And it is relevant that the apostles that supposedly KNEW Jesus in the flesh stayed faithful Jews . . .
quote: Posted in reply by dpardo
Even a cursory reading of Acts refutes what you say. Acts 11 says: . . .
IMO, the main point that Ramoss was making is that the apostles (who learned directly from Jesus) apparently did not abandon Judaism either before or after the crucifixion.
In Acts, chapter 21, James admonishes Paul about allegedly teaching Jews to abandon the Law and the customs of Moses (i.e., Judaism).
quote: Acts 21:20-21
(James, etal, says to Paul): Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the Law.
And they are informed of thee that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses (which was exactly what Paul was doing); saying that they ought not to circumcise children, neither to walk after the customs.
It is often said of this that the apostles simply didn't (at this point in time) fully understand God's plan of salvation. And that this further understanding was subsequently given to Paul
However, this contention seems untenable in light of Jesus' visitation to the apostles immediately following the crucifixion as portrayed in the gospel of Luke:
quote: Luke 24:45 & 47
Then opened he (the risen Christ) their (the apostles) understanding that they might understand the scriptures (i.e., at this time, the Hebrew scriptures or "the OT").
(47) And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Thus, even having learned from Jesus personally and having had their understanding "opened" by the risen Christ, the apostles and their followers in Jerusalem remained "zealous for the Law" and admonished Paul about teaching any Jews to do otherwise. (In fact, even requiring Paul to undergo a purification ritual involving an animal sacrifice as an example of his adherence to this Law as a Jew himself.)
Therefore, it would appear that the concept of "repentance and remission of sin in (Jesus) name" had a different basic meaning for the apostles than that later expounded by Paul.
And if they (the apostles) learned directly from Jesus, and were given understanding of the scriptures from the risen Christ, and were still of the opinion that they were to practice the precepts of Mosaic Law and temple Judaism (including animal sacrifices for the remission of sin), by what authority could Paul or anyone else question this understanding?
This message has been edited by Amlodhi, 12-04-2004 04:17 PM
Yes, but the point I was trying to make is that the apostles learned directly from Jesus and then had their "understanding opened" by the risen Christ.
If, after all this, they still did not understand some of the messianic concepts (as those later expounded by Paul), it had to have been deliberately concealed from them.
In such a case the apostles, who taught the "thousands of Jews who believed" in Jerusalem, were actually preaching a false doctrine (the "true" doctrine having been withheld from them).
The (sometimes called) "veil over the eyes of the Jews" (a common theme in Christian religious doctrine) usually refers to the Jew's rejection of Jesus as messiah. However, if the apostles were being excluded from the understanding which was later given to Paul, then their "eyes were veiled" as well.
This is why I asked dpardo if he was implying that the messianic concepts expounded by Paul were being deliberately withheld from the apostles (and the Jews in general).
The point being that, if the Jews were being deliberately blinded to these concepts, what would have been the nature of the "offer" they were supposedly given?
And, conversely, if the apostles were not having any understanding withheld from them, then their continued practice of temple Judaism must have been the correct course since this understanding would have come from Christ himself.
If the apostles didn't understand then the Jews (in general) could not have been given the same offer as Paul was relaying to the Gentiles.
If the apostles did understand, then their continued practice of temple Judaism was the correct course and Paul was mistaken.
I did not see an "offer" that would disown the Jewish people because everyone or their leaders did not repent or did not believe that Jesus was the messiah.
According to the "prophetic" words of Ezekiel (Chapter 43 for instance), temple ritual and animal sacrifice would be going on even during the kingdom age under the rule of the messiah.
According to the writings of the Qumran documents (the War Scroll for instance), the messianic expectation of pious Jews living just prior to, and during, the 1st century AD was that a messiah would be appointed by YHWH who would vanquish all of Israel's enemies (Rome primarily) and make Jerusalem the ruling city of the world.
IMO then, the offer as it was understood by the apostles (and their followers) is that Jesus had been appointed as such a messiah (either at his baptism or upon his resurrection).
They expected that "any day now" this messiah would return and lead Israel to vanquish the enemies of YHWH and Israel (by the physical, bloody slaughter of the infidels).
At that time then, all those who had been believers and followers of this messiah (whether in Jerusalem or elsewhere) would be spared annihilation; i.e. they would be "saved".
Jerusalem would become the ruling center of the world under the reign of YHWH's appointed king (messiah). All of the survivors of the massacre all over the world would then understand that YHWH was the one God and that Jesus was his appointed king over the world.
And, in accordance with OT messianic prophecy, all the people in all the world would then make pilgrimages to Jerusalem to make their sacrifices to YHWH and view the dead, burning bodies of the infidels which would be stacked like cordwood in the valley ben Hinnom (Gehenna).
This was the (messianic) Jewish expectation and, IMO, the only "offer" the Jews ever conceived of.
The not-surprising truth of the matter, however, was that it didn't happen. In the real world, Judah was decimated because they provoked the very nation that the messianic Jews expected to subdue, i.e. Rome.
The Pauline Christians, off on a tangent of their own, extrapolated the concepts and terminology used by the apostles into something totally other. Hence, they are still waiting for Jesus to come and destroy some euphemistic "Rome".
That, IMO, is the only "offer" the Jews ever knew. The "offer" expounded by the Pauline Christians is an extrapolation, a "spinoff", which uses concepts and terminology that have been effectively divorced from their original intent and meaning.