The Doctrines of the Messianic Jew.
Again, I’ve got to spend a few minutes and say that diagnosing exactly what the doctrines of the Messianic Jew are, is like writing definitively on what the doctrines of an Independent Baptist is. You could say an Independent Baptist is a follower of Michael and Debbie Pearl – but many (including myself) are not.
You could say that the Independent Baptist is King James Only, which I am. But many are not.
You could say that Independent Baptists believe in Church Successionism and Baptist Brider-ism – but I and many others am not.
In the same manner, many Messianics will read these blog posts and think, “That’s not what I believe at all!” But many do. And the historical pattern of Messianic Judaism is to lead many into apostasy. This is why we’re dealing with it.
The essential doctrine of most Messianics is an insistance upon the Renewed Covenant, or Brit Chadeshah in Hebrew. This can be found In Hebrews 12:24 and Jeremiah 31:31. The Messianic will insist that this is best translated “Renewed Covenant”.
My first two questions will be…”
- Have you ever studied Koine Greek in a Bible College or Seminary? Was it a full 2 semester course or longer?
- Have you studied Biblical Hebrew in a Bible College or Seminary? Was it a full 2 semester course or longer?
- If you have not, is your language skills acquired from simply looking up definitions of words in a Strong’s Concordance or a Vine’s Lexicon?
The Average Messianic will say yes to #2 (Many Messianic Synagogues offer a basic Hebrew course that is a few weeks long, giving one a familiarity with Hebrew.) When pressed as to “Was it a full 1 year, 2 semester course?” The answer usually changes to “No.”
The Average messianic will probably not answer question number one. So, you know what that means – ask them again. The answer, you’ll find, will be “no”. They’ll admit to some self study. The third question will show that the self study is limited to just that… elementary original language word study using a concordance or lexicon.
It’s time for logic.
“The translators of the King James Bible were all experts in Hebrew and Greek, and had read many works in those original languages. One of them had read the entire Old Testament in Hebrew by the time he would have been old enough to enter kindergarten. Do you think your language skills in Greek and Hebrew are the equivalent of theirs?”
The answer of almost anyone alive today would be “No.”
“So, with your 12 week course in Ulpan (modern) hebrew, and your 2 hours of self study using the Strong’s, you think your language skills can correct their work?”
This, I guarantee, will start a fight. You’re challenging one of the cardinal doctrines of the Messianic – that David Stern’s notes in the Jewish New Testament are correct.
This is the issue. Stern has made the mythical “deliberate mis-translation” of the New Testament a cardinal doctrine. It’s not new – the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons have made this a cardinal issue as well.
When we address Jehovah’s Witnesses, we immediately address the translation issue – because the JW makes that a major point in his selling pitch. Since the Messianic does the same, we must address that as well.
Hebrews 12:24 uses the words νέος διαθήκη neos Diothekay. Neos (Ne’oss – rhymes with Floss) is the Greek term from which we get the English New. It is translated new 11 times, younger 7 times, young man twice, new man once, young women once, younger man once, and young once.
So, using skills one can acquire during a 2 hour self study using a Strong’s concordance and a Vine’s Lexicon – one can verify that νέος means “New” or “Young”. IT does not mean “Renewed”.
The issue is Jer. 31:31. The word “Chodesh” means “new”, but can sometimes imply “renewed” or “Replenished”. Should Jer. 31:31 be translated “Renewed Covenant”?
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Jer 31:31-34 (KJV)
Note verse 32 says “Not according to the covenant I made with their fathers.” This contradicts the Messianic assertion that “Chadeshah” should be translated “Renewed.” Instead, it is correctly translated new.
If it was “Renewed”, the covenant would be exactly the same! In addition, the Lord maintains He will “Remember our sins no more”. If we must still keep the Torah, then the sin offering is mandatory – and thus it is not the new covenant.
How can the Lord “remember our sins no more” and still require a sin offering? The Lord Jesus Christ is our sin offering once and for all, according to Hebrews.
“Well, all of the law is still binding upon followers of Yeshua, except the sacrifices.”
And, can you cite that by any verse from the New Testament? The verse must specifically say just that. The Messianic is now stumped, as this is a cardinal doctrine of the Torah Observant Messianic – but they have no verses in the Bible that specifically says exactly what they believe!
Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. 8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Heb 10:7-14 (KJV)
Note that Hebrews 10:9 says “He taketh away the first…”. The previous verses specifically mention the Law. Thus, the LOrd Jesus Christ “Taketh away the First Covenant”. Why? “That he may establish the second.”
In other words… Christ, having redeemed us from the law (Gal. 3:13), has once and for all, put the law aside. “Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” Heb 10:18 (KJV).
There is no more need for the Law.