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Yeshua in Context » Besorah/Gospel/Good News, Identity of Yeshua, Judaism Today & Yeshua, Temple and Torah » Yeshua as Torah, Part 1

Yeshua as Torah, Part 1

Not only should we understand Yeshua in his time and his context, but we should also devote thought to applying Yeshua into modern contexts. The various Christianities are the usual focus of this re-contextualization of Jesus, but what of Judaism today? How does Yeshua fit into the context of a Judaism filled with 2,000 years of water under the bridge, halacha, theology, commentary, mysticism, and so on? This is the first post in the category (many more to come) “Judaism Today & Yeshua.”

The more Torah the more life . . . he who has acquired for himself the words of Torah has acquired for himself life in the World to Come.
–Pirkei Avot 2:7.

The Torah said, I was the architectural instrument of the Holy One, blessed be he . . . So did the Holy One, blessed be he, look into the Torah and created the Universe.
–Genesis Rabbah 1:1.

On that account he created Torah first, since it is dearer to him than all else he made.
–Sifre Deuteronomy 37, 76a.

As water is life to the world, so is Torah life to the world. As water descends from heaven, so Torah descends from heaven . . . As water cleanses man from defilement, so the Torah purifies the unclean (morally).
–Song of Songs Rabbah 1:2.

There are a number of ways in which Judaism has developed the practice of Torah, the study of Torah, the mysticism of Torah in ways that fill the role Yeshua could and would play. Deeds of Torah become the basis of purification from sin in some sources. Study and practice of Torah gives life in the World to Come. In the Torah service liturgy, we read that God has implanted eternal life within the Jewish people, so that Torah becomes the divine-life within Israel.

There was a need in the developing theology and practice of Judaism to fill categories of redemption and ascending to the levels of divine knowledge and life in the World to Come. The New Testament and Christianity had Jesus and Judaism filled many of these categories with Torah.

When we, in Messianic Judaism, speak of Yeshua as Torah, we mean to say that God truly did send his Word-Wisdom-Knowledge-Revelation into the world. This certainly did happen in the form of Torah, prophecy, wisdom, and all of scripture. But the highest revelation of all is Yeshua, who emanates from God and is One with God. As Hebrews puts it:

After God spoke long ago in various portions and in various ways to our ancestors through the prophets, in these last days he has spoken to us in a son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he created the world. The Son is the radiance of his glory and the representation of his essence, and he sustains all things by his powerful word…
–Hebrews 1:1-3.

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Filed under: Besorah/Gospel/Good News, Identity of Yeshua, Judaism Today & Yeshua, Temple and Torah

2 Responses to "Yeshua as Torah, Part 1"

  1. Rey says:

    Good Shabbos,

    Good info, but The Messiah is not created, He is from eternity with G-d.

    1. yeshuain says:

      I agree that the Son is not created. I understand why the quotes above gave the impression I might have thought that. I did not intend to get into complexities in this post which is Part 1. For Jewish theology, the idea that Wisdom is created and not co-eternal with God solves a lot of problems.

      Derek Leman

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