Following are some key texts from Scripture that challenge the traditional paradigm. We did not create that paradigm; our forebears simply accepted it from the churches they came from.
Until heaven and earth pass away, no part of the Law of Moses will pass away
“Don’t think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I didn’t come to destroy, but to fulfill. For most assuredly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the law, until all things are accomplished.”
(Matthew 5:17–18 WEB)
He has helped his servant Israel, according to the promise
“He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
(Luke 1:54–55 NRSV)
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us; to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.”
(Luke 1:67–75 ESV)
They are all zealous for the Law of Moses
“When they heard it, they praised God. Then they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands of believers there are among the Jews, and they are all zealous for the law.”
(Acts 21:20 NRSV)
- CEV — You can see how many tens of thousands of the Jewish people have become followers! And all of them are eager to obey the Law of Moses.
- NLV — You see, brother, how many thousands of Christians there are among the Jews. They all obey the Law of Moses.
- TLV — You see, brother, how many myriads there are among the Jewish people who have believed—and they are all zealous for the Torah.
“They have been informed about you, that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children neither to walk after the customs. What then? The assembly must certainly meet, for they will hear that you have come. Therefore do what we tell you. We have four men who have taken a vow. Take them, and purify yourself with them, and pay their expenses for them, that they may shave their heads. Then all will know that there is no truth in the things that they have been informed about you, but that you yourself also walk keeping the law.”
(Acts 21:21–24 WEB)
- GW — they’ll see that you carefully follow Moses’ Teachings
- MSG — that you are in fact scrupulous in your reverence for the laws of Moses
- NCV — that you follow the law of Moses in your own life
- NLV — They will know you are careful to obey the Law of Moses
Study on Acts 21
I am a Jew, according to the strict manner of the law
“I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, instructed according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God, even as you all are this day.”
(Acts 22:3 WEB)
Study on Acts 22
“Paul argued in his defense, “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I committed any offense.””
(Acts 25:8 ESV)
Study on Acts 25
“My manner of life from my youth, spent from the beginning among my own nation and in Jerusalem, is known by all the Jews. They have known for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that according to the strictest party of our religion I have lived as a Pharisee.”
(Acts 26:4–5 ESV)
Study on Acts 26
“After three days he called together the local leaders of the Jews, and when they had gathered, he said to them, “Brothers, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.”
(Acts 28:17 ESV)
Study on Acts 28
What is the advantage of being Jewish?
“Circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law; but if you break the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.”
(Romans 2:25 NRSV)
- GW — circumcision is valuable if you follow the laws in Moses’ Teachings
- NLV — Going through the religious act of becoming a Jew is worth something if you obey the Law.
“Then what advantage does the Jew have? Or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way! Because first of all, they were entrusted with the oracles of God.”
(Romans 3:1–2 WEB)
- GNT — Do the Jews then have any advantage over the Gentiles?
- TLV — Then what is the advantage of being Jewish?
“For what if some were without faith? Will their lack of faith nullify the faithfulness of God? May it never be!”
(Romans 3:3–4 WEB)
We uphold the Torah
“Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.”
(Romans 3:31 NRSV)
- CJB — On the contrary, we confirm Torah.
- TLV — Do we then nullify the Torah through faithfulness? May it never be! On the contrary, we uphold the Torah.
“They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.”
(Romans 9:4–5 NRSV)
God didn’t reject his people
“I ask then, Did God reject his people? May it never be! For I also am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God didn’t reject his people, which he foreknew.”
(Romans 11:1–2 WEB)
“But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.”
(Romans 11:17–18 ESV)
“Concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But concerning the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sake. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”
(Romans 11:28–29 WEB)
- CEV — God doesn’t take back the gifts he has given or forget about the people he has chosen.
- GW — God never changes his mind when he gives gifts or when he calls someone.
- GNT — For God does not change his mind about whom he chooses and blesses.
“Now I say that Christ has been made a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, that he might confirm the promises given to the fathers, and that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.”
(Romans 15:8–9 WEB)
“Once again I testify to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obliged to obey the entire law.”
(Galatians 5:3 NRSV)
- GW — Again, I insist that everyone who allows himself to be circumcised must realize that he obligates himself to do everything Moses’ Teachings demand.
- NLV — I say it again. Every man who has the religious act of becoming a Jew done on him must obey every Law.
“Was anyone called having been circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called in uncircumcision? Let him not be circumcised.”
(1 Corinthians 7:18 WEB)
- VOICE — When you heard the voice of Jesus, what were your circumstances? Were you living as a circumcised Jew? If so, then don’t try to undo your circumcision. Were you living as if you were an uncircumcised outsider? If so, you don’t need to become a Jew.
“Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar?”
(1 Corinthians 10:18 ESV)