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Hebrew Roots Movement – The Use of Midrash

Something that comes up repeatedly when one is exposed to those in the Hebrew Roots/Messianic Judaism movements is their primary method of interpreting Scripture called “midrash”.   In various venues I’ve seen those in the HR/MJ camp invoke superior knowledge and insight rendered by the use of midrash, which they imply means “context” –  just from a decidedly Jewish point of view.  They appeal to the Christian believer’s affinity for context by saying things like, “The Scriptures were written by Hebrews, about Hebrews, for Hebrews”, making their approach seem to make perfect sense.  Never mind that if we really look at the actual context of several of the Epistles, the “by Hebrews, about Hebrews, for Hebrews” shtick doesn’t hold up.  But I digress.

After all, as Christian believers, we’re all for looking at the Scriptures in context!  Considering a Scripture passage’s author, time of writing, the history of the day, who the passage was written to/about, the cultural traditions/implications of all of those things, etc., etc. – we find that those things give us a better understanding of many biblical texts.  For those who are serious about understanding the Scriptures, well, context is our thing!

That said . . .

While context may or may not be an element of midrash, it is at best a fragmentary element, as you will see below.  As you will also see below, even if a midrash does contain even an element of context, the subjectivity of midrash cancels out any context because of that subjectivity!  Add to that the rabbinic prejudices and the potential mystical components of midrash, and, well . . . just keep reading . . .

Let’s look at just what is Midrash:

From Faqs.org:
Midrash minimizes the authority of the wording of the text as communication, normal language. It places the focus on the reader and the personal struggle of the reader to reach an acceptable moral application of the text. While it is always governed by the wording of the text, it allows for the reader to project his or her inner struggle into the text. This allows for some very powerful and moving interpretations which, to the ordinary user of language, seem to have very little connection with the text. The great weakness of this method is that it always threatens to replace the text with an outpouring of personal reflection. At its best it requires the presence of mystical insight not given to all readers.

From Wikipedia:
Midrash (Hebrew: מדרש‎; plural midrashim, lit. “to investigate” or “study”) is a Hebrew term referring to the not exact, but comparative (homiletic) method of exegesis (hermeneutic) of Biblical texts, which is one of four methods cumulatively called Pardes.  The term midrash can also refer to a compilation of homiletic teachings (commentaries) on the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), in the form of legal and ritual (Halakhah) and legendary, moralizing, folkloristic, and anecdotal (Aggadah) parts.

What is PaRDeS? Also from Wikipedia:
The term, sometimes also spelled PaRDeS, is an acronym formed from the name initials of these four approaches, which are:

  • Peshat (פְּשָׁט) — “plain” (simple) or the direct meaning.
  • Remez (רֶמֶז) — “hints” or the deep (allegoric) meaning beyond just the literal sense.
  • Derash (דְּרַשׁ) — from Hebrew darash: “inquire” (seek) — the comparative (midrashic) meaning, as given through similar occurrences.
  • Sod (סוֹד) (pronounced with a long O as in gold) — “secret” (mystery) or the mystical meaning, as given through inspiration or revelation.

Each type of Pardes interpretation examines the extended meaning of a text. As a general rule, the extended meaning never contradicts the base meaning. The Peshat means the plain or contextual meaning of the text. Remez is the allegorical meaning. Derash includes the metaphorical meaning, and Sod represents the hidden meaning. There is often considerable overlap, for example when legal understandings of a verse are influenced by mystical interpretations or when a “hint” is determined by comparing a word with other instances of the same word.

From My Jewish Learning:
Midrash: The Interpretive Tradition
Midrash is a tool of interpretation which assumes that every word, letter, and even stroke of the pen in the Torah has meaning. Midrash Aggadah focuses on biblical narratives, Midrash Halakhah interprets legal passages. In modern times, midrash can include any retellings, additions, or twists on Torah stories.

From Jewish Virtual Library’s Glossary:
Midrash
(pl. midrashim). From darash, “to inquire,” whence it comes to mean “exposition” (of scripture). Refers to the “commentary” literature developed in classical Judaism that attempts to interpret Jewish scriptures in a thorough manner. Literary Midrash may focus either on halaka, directing the Jew to specific patterns of religious practice, or on (h)aggada, dealing with theological ideas, ethical teachings, popular philosophy, imaginative exposition, legend, allegory, animal fables—that is, whatever is not halaka.

From VirtualReligion.net:
Midrash
Hebrew term for “Interpretation” or “Exposition.” The word generally used for any written or oral commentary on a biblical text. The original purpose of midrash was to resolve problems in the Hebrew text of the Bible. As early as the 1st c. CE rabbinic principles of hermeneutics & philology were used to bring the interpretation of difficult passages in the literal text of scripture into line with the religious & ethical values of the teachers. This method of interpretation was eventually expanded to provide scriptural pretexts to justify oral tradition. Thus, midrash exposes the values & worldview of the rabbinic interpreter & audience rather than the original intention of the author of the biblical text.

There is more information about midrash online and a myriad of websites out there with “midrashic” points of view, but one gets the general idea from the references above.

When one uses a midrash as a lens through which to interpret Scripture, based on the above it is likely that that person is seeking to mold Scripture to a predetermined opinion or belief system, rather than seeking to mold their opinion or belief system to what Scripture actually says.  Even if one is sincere in their desire to seek truth using midrash, the method of midrash is fundamentally flawed, from its subjective nature (not to mention its rabbinic prejudice) to the possibility of mystical influence.

It is also interesting to note the Scripture passages that are targeted for midrash within the HR/MJ belief system.  Those passages are not limited to Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) as with Judaism, but are often those New Testament Scriptures (which were written in Greek) that deal with issues such as the Old and New Covenants, whether or not those who have faith in Jesus Christ are or are not subject to the Law of Moses, even the issue of the Deity of Jesus Christ.  The list goes on, and the topics subjected to midrashic methods typically line up with the basic tenets of Christianity in an effort to tear them down or “modify” them one by one.  A number of HR/MJ teachers and lay people even claim that the New Testament was written in Hebrew in an attempt to justify their use of midrashic techniques.

So if someone is trying to tell you that midrash is a “Bible study” or that it is looking at the Scriptures “in context”, or that midrash is simply looking at Scripture from a “Jewish perspective as opposed to our Western mindset”, don’t buy it.  Those telling you such things likely believe them to be true – I don’t doubt the sincerity of most folks who are in the HR/MJ movements.  But if you go to the simple definitions of midrash, its origins, and read what leadership influencing those in the HR/MJ movements has to say about and how they use midrash, deep flaws in the use of such a subjective method of interpretation comes into focus.

For further reading related to this topic, see

May God grant you wisdom and discernment as you consider all of these things.

-JGIG

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Other articles of interest:

If you or someone you know is in the HRM or a related Law-keeping sect and are questioning what you believe, a clear presentation of the Gospel can be found HERE.  For more resources regarding the Hebrew Roots/Messianic movements see the Post Index and the Articles Page.  General study helps, discernment, and apologetics sites can be found HERE.  Good, foundational studies with a special emphasis on Old Covenant/New Covenant Truths can be found HERE.  Be sure to check out the other testimonies on the Testimonies Page, as well.   Make use of the tabs with drop-down menus found at the top of this site – there’s tons of info there, and it’s very navigable.  May God guide and bless you as you seek His Truth.

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30 Responses

  1. “So if someone is trying to tell you that midrash is a “Bible study” or that it is looking at the Scriptures “in context”, or that midrash is simply looking at Scripture from a “Jewish perspective as opposed to our Western mindset”, don’t buy it.”

    What a silly thing to say. Midrash is any attempt to derive meaning through a number of techniques, including simply laying two texts side by side. Your whole post is an example of someone who thinks that, because she has a read a few articles, she is expert in a topic with which she is completely unfamiliar.

    • Hey there, Mishkan! Welcome to JGIG!

      For the reader, Mishkan and I have had the opportunity to banter a bit on the Messianic Judaism forum at CARM.

      On to your comment. You wrote:

      What a silly thing to say. Midrash is any attempt to derive meaning through a number of techniques, including simply laying two texts side by side. Your whole post is an example of someone who thinks that, because she has a read a few articles, she is expert in a topic with which she is completely unfamiliar.

      Midrash is any attempt, no matter how subjective, no matter the source of the “techniques”, to derive meaning from a text. That’s the problem with the method. It’s inconsistent at best, subjective at worst, and an abomination when mysticism is employed.

      I appreciate your attempt to minimize midrash’s dangers by saying its methods include “simply laying two texts side by side”. Okay, while that may be true, there are other really faulty techniques that are employed that you deliberately try to deflect attention from.

      Then the superior attitude comes into play, poo-pooing me, in your view, because I’ve read “a few articles”. You could not discount the post itself, so you found it necessary to try to discredit me. That’s fine, I can take it =o).

      Back to the realities of the results of Midrash . . . In discourse with several different folks in the HR/MJ movements, as I’ve encountered issues where midrash was used by those holding to the HR/MJ belief system, it was like Scriptural texts were taken into a carnival fun house full of those wavy mirrors, and what was reflected there is what the HR/MJ belief system took out the other end and labeled as truth. Some of the doctrines that come through the midrashic process are unrecognizable when compared with the plain and obvious meaning of a Biblical text.

      So it’s not just a matter of “reading a few articles” that have brought me to the conclusions I’ve drawn for this post, it’s real experience and real observation in comparing what Scripture plainly says when compared with the “midrash version” of a topic/passage/doctrine. As I investigated the definitions, methods, and mystical elements of midrash, it made perfect sense why the HR/MJ interpretations of Scripture were so different from the plain meaning of the text in key areas – those interpretations were/are the result of distorting methods.

      Am I an expert? No =o). I’m just a simple heart living a simple faith, just like the tag line under my blog title says. That does not mean, however, that the Holy Spirit does not give me discernment and the Scriptures as a plumb line by which to measure belief systems. ‘Nough said.

      -JGIG

  2. […] Hebrew Roots Movement – The Use of Midrash […]

  3. >> I appreciate your attempt to minimize midrash’s dangers by saying its methods include “simply laying two texts side by side”. Okay, while that may be true, there are other really faulty techniques that are employed that you deliberately try to deflect attention from. <> Then the superior attitude comes into play, poo-pooing me, in your view, because I’ve read “a few articles”. You could not discount the post itself, so you found it necessary to try to discredit me. That’s fine, I can take it =o). <> it was like Scriptural texts were taken into a carnival fun house full of those wavy mirrors, and what was reflected there is what the HR/MJ belief system took out the other end and labeled as truth. <> Some of the doctrines that come through the midrashic process are unrecognizable when compared with the plain and obvious meaning of a Biblical text. <> So it’s not just a matter of “reading a few articles” that have brought me to the conclusions I’ve drawn for this post, it’s real experience and real observation in comparing what Scripture plainly says when compared with the “midrash version” of a topic/passage/doctrine. As I investigated the definitions, methods, and mystical elements of midrash, it made perfect sense why the HR/MJ interpretations of Scripture were so different from the plain meaning of the text in key areas – those interpretations were/are the result of distorting methods. <> I’m just a simple heart living a simple faith, just like the tag line under my blog title says. That does not mean, however, that the Holy Spirit does not give me discernment and the Scriptures as a plumb line by which to measure belief systems. <> ‘Nough said. <<

    Yeah, I agree.

    Thanks for the dialog. I know you don't have to allow these comments to go public.

  4. If you’re going to remove all my words from the text, I’d prefer if you simply deleted my comments. It is dishonest to re-post only your words, and keep only “Yeah, I agree” from my own post. It disappoints me that you prefer to lie than to deal with what I said. So much for all that high-sounding anti-Torah moral superiority.

    One more validation for my choice to leave the traditional Christian churches 30 years ago.

    • Hi Mishkan,

      Unlike a forum like CARM, where there are threads within topics and quoting the text of one you are responding to helps with continuity for the reader, blog comments are more of a rolling dialogue.

      Most readers scroll down through the comments and have no trouble seeing the conversation as it evolves. As for your comment DIRECTLY ABOVE this comment, I’ll let it speak for itself.

      Grace and Peace,
      -JGIG

  5. I think the methodology involved in the above 4 ways sound eisegetical in their approach. Now, that can not be avoided, a certain amount of bias and subjectivity comes into play no matter what the situation is. A safer method of scriptural investigation would be to look at the four areas of Historical, Canonical, Symbolic and Rational; the Exegesis method, combined with the science of Hermeneutics. A Great Commentary also helps!!:))

  6. Hi Laurie,

    Well put. Midrash is just WAY too subjective a process to use as a method with which to interpret Scripture. Thanks for your comment!

    In Him,
    JGIG

  7. While I agree with you in theory, the reality is altogether a different story. The primary means of interpretation within the NT itself is the midrashic interpretation. In the plain sense of most of the quoted Hebrew Scriptures within the NT would be immediately invalidated in their NT context because they are taken out of context from the Hebrew Scriptures themselves. Both Jesus and Paul are masters of this, and to think otherwise will invalidate your own belief system.

    The primary example is that Jesus cannot literally fulfill any of the sacrificial requirements of the Hebrew Scriptures. He can only fulfill them in a midrashic sense. Human sacrifice was never a part of the Temple rites, nor was it ever considered efficacious for dealing with the issue of sin. Only a midrashic perspective of the Hebrew Scriptures can allow for Jesus to be anything more than a Jewish martyr.

    • Hi Darren,

      Welcome to JGIG.

      I took a look through your website and it appears that you’ve decided that the Bible cannot be interpreted outside of Jewish traditions. That is certainly your choice.

      When you make a statement like, “Only a midrashic perspective of the Hebrew Scriptures can allow for Jesus to be anything more than a Jewish martyr.”, it’s clear that you cannot view anything outside of a Jewish context. A Jewish context did not exists before Israel existed. Jesus fulfilled promises made at the Fall and to Abraham, not just promises made to Israel. God did not require the Gentiles to learn Midrashic technique before they could understand the sacrifice of Jesus on their behalf. First Adam last Adam stuff, Darren.

      Have you read Doublemindedness in the Hebrew Roots Movement – The Use of Kabbalah and Gematria ? Be careful that in your quest for purity in worship you haven’t traded a perceived lie for a real one.

      Blessings,
      -JGIG

      • Ouch JGIG,

        What does your BIBLE say, the completeness of the Torah is love my friend, and it looks like your replies need just that, more love towards “positive critic”.

        The Creator did definitely interpret the Word in a Midrashic technique as He is Echad with the Jewish Hebrew Rabbi Messiah, and why do you think did He tell us that He is Jewish and Hebrew and a Rabbi, definitely not for coincidence my dear friend, but because He is a Creator of order and pattern. The end is set from the beginning and everything in between is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

        The Messiah came to interpret the “deeper meaning” of the Word spoken to the Prophet Moshe and to His other servants the Prophets. And the Messiah came exactly on the day and hour as all these Prophets prophesied about His coming. The Messiah’s crucifixion is in the correct sense a Midrashic sacrifice, because only animals were aloud to be sacrificed and not humans, and even though the Messiah is full human and full G_D, He will not go against His own Torah and Word and be “sacrificed” as a human JGIG.

        Therefore it is true that our Messiah came in the deeper sense of the Word. Another “simple” example:, He said that even if you think of sleeping with another woman, you already sin as idolatry without doing the act and the same with thinking of murdering someone, then you already commit the sin of murder. He came to live and explain the deeper sense of the Word spoken to Moshe and the other Prophets. That is also the reason why we have 1050 laws in the Messia[h]nic Writings and only 613 (6+3+1) in the law of Moshe (Torah).

        If you can see this then you will understand brother Darren Huckey’s comment.

        If you do not see it then it is also your choice only, because we will all see the truth on “the Day”.

        Shabbat shalom
        Levi

      • “Faithful are the wounds of a friend . . . ”

        The goal of Torah is love? Not one Scripture says that. Torah tells us what love looks like, but it cannot produce love. It was never meant to do so, but to show mankind their sin (see Rom. 3, 5, 7, 1 Tim. 1, and many other passages).

        Only the Fruit of the Spirit produces the Love that God is looking for in us, and if one is led by the Spirit, one is not under the Law (Gal. 5:18).

        I have no desire to re-write the post on which you’re commenting; Midrash is a subjective interpretive technique. The patterns you believe are there are based on false assertions, primarily that Hebrew is an eternal language spoken by God. It isn’t. It’s a language that has an earthly history of development like every other human language. See Holy Hebrew! for more.

        I agree that God is the God of order and pattern; it just is not exclusively a Hebrew order or pattern =o).

        Messiah did come to magnify the Law. Not to reinterpret it, but to show Israel how they had watered it down to make it seem ‘keepable’. Something the Torah pursuant do today, I might add. He also made clear that heart motive was as important to God as physical actions (see Mt. 5). That made the Law even harder to keep on top of their failure already!

        Regarding ‘human sacrifice’, here’s the deal. Christ kept the Law perfectly on His behalf, therefore not being subjected to the penalty of the Law, which is death. Christ took the death penalty that we deserved on our behalf, because we could not keep the Law. He died in our place, taking the penalty for all of our sins, providing the gift of forgiveness for the world. Two excellent teachings that explain the Work of Christ really well can be heard here:

        The New Covenant Explained
        God’s Solution to Man’s Problem – Life!

        Despite your aversion to the word sacrifice to describe Christ’s Work, He was the fulfillment of the shadow of the sacrifices offered year after year under the Old Covenant. He was not ‘sacrificed’, however, He gave His life freely as a substitute for ours. Big difference. He was in total control of His life and His death. He submitted to the punishment that was due us.

        The reality of Christ as our Perfect and Forever High Priest puts to rest the concept of the Old Covenant being a functioning covenantal system. An honest look at both the OT and NT Scriptures clearly reveals that fact.

        Grace and peace to you,
        -JGIG

      • JGIG

        Twice I tried to give a reply and both times my commends were rejected because of too many words within my replies. This might be a reason not to send it, and I will listen to my “inner self”. May G_D’s will be done only.

        Answer me the following, and maybe we can come to a conclusion and may we then believe what we “choose” to believe, as it stays our own choice, and may the Ruach be with us:

        John 5:45-47 “But don’t think that it is I who will be your accuser before the Father. Do you know who will accuse you? Moshe, the very one you have counted on! For if you really believed Moshe, you would believe me; because it was about me that he wrote. But if you don’t believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”

        Matt 22:36-40 “Rabbi, which of the mitzvot in the Torah is the most important?” He told him, ” ‘You are to love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.’ This is the greatest and most important mitzvah. And a second is similar to it, ‘You are to love your neighbor as yourself.’ All of the Torah and the Prophets are dependent on these two mitzvot.”

        Deut 10:12-13 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?

        Deut 18:18-19 I will raise them up a Prophet (Messiah) from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

        Ps 19: The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

        Shalom

      • Yes, your other comments were over 1100 and 720 words long . . .

        You said “answer me this”, and then posted several Scripture passages without tying them together with a question for me to answer. I’ll take a stab at it anyway. Is your question, ‘What does God require of us?’

        The answer is that after the Cross, this is what He requires of us:

        23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us. (from 1 Jn. 3)

        Grace and peace,
        -JGIG

      • All the verses I gave were the Words of the Messiah Himself and His Way, the Way of His Father (our Father the Creator) for us to live by forever, because it is truth, wisdom and knowledge and yes the key to “love”.

        What He requires from us is to know the complete Word for education, teaching, knowledge and justice my dear friend: 2 Tim 3:16-17.

        And yes I agree to 1 Jn 3:23-24, but surely there is the complete Word to seek and know to understand the full Gospel, because the Messiah did not come to “tell” us new things, but He came to teach us in Flesh the Word that was spoken by His Father in Heaven, the Messiah said. He said that He came not to say anything from His own, but everything He came to say, comes from His Father.

        Messiah said the most important command (Matt 22:36-40) is to love G_D and the 2nd one equal to the 1st, you must love your neighbour as yourself, and by knowing the Law and the Prophets we will know love. How do we love and fear our G_D? Deut 10:12-13 is an example. How did the Prophet tell us how to love G_D? Psalms 119.

        What does “the person and power” in 1 Jn 3:23 mean? “The name” and Matt 28:18-20 says He has the “power” on earth and in Heaven and we are to keep ALL that He commanded us. Isn’t the following also a command and definition of love, (Jn 14:15) If you love Me, protect my Torah?

        The “Great Commission” of Messiah is stated within varying emphases at Mark 16:15-20; Luke 24:44-49; Jn 20:21-23 and Acts 1:8.

        Make all people disciples and also “baptise” immerse them. Turn from sin and turn to G_D (Acts 2:38). Everybody has sin and everybody has to “crossover” turn to G_D to His Torah to know sin (evil) from good (love).

        No Torah no knowledge of sin? Right or wrong (1 Jn 3:4-10)

      • Through the Law is the knowledge of sin, but the Law does nothing to help us to avoid sin or to be righteous. . . . for the Law make nothing perfect . . . from Heb. 7)

        That’s the first major error that those who choose Law-keeping as their method of sanctification.

        The second major error is that Jesus, when He spoke of keeping His commandments, was speaking of the Laws given at Sinai. He was not. Your example of Jn. 14:15 is perfect, for the Greek there for commandments is not nomos, which refers to the Laws given at Sinai, or as you more broadly define them, Torah (though I doubt you have an Ark in progress in your back yard and its building was commanded in Torah), but entolē (G1785), which is defined as follows:

        1.an order, command, charge, precept, injunction
        . . . . 1.that which is prescribed to one by reason of his office
        2. a commandment
        . . . . 1. a prescribed rule in accordance with which a thing is done
        . . . . . . 1. a precept relating to lineage, of the Mosaic precept concerning the priesthood
        . . . . . . 2. ethically used of the commandments in the Mosaic law or Jewish tradition

        Two things: one, the primary definition is not of Mosaic Law, and two, when it does refer to Mosaic Law, it also speaks of the priesthood.

        In the New Covenant, Christ is our Perfect High Priest, and when the priesthood changed, so did the Law, from the Old Covenant (laws given at Sinai, the Mosaic Law) to the New Covenant (Believe on the One He has sent and love one another).

        The really interesting thing about the New Covenant is that once one believes, righteousness is a gift, not an adherence to Law; New Life is also gifted, and the Holy Spirit seals us unto the day of redemption. The result? Fruit (Gal. 5:18, 22-24). If we are led by the Spirit – He Who lives inside of us produces His Fruit, which we bear. What does Scripture identify that Fruit to be? Love. Which fulfills the commandments of Jesus; which also fulfills the Law (Rom. 13:8-10).

        It’s not all about Torah; it’s all about Jesus. Christ in us the hope of glory. Christ in us the gift of righteousness. Christ in us New Life. Christ in us producing His Fruit in and through us. And with that God is well pleased.

      • One law One GOD One Lawgiver, that is.

        Not two Gods and definitely not a Trinity my friend.

        2 Jn 1:5 just like Rom 13:10 says yes, that is why 1 Jn 3:4-10 says we need to know the law, never Scripture said that the law is for salvation, but to know the fruit from the law.

        Your Creator said that we need to love Him forever with your whole being (Deut 10:12-13 & 11:1) and He said the same in Matt 22:36-40.

        Why? Because He is the same Lord our GOD from the beginning and has never changed! Jn 10:30 One GOD and Eph 4:5 One Lord.

        You want to replace The One with two and we can not have two gods Matt 6:24. To know you have One GOD, it ensures that you have a treasure in Heaven.

        Your Creator is your Saviour (Isa 60:16 Saviour and Redeemer), which the “church” unfortunately think the Messiah has replaced, but we know He is the same from the beginning till the end, the Aleph and the Tav! Rev 1:8, 11, 17, 21:6, Isa 41:4 because GOD said in His Torah “I Am” and again He said the same while that same Word in Flesh was on earth “I Am” Mark 14:62 – Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh – I Am What I Am!

        One on the Throne my friend (Rev 4:2, the same One that Created you and me and all creation, the same One that came to show is His Way to live by, and the same One that lives in us.

        If you want to serve two gods and a law that changed to show you the Path to Eternity, and think that Prov 6:23 does not count anymore, then it is your choice.

        He warned me in Rev 22:15 that we must not follow the lies and falsehoods and that by doing so, it will prevent me entering the Gates of His city, and by keeping His Torah will give me the right to the Tree of Life 22:14, because He is the beginning and the end, the first and the last, the Aleph and the Tav, the Only One GOD, not a separate “Jesus” with a different justification.

        Shalom

      • Yes, Jesus is God. God is also God and the Holy Spirit is also God. One God; three distinct and separate expressions.

        Keeping Torah will give you the right to the Tree of Life?

        No.

        Believe on the One He sent and love one another (Jn. 6:28-29, 1 Jn. 3:23-24).

      • Regarding your comments:

        “Yes, Jesus is God. God is also God and the Holy Spirit is also God. One God; three distinct and separate expressions.

        Keeping Torah will give you the right to the Tree of Life?

        No.

        Believe on the One He sent and love one another (Jn. 6:28-29, 1 Jn. 3:23-24).”

        My answers:

        Yes JGIG, that is what His Word says:

        1) Rev 22:14, because all His Commands, is the fulfilment of love, just like HaMashiach said the love commandments depends on the whole Torah and the Prophets – Matt 22:36-40.

        2) Yes, Jn 6:28-29, to believe in Him is to follow His Way. His Way is the same Way as the Creator’s Way (Deut 10:12-13). They are One (Jn 10:30, 1 Jn 5:7, Isa 41:4, Matt 6:24, Mar 2:7), They are One, not three! Not a Trinity! That comes from the Roman-Catholics. He is One Lord! You can express it as you want, but He is the only GOD, they are One. The same as He said, from the beginning till the end, Aleph and Tav, How do you still make it three?

        3) How many sit on the Throne today? Not 2 or 3, but One GOD!
        Rev 4:2. You can not say I follow HaMashiach now, GOD’s Law does not exist anymore; then you make them 2, and the “Godhead” is One. That is what most Christians do.

        That is contrasting to GOD’s Word. Isa 60:16 and 41:4 says explicitly He is the only one and He is our Redeemer and Saviour. And He gave one Torah to follow, never made a “new” one like you think:

        2 Jn 1:6 Moreover, love is this: that we should live according to his commands. This is the command, as you people have heard from the beginning; live by it!

        Your site is very confusing with the name Hebrew Roots Movement, because you still believe the way the Christian Roman-Catholics believe. You need to return to the “roots” to where the good path is Jer 6:16!

      • Your error is in defining and limiting God’s commandments to the laws given to Israel at Sinai.

        God gave other commandments in Torah, such as the building of an ark, yet I doubt that you have one under construction in your back yard =o).

        The point is that God has given lots of commandments all throughout history. Not all of those commandments apply to all people.

        You wrote, “1) Rev 22:14, because all His Commands, is the fulfilment of love, just like HaMashiach said the love commandments depends on the whole Torah and the Prophets – Matt 22:36-40.”

        No, you have that backwards. Love fulfills the Law, Law is not the fulfillment of Love (Rom. 13:8-10). And Messiah did not say that love depends on Law, He said that the Law hangs from – depends upon – love. Your focus is backwards, my friend.

        Now let’s tie those two points above together: God’s commandments have been different at different times in history for different people (you know this to be truth or you’d have an ark in your backyard) and Love fulfills the Law. Go back and read 1 Jn. 3:23-24:

        23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

        There are two commandments in the New Covenant: Believe on the One He has sent and love one another. Love fulfills the Law. Every command that is still important to God is fulfilled if we are loving one another. Those who love their neighbors are not stealing, murdering, dishonoring, coveting, etc. That said, love goes BEYOND the requirements that the Law made – to self-sacrificing acts for others – and to the unclean and sinners amongst us. Why? To bring them the Good News of the New Covenant in Christ – that in Christ, God is no longer holding their sins against them, and that if they believe in Christ, they will receive the free gifts of His righteousness and new life!

        As for the issue of the Trinity, believe what you want; by expressing God as ‘them’, you’re just expressing the same concept differently =o).

        You wrote, “Your site is very confusing with the name Hebrew Roots Movement, because you still believe the way the Christian Roman-Catholics believe. You need to return to the “roots” to where the good path is Jer 6:16!”

        This site does not bear the name ‘Hebrew Roots Movement’. It is Joyfully Growing in Grace. I do not believe the way the Roman Catholics believe, in a grace + works equation, but in salvation by grace through faith. Good deeds are a fruit, not the cause of salvation.

        Grace and peace to you, Levi: Hendrik Marx. I don’t see that this discussion is really going anywhere else beyond you picking a doctrine to assert Torah-centricity, and you are no longer discussing the original post, so let’s end our conversation here.

        Much love in Christ,
        -JGIG

      • An excellent reason to reject Jewish and Kabbalistic thinking is that it takes simple truth and complicates it, so that nobody can understand the Torah (or the Gospels, in the case of the HRM) unless they have rabbinical training. Yet the LORD wanted the priests (not the Rabbis) to read the Law to the nation every year. It was expected that everyone would understand what was written. By adding seventy layers of meaning to it, you put it beyond the ken of the common man, who then has to rely on the elite intelligentsia to interpret the Law for him. Let’s call that for what it is: oppression and guile. It’s about control. And then when the “Oral Law” is added, a secondary source of authority is created to cement that control.

        Again, though, the HRM keeps harping on the Messiah’s alleged purpose being to expound the Law, rather than the Law’s purpose being to prepare the way for the Messiah. Is this Jewish thinking? As opposed to Greek thinking? How about Messianic thinking (having the mind of the Messiah, which was focused on the voice of the Father)? Isn’t that opposed to both? The HRM is focused on the customs of Jerusalem Below, not Jerusalem, of which we who believe in Messiah, and accept His Atonement for us, are citizens by the new birth, and are not subject to the Law of Israel.

      • My friend, the Messiah is and will be Jewish when He returns. His Holy Land will be Jerusalem, if we like it or not.

        I never said that anyone has to become Jewish, but to understand the Word better we have to return to the “root” ancient path where it is the good path, just like our Father the Creator said. People will rather accept the “Greek” way of thinking, than to stay with the “Hebrew” way of giving the Word to us as humans.

        The Messiah did not say without reason that He is Hebrew and a Jew. The Revelation was given to us by the Jew Messiah to the Jew John from a Jewish thinking, and that is maybe the reason so many people struggle to understand Revelation.

        A hint to you, Revelation has 22 chapters and so does the Hebrew aleph-beit fro, a Jew, and not a Greek. Yes it is given to Jew and Greek, but we need to read and understand the Word from a Hebrew perspective and not Greek perspective.

        Another reason is that all the Prophets were Hebrew and the Messiah said explicitly we need to believe what the Prophet Moshe wrote, if we want to believe Him!!! (John 5:46-47)

        Yes and He said all has to be completed to know Him in Luke 24:44, and further He said that He opened their hearts to understand what He gave them.

        You can try and reject the Hebrew thinking and understanding as much as you like, but never forget the Words of the Messiah Himself, for us to believe in Him.

        If you reject the Words of Moshe (Torah), you reject the Words of the Messiah. He did not say that for no reason. He made everything with reason till the End and at the end He will return as He went to Heaven.

        With love
        Levi

      • What did Yeshua say about Jewish thinking? About those who seek after a sign? And what did Paul say? The Jews seek after a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom, but we seek Christ crucified. The mind of the Messiah went well beyond Jewish thinking. You can cling to everything but His voice, but unless you walk by hearing the voice of the Shepherd, you are going to go astray–as you have done. I know what covenant I’m under, and it isn’t what you’re offering.

      • I am only offering you knowledge and wisdom from the Word and seeking the truth from His Word.

        I am not looking for a Greek Jesus in the Hebrew Jewish Messiah.

        Shalom

      • I am saddened by reading this thread… I stumbled upon it wanting to learn more about God’s Word in the original language only because things are lost in translation.

        But as I see the 2 sides arguing, and even making sly remarks against each other, I see division and cutting each other down, a spirit of the enemy, not our loving Jesus…

        As disciples of Jesus, being disciples should unite us, not be divided based on different doctrines. This is how we ended up with hundreds of denominations in Christianity not getting along with each other. Even the Messianics are doing the same thing with Messianic Judaism, Hebraic movements, and other smaller denomination.

        I don’t wish to point fingers, and I know I have made similar mistakes in the past. I just want to encourage all to not cut each other down. God has given specific gifts & roles to both man & woman. Both have their own advantages & weaknesses, but both also have a lot they can learn from each other.

        Romans 14:
        As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. 2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. 3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. 4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master[a] that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
        5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.

      • Elijah

        No sly remarks beloved, but direct and firm is also necessary.

        Not everything goes as the “New World Order” would like it to be and they would like to believe

        Remember first of all, G_D’s Law / Torah is His first Commands to understand and to proof and show your love! And to point out facts from Scripture is not “sly” remarks.

        About Rom 14, I hope you understand it in context, as it does not say you can eat anything and that you just need to pray and the unclean animals are clean then. No, because you can not pray dog or rat clean, because it stays unclean meat. Yes, you can eat it and thank G_D for it, but it does not make it clean or right in the eyes of the Lord my friend. Context, who am I to judge as it is only His Judgement that counts at the end.

        Same goes for homosexuals, which is wickedness and lust and not love! Yeah, who am I to judge, but I am allowed to reprimand fairly and righteous according to His Word, and His word does not say it is love or right, but still must we treat them with love, but it does not say it is right:

        Rom 1:27 “and likewise the men, giving up natural relations with the opposite sex, burn with passion for one another, men committing shameful acts with other men and receiving in their own persons the penalty appropriate to their perversion.”

        Know Torah first and wisdom and knowledge will come to show love, but accepting everything else and by throwing love upfront if righteousness is shown from unrighteousness is the same to reject your love to the Creator and His Instructions to guide, direct and protect us. Because if you fear Him and love Him you will know His Way Deut 10:12-13.

        Shalom

  8. “Elijah” and “Levi” here’s the simple truth: as a Gentile, I was never required to be under the Old Covenant in the first place. As a Christian, I’m not required to be under the Old Covenant. I’m required to be under the Spirit, being born again.

    You say “but the Old Covenant is perfect!” So what? I’m not under it!

    You say “but the Old Covenant was given by God! You’re supposed to obey God!” God has given us a New Covenant. If you reject the New Covenant that He has told you to be under, and remain under the Old Covenant, then YOU are being disobedient to Him.

    You say, “but we are told to be like the Messiah, and the Messiah followed the Old Covenant! Therefore we should follow the Old Covenant.”
    1. Messiah was under the Old Covenant according to the flesh, by which He is the Son of David, in order to fulfill the Old Covenant. The call to Christians is to be follow Him according to the Spirit, by which He is the Son of God. It is by the Spirit that He has made a New Covenant between us and the Father, in His death, burial and resurrection.
    2. The manner in which we are to imitate the Messiah is not in all things in all ways. Otherwise, we should all grow beards and dress according to the customs of Jewish people circa the 1st Century AD. Rather, we are to be like Him in the sense that He listened to the Father’s voice, and obeyed.

    • My dear dear friend,

      Show me in all of Scripture that if you are a Christian, that you will be saved. No where in your complete Bible does the Word say that.

      Secondly, you make the One GOD, a Trinity in your belief, and also is that a falsehood. He is the same and One from the beginning till the end, the Aleph and the Tav, the first and the last GOD!

      The Messiah, which was the Word in Flesh, is GOD, and He created everything – Jn 1:1-3. He and the Creator is One, Echad – Jn 10:30, 8:23.

      You can believe what you want, it is your choice, but never search for the truth, even if you think you know all, that is a command from GOD.

      Shalom

      • One of the problems we’re having in communicating is that you keep focusing on Christianity and Judaism/Torah. I’m not interested in Christianity. I’m interested in Christ. I don’t want to promote a religion, I want to promote a relationship. I’ve listened to Rabbis give long “sermons” on the glories of Judaism, without once mentioning God. I’ve heard Catholic priests do pretty much the same thing about Catholicism. Blah blah blah. In any case, there are a TON of verses in the New Testament that speak of salvation by faith in Christ. John 3:16 is probably the most famous. I think you’re perfectly capable of googling “soteriology” (the study of salvation) and learn more than I can share in a limited space. One is not saved by being a Christian, one becomes a Christian by being saved.

        The concept of the trinity was an abstract idea developed by early theologians to cope with the confusing idea of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit all being God, yet all being one. Thus they claim “3 persons, 1 being.” I’ve heard HRMers claim that’s gnosticism (which it’s not) and reverse it into “1 person, 3 beings” (which IS gnosticism). Thomas Aquinas, one smart cookie, pointed out that in trinitarianism, the term “persons” doesn’t have a standard definition, because YHWH means “I AM,” which means God’s person is the same as His being. He can’t be 3 persons-1 being or 1 person-3 beings. Yet there is a distinction between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Edwin Abbot’s fictional book “Flatland” describes creatures in a two-dimensional world encountering a three-dimensional being, who intersects with their realm–he appeared two dimensional to them, but he wasn’t. Perhaps a better analogy, in our computer age, is playing an MMO. The little avatar I play on the screen in Champions or DC Universe is completely me in one sense, and not me in another. He’s me according the spirit, and not me according to the pixels. I suspect, however, all analogies fail here. We are trying to intellectually contain an idea that is far beyond us, because we are dealing with a being, Who, if we are three-dimensional beings, has not four, but INFINITE dimensions.

      • Shalom in Yahshua HaMashiach

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