"Torah", is the collective noun, for the original 5 books of "The Law", given to Moses. The writings after Ezra, called the "Talmud" (the traditions of the Pharisees and their interpretation of the Law), and also the "Mishnah" which is "oral law", was developed by the Pharisees, and are also included in the "Modern Torah". Modern Judaism is based now on the developed Pharisaic Judaism of Jesus' day, and were formalised in AD 200/250 into written form and called the "Mishnah". The Mishnah is the written collective interpretations of the Jewish Old Testament and particularly the original Torah. Some religious Jewish groupings are of the opinion that the Mishnah interpretations are superior to the original writings, in that the later interpretations are considered to have been refined by the Rabbis of the day, a notable being “Maimonides”, (written 1170 – 1180) see below.
These later writings are considered by some to have superseded the Mosaic Law, and some modern religious Jews demand obedience to it, over and above the original. The current term for modern Judaism is "Rabbinic Judaism", and is what John the Baptist, Jesus and Paul all spoke against!
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The Mishneh Torah (Hebrew:) ("Repetition of the Torah") subtitled Sefer Yad HaHazaka ("Book of the Strong Hand,") is a code of Jewish religious law (Halakha) authored by Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, also known as RaMBaM or "Rambam"), one of history's foremost rabbis. The Mishneh Torah was compiled between 1170 and 1180 (4930-4940), while Maimonides was living in Egypt, and is regarded as Maimonides' magnum opus. Accordingly, later sources simply refer to the work as "Maimon", "Maimonides" or "RaMBaM", although Maimonides composed other works.
Mishneh Torah consists of fourteen books, subdivided into sections, chapters, and paragraphs. It is the only Medieval-era work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws that are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in existence, and remains an important work in Judaism.
Its title is an appellation originally used for the Biblical book of Deuteronomy, and its subtitle, "Book of the Strong Hand," derives from its subdivision into fourteen books: the numerical value fourteen, when represented as the Hebrew letters Yod (10) Dalet (4), forms the word yad ("hand").
Maimonides intended to provide a complete statement of the Oral Law, so that a person who mastered first the Written Torah and then the Mishneh Torah would be in no need of any other book. Contemporary reaction was mixed, with strong and immediate opposition focusing on the absence of sources and the belief that the work appeared to be intended to supersede study of the Talmud. Maimonides responded to these criticisms, and the Mishneh Torah endures as an influential work in Jewish religious thought. According to several authorities, a decision may not be rendered in opposition to a view of Maimonides, even where he apparently militated against the sense of a Talmudic passage, for in such cases the presumption was that the words of the Talmud were incorrectly interpreted. Likewise: "One must follow Maimonides even when the latter opposed his teachers, since he surely knew their views, and if he decided against them he must have disapproved their interpretation".
As is seen in the above, Maimonides in particular demanded his interpretations be followed, even when it conflicted with his teachers! His interpretations, as well as others are followed today by particularly “Orthodox Jewry”, which derives from the Pharisees!
The original writings given to Moses and other men of Almighty God are termed Biblical Judaism.
The original Hebrew manuscripts were partially destroyed in the Alexandrian fire of 47 BC, but copies of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the OT), were made in Greek in the 3rd Cent. BC (Koine Greek commonly used in Egypt at the time). The final burning of the remaining 700,000 volumes completed by Omar in AD640.
The work is reputed to have been written in 70 days by 70 scholars, however that is disputed by some historians. The fact of 70 scholars however is accepted generally. The rest of the OT, in the 2nd Cent. BC (although some deny that Isaiah was included, but the Qumran Scrolls seem to confirm). Collectively this translation is termed "Septuagint" (LXX or 70).
The "Massorah" are the writings around the edge of the manuscripts, introduced to "fence" the Scriptures from mistakes by Scribe or copyist. Ezra is reputed to be the originator of these (Ezra 7:6-11), and was part of his great contribution to re-establishing Israel after the return from the Babylonian Exile! After Ezra's death, the work was altered by the "Sopherim", and called the "Sopherim Revision". In that revision the names of Jehovah were changed in 134 cases, which alters the understanding of the narrative in context. In the same "revision", 15 words were changed, which according to Bible Scholars gives an "abnormal appearance" to Jewish Bible text. Also later,18 "emendations" were made to the Sopherim Revision, which affect the figure "anthropopathia", (Dr. Bullinger Appendix 31 etc.). The Jews major departure from Truth after Ezra, (see: Changes Made To The Old Testament) which he had worked so hard to re-establish after their return from the Babylonian exile; produced the above mentioned, which were condemned by Jesus repeatedly during His Ministry. Jesus also condemned the degraded Temple worship, and the misuse of the Temple, which is illustrated by His oft comments and prophetic condemnation of the Scribes and Pharisees, together with His cleansing of the Temple of traders in John 2:15!
The "changes" gathered apace, and the Dead Sea Scrolls record that by the 2nd Cent. BC, the Essen's of Qumran fame had withdrawn themselves from the "mainstream" of Jewish life, due to their disapproval of the "fluid", or "lax" interpretations of the Pharisees of the original Hebrew Scriptures! Some reports state that almost "open warfare" existed between the two groups.
In discussion with Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Jews, the outstanding expressions from them is their adamant condemnation of Jesus Christ as the True Messiah of Jehovah Zebaoth; and their equally adamant certainty that the "Wisdom" writings, (Rabbinical Judaism, derived from the Pharisaic writings) since Ezra are as valid as the Original Law and Prophets! The 'original' Biblical Judaism, foretold of the Advent of Jesus as the "suffering Messiah of Jehovah God", who would suffer for the sins of His people, the Jews! This enraged the Pharisaic Priesthood, and the rest is history!
Also their teachings are very different to that of Christianity, and Biblical Judaism; in that they do not believe in the "personage" of Satan as a rebellious entity, but teach that he is only an obedient angel, doing God's will in "testing" them to self-improve! They are convinced that it is not impossible to keep the Law, and that it is their duty to keep trying. They state that all Regulations in their writings, derived from the originals, are for "self-improvement". They do not accept "blood sacrifice" for sin.
The 'Wisdom' writings are what John the Baptist, followed by Jesus condemned, as "of vipers". The references there are to the Scribes and Pharisees; see: The Scribes and Pharisees and their adherence to their false scripture, which blinds them to the Original Truths!
These writings and their teachings, allow them to not see, or admit to the constant failure of their forefathers regarding their lack of fealty to their God, Jehovah, which led to their Babylonian Exile, and later after their rejection of Jesus; to their worldwide Dispersion! The same writings also will not allow them to accept Jesus as Messiah, as they have developed a rigid 'qualification' criterion which their supposed future messiah candidate must comply to, and that he will be completely human! Which is why in the opinion of the writers, in the future when “Anti-Christ is on the scene, Orthodox (Pharisaic) Jewry will accept him as their messiah (false); and will work with him to establish the 3rd Temple. Until he exposes himself as the Satan infiltrator after 3½ years of the 7, as shown in Dan. 9:27. See: The 490 years Prophecy given to Daniel by Gabriel.
In all this, they overlook, or dismiss as "wrong interpretation" what the original 'Torah' (OT) says when they are in conversation with opponents of their position!
The Jewish Nation has been temporarily rejected at the present time, by God, due to their rejection of Jesus, and they are "lo-Ammi", (not My people) (Acts 28:28), and any of their comments made from their writings which do not conform to the original Scriptures are invalid. Therefore the comments on the human parentage of Jesus from them is also invalid. As a Melbourne Rabbi commented to the writer in1981, "Jesus was the son of a Roman Centurion", which is the common comment from such. It was noted later that Josephus also states, that this story started around the time of Jesus' Crucifixion, see: Josephus: His Ref. to Jesus, "The Wonder Worker":
Regarding Jesus, His Crucifixion, His Resurrection, His present awaiting "at the right hand of the Father until His enemies are made His footstool", all of this is fulfilled prophecy, and all the other Biblical prophecies regarding Him, and Israel will also be fulfilled, many people feel sooner rather than later! The major event that knowledgeable Christians are awaiting, is what is known as "the Rapture" which will probably take place just prior to the last 7 years of Daniel’s prophecy, see: The Rapture Those Taken and Those Not.
Paul speaks about this in some detail, its timing is probably as above, but it is linked in timing to the next stage of Israel's events. Rev. Chapter 13. There will be some time in the probable near future, a peace agreement for Israel, which is in prophecy (Daniel). A few years later, Christ will return to Earth, and Israel "will look on him whom they pierced", only at that stage will they realise what they did to Him, and will mourn greatly! At that stage, Israel will turn away from all their falsehood, including the Talmud, the Mishnah etc., and "will know again their God!" They will become "Ammi", (My people) and the Reign of Christ on Earth will begin "in Power and Great Glory".
Because of the false writings they now adhere to, none of their opinions re. the Almighty's actions and plan are valid. Also there is a "veil over their understanding". Having said that, there are just a few Jews who have accepted Christ, they know themselves as "completed Jews". They are indeed blessed, as they are part of that wondrous entity, "The Lord's Body".
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