, and through an appropriate alliance resume their common work for the accomplishment of their great destinies."
"Why should this hope not be realized? Why should Judaism and Christianity not unite their efforts with a view to the religious future of mankind? Why should Christianity find it difficult to collaborate with this religion from which it came, whose fundamental truth it recognizes, and which possesses, to a higher degree even than itself, all the qualities of which it is so proud: antiquity, historical continuity, authority, vitality? ..... And if from these deliberations with the Jewish mother-religion could emerge a Christianity which preserved its character of divine authority -- a Christianity, may we venture to suggest, all the more orthodox as it would have strengthened itself by drawing on an orthodoxy older than itself, but which, as we firmly believe, would satisfy the needs of men better than the present Christian churches can do, and which would be better prepared to provide against the perils of the future -- can one imagine a happier portent for mankind, or a more admirable solution to the great religious problems of our day?" [page 51]
"This 'true religion' is the Law of Noah: It is the one which the human race will embrace in the days of the Messiah, and which Israel's mission is to preserve and propagate meanwhile. But as the priestly people, dedicated to the purely religious life, Israel has special duties, peculiar obligations, which are like a kind of monastic law, and ecclesiastical constitution which is Israel's alone by reason of its high duties."
"What, then, should have been the position of the first Christians with regard to this double Law? They ought to have held fast to the Jewish conception: The Law of Moses for the Jews, the Noachide Law for the Gentiles." [page 54]
" ... the interests of the one and of the other [Judaism and Christianity] are interdependent; and that, finally, it is Christianity, reformed to be sure on its first model, which will always be the religion of the Gentile peoples."
"..... The reconciliation dreamt of by the first Christians as a condition of the Parousia, or final advent of Jesus -- the return of the Jews to the heart of the church, without which the various Christian denominations agree that the work of redemption must remain incomplete -- this return, we say, will occur, not as it has been expected, but in the only serious, logical, and durable way, and above all in the only way which would be advantageous to the human race. This will be the reconciliation of Hebraism and the religions which were born of it. According to the last of the Prophets, as the sages called Malachi: 'He shall reconcile parents with children and children with their parents' (Mal. 3:24)." [page 59]
So, to briefly answer the question, "Are the Noahide Laws Jewish or Christian?", we can answer "Both", since they are the laws of God given to all mankind.
"But", it may be asked, "what about the Christian belief in the Trinity? Is this not entirely out of the concepts in the Noahide law, of worshipping one God which Judaism certainly promotes?"
"Traditional Christians believe in the divinity of Jesus ..... however I find it important to note that I find Jesus asking Jews to believe in him as the Son of God on only two occasions -- once when healing a blind man (John 9:35), and again before raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:26). ....."
"At the same time, it must be recognized that even some Christians do not interpret Jesus' references to himself as the Son of God, as an allusion to his divinity." ("Jesus the Pharisee: A New Look at the Jewishness of Jesus", pages 34, 35)
Even so, for those Christians that do believe in the Trinity, David Stern explains:
"The Christian doctrines of the Incarnation and Trinity are described in Jewish though as shittuf, 'participation' or 'association.' Christianity is perceived as teaching that Yeshua [Jesus] 'participates' in the divinity which rightfully belongs to God alone (i.e., in Christian terminology, to God the Father alone) -- a human beign is wrongfully elevated to the position of God and worshipped as such. In the Middle ages opinions among Jewish writers were divided over whether this constituted Idolotry; today, with some exceptions, Jewish thinkers are satisified that shittuf does not prevent Christianity from being a non-idolatrous, monothestic religion." ("Messianic Jewish Manifesto", page 92)
Rabbi Harvey Falk, in his book "Jesus the Pharisee: A New Look at the Jewishness of Jesus", writes:
In Judaism and the Gentile Faiths, Joseph Schultz writes:
"On the scolarly level, Moses Maimonides (1135-1204) -- one of the leading rabbinic figures in Jewish history -- was once asked whether Jews should engage in talks with Christians concerning the Noahide Commandments -- the Commandments enjoined by the Torah upon the Gentiles -- which according to rabbinic tradition were given by God to Adam and Noah. According to rabbinic teaching, those Gentiles who observe these precepts are assured their share in the World to Come. It is thus important to note that rabbinic Judaism has always recognized two different religious codes: the 613 precepts given to the Jews following their liberation from Egypt, and the earlier Noahide system for all mankind. Maimonides encouraged such dialogue with Christians. He reasoned that even if nothing positive develops from such talks, no harm will emerge either, since 'They will not find in their Torah (the Christian Bible) anything that conflicts with our Torah.'" [Responsa of Maimonides, No. 364, pp. 331-332, Friemann edition, 1934.]
"..... The Talmud does record that Moses obligated the Jews to spread the knowledge of the Noahide commandments to all mankind. What if the pious Essenes had attempted such a mission to the Gentiles, and Jesus and Paul had been successful in bringing their efforts to fruition? (Such an approach does not diminish in any manner from the centrality of the Gospels and Christian tradition for Christians. To the contrary, it obligates Christians all the more to search for the correct interpretation of their tradition.)"
"The Laws of the Sons of Noah are referred to in the New Testament. The author of The Acts of the Apostles was confronted by communities of newly converted Christians who had not abandoned their pagan practices and licentious way of life. He wrote to them to "abstain from polutions of idols ..... from fornication ..... from things strangled and from blood" [Acts 15:20]. There are references to at least four of the Noahite Laws, the prohibitions against (1) idolatry, (2) sexual immorality, (3) the avoidance of cruelty to animals by strangling a living creature, (4) the prohibition against eating blood, which is one of the rabbinic variants of the Noahite Laws." [or this could be interpreted as the prohibition against shedding blood, i.e. murder which is one of the basic Noahite Laws]
In the book "The Fig Tree Blossoms" by Paul Liberman, he writes:
"..... In the Spirit of God there is no difference between Jew or Gentile, man or woman."
"The Spirit of God recognizes no preference or superiority. This does not mean we are all the same. Equal does not mean identical. Men and women are different, but who would want it otherwise? The same is true of Jews and non-Jews."
"However, simply because people are of like faith does not mean they are all the same. ..... In spirit and in heaven, a Jewish soul is not more valuable than a Gentile soul. In the spiritual realm, all believers are one."
"After all, wasn't the first Jew Abraham, and wasn't he born a Gentile? By definition, the first Jew had to be of Gentile parentage. Faith in God's Word was what made Abraham unusual. The Scriptures say of Abraham: 'And he believeth in the Lord; and He counted it to him as righteousness' (Genesis 15:6). Mankind is in the same position today as Abraham was in his time. The question is whether to believe God's Word, the Bible. It makes no difference whether His message is written or spoken. The important thing was that Abraham recognized the source of the message and was willing to obey it."
"More important than Abraham's progeny was his fathering a people who would follow in his footsteps of faith. He was, in effect, to start the faith race. ..... Thus, Abraham started a faith race as well as a physical one."
"..... Abraham's faith race was promised blessing to all who were born of God's Spirit. But Abraham also had certain promises made to his physical 'seed.'....."
"On a physical level, God made some promises to the 'seed' of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob which were not made to all peoples. Their descendents were to have a special historical purpose. Through the Jews, many nations have been blessed with a system of laws and social order, to say nothing of scientific and business skills." [pages 70-72]
Concerning the reconciliation of the Church and Israel, David H. Stern writes in his book, "Messianic Jewish Manifesto":
"The conventional wisdom considers Israel and the Church to be separate entities. A 'typical Jew' might put it this way: 'Yes, Yeshua [Jesus] and his first disciples were Jews, but before long the movement he founded moved away from Judaism. Many Gentiles came in, added their own pagan ideas, and brought Christianity to where it is today -- OK for Gentiles but far removed from Judaism. Moreover, what was done to the Jewish people in Yeshua's name removes and vestige of personal interest I might have in finding out more about Christianity. Let Christians worship God as they choose, I'll stay Jewish' -- and this whether the person is Orthodox. Conservative, Reform, atheist, or just plain don't care."
"Likewise, a 'typical Christian' might say" 'Yes, Yeshua was Jewish, but the Jews rejected him. They have their religion, and I have mine. Let them worship God as the choose, I'll stay Christian,' -- and this whether the person is Protestant, Catholic, or Eastern Orthodox, a genuine believer or a Christian in name only."
"All humanity is divided into Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews). ..... Likewise, all humanity is divided into Messianics and non-Messianics."
"The confusion in thinking about Jews and Christians results from failing to realize that Jew/Gentile and Messianic/non-Messianic are two distinct and logical unrelated ways of describing the human race, two separate dimensions. "
Logic of the Relationship|
Between the Jewish People and the Church
(Rest of World)
..... Every human being fits in one and only one of these categories.
"The confusion is resolved when it is realized that Jews include boxes 1 and 2 (Messianic Jews and non-Messianic Jews), while the Church includes boxes 1 and 3 (Messianic Jews and Messianic Gentiles). Thus -- and this is the very simple and obvious point -- it is possible, logically, to be both Jewish and Messianic." [pages 42-45]
"The people of God are a chosen people, a kindom of priests, a holy nation, witnesses for God, a people with a mission, a people with a Book, a blessing to the nations. The Jews are God's people, and the Church is God's people." [page 99]
In The Fig Tree Blossoms, Paul Liberman writes:
"The Great role of the Jewish people was to bring the Messiah and the Word of God to the peoples of the world; it still is. Hebrews were chosen to be a holy people. God called them the apple of His eye."
"The Lord is using Messianic Judaism for another purpose. He is using it to break down what the Bible refers to as a middle wall of partition between the Jew and Gentile which has existed for so many centuries."
"Messianic Judaism is living proof there is no essential difference between Christianity and the true Judaism of the Bible. ..... In an honest search of the Old Testament Scriptures, a Jew must eventually concede it was faith in God's Word which distinguished his ancestral patriarchs."
"When we look at history, it is almost as if the organized church and synagogues have been eager to persuade the world that believers of the New Covenant are something apart from their Jewish foundations. As a matter of fact, one cannot fully understand the Christian faith apart from its foundations. This alone should destroy the mistaken concept that true Judaism and true Christianity are opposed to one another. Christian faith depends upon the Jewish Bible. even the New Covenant was written by Jews. .... The first Christian community was all-Jewish, and the first great teacher of the Gentiles, Paul, was Jewish."
"..... The New Covenant makes it explicit that all who believe in the Messiah are 'children of Abraham' by faith. Paul called them 'true Israel.' According to Paul, through whom the Gentile world was to receive the good news that Yeshua is the Messiah, a Gentile becomes a proslyte to biblical Judaism when he accepts the faith of Abraham. ..... The New Covenant really is a continuation of the Old Testament." [pages 5-8]
"The Old Covenant prophesies the coming of the Messiah; the New Covenant shows its fulfillment." [page 17]
"The New Covenant explains that Gentiles need to become part of the natural olive tree (faith race)." [page 72]
Looking further at what David Stern writes in "Messianic Jewish Manifesto" concerning the reconciliation we read:
"The goal of the Jewish people is to praise, thank, confess, obey, and make know the living God -- In Isaiah's words, to be a light to the nations (Isaiah 49:6). But the Jewish people will never be that light to the nations without shining forth him who is the light of the world (John 8:12)."
"The goal of God's Messianic Community (which Gentile Christians call the Church) is to praise, thank, confess, obey, and make know the living God -- in Yeshua's words, to make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:18-20), so that through him those far from the commonwealth of Israel might be brought near (Eph. 2:11-22). But the church will never bring others near to Israel if she does not experience, express and enjoy her intimate involvement with the Jewish people ..."
He also writes this concerning the observance of the law (Torah) by both Jews and Gentiles:
"Should all Jews and Gentiles observe the Torah? Revealing the end from the beginning, I say that the answer will be, 'Yes!' ...."
"It is clear that people need guidance in the ethical behaviour. But Christian ethics tend to float above specific rules to a Platonic world of general principles. .... "
"What God initially requires of Gentiles who accept Yeshua as their Messiah is spoken of in traditional Judaism as the Noachide Laws ...."
"Many commentators have noted the resemblance between the Noachide laws and the requirements placed on the Gentile Christians in Acts 15:20. The Jerusalem Council, a kind of Messianic Sanhedrin, was convened to determine under what conditions Gentile believers were to be accepted into the Messianic Community (that is, into the Church). It was decided that they need not convert to Judaism but should initially observe four mitzvot - 'to abstain from things polluted by idols, from fornication, from what is strangled and from blood.'"
"This teaches us that the elements of Torah which apply to Gentiles under the New Covenant are not the same as those which apply to Jews. (The Jerusalem Council made no change whatever in the Torah as it applies to Jews, so that a number of years later there could still be in Jerusalem 'tens of thousands' of Messianic Jews who were 'zealots for the Torah' (Acts 21:20, Jewish New Testament). It should not surprise us if New Covenant Torah specifies different commandments for Jews and Gentiles. ...."
"We conclude that under the New Covenant the Torah remains in force and is as much for Gentiles as for Jews, although the specific requirements for Gentiles differ from those for Jews...."
The basic purpose behind all these moral and spiritual laws, propagated by both Judaism and true Biblical Christianity, were summarized by Jesus in Luke 10:27:
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself."
Therefore my judgment is that we don't trouble those from among the Gentiles who turn to God ..... For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay no greater burden on you than these necessary things: that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality, from which if you keep yourselves, it will be well with you. Farewell.
-- (Acts 15:19, 28-29)
IF YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN and would like to join a discussion group with other Christians, Howard M. Rollin has established a new list specifically designed for you. At this time, the most important aspect of this discussion group will be your understanding and hopefully your support and promotion of the "NOACHIDE" (the Sons of Noah, B'nai Noach) movement. Throughout history, Orthodox Judaism has controlled this movement, as if it were a part of Judaism. However, on March 26, 1991, U.S. President George Bush signed into law a congressional resolution on the Seven Laws of the Noachide Movement (House Joint Resolution 104, Public Law 102-14). Since Rabbinic Judaism has determined that Christianity is idolatry because of the Christian deification of Jesus, Christians are not allowed to become Noachides. Is this appropriate and/or fair? Christians certainly don't view themselves as idolators. Since there are a growing number of Christian Zionists who do not proselytize Jews because they respect all of the valid covenants of the Hebrew Scriptures, should there be a separate Christian Noachide sect for them? That will be the main thrust of information communicated through this "EGROUPS" discussion group. If you would like to join, please click on the following link:
THIS ARTICLE IS
New material is being added as it can be prepared.
Some important findings of this book include the following: The Pharisees of Bet Shammai controlled Jewish life and thought during the first century; the School of Shammai denied salvation to the Gentiles; the Shammaite Pharisees and priests considered Jesus a danger to the Jewish people; the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed because of Bet Shammai's hatred of the Gentile world; the prophet Elijah condemned Jesus' crucifixion.
These new insights will help achieve a new understanding of the seemingly anti-Jewish passages contained in the Christian scriptures, and make possible improved relations between Christians and Jews. It is acclaimed by scholars of both faiths.