Posted by: Sylvia, aka Shucky | June 9, 2010

Saul – Apostle to the Goyim

I just got this back in response to ‘Fun With Leviticus’… I thought I would share it with you.

I have just read a book by Pamela Eisenbaum (a Jewish lady).

Eisenbaum, P. 2009. Paul was not a Christian. The original message of a misunderstood apostle. Harper Collins Publishers.

Basic claims:

(1) Paul-Saul considered himself still a Jew.

(2) Paul thought that Jesus was the Messiah – but it is not clear that he actually thought of Jesus as “god.” But it is possible that he did.

(3) Paul understood that God through Jesus was extending Judaisim to the gentiles.

(4) He was an apostle to the gentiles.

(5) Though disappointed that more Jews did not follow Christ, he still thought of them as the original and still Covanent people who would soon be brought-back.

(6) The Ritual Laws are for Jews only, and those gentiles willing to follow them. E,g.. the no-pork, no-double seeds, slaves’ ear-rings and sacrifices are for the Jews. Note, the Acts of the Apostles clearly shows that Paul still ate kosher when with fellow Jews, and he went to purification rites and Temple rites etc.

(7) Moral laws or ethical laws apply to the gentiles as well as Jews. E.g. stealing, blaspheming, idol worship and “sexual immorality”

(8) The first century Jews ALREADY believed that gentiles did NOT have to follow all of the Ritual laws! I.e. gentiles can follow the Moral laws and worship in the outer courts of the Temple. Only fully baptised converts (Jewish baptism – still occurs) need to follow all of the Ritual and Moral laws.

(9) First century Jews ALREADY believed in salvation by Grace (but not in those words). It was understood that “all fall short of the glory of God.” How Jews “get saved” is by trying to follow the Mosaic Covanent as closely as humanly possible.

(10) Paul apparently believed that in Jesus Christ gentiles could be saved by Grace. I.e. Christ extends the covanent of the Jews to the other nations (goyim). Gentles should attempt to follow the Moral laws in so far as they can. It being understood that “all fall short of the glory of God.” Hence we have “salvation by grace” as well as admonishments to do “works.”

I am still uncertain about whether to actually accept all that Eisenbaum says. But I do quite solidly believe that Christianity has deviated too far from its Jewish roots. For example, it is very clear that the early church had house groups lead by a minister (presbyteros/ prebytera) and with an overseer (episkopos / episkopa) from the main synagogue. (Thats right – it is an historical fact that ‘ministers’ and ‘bishops’ were both male and female!) The remaining Rites were at the local synagogue or at the Temple – at least the Jewish Christians and probably the gentiles as well. But by the 2nd century most Jewish authorities would not let Christian gentiles come to their synagogues. Eventually even the Jewish Christians were booted out. These formed Christian Synagogues, and a separate Jacobite “sect.” but eventually this group faded as Goy Christian chuches grew.

Basically the gentile Christians gentilified the rituals of the church after a squabble with the more strictly Jewish Christians. Hence we get churches with elements from the pagan cultures of their origins.

Cheers

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