Messiah = "Ultra-Torah"

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Bismarck, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. Bismarck

    Bismarck
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    In Matt 5:17-18, the Messiah affirms that he does not do away with the Law.

    After saying that "not a yod and not a kots of a yod" (the Hebrew "jot" and "tiddle") shall pass away from the Torah until everything has been done, the Messiah goes on to demonstrate his "ultra-Torah" teachings:

    Anger (vv. 21-26)
    Lust (vv. 27-30)
    Divorce (vv. 31-32)
    Oaths (vv. 33-37)
    Retaliation (vv. 38-42)
    Love Your Enemies (vv. 43-48)

    In each of these cases, the Messiah highlights and amplifies the true, original intent of these OT Laws. For example, regarding retaliation, the Messiah says (vv. 38-39), "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you..." That OT Law (Ex 21:24; Lev 24:20; Deut 19:21) was designed to limit violence. It prevented escalation, which leads to blood feuds. (Cf. the 30 Years War (1618-48) in Germany, where Protestants and Catholics did not keep this commandment, and escalations in violence culminated in the Catholic massacre of Magdeburg in 1631 and the slaughter of at least 20,000 Protestants.)

    Thus, the Messiah carried this Spirit of the Law to its ultimate extreme — not only should you not escalate (OT), but (for the sake of saving lives) you should actively de-escalate (NT).

    The Messiah's teachings represent "ultra-Torah", the ultimate extreme of the original Spirit underlying the Law given to Moses by YHWH at Horeb.

    It can hardly be coincidence that the Messiah ends this discourse (v. 48) with the words, "You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."



    ADDENDUM:

    This is echoed by Paul as well:

    Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." [Deut 32:35]
    Romans 12:17-19
     
    #1 Bismarck, Sep 11, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2007

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