Rabbinic Judaism (Pharisaic Judaism)


What is Rabbinic or Pharisaic Judaism?   When in discussion with Orthodox Jews, they often quote a Book or writing that they say is “The Torah”, and quote verses or definitions that do not sound familiar to a Christian; (one who belongs to Christ Jesus by Faith in His Sacrificial Death, approx. 2000 years ago at Calvary, outside the City walls of Jerusalem).

Why does it matter that the Rabbinic writings are different to the Christian Bible?  It matters because one is True to Almighty God, and one is not.

The Christian Bible contains the Old Testament [Old Covenant, or Original Covenants] (OT); and the New Testament [New Covenant] (NT).


In simple form the Christian Bible can be expressed as follows:


OT + NT = Christian Bible (= Christianity).


There are variations on this formulation, due to the history of Christianity via. Constantine, the Roman Catholic Church (RCC), and latterly the Protestant Reformation.  The following Link gives some clarity on this.  Corruption of the Bible Text:  

We are not concerned in this study with the ‘Sects’ that have altered the Word of God to suit their teachings!

In simple form the Rabbinic Bible can be expressed as follows:

OT + Mishnah = Rabbinic Bible (= Rabbinic Judaism).

The question is, what is the Mishnah (sometimes spelt Mishna)?

It is the collective thoughts, decisions, rulings and interpretations of a Group of Jews who were/are called Pharisees!  They were particularly prominent in circa BC 200, and were one of the main three Groups of that time, the others being Sadducees and Essenes.

The Pharisees were the dominant Group in Jesus’ day, and remained so up to the Roman destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem, in AD 70.

The Mishnah was/is the written form of the above mentioned collective thoughts, decisions, rulings and interpretations of the Pharisees, and was completed approx. AD 300.


Orthodox Jews claim that their Mishna originated from Moses and Jehovah in the Sinai, and they often quote Deuteronomy as their authority. When the claims are examined, it is clearly not the truth, and in fact Deuteronomy witnesses against Orthodox claims.  In Deut. 4:2, Moses/ Jehovah warn the people against "adding or subtracting" from what they have been given!  In v23-27, they are warned not to corrupt the Word given, and also to keep themselves from Idols; with the consequences spelt out in v27, should they not be faithful to Jehovah.  Deut. Chapters 28, 29 and 30, detail the consequences of failure; which is now recorded in history!

Orthodoxy also claims an unbroken link to Deut. 4, but again their own Old Testament (OT, Tanach) proves otherwise, and on many occasions; that their fidelity to Jehovah, and observance of the Sabbath, was not continued for long periods of time!

A case in point is the sealing of the Temple by King Ahaz, and the cessation of the ritual (2Chr. 28:24-25).  Another is the loss of the "Word of God", (the Pentateuch), and its recovery by Josiah (2Kings 22:8).  It had probably been "lost" during the evil reign of Manasseh and Amon 30 years earlier, during the idolatry and burning of children to Molech, 2Kings 21:6!

That Jehovah preserved His Word (Pentateuch) is without doubt, as is witnessed repeatedly in OT (Tanach).  But, the claim by the Pharisaic Jews (currently called "Rabbinical Judaism" or "Orthodox Judaism), that they preserved it is false, according to the many references in the OT.


From AD 300 approx. what is known as Rabbinic Judaism developed, which is a continuation of the same process.  Many eminent Rabbis (in the definition of Judaism) have since joined a long line of “revered writers”, many who no doubt were sincere in their efforts, within the framework of their Religion and upbringing!

The fact remains that as Jesus said many times, they were/ are wrong!  See: The Scribes and Pharisees. 


How do we know that the Christian Bible is The Word of God?

The true Christ–One has no doubt, as the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, The Comforter, witnesses to their hearts constantly!

However, the Word in the OT and NT states clearly that it is!

Probably the most well known and beautifully expressed is in Paul’s letter to Timothy; (2Tim. 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, [Grk theopneustos = God inbreathed] and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”.

A major point in this quote, is that the words “All Scripture” are in the singular in the Greek, pasa-graphe clearly indicating that there is only one Authentic Word of God!

This is confirmed in 2Peter 1:21.

More can be gleaned in: Christ confirms the OT and NT.  


How do we know that the Mishnah is not the word of God?

Well firstly because Jesus condemned the teaching of the Pharisees, and reserved His most powerful condemnation for them as a Group, and as individuals!  See the above link!

It is claimed by modern Judaism (Rabbinic or Pharisaic Judaism), that their authority for the Mishnah stems from the teachings of Moses, and that he is the authority for their writings!

When one examines their claim, it is clearly wrong, as Deut. 4 shows.  In 4:1, Moses tells the children of Israel (Israel), to do the statutes and judgements that he has taught them.

In Deut. 4:2, he warns them to “not add to, or take away” from his teachings!

In Deut. 4:5, Moses confirms that what he has taught them, “was as God commanded me”.

In Deut. 4:6, Moses states that they should do as he has taught them in their promised land “in the sight of the Nations”, and therefore the Nations would think of them as “a great Nation, wise and understanding”.

In Deut. 4:7-8, that the surrounding Nations would hold them in awe, that God Almighty would deem “to be nigh unto them”, and that Israel can call upon Him, and that “hath statutes and judgements so righteous”.


Later in Deut. 4:15-25, they are warned not to worship idols, and that if they did, Israel would be scattered all over the world, (Deut. 4:27)!


The fact is that Israel in the form of the Pharisees have added to, and changed what Moses gave them, which is why, John the Baptist, Jesus and Paul, all strove with the Pharisees and their Priesthood, and is why the Mishnah is not the Word of God to the Jewish people!  It is the human alterations that Moses warned against!


As is well known by history, the Jews also were idolatrous and rebellious against their Jehovah God, and the warning by Moses came to pass as per Deut. 4:27!


The fact of the "Lo-Ammi" (not My people) condition of the Jews at present, means that their "prophetic progress" is at present halted.  The fact of the 1948 'temporal' establishment of the 'State of Israel', augers that their 'Spiritual' Establishment is not too distant.  When that happens, they are again "Ammi", (My people), and all events in prophecy OT and NT, (New Covenant) will quickly progress. 


One of the major consequences of the Jewish adherence to the Pharisees and their interpretations is the rejection of Jesus as Messiah of Jehovah!

This is because all the prophecies regarding Jesus in OT have been held invalid by Pharisaic Judaism, and they have their own interpretation, and list of criterion for the Messiah they are waiting for.


It is the opinion of the writers that Rabbinical Judaism as it stands will not relent until the events of Revelation are current, and the prophecy of Zech. 12:10 is apparent! 

See:  Changes Made To The Old Testament . 


If you have questions or comments, please click here.

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