Torah

Celebrating Shavuot Shavuot, also known as the Feast of Weeks, Firstfruits, and Pentecost, like all of the other Biblical feasts, is specifically commanded in Scripture with regards to the timing of the feast. To celebrate Shavuot properly the most important criteria to know is when to celebrate the feast. The Sadducees and the Pharisees interpreted differently the command regarding when to celebrate Shavuot, and is based on this verse: ”And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete:” (Lev 23:15). Continue reading

Bible and archaeology news

Noah Wiener   •  05/30/2013

Italian scholar Mauro Perani recently discovered what he believes to be the oldest complete Torah scroll. The recently-dated Sefer Torah—a handwritten Torah scroll containing the full texts of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy—was written between 1155 and 1225 C.E. The monumental value of the sheepskin document went unnoticed for over a century; in 1889, it was mistakenly cataloged in the University of Bologna Library as a 17th-century Sefer Torah. While compiling a catalog of Hebrew manuscripts held at the library, Perani recognized that the script on the nearly 120-foot-long scroll was significantly older than its catalog date. Furthermore, the scroll did not follow scribal standards established at the turn of the 13th century by Maimonides, the foremost intellectual figure of medieval Judaism. The paleographic analysis was followed by carbon-14 tests at the University of Salento and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, which confirmed the 12–13th-century date.

Sefer Torah in the Bologna Library May Be the Oldest Known Torah Scroll – Biblical Archaeology Society.

I want to make it clear from the beginning that while I teach the importance of the Law, I am not going to teach a Law-based Gospel. There is no such thing (Galatians 3); however, although one cannot be saved the Law, some Christians think it’s acceptable to reject the Law completely. That is dangerous territory, and this “hyper-grace” theology has gotten a lot of people hurt. It is not my ambition to promote legalism; rather, I am here to promote love, health, and holiness in its original form before it was presented to the church as legalism.

It should be clarified that the Law works with grace, not against it in the New Covenant. We are no longer under the curse of the Law, but what was that curse exactly? Some people call the Law itself a curse, but that is not the case. The Law is pure and holy (Romans 7:12). Put simply, the curse of the Law before the Messiah died was that if the Law was broken, either a sacrifice had to be given or the lawbreaker was put to death. For many sins, there was no forgiveness, and death was the only punishment. People did not have freedom in those days. It was difficult to grow in holiness when sacrificing animals all the time. It is imperative that Christians learn how to separate the Law from the Old Covenant. In the Old Covenant, you needed to be circumcised, and you had to keep the Law and sacrifice animals to get grace. Now that we are in the New Covenant, we have grace to keep the Law. Circumcision is an option rather than a requirement. If we mess up, we confess, repent, and continue to grow in righteousness. Grace is not permission to sin; it is room to grow. “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means!” (Romans 6:15).

The Law defines what sin is (1 John 3:4; Romans 7:7). Logically, if the Law really was done away with like some Christians say, there is no such thing as sin. If there is no such thing as sin, there is no need for missionaries, and there is no need to live a holy life because you cannot define a holy life.

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