Post Number: 2
|Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2016 - 4:17 pm: || |
I'm just wondering what activities actually took place on the Jewish Sabbath. Did they, for instance, all go to the Synagogue for their 'church service' or did they all stay at home and the Synagogue remained closed that day. Just curious.
Post Number: 15418
|Posted on Friday, August 26, 2016 - 4:09 pm: || |
It was helpful for me to realize that synagogues weren't part of the original pattern for Jews. The synagogue system came into existence during the inter-testamental period when many Jews were living in Greek-Roman territories. They weren't able to get to Jerusalem, and at any rate, sacrifices, etc., couldn't be offered except at the temple.
These Jews became known as the "hellenistic Jews" spoken of in Acts 6-7. They grew up in gentile territories and usually spoke Greek. They were very much "hellenized" and did not observe most of the Jewish practices and holidays. The synagogues were established during that time. Remember how Paul spoke every Sabbath in the synagogues before he began preaching to the gentiles?
These gentiles cities usually had synagogues where the local Jews met on Sabbath to read Torah. Moreover, this was the period where so many rabbinic rules became set in stone for the Jews in Jerusalem. Without a word from the Lord for about 400 years between Malachi and John the Baptist, the Jerusalem Jews (Pharisees) drew a fence around the law and made a sort of "idol" out of their law.
Prior to the exile to Babylon, however, synagogues were not a big thing if they existed at all. Idolatry, however...that was a different matter. The Israelites had become quite thoroughly "Canaanized", adopting all the Canaanite gods including Chemosh who demanded child sacrifices.
That exile of Judah to Babylon and the exile of the northern kingdom into Assyria took Jews away from Judea and placed them in gentile nations around Palestine, and the synagogues grew out of that period between the Testaments.
Consequently, whatever activities they had on that day were not derived from the Law...the law described worship of Yahweh in relationship to the temple. And yes, they met on Sabbath.
Post Number: 142
|Posted on Friday, August 26, 2016 - 4:13 pm: || |
I'd like to find where the synagogue is authorized and its functions outlined in the Torah.
Post Number: 3
|Posted on Friday, August 26, 2016 - 5:06 pm: || |
Interesting Colleen, thanks for that, but how did they reconcile meeting on Saturday with Exodus 16:29 "See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day." ? "Let no man go out of his place" seems pretty specific. Not 'splitting hairs' herw, I'm just curious. David.
Post Number: 755
|Posted on Saturday, August 27, 2016 - 1:35 am: || |
Final, exclusive authority over the interpretation and enforcement of the law was given to the Jewish Courts in Deuteronomy 17 and confirmed by Jesus in Matthew 23:1-3. God's-ordained Jewish legal system kept careful records of their deliberations and "verdicts" pursuant to the scary "shall obey" and "must obey" that are sprinkled throughout Deuteronomy 17. The death penalty was the proscribed penalty for any disobedience to those "verdicts" and "judgments" of the Jewish Courts. Their verdicts and judgments were enforced with the same alacrity as written scripture. God said so.
Nobody else has been given that authority over the Mosaic Law. Jesus described the "Pharisees" and "Law Teachers" as sitting in Moses's seat. He said we "MUST" obey them.
That is how the Synagogue and the system of Torah-reading as a religious practice evolved over time.
It was legal precedence built up brick by brick over time. One verdict and judgment at a time. Each analyzed from prior verdicts and judgments. Similarly, the practice of Rabbinical holidays such as Hanukkah (which Jesus observed in John 10:22-23); and Tisha B'Av were already well in place by the time of Jesus.
The Christian Bible was never intended to be a comprehensive discussion of the Jewish Law, since it was clear to everyone that the Mosaic Law had no application to Christians. That was decided in AD 50, at the Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15. The Talmud and the Mishnah were not included in the Christian Canon, because they would have been superfluous for Christians. And Jewish legal scholars have insisted for 4,000 years that the written Torah Law cannot be understood without the oral Mishnah, which they believe was handed down to Moses simultaneously with the written Torah. The Talmud is the record of "verdicts" and "judgments" that we are sternly-commanded to obey in Deuteronomy 17 and Matthew 23:1-3.
I can find no limits on the unbridled discretion of the Jewish Courts, the Pharisees, and the Teachers of the Law. If you are under the Mosaic Law, you MUST obey them. The Synagogue system is part of that, and if you are under the Law, you MUST attend Synagogue become proficient in the study of the law, which includes the Talmud and the Mishnah.
Post Number: 917
|Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2016 - 5:11 pm: || |
SDAs want to make church attendance a sign of "true" sabbath keeping. The fact is modern SDAs can't even agree how to keep the sabbath--I don't think they would even be able to keep the Sabbath the way it was done back then.
They want to skip over or ignore that there was no "sabbath worship" in the original Israeli times
Post Number: 6
|Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2016 - 7:30 pm: || |
Didn't ellen say sabbath should be kept as Israel kept it? Which time frame was she talking about?
Post Number: 15421
|Posted on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 - 9:07 pm: || |
Well, Ellen didn't have a clue about the true nature of the law.
Post Number: 756
|Posted on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 5:49 am: || |
I find the willful disdain of Deuteronomy 17 and Matthew 23:1-3 by Adventists to be just jaw-dropping. They claim they follow the law, but have absolutely no intention whatsoever of following the law the way that God prescribed that it be followed. Any disagreement with the "verdicts" and "judgments" of God's ordained-Judges was to be met with a severe punishment: Death. God handed down the law, but his Judges and Courts were ordained to interpret and enforce it. It was NOT self-actuating or subjective. Nobody believed the law was subjective and self-actuating, like Adventists teach. That is totally against the weight of scripture.
Nobody was given permission to create their own rules on how the Sabbath was to be kept.
Post Number: 15424
|Posted on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 10:15 pm: || |
Very good point, Res.
Post Number: 19
|Posted on Friday, September 09, 2016 - 7:24 pm: || |
David, your question touches on three major inquiries in contemporary religious studies.
1. The origins of the synagogue.
2. The proper interpretation of the OT.
3. The formation of codes of conduct for the church.
Colleen’s answer about the synagogue is great, but I would add that Jesus participated in the life of the synagogue, so we can assume that there was nothing inherently wrong with it. While the tradition is not mandated by the OT, the synagogue certainly shaped NT congregational meetings. It is not difficult to imagine that the spread of synagogue through Asia Minor was prelude to the spread of the gospel. To get an education how historic Judaism “hedged about” the Sabbath, consult the Sabbath Tractate. Rodkinson’s and other translations are available online. Edersheim’s “Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah” Appendix 17 is helpful too. A modern Jewish perspective on the Sabbath “lifestyle” by Kaplan addresses work proscriptions but nothing about travel.
You mention Ex 16:29 (to which could be added Lev 23:3 and Jer 17:21-22) and ask to what extent Sabbath-keepers could navigate their world. Given that certain activities had to take place on the Sabbath, such as bringing your child to the temple to be circumcised, the Jews had to determine the interplay between two possibly conflicting laws or ambiguous laws. This is where Res’ answer comes into play. The Jewish courts asked, “From what biblical passage is all this talk about two thousand ells adduced? We have learned in a Boraitha: It is written [Exodus 16:29]: "Remain ye every man in his spot, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day." "On his spot" means four ells, and "out of his place" refers to two thousand ells. Whence does the Boraitha adduce this assertion? Said R. Hisda: "Because it is written [Numbers 35:5]: 'And ye shall measure from without the city on the east side two thousand ells,' etc. (Thus from the verse it is seen, that the city was in the centre and they measured two thousand ells on every side and from this the legal limits were derived.)” How you interpret these verses and how the Jews (or anyone else) interpret them, is going to depend on your presuppositions about biblical authority.
Paul is clear in Col 2:16 that the Sabbath, while continuing to be practiced by Jews, is not an institution for believers in Jesus Christ. When Christians attempt to bring back the Sabbath, they are faced with having to go through the same rigmarole to define proper Sabbath conduct as the Jews did long ago. And it is not just Adventists who struggle with this. Since the mid-1500s, many Protestant denominations influenced by the concept of a “Christian Sabbath” have prescribed what could or could not be done on Sunday, as if it were a Sabbath.
Is there any Adventist work that lays out in great detail how to observe Sabbath as Israel kept it? The works that I have seem to focus on the thesis of a continuing Sabbath observance rather than expounding the OT and providing a rationale for this behavior or that.
Post Number: 760
|Posted on Saturday, September 10, 2016 - 8:32 am: || |
The General Conference has attempted (with absolutely no Biblical authority and contrary to Deuteronomy 17 and Matthew 23:1-3)to define proper Sabbath Keeping:
Hilariously, the General Conference Hospital rules would prohibit ALL of Jesus's Sabbath Healings in an Adventist hospital on a Saturday.
Adventists proclaim that Jesus is their "example." I wonder when Adventists will start of practice of going into the fields and picking grain on Saturdays? According to the General Conference Rules, that is something that must be confined to Fridays.
Post Number: 761
|Posted on Saturday, September 10, 2016 - 10:32 am: || |
I just wanted to add one more thing. I love reading the Talmud. Its thinking and writing is just stunning and gorgeous. You said: ".....the Jews had to determine the interplay between two possibly conflicting laws or ambiguous laws."
My favorite case in the Talmud goes like this: The Rabbis had to decide a property dispute. One party to the dispute brought in a real-live, recognized Jewish prophet as their main witness, who testified that he had had a dream that indicated that party was the rightful owner. The court found the prophet's testimony was absolutely credible and unimpeachable.
However, the other party to the dispute argued that the Court was bound by the unanimous wall of authority of its prior decisions ("stare decisis"), and that the previous rulings clearly established their ownership claim. Equality under the law demanded a verdict in their favor, notwithstanding the undisputed credibility of the vision of the prophet in favor of the other side.
After much deliberation, the Rabbis ruled that their prior rulings DID control the outcome of the case, and rejected the testimony and vision of the prophet!
The final holding of the case makes me smile at the hubris:
"And God rejoiced at being vanquished by His Children."
Post Number: 3224
|Posted on Saturday, September 10, 2016 - 11:44 am: || |
Your last line above is in quotes. Who are you quoting?
Post Number: 762
|Posted on Saturday, September 10, 2016 - 12:45 pm: || |
That is out of the Talmud.
Post Number: 763
|Posted on Saturday, September 10, 2016 - 12:48 pm: || |
Its from Baba Metzia 59, from the Babylonian Talmud.
Post Number: 20
|Posted on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - 6:23 am: || |
Res, Thank you for that link. I will look it over thoroughly when I return from a trip.