Tag Archives: Mosaic Law

Do those who want to follow Christ to be Jews

In these times when there are so many arguing about religion and about what faith would be the right faith or what would be the right way to worship God it is not bad to consider what the people at the time of the Jewish master teacher, Jeshua, thought.

Most of the time those seeing and hearing rebbe Jeshua belonged to the Jewish faith like the master himself. Though few belonged to Jeshua’s religious group because some considered the Essenes as a sect and several also came to see Jeshua his followers also as a sect. Being a child of Joseph and Miriam (Mary/Maria) from the tribe of David, Jeshua and his siblings where brought up in the very religious traditions of the Essenes, to which Miriam belonged. As such Jeshua received a strict thorough education in Torah knowledge and was very well aware what was written in all the different scrolls.

An other person very well educated in Jewish theology was Saul. As a devout worshipper of the God of Israel and connected to the synagogue and the priests in Jerusalem, he was convinced those teachings of that man where blasphemous and had to be stopped. He as a big fighter for Jehovah God went against those followers, until the day he was struck by lightening, feeling Jesus close to him and being blinded by the Power of God because he had become a satan or adversary of God, more than Peter who Jesus also had called a satan.

At first the majority of followers of Jeshua where Jews, but having many Romans around and travellers of other religions or not at all believing in a god or in God, some of them became attracted by the words of the rebbe and his talmidim. Several got in the ban of the doctrines of that man his group and wondered if they could join them. But having come at a certain age they did not like so much to undergo a circumcision. At the other hand lots of the Jews in the group where very concerned about the goyim entering their group and having them to allow in their synagogues. We can image the many discussions going on about the Jewish rules either to be followed by those who came into the group or having them to be free of those mitzvot. Doctor Luke tells about all the internal discussions and arguments in his book the Acts of the apostles.

In 330 CE “church father” Epiphanius of Salamis provided a detailed description of the new faith in Jeshua which started to spread over many regions, by the Netzerim in Panarion 29:

“We shall especially consider the heretics who call themselves Nazarenes; however they are simply complete Jews.
They use not only the New Testament but the Old Testament as well, as the Jews do…
They have no different ideas, but confess everything exactly as the Law proclaims it and in the Jewish fashion – except for their belief in Messiah, if you please! For they acknowledge both the resurrection of the dead and the divine creation of all things, and declare that God is one, and that his son is Yeshua the Messiah.

They are trained to a nicety in Hebrew; for they, like the Jews, read the whole law-Torah , then the Prophets. They differ from the Jews because they believe in Meshiach and from the Christians in that they are to this day bound to the Jews rites, such as circumcision, the Shabbat, and other ceremonies . Otherwise, this sect of the Nazarenes thrives most vigorously in the state of Berea, Coele-Syria, in Decapolis, around Pella, and in Bashan. After they departed from Jerusalem, they made their start from here, as all the disciples dwelt in Pella, having been warned by Meshiach to depart Yerushalayim and emigrate because of imminent danger”

Up to today the matter still bothers many, first of all because several are seriously concerned now about those who call themselves Christian but do not adhere to Jeshua his writings and even worship an other god than Jeshua, namely Jesus and his co-gods (god the father and god the holy spirit). For Jews wanting to accept Jeshua or Jesus as the Messiah this is a serious problem, because they would never want to be confused with polytheist Christians. Most of the Jews, even today, do not want to give up their Jewishness, certainly because they consider themsleves still to be part of the Chosen People of God, Israel Gods People. Thàt they do not want to give up. It would be stupid to give that up or to loose our identity with Gods People.

When we look at the history of Christianity we can see that, before the time it was transposed to Christendom and the dogmatic teachings of the trinity, already soon there came a major controversy in early Christianity concerning the role of Jewish law and traditions. As most of the first converts were Jews, some felt that the Mosaic Law and covenantal signs, such as circumcision, were still important. While others where convinced that their rebbe brought the message of God that from now on their religion had to be open to both Jews and Gentiles. Some contended that converts first had to become Jews in order to become Christians. Others considered the outward signs of Judaism to be unnecessary for Christian life.

It is known that at the beginning most of them, like Saul or Paul, how he further became known, that “Much in every way“ was the advantage of the Jew and the value of circumcision. (Romans 3:1). Several thought by allowing goyim to enter their community and not having them to subject to the same rules they where overthrowing the Law by that notion of faith? But for Paul that was by no means so. On the contrary, he felt that they upheld the Law” (Romans 3:31).

Everybody had to know that all those who just relied on works of the law were under a curse (Galatians 3:10), because we all should know that no one is justified before God by the law (Galatians 3:11).

The convert Paul went even so far to say that circumcision even did not count for anything, but that Jeshua had taken care of a new path and had opened the gates of a new creation which is everything. (Galatians 6:15). For him it had become clear that no human being will be justified in God’s sight by works of the law, since through the law comes knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20). But that does not mean that the Law would be sin. By no means (Romans 7:7).

All that want to become a follower of Jeshua, Paul argumented had to recognise that the Law is and shall stay holy, and that the mitzvah or commandment is holy and just and good for all of us (Romans 7:12). Though he also said that to the Israelites belongs the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the Law, the Temple, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs and of their race, according to the flesh (Romans 9:4). Jewishness can not be taken away by man, because it is entitled by God, engraved in the hearts of those who descent from the tribes chosen by God and protected by God.

Today there are lots of people who think that God has rejected His own people but Paul already warned for such false thinking and said that the Elohim has not rejected His people (Romans 11:1) and told even that

“All Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26).

As such Jews still can bear that precious hope. When they accept Jeshua as the Messiah they do not have to give up their Jewishness, but they also shall have to accept that the goyim or those who where at first atheist, heathen or people from an other faith, that they now too can come to God by the way of Jeshua, and can call the Elohim Hashem Jehovah also their Father or Abba.

Those Jews at the time of the first followers of Jeshua came to accept the non-Jews and did not impose their laws unto them – which was not always an easy thing to do for them. In our time, we too have to be open for the non-Jews who come to accept the Nazarene rebbe Jeshua as their Saviour. But we too have to accept that those goyim become part of the Body of Christ without having to undergo all the obligations a Jew has to undergo.

Nobody may come to think the Law would have become opposed to the promises of God. Certainly not! (Galatians 3:21).

Although Paul preached justification on the basis of faith in Christ, he was himself a Pharisee and addressed the role of Jewish traditions and the status of Israel in the new covenant.

In “Paul’s Contradictions: Can They Be Resolved?” Princeton Professor John Gager looks at how Paul seems to be at war with himself on the subject of Israel. Is there a way out of his contradictions?
Yes, the author argues, but only if we first get past misconceptions about Paul that date to the earliest stages of Christianity — even to Paul’s own times.

Though when reading the book by John Gager, one must know that Paul is not the father of Christian anti-Judaism, like the great German historian Adolf Harnack wants Christians to believe. He writes:

“It was Paul who delivered the Christian religion from Judaism … It was he who confidently regarded the Gospel as a new force abolishing the religion of the law.”

Since the time of the early church fathers until recent decades, all interpreters of Paul have read him from the perspective of the triumph of Christianity, after the decisive break between Christianity and Judaism. The reigning Christian view of Judaism during this entire period has been that the Jews have been superseded as the chosen people of God by the Christians (or Christianity), that the Jews are no longer the bearers of God’s promise of salvation and that their only hope for salvation lies in becoming Christian. In this hermeneutic, it follows that Paul, too, with his canonical status, must have held to this dominant Christian view of Judaism. And this is exactly how Paul has been read throughout Christian history. Not just 80 or 90 or even 99 percent of the time, but 100 percent of the time, without exception — that is, until recently, when a few maverick scholars began not only to question that image but to reject it altogether. {Paul: Jewish Law and Early Christianity}

Biblical scholar Ben Witherington III counters the contradiction in “Laying Down the Law: A response to John Gager.” He questions Gager’s idea that Paul preached the gospel of Jesus Christ for Christians alone by asking whether his message was intended for both Jews and Christians.

Today we can see that there is a growing amount of Jews who are proud to be Jew but also want to be proud to be a follower of the Jew Jeshua, whom they often consider to be one of their own, a child of Israel. In Christendom we find that the majority are trinitarians, but may not forget that there are loads of non-trintiarian denominations as well. There are certain groups which have a similar name but differ from their belief in the trinity or in One True God. As such we can find the Nazarenes, of which some are tinritarians and others still believe the same doctrines as their first counterparts. The Nazarene Friends up to a few years ago where very active non-trinitarian Christians, but by becoming older and dying lots of ecclesiae saw their numbers reduce.

The most well known non-trinitarian groups may be the Bible Students and Jehovah’s Wtinesses, with all their teardowns or torn groups. Lots of those groups not so much respecting by God given days to celebrate or to remember certain events. Though it must be said several bible student groups and Jehovah’s Witness knowing very well that according to Jeshua and his heavenly Father, according to the Scriptures all people of God shall have to remember 14-15 Nisan or Passover (Pesach).

Some Christians also have come to the conclusion that perhaps not so many laws are abandoned as so many Christians do believe. They came to understand that Jeshua was a Jew and held to the Jewish traditions. Certain Jewish elements they now also want to see incorporated in their way of life, as a sign of being under that Jewish master teacher.
Christians who do not want to be looked at, as the same lot of trinitarian Christians, or who want to feel and show more a Jewish connection can as Messianic Christians show their love for Jeshua and his teachings by calling themselves also a Jeshuaist.

Jeshuaist do not expect converts to the faith in Jeshua to be or to become a Jew or to follow all the Jewish laws, though they want them to recognise the Jewish position of Jeshua and the Judaic followers of Jeshua, which means that certain ways of worship, songs and prayers and making church or having meetings shall be as in the first century or in the tradition of the early Christians, forming a brotherhood with acceptance of differences, but considering all as one part united under Christ and not a human organisation which would control and regulate everything.

For Jews who accept Jeshua as their Messiah and for those who prefer to see a Messianic Judaism the Jeshuaists offer a solution. With the title or name Jeshua-ist one can give honour to Jeshua and show the connection with the Jewish rebbe as well can one avoid the confusion with trinitarian Messianics or trinitarian Christians, making it clear to be a Messianic non-trinitarian Jew.

 

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You may be interested in reading:

  1. Our life depending on faith
  2. As there is a lot of division in Christendom there is too in Judaism
  3. The Sabbatean Prophets
  4. Converso Involvement in the Sabbatai Zevi Movement
  5. Sabbatai Zevi (Jewish Convert To Islam)
  6. Forgotten History-The Jews from Geleen 1940-1944.
  7. Jewish and Christian traditions of elders
  8. Today’s thought “Ability to circumcise your heart” (May 13)
  9. Jeshuaists or Followers of Jeshua
  10. Who is a Jeshua-ist
  11. Who is or can be a Jeshuaist
  12. Why to become a Jeshuaist
  13. Availability of Jeshuaists on Facebook

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Read the above mentioned articles from the Biblical Archaeology Society and more in the FREE eBook Paul: Jewish Law and Early Christianity. Featuring articles taken from Bible Review and Biblical Archaeology Review, this eBook considers the relevant writings of Paul and brings to light some of the difficult theological issues for Jews and Christians that persist to this day.

Paul: Jewish Law and Early Christianity

 

Download the Free eBook

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Further reading

  1. Religions and Mainliners
  2. Israel must honor God or the Rule of Law is meaningless
  3. The Real Wall Problem: When Will Diaspora Jews Fight For Palestinians?
  4. “Qualitavely Jews are not a minority”
  5. Nazarene Jews Through Out History
  6. Who is Israel? And What Role, If Any, Does She Play in God’s Kingdom?
  7. The Temple Connection
  8. Where is the Church that Christ built?
  9. The Church & The Old Testament Law
  10. Christians Above the Law?
  11. Why The Bible Is Divine: Christology
  12. Jewish Halakha and the Rabbinic Authority in the Messianic World
  13. The Not Left, Not Right, but UP Movement
  14. From Rome to Corinth, and Back Again: Reclaiming What Was Taken from Us
  15. Eleven Steps to Live a Messianic Nazarene Jewish life
  16. The straight line connecting Donald Trump’s new tallit to “Christians for Islam,” and a best practices suggestion
  17. Something great is happening in Israel
  18. A sort of “sing along” songs with Messianic Jews in Israel
  19. Is It A “Sign”?
  20. Christ is risen! Kristus är uppstånden! Baruch HaBa Beshem Adonai!
  21. Books on examples of Jewish evangelism in Israel
  22. The great tree of Moreh
  23. Rabbinical court rules against Jewish marriage rites for Messianic Jews
  24. Sabbath as a Bride
  25. Shalom in Psalms
    End Times Series: Pastor Jimmy Evans
  26. Kiss the Son…
  27. On an Irish Cliff

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Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans

The Christadelphian Agora comments

Reading 3 – Rom 3:9,10

“What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one’ ” (Rom 3:9,10).

“Our guilt is great because our sins are exceedingly numerous. It is not merely outward acts of unkindness and dishonesty with which we are chargeable. Our habitual and characteristic state of mind is evil in the sight of God.

“Our pride and indifference to His will and to the welfare of others and our loving the creature more than the Creator are continuous violations of His holy law. We have never been or done what that law requires us to be and to do. We have never had delight in that fixed purpose to do the will and promote the glory of God. We are always sinners; we are at all times and under all circumstances in opposition to God.

“If we have never loved Him supremely, if we have never made it our purpose to do His will, if we have never made His glory the end of our actions, then our lives have been an unbroken series of transgressions. Our sins are not to be numbered by the conscious violations of duty; they are as numerous as the moments of our existence” (Charles Hodge).

Peter Forbes comments:

3:2  If the Jews had a benefit simply because the Word of God was committed to them how do we view that same word? Do we feel privileged simply because we can read Scripture freely in our own tongue?

3:3 Paul (2Tim 2:13) develops the principles of this verse for the benefit of Timothy. – We have noted before that David’s Psalm (32) is used by Paul to speak of the way in which God forgives. Reflecting on what David had done – committed adultery and murdered a man – we probably cannot think of two more evil crimes. But it is these two crimes which God forgave which forms the basis of Paul’s encouragement to us.

David and Bathsheba, by Henry Bone (died 1834)...

David and Bathsheba, by Henry Bone (died 1834). See source website for additional information. This set of images was gathered by User:Dcoetzee from the National Portrait Gallery, London website using a special tool. All images in this batch have been confirmed as author died before 1939 according to the official death date listed by the NPG. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3:4 The quotation ‘that thou mightest be justified …‘ from Psalm 51:4 marks the beginning of an appeal to the repentance of David after his adultery with Bathsheba – see the title of the Psalm. This incident in David’s life, as terrible as it was, marks the magnitude of the Father’s forgiveness towards a repentant sinner. More notes on this in Romans 4.

3:4‘that thou … art judged’ is a quotation from Psa 51:4 That Psalm is a Psalm speaking specifically of David’s sin with Bathsheba. Paul highlights that the Psalm, though specifically speaking to David, actually has a general application to all.

3:5 This is the first of a number of occasions when Paul asks a question which he then answers himself. The others are Rom 4:1,  6:1, 7:7

Painting by Rembrandt of Paul, one of the most...

Painting by Rembrandt of Paul, one of the most notable of early Christian missionaries, who called himself the “Apostle to the Gentiles.” Paul, a Hellenistic Jew, was very influential on the shift of Christianity to Gentile dominated movement. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3:7-8   The “lie” that Paul is thinking about is the charge laid on him by others that he said “Let us do evil that good may come”.

3:8  The charge laid on Paul is similar to the hypothetical question he asks in Rom 6:1.

3:9     The teaching of Paul that we ‘are all under sin’ is quoted by Paul later – Gal 3:22–This is one of many times where Paul quotes elements of this letter to the Romans to other churches. Thus we see that Romans seems to be a letter that many of the other churches were aware of.

3:19 The phrase ‘every mouth may be stopped’ echoes the sentiments of Psa 107:42 thus demonstrating that the teaching that all men are sinners is not confined to the New Testament but is a clear Old Testament teaching.

3:23,24 These adjacent verses are at the opposite ends of the spectrum as far as the mind of man is concerned. One has to recognise the situation outlined in v 23 before one can be in the state described in v 24. Justification is only available to those who recognise their own personal need for salvation.

3:25-26        We should reflect carefully on the fact that God’s righteousness is seen in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Our God is not a vindictive cruel God. Rather, as shown by the way He responded to Jesus’ obedience, He is merciful – which we should appreciate anyway because of the way in which He describes Himself –Exo 34:6-7

3:31   To the Jew the idea that the Law of Moses was no longer the route to pleasing God (if it ever was) was a major problem. So they needed to know that ‘faith’ did not remove the need for obedience

Peter Cresswell comments

English: manuscript of the Epistle to the Roma...

manuscript of the Epistle to the Romans (fragment) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3:4 – Here we see a principle that we cannot ignore.  Let God be true is a clear instruction to us not to make God into what we think He should be – not to impose on Him what we feel are the qualities of a god, but instead to open our minds to let Him show us what he really is in truth.  We are still on the theme from the previous chapters which tell us how to avoid being like those whose worship is distorted.  Let us take heed, as through this we can be justified by faith, as we are being prepared to learn next.

3:20 tells us that the law can’t save because by it there is knowledge of sin.  This shows us that the law is inextricably tied up with the original curse – that we should know good and evil.  At the end this curse will be removed and we will know only good.  We do well to remember that this knowledge of good and evil is a curse, not a privilege.  One day, those who are saved, will leave it far behind.  One could argue that by God’s grace, we already have – 5:21, 6:7 – but in that day it will be actual.  Evil will no longer be remembered or contemplated or come into mind.  We must ask ourselves: Are we ready to leave behind the choice to do evil, without looking back, or do we still consider it a privilege?

Cliff York comments

Romans 3:9 – “for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin” – in chapters one and two. Paul painted a word picture, first of the Gentile world – Romans 1 – then the Jewish world, which was even worse, for they had access to God’s righteousness – Romans 2.

v12-18 – Paul describes the cadaver of sin. As Paul’s scalpel opens up the body of sin, first the throat, then the tongue, lips, mouth, feet, and eyes are laid bare and examined – Hebrews 4:12-13. And Paul’s conclusion is given in v23 – “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”  What does this tell us? We all need Jesus Christ. No-one will be in God’s Kingdom who has not entrusted his life and his salvation to the only name given among men whereby they might be saved – Acts 4:12.

John Wilson comments

Rom 3:25  “to declare his  righteousness.” Christ, the bearer of the sins of the people. Not that Christ might be punished for others, but that God’s righteousness might be declared for others to see that they might be forgiven.

David Simpson comments

Rom 3:9-20 has at least 7 quotations from the Psalms, and one from Isaiah. Then in Rom 4 we can find 7 times when Abraham’s name is written.  There is no doubt, is there, where the Gospel’s foundation is laid?

Valerie Mello comments

Rom 3:23: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

A reader writes: “even though our Lord did not commit one single sin – even of omission, he still Came Short of the glory of Yahweh – by his very mortality that he inherited by his birth of a mortal woman – meaning he had to make atonement by his death for his ‘falling short’ of the glory of Yahweh by reason of his birth by a mortal woman who, wonderful as she was, still possessed a sin-prone nature herself.”

My reply: In Rom 1, Paul pointed out mankind’s refusal to acknowledge God and God’s truth and how God gave mankind over to their lusts and the practice of sin. Then in Rom 2, Paul describes God’s judgment on both the Gentiles and the Jews. In Rom 3, Paul sums up his argument and makes it clear that all of mankind is under sin and that “every mouth will be silenced and the whole world will be held accountable to God.” With regard to God’s judgment there is no difference between Jew and Gentile, rich or poor, priest or beggar, businessmen or drunk, churchgoer and atheist, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. It does not say or imply that Christ because of his human nature fell short of God’s glory!

In Rom 3:22, we read that the righteousness of God is by faith in Jesus Christ to “all” – that is, mankind in general, Jews and Gentiles, “unto all and upon all that believe: for there is no difference” (cf. vv. 21,23). To fall short of the glory of God is to be in need of righteousness, a righteousness imputed to us by God through Christ (2Cor 5:21).

In Matt 5:20, we are warned that our righteousness must exceed those of the Pharisees. What Jesus is telling us is that it is not enough to submit to mere outward conformity as characterized by the Pharisees, but that it must be of both inward and outward conformity. Obeying the Law was more than just abstaining from killing, or stealing, etc., it also dealt with our inward being. So it is with us under the Law of Christ, and we can only exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees if we submit to Christ. Our own righteousness will never be good enough no matter how hard we try (cf. Isa 64:6).

Jesus was the only one who could lead a perfect life to the law of God in thought, word, and deed. Jesus’ mission was not simply to die on the cross. He had to be the Lamb without blemish, without sin. He had to live a life of perfect obedience, which he did and became the righteousness of God and, thus, could not have fallen short of God’s glory. Irrespective of Christ’s human sin-prone nature, he did not fall short, but continued in all things that were written in the book of the law to do them, otherwise, how could his righteousness be imputed to us, irrespective of our human nature (cf. 1Pet 5:10)? Christ was the perfect sacrifice and we can be made perfect only in him. We are to be Christ-like (cf. 2Cor 3:18).

Christ’s passive obedience (Isa 53:7) pays our sin debt and his active obedience of a sinless life gives us the perfection required by God if we submit (cf. Matt 5:48). What is required of us is active and passive obedience to Christ. Jesus came to undo what Adam did in committing and omitting, by which his character was tarnished and sin entered the flesh and passed on to his descendants – his sin was imputed to us (Rom 5:17-19). This was man’s fall from glory and made him in need of glory.  Man was created in God’s image for God’s glory (1Cor 11:7; Isa 43:7). Christ came to restore for us what Adam lost. We must have Christ’s righteousness, active and passive, transforming us from sinners who fell short of the glory of God to saints of God who fulfill the glory of God in Christ, or God will not accept us.

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Preceding articles

Elul Observances

To find ways of Godly understanding

Luther’s misunderstanding

January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works

Our life depending on faith

Romans 4 and the Sacraments

Is Justification a process?

Letter to the Romans, chapter 3

Letter to the Romans, chapter 4

Continue reading: Additional comments to the 4th Letter to the Romans

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Additional reading

  1. Creation of the earth and man #4 Of the Sabbath day #2 Days 1,7,8 and 50
  2. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 4
  3. Necessity of a revelation of creation 3 Getting understanding by Word of God 1
  4. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  5. Imprisonment and execution of Jesus Christ
  6. The seven last sayings of Christ discussed in the new edition of the Christadelphian
  7. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  8. God’s wrath and sanctification
  9. Condemnation of the World and Illustration of Justification
  10. Theologians and a promised Spirit to enlighten us
  11. Atonement and the race been bought
  12. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  13. 138) Cheap Grace
  14. Christianity without the Trinity
  15. Not trying to make the heathen live like Jews #2
  16. A Living Faith #7 Prayer
  17. Growth in character
  18. Love is like playing the piano
  19. Forgiveness is a blessing for the one who forgives
  20. He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass
  21. Forgiveness always possible
  22. A man who cannot forgive others
  23. Answering a fool according to his folly
  24. Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #5 Not law binding
  25. When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church
  26. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  27. Breathing to teach

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Further readings

  1. The creation of Earth and Man, the fall of Man, the cursed Earth, the redemption of Man, the resurrection of Christ, the resurrection of Man, the New Earth
  2. The Justification of Abraham
  3. Joseph and the justification of evil/sin
  4. Law and Grace
  5. Justification, Sanctification and Perseverance – By Grace through Faith
  6. Justification is by faith
  7. Why Justifying yourself is Destroying you!
  8. Are Good Works Necessary for Salvation?
  9. Faith itself not the cause of justification – Louis Berkhof
  10. Theories of Atonement: Recapitulation Theory
  11. Practical Theology
  12. Michael Horton Differentiates Law and Gospel
  13. Old and New Perspectives on Paul: A Third Way?
  14. Why the Law? Part 2
  15. The Justified Dead
  16. It’s not about you
  17. Reflective Paragraphs Week 4 – Romans 3
  18. Romans 3
  19. Daily Devotional – Romans 3:1-8
  20. Romans 3:9
  21. Daily Devotional – Romans 3:9-20
  22. Daily Devotional – Romans 3:21-31
  23. “And where does that leave our proud religious claim of having a corner on God? Canceled.” ~~Apostle Paul
  24. The Best Way to “Stand Up” For Jesus: Revisiting Romans
  25. What works was Paul talking about in Romans?
  26. Nullify the Torah?
  27. Under The Law
  28. Psalm 57 – As a Deaf Adder; A Sermon Preached at the Amarillo Primitive Baptist Church – Sunday, October 18, 2015
  29. Apart From The Law Of Righteousness
  30. Confessions of a Hypocrite
  31. You are without excuse
  32. Are we good?
  33. More Fashionable Fig Leaves
  34. Elihu – A Word for young leaders
  35. Salvation & Obedience
  36. Would Your Faith Save You?
  37. Let Go of the Ladder
  38. The Playing Field Is Level!
  39. My Utmost For His Highest: The Nature Of Reconciliation
  40. Obedience apart from Christ won’t justify
  41. That One Sin!
  42. The Only Martyr
  43. we’re all “heirs according to the promise” – but we all fall short
  44. Everybody needs Jesus
  45. Rub Your Eyes (Rondel Grande)
  46. Romans Devotional- Day 25
  47. The Anatomy Of God
  48. When Perfect Is Not A Good Thing – Part 1
  49. When Perfect Is Not A Good Thing – Part 2
  50. Is just-as-if-I’d-never-sinned the true meaning of justification?
  51. My Sinfulness
  52. If you love yourself….
  53. Good Behavior
  54. God is righteous and just (God is good 4)
  55. PT. 9 (The end) You are justified in Christ
  56. Day 11: I Declare My Righteousness Is In Christ Jesus
  57. Subjected For Our Sake.
  58. Guilt & Shame Misapplied
  59. God Glories in Making You Righteous
  60. Our Comforter is our Peace
  61. We Distinguish…(Part 5) — Active/Passive Obedience
  62. We Distinguish…(Part 6) — Moral/Ceremonial/Civil
  63. Those Who Practice Such Things Will Not Inherit the Kingdom of God
  64. Do I seek approval?

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Warm-blooded, feathered vertebrates

BIRDS

Birds are warm-blooded, feathered vertebrates and are oviparous, that is, egg laying. There are some 300 references to birds in the Bible, with about 30 different varieties being specifically named. Reference is made to their flight, often in escaping their enemies (Ps 11:1; Pr 26:2; 27:8; Isa 31:5; Ho 9:11); their roosting in trees (Ps 104:12; Mt 13:32); their nesting (Ps 84:3; Eze 31:6); their uses, particularly young pigeons and turtledoves, in sacrifice (Le 1:14; 14:4-7, 49-53) and as food (Ne 5:18), including their eggs (Isa 10:14; Lu 11:11, 12); and God’s provision and care for them.

Manyas

Manyas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

26 Observe intently the birds of heaven;+ they do not sow seed or reap or gather into storehouses, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth more than they are?   (Matthew 6:26)

29 Two sparrows sell for a coin of small value,* do they not? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.+ (Matthew 10:29; compare De 22:6, 7).

Birds were among the earliest living souls on earth, coming into existence on the fifth creative “day” along with the marine creatures.

20 Then God said: “Let the waters swarm with living creatures,* and let flying creatures fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.”*+21 And God created the great sea creatures* and all living creatures* that move and swarm in the waters according to their kinds and every winged flying creature according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 With that God blessed them, saying: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the waters of the sea,+ and let the flying creatures become many in the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. (Genesis 1:20-23)

Of the general terms used in the Bible that apply to birds, the most frequent Hebrew word is ʽohph, basically meaning “flying creature” (Ge 1:20), which may include not only birds but also winged insects. (Compare Le 11:13, 21-23.) The Hebrew tsip·pohr′ also occurs in a large number of texts and is a generic term applying to birds in general. (Ge 7:14) A third Hebrew term, ʽa′yit, is applied solely to the birds of prey.

Bird - Seagull enjoying the sunset

Bird – Seagull enjoying the sunset (Photo credit: blmiers2)

The following terms are found in the Greek Scriptures: or′ne·on, meaning simply “bird” (Re 18:2); pe·tei·non′ and pte·nos′, both literally meaning “flier.” (Ro 1:23; 1Co 15:39; compare Int.) At Acts 17:18 Athenian philosophers referred to the apostle Paul as a “chatterer.” The Greek word here (sper·mo·lo′gos) was applied to a bird that picks up seeds, while figuratively it was used of a person who picks up scraps by begging or stealing, or, as in the case cited, one who repeats scraps of knowledge, an idle babbler.

A thoughtful study of birds gives convincing proof of the Biblical teaching that they are of divine creation. While birds and reptiles are both oviparous, reptiles are cold-blooded, often sluggish, whereas birds are warm-blooded and among the most active of all earth’s creatures; they also have an unusually rapid heartbeat. The evolutionary view that reptilian scales and front limbs eventually developed into feathered wings is both fanciful and baseless. The fossils of birds called by scientists Archaeopteryx (or, ancient wing) and Archaeornis (or, ancient bird), though showing teeth and a long vertebrated tail, also show that they were completely feathered, had feet equipped for perching, and had fully developed wings. No intermediate specimens, exhibiting scales developing into feathers or front legs into wings, exist to give any semblance of support to the evolution theory. As expressed by the apostle Paul, birds are of a distinct “flesh” from others of earth’s creatures.

Bird - Duck - Mallard

Bird – Duck – Mallard (Photo credit: blmiers2)

39 Not all flesh is the same flesh, but there is one of mankind, there is another flesh of cattle, another flesh of birds, and another of fish.  (1Corinthians 15:39).

The psalmist called upon the “winged birds” to praise Jehovah (Ps 148:1, 10), and birds do this by their very structure and their complex design. A single bird may have from 1,000 to over 20,000 feathers. Yet each feather is composed of a shaft from which branch out hundreds of barbs forming an inner web, each barb containing several hundred smaller barbules and each barbule having hundreds of barbicels and hooklets. A single six-inch wing feather of a pigeon is thus estimated to contain some hundreds of thousands of barbules and literally millions of barbicels. The aerodynamic principles built into birds’ wings and body design surpass in complexity and efficiency that of modern-day aircraft. A bird’s hollow bones contribute to its lightness, and thus the skeleton of a frigate bird with a 2-m (7 ft) wingspan may weigh only about 110 g (4 oz). Certain wing bones of large soaring birds even have trusslike supports, like the struts inside airplane wings, within the hollow portions.

At the time of the Flood, Noah introduced into the ark for preservation pairs of birds “according to their kinds.”

So Jehovah said: “I am going to wipe men whom I have created off the surface of the ground, man together with domestic animals, creeping animals, and flying creatures of the heavens, for I regret that I have made them.” … 19 And bring into the ark two of every sort of living creature+ in order to preserve them alive with you, a male and a female;+ 20 of the flying creatures according to their kinds, the domestic animals according to their kinds, and all creeping animals of the ground  (Genesis 6:7, 19-20)

also of the flying creatures of the sky by sevens,* male and female, to preserve their offspring alive over all the earth.+

23 So He wiped every living thing from the surface of the earth, including man, animals, creeping animals, and the flying creatures of the sky. They were all wiped off the earth;+ only Noah and those with him in the ark survived.+ (Genesis 7:3, 23)

Manyas

Manyas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is no certain way of knowing how many different “kinds” of birds then existed, some types of birds having become extinct even in recent times. However, it is of interest to note that the listing of birds according to present-day scientific classification presented in The New Encyclopædia Britannica (1985, Vol. 15, pp. 14-106) gives a total of only 221 bird “families,” including some that are now extinct or known only in fossil form. There are, of course, thousands of varieties included within these “families.” {Note}

Following the global Flood, Noah offered up “clean flying creatures” along with animals as a sacrifice. (Ge 8:18-20) Birds were thereafter made allowable by God for inclusion in man’s diet, as long as the blood was not eaten. (Ge 9:1-4; compare Le 7:26; 17:13.) The ‘cleanness’ of certain birds at that time therefore evidently relates to some divine indication of acceptableness for sacrifice; the Biblical record shows that, as regards their being used as food, none of the birds were designated as “unclean” until the introduction of the Mosaic Law. (Le 11:13-19, 46, 47; 20:25; De 14:11-20) The factors determining which birds were designated ceremonially “unclean” are not expressly stated in the Bible. Thus, while most of those so designated were birds of prey or scavengers, not all of them were.  This prohibition was lifted following the establishment of the new covenant, as God made evident to Peter by a vision.

The next day as they were continuing on their journey and were approaching the city, Peter went up to the housetop about the sixth hour* to pray. 10 But he became very hungry and wanted to eat. While they were preparing the meal, he fell into a trance+11 and saw heaven opened and something* descending like a great linen sheet being let down by its four corners on the earth; 12 and in it were all sorts of four-footed animals and reptiles* of the earth and birds of heaven. 13 Then a voice said to him: “Get up, Peter, slaughter and eat!” 14 But Peter said: “Not at all, Lord, because I have never eaten anything defiled and unclean.”+15 And the voice spoke again to him, the second time: “Stop calling defiled the things God has cleansed.” (Acts of the apostles 10:9-15).

Birds

Birds (Photo credit: Emyan)

The identification of the birds specifically named in the Bible presents a difficult problem in some cases. Lexicographers generally are guided by the root meaning of the name, since this is usually descriptive, by indications in the context as to the bird’s habits and habitat, and by observation of the birds known to be found in the Bible lands. In many cases the names are believed to be onomatopoeic, that is, imitating the sound produced by the bird.

The diverse topography of Palestine, ranging from cool mountain peaks to deep sweltering valleys and from arid deserts to maritime plains, all together near the SE corner of the Mediterranean Sea, makes it a focal point for a great variety of bird types. Mount Hermon, in the N, is snowcapped for much of the year, while the region about 200 km (125 mi) to the S along the lower Jordan Valley and near the Dead Sea is hot and tropical. Each of these zones contains birds peculiar to its own environment, either alpine or tropical, as do also the temperate zones and the desert regions. (Ps 102:6; 104:16, 17) Additionally, Palestine is on one of the major migrational routes followed annually by birds (storks, turtledoves, quail, swifts, swallows, bulbuls, cuckoos, and others) traveling N from Africa in the spring or S from Europe and Asia in the fall. (Ca 2:11, 12; Jer 8:7) Thus it is estimated that about 470 varieties of birds may be found in Palestine at some time during the course of a year. In view of the deterioration of Palestinian forests and vegetation over the centuries, it is likely that in Biblical times the bird population was even greater.

Particularly notable are the great numbers of birds of prey (Heb., ʽa′yit) found in Palestine, including eagles, hawks, falcons, kites, and vultures. Back in Abraham’s time, birds of prey tried to descend upon Abraham’s sacrifice of certain animals and birds, obliging him to drive them off until the sun began to set. (Ge 15:9-12; compare 2Sa 21:10.) In their search for food these birds rely on their powerful telescopic sight, rather than on their relatively weak sense of smell.

The well-known sight of a cluster of scavenger birds gathered around a carcass often served as the basis for an ominous warning to an enemy (1Sa 17:44, 46), and repeatedly formed part of divinely inspired prophetic warnings to the nation of Israel and its rulers (De 28:26; 1Ki 14:11; 21:24; Jer 7:33; 15:3) as well as to foreign nations. (Isa 18:1, 6; Eze 29:5; 32:4) Thus, the one used by Jehovah to execute judgement was figuratively represented by “a bird of prey.” (Isa 46:11) Desolation of a city or land was depicted by its becoming the habitat of certain birds of solitary nature (Isa 13:19-21; compare Re 18:2) or by the disappearance of all bird life. (Jer 4:25-27; 9:10; 12:4; Ho 4:3; Zep 1:3) The proclamation calling all the birds to gather to feast upon the dead bodies of Gog of Magog and his crowd (Eze 39:1-4, 17-21) is paralleled by that recorded in Revelation in which the bodies of national rulers and their armies become food for “all the birds that fly in midheaven” as a result of the executional work of Christ Jesus as King.

11 I saw heaven opened, and look! a white horse.+ And the one seated on it is called Faithful+ and True,+ and he judges and carries on war in righteousness.+12 His eyes are a fiery flame,+ and on his head are many diadems.* He has a name written that no one knows but he himself, 13 and he is clothed with an outer garment stained* with blood, and he is called by the name The Word+ of God. 14 Also, the armies in heaven were following him on white horses, and they were clothed in white, clean, fine linen. 15 And out of his mouth protrudes a sharp, long sword+ with which to strike the nations, and he will shepherd them with a rod of iron.+ Moreover, he treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.+16 On his outer garment, yes, on his thigh, he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.+

17 I saw also an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice and said to all the birds that fly in midheaven:* “Come here, be gathered together to the great evening meal of God,+18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of military commanders and the flesh of strong men+ and the flesh of horses and of those seated on them,+ and the flesh of all, of freemen as well as of slaves and of small ones and great.”

19 And I saw the wild beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the one seated on the horse and against his army.+20 And the wild beast was caught, and along with it the false prophet+ that performed in front of it the signs with which he misled those who received the mark of the wild beast+ and those who worship its image.+ While still alive, they both were hurled into the fiery lake that burns with sulfur.+21 But the rest were killed off with the long sword that proceeded out of the mouth of the one seated on the horse.+ And all the birds were filled with their flesh.+ (Revelation 19:11-21; contrast this with God’s comforting words to his people, at Ho 2:18-20).

18 In that day I will make a covenant for them with the wild animals of the field,+ And with the birds of the heavens and the creeping things of the ground;+ I will rid the land of the bow and the sword and war,+ And I will make them lie down* in security.+19 I will engage myself to you forever; And I will engage myself to you in righteousness and in justice, In loyal love and in mercy.+ 20 I will engage myself to you in faithfulness, And you will certainly know Jehovah.’+ (Hosea 2:18-20)

Worship of birds as representing the true God was prohibited to the nation of Israel (De 4:15-17) but was prominent among the pagan nations, particularly in Egypt. (Ro 1:23) Hundreds of bird mummies have been found in Egyptian tombs, principally of birds such as the falcon, the vulture, and the ibis, all of which were sacred among the Egyptians. Egyptian hieroglyphics contain some 22 different bird signs.

Bird

Bird (Photo credit: DeusXFlorida (5,003,637 views) – thanks guys!)

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{Note}: The “kinds” of animals selected had reference to the clear-cut and unalterable boundaries or limits set by the Creator, within which boundaries creatures are capable of breeding “according to their kinds.” It has been estimated by some that the hundreds of thousands of species of animals today could be reduced to a comparatively few family “kinds”—the horse kind and the cow kind, to mention but two. The breeding boundaries according to “kind” established by Jehovah were not and could not be crossed. With this in mind some investigators have said that, had there been as few as 43 “kinds” of mammals, 74 “kinds” of birds, and 10 “kinds” of reptiles in the ark, they could have produced the variety of species known today. Others have been more liberal in estimating that 72 “kinds” of quadrupeds and less than 200 bird “kinds” were all that were required. That the great variety of animal life known today could have come from inbreeding within so few “kinds” following the Flood is proved by the endless variety of humankind—short, tall, fat, thin, with countless variations in the colour of hair, eyes, and skin—all of whom sprang from the one family of Noah.

Sleeping Caribbean Flamingo at the Metro Toron...

Sleeping Caribbean Flamingo at the Metro Toronto Zoo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Additional reading:

  1. Praise be to God
  2. Praise the God with His Name
  3. Praise the most High Jehovah God above all
  4. Make a joyful noise unto Yahweh, rejoice, and sing praise unto Jehovah

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  • Pterosaurs cast a giant shadow over today’s biggest winged creatures (theguardian.com)

    Pterosaurs model shadow

    A man walks under the shadow of a model pterosaur. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty

    Look at the birds outside your window: little feathery things that beg for crumbs and make cute chirpy noises. What if they were nine metres across and could fold up their wings and walk on all fours? Not so cute. Long ago, just such hulking creatures ruled the skies.

    Pterosaurs were Earth’s first flying vertebrates. Although birds and bats have taken wing in the 66m years since their extinction, we don’t have any flying creatures that approach the size of the biggest pterosaurs. The largest known specimen, Quetzalcoatlus, had a 10-metre wingspan. An immense vertebra recently found in Romania suggests that pterosaurs may have grown even bigger than that. The largest flying animals today, such as the wandering albatross and the Andean condor, average a wingspan of around three metres.

  • Birds (milliesmindofmadness.wordpress.com)
    Birds are a symbol of freedom and liberty. Then why, I ask, did a bird poo on me yesterday when I was walking my dogs? Why? Could the bird not have the decency to poo somewhere else other than my face. I know that it was multi-tasking but that bird needs to think of others before it let’s loose it’s poo on me. Furthermore, where I was walking was a nice pleasant area so to quote my dad, I got pooed on by a posh bird.
  • Bird (kyle861.wordpress.com)
    Birds (class Aves or clade Avialae) are featheredwingedbipedalendothermic (warm-blooded), egg-layingvertebrate animals. With around 10,000 living species, they are the most specioseclass of tetrapod vertebrates.
  • Rise of Animals: David Attenborough explores evolution of vertebrates (thisismoney.co.uk)
    David Attenborough has visited new paleontological hotspots to fill in evolutionary gaps of how vertebrates came to rule the Earth and how their evolution defines our own human bodies.
    In a new two-part documentary, Rise of Animals: Triumph of the vertebrates, the naturalist explores the origins of the backbone by studying a tiny prehistoric animal and a living fossil living in the south of England.Sir David takes a 500-million-year evolutionary journey to study animals including a newly discovered ‘missing link’ from China, a shallow water predator that swam like a fish but took its first steps on land, giant ancient animals and the famous fossil of the feathered dinosaur.
  • Zoology: Using Animals to Enrich Your World (rebekahloper.wordpress.com)
    Animals serve many purposes. They are a vital part of the ecosystem, they offer companionship, and theycan be sources of food.And creating animals can honestly be one of the most fun parts of worldbuilding. But as always, there are things to consider!
  • A fallen feather (raoulpop.com)
    The birds we seldom notice, unless they muck up our freshly washed cars, are able to do something no human being has been able to do so far, without the aid of an engineered mechanism. They’re able to take flight, freely, and soar high above the ground, surveying all they can see, while humans are stuck on the ground.
  • Doahugou Biota: Study Describes 30 Species from Jurassic of China (sci-news.com)
    Over the last two decades, huge numbers of fossils have been collected from the western Liaoning Province and adjacent parts of northeastern China, including exceptionally preserved feathered dinosaurs, early birds, and mammals. Most of these specimens are from the Cretaceous Period, including the famous Jehol Biota.However, in recent years many fossils have emerged from sites that are 30 million years earlier, providing an exceptional window on life during the Jurassic period, about 160 million years ago.
  • Poachers dump bodies of nine eagles in ditch near Kamloops (calgaryherald.com)
    The remains of eight bald eagles and one golden eagle have been found in a ditch near Kamloops, B.C.Officials with the Conservation Officer Service say the carcasseswere discovered last month in the ditch beside a well-used public road.Heads, feet, tail feathers and wings of all nine birds had been removed.

     

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