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They Loved the Torah: What Yeshua's First Followers Really Thought About the Law [Paperback]

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Item description for They Loved the Torah: What Yeshua's First Followers Really Thought About the Law by David Friedman...

Did Yeshua observe the law? Did Paul teach congregations to abandon the Torah? Is there a place for the "Old" Testament in churches today? The answers you'll find in this book may surprise you! Most Christians are disconnected from their Jewish roots. Reading this book will reconnect them.

Publishers Description
Did Yeshua observe the Law? Did Paul teach his congregations to abandon the Torah? Was the devout Jew, Peter, persuaded that the Commandments were cancelled? The answers you'll find in this book may surprise you Even though many Jews believe that Paul taught against the Law, this book disproves that notion. Most Christians are disconnected from the Torah; reading this book will reconnect them. Dr. Friedman makes an excellent case for his premise that all the first followers of Messiah were not only Torah-observant, but also desired to spread their love for God's entire Word to the Gentiles to whom they preached. Part 1 Yeshua and the Torah Part 2 Yeshua's Talmidim and the Torah Part 3 Reactions to the Torah Observance of Yeshua and His Followers Part 4 Torah Observance: Legalism or Love? David Friedman, former academic dean of King of Kings College in Jerusalem, holds a Ph.D. in Judaic studies and an M.A. in Arabic.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Messianic Jewish Resources International
Pages   144
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.47" Width: 5.51" Height: 0.33"
Weight:   0.39 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2002
ISBN  1880226944  
ISBN13  9781880226940  

Availability  30 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 23, 2016 08:06.
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More About David Friedman

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! David Friedman has an academic affiliation as follows - National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > Sacred Writings > Torah

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about They Loved the Torah: What Yeshua's First Followers Really Thought About the Law?

Must read for every Christian  Jun 5, 2008
This is a must read for every Christian who believes that the Torah has been made null and void by Jesus. Easy to read, thought provoking and backed up with Scripture.
Lives Up to Its Title  Oct 9, 2007
This book is limited in scope, but it succeeds in its goal: demonstrating by internal Biblical evidence that Jesus and Paul were Torah observant throughout their lifetimes.

This book is an easy read and offers a few tidbits not found in other volumes. I especially enjoyed discovering the Jewish rabbinic concept of "Talmid hakham," meaning "leading student" (of a rabbi) and how this could be what Christ meant when He referred to Peter as a "rock."

Much of what the author states is found in other works, such as "Restoring the Jewishness of the Gospel" or "The Enduring Paradox."

If you expect this book to be an extensive treatise on the relationship of the New Testament believer (or even Messianic Jew) to the Torah, you will be disappointed. The author does not address the "schoolmaster" text of Galatians or the "every day is alike" text of Romans. But he does prove that Jesus and Paul (and, more weakly, Peter and John) observed the Torah.

A great "entry book" toward understanding the early church's views toward Messianic Judaism and a great rebuttal to those who look upon the Torah with contempt.
I feel bad for your deep misguidance :(  Aug 16, 2007
This is a Christian missionary book. I recommend to Jews that may be enticed to buyh the following instead. V'Da Mah SheTashiv: Know What To Answer (To Missionaries) A Thorough Jewish response To Missionaries
A good place to start.  Jan 7, 2007
This book is good for reading about Yahushua's Torah observance. The fact that Messiah attended and taught in the Temple validates the idea that He followed Torah. A quote in the book sums it up well "Both Jewish and Christian scholars clearly see that Yeshua followed the Torah." The author highlights some Scripture that can be easily over-looked. Some examples are found in Acts 22:12,21:20. "zealous for Law" and "devout man according to the Law" are two phrases that bear a close look. "Law" or "the law" in the NT is usually another name for Torah. These two passages make it clear that there were Messianic believers that still followed Torah! Mr Friedman wrote a fascinating section about the "early Church fathers" and their knowledge of the existence of Messianic Jews that followed Torah in the 1st century. He also wrote a very good chapter about Paul's actions and writing style. He could have gone further with some of his arguments. An interesting caveat regarding the Jersualem Concils' decision about the conditions for the believers at Antioch;Acts 15:21"for since ancient times,Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him and he is read in the synagogue every Sabbath day." Reading Chapter 15, it could be argued that the motive for following the conditions was to gain access to the synagogue for the purpose of being exposed to Torah(Laws of Moses). According to Matthew 5:17-18 Torah is still valid. This book is a good starting point for anyone that wants to study what the Messiah and his early followers thought and taught regarding Torah.
Generally good survey of early Christian Torah-observance  Jan 25, 2006
This is a hard review to write...I'm sorry for the length of the following review, but I truly hope it is helpful.

First, the positives:
(1) The book does a great job of examining many of the misconceptions about the early church and Yeshua (Jesus) himself. The author shows that there is much to suggest that most people in the early church did in fact remain Jews and continue to observe the Torah.

(2) The book shows that Yeshua was in fact a Torah-observant Jew. Many of the passages which have been argued as supporting that Christ was not Torah-observant are examined, and explained as consistent with, not contrary to, Jewish theology of the day. The best examples are those where Yeshua argued that it was OK to heal on Shabbat (Sabbath); the author shows us that this was not a unique discussion between the P'rushim (Pharisees).

(3) Closely related to (2) above, the author does a good job of showing that when our scripture tells us that Christ said something to a group of religious leaders, he was doing just that--addressing a GROUP of religions leaders, and that the religious leaders Christ was addressing at that time was not necessarily exemplary of the whole, or even the majority, of Jewish religious thought of the day.

(4) The book is pretty concise, and can be completed in a fairly short time. That, coupled with the low price, makes it a good book to add to your library.

Now, the cons...I list these because they are what I see as real areas in which the author could have improved his work. I am not disagreeing with what the author wrote, his religious ideology, or anything of the sort.

(1) As I read the book, it occurred to me that in order to really understand everything that the author is trying to convey to you, in some places a previous study on some Jewish words, concepts, and ideas is really necessary. Not to say that you will be crippled if you don't have that background, but you will find yourself at a slight, but real, disadvantage. The catch-22 is this: if you have that background, then you already know much of what this author is going to tell you!

(2) While I agree with the author's premise, and mostly with his conclusions, sometimes his rationale in arriving at the conclusion is a little dubious. For example, in order to prove to you, the reader, that Christ observed the kashrut (kosher) laws of his time, you are shown that the scriptures never tell you about Christ eating anything that was not allowed under kashrut. In fact, the author only really points out three kinds of food which Christ ate (or endorsed): bread, fish, and figs. Well, that's all well and good, but anyone who has had Logic 101 knows that you simply cannot prove a positive with a negative. Therefore, attempting to prove (with three foods) that Yeshua was kashrut-observant merely because the scripture doesn't tell us otherwise is a problem. The author excludes the most convincing evidence for this point which he is trying to make: that Kefa (Peter) later said when he had his vision with the unclean animals that he had never eaten anything forbidden by kashrut. A better logic than that which the author employs is to show that if Yeshua had not observed kashrut, and taught that it was not necessary, then Kefa's strong objection to the command to eat something forbidden by kashrut would not have been so strong: it would not have been revolutionary to him if Christ had already taught him that kashrut was optional. (In fact, the author does mention this exchange in order to prove that Kefa was Torah-observant, but does not employ it to show that Christ followed kashrut, instead choosing the logic discussed above.)

(3) While the author does a relatively good job of showing that the earliest Christians followed Torah, he does not discuss when that changed--namely, it appears that by the time the book of Hebrews was written, its audience had been forced out of the Jewish community by virtue of their Christian faith. As a result, they were not able to partake in Jewish rites and ceremonies, which may have been the reason for the letter (see "The Theology of the Letter to the Hebrews," by Barnabus Lindars, (1991)). Unfortunately, the author doesn't discuss this change in the Christian-Jewish dynamic. This is a very nit-picky point, and I know that. However, I do think it would make the book better if at least some discussion of that change were included.

Overall, it is a good book, with the slight reservations discussed above. The author does not try to persuade you of a dogma that would require non-Jews to observe the rigorous laws of the Torah. Rather, his point is well taken, that we should not discard it or consider it irrelevant, but should cherish it and study it for the things it teaches us.

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