Show #168 – Mixed Bag

A look at several emails, included: Does modern day paganism inform us about ancient cult practices? What is it that Bede (an 8th century writer) actually says about the name “Easter”? And should the Messianic and Hebrew Roots movement hold to Rabbinic tradition so that we are not all doing our own thing? Finally, should…

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One Torah or Two?

Those within the Messianic and Hebrew Roots movement are faced with an interesting suggestion. Within Judaism there is one written Torah, but there is also the “Oral Torah.” Within the emerging Torah movement, many believers are suggesting the Oral Torah is actually divinely sanctioned. In this article, Rob Vanhoff looks at this claim. Investigating the history of this Jewish tradition, Vanhoff shows that the concept of “two Torahs” has not always been the norm. Rather, as is often the case, later rabbinic authorities have imposed their traditions as upon earlier rabbinic authorities, making it appear as though they were the founders of what was only a later tradition. Therefore, Vanhoff shows the written Torah to be the only divinely revealed instructions for righteous living given to God’s people.

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What Version of the Mishnah did Paul Read?

In this article, Tim Hegg challenges the view traditional rabbinic Judaism, that the Oral Torah goes back to Sinai. Hegg suggests a later date for works such as the Mishnah, showing them to be long after the first century. As a result, Hegg shows that reading these texts back into first century Judaisms is anachronistic. In conclusion, Hegg gives a strong case that the writings of the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament) are far more accurate to inform us about 1st century Judaisms than to rely on the rabbinic literature compiled centuries after the Apostolic era.

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