Monday, January 24, 2011

18 New Testament Misconceptions No. 12

#12: Grace and Torah

Another very common misconception is that “grace” only came with Mashiyach’s advent. Prior to Mashiyach, many Christians posture, Jews were under the “age of law”, which has become obsolete by yielding to the “age of grace”. The fact is being either unilaterally “under grace”, or “under the law”, is a doctrine that has never been true! However, the “under grace” theology usually employs this verse:

“For the Torah was given through Moshe, grace and truth came through Y’shua the Mashiyach” (Yochanan 1:17).

Many claim that “grace” was only made manifest through the birth of the Mashiyach. The big problem with this idea is that Yochanan himself bears strong witness against it!

“In the beginning there was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim. He was with Elohim in the beginning… and the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen His esteem , the esteem of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (Yochanan 1:1-2, 14).

Y’shua’s origins are very clearly before Moshe existed. In fact, as the Word, his origins go back to a time before all humanity existed (Micah 5:1-2). Furthermore, promises relating to Mashiyach go all the way back to Genesis, since 49:10 tells us the sceptre will not depart from Y’shua’s tribe of Judah. The fact is, the moment Adam and Gawwah (Eve) were expelled from the Garden, a contingency in the plan of Elohim was created that culminated with Y’shua’s sacrifice on the torture stake. More fundamentally, is the matter of linguistics. Put simply, Aramaic writings very easy correlate the ancient values of “grace” or “mercy” that is not understood in the vehicular language of Greek:

“Anyone who rejected the Torah of Moshe died without mercy (rakhem) on the testimony of two or three witnesses” (Hebrews 10:28)

            “Speak to those who are going to be judged by the Torah that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy (rakhem) will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy (rakhem) triumphs over judgement” (Ya’akov 2:12-13)

As we can easily see here, “grace” could well be the valid reading in both these verses, the very same word is used in Tanakh:

“And may Elohim Almighty grant you grace (rakhem) in the sight of the man, that he may release to you your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved” (Genesis 43:14).

“And nothing from that which is put under the ban shall cling to your hand, in order that YHWH may turn from His burning anger and show mercy (rakhem) to you, and have compassion (rakhem) on you and make you increase, just as He has sworn to your fathers” (Deuteronomy 13:17)

If these pairs of quotes are not sufficient to make the point then there are nearly 40 additional passages with rakhem as “mercy”, “grace” or “compassion” to indicate this fact. There are also many synonyms to rakhem that have at least as many references that could be brought to the reader’s attention. Additionally, in the Renewed Covenant
writings, rakhem is the overwhelming word of choice for “grace” appearing nearly two hundred times, and interestingly enough, the same word also means “love”. So, since YHWH has always loved us, we have also always had access to His grace if we admit our failings and seek Him with all our hearts.

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