Seperation from Torah (Jewish) to (Modern) Christianity


#1

All,

I’m am new to the forum. I also apologize if I have post this in the wrong section. Also would like to say that I could search for my answers as many forums I’m a member of tell me to do before asking a question. I would like to say that I’m reaching out to a community for help and already research a lot and maybe someone out there can point me in the right direction quicker than on my own.

I was raised in a believing house that had faith with no works. I was shown Baptist denomination and went on and off for most of my early childhood. I recently discovered
Catholicism, through my ex-girlfriend and went with her and her family for almost two years and then I realized that this is where I meant to be. I don’t want to start a debate on that just want to give some preside on how I am brand new to Catholicism. Unfortunately I can not find a parish that will work with me on the RCIA. I travel a lot, a lot. And started with the parish in my hometown and they dropped me because they couldn’t tend to my needs as a single person and hinder the needs of many, understandable I don’t want to hurt anyone’s calling to faith. But I really wish I could find a parish that will work with me, I don’t want to have to quite my job to complete it, but will if I have no other choice.

Any who this is probably a silly question as I’m new to faith and studying His word.

I just finished reading Exodus and reading Leviticus.

I’ve read a two of the gospels, Matthew and Mark.

I understand why we don’t offer Burt offering, but Jesus said he isn’t changing the law. Matthew 5:17 But stating that if you truly love everyone that the law is upheld.

Can someone point me in the right direction on why we follow some of the old testament and not all of it? I know why Jewish are different they don’t believe in Jesus, but why do we not follow all of the Torah?

And how do I defend my faith when asked about the following? Deuteronomy 17:12, Exodus 22:17, Leviticus 20:13, Leviticus 20:27, Exodus 21:15. etc.

Are we suppose to uphold this law?

Please don’t take these questions the wrong way, I am not bashing, I want to know for my own spiritual strengthening.

Thank you for taking the time to help me.


#2

God established the Jewish Church through the Covenant of Moses. But that was only a starting point. The Covenant was fulfilled (completed) through Jesus:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets [ie, the Jewish Church]; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. [Matt 5:17]

The earliest Christian Church (the Apostles) consisted of only Jews. Early on, Gentiles were added in. This presented a problem for the very early Church: did Gentile Christians need to pass through the Old Covenant to enter the New Covenant? (and the OC has a lot to do with circumcision).

What did Jesus MEAN when he said he would not abolish the Old Covenant, but fulfill it? Did he mean all of the OC rules were still in force (including circumcision) but added to? Or, did he mean that the OC rules were to be reinterpreted in a different context? And, if that’s what he meant, who would have the AUTHORITY to reinterpret God’s Covenant?

This was one of the earliest debates within the young Christian Church:

Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved. [Acts 15:1]

The apostles and elders met to consider this question. After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. [Acts 16:6-9]

This “Council of Jerusalem” (a forerunner of an Ecumenical Council) sent out a letter to the Churches by trusted messengers, which began:

Greetings.

We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. [Acts 15:24-29]

On whose AUTHORITY was this letter published? On the AUTHORITY of the Apostles AND the Holy Spirit.

The Apostolic Church claimed for themselves the authority to interpret the Covenant of Moses in a Christian context. Later Church teachings would interpret Jewish Temple sacrifices as Our Lord’s Sacrifice on Calvary, and circumcision as Baptism, and many other things.


#3

The Gospel tells the history of Jesus’ Ministry; in many places, he was addressing addressing a Jewish audience still bound by the law. The law was not fulfilled until he died on the Cross, and thus he was instructing practicing Jews on how to properly interpret the law. In other places, Jesus was addressing Gentiles, and the law never applied to that audience. As the story progresses, Jesus explicitly dispenses parts of the law.

The process is well documented, but very complicated. Looking through the “Library” and “Videos” sections of Catholic.com may help you find resources that discuss this topic.


#4

Thank you very much for helping me out, I really appreciate it! I don’t have a great sum of knowledge but I desire greatly to learn more. Even the history of the Catholic church and finishing the Catechism. So much to learn : D But I like how the Catholic church upholds tradition, I feel from my experience of Baptist that they were scripture only style of belief. (2 Thessalonians 2:15)

  1. It seems very difficult to comprehend the freedom that Jesus gave all of us. Before they had a list of laws to abide by and guide them, but then if no one can uphold the law how were they able to enter the kingdom? Sum of good deeds vs. bad deeds? Was no one really given a guaranty they would make it?

  2. Do newer covenants surpass old covenants making them null and void?

  3. Baptism, faith, works = salvation. By works they mean exactly what? Abiding by Jesus’ covenant and ACTS 15:20 & 15:29?

  4. And now some babel. Also, why the drastic change, God gave Moses the law up on the mountain. Why change the rules all together? Or simply gave the law as an example to live by and as long they strived to achieve them then they were saved? Just curious why God would go from a very strict to leaner. Changed his mind to save his people seeing how they couldn’t achieve the law. Did all the people before Jesus go to hell?

Thanks again : D


#5

In the Catholic Church there are “ordinary” and “extraordinary” ways of doing the doings of the Church.
It could even be said about RCIA. That is currently the “standard” way or “ordinary” way of being catechized about full participation in the People, and they can’t arbitrarily modify their training. But, since your work does not fit with that for reasons beyond your apparent control, yet you want to be one with the Church, and participate in the Mysteries revealed, tell it to the Priest. Ask if he or one of his associate pastors (if a large parish) or deacons would be willing to catechize you personally rather than the ordinary method.

As for the sacrifices, God prophesied to the people of Israel through Isaiah his prophet (Isaiah 1)
10Hear the word of the Lord,
you rulers of Sodom!
Give ear to the teachingb of our God,
you people of Gomorrah!
11“What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?
says the Lord;
I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
and the fat of well-fed beasts;
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
or of lambs, or of goats.
(read the whole of chpt 1 for more clarity)
And Jesus came in fulfillment of that prophecy. Jesus was “God In Person”, In The Flesh, saying, In Person, “I have had enough of burnt offerings”, just as Isaiah pointed to.

So you have the full Torah, with sacrifices,
Then you have a prophecy of God’s intentions with regard to them.
Then, with Jesus, you have the prophecy being actualized.

Many people read Isaiah 1 as God’s thought at the moment Isaiah wrote it (and in a way it was), but it was spoken “prophetically” - they were, in the Future, going to see and hear it in person. Isaiah was sent to write it down so that all would recognize it happening when it did happen with Jesus.

Now, go see your priest rather than thinking you have to study on your own, and if no one says they will study with you there, go knock on the door of a monastery and ask if someone there will work with you. Be inventive - the Ethiopian eunuch of Acts 8 didn’t mess around while on his business travels but said to Philip, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized" (by the way, he was also reading Isaiah when he met Philip). You are an “extraordinary” convert, so look for an “extraordinary” teacher, okay?..


#6

Here is a post I did on another thread, and if helpful, you may want to read that thread at:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=913529

Most today read Romans within the confines of Martin Luther’s protest. They read it as a doctrinal explanation of a legal matter of whether or not you will be allowed into heaven.

Paul however always deals with very practical issues that the Catholic Church was facing in the various locations of their sojourning (here in Rome).

Justification was a practical issue for these Gentile Catholics. “Am I one of the People or not, being a Gentile? I don’t have circumcision; the Jews refuse to let me listen when they read and discuss the Old Testament; I am not descended from Abraham; etc.” So they were beginning huddle together in a state of anxiety about their identity rather than going out and proclaiming the Official Good News of the King (Jesus) and rather than going about doing works of Charity that only this Special People of the New Testament (Covenant) can do.

What of God and Abraham? God came up to Abraham saying, “Come, and Go where I show you; and I will make you father of a Great Nation”.
Abraham’s possible choices:

  1. "Sure you will… but I think I will just go water my camels… "
  2. “I don’t know you… how do I know you will keep your word?.. can you give me some kind of pre-payment, like a son before I pack up and move?”
  3. Looks at God (at His Messenger) in silence; regards him as an honest Person; regards him as being a friend; turns and packs up his belongings on the camels and sets out with Sarai and his servants.

God sees Abraham treating him as a friend to be trusted, and says to Himself, “This man, Abraham, believes Me; he honors My word to him as truth. I will always now treat him as my friend, and do all to him as my friend. I will not deal with him as one deals with customers, where one counts the money before giving them the merchandise. I will give Abraham a sign, now, that will remind him that I reckon him as my friend; I will give him Circumcision, so he will remember that he is a Special Friend of Mine.”

So, when they had to wander in Egypt for a while, even though Abraham lied to Pharaoh about Sarai being his sister, this Friend of Abraham did not “count” the sin, but made the whole situation result to continue making his promise come true for his friend Abraham. And Abraham, though sinning here, and in other times by trying to second guess where the promised son would come from (thus Ishmael), was not dealt with as a debtor to God. His sin was not “imputed” to him, thus changing is stature as God’s friend.

And this is how Paul wanted the Gentile Catholics in Rome to understand themselves. They, like Abraham, believed. And God said about them, “Look at these people who were Gentiles. They think of Me as their Friend, trusting My Son. I therefore will do All that I promised through my Son for them. I will call them “My People” who were no people. I will do my works in the world through them, my People.”

We can’t dwell in Luther’s “legal God” image of how God judges, but look at how God makes friends with us.


#7
  1. It seems very difficult to comprehend the freedom that Jesus gave all of us. Before they had a list of laws to abide by and guide them, but then if no one can uphold the law how were they able to enter the kingdom? Sum of good deeds vs. bad deeds? Was no one really given a guaranty they would make it?

No one could follow the Law to perfection. Man’s nature is far to sinful to ever achieve perfection. By the time Christ arrived in Jerusalem to debate the Pharisees, the Law had been greatly distorted. It is only through Christ’s atonement that we were and are able to enter the Kingdom. That doesn’t mean we throw out the Ten Commandments. On the contrary, we are commanded to be even more righteous than the Pharisees.

Do newer covenants surpass old covenants making them null and void?

It takes two (2) parties to have an agreement. God keeps His word, but man – not so much. Throughout the Bible, you see repeated over and over how man broke covenants with God, dating back to even Adam and Eve.

By works they mean exactly what?

Loving the Lord your God with all your heart and soul, and loving your neighbor as yourself.

Also, why the drastic change, God gave Moses the law up on the mountain. Why change the rules all together? Or simply gave the law as an example to live by and as long they strived to achieve them then they were saved? Just curious why God would go from a very strict to leaner. Changed his mind to save his people seeing how they couldn’t achieve the law. Did all the people before Jesus go to hell?

God isn’t duplicitous. God tried over and over to help man to change his ways, finally sending His only begotten Son to straighten things out. He didn’t change His mind. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him might have eternal life.” See above.


#8

Ah! You are missing the key point that Gates of Heaven were closed since the Adam and Eve’s original sin. They are reopened when Christ died, and they had to be unlocked to let him back in!

  1. Do newer covenants surpass old covenants making them null and void?

There is the subtle point that the Old Covenant only applied to the Jews, and that Gentiles had a substantially smaller burden. The Old Covenant was also explicitly designed to expire with the coming of the Messiah, who had been alluded to by Hebrew profits throughout scripture. The Old Covenant is not void but, just no longer applies.

  1. Baptism, faith, works = salvation. By works they mean exactly what? Abiding by Jesus’ covenant and ACTS 15:20 & 15:29?

Faith, without works, is dead. True faith is manifest throughout one’s behavior.

  1. And now some babel. Also, why the drastic change, God gave Moses the law up on the mountain. Why change the rules all together? Or simply gave the law as an example to live by and as long they strived to achieve them then they were saved? Just curious why God would go from a very strict to leaner. Changed his mind to save his people seeing how they couldn’t achieve the law. Did all the people before Jesus go to hell?

Thanks again : D

The Old Law was meant to emphasize the perfection of God. Only with Perfect Love could one perfectly follow the law. Christ’s death is a sign of perfect love; Jesus was perfectly innocent of any crime. His execution was completely unjust. Yet he used this to lay down his life for a friend. Perfect love fulfilled the law.

Jesus never lowered the bar to entry to Heaven; rather he raised us up with grace to get there.


#9

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