Did Jesus Add or Take Away from Torah?
Religious bias makes it appear like Jesus changed the Word of God/Torah, the first five books of the Bible. Although Jesus was falsely accused of blasphemy when He claimed to be One with God, everyone who heard Him speak knew He did not add or take away from Torah.
“Truth I speak to you, Until heaven and earth pass away not one yod or vav could pass away from Torah until everything would come to pass.” Matthew 5:18
Jesus Is the Word of God/Torah, John 1:1-14. He did not break Torah, which defines sin. He was sinless, fulfilling/obeying Torah. Jesus only revealed the deeper, Spiritual, meanings of Torah, in parables, that would not be understood by the rebellious.
“This is why I speak to them in parables, ‘though seeing they do not see, though hearing they do not hear,” “…things hidden since the creation of the world,” Matthew 13:13, 35; Ezekiel 12:2; Psalm 78:2.
The Torah is called Unchanging, Perfect, Living and Eternal. It existed before creation and will exist forever, Isaiah 40:8; Psalm 119: 89; Matthew 24:35; 1 Peter 1:20, 25.
Jesus clearly explained the Torah and Prophets were speaking about Him: Luke 4:21; Isaiah 58:6; Isaiah 61:2; Matthew 26:54, 56; Acts 3:18; 13:27, 33; John 2:22, 5:39, 19:36; Hebrews 10:7; Psalm 40:6-8.
Although most of us would agree that Jesus fulfilled the Torah and Profits, many remain confused about the New (Spiritual) Covenant and the Old (physical) Covenant that was a shadow or copy of the Spiritual/Eternal: Hebrews 10:1; Exodus 26:30.
Here are the top 5 things I misunderstood about Jesus’ teachings until I began testing my beliefs to the Torah and Prophets:
- Did Jesus break the Sabbath or change it in any way?
- Did Jesus change Torah when He said, “you have heard it said, but I say…”
- Did Jesus abolish Torah when He died on the cross?
- Did Jesus declare all foods clean?
- Did Jesus start a new religion?
1. It is a misconception that Jesus broke the Sabbath by allowing His disciples to pluck and eat grain as they passed through the grain-fields when they were hungry. What did Jesus mean when He said, “the Son of man is Lord of the Sabbath?” Read Matthew 12:1-8.
What does Torah teach?
“When you enter your neighbor’s grain-field you may pluck the heads of grain with your hand but you shall not yield a sickle…,” Deuteronomy 23:25
No Torah observant person would use a sickle in their neighbors field and especially not on Sabbath. Jesus knew it was permissible to pluck grain with you hand.
The Pharisees had completely missed God’s Love by accusing the innocent:
“If you would have understood what is written, ‘I desire Loving Kindness, not sacrifice,’ (Hosea 6:6), you would not have accused the innocent.” Matthew 12:7
Then Jesus announced to the Pharisees, “the son of Adam, (referring to Himself as the One Daniel 7:13, 14 spoke about) is Lord, (YHVH) of the Sabbath.”
Still they did not have eyes or ears to perceive that He was saying, He Is, Was and Will Be the eternal/spiritual fulfillment of the physical Seventh Day Sabbath.
2. Jesus uses the phrase, “You have heard it said…but I say…” in Matthew 5:21-43. The misconception here is that Jesus was saying something different than Torah. In reality, the Hebrew would read more like, you have interpreted…but I say…
Jesus was correcting the wrong interpretations of the Pharisees and revealing the true meaning of Torah.
Do not murder means, don’t even think it, Exodus 20:13
Do not commit adultery means, don’t even imagine it, Exodus 20:13.
Do not swear falsely means, just say yes or no, anything beyond this comes from maliciousness: Leviticus 19:12; Numbers 30:2, 3; Deuteronomy 23:21, 22; Psalm 76:12; Ecclesiastes 5:4; James 5:12.
“An eye for and eye, a tooth for a tooth,” was never literal, Exodus 21:24. Only two verses later a slave is to be set free if his master strikes him in the eye and it is damaged, Exodus 21:26. These are examples of even/equal/fair penalties for loss, Leviticus 24:20; Deuteronomy 19:21.
Jesus revealed that beyond knowing what is fair we are to give more than was taken, asked, demanded or expected from us.
You will love your neighbor, Leviticus 19:18 includes your enemies and we are to pray for those who persecute us. “Hate your enemies” is not found in Torah.
3. Jesus did not abolish Torah on the cross. The word Law is used to translate several Hebrew words: Torah, Legalism, The curse of sin and death… This is the main cause of the misconception about the Law being done away with on the cross. Read Matthew 5:17-19. Jesus said He did not come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets but to fulfill/obey them.
…whoever would break the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the Kingdom of God…Matthew 5:19
4. Jesus did not declare all foods clean. Read Mark 7:19 in context and see that it is referring to eating with unwashed hands. Tanslators took the liberty to add their own bias in parenthesis, (thus all foods are clean).
Some also misinterpret Peter’s vision, found in Acts 10 to mean that God made unclean animals clean. Yet Peter himself does not interpret his vision to be about animals:
“God has explained to me not to say in anyway a man is common or unclean.” Acts 10:28
“In truth, now I understand that God does not show partiality, but welcomes those from every nation who fear Him and do what is Right.” Acts 10:34, 35; Deuteronomy 10:17.
5. Jesus did not start a new religion. He was born from the line of Judah, all Jesus did was straighten out the 1st century Jewish religious leaders. During His three year ministry He instructed people to hear and obey, (shema) what was read in the synagogues each Sabbath. Telling the people not to do what the religious hypocrites did.
Read Matthew 23 to see how Jesus really felt about hypocrites. This is why we are not to seek man but God’s Spirit to lead us into all Truth/Torah.
All the Torah and Prophets Hang on These Two Commandments:
Finally and most importantly, without adding or taking away from Torah, Jesus reveals Merciful Loving Kindness to be the sum of Torah.
Quoting the Shema (Hear and do), as the Greatest commandment, Deuteronomy 6:4-6, He then explained Leviticus 19:18 is like the first. The kind of Love Jesus demonstrated is the only way that leads to Life.
“You shall love YHVH your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your might,” Matthew 22:37.
“and the second is like it, Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:38.
“All the Torah and the Prophets hang on these two commands.” Matthew 22:39.