Nazarene Space

Why is the Hebrew Roots Movement taking off so strongly?  Does it have any measure of truth?  Here are my thoughts of late.

HaShatan is always trying to stay in control.  HaShatan will allow things to flourish if it suits his interests.  HaShatan will often be in control of both sides of any conflict.  The right hand and the left hand paths, for example.

There is some great truth that the Hebrew Roots Movement is uncovering, but HaShatan is still "in control" of the flow of things.  He keeps a tight reign on "His Kingdom".  HaShatan does not easily let people go from "His Kingdom".

YHWH of course is ultimately in control of all things.  The wheat and the tares continue to grow side by side.  The goats and the sheep mingle together.  One of the biggest lies we believe is that the Kingdom is not available right now.  If you are born again through Yeshua HaMashiach, then you are no longer a "resident" of "this world", you must die to self and be reborn into YHWH's Kingdom.  This is represented in baptism.  We are now residents and representatives of YHWH's Kingdom although we continue to live in "this world".

So back to the Hebrew Roots Movement.  It is based on a lie, although there is truth in it that YHWH wants exposed.  The Truth is that the Torah did not pass away and has not been done away with.  In fact, as residents and representatives of YHWH's Kingdom here on earth, it is our responsibility to uphold our Constitution, which is written in the Torah.

However, "Hebrew Roots" tries to base "Christianity" on "Judaism".  Judaism in it's current form did not even exist until around 200 CE with the writing of the Mishnah.  A huge majority of Judaism was based on and around the existance of a temple (90%?) and once the temple was destroyed, Judaism had to reinvent itself.  So saying that Christianity is based upon the foundation of Judaism has many flaws seeing as modern Judaism did not exist in it's current form until nearly 200 years after the time of Yeshua.

Judaism is based upon the Torah but modern Judaism is largely tradition of men.  But at least Judaism remembers Torah.  While Christianity does away with Torah.  Christianity believes that the church replaces Israel and the Jewish people.  They are both based on error.

Let's make an effort to dig into the biblical roots of the faith and not the Jewish or Hebraic roots.  Let us keep the biblical feasts, the biblical sabbath, the biblical laws, commandments and statutes.

Let Israel come out of paganism and remember her roots and let Judah return to the pure milk of scripture. 

Romans 11:16-18  If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too.  But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.

We must remember that the root IS NOT Judaism.  Yeshua HaMashiach, who is and was the embodiment of Torah, is the root.  The remnant among Judaism (natural) and Christianity (wild) are the branches.  Saying otherwise is tantamount to saying that the church is rightfully built upon the rock of Peter and not the chief cornerstone which is Yeshua HaMashiach.

Ephesians 2:19-22 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stoneIn whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

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Comment by James Trimm on February 14, 2015 at 1:33am

No Rabbinic Judaism / Orthodox Judaism does not place Rabbinic authority over the Scriptures.  That sounds like a false Christian misunderstanding of Rabbinic Judaism. 

Comment by James Trimm on February 14, 2015 at 1:35am

The only time Yeshua mentions "traditions of men" he agrees with the Talmud against such traditions.  It sounds more like you are regurgitating what Christians think Judaism is rather than what Judaism actually is.

Comment by James Trimm on February 14, 2015 at 1:36am

Many who attack Jewish tradition and the Oral Law cite Yeshua’s words in Matthew 15:1-9 (and paralleled in Mark 7:1-13) concerning the “traditions of men.”  These commentators argue that the “traditions of men” which Yeshua speaks of in this passage are either the traditions of the Talmud, Oral Law, or Jewish traditions in general.

But lets examine these verses to see if they can accurately be applied to the Jewish traditions of the Talmud.

1 Then came near to Him scribes and P’rushim from Yerushalayim, saying,
2 Why do your talmidim transgress the decrees of the elders? For they clean not their hands when they eat bread.
3 But He answered them and said: And why do you transgress the commandments of Elohim–by means of your decrees?
4 Is it not written in your Torah from the mouth of Elohim, Honor your father and your mother?(Ex. 20:12; Deut. 5:16) And moreover written, And he that curses his father and his mother will surely die? (Ex. 21:17; Lev. 20:9)
5 But you say, Whoever says to father and mother, It is all an offering–[KORBAN] whatever of mine might profit you,
6 And he honors not his father and his mother. Thus have you made void the commandments of Elohim, on account of your judgments.
7 You hypocrites! Yesha’yahu did well indeed to prophesy concerning you, saying,
8 This people honors Me with their mouth and with their lips, but have removed their heart far from Me.
9 And their fear of Me, is a commandment learned of men.(Isa. 29:13)
(Matt. 15:1-9 HRV)

Now there are some important things we can immediately clean from these verses:

1. Yeshua is addressing a specific group of Pharisees whom he has encountered here, and not Phariseeism in general.
2. Yeshua is not criticizing “tradition” in general, but only “traditions of men” and specifically only “traditions of men” which conflict with the written Torah.

Now Yeshua gives us a very specific example of one of these “traditions of men,” a tradition that says that a man who makes a vow that his father or mother might not benefit from anything of his, even though this dishonors their mother or father.

Now interestingly exactly this question is dealt with in one of the many debates recorded in the Talmud.  We read in the Mishna Nedarim 9:1:

R. Elieazar says: they open a vow for a man by reference to the honor of his father or mother.
and the sages prohibit.
said R. Tzadok: before they open a vow for him by reference to his father or mother let them open his vow by reference to the honor of HaMakom.  
If so there will be no vow.
But the sages concede to R. Elieazar, that in a matter that is between him and his mother or father they loose his vow by reference to his father or mother.”
(m.Nedarim 9:1)

Here the exact same question is here debated.  (It is interesting to note that both Matthew 15 and the Talmud (m.Nedarim 9:1 and b.Nedarim 64a-64b) debate this same issue, but it is only the Talmud which gets criticized.)

The question is which commandment is weightier: the commandment to keep all of your vows (Num. 30:3(2)) or the commandment to honor your mother and father (Ex. 20:12; Deut. 5:16).  What happens when there is a conflict between these two commandments and one must break one to keep the other?

Now for a complete understanding of this section of Talmud (m.Nedarim 9:1 and the Gemara at b.Nedarim 64a-64b) see my video “Talmud For Beginners Lesson One”.

It is sufficient here to show that the sages of the Talmud agreed that the type of vow that Yeshua discusses (one which involves “a matter that is between him and his mother or father”) is loosed (and therefore should not be kept) if it dishonors ones mother on one’s father.

So Yeshua and the Talmud agree with each other against the “traditions of men”.  For anyone to try to identify the “traditions of men” of Matthew 15 (and Mark 7) with the traditions of the Talmud, the Oral Law, or Jewish tradition in general, is either dishonest or very shoddy scholarship.

Yeshua’s point here is that a tradition that conflicts with the written Torah should not be kept, a point with which any Orthodox Rabbi would agree.

The “Traditions of Men” spoken of in Matthew 15 (and Mark 7) are not the Oral Law, the Talmud or Jewish traditions in general.  The Sages of the Talmud stand with Yeshua in opposing “Traditions of Men” that conflict with the written Torah, even in the specific example Yeshua gives in these verses.

Comment by Laura Jane Johnson on February 14, 2015 at 3:15am

James are you saying that Orthodox Judaism always holds the Torah higher than the Talmud and their traditions?  Why do they spend the majority of their time studying the Talmud in their yeshivas?  Why does Rambam say in the introduction to the Mishnah that "If there are 1000 prophets, all of them of the stature of Eliyah and Elisha, giving a certain interpretation, and 1001 rabbis giving the opposite interpretation, you shall incline after the majority and the instruction according to the 1001 rabbis, not according to the 1000 prophets…Elohim did not permit us to learn from the prophets, only from the rabbis who are men of logic and reason.”  ?  And why does Rabbinical Judaism state "The Written Bible is completely incomprehensible without the Oral Tradition."?  And why did Yeshua often proclaim frustration with the Pharisees (who could be considered forefathers of the Orthodox) who according to Matthew 23:2-3 saying: "The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them" and Matthew 5:19-20 "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. "For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven."

Also is the entire tradition of the ritual washing of hands not something that has been "added to" the Torah?

2. Yeshua is not criticizing “tradition” in general, but only “traditions of men” and specifically only “traditions of men” which conflict with the written Torah.

Well YHWH said not to add and also not to subtract anything from the Torah.  I suggest that Rabbinic Judaism occasionally adds to the Torah and the ritual washing is an example.  Rabbinic Judaism can be guilty of making the commandments of the Torah so burdensome that no one does them.

Jerome also gives us the Nazarene Jewish commentary on another passage in Isaiah which sheds light on the true relationship between nascent Jewish Christianity and the developing rabbinic Judaism of that time. He shows that the Nazarenes rejected the "very heavy yoke of Jewish traditions," even as the Messiah did -- the "errors of the Scribes and Pharisees." Jerome declares:

"On Isaiah 9:1-4

"The Nazarenes, whose opinion I have set forth above, try to explain this passage in the following way: When Christ came and his preaching shone out, the land of Zebulon and Naphtali [the region of Galilee] first of all were freed from the errors of the Scribes and Pharisees and he shook off their shoulders the very heavy yoke of the JEWISH TRADITIONS. Later, however, the preaching became more dominant, that means the preaching was multiplied, through the gospel of the apostle Paul who was the last of all the apostles. And the gospel of Christ shone to the most distant tribes and the way of the whole sea. Finally the whole world, which earlier walked or sat in darkness and was imprisoned in the bonds of idolatry and death, has seen the clear light of the gospel" (p. 64).

Jerome also quotes the Nazarene interpretation of another passage from Isaiah, in which they apply the principle to the errors of the houses of Shammai and Hillel, the two branches of Pharisaism and its successors, rabbinic Judaism. The passage reads as follows:

"On Isaiah 8:20-21

"For the rest the Nazarenes explain the passage this way: when the Scribes and Pharisees tell you to listen to them, men who do everything for the love of the belly and who hiss during their incantations in the way of magicians in order to deceive you, you must answer them like this: 'It is not strange if you follow your traditions since every tribe consults its own idols. We must not, therefore, consult your dead about the living ones. On the contrary, God has given us the Law and the testimonies of the Scriptures. If you are not willing to follow them you shall not have light, and the darkness will always oppress you. It will cover your earth and your doctrine so that, when you see that they have been deceived by you in error and they feel a longing for the truth, they will then be sad or angry. And let them who believe themselves to be like their own gods and kings curse you. And let them look at the heaven and the earth in vain since they are always in darkness and they can not flee away from your ambushes" (Pritz, p. 63).

Because the Jewish schools of both Shammai and Hillel rejected the messiahship of Yeshua, and maintained their own "traditions of the elders" which they refused to stand corrected and to part with (Matt. 15:2), the nascent New Testament Jewish Nazarene Christianity had to do spiritual battle with them continually. Says Pritz,

"It is clear that the Nazarenes considered the final authority in any such debate to be the Old Testament and not later rabbinic interpretation, i.e. they rejected the concept of halakaha" (Nazarene Jewish Christianity, p. 63).

Thus the Nazarenes, like Yeshua and the apostles, appealed to the ultimate authority in any debate over religious practice and observance -- the Word of YEHOVAH God itself! They, like Yeshua before them, in effect said to the Pharisees of both houses of Hillel and Shammai: "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me" (John 5:39). Yeshua added: "Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would also have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" (John 5:45-47).

The Nazarenes existed well into the third century, and were actively engaged in a dialogue -- "heated, no doubt," says Ray Pritz -- with rabbinic Judaism. Pritz adds that the Nazarene Jewish Church was "familiar with the developments within Judaism and rejected the authority of the pharisaic scholars to interpret scripture definitively." Pritz goes on:

"...Nor did they accept as binding on themselves (or on any Jews) the Oral Law as embodied in the Mishnah. These Jewish Christians view Paul and his mission favorably and evidently even accepted -- in theory at least -- the unity of the Church as composed of both Jewish and Gentile believers in Christ...And finally, this group had not lost hope that the Jewish people might yet turn to accept Jesus as the Messiah" (p. 70).

Notice carefully. This passage does not say the Nazarenes rejected the "Oral Law," but rather did not accept it "as embodied in the Mishnah." In other words, YEHOVAH God never intended the Oral Law to be written down, and when it was eventually put into writing many additions and interpretations were also written down which were ridiculous and senseless -- chaff amongst the wheat, as it were. "Traditions of the elders" were written down as law, along with original principles of Oral Law -- traditions which the Messiah condemned (Matt. 15; Mark 2, 7). However, the Nazarenes never rejected the "Oral Law" in principle -- for obviously they observed the Sabbath and all Holy Days, which means they acknowledged the Jewish sacred calendar (lunar) which itself was preserved in the "Oral Law," and not the written Scriptures!

Like Yeshua himself, they rejected the man-made additions and strict, stern, severe interpretations of the Law put into the Mishnah and Talmud by various Rabbis as part and parcel of Rabbinic Judaism.

This is a vitally important point. Understand! Yeshua and Paul and the other apostles clearly rejected what they referred to as "the TRADITIONS of the elders" (Matt. 15:1-20). However, they never rejected the "CUSTOMS of the fathers" (Acts 21:21-24). This claim on the part of Jewish leaders was a "bum rap"! (Acts 21:24). Paul himself confessed, "I have committed nothing against the people or customs of our fathers" (28:27).

Says Ray A. Pritz:

"Of particular interest is the Nazarene commentary on Isaiah. This work shows clearly that the rejection was not solely from the Jewish side. The Nazarenes refused to accept the authority established by the Pharisaic camp after the destruction of Jerusalem, and in so refusing they adjudicated their own isolation from the converging flow of what we call Judaism. Just as they rejected the Church's setting aside the Law of Moses, so also they refused the rabbis' expansive interpretations of it. In other words, they rejected halackah as it was DEVELOPING IN RABBINIC JUDAISM" (p. 110).

I'm not really a part of any religion currently.  I'm trying to figure out where I stand.  There's only a few things I know.  That YHWH is One and Yeshua is HaMashiach and that as followers of Yeshua we are expected to hold onto YHWH's Commandments.  I really don't know where that puts me in fellowship with anybody because where I live I feel equally excluded by all groups.  So I really don't have a particular affiliation or group that I belong to (unless you just want to say "bible-believing").

Having said all that it is the longing desire and hope of my soul for the day when Ezekiel 37 is fulfilled.

Ezekiel 37

19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.

20 And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.

21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:

22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.

23 Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.

24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.

25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.

26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.

27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

28 And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.

Comment by Jacqueline Hahn on February 14, 2015 at 3:40am

Years ago I had a vision of all my Christian friends getting on a bus and me being left behind and I understood at the time that Yashua would have me follow a different way. Since then a longing to understand the feasts grew in my heart and a longing to grasp the Hebrew of the Old Testament. Then last October I had an intense longing to regain my first love like it was at the beginning when I first gave my heart to Him. That started an intense few weeks of little sleep, fasting and a close communion. Out of this I learned many things and now I just feel compelled to immerse myself in understanding the Old Testament and the Hebrew language. I have not ever joined a 'Messianic' group or a Hebrew roots group. I have only research topic by topic as the Lord led. 

In November Yashua taught me about the Elohim and that the Ruach of Elohim was female. This was quite a new revelation but it came out of a deeper understanding of Genesis. I went online trying to find others that knew about this. This is how I found this website. Many people think I am nuts when I share this so I tend to keep much of what Yashua is showing me to myself. 

I can't say I understand all the various movements but I know that Yashua always tells me no one group has the full revelation and that some knowledge of the deep things of YHWH is only really being revealed again in this generation, so many are going through the same type of journey but we don't see them as they too are trying to navigate around the chaff and tares.

Comment by Rick on February 14, 2015 at 8:55am

  Laura , you say (The Rabbis say that the written Torah is impossible to understand without the oral Torah and thus they give the "oral Torah" precedence)  yet in your post you quote teachings from other men . In all the reading I have done from the sages and Rabbi's  not one has placed oral law above Torah . I don't think anyone here is saying they know it all , but in any study one studies the history of a thought , origin and application  and the role it play in our life . I have said many times B'resheet 49:10 gives Judah the scepter of rule until Shiloh returns . many within the messianic movement resent this and try  their best to argue against this Torah principal . So it would seem HaShem has given Judah certain rights in governorship . Halacha is found in the oral law expounded thinking is Talmud  Torah above all else .

Comment by Laura Jane Johnson on February 14, 2015 at 9:56am
Rick, I used to believe that Judah was still holding the sceptre but I posted that opinion on Facebook once nd YHWH had me go back the next day and retract what I said and apologize for speaking out of turn. I mean it is obvious we do not have a Sanhedrin. I understand the importance of.setting Halakha but again I point to Yeshua repeatedly stating that the yoke the Pharisees were putting on the people was too much ie "you make them twice the devil you are" etc.
Comment by Rick on February 14, 2015 at 11:45am

Perhaps a deeper review of the era in wich Yeshua taught would reveal the thinking of that day .

Comment by Jacqueline Hahn on February 14, 2015 at 11:59am

1 Corinthian 13:12 for now we know in part… I am so glad that it is the work and person of Yashua that saves me and not my own ability to divide scripture. Whilst I uphold the goal of Wisdom and the correct dividing of the Word constantly before me I know that until He comes somethings will remain a little bit mystified. Each day we grow into His likeness and the into the Wisdom and character of Ruach.

I believe that there is also a place for 'iron to sharpen iron' and that when the body of believers come together to share what Ruach HaKodesh has given them we get the bigger picture. But we must come together as a body in reverence and humility knowing that each one of us has blind spots which need a little healing work. I am so glad that YHWH searches out the deep places of my Heart and refines them. Sad to say in my life it takes a long time but He is patient. 

I am enjoying looking at all the views and I hope I learn much.

Comment by James Trimm on February 14, 2015 at 1:06pm

>James are you saying that Orthodox Judaism always
>holds the Torah higher than the Talmud and
>their traditions?  


>Why do they spend the majority of their time
>studying the Talmud in their yeshivas?  

Because in Jewish Yeshivas intensive study of the Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy is stressed and taught in all elementary grades.

The teaching of the rest of the Tanakh is usually only done on the high school level, these students read and study the Weekly Torah portion by themselves.

The Yeshivas for adults deal with advanced materials and are for students who have mastered the Tanak by the time they graduated High School.  They are still studying the Torah and Tanak, but they are using the Talmud as a tool.  

>Why does Rambam say in the introduction to
>the Mishnah

Rambam did not write "the introduction to the Mishna" the Mishnah was written nearly 1,000 years before he was born.  So I have no idea where your quote came from... and I cannot look up the context of a document that does not exist.

And why does Rabbinical Judaism state "The Written Bible is completely incomprehensible without the Oral Tradition."?

"Rabbinic Judaism" stated something?

>YHWH said not to add and also not to subtract
>anything from the Torah.  

The problem is that you assume a tradition is an addition... this is circular thinking.  If the tradition was always an organic part of the Torah, either because it was part of the oral Torah from Sinai, or because it was a ruling of the judges which the Torah itself calls "Torah" (Deut. 17:8f) then it is an organic part of the Torah not an addition.  Even if such a tradition is actually spurious, the Rabbinic Jews believe it is authentic, so their possition is still not that tradition has a higher place that the written Torah.  Any Orthodox Jew would tell you this.

You seem to quote lots of secondary sources and other people's opinions rather than sticking with primary sources and giving your own logical reasons for believing this or that.  I have read Pritz and he says a great deal that is flat wrong (and this is a good example)... I alreday pointed out that the only example Yeshua gives of "traditions of men" is an issue about which Yeshua agrees with the Talmud and Rabbinic Judaism against the tardion in questuion... yet Pritz ignpore the facts and cites Matthew 15:1-20 out of context.  The Nazarene commentary to Isaiah tells us that the Nazarenes did not subscribe to the halachic authority of Rabbinic Judaism of the 4th century... which is a given.  But that does not support your claim that Rabbinic Jews believe that the Talmud is a higher authority than the written Torah.  


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