The Bible says that some of the apostles, including Barnabas and Peter, were beginning to cave to the pressure of the Judaizers.
11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. Galatians 2:11-13 (KJV)
Yesterday I spent some time answering Avi Ben Mordecai’s latest theory on the meaning behind Galatians (version 3).
Okay, if Jews and Gentiles are required to keep the Torah, why did Paul withstand Peter? What was the reasoning?
Because he separated himself from the Gentiles. Why? Ritual cleanliness.
Part of the law. Commandment #359 by the RaMBaM’s counting.
21 Moreover the soul that shall touch any unclean thing, as the uncleanness of man, or any unclean beast, or any abominable unclean thing, and eat of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which pertain unto the LORD, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. Leviticus 7:21 (KJV)
That’s most certainly not the only verse on cleanliness, but the facts were that Gentiles didn’t keep any of the rules of cleanliness according to the Law. So, Peter and the others began separating themselves from others, to make sure they weren’t defiled. After all, if one keeps the Torah, they need to be able to enter the Beis Miqdash, the holy Temple.
And you can’t do that if you’re not ritually pure. So, Peter separated himself from the Gentiles. Because there was no guarantee they hadn’t touched a dead body, or been ritually cleansed in a Mikveh, a Jewish baptismal.
Uh, hold the phone. If Gentiles and Jews are supposed to keep the law, why did Paul get in Peter’s face on this issue?
Peter would be right, according to the law!
Again, I have to come to the conclusion that the Bible is telling us once again… “You don’t have to keep the Law if you’re saved!”
So, then it makes SENSE if Paul withstood Peter to his face. It wasn’t over an issue of the Judah Ephraim nonsense. It wasn’t over an interpretation of the Oral Law. It was over an issue of the WRITTEN Torah.
So, if Paul got in Peter’s face over the WRITTEN Torah, then obviously… Jews are not required any longer to keep the Law. Nor are Gentiles.
14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? Galatians 2:14 (KJV)
Kind of hard to twist this to mean something else. This is one of the strongest verses in the Bible against keeping the Law. Let’s see how the Messianics twist this verse.
14But when I saw that they were not walking a straight path, keeping in line with the truth of the Good News, I said to Kefa, right in front of everyone, “If you, who are a Jew, live like a Goy and not like a Jew, why are you forcing the Goyim to live like Jews?
Uh.. wow. Stern even translates this verse to show Peter was not keeping the law. So, Stern has an inconsistency in his doctrines.
Gal 2:14 But when I saw that their halichah, their hitnahagut (conduct) was not the Derech HaYashar (Straight Way) with respect to HaEmes of HaBesuras HaGeulah, I said to Kefa before all, “If you, being a Yehudi, have a hitnahagut that is according to the Derech Goyim and not the Derech Yehudim, how do you compel the Goyim to live as the Yehudim?
Well! Even Goble’s paraphrase shows that Peter lived like a Gentile. So… hey… that shows that YOU DON’T HAVE TO KEEP THE LAW! There’s huge jumping inconsistencies in the translation and doctrines of the translations of the “Complete Jewish Bible” and the “Orthodox Jewish Bible”.
And again, if people would just stick with the King James and not heretical paraphrases or mistranslations, we wouldn’t have these problems!
15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Galatians 2:15-16 (KJV)
The Messianics justify this verse by saying, “we are not saved by the Torah – we’re saved by Jesus Christ. But once saved, we must maintain that salvation by being Shomer Torah (keeping the law)”.
Okay, how is this not salvation by works? If Jesus Christ’s sacrifice only put a down-payment on our salvation, and did not purchase it, we have contradictions with so many Scriptures it would far exceed the patience of my most patient readers to list even half of them! So, the Lord didn’t cry out on the Cross, “it is finished!” but “it is started!!!!”??? Really?
My Bible says something different. My Bible has the Gospel, the good news. Your Bible has the not-so-good news.
17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. Galatians 2:17 (KJV)
No explanation needed. It’s pretty much a common sense argument.
18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. Galatians 2:18 (KJV)
Oops! In other words, “If i start relying on the Law again to make or keep me holy, I am returning to where I was.” think about that a few minutes. Paul is explaining, “Uh… you can’t want to keep the Law and be saved – something’s not right there.”
I can see unlearned Christians getting hornswaggled by false teachers. Sure! You read all that stuff, and wonder, “Should I be doing that?”
The implications is, you’re newly saved, and you just want to please God. And you haven’t yet internalized the writings in the New testament yet to be able to rightly divide the word.
But if you’re on your fourth or fifth read through of the Bible and get hornswaggled – that’s a symptom. You’re not hearing His voice, because you’re not one of His sheep.
19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. Galatians 2:19 (KJV)
Here is one of the major arguments in the New Testament about why we do not try to keep the Law. You have died. You were buried with Him in death, raised to walk in the Newness of Life.
I don’t have to keep the Sabbath. I don’t have to keep Kosher. I can shave every day. I can drive on Saturdays. Why? when I encountered the Son of God, I was born again. Being Born Again requires that you first die. So, the Law is binding on you only as long as you live.
20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (KJV)
That’s a verse to memorize. It’s long, but hey, take it in small chunks. You died. You now live. But it is Christ who is living through you. “I live by the faith of the Son of God.”
21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Galatians 2:21 (KJV)
Bottom line. If you can maintain your salvation, then Christ is dead in vain. Then, the Bible must teach once saved, always saved.
So, there’s no longer ANY need whatsoever to keep the Law.
And we’re only two chapters into Galatians.