Paul the Nazarite

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by UZThD, Jun 4, 2005.

  1. UZThD

    UZThD
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    Scriptures to consider:

    Numbers 6 ,

    Acts 18:18

    Acts 21:17-26

    Questions for thought:

    Why would Paul, himself, follow a Jewish law (18:18 ; 21 : 26) when Paul elsewhere teaches that he is dead to the Law (Gal 2:19) ?

    Why would Paul pay for the sacrificing of several animals by a Jewish priest ( Num 6: 13,16; Acts 21:24,26) when all the sacrifice that is needed was provided by the death of Jesus and HE is our Priest (Heb 9,10)?

    Why would Paul be party to allowing Jewish Christians to live as Jews (Acts 21:24-26), when Paul criticized Peter for living as a Jew (Gal 2 :11-19)?

    [ June 04, 2005, 12:23 PM: Message edited by: UZThD ]
     
  2. OldRegular

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    A simple answer to part of your question is found in 1 Corinthians 9:20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law. John Gill in his commentary expands much further on the exegesis of the passages from Acts and Galatians.

    Paul did not criticize Peter for living as a Jew. Read the passage:

    Galatians 2:11-19
    11. But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
    12. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
    13. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
    14. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
    15. We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
    16. Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
    17. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
    18. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
    19. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.


    Peter was living as a Gentile yet requiring the Gentile Christians to live as Jews, thus Paul rebuked him. Paul recognized that the ordinances [not the Ten Commandments] were nailed to the cross yet tolerated the Jews you continued to observe these ordinances.

    Colossians 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
     
  3. UZThD

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    If Paul acted at times as one under the Law, how was that different than Peter separating himself from Gentiles as though he were under the Law?

    But if Paul were only "acting" what does "You, yourself, are living in obedience to the Law" (21:24) mean?


    How was Peter requiring the Gentiles to live as Jews? What did he require of them?

    IF they lived as Jews, why did Peter feel the need to separate from them whhen the Judaizers arrived?
     
  4. OldRegular

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    I repeat part of my original post:

    I have no idea "how Peter was requiring the Gentiles to live as Jews or what he required of them?" All I know is that Scripture states that he was. If you really want to know ask Peter or Paul when you see them.
     
  5. UZThD

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    ALL IMO:

    Actually, I asked Paul what Peter was requiring.

    Paul replied in the text in Gal 2:11-14 that Peter was not at all in actuality imposing ANY Mosaic Laws on the Gentiles at Antioch .

    Peter, the text clearly says, was living himself as a Gentile in that he was eating with and fellowshipping with Gentiles. Therefore, Peter was not requiring the Gentiles to follow Jewish laws as he was not following Jewish laws!

    Then, those came to Antioch who were legalizers, and Peter was afraid. We may ask why was he afraid. Why would an apostle fear Judaizers?

    It was suggested as early as Tertullian that Peter was not fearing for himself, but for Jewish Christians. The thought is, that Peter was concerned for the physical safety of Jewish Chritians if it were reported to Jews that he had forsaken the Law.

    Or it has suggested that Peter wished to keep the lines of communication open to Jews so that they might be evangelized. (see FF Bruce, New International Greek Testament Commentary ; RYK Fung, NICNT).

    Whether the above suggestions are true or not, the only manner that Gal indicates that Peter req anything Jewish laws of Gentiles is that he, by that act of separating from them, is in effect saying that they must be as Jews for him to fellowship with them.

    Nothing is said here about Peter teaching a works Gospel, but Paul must have perceived Peter's act to have adverse implications on the message of salvation by faith, otherwise, why would Paul refer to that act in this context.

    I just don't at this time , however, in my present limited grasp of the issues, clearly see how Peter's not on this occasion eating with Gentiles is anymore inconsistent with a freedom from Jewish regulations than is Paul's having animals sacrificed in the Jewish Temple.

    But I still thinking.
     
  6. OldRegular

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    UZThD

    Seems to me that you are taking a lot of poetic license with the statement: If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?.

    I don't know any Greek, either little or otherwise, but Thayer gives the meaning of the Greek word translated compellest as:

    1) to necessitate, compel, drive to, constrain
    1a) by force, threats, etc.
    1b) by permission, entreaties, etc.
    1c) by other means
     
  7. OldRegular

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    By the way UZThD if I were a good Roman Catholic I would probably jump on your explanation like a chicken on a Junebug. We couldn't have anyone correcting Pope #1 could we.

    And I am not casting aspersions at your explanation here, I did that above. In moderation though, since the word aspersions has a bad connotation.
     
  8. UZThD

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    OR

    I see no poetic license, but perhaps you're right and I'm ( and Bruce and Fung) wrong.

    It does not shatter me to think I may be wrong...
    I was once wrong in...uh...when was that...oh yeah, 1967 .


    Truth is truth , and IF my opinion here is truth, then whether it pleases the RC or not it should be accepted as GOD is a GOD of truth!
     
  9. UZThD

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  10. robycop3

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    Reading the passages carefully, we see what Peter was doing incorrectly...HE WAS SEPARATING HIMSELF FROM THE GENTILES TO EAT, and so were the Jews who'd been taught by James, and even Barnabas joined in. Remember, "those of the circumcision" were Jews.

    This was after God showed Peter the vision of the nonkosher critters in the tarp and after he went into Cornelius' home to preach. Seems ole Pete needed a little jumpstart every now-n-then.

    Let's clear up a little difference between Nazarite and Nazirite. A Nazarite is a resident of Nazareth, also known as a Nazarene.(It is NOT a special title for Jesus.) A Nazirite was a specially-consecrated Israeli such as Samson, consecrated by a special vow to God to do or not do certain things. The word comes from the Hebrew 'nazir', "to consecrate". Evidently Paul had made a vow to cut his hair in Jerusalem by or on a certain date. Scripture doesn't provide us with all the details of Paul's vow, and while it seems strange for a Christian to take such a vow, IMO he did it according to 1 Cor. 9:20.
     
  11. UZThD

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  12. robycop3

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    We must remember...PAUL WAS AN EDUCATED JEW. He'd been taught the things of Judaism from childhood, learning at the feet of Gamaliel. He had a built-in allegiance to his own people. And he learned Jesus was a Jew.

    He was educated as a Pharisee. The difference between him & those Pharisees whom Jesus upbraided was that Paul was zealous for the things of GOD, even before his conversion. He was busting Christians outta IGNORANCE, and not for self-aggrandizement nor hate of God. At first, he felt he was genuinely serving God by busting "heretics".

    If Paul had just simply chucked ALL his Judaism, how many Jews would he have won to the Lord? Wouldn't the Romans have believed him to have been just some wishywashy troublemaker who had no real religion? Didn't he say he had to be a Jew to the other Jews in order for them to believe him when he spoke of Jesus?

    Many Christian Jews today still follow much of the Jewish tradition. Most of them still observe Passover, which is God's command to Israel, FOREVER. (The last meal JESUS ate on earth was a Passover.) They observe Yom Kippur, and often have a menorah burning in their homes. They remember that salvation was offered FIRST TO THE JEW, then to the Greek & other gentiles.

    Conversely, Jesus doesn't ask us gentiles to become Jews. He doesn't ask us Americans to become Israelis. Since the Jew who becomes a Christian remains a literal, physical Jew, but with a new heart, Jesus doesn't expect them to chuck every last aspect of Judaism, but He expects them, same as He expects us, to put HIM FIRST in their lives.
     
  13. UZThD

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    Roby

    1) What do you perceive to have been the purpose of the animal sacrifices in Acts 21 in the minds of those purified and in the minds of the Judaizers who wished to see that Paul "lived according to the Law of Moses"? (21:24)?

    2) Do you think that today converts from other religions should retain some elements of their former faith so as to be a better witness to those of that faith?

    Thanks,

    Bill
     

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