Where does Christianity come from?

So keeping the law is not burdensome …except when it is! And disagreements in Judaism are not a problem…except when they are!

I am well aware of different groups within modern Judaism. And you just referred to a case where a Jew found the teaching of one group oppressive: Your quote from above: “The extreme orthodox upbringing of the author, Deborah Feldman, was very oppressive and burdensome”.

So do you agree with Deborah Feldman that Orthodox Judaism is oppressive?

That’s how brainwashing works.

Somebody has got to tell the Jews that the Law of Moses is oppressive. Otherwise they’ll never know

Let’s try this: The Law of Moses is objective. It is considered good and not oppressive by the Psalmist and others. But it can be misapplied for ill. So can the New Testament.

I’ll try to get a rabbi’s thoughts. I know somebody I can ask. BioLogos has never, ever had a Jewish person do a guest post.

Lets try this: applying (and obeying) the Law of Moses is subjective.

Do you agree with Deborah Feldman that dedicated and serious Jews who claim that they are only trying to obey the law properly, and according to their best interpretation of their scripture, can be oppressive?

It is pretty clear to me that the people were being oppressed by the Jewish leaders interpretation of the Law. Jesus said pretty clearly to cut it out.

They don’t have to, it is my ( and Jesus) opinion after all.

Correct to them, but not to Jesus. They extended the command to rest to include prohibiting any action that leads to work. It is their interpretation/extension of the law that is burdensome.

Well you got that backwards. Jesus is telling the Pharisees they need to follow the spirit of the law and not the letter. In fact remember He said the 10 commandments could be summed up in only 2.


We seem to agree that Jesus tells the Pharisees that it is no good to follow the letter of the law (the text found in their Torah) precisely because interpretation of “keeping that law” is subjective and open to legalism and oppression, while missing the spirit. This is why I pointed out that Jesus did not recommend that the Pharisees should read and interpret the Torah more, but that they should come to the recognition that their scriptures were meant to point to Him (Jesus) as the authority --who said the entire Mosaic Law could be summed up (and properly conducted) as “Love God and love your neighbour as yourself”.

Have you ever tried deconditioning someone? Let alone a culture.

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I have to agree with you. The Christians don’t seem to have fulfilled their promise. Only Jesus fulfilled the law, and he was Jewish.

Jesus seemed to say that we don’t examine our individual limitations enough. I have known Christians who refused to work on Sundays in order to “keep the lord’s day holy.” Yet, these were people who worked in a field that operates 24/7. So, could they please God by refusing to work when they knew other people had to work in their stead? It seems to me that these Christians have repeated the same mistake that Jesus accused the Pharisees of.

We are all just people, subject to the limitations reality imposes upon us. We are not perfect and in spite of various religious ideas about how we can elevate ourselves, I don’t see where the average Christian is better that the average Jew. In fact, the Jewish culture has produced some of the finest examples of humanity that I am aware of. I admire them as a people. Furthermore, they have suffered greatly throughout history and so I have no desire to be critical of them. If anything, they have actually shown us how to live as Jesus was saying to. Christians have worked toward understanding Jesus, but they have had a tendency to become overly concerned with they law themselves. They may talk about freedom from the law, but I think it is easier to say than to do. The reason for this is that they become concerned that they are not being holy enough. The Jews have a saying “be a mensch”. This saying reflects much about the Jewish culture which I admire. It suggests many facets of what it means to be a good person. It has to do with morality, yet also with acknowledging the limitations of an individual, so that such a person is also humble. To think that they have been treated so brutally is really something for us Christians to think about.

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[Steps up on my soapbox.]

Pretty much the same thing as all other literature; they’re about human reality which is approached in all the ways covered in the many disciplines offered by the college of Humanities. One shouldn’t look there for useful empirical knowledge anymore than one should consult physics to conclude that human experience is best understood as analogous to the action of billiard balls. Neither college is equipped to subsume the other.

[Steps back down.]

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Couldn’t agree more. The subjective is as real as anything. But that’s not the point is it. The context of my comment is.

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The church has tried to do it. Look how indigenous people were treated, removing children from their parents and putting them in boarding schools.

Did you read the book?

Did you answer my question?

So now it’s Jews who are being oppressive! Did you read the book?

The question I asked you, and the one I am currently interested in, can only be answered by you and will not be found in any book…

Look, if you don’t want to answer the question just say so. There is no harm in dropping the conversation, I will think no less of you. It will save both of us from wasting more time here.


Correct. It takes that degree of intervention.

There are laws of love, and they are good.

It’s always been my position here that the Law of Moses is in itself not oppressive but good, but that it can be twisted and misapplied by different people. That book I mentioned is really good.

We will see what the rabbi has to say. He has not responded yet. But I have a feeling that he doesn’t think the Law is oppressive.

For hundreds of years the church has tried to convince the Jewish people that their faith and Law are defective. They don’t seen to listen. They are incredibly persistent in their faith. Nothing seems to
get through to them–not persecutions, pogroms, and other forms of antisemitism.

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