Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Spiritual Formation and Christ's Resurrection pt2

At its core, the New Testament (NT) is 27 documents about Jesus of Nazareth, documents that claim He died and rose again.  Therefore, the reality of that event is pivotal to the authority of those documents; if it did not happen, then they are just made up stories, but if it did happen, then their message is nothing short of God breaking into our time, space, matter universe.

The Stage is set II:

The Passion narratives are found towards the end of each of the canonical gospels; in Matthew (Matt.) chapters 26 & 27, Mark chapters 14 & 15, Luke chapters 22 & 23 and finally John chapters 18 & 19.  Each of these gospel sections recounts how during the Jewish feast of Passover, Jesus was betrayed by one of His disciples, arrested, put on trial and eventually executed by crucifixion outside of Jerusalem on Golgotha.  The first three gospels, Matt., Mark, and Luke are known as the synoptic gospels because they contain many of the same narratives and have similar structures.  Each of these gospels, begin the Passion narrative by telling us that it was the first day of unleavened bread (Matt. 26:17, Mark 14:12 and Luke 22:1), which is the 15th day of the first month in the Jewish calendar, Nisan.

Why would this be important?

There are popular theories about shared universes, such as in Disney or Pixar movies.  For example, in the Disney film, Tarzan, his parents died at sea (1999).  There is the theory that his parents were also the parents of Anna and Elsa because their parents died at sea (2013).  Along those lines, people have claimed that Jesus’ resurrection is borrowed from ancient myths that explain the agricultural cycle and involve characters dying or going to the land of the dead and then returning.  However, the gospels ground the resurrection within the story of ancient Israel and second temple Judaism.  In other words, the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus are told with the Jewish Passover as its setting; therefore, that is the proper framework for understanding it.

Why is the framework of understanding important?

Above I wrote that there is a theory that in the shared universe of the Disney movies, the events of Tarzan and Frozen are related, but that refers only to their Disney presentations.  Edgar Rice Burroughs’ 1920 novel Tarzan of the Apes is unrelated to Hans Christian Andersen’s 1844 fairy tale the Snow Queen.  Therefore, it makes no sense to interpret Tarzan of the Apes through the story of the Snow Queen.
In a similar manner, Jesus’ death burial and resurrection need to be interpreted with the Jewish celebration of Passover as its setting.  A Greek myth such as Hades and Persephone, which is an explanation of the seasonal change from winter to spring [i.e., Hades takes Persephone to the underworld and during that time her mother Demeter the goddess of agriculture won’t let things grow, and so the earth has winter.  When Persephone is returned, Demeter again allows things to grow, and the earth has spring.] is the wrong background to understand a second-temple Jewish messianic figure, such as Jesus of Nazareth.
Imagine a stage performance like Peter Pan.  In the first act, Peter is with the Darling children in the nursery (1904).  Pause the actors and change the background to the Ape City from the 1968 movie Planet of the Apes (1968).  How much since would the Peter Pan story make if you attempted this?  That is precisely what happens when these gospel narratives are read with Greek, Roman or other mythology backgrounds.  The celebration of the Passover in Roman occupied Judea, more specifically Jerusalem and its vicinity is the backdrop for the Passion narratives.

What are the real-world locations mentioned in the text?

Two of the synoptic gospels identify the location of Jesus’ betrayal and arrest as the garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26:36 and Mark, 14:32), Luke identifies it as having been on the Mount of Olives, and lastly, John identifies the location as being across the Kidron valley.  The Mount of Olives is a mountain that is east of Jerusalem, it’s separated from the Temple Mount by the Kidron Valley.  The precise location of Gethsemane remains debated, although some claim a specific place; however, the word means olive press and fits the known agriculture of Israel and the area around Jerusalem from the 1st-century AD.  Therefore, the gospels site a real-world location.  A place that existed in 1st-century Judea and an area that we can identify now.  Although we cannot with all certainty identify each specific location in and around Jerusalem mentioned in the Passion narratives, the point remains that it happened in a real-world location.  Places that did exist in the 1st century and involved religious and political figures that also existed in history.

Join us again next week as we continue to look at the historical nature of Jesus’ resurrection.

Works Cited

1999. Tarzan. Directed by Kevin Lima and Chris Buck. Performed by Tony Goldwyn .
James, Barrie. 1904. Peter Pan. London: n/a.
2013. Frozen. Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee. Performed by Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Spiritual Formation and Christ's Resurrection pt1

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Many people have asked the question, “What makes Christianity different from other world religions?”  Meaning, what makes that belief system different from other belief systems?  People in this part of the world believe this and people in that part of the world believe that and it has been that way for thousands of years.  So what makes Christianity any truer than other religions?  The answer is the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Other religions have their supernatural events, their legends, and their stories, so why would the resurrection of Jesus be any different?  Moreover, since the release of movies like Zeitgeist in 2007, it’s been proven that Jesus’ resurrection is a myth created by borrowing from other ancient religions, right?  Yet, I still answer the question, “What makes Christianity different from other world religions” with Jesus’ resurrection.  Why?

We are going to start a series concerning the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and this series is going to take us through the season of lent and end the day after Easter Sunday 2019.  The reason for this is because Spiritual Formation is the process of us being shaped into the image of Christ (Gal. 4:19).  This process relies on us having a relationship with the resurrected Christ, and in fact, the whole Christian religion is predicated on His resurrection.

Easter Sunday has a special meaning for me because it was on Easter Sunday 2001 at a small church in Great Falls, Montana that I first understood the Gospel message.  And it was from there that I began to look at the question, ‘did Jesus of Nazareth rise from the dead?’  For several years I had considered myself an atheist or an agnostic, but I clearly remember going to church when I was young and hearing the preacher say, “If Jesus is found still in the grave, then that is the end of Christianity.”  I think he was right, because if He didn’t rise from the dead, then all the New Testament (NT) texts that talk about his resurrection are at best myths and at worst lies.  If they are lies, then they are not worth believing or telling others about, and if they’re myths, then they are on par with other stories from world religions.  Therefore, throughout this series, we’ll explore this very topic.  Did the gospel writers invent hopeful myths?  Did they develop lies to gain power and wealth?  Did they borrow the legend from older stories?  What is the context of Jesus’ resurrection and does it fit into history?  Who was Jesus of Nazareth and are there other sources of His life outside of the New Testament?  Join me.

The Stage is set:
Some 330 years before the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, Alexander the Great sought to conquer the world.  Part of that included capturing the Levant and Jerusalem, but before Alexander could rule over his kingdom, he died.  Consequently, his generals fought for control of the occupied lands and this resulted in Judea being ruled over by both the Seleucids and the Ptolemaic.  When the Seleucid king Antiochus IV (c. 215-164 BC) outlawed Judaism and desecrated the Temple in Jerusalem in about 167 BC, an old priest named Mattathias and his sons began what is known as the Maccabean Revolt (c. 167-160 BC).  Their successes were short-lived when in 63 BC, Roman General Pompey conquered Jerusalem and captured the Temple Mount.  Rome now controlled Judea and maintained its control through military force.

That is the world that Jesus of Nazareth was born into.  When His story begins, the Gospel writers also mention rulers like Herod, who is identified as the King of Judea (Luke 1:5).  This would be Herod the Great (c. 47-4 BC), who under Caesar Octavius was appointed to this position.  This is attested to in both Antiquities of the Jews and The Jewish Wars, by the Jewish and Roman historian Flavius Josephus.  Before Jesus was born, the NT tells us that Augustus (c. 63 BC – 14 AD) was Caesar.  He was the first to rule during Imperial Rome, from 27 BC until his death.  None of this information is religious history, it’s part of Roman and world history, all of which can be verified from secular sources.

Before Jesus’ ministry, the NT again identifies several political and religious rulers:
 “Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas…”  (Holy Bible: New American Standard Bible, Luke 3:1-2). 
Something notable about this reference is the fact that the Passion narratives of all four Biblical Gospels indicate that Pontius Pilate, Herod the tetrarch, and the high priests Annas and Caiaphas all played significant roles in Jesus’ death.  Tiberius Caesar (c. 42 BC-AD 37) began his rule as co-regent in AD 13 and succeeded his step-father the following year.  Pontius Pilate (c. 12 BC-AD 38) was the fifth prefect of Judea, appointed by Tiberius in AD 26/7, where he served as governor until 36/7.  Herod, the tetrarch, is also known as Herod Antipas (c. 4 BC-AD 39), and his dynastic title Herod, as he is referred to by in the NT, is attested to in the works of Josephus.  The Jewish high priest Annas was appointed by the Roman governor Quirinius in AD 7 but was removed from office by the Judea procurator Gratus in 15.  The Jews didn’t like pagan Romans interfering with their religion, primarily since the high priest was to be in office for the rest of his life; therefore, it is likely that among the Jews, Annas was still seen as the high priest.  Lastly Caiaphas, who held the office from AD 18 – 36.  Therefore, these political and religious historical figures were in place before and during the lifetime of Jesus of Nazareth.  His life, ministry, execution, and resurrection are set within the rules or influences of these figures.  This is important because it grounds Jesus in history.  The Gospels and the rest of the NT do not present Jesus as a figure from ‘once upon a time’ or ‘a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.’  This will be shown to be important as we continue this look into the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Spiritual Formation and The Law (pt. 6 Jesus abolish the Law or fulfills )

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“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.  For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.  Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Holy Bible: New American Standard Bible, Matthew 5:17-19)

            Picking up where we left off, looking at a passage in Matthew where Jesus is talking about the Law.  Last week, we covered verses 17 and 18.  As a quick review, Jesus understood Himself to be the fulfillment of Judaism and has already in this passage, stated that He did not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill them.  Therefore, we understand the whole Old Testament (OT) as reaching its divine purpose in Jesus. 
 
He goes on to say, “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Ibid).  Like all passages, the context of the passage is the proper key to its understanding.  Jesus is about to address several OT commandments.  In verse 21, “You shall not commit murder” (Exodus 20:13).  Verse 27, “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14) and so on.  At no point does Jesus nullify or green light these sins.  In fact, His interpretation of these OT passages often carries a heavier calling; i.e., not only should you love your neighbor, but you should love your enemies (5:43-44).  Jesus never called down Elijah-like-fire (2 Kings 1) on Annas, Caiaphas, Pilate, Herod or the Romans crucifying Him, but instead prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Holy Bible: New American Standard Bible, Luke 23:42a).  Hence the understanding, we do not annul the OT commands, but understand the OT as fulfilled in Jesus and thus the proper way to read the OT.

And reading the OT through its fulfillment in Jesus is what Paul meant when he wrote, “Do we then nullify the Law through faith?  May it never be!  On the contrary, we establish the Law” (Ibid. Romans 3:31).  Which is where we’ll pick it up, next week.

Written by Pastor Ozzy

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Works Cited

1995. Holy Bible: New American Standard Bible. LaHabra: The Lockman Foundation.


Monday, February 25, 2019

Spiritual Formation and The Law (pt. 5 Jesus did not come to abolish the Law)


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“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.  For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.  Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Holy Bible: New American Standard Bible, Matthew 5:17-19)

            Often times people want Jesus to be on their side of a debate.  This can be seen when a person takes a quote from the Bible and supposes that it shows their view is identical to Jesus’view.  In this way, Jesus becomes a republican, a democrat, a feminist, a communist, an anarchist, a liberationist, a humanitarian, and just about anything else you want Jesus to be.  However, He was a first-century Jew and lived under Imperial Roman occupation during the Second-Temple period.  Therefore, you can force anachronistic ideologies on Him; but perhaps it would be better to meet Him in His first-century world.  Moreover, listen to Him in His Second-Temple context, because after all, that was the audience He was speaking to.

            [In next week’s blog, we’ll explore more of the context of Matthew 5 and the Sermon on the Mount]

            What then did His audience hear?  “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill” (Ibid. Matthew 5:17).  Jesus sets the Law alongside the Prophets, which in His Second-Temple setting was a common way of saying, the whole of Jewish Scriptures (Norman L. Geisler and William E Nix, Kindle Location 1483).  Jesus also sets fulfillment as the contrast to abolishment.  Therefore, Jesus understood Himself to be the fulfillment of Judaism. 

            Jesus goes on to say, “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished” (Ibid. Matthew 5:18).  His listeners heard, that not one yodh or dot would disappear from the Hebrew Bible until its fulfillment.  The yodh is a letter in the Hebrew alphabet, in fact it’s the smallest and looks like an apostrophe [ ’ ] .  The dot is what is called a serif.  Look at these English letters, b, p, d, and q.  Notice that they are essentially the same shape, but we know which letter it is because of which way it’s facing and weather the line goes up or down from the o shape.  In Hebrew, the serif does something similar, the letter bet ℶ and kaf כ are essentially the same shape, but the serif distinguishes.  The same is true for the letters vav ו and resh ן.   So, not the smallest ’ or slight variation of a letter can disappear from the Hebrew Scriptures until their fulfillment. (Boice, 43)

            A good question would be, when is their fulfillment?  Perhaps a good follow up question would be, what did Jesus understand about their fulfillment?  Remember what He said on the road to Emmaus?  “[Jesus] said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!  Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?”  Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures” (Ibid. Luke 24:25-26).  How did Jesus start His public ministry? 
[Jesus] came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”  And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Ibid. Luke 4:16-21).
Jesus’ role was to fulfill the Laws and the Prophets, the whole of Judaism.  Do other New Testament authors understand Him in the same way?  A definitive yes.  Consider what Paul writes, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Holy Bible: New American Standard Bible, Romans 10:4).


With that, this blog is getting to very close to ‘Too Long Didn’t Read’.  We’ll pick it up there next week.

Written by Pastor Ozzy

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Works Cited

Boice, James Montgomery. 1986. Foundations of the Christian Faith: A Comprehensive & Readable Theology. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press.
1995. Holy Bible: New American Standard Bible. LaHabra: The Lockman Foundation.
Norman L. Geisler and William E Nix. 2013. From God to Us How We God Our Bibles. Matthews: Bastion Books.


Monday, February 18, 2019

Spiritual Formation and The Law (pt. 4 What did the Early Church preach?)


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You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God (Holy Bible: New American Standard Bible, Romans 2:22-23)?

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all (Ibid. James 2:10).
For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near (Ibid. Hebrews 10:1).

            On Pentecost following Christ’s resurrection, the Jesus movement morphed from a Galilean Messianic movement into an assembly that preached Christ risen from the dead and the reconciliation between God and mankind.  Between seventeen and twenty years later, that assembly was facing a dilemma.  What does the Old Testament Law have to do with people under the New Covenant instituted by their risen Messiah? 

For years following that Pentecost, followers of Jesus had preached Him as the Messiah, but mostly to other Second Temple Jews.  They were an audience that had lived by Kosher laws their whole lives.  For them, it wasn’t something you did on a certain day of the week, it was their lives.  Then something changed. They preached the good news of Jesus to the Samaritans (Acts 8:4-25), a group that most Second Temple Jews hated and saw as half-Jews.  However, God gave this group the Holy Spirit (8:17), and the Church accepted them.  This was a stretch, but the cultic practices of the Samaritans were similar to those of the Jews, including circumcision (Pummer and Tal, 58).

Then another change, God used Peter to spread the message to uncircumcised Gentiles (Acts 10).  As Peter was speaking the message to them, the Holy Spirit fell upon them (10:44), before they were baptized and without becoming Jewish proselytes.  The message of reconciliation to God through Jesus continued to spread, first to Antioch and then further into the Gentile world.  Emphasis on the fact that it was the good news of Christ and not the Law of Moses that was reconciling people to God.

This is what caused the church to face the dilemma.  What does the Old Testament Law have to do with people under the New Covenant?  At the church council, Peter reminded them about God using him to spread the message to the Gentiles (15:7-11).  Paul and Barnabas told about conversions among the Gentiles to Jesus, but not to the Law (15:12).  Finally, James cited the Old Testament itself has indicating that Gentiles would seek God (15:16-18).  Then the council came to the conclusion, Gentiles did not need to be circumcised, but only to abstain from foods sacrificed to idols, from fornication and from eating blood (15:19-20).  This seems to implicitly suggest that people reconciled to God through Jesus are not obligated to follow the Old Testament Law.

Is this decision in line with the teachings of Jesus?  In the Gospel of Matthew, didn't Jesus say that He had not come to abolish the Law?  Next week, we’ll examine Jesus’ words on this topic.


Written by Pastor Ozzy

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Works Cited

1995. Holy Bible: New American Standard Bible. LaHabra: The Lockman Foundation.
Pummer, Reinhard, and Abraham Tal. 1992. Samaritan Marriage Contracts and Deeds of Divorce, Volume 1. Wiesbanden: Otto Harrassowitz.


Monday, February 11, 2019

Spiritual Formation and The Law (pt. 3 The Old Testament's view of The Law)


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For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision (Holy Bible: New American Standard Bible, Romans 2:25).

So you shall observe to do just as the Lord your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right or to the left (Ibid. Deuteronomy 5:32).

            It should come as no surprise just how complicated the relationship between the New Covenant and the Old Covenant is.  In fact, as was mentioned in the last blog, the early church had to have a Council and debate Old Testament commands in the light of New Covenant theology (Acts 15).  Since the majority of the Jerusalem Council leadership was most likely made up of 1st century Jews, it is likely that we get a historically accurate 1st century Jewish understanding of the Law.  Although circumcision can be understood as the crux of the issue, notice that the sect of Christian Pharisees argue that gentile converts need not only be circumcised, but also instructed to follow the Law of Moses (15:5).  Therefore, it seems these 1st century Jews did not think of the Law of Moses as something which one could segment and pick and choose from.

            This mindset is also seen in the Old Testament and specifically in the Law itself.[1]  A few examples will suffice, “… do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left…” (Ibid Deuteronomy 28:14). The Law promised penalties against the Israelites and it must be noted what would bring about those penalties, “But if you do not obey Me and do not carry out all these commandments” (Ibid. Leviticus 26:14).  Hence, the Law does not allow for picking and choosing.

            There are examples in the Old Testament where people attempted to disregard some laws and follow others.  King Jeroboam, amongst other changes, installed priests who were not from the tribe of Levi (1 Kings 12:31).  The Law indicated that only Levites could be priests (Deuteronomy 18:1-8, Exodus 29:9).  Ezra records that after the deportation, he was upset at some of the exiles, because they had been taking wives from non-Israelite nations (10:10-43), which was against the Law (Exodus 34:15-16, Deuteronomy 7:3).  Then, it seems that the Old Testament did not have a segmented view of the Law, but that violating one part was breaking the whole.  It also seems that that perspective was handed down in second Temple Judaism, which is why the Pharisaic party in Acts 15 believed this.


So far, it does not seem that Paul or the Old Testament support a segmenting view of the Law, next week we’ll return to the New Testament as we continue to ask, “What is a Christian’s relationship to the Old Testament Law?” (Click Part 4)



Written by Pastor Ozzy

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Works Cited

1995. Holy Bible: New American Standard Bible. LaHabra: The Lockman Foundation.




[1] This work assumes Mosaic authorship and thus rejects the documentary hypothesis.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Spiritual Formation and The Law (pt. 2 Law Segmented)


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So you shall keep My commandments, and do them; I am the Lord. (Holy Bible: New American Standard Bible, Leviticus 22:31)

            What you have been taught by your church, denomination, upbringing, parents, or whatever your background, it will inform how you answer the question, “What is a Christian’s relationship to the Old Testament [OT] Law?”  Some denominations or groups have taught a segmenting of the OT Law into categories like judicial, ceremonial and moral laws.  They would perhaps argue that OT sacrifices and offerings (Lev. 1-7:38) are examples of ceremonial laws, but sexual relationship laws (Lev. 18) are moral.  They may reason that the same way the Articles of Confederation were superseded by the U.S. Constitution in 1789, ceremonial laws under the Mosaic Covenant (Ex. 19-24) were superseded by the ceremonial rite of the New Covenant (Lk. 22:20, Heb. 8).  They may then maintain that the moral laws of the Mosaic Covenant are still obligatory under the New Covenant.  This may be an example of ingrained theology, and if you were raised in a denomination or group that taught this, perhaps you’ve never questioned it.  Also, questioning such a position may quickly raise party loyalties, but since it will have a direct bearing on answering our question, “What is a Christian’s relationship to OT Laws?”, we must bring it up.

            A good starting point may be with the idea of segmenting the OT Laws into judicial, ceremonial and moral groups.  This is a feature found in the 16th century reformation, but does it reflect the mind set of New Testament authors?  In the first century, we know of a faction within the NT Church that thought that when Gentiles come to faith in Christ, they need to be circumcised according to the Mosaic Covenant (Acts 15:1).[1]  Regardless of if Paul wrote the book of Galatians before or after this Acts 15 council, he wrote that, “Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you.  And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law” (Holy Bible: New American Standard Bible, 5:2-3).  Please understand that in the mind of the Judaizer, the proselyte undergoing circumcision was the initiation act to join the Covenant community, meaning an adaption of the Jewish lifestyle as a whole (Dunn, 265).

            In this passage, Paul’s use of language is an attempt to emphasis that he is speaking with full force, “I Paul say to you” (Witherington, 366).  And Paul’s argument is clear, if a person submits to this one ceremonial law, then they are obligated to observing the whole Law (Ibid.).

With such language, does it seem that Paul thought of the Law as being something that could be segmented?  Next week, we’ll examine the Old Testament. (Click Part 3)



Written by Pastor Ozzy

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Works Cited

Dunn, James D. G. 1993. The Epistle to the Galatians. Black’s New Testament Commentary. London: Continuum.
1995. Holy Bible: New American Standard Bible. LaHabra: The Lockman Foundation.
Witherington, Ben III. 1998. Grace in Galatia: A Commentary on St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.




[1] Circumcision was the sign of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 17:11); however, in the Lucian text Moses as opposed to Abraham, is specifically referenced.