Few things Paul said will set people’s teeth on edge faster than 1 Timothy 2:12. We live in a western culture that has become so feminized that patriarchy is hated, masculinity is considered ‘toxic’ and breathing some passages of Scripture in the wrong audience might get you shanked! This passage is one that requires a fire retardant suit, even in some Torah circles! But, truth is truth.
12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.
1 Timothy 2:12
The obvious immediate question is, ‘Where does that come from in Torah? Show me the commandment that says ‘thou shalt not’, or ‘thou shalt’…’ And, this is true, there is no such command, but there is ample instruction that is quite clear. Let’s dig in…
“Paul is hard to understand.” Like me, you probably hear this all of the time. I finally had to start rethinking Paul. Whatever position I arrived at, I knew that it had to agree with the Apostle Peter.
Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.  And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,  as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.  You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.  But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
2 Peter 3:14-18
Peter clearly admits Paul is ‘hard to understand’, but also admits that his writings fit with ‘the other Scriptures.’ I decided that I must be missing something or not seeing Paul correctly. I had to rethink or re frame him.
Recently we had a comment here on the blog and a portion of that comment expresses exactly what has me concerned. And they are not alone in this difficulty.
“Since we know that Paul’s teachings/letters have done huge damage in getting people off track, as they are truly stumbling blocks, then why do so many messianic pastors try to ok his teaching against Torah and try to ok it? Yeshua warned us that the false tare words would remain till the end! And they sure have. Our Abba didn’t allow mixture then and He doesn’t allow it now. We had better be careful when we use Paul’s mixed teachings. I want nothing to do with stumbling blocks!.”
Part of my concern is that many in the Torah walk have minimized or even outright rejected Paul’s letters! This is a very dangerous thing to do! Supposedly, Paul upheld and taught the Torah. Is it possible we misunderstand Paul because we are looking through the wrong lens?
One thing that I think we often forget when we read Paul is one of the most basic rules of Bible study. CONTEXT IS KING. We often consider the surrounding context of Scripture, but we fail to understand the circumstantial or cultural context of his audience. So let’s consider the context of Paul and his writings.
26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and reported it. “What are you going to do?” he asked. “This man is a Roman citizen.”
27 The commander went to Paul and asked, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?”
“Yes, I am,” he answered.
28 Then the commander said, “I had to pay a lot of money for my citizenship (πολιτειαν).”
“But I was born a citizen,” Paul replied.
29 Those who were about to interrogate him withdrew immediately. The commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put Paul, a Roman citizen, in chains.
While the NIV takes a few liberties in translating this passage (the word for ‘citizen’ only appears once in this Greek text), it starkly illustrates the importance of citizenship and the differences between ‘natural born’ versus ‘purchased/adopted’ citizenship. Continue reading “πολιτειαν : Citizenship for the grafted in?”
It occurred to me the other day as I was reading some Scripture that even IF the Sabbath was moved to Sunday, and IF Christendom need only keep the Ten Commandments, they are still in continual violation of the fourth! Now, we have proved over and over that these two allowances are patently false, but, for the sake of argument, let’s allow them for a moment.
Christendom claims to keep the Sabbath, even if NOT on the seventh day as we are clearly commanded more than seven times. However, despite their claims to the contrary, Christendom breaks the fourth commandment in another highly predictable way…. Notice,
Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath ([a]for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
As we discussed yesterday, Christendom is generally not taught to have a high regard for the Pharisees. Yet, ironically, we hold several Pharisees up as models of faith!! How can that be?
If you say, ‘because they stopped being a Pharisees,’ you would be wrong!!
Walk with me as we consider a couple Messianic Pharisees!
John 3:1-21 recounts the story of a Pharisees, Nicodemus, who sought out Yeshua by night to ask a few questions. Nicodemus obviously understood something worthy of investigation was going on, he just did not understand it. It didn’t quite fit his box. Instead of discounting it, he investigated! The result is that he became a follower. Continue reading “Messianic Pharisees. Paradigm breakers!”
If Jesus came into your church, would you recognize Him? While my guess is completely subjective, I would guess that fewer than 1% would recognize the Messiah, King of Israel, if He walked into your church building.
No, He likely won’t come dressed as a homeless guy, though we should receive the homeless with love and concern.
He won’t be in a long robe and probably won’t have longish hair. He will have a beard.
In fact, 99% of the images and ideas we have of Him are wrong based on simple reading of Scripture.
You won’t know based on a ‘gut feeling.’ Your emotions will fail you EVERY time.
You MUST be able to tell based on facts that are verifiable. Scars? May or may not work…
How then will you KNOW without a shadow of a doubt who He is and that He is the REAL deal?
As I have mentioned before, I am reading/enjoying/re-reading J. K. McKee’s The New Testament Validates Torah. Frankly, this is the single best systematic addressing of Torah for the Messianic. I believe more and broader scholarly works will emerge as time passes, but it will be hard to top this 400+ page work! EVERY Messianic believer needs this on their shelf, and any pastor wanting to understand or get a comprehensive look needs to read this book.
Advertisement aside, there are so many terrific quotes on every page. I want to share three from pages 91-93. The first two are cites of other authors and the last is his.
Take the time to read and ponder each! I’ll list the original sources from McKee’s footnotes.
What would we think of a presidential candidate who assured his voters that he would only UPHOLD the requirements and FULFILL the goals of the Constitution and never ABOLISH our country’s customs and laws, yet two years after his election, plunged the country into complete anarchy? Would this be FULFILLMENT of the Constitution of ABOLITION of the Constitution? Continue reading “Chewing gum for the brain…”
9 Now [a]Saul, still breathing [b]threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest,2 and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.3 As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him;… ”