Why Don’t We Follow Rabbinic Tradition?

Today, in the comments section of this blog, I received an excellent question that many people have who are returning to the Hebraic roots of our faith. It is this: Why don’t we follow rabbinic Jewish oral tradition that purports to help us to understand the Written Torah of Elohim? Here’s my answer:

This is an excellent question and thanks for giving me the opportunity to address this issue. Many folks coming to the Hebraic roots of the Christian faith stumble have the same question. They figure that, since the Christian church purports to be antiTorah and since the Jews purport to be proTorah, we need to follow the Jews, since, ostensibly, they have been faithful to the Torah for all these millennia and we can learn from them and need to follow their example. On the surface, this seems like a reasonable proposition. The problem is that as one digs below the surface veneer and gets to the truth of the matter, neither of these propositions is correct. In fact, the Jews have veered from the Torah as much as the Christians by their non-biblical traditions. Perhaps, in fact, the Christians are better off than the Jews. At least they have the basic gospel message, and they, while claiming to be antiTorah actually follow much of the Torah (which they call the moral law). They just stumble over the dietary laws, the Sabbath and the biblical feasts and a few other minor Torah laws. These are the facts.

Now to your question about why we don’t follow rabbinic tradition lock, stock and barrel, or hook, line and sinker, as they say. Please give me chapter and verse in Scripture that states that Yeshua affirmed ALL Jewish tradition? On the contrary, he told the Jewish leaders of his day, “By your traditions, you make of no effect the Word of Elohim” (Mark 7:6–13; Matt 15:3–9), and then in Matt 5 he goes on to elaborate and condemn certain traditions of the elders that had in fact done this. Moreover, Paul was a Pharisee of the Pharisees at the highest level and was trained by Gamaliel, the grandson of Hillel the Great, yet Paul counted it all as dung (Phil 3:8). Moreover, the Jewish leadership of the first century who purported, as you suggest, to have the truth that we need to follow, told the disciples to stop preaching the gospel in the name of Yeshua, which they refused to do (Acts 6:33–42). This begs the question: Why should we follow those who hate Yeshua? Moreover, Yeshua commanded us to call no man “rabbi” (Hebrew meaning: “my great one”) except himself (Matt 23:8), which the modern Jews do in complete contempt and defiance of Yeshua the Messiah. Go study the life of “Rabbi” Akiba, the father and inventor of modern rabbinic Judaism, and his hatred for the Christians and all the unbiblical laws and anti-Christian rabbinic laws he invented and incorporated into modern rabbinic Judaism that persist to this day just to spite the Christians and the gospel message. Moreover, Yeshua condemned the antecedents to the modern rabbinic Jews nine times in Matt 23 for their ungodly, unscriptural traditions. Moreover, Paul and the apostles were vigorously fighting the non-biblical Jewish oral law or tradition that states that a Gentile male can’t be saved or brought into covenants of Israel unless they are first circumcised. The Acts 15 council and the whole book of Galatians addresses this non-biblical heresy—one that the rabbinic Jews still uphold to this day. Paul shows the fallacy of this teaching in Romans 4 and Galatians. Should I go on?

This is what we have to do. Take off our theological glasses that cause us to view the Bible through this or that tradition of men (be it Christian or Jewish). I’m not against men’s tradition per se. In fact, sometimes they can be helpful in helping us to understand the more vague areas of Scripture. What I am against is anything that diminishes or contravenes the written truth or word of Elohim as expressed in his written words, and there is plenty of each in both Christian and Rabbinic tradition.

If I’m going to submit myself to rabbinic oral tradition, then I may as well go back to the Roman Catholic Church and subscribe to all of their traditions. At least they have the basic gospel message, which is more than the Rabbinic Jews have. I have more chances of coming to faith in Yeshua in the Catholic Church, at least, than in Rabbinic Judaism.

Now there are some Jewish oral traditions that are very helpful, such as the various elements of the Passover seder that are above and beyond the four basic requirements specified in the Torah. In Yeshua’s last supper, for example, several of the things he did were pure Jewish tradition. They all pointed to him, even though the Jews of the day didn’t realize these specific traditions pertaining to the seder were prophetic and pointed to the Messiah. Bottom line? If a Jewish oral tradition doesn’t violate Scripture, points us to Messiah and helps us to grow in our faith and to fulfill better the commands of Elohim and in the process brings us into a closer walk with Elohim and Yeshua, then consider incorporating it into your life. If not, dispense with it.

As we go through life, every day we have to make judgments about what is right and wrong, true and false, and what we should or should not do. Every day, we’re using our skills of discernment to make judgments between good and evil, and then deciding what to think and do. It’s called “eating the fish and spitting out the bones.” We make these decisions based on our values, ethics and beliefs. When it comes to religious tradition, we must do the same by using the word of Elohim as the sole determining factor. Yeshua called this judging righteously (John 7:24). The problem is that most people don’t know the word of Elohim that well, so they rely on the traditions of men as a crutch to help them in this process. This is not only dangerous (you might end up believing an error), but it is wrong and can lead to apostasy! It’s time to roll up our sleeves and find out what the word of Elohim says. This is what will judge us in the last days at Yeshua’s second coming (e.g. Matt 5:19), and NOT the traditions of men, be they Christian or Jewish.

In conclusion, I have a lot of respect for the Jewish sages. I have studied them and have their writings in my library, and at times have quoted them extensively. The same is true of some of our esteemed Christian scholars and theologians. But as I get older and more mature in the word of Elohim, I find myself relying less and less on what men have to say about the Scriptures and more and more on the Scriptures themselves as led by the Spirit of Elohim who will lead us into all truth, as Yeshua said. Let’s all grow up and become those who feed on the meat of YHVH’s word instead of the milk as Paul told the Corinthians.


22 thoughts on “Why Don’t We Follow Rabbinic Tradition?

  1. Shalom Natan

    this is a thoughtful and succinct and loving answer as far as I can figure. I plan to forward it to some folk whose ground I have prayerfully been calling to be softened in the hope they will be blessed to see our Great Word Made Flesh more clearly.

    Praise & thank our King for faithful servants.

    Just wondered too what program you use that embeds the scripture in your posts so when you mouse over it the full scripture is revealed.

    Blessings to All to come to greater worship as the hours grow darker may our light only shine brighter and stronger by His Hand.

    • Thank you. As one gets older one gains perspective (and hopefully wisdom) to be able to view life more objectively free of biases and prejudices. That is at least the hope. Hopefully my writings reflect that a little. Perhaps it’s a matter of gaining the Father’s overview or heavenly perspective on things more than just an earthly, linear or humanly one.

      The ability to have the scripture verse pop when moused over is a function of WordPress and may be a plug in for that program. Not sure. My wife is the one who administers this stuff behind the scenes or “under the hood” as they say in the lingo of web developing.

      • Thankyou Natan re WordPress.

        I have just started a bit of a look into G Soros & have recently just watched an older program utilising some material from US 60 minutes and another Fox presentation of some years ago and it is NOT good. Oh sleepers wake!

        May He stay us in His Peace ….the alternative is too devastating to fix the mind on for long.

  2. Thank you Nathan. You made ‘some’ solid points but you still did not address part 1 of my two-parted original question. Can you explain “THIS”? The LORD seems to be very clear here:

    “Then spoke Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that OBSERVE and DO; but do not according to their works: for they say, and do not.” (Mathew 23:1-3)

    Blessings !

    • I just read your expose’ about “the seat of Moses”, or “Moses’ Seat”.You claim it is a type of mystery but the Torah and the Oral Tradition of Israel is very clear what it is. It is the “transmission of authority” that I posted to you earlier. This ‘transmission’ has kept the Jewish people together and united in faith tenets all over the world in every nation of the world under all un-surmountable odds, persecutions, pograms and near holocausts and to even compare it to the Catholic Church is apalling. (no disrespect to you Nathan) I know you are sincere but can you even ever entertain the idea that there is a chance that you are sincerely wrong on this matter? G-D has been merciful and gracious to this people. They are only ‘blinded in part, until the times of the gentiles is fulfilled’ “I” have given them eyes of stupor”….

      Respectfully, I am not a Yeshua denier. (you had asked me if I was) I am a Yeshua obeyer. The Lord is clear here. He said, “Do as they say (because what they are saying is true because they hold the ‘seat of Moses’) but do not do what they do, because they neither keep it themselves”I tell ya, I gotta go with the Lord here on this one Nathan. Sorry, I don’t mean any disrespect. (Agree to disagree) beside I have never found one halachic law that goes against what Yeshua taught. Blessings to you and your family.

      • Shalom Silvia

        perhaps the authority of Moses seat is actually only what directs our attention to the words of Light and does not distort the spiritual truth of them.

        I understand this is what any person who seeks truth should look at. And has been the struggle against the adversary for God’s creation in His image.

        Natan did not disregard the traditions and place them all in one basket but if you follow traditions that do not point to God’s truth but separate you from His Truth ( Christ for Salvation) you miss out by covering over.

        Scripturally, clearly that is not God’s desire for His people for all time.

        Now that Christ has come and the better covenant is revealed, the consequence of the hardening in part of the people He chose for Himself is seen in us as much as in Judah. We reject the things of God that can be known.

        Humankind have always been a stiff necked people on the whole & until God enables the fullness of the nations to come to Him by His mercy; Judah will still persist in openly denying the plain teaching in Isaiah 53 in their synagogues & redirecting to forms of worship & words that deny Christ.

        Perhaps it is God’s Word who looks after & preserves the Jew and not the mouths of men.

        Love in Messiah and yes we can agree to be kind in our disputes but ultimately we all have our own personal reality but there is also Truth and God knows where we are at in accepting it.


      • If things are so rosy a picture in rabbinic Judaism as you seem to indicate, then try converting to orthodox Judaism while adhering to your faith in Yeshua. Following their halacha in this regard will force you to deny Yeshua, unless you can somehow pull a fast one on the officiating “rabbi” and make him think that you’re a Yeshua denier when you aren’t, and I know a few who have, but not too many.

        I would also add to the discussion the idea that Yeshua took halachic/legal authority from the Sanhedrin and gave it to his apostles in Matt 16:17–20. I wrote a brief article on this some years back, which you can find at https://hoshanarabbah.org/blog/2013/10/19/loosing-and-the-biblical-calendar/.

        Yes, we will agree to disagree and leave at that.


  3. Thank you Nathan for your prudent answers and research.I know of some folks who have converted and were never asked to reject Yeshua. I supposed they cannot shout it from the hilltops what they believe so in a way, (ya got me there:) I just wanted to post this for “FJ” since he took the time to send me his lovely introspection on the matter. Again, thanks again for your prudency and passion!

    [edited out, since this info was already contained in your previous comment]

    • Shalom again Sylvia

      the thing that has been missed in the transmission at certain times has been the Holy Spirit.

      God has been silent at times as part of the punishment process to help lead to repentance.

      Look at Nehemiah when the people decided to not intermarry with ANY of the nations straight after explaining that this law applied only to Moab and Edomites because even some Priests had married women who remained as foreigners ( teaching the children their own native tongues) if I remember correctly.

      So the oral decision extended & fenced in the God given Law and lost the Spirit of it anyway as Ruth was accepted because she adopted Israel’s God and gave away her foreign identity as a Moabite. Without the Spirit the Torah can be interpreted a great way from God’s desire.

      Or when the 70 were given a portion / part or the Spirit given to Moses so as to aid Moses in teaching amongst the assembly and judging correctly. This addition of the Spirit upon them was what Joshua was upset about, thinking it would diminish Moses’ & therefor God’s authority.

      Instead Moses’ recognised it for the greater good and was not jealous for wrong reason.

      This is the promise of the better /new Covenant for us as a believers in Yeshua. Spirit filled, hopefully which should allow the testing all doctrine to the Word of God as the Word of God does not contradict itself and is Spiritual anyway, as God is Spirit.

      Yeshua just as Natan pointed out opposed the Pharisees and Rabbinic process when it opposed the intent of God’s instructions….so perhaps it is not all light on the side of men of whatever persuasion… we are flesh and can reject the True Spirit at times.

      I would rather be part of the spiritual transmission process which at times rejected the ‘authorities who had abused their position and corrupted the process of redemption’.
      Yeshua himself tells us to call no man Rabbi for this reason as far as I can figure.

      History also proves the corruption of the leadership in scripture & outside at times as the norm for the stiff necked too, including Priests and Kings. We just sin as human’s. Just as it is today……

      And for all that YES I do agree their is much Good that has come from the traditions too!

      As always each to their own reality but there is only one Truth.
      Blessings to you.

      • You make some good points there FJ. Though I am not sure how much “Spirit” the “Church” has had in these last 2000 years concerning Torah laws and the practice of them!?!? (and still hasn’t gotten it’s Shirt* together since then. I think if one would be ‘keeping score’ in law transmission it would be something like Jews: 20 ….. Christianity: 2 (all 300-1000 or so sects and denominations of us) No, as the the Good LORD said, “you shall know them by their fruits”. I feel we have been and continue to be decieved all of these years concerning this matter. For instance the Torah sais to ‘afflict yourselves on Yom Kippur’, but only through the Oral Tradition do we know that to afflict oneself in this instance, it is too fast. I am sure there are some denominations out there that say, “Hey, lets only go by the letter and not listen to those hypocritcal Pharacees and whip our selves instead, or handle some snakes and let them bite us..that’s affliction…because the spirit..(or ‘some spirit’) told us to do that.” That is just one of zillions of examples of how the written Law is incomplete without the Oral Law. Lets face it, it comes down to the Jews believe that the Oral Law is/was divinely inspired/given and the Christians and Messianics don’t believe so. They can’t both be wrong..or can they ? But all I am trying to say that the more I study and look into this matter, The more Physical, living evidence do I see in Favour of the Oral Law. Hey, Hannukah isn’t in the Torah, but we know that Yeshua celebrated it… There were many things he referenced to the Oral Law/Tradition. But I DO see also that Yeshua was a BIG Reformer of his day and the things that he reformed are today practiced in modern day Judaism probably more than most Christians sects. I would never reject the LORD, but he Himself quoted from the Oral and commanded us to “OBSERVE and DO All therefore whatsoever they bid you,( The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat”) (scrabbled) The LORD is very clear here. It is not rocket science. Maybe WE are the one’s using ‘Traditions of men to negate this divine summons of Yeshua to ‘Observe and DO, all they bid..since they sit in Moses’ seat’.

        Shalom To You and have a peaceful Shabbat!

      • Okay, I need to address some issues here.

        It has been my observation over more than 50 years walking in Torah (I’m third generation in it) and being both in and out of the church system in that time, and spending time brushing up against rabbinic Judaism as well, that there tends to be a strong anti-Christian bias among many Hebrew roots practitioners. Been there and done that. Not good. To have such an attitude toward our Christian brethren—who are the lost sheep of the house of Israel that we are to be helping to regather—skews our thinking and simply engenders prejudices and bigotry. Again, been there and done that. By Yah’s grace and love I’ve hopefully exited that mentality and now try to see the good as determined by the word of Elohim in whatever religious camp it may be found be it Christianity or Rabbinic Judaism.

        First, let’s address your point that Christians aren’t Torah observant. I know what they say about the law being done away. I’ve been battling that idiocy for more than 40 years! Now let’s look at the facts. If you do the math (and I have), of the 613 Torah commands only approx 1/3 can’t be done today, since the they were fulfilled by Yeshua as per the Epistle to the Hebrews (i.e. those pertaining to the Levitical and sacrificial systems). So of the 613 that are left that you can do, that leaves approx 400. Of those, the most serious, born-again and Spirit-filled Christian (which according to Barna Research Group stats is only about 8 to 10 percent of all so-called Christians) will be doing about 2/3 of the Torah (e.g. don’t lie, honor your parents, don’t have sex with animals, don’t go to witches, love your neighbor, don’t worship idols, etc., etc.). The main Torah commands they don’t do are three: the Sabbath, the biblical dietary laws and the biblical feasts along with a few others like wearing tzitzits, etc. Those are the facts!!!!!!!!!! I’ve been walking Torah, as I said, for more than 50 years, and have been a Torah teacher for nearly 20 years along with pastoring a congregation where Torah was upheld for 18 years. I have published two Torah commentaries that combined are just under 1000 pages in length. This is something with which I am quite familiar.

        Denominations in Christianity? How about denominations in rabbinic Judaism???? Even your venerable Oral Tradition Talmud is a combination of opposing opinions by various sages that disagree with each other. In modern times, look at all the different hats the Orthodox Chasidim wear to separate themselves by sects. You see it all over Jerusalem. You’ve heard the saying: Three Jews and five opinions? Christianity has nothing on Judaism in this regard.

        With regard to Yom Kippur. You are absolutely incorrect. The Bible clearly equates afflicting the soul to fasting. I have done numerous teachings and videos on this proving this point from the Scriptures (e.g. https://hoshanarabbah.org/blog/2013/09/14/why-do-we-fast/). Isaiah 58 alone proves this point through a study of the Hebrew words. That’s not even adding in what the psalms say about it. Please, let’s not given Rabbinic Judaism and their oral law more credit than it is due, especially at the expense of the Written Word of Elohim. This is the risk we take when we take the full limelight of the Scriptures and share it with the writings of men. Beware of this! When we do this, the writings of men are elevated and the Word of Elohim is diminished. This listening to the lie of the serpent at the tree of knowledge when he said, “Hath Elohim [really] said?”, and this subtle argument started man down the path of secular humanism and sin, where man is now on the throne of his life, to one degree or another, at the expense of Elohim.

        Now onto Hanukkah. Hanukkah is a minor extra-biblical holiday. Though full of significant meaning (and I’ve taught a lot on that one too), it pales in significance compared to the biblical feasts. Moreover, John’s Gospel (John 10:22) doesn’t say that Yeshua celebrated it. This is an assumption and reading into the text what’s not there. It simply makes the point that he was in Jerusalem at the time. That’s all.

        Yes, there are a few things that Yeshua referenced in the oral law (referred to in the Gospels as the tradition of the elders). But the Gospels record that he spoke more against the traditions of elders than he expressed favor for them. Why? And we’ve been over this before… Because the tradition of the elders made of no effect, circumvented, invalidated or somehow diminished the efficacy of the the written Torah-law. Those are the facts.

        When we cherry pick one passage out context from the Bible (in this case Matt 23:1-3) and ignore everything else on the subject, this is called prooftexting. This false way of interpreting the Bible has led to all sorts of false teachings and heresies on all sides. Over the course of this discussion, I have tried to put Yeshua’s words about Moses’ seat and following the traditions of the elders in it’s whole Bible context. Yet you repeatedly default to beating the Matt 23:1-3 drum by making the same point over and over again. You totally ignore the nine woes of Yeshua in the rest of chapter where he excoriatingly condemns some of the practices of the proto-Rabbinic Jews whom he calls whitewashed tombs, hypocrites, murderers, a brood of vipers, extortionists, blind, guides, unclean, self-indulgent who have omitted the weightier matters of the Torah-law. This was his view on many of their traditions according to Matthew 23.

        There is nothing more to discuss on this matter, and we are now going round and round and getting nowhere in our discussion. The Bible tells us to avoid useless argumentations and debates, so as owner of this blog I’m now shutting off the discussion of this subject and will take no further comments on this. Please respect. Amein.

      • Hello Sylvia,

        I was not able to allow your last two comments to be posted in order to abide by my own rules not to continue the previous discussion, which I asked you to respect.

        However, I wanted to comment about the antimissionary individual to whom you made reference and whose videos you asked me to watch.

        I’m like the bank teller who doesn’t have time to study every counterfeit dollar bill out there for lack of time and energy. Instead, I focus on studying and familiarizing myself with genuine money, so that when a counterfeit bill comes along, I can spot it immediately and call it out as such. The same is true with the arguments of the antimissionaries. In the past, when I was more prone to engage them, I found their arguments to be compelling—on the surface, but the veneer of truth and logic was astoundingly thin and shallow and with a little thought and a deep knowledge of the Scriptures quite easy to refute.

        Interestingly, the individual to whom you made reference recently posted on this blog some questions to bait me. I didn’t take the bait and in turn responded by asking him some questions. Curiously, instead of answering these hard questions, he just quietly dropped off. I don’t expect to hear from him again. I suspect that you may know him, or, at least, be sympathetic to some of his views. If so, please don’t bother with commenting on this blog. The welcome mat is not out.

        As noted earlier, I presented you with credible refutations to your assertions that Yeshua was partial to if not in favor of Phariseeism—the precursor to modern rabbinic Judaism. You still remain unconvinced and want to continue to argue, so why should I continue this discussion?

        Despite the name on your email, I question whether you aren’t really a closet anitmissionary sympathizer, since you seem so predisposed to oppose the simple truth of the Scriptures, and insist on continuing to proffer antimissionary arguments to the readers of this blog. The evidence of your emails seems to indicate that you’re not really a genuine truth seeker, but have an agenda that is counter to what this blog stands for. I’m reading the fruit on the tree, and the evidence points in this direction.

        If not, then, at the very least, you are playing with fire by taking Yeshua’s words out of context and trying to make him say something he never said. Sadly, when called on this, your pride refuses to allow you to admit this. This is dangerous and I strongly urge you to pull back and to re-evauluate your skewed position. I have known people who were strong believers in Yeshua once, but then began to toy with rabbinic Judaism and eventually ended up converting to that religion and denying Yeshua all together. Beware. This is a slippery slope. You have been warned. Your blood is no longer on my head.

        For any who may be offended by my strong approach, I suggest you visit these biblical passages:

        1 Tim 5:20 — Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.

        2 Tim 4:2-4 — Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

        Tit 1:13 — Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith…

        Tit 2:15 — Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.

      • Good point. The importance of the addition of the Ruach into the process can’t be minimized.

        Rabbinic Judaism like mainstream Christianity is feeding from the tree of knowledge; both are a mixture of good and evil like all the other religions of the world, but less so in that they both contains more good than evil.

        In these last days, the Ruach is calling Yah’s people out of Babylonian religious systems that are secular humanistic in nature in that they lift up the mind of man over the Spirit of Elohim. This calling out is in preparation for the return of Yeshua the Messiah, our Heavenly Bridegroom. It seems so self-evident that it should not even need to be mentioned that Christianity is superior to rabbinic Judaism in that it contains the basic gospel message (which rabbinic Judaism does not), and the millions of transformed lives are fruit and proof of this fact. RJ can’t make this claim; therefore, it is an inferior system though it contains numerous wonderful truths and nuggets, it’s still missing the most important ingredient: the gospel message of Yeshua the Messiah. This fact and this alone, it seems, should end the discussion about whether we should lift RJ up on a pedestal or not.

        Secular humanism in whatever form it takes is an insidious and deceitful system that has many manifestations and permutations that purport to be the truth, but are subtle and snake like ways to actually lead people away from it. In reality and the bottom line is that it lifts up the mind of man over the Spirit of Elohim. So-called successionism, ecclesiastical titles, traditions galore, numerous scholarly writings and the philosophies of men over the millennia are simply window-dressing and, quite frankly, merely a thin veneer to hide the sad truth that the emperor has no clothes.

  4. Shalom Sylvia

    [comment deleted]

    Sorry, FJ that I had to delete your comment, even though it was a good one and I hated to do it. But to follow my own dictum at the end of my last post on this thread to terminate this discussion and accept no other comments, to be fair to Sylvia, I had to delete yours. Hope you’re not offended.

    I greatly appreciated your comments along with mine as we were together trying to help Sylvia to understand some biblical truths that we agreed on and that this blog stands for. However, there comes a point when people are talking past each other and neither side wants to budge and, at that point, it becomes a silly merry-go-round of pointless arguments, disputations engendering strife and potential confusion. As such, I decided to discontinue the discussion. Thanks for understanding, and many thanks for your constant valuable contributions to this forum. It’s people like you who help make this blog a success and a place where people can learn the truth and receive enlightenment. To Elohim be the glory!


  5. Shalom Natan

    not at all offended. It was the end of the discussion from my perspective to finalise as well. I did not think it was correct to continue further as being respectful & not continue in a circuitous logic trap because of viewpoint discrepancies.

    Shavua Tov to all. Even as the sword of the Word of God does not bring peace but division. Let us look upwards to the things everlasting. Love and patience and prayer & worship.

  6. There is archeological evidence that the seat of Moses was a literal seat in the synagogue.

    I’ve pasted a couple excerpts from an article at: (please vet article link and remove if you consider inappropriate)

    Pg. 2 “But Newport feels it is more probable that “at one time the ‘chair of Moses’ was a seat upon which sat teachers who were in some way considered authoritative expounders of Torah.” However one takes the expression, it remains a metaphor for the Pharisees’ role within the synagogue as expositors of Moses. Powell derives from this that Yeshua is simply acknowledging the powerful social and religious position the Pharisees and scribes occupied in a world where many were illiterate and copies of Torah are rare. Yeshua’s own disciples may have been dependent on the synagogue readings to know
    what Moses said on any given subject, thus they are admonished to heed them when they pass on the words of the Torah itself. It is implied that the leaders speak Torah but do not do Torah (cf. John 7:19 with Matt 23:3). The Pharisees and scribes are like Satan, capable of quoting scripture, but with perverse intent.”

    Additionally this article present evidence that the translation is more likely, as shown below which fits closely to the context of Matthew:

    Pg 4 “Upon the seat of Moses the Pharisees and the sages sit. All which he (Moses) continues to say to you keep and do; but (according to) their takanoteem and ma’aseem, do not do because they say and do not.”


    • Excellent. Thanks for sharing. I encourage people to click on the link and read the article referenced in your comment.

      I was aware of these things, and I have had read Gordon’s book, and I personally know him quite well and respect him. But I’m still not sure what to make of the Shem Tov Hebrew Matthew due to its late origination. I wish it were about 1000 years older. But I don’t dismiss it either. I’ve kind of set the whole thing on the shelf. I will admit that it’s rendering of Matthew 23:2 does the solve the seeming contradiction in the Greek text.

      • Yes, thank you Godfrey! That was very helpful. It was references like these that I was searching for when I first entered this blog.

Share your thoughts...