The following program is recorded content created by the Truth Network. So, should Messianic Jews live like traditional Jews in order to win traditional Jews?
And how should Jewish believers in Jesus relate to Jewish tradition? It's time for The Line of Fire with your host, biblical scholar and cultural commentator, Dr. Michael Brown. Your voice for moral sanity and spiritual clarity. Call 866-34-TRUTH to get on the line of fire. And now, here's your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Thanks friends for joining us on what will be a very unique broadcast on Thoroughly Jewish Thursday. Number to call 866-34-TRUTH, 866-34-87-884.
A little background and then I'm going to bring on my guest David Costello. A few years back, there was a report, different parts of the Jewish world saw the news flashes. For example, Jerusalem Post reporting that there was a Christian couple posing as Orthodox Jews trying to win Orthodox Jews to Jesus in Chicago. So, it was a headline of the Jerusalem Post. And then I saw Jewish Telegraph Agency, so widespread Jewish news, reporting the same thing.
This was scandalous, this was shocking. A couple that unashamedly said we believe Jesus is the Messiah, living as traditional Jews, and saying we live as traditional Jews because that's what Jesus wants us to do. And then it was even reported in the New York Post, headlines as well, New York Post saying the very same thing.
So, this was big news. I was even contacted by different people in the Jewish world asking me about this, because I'm in constant contact with ultra-Orthodox rabbis, most recent contact earlier today, it's day and night, constant interaction for decades, interacting with that community and loving that community very, very deeply in the midst of our deep differences over Yeshua. So, this report was very scandalous and it furthered, it gave further fuel to the fire that Jewish believers in Jesus are deceptive and will go to any means to try to trick religious Jews, etc. Well, in any case, that's what I'd read about if there was another case somewhere else similar. Well, a few months back we were contacted by the gentleman involved in this, David Costello, his wife Rivka, living in Chicago.
They said they have a messianic synagogue, Ahavas Chinnom, which is Hebrew for baseless love, so love without any cause or reason, what Yeshua shows us, as opposed to the baseless hatred that put him to death. And they said they'd like to come on my radio show and present what they do and why, and on their own Facebook page they advertised it as wanting to come on and debate me and win people over to their position. So, we are prepared to differ, just so you know coming in, we are prepared to differ. It's not that I'm setting my guest up or that he's going to surprise me, we are prepared to differ, but first we'll get some basic background. So, I just want to give you the large picture and without further ado, let me bring on David and Rivka Costello. Thanks so much for joining us today. You're welcome, thank you for having me on.
You are very welcome. So, David, is it just you or you and Rivka? It's just me, Rivka has to take care of our now four kids, we just had a baby about a month ago, so there's a lot of nursing involved and stuff like that.
Congratulations. All right, so first let's just lay out a couple of things for information's sake. I've read different reports about whether you and Rivka are Jewish according to Jewish tradition, which would mean that your mother is Jewish. We'll put aside the question of are you a convert to another religion and that debate, but just to be clear on this so we can set the record straight. Are you Jewish according to Jewish tradition?
So, the basic answer of that is sort of, it's up in the air, there's a question about it. I asked Chabad to look into it, they circumcised me, called me up for an aliyah, and I was expecting to go into the mix to get what's considered a conversion just to be safe. There are family members who say that we are Jewish, and on my side, and so Rivka has gone through a messianic conversion with a rabbi who has Orthodox meekah, but she and the kids have gone through an Orthodox conversion, so she was not Jewish originally, but after the conversion through the messianic thing, we consider her Jewish in that sense, but the Orthodox world may not think so. Okay, yeah, the Orthodox world certainly wouldn't think so, but just wanted to be clear on that.
Okay, so just that first. Secondly, what do you believe about Yeshua? In terms of quote, salvation, forgiveness, coming into right relationship with God, we can talk about the tradition, that's what we'll focus on the rest of the broadcast, all right? But first, just the most basic things for a listening audience with plenty of Christians, plenty of messianic Jews, plenty of Jews who don't believe what we believe, so give your basic views there. So my basic view is that Yeshua is Messiah, and that he has come to get us to get into a better relationship with God, a full relationship full relationship with God, that we would walk with him in obedience to what God has put out, and what he has decreed for our lives, and so we can be in right relationship with him, and we can have true fellowship, true fellowship and complete fellowship with him.
We believe also that it's holocically required to believe in Messiah, as the Rambam says in his Mishneh Torah, that you have to believe in him, in Messiah, and that you have to walk according to all the holacah, if you're Jewish, if you're not Jewish, you don't need to keep any holacah, just the seven Noahide laws. All right, do you believe that he's eternal deity? No. No, okay, got it, all clear on that. So you don't believe in God's triunity in any way?
Right. Okay, so how did Jesus come to be? So Jesus, his soul was formed before the foundation of the world, taught that in medrash, the Messiah's soul and his name was pre-thought before the creation of the world. It's one of the few things that were created before the foundational world, and of course, Messiah was first. And so he was born from Mary and Joseph, and he lived his life and then died and resurrected. Okay, so just so we're clear on this then, your belief would be in terms of his pre-existence closer to a Jehovah's Witness than a traditional Christian. In other words, because you don't believe his eternal deity, you believe he was created at some point but was pre-existent.
I don't mean in exact parallel. Okay, right, so that in my view would be heretical. Right, right.
Not a physical body. Right, but he's a created being, and you don't worship him in any way as God. Right. Okay, right, so yeah, right there, from my perspective, that's heretical, just so we can be clear. And again, my reason for laying this out, David, is not to attack, but to have fair understanding of that of which we speak. Clear enough? Okay, all right.
Absolutely. Okay, is it widely known when other Christians talk about your work or missionary work or reaching unreached that you hold these views? Is that widely known in your circles? Yeah, I mean, I've done a couple of other interviews recently. There are people who know it, my parents know it, a lot of people that we talk about know it. You know, if you're going into a pastor to talk at a church or something like that, these are questions that are asked, and so we answer them.
Right. Okay, so I want to absolutely say that in a little while I want to give you a few minutes to just lay out your argument and make your case, and then I'll respond, okay? So right now I'm asking questions to gather information because I don't know you at all beyond the couple of emails and the little bit that's available online. So if you're answering away, I didn't know that you believed that until this moment, so I wasn't trying to set you up, just trying to probe. Okay, in your view, if a Jewish person who's spent time with you, heard the message, seen your arguments, openly and willingly rejects Yeshua. So it's not someone that's being persecuted by the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages and being told, be baptized or die, and they have no clue who Jesus is, but they spent time with you, your community, they've heard the message, they've seen your lives, and they reject him, or are they in any sense lost? Does it affect their eternal destiny? So I'm not so much concerned about eternal destiny, I care mostly about your relationship with God, and I believe your relationship with God is correct, then your eternal destiny will also be correct.
And so my main concern is whether or not they are connected to God in the correct way. And so again, the Rambam also brings this up in his Mishneh Torah as well, so that if you reject him, Messiah, then you are essentially one who's thrown away the Torah in the midst of, and so therefore you are not being coerced. So that would affect your standing from a Jewish perspective as to whether or not you have a place in the world to come. Right, but you know, every time you quote Rambam, you just did him a massive disservice, because Rambam categorically rejected Jesus along with Muhammad, and the Messiah of which he spoke was not the crucified Messiah, he was patently clear on that, that if it's the Messiah, he will not die before completing his mission. So the Messiah of which he spoke is a different one than Jesus. So when you refer to the Rambam to now make reference to belief in Jesus, it's just like if I say, well the president said, but I'm not talking about President Biden, I'm talking about President George Washington, it's putting words in, I mean surely you know this, you've read enough to notice it, and I'm thinking of traditional Jews listening to this and saying, what's he doing?
He's just misrepresenting my modern needs here. So the Rambam says that Yeshua tried to be Messiah, but he failed with it, he repaired the world for Messiah, so that when it came time for Messiah to come in Judaism, there's two Messiahs, there's Messiah ben Yosef and Messiah ben David. So in his missions where he's talking about the Messiah ben David, the one who is going to bring a kingdom, and so with Messiah ben Yosef, he prepares the world for preparation for a final redemption, which is what we believe that Yeshua is doing currently.
But David, David, I'm sorry to interrupt, but you know that's not what he meant, you know he was not making Jesus into Messiah ben Yosef, in fact in those very passages he doesn't mention Messiah ben Yosef in any redemptive way there, in point of fact, and you can respond on the other side of the break, I didn't expect to fall into this ditch immediately, but integrity requires me to point this out, that according to Maimonides, that when the real Messiah comes, Christians and others, Muslims, they will repent of the lies that they believed, so believing in Jesus, or believing in Muhammad, so please whatever you do, make your case without Maimonides, because he's against you, you can respond on the other side of the break, we will be right back. It's the Line of Fire with your host Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the Line of Fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again, it's Dr. Michael Brown. Welcome back friends to Thoroughly Jewish Thursday, Michael Brown, delighted to have you with us. Please check out our Real Messiah website, realmessiah.com, you can watch debates I've had with rabbis, you can read or view answers to the most common Jewish objections to Yeshua, get lots more information, refutation of some of the counter-missionary videos of Rabbi Tovia Singer, tons of great resources for you, all free at realmessiah.com. All right, I'm speaking with David Costello, who asked if he could come on the radio show and debate with me about Messianic Jews and Jewish tradition. We've already discovered some profound differences in belief as to who Jesus is, views that in my view, and most of the church would be, and most of the Messianic Jewish community would be considered heretical, which, David, is obviously no news to you.
So right before the break, I said that you are using my modernist rambam in a duplicitous way. I feel a million percent sure that any traditional rabbi would agree with me in a heartbeat, and that they would say you are deeply misrepresenting him, and that when he says that in one way Jesus prepared the world for the coming of the Messiah, that's by getting the talk, knowledge about Messiah out, that there is such a one of the Messiah, and Muhammad did by, even though they both brought terrible destruction to the world, that Muhammad did good in that Islam has put an emphasis on keeping the commandments, so when the real Messiah comes, he doesn't talk about Mashiach ben Yasef there, but when the real Messiah comes, Mashiach ben David, the one of whom he speaks, that now the way he's been prepared so that as Jeremiah prophesied, these people who've been influenced by Christians and Muslims, they will repent of the lies they believed and turn to the one true God. So again, when you speak of Maimonides and his confession, which is not about Mashiach ben Yasef, it's about Mashiach ben David, to say daily I believe in the coming of the Messiah, and you say well that means we have to believe in Jesus. No, Maimonides rejected Jesus, he was talking about the traditional Jewish Messiah.
You must know that to me, again, I'm a little surprised to be honest, so if I'm reacting a surprise way, it's not put on. I'm surprised that you would do this, because it seems to be blatantly deceptive and something that any traditional Jew would recognize in a moment. Well I have discussions with Orthodox Jews all the time about it, and obviously they disagree with me, but there is place to point out a disagreement into who is Messiah. A more, maybe a possibly better place is, I mean actually David Valli says that Yeshua is the sowed of Mashiach ben Yasef, and so there is that as well. He says a lot of other negative things, but I just think that Yeshua himself was proponents of keeping the oral law, and a lot of that has to do with what we were going to talk about, the idea of Yeshua keeping the oral law. A lot of those lies and things that I think is talked about in the Mishneh Torah is the idea that the oral law and the law itself has been done away with, and so I think that one of those things in I think Yeshua himself really goes after, or at least argues for, the oral law in a number of places.
In fact, I have 26 places in Scripture where Yeshua, his disciples, actually uphold oral law. So I think that's what is discussing. All right, but would you agree, so you'll have ample time to present some arguments to back your case, but would you agree, just very simply, with integrity before God, would you agree that when Rambam, my modernist, says it is the tenet of the faith that we confess our belief in the coming of the Messiah, he was not talking about Jesus, he was talking about a traditional Jewish Messiah, not someone who died, who was crucified and rose from the dead. He was not talking about Jesus, he was talking about traditional Jewish messianic expectations.
Would you agree with that? Yes, as I would describe that as Mashiach and David, yes. Okay fine, so when you made reference to we have to believe in him because my modernist told us to, he didn't say believe in Jesus, he didn't mean believe in Jesus, he presupposed rejection of Jesus. Messiah, son of David, not someone who would be crucified in his view.
Yes. Okay, all right, I hope you drop that argument then because it's deceptive right out of the gate. And then last question and then you can go ahead and begin to make your case for why Jewish believers should keep the the oral law. So to get back to the question about a religious Jew today, God's the judge of every human being right, but the fact that you went with your wife to missionize and to bring your particular brand of faith to traditional Jewish community means that you think these people would be enhanced or helped by knowing about Jesus. So can a traditional Jew without any reference to Yeshua, without any reference to what he did on the cross, without any reference to his atoning blood, simply by seeking to honor God and follow the written and oral law as as hundreds of thousands of several million Jews around the world today, could that person be in right relationship with God? Theoretically, in your view, an intimate fellowship with God, right relationship with God, completely aside from Yeshua?
No. Got it, so then if they're not in right relationship with God now, that could affect their eternal destiny? Yeah, but again, I'm not super concerned with that as much, but yes, that is the idea.
Okay, got it, all clear. All right, so we've got a few minutes before the break, so go ahead and begin to make your presentation. It's radio time, it's not a formal face-to-face lengthy debate, so we've got breaks, but start in on your argument on your argument as to why Jewish believers in Jesus, and again we differ on who he is, but Jewish believers in Jesus are required to keep the written Torah and the oral Torah. Yeah, I mean, he teaches the oral Torah and makes use of the oral Torah, and so does Paul and other disciples as well. I'll just list off the verses where I see him actually using oral law in order to defend, in order to teach what he teaches. I'll start with sort of the first one, he says that the most important law is the belief in the unity of God, so he says that the Shema is foundationally, is foundation to all other keeping of the Torah, which is what traditional Judaism believes as well. So that goes back to that first question that you had asked me, the idea that the Shema, that God is one and only one, is foundational to that, and that is in fact a teaching that is followed by the Pharisees. I'll just list the verses off and then just bring out a couple of things in Matthew 12-11, Matthew 12-1, Mark 2-23, Matthew 12-5, Mark 2-27, Luke 4-16, Luke 13-15, Luke 23-54-56, John 7-23, Acts 1-12, Acts 3-1, Acts 16-1, Romans 3-2, Hebrews 8-5, Luke 14-1, Matthew 13-24-43, Luke chapter 1, with the naming of John, and then we have in Matthew 23-35 and Matthew 23-1, he says that those who sit upon the feet of Moses have the authority to do as they do, Revelation 12-7, Acts 21-28, Acts 8-30-34, Luke 24-27, 1 Corinthians 11-17, Acts 14-15, Matthew 5-17-38, Matthew 18-18. So these are the verses where, there's a lot more, but those are sort of the verses that I had prepared for instances where Yeshua is either keeping oral law or engaging in oral law and teaching others to do so as well. So I think that that really is a foundation for that.
Got it. So of course I categorically reject your position for many, many reasons, based on Scripture first and foremost, but we'll go back and look at some of those examples. For those that are not familiar with some of the citations, many I recognized in my head and have responses to immediately, others I'll have to check the reference, but I could list a million verses. The question is, do they say what, but I think they say, is the argument sound?
Otherwise it's zero plus zero plus zero equals zero, or substance plus substance plus substance plus substance makes a very powerful argument. All right, listen, we've got a break coming up, so a quick question, and then we'll dive in deeper. I want to ask you questions where Yeshua renounces various traditions of the Pharisees, etc., and then you pick your best verse or two and you'll open that up, but I just want to understand, because one of the great issues with oral Torah is that it continues to be lived out in the rabbinic community today, so who is the Orthodox or ultra-Orthodox rabbi whom you follow and to whom you are submitted? Right now we've been placed under haram, we've been kicked out, so I don't really have an Orthodox rabbi I can follow, unfortunately, so Yeshua is my Rebbe in the way that I see it and the rabbi that I follow. Yeah, the reason I asked was, one of my ultra-Orthodox friends said, if he met someone like you, that would be the very first question he would ask you, and of course because he would instantly view you as a heretic and reject you, which obviously happened the moment people found out who you really were, however sincere your intent, the moment they found out who you really were, they put you under the band, you were excommunicated, and traditional Jews would not look at you or your wife as Jews at all, so they'd just look at you as Christian imposters.
Now Christians would say, you're not Christian either, you're denying fundamentals of the faith here, so obviously you're sincere, but with a very small group in agreement here, it doesn't make you right or wrong, but to make clear again, you are not living as a follower of Jesus in my book, you're not living as a traditional Jew in the book of traditional Judaism, as you know, and that's the situation in which you find yourself. All right, and remember friends, David asked to come on the show. Please remember that. We'll be right back. It's the Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the Line of Fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again, it's Dr. Michael Brown. Straight from scripture, Michael Brown, welcome back to Thoroughly Jewish Thursday.
By the way, if you're unable to get through today, if we don't get to calls later in the show, about 45 minutes from now on our YouTube channel, Ask Dr. Brown on YouTube, we'll be doing our weekly live Q&A chat, so it's a great time for you to weigh in there or ask your questions there, so that'll be 4 15 Eastern Time Ask Dr. Brown, Ask Dr. Brown YouTube channel, where some of you are watching live right now. All right, I want to get back to my guest, David Costello. So, David, another very specific question, and hang on, let me do this. For our listeners not familiar with the concept of oral law, traditional Jews believe that God gave Moses the written law, Torah Shebich Tov, and the oral law, Torah Sheba Al Pei, and that that contains interpretation, understanding, application of the oral law, some given by revelation to Moses, some developed in each generation as the laws have been passed down and lived out, and Halakhah speaks specifically of traditional Jewish law. In the New Testament, it's reflected with the Pharisees often, and what's referred to as the tradition of the elders, which in Judaism becomes known as the tradition of the fathers, and then put in writing a couple of centuries after the time of Yeshua in the Mishnah, and then subsequently developed in the Talmud, law codes, etc., which are studied and still developed with commentary to this day. So, David, it's your view that the rabbinic leaders, none of whom followed Yeshua, in other words, the ones that were quoted in the Mishnah, going back to Hillel and Shammai, and after, none of them, to everything that we have recorded, believed in Yeshua, so the contemporaries of the Pharisees, and then the rabbis that followed them, none of them believed that Jesus was the Messiah, right through the Talmudic rabbis, so the Tanaim, the Zugot, leading up to the last pair that would have been in Jesus' day, but then the Tanaim, and then after that the Amoraim, then after that the Savoraim, and then the Rishonim, the Akronim, so the entire stretch of tradition, from then until now, with all the leaders of it, all of them did not believe Jesus was the Messiah, and many of course had no real idea who he was as the centuries developed and he became lost in a lot of church tradition, but in your view, they accurately transmitted the traditions, and God was with them in doing so, to the point that we need to follow all of that stuff right up until today, but they were wrong about the Messiah, is that correct?
Yes. Does that trouble you at all, or make you wonder how they could be so off and yet so on? No, it's not troubling to me, they have been given the, as Romans 3-2 states, they've been given the oracles of God, and so the Jewish people are, it's their duty to pass it down, Yeshua himself interacts and goes to eat with the Pharisees, he is largely anti-Sageses, which would today be sort of a full scriptura understanding of things, and we do see him siding more with the Pharisees, and in fact in the book of John, John says that there is one among you who do not know, it says, speaking of Messiah, and there he's talking to people sent from the Pharisees, and so he was working within the system, I recently had an Orthodox rabbi was talking to say, oh I never realized, yeah he's working within the Jewish system, he's not outside of the Jewish system, he's actually inside of the Jewish system, and he says to that Jewish system, is very specifically, Mark 7, Matthew 15, very specifically with reference to these very traditions, the traditions of the Pharisees, you leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men, you have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition, and in numerous points, you know, Matthew has constant conflict between Yeshua and the Pharisees, he's rejecting their traditions, yeah he lived among them, so there's certain things he would do, and certainly he didn't go to synagogue, but then rejected other traditions and pronounced seven woes on them in Matthew 23, based on their traditions, so he's within the system as a first century Jew, right, some have found harmony with him with Sadducees, some harmony with Essenes, some harmony with Pharisees, I mean Jesus scholars debate that to this day, but he has some very very strong things to say about how their traditions nullified the word of God. So there, first off, there are a few, in Mark chapter 7, where he's talking about the hand washing, there are actually two groups of Pharisees, there is one group of Pharisees called Beit Shemai, there is another group of Pharisees called Beit Hillel, you could think of them as two denominations of the Pharisees. At the time that Yeshua was on the earth, there was a debate about the hand washing, Beit Shemai held that you should hand wash for every bit of food, whereas Beit Hillel held that you should only wash hands for the temple, and so he's obviously in this case debating Beit Shemai, he's arguing against him, but it is something that had not yet been, it's not an old tradition, it's a new tradition that was trying to come out at the time of Yeshua, it was not fully established at that point in time, later when the temple was destroyed, in fact we now wash our hands to remind us that the temple was destroyed, and so one of the reasons that we wash our hands is to remind us that the temple was destroyed, at the time Yeshua was speaking these words, the temple was standing, and so he would have an issue with eating non-holy food, food called hulin, with washing of the hands, whereas Beit Shemai would wash hands for anything that they ate, and at that time, it's one of the reasons that we dip our carpets in salt water, is because to remember in the times and to honor sort of the traditions going back, that they would actually wash for every type of food that they would eat. But you realize that ignores the whole reasoning that Jesus gave in the passages?
Well no, he's talking about that it is not what you're supposed to do. You know the passage, it says that what you eat doesn't defile you, what comes out of your heart defiles you, so the conclusion, this is, these are what defile the person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone. Had nothing to do with temple standing or not, you're trying to read these later debates into it in a way that now ignores the point he was making, which was what Paul reiterates, that food in itself, nothing in itself is unclean, so meaning that if you were blindfolded and were being fed and you thought it was beef but it was actually pork, it doesn't actually defile you, that it doesn't spiritually defile, so therefore... It violates Torah and Deuteronomy chapter 11 or Leviticus 14, I believe, I'm getting those right there. No it doesn't violate that at all, they were to be unclean to Israel, they are unclean for you, that's what the text says, that's why... And he's talking to Jewish people that it's unclean. And Paul said that nothing in itself, he's referring with the inside of Yeshua, that nothing in itself is actually unclean. God can say this is unclean for you, okay, therefore you don't eat it, right?
No one's arguing that point, right? But the point here is the reason that eating with unwashed hands doesn't defile is because this is an exterior thing, whether your hands are washed or not has nothing to do with the spiritual condition of food because food doesn't have spiritual condition. In any case, the reason... Food has spiritual condition. Fine, Jesus says the opposite, all right? Here, let's just read what he says here, because what's increasingly clear is, and I say this with all respect and love, you're on a path that in not too long will just have you, well you're already there, Jesus is another rabbi, but the most important one, you've denied other fundamentals, the rest will be denied not long after, and then perhaps you'll succeed in converting to Orthodox Judaism and fully apostatize.
I've watched this for decades, it's not, it's a sad thing, it's a tragic thing, but I've watched it for decades and the pattern's always the same. So, ultimately rabbinic tradition is the lens through which everything is read and interpreted to the point that either Yeshua is no longer who the Bible says he is, or he's abandoned entirely. But what you're doing here... In the sense that you divorced Yeshua so much from the Jewish people that he no longer, he is no longer Jewish.
I've done the opposite for decades. There are Jews who separate him from his Jewishness in the messianic community, which is quite upsetting to me in the sense that they don't see that there is a larger context. So when I was going in seminary, I was given a book called Biblical Hermeneutics, and it said you have to read everything in its proper context, and part of that was the logical historical interpretation of scripture, which means that you have to read it as the readers would have read it as the readers would have understood it. And at that time, these debates were going on. And so, the question is regarding these topics are coming up, he's speaking in a context, and you have to understand the context, understand what he's talking about.
The other thing is that we have two options that we can choose. We can either choose the church traditions, which interpret scripture in an anti-Semitic way, or we can follow the Jewish traditions in understanding it. There's no sola scriptura. Sola scriptura is condemned partially by the New Testament, and also there is no basis, there is no actual sola scriptura. If we say we are sola scriptura, we are denying basic facts in how we interpret scripture.
Right, so once again, as the author of the book The Real Kosher Jesus, as someone who's devoted decades to studying Jewish background to the New Testament, and works with top scholars, Messianic Jews, and Christians who are constantly looking at Yeshua in the first century Jewish context, and with many, many Messianic Jewish friends who are Torah-observant in light of the Spirit more than in light of rabbinic tradition, I remind you of the principle of what Yeshua said. It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth that defiles a person. Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled?
That's why it doesn't defile, but what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles the person. The whole point he's making, the whole point is that the hand washing thing, whatever the reason, was misplaced. It was misplaced, and that's why the disciples didn't do it, period.
It misunderstood what was actually happening. All right, we come back. I want you to give me your number one best scriptural argument for believing Jews follow rabbinic tradition. It's The Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the line of fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again, it's Dr. Michael Brown. Words of Isaiah 12.
You'll draw water from the wells of salvation. Michael Brown on 30 Jewish Thursday. It's, well, we won't give out the number because we won't be getting to calls. If you've been on hold, my apologies, but you can post your question in about a half hour, a little less, on our YouTube chat.
That's at Ask Dr. Brown, A-S-K-D-R Brown. I won't get into a debate about Sola Scriptura. I feel confident I can make that debate just based on scripture, but David, we've only got one segment left. Give me your single best verse that you are convinced obligates Jewish followers of Jesus to submit to all ongoing authoritative rabbinic tradition to this day. So the best one is Matthew 23, verse 2, which says, the Pharisees sit on the seat of Moses, do as they do, don't do as they say. Do as they say, don't do as they do. All right, hang on, did you quote that accurately?
I mixed it up. Do as they, uh, Matthew 23, 2. I'm sure you're familiar with it, you wrote about it in your book.
I'll read it for you. You left out the scribes. So the scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do, for they preach but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.
All right, so go ahead, you can explicate that for a couple of minutes. Sure, so if we were to, I mean, in Matthew, he gives the peter, he says, whatever you loose in Matthew 18, 18, it says, whatever you loose in heaven will be loose, well, whatever you loose on earth will be loose in heaven, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven. And so, traditionally, that's the Jewish way of binding and loosing this idea of something as mutter is permitted, if something is asur is prohibited, and so he's going through and he's doing that, and so he's telling us to listen to what the Pharisees say, and so what the Pharisees say is recorded in Talmud, and later on sort of extrapolated that tradition is passed down until they get to the rabbis. And so we should do what they say, and in fact, in Matthew 23, in the middle of the woes, as you call them, Matthew 23, where is it, 23, I got the wrong address for that, Matthew 23, 23, it says, well, you Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites, you tithe men, bill, and kulman, you have neglected the way your matters of the Torah, justice and mercy and faithfulness, it is necessary to do these things without neglecting the others. And so, for me, Yeshua was really about making sure that you have the character development that matches the keeping of the Torah, that they are both equally important, and we know that Matthew 23, 23, when it talks about tithing, mittle and kulman, and then a 49 and 50 is listed as a humra, and he says, do not neglect the weight, these small matters of the law, for the heavier matters of mustar, of character development.
And so, for me, we should be looking at the Torah and doing it with the incredible stringencies listed in Matthew 20, 23, tithing, mittle and kulman, but also having our character transformed by Yeshua to bring us into a closer and right relationship with God. All right, so in other words, the key leaders of his generation were then the forerunners of those who developed Mishnah, Talmud, law codes, that they were passing on right traditions that should be followed, but they themselves were damnable hypocrites, hence the seven woes, and their example should not be followed, correct? Right, so the issue is with hypocrisy, and that occurs in every religion, it occurs in Christianity, it occurs in Judaism, it occurs in Islamic, or it occurs in pretty much any time where you have a religion, you will have some form of hypocrisy, it's almost a given that that will happen. All right, what's the opposite of what Paul said, opposite of what Paul said, follow me the way I follow the Messiah in 1 Corinthians 11, 1, or Philippians 4, 9, whatever you've seen, learned in me, do, or Hebrews 13, 7, follow the example of your leaders. So, whereas Mishnah and Talmud are constantly telling you, follow the example of the rabbinic leaders, follow the example of the Pharisee forebearers, Jesus is saying the opposite of that, don't follow their example because they're a bunch of hypocrites.
He's saying to do what they do, or do what they say, not do what they do. All right, so you have fundamentally undermined the entire history of Jewish tradition, which is based on the character of those passing on the traditions, and if the trade-ins rejected the person's moral character, that was considered a fundamental violation of Torah. Didn't matter how much they learned, how much they knew, and how accurately they were passing things down, they have now undermined their status in the Jewish community by being moral hypocrites.
So, what you're saying, I don't know if it's revelation to you, but what you're saying is completely undermining your entire argument, that the ones responsible for passing these things on are not exemplars themselves. In fact, I mean, there's well on account in in Sakhim, in the Talmud, of you even watch the way the rabbi defecates, because it's Torah too, everything, the way he has sex with his wife, the guy hides under the bed, it's like, well this is Torah too, I gotta find out the right way to do all this, that they're supposed to be living examples. Paul speaks of the believers being living examples, and yet you're saying that, no, no, no, they're hypocrites, and don't follow their example, but do follow their word. I mean, I find that contrary to the entire biblical ethic. I mean, but everybody, all Christians, fundamentally follow that as well. I mean, if we trust the rabbis who created the canon of the Tanakh, then we trust them for other teachings as well. If we reject the canon of the Tanakh, which was established by the rabbis, I mean, then we're really heretics.
If we accept it, then we are embracing, at least in some sense, an honoring of Jewish tradition. Yeah, but the first thing is, I'm not Catholic, right, and I fully recognize that God works through history to establish canon beyond the synagogue, beyond the church. Look, the Qumran sectarians, as far as we know and understand, recognize the same books of the Bible as the Pharisees, and they reject it.
You know, you've got it in the earliest halakhic document, the 4QMMT document from Qumran, the debate between the halakhah of Qumran versus pharisaic halakhah, and their differences, and the Qumran sectarians rejected pharisaic claims of tradition. So, in any case, you can accept that God works through history, but when you're talking about the validity of the oral Torah, all I'm saying is the oral Torah itself refutes you, that the oral Torah itself is against your viewpoint, and says that these people should be rejected if they are not examples of what we preach. And then, even more importantly, what we come to is in Matthew 21, and this is really the crux of the matter, that he says to the chief priests and the Pharisees, I tell you the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits, and hence the new leaders in the community are the messianic Jewish leaders who may have kept some of the traditions and they had different backgrounds, but as Paul writes in Romans 7, it is not by the old way of the written code but the new way of life in the spirit, and that was the spiritual halakhah that Yeshua laid out that so separated things. David, I... Do you believe... I was not aware that you believe in replacement theology.
No, I categorically reject it. But you just said it was taken away from the Jews. No, I said it was taken away from the Pharisees and given to the messianic Jewish leaders.
It was taken away from the church. It's not replacement of the people. The promises to Israel remain the same. It is replacement of the leadership over Israel.
That's what he's talking about there. That's the parable there in Matthew 21. The spiritual leaders of Israel were replaced by the apostles, so it's no longer... In Matthew 18, 18 he says that this is talking about that whatever you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.
This is the passing on of that idea. If you say that, it has to be subject to the law of Moses and the system that Moses established with Yisro in Exodus chapter 18. The church took that and then began and created it. I'm not even dealing with the church there. Those are messianic Jews he's talking to there, David. Those are messianic Jews he's talking to, not the Pharisees. He's now giving the authority to them and that's why they operate outside of the authority of the rabbinic community and that's why we know as the messianic Jews continued that they were put out by the rabbinic community and often rejected by the church as well. I'm all for messianic Jews living as Jews. I'm all for messianic Jews honoring Torah in the life of the spirit. I'm all for messianic Jews saying, hey these traditions are beautiful to me and I enjoy doing them.
I'm categorically against messianic Jews saying they're obligated to follow rabbinic tradition. David, as someone who has on your end already embraced apostate beliefs, I pray that God would give you a spirit of repentance before it's too late. Please, my friend, hear me. You asked to come on the air.
I'm more grieved than what I invited you on. May the Lord bring you to real Teshuvah, you, your wife, your community, and to the fullness of Yeshua. May it be so. It's our resistance. You can't resist us. Another program powered by the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-30 01:56:11 / 2023-03-30 02:14:37 / 18