Saturday, July 14, 2007


The Tikva Frymer-Kensky essays on Judaism and Christianity are generating lots of notes in my head and on paper. None yet shareable. But one question has arisen for me which I will drop here to see if there is any response.

What is the significance of Galatians 2:15-16 'we who are Jews by nature ... even we have believed in Jesus Christ' ?

And there is somewhere else too that makes a similar distinction - yes there it is: Romans 3:30:

If indeed, God; who will justify the circumcised on the ground of faith, is one, he will also justify the uncircumcised through that same faith.

Prior to the Galatians incidental statement of Paul's and Peter's belief as Jews, Paul describes a successful Petrine ministry to the circumcision.

Double Torah portion today - the last several chapters of Numbers with Haftorah from Jeremiah.

The Daresh was on an excellent question: why did Moses get angry when Reuben, Gad, and Menasseh asked for an inheritance 'not over Jordan'?

My teacher of Hebrew whom I had lost touch with was also there. It was a warm and joyful reunion, gladdening my heart after the rather impenetrable variety of cantilations - I have never heard F major with that wonderful Db sung in so many octaves at once! The primary chazzan is a super tenor - like me :) but I could not possibly sing the English that fast. Faster than a private mass.

I wrote yesterday about steps across hurdles. Today I wonder if the image is the wrong one. Ephesians speaks about the barriers being broken down - making one where there were two. (But never one as if measured by uniformity of proposition or religious practice!)

Tomorrow I intend to attend a local Anglican Church where a table is prepared for me. The only enemy at that table is my Love who has sealed me with himself. There, also reconciled, I will eat.


beyondwords said...

Hmmm...does it mean the Jews who based their faith on the covenant righteousness of God--and understood the works and the keeping of the law as an outworking of their faith, not as a means of righteousness--were the ones who had ears to hear and eyes to see what God was doing in Jesus? It took a leap of faith to trust Jesus, but they did it in the context of some Jewish understanding of God's faithfulness. From there, they could see that the law was not what marked them as the faithful ones. It was trusting and following Jesus that marked them going forward.

Bob MacDonald said...

Thank you for the help here. Your comment seems to be a working out of Habakkuk - the just shall live by faith. This verse is at the root of Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews. It says nothing about a particular form of liturgical tradition. The faithfulness of Jesus is the incarnation of this verse. What 'happened' is the form of a faith that incorporated all into its example. It turns out this is sufficient where the use of power and might is not. So one primal question is "who's got the power" and a follow up "how is it being used". In other words one can follow Jesus without conforming to a particular or unique or absolutist form of 'religion' for want of a better term. And one can be part of a 'religion' and not be following that example of faith. In the following is the apprehension, the life, of the reality of the just one. The expression of the incarnational effect must find words in his same spirit.