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They Loved the Torah: What Yeshua's First Followers Really Thought about the Law Paperback – June 1, 2001
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A well-informed discussion which will help New Covenant believers think about the place of Torah in their lives. -- Dr. David SternDavid Sternauthor and translator of the Jewish New Testament and Commentary, the Complete Jewish Bible, and other Messianic Jewish books
Meticulous, relevant, fascinating! If New Covenant faith and Torah observance are important to you, this is the book for you. -- Stuart DauermannPresident, Hashivenu Inc.; Rabbi, Ahavat Zion Messianic Synagogue, Beverly Hills, California
Well-presented discussion of the Jewish nature of Yeshua, his followers, and the movement they started. A must read. --Dr. John FischerRabbi, Congregation Ohr Chadash, Clearwater, Florida.; Director, Menorah Ministries
From the Publisher
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 youll find in They Loved the Torah 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 they desired to spread their love for Gods entire Word to the Gentiles to whom they preached.
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This book is a good overview for those who are curious about coming Torah Observant. It is not controversial. However, the author chooses passages that are easier to address (ex: Matthew 15 instead of Mark 7, where the language about kosher eating is more difficult to understand). There were other areas I wish the author would have addressed but overall, this was a good introductory work.
I thought the best portion of the book was "The Early Church Fathers". Dr. Friedman quotes from the anti-Semitic early theologians that have affected our views of the Torah more than we realize. Mainstream Christianity needs to realize that our stream was polluted early on. It's time to address the less than ideal origins of erroneous theology.
This book causes the reader to ask, "What did Jesus do?" Christians would do well to live as Yeshua did. The Torah can actually be a witnessing tool. When we submit ourselves to the power of the Holy Spirit to live by the Living Torah (Yeshua), our lights will shine brighter.
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.
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.