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Apostle Paul and his scripture twisting for Jesus

January 21, 2014

Saint_PaulOne of the many things which helped me come to repentance from idolatry, to leave Christianity and return to the faith of my fathers was my realization that the reason Christianity has been so anti-Torah and anti-Judaism for just about all of its history is not only because of some later antisemitic/anti-Judaic developments, but also because of Paul’s teachings and views, which make up almost a half of the New Testament. Few Christians realize that most of the Christian theology can be directly attributed to Paul and not to Jesus, a man Paul never knew in real life, whose teachings he is not interested in quoting and whose life and ministry, except for his birth, last supper, and death, he mostly ignores.

In his writing Paul makes many seemingly conflicting statements regarding “the Law”. His various pronouncements, praises and even condemnations of the Jewish Torah have puzzled and continue to puzzle theologians. For all the letters Paul left us, after almost two thousand years of study it’s still virtually impossible to satisfactory determine exactly where the man stood. No wonder the Christian theology has splintered into innumerable interpretations. More recently, however, there has sprang up a whole host of theological defenders of the apostle, New Testament scholars who form a loose movement known as the New Perspective on Paul. They seek to redeem Paul for Judaism, to show that he was misunderstood and misrepresented by the antinomian Christianity that developed soon after his death. While acknowledging that the Jesus-faith left its Jewish moorings, they insist that Paul himself remained a faithful Jew and played no direct role.

Paul, an author of confusion?

When I was still a Jesus-worshiper, I would read many books and papers of the New Perspective theologians enthusiastically, hoping that they would help me reinforce my faith in the New Testament, in Paul who wrote or influenced most of it, and,  of course and most importantly, in Jesus. Even though I continued to cringe at many of Paul’s statements, I would comfort myself by thinking that this was only the result of my weak understanding of this “great hero of faith”. I would come to place great hope in the new generation of theologians, optimistic that they will be able explain everything that I somehow just couldn’t grasp. I wanted so much to believe that my religion was the true Judaism and my allegiance to Jesus as G-d and Messiah was both faithful to Torah and 100% Jewish .

Paul is the most prolific writer of the Christian scriptures, so it is only natural that understanding him is viewed as crucial to establishing correct Christian doctrine. To the believers in Christianity (and its Hebrew Roots and Messianic offshoots) this presents a serious challenge. Indeed, conflicting interpretations of his writings are frequently a cause of many contentious arguments and splits, especially among Protestants. His views on the Jewish Law (Torah) are especially puzzling. And little wonder – he can sound so vehemently anti-law in one passage and then he offers some words of praise to the law in another. This has led to much confusion among the faithful and as well those who simply want to understand exactly what the second most important figure of Christianity may have meant. Even the New Testament, in 2 Peter 3:16, in a letter most biblical scholars consider pseudepigraphical (i.e. not actually written by the “unlettered” fisherman of Acts), Apostle Peter warns fellow Christians that Paul’s writings are hard to understand and easy to distort. It’s quite ironic that both anti-Torah and pro-Torah camps of Christianity point to this same warning when arguing their case. However, beyond arguments about Paul’s own faithfulness as a Jew, one thing is plain to see for even a casual reader of Paul’s writings – the overall message of Paul to his disciples is that the faith in Christ has superseded the obedience to Torah, which Paul insisted could never justify anyone (Galatians 3:11).

Making Moses carry Jesus’ water

To support his claims, Paul makes what I have come to see and what many others have understood long before me as the most egregious twisting of the plain meaning of Torah. Paul takes the simple message of obedience to G-d’s instructions for righteous living and to the commands, which G-d said were not too hard or impossible to keep, and transforms it into righteousness by faith in the death and resurrection of man Jesus, the semi-divine Son of G-d. It’s a stark departure from the simple message of Torah and Judaism, a foreign message which neither the Torah nor the rest of the Hebrew Bible ever present to readers. In short, while the Hebrew scriptures never allude to any future messiah as a path to either forgiveness from sin or righteousness in G-d’s eyes, it’s the absolute thrust of Paul’s message and the version of the Good News he preached.

Let’s us now read one passage from Torah quoted by Paul and focus on its plain meaning. We will do this in order to understand how Paul transforms and contorts Torah in the service of the new religion based not on obedience to G-d but on faith in Christ:

Surely, this instruction which I enjoin upon you this day is not too baffling for you, nor is it beyond reach. It is not in the heavens, that you should say, “Who among us can go up to the heavens and get it for us and impart it to us, that we may observe it?” Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who among us can cross to the other side of the sea and get it for us and impart it to us, that we may observe it?” No, the thing is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart, to observe it. (Deuteronomy 30:11-14)

And now let’s take a look at how Paul takes this very same passage and absolutely twists it to mean the complete opposite of what the Torah both says AND means. Paul effortlessly guides his most likely illiterate and no-doubt Torah-ignorant Gentile audience into accepting his “magical” transformation of a simple message of walking in obedience to G-d’s commandment into his version of the new way to righteousness. The righteousness Paul teaches is one apart from obedience and faithfulness to G-d’s instructions for holy living, but rather one based on faith (and confession by mouth!) in a semi-divine man, the Christ Paul claimed to have met in a mystical vision:

Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.”  But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’?” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’?” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”” (Romans 10:6-13)

Please note carefully the original biblical passage and compare it with Paul’s own additions and elaborations as he crafts his “midrash”. When G-d, through Moses, says “the instructions are not in heaven”, meaning they are now close to us, Paul instead redirects his readers back to heaven and says “to bring Christ down from heaven”.  He turns the passage around completely. When G-d warns that the instructions from G-d are not beyond our reach (beyond the sea) and we have no need to have them brought to us by someone, Paul again does the 180. He would have us believe that what Torah really meant is that obedience was indeed beyond our reach and we do need someone to get it for us from both the heaven and the depths and that someone is Paul’s mystical Christ. Please note what Paul does here – he twists this verse to say that we can only have obedience through faith in a man-god Jesus coming down from heaven, dying and being raised from the dead. Think about it – is that what Moses really meant when he put down those words from G-d? Paul replaced the message of encouragement in Torah to obey G-d and just do His commandments with his preaching of Christ and righteousness through faith in Jesus. The G-d the L-rd of all mankind of the Hebrew Bible is transformed into the man “Jesus is L-rd”, now part of a verbal declaration of the new salvation formula. Paul asks his readers “what does it (Torah) say?”, but he supplies an answer found nowhere in that same Torah:

“The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that WE proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Exposing Paul’s blatant but overlooked (mis)use of the Hebrew scriptures to further his new religion centered on a deified man helped me better understand both the man and the faith he promoted. I have also come to realize that a good part of the blame for the nearly two millennia of Christian opposition to the Jewish people and the Torah given to them by G-d lies squarely at the feet of the Apostle.

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18 Comments
  1. January 22, 2014 4:57 pm

    Gene, you don’t like me linking here, but I have been working on a response to some structural arguments in Yisroel Blumenthal’s Elephant and the Suit, in a way which addresses this cardinal passage particularly. If you don’t mind I will post the link when done. There is a basic misunderstanding of Moses’ purpose here.

  2. January 22, 2014 5:15 pm

    Charles, I would rather have you and everyone else commenting on my blog simply post what they want to say in the comments and not force me or my readers to dig through lengthy papers or be forced to read stuff not directly relevant to my post.

    Charles, also, instead of automatically trying to formulate a counter-response, may be take some time to consider that perhaps there’s a chance that my argument has merit. If you read the post, open your own Bible and compare Torah with Paul’s own words, you’ll see quite clearly that Paul hijacked a simple Torah message of obedience to G-d without excuses or waiting for someone else to help them in that (e.g. Jesus) and used it to promote a wholly unbiblical salvation from sin through a deified human being who appeared to him in a vision. As a former Jesus-worshiping Messianic Jew that’s exactly what I had to do – to be honest with myself and compare G-d’s holy word with Christianity’s New Testament. I then realized my error and grave sin of placing my faith in a mortal man instead of only the G-d of my forefathers. There’s no shame in admitting when one is wrong. In fact, it’s the key ingredient in repentance.

  3. January 29, 2014 7:00 am

    I agree entirely with the last two sentences. I’d be happy to discuss and debate aspects of this, but I think you’ve misunderstood something fundamental about the statements in Deut.30, though this is not something that can easily be outlined in a few sentences. I shall post the paper when it’s complete on my own site, here and at Yisroel Blumenthal’s site, I’ve had trouble finding time – if you’d prefer it wasn’t posted, of course as a guest I respect that, but I do welcome critique.

  4. January 29, 2014 9:04 am

    “I think you’ve misunderstood something fundamental about the statements in Deut.30, though this is not something that can easily be outlined in a few sentences.”

    Of course, it can’t be “easily”. After all, it took Paul the whole letter to the Romans to tell us that what Torah really meant was not “observing commandments” but “believing in Jesus”.

  5. January 29, 2014 5:01 pm

    What is faith in Messiah if not obedience to His Lord?
    ‘And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?’
    No, it is not that difficult, but it isn’t suitable for a brief cut and thrust.

  6. Seraphim permalink
    February 15, 2014 3:10 am

    Gene, I’m sorry for being blunt, but this is simple nonsense. Why does Paul find the Messiah in Deuteronomy 30? Because Deuteronomy 30 is talking about the promised return from exile and the associated circumcision of the heart. Paul sees this as having transpired in the resurrection of Jesus, in whom our hearts are circumcised through the promised Spirit. Torah was seen as being modeled on divine wisdom. For Paul, Jesus is the incarnation of divine wisdom, so that we “do the Torah” through embodying the faithfulness of the Messiah. Paul says that the “word” in Deuteronomy 30 refers to the word of faith because Paul sees himself as a proclaimer of the new covenant being realized in Deuteronomy 30.

    You may well disagree with Paul on these issues. Fine. But the assertion that nasty evil early Christians openly and knowingly twisted the Hebrew Bible is ridiculous. These are assertions you only hear from religious fundamentalists. Some Christians say that the nasty nasty Jews rewrote their own Bible to erase Jesus. Muslims say that Christians rewrote their Bible to avoid prophecies of Muhammad. And you are saying that Christians just redid their Old Testament to force Jesus in there. It strains credibility. It doesn’t work. There is a method to Paul’s reading of the Hebrew Bible, and I have now read the Old Testament several times over with that method in mind. It works- but you’ve got to be a “supersessionist” (I have my qualms with that word, but it gets the point across) to see it properly. Midrash is a part of Paul’s use of the Old Testament, but it’s not the central theme. The central theme is that the restoration of Israel and the return of the Lord to Zion has occurred in the resurrection of Jesus.

  7. February 15, 2014 7:27 pm

    “Paul says that the “word” in Deuteronomy 30 refers to the word of faith because Paul sees himself as a proclaimer of the new covenant being realized in Deuteronomy 30.”

    Seraphim, it’s quite simple really – Paul completely changed the meaning of Moses’ original words to shoehorn his demigod into them and even his own ministry. Jews didn’t fall for this subversion of Torah, but recognized Paul for who he was. Jews, however, felt the result of Paul’s efforts on their own skin. It’s no wonder that Marcion, a very popular early church leader who wished to do away with the Torah and all the rest of the Jewish scriptures, used Paul’s writings exclusively to create the very first New Testament. He found in them much to love and to support his own ideas; and for a good reason. Even though Christianity eventually repudiated Marcion as a heretic and reaffirmed both the G-d of the Jews and the canonicity of the “Old Testament”, Paul’s writings as well as the gospel and Acts written by his companion Luke still make up most of the New Testament.

    “But the assertion that nasty evil early Christians openly and knowingly twisted the Hebrew Bible is ridiculous.”

    Seraphim, just look at the history of Christianity and its treatment of Jews, look at the words the esteemed Church Fathers reserved for the Jewish people and Judaism. Once you acknowledge their contempt for Jews and Judaism, perhaps you’ll then also allow that twisting of the Hebrew Bible to support their own conclusions opposed to the Jewish reading of it as not so incredulous after all.

    “It works- but you’ve got to be a “supersessionist”

    Well, Seraphim, there’s the problem that clouds the minds of many Christians. You see Supersessionism as being essential to being a good Chrisitian and the key to understanding the Jewish scriptures, while I see it as a sin against my people and their G-d.

  8. Seraphim permalink
    February 16, 2014 12:25 pm

    That’s not a response. Paul wasn’t randomly picking a passage and finding Jesus inside of it. Paul has chosen a passage about the restoration of Israel, the circumcision of the heart, and Israel’s new ability to do the Torah because of the circumcision of the heart. Paul sees the restoration of Israel as having transpired in the resurrection of Jesus- so he looks to a passage about the restoration of Israel. Paul believes that Jesus, being the embodiment of the wisdom that Torah was modeled after, is in a sense, the Torah made flesh- so he applies a passage about Torah to Jesus. Now, you disagree with this reading because you don’t believe that the renewed covenant and heart-circumcision has occurred with the resurrection of Jesus. Okay. But the idea that Paul is just some nasty nasty man who hates his Bible so much that he intentionally twists it is ridiculous. There’s a method to his exegesis. It is not random.

    I am a supersessionist in the sense that I believe Israel’s restoration has occurred in the resurrection of Jesus, and therefore all those who share in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus share in that renewed Israel. Qumran said the same thing about their own sect.

  9. Seraphim permalink
    February 16, 2014 12:28 pm

    By the way, Marcion only chose some of Paul’s letters and he heavily edited those to remove all references to the Hebrew Bible. He did the same to Luke, these were not left unedited.

  10. February 16, 2014 1:01 pm

    “But the idea that Paul is just some nasty nasty man who hates his Bible so much that he intentionally twists it is ridiculous. There’s a method to his exegesis. It is not random.”

    I don’t know if Paul was evil – he could have simply been deluded and believed his own ideas which led him to subvert existing Jewish scriptures for his own purposes. This is not uncommon with founders and leaders of new breakaway religions (e.g. Joseph Smith of Mormonism).

    “I am a supersessionist in the sense that I believe Israel’s restoration has occurred in the resurrection of Jesus, and therefore all those who share in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus share in that renewed Israel. ”

    That Jesus, by his dying and resurrecting (according to the authors of NT), somehow restored the people of Israel, spiritually and invisibly, without any actual restoration of Israel but instead bringing oppression to the Jewish people at the hands of the “Restored Israel”, requires lots and lots of imagination – which is exactly what supersessionism is.

  11. Seraphim permalink
    February 16, 2014 1:57 pm

    Gene, you are moving the target. There is a method to Paul’s use of Deuteronomy 30. Genesis 1-3 and Deuteronomy 30-32 stand as intentional, canonical bookends to the Pentateuch. The Torah begins with Adam exiled from the tree of life, it ends with a prophecy of Israel’s return from exile, the circumcision of the heart, and the subsequent discovery of life. Paul believes that the return from exile has been realized in the resurrection of Jesus, since Israel’s king sums up his people and was exiled into death (the Psalms and Ezekiel speak of exile as death and vice verse) returning from exile into the land of the living. Now, the heart is circumcised with the flint of the cross (see Gal. 6:16-17) and by embodying the crucified life of Messiah, we receive his risen life. My sole point in commenting here was to demonstrate that your idea that Paul intentionally subverted the Scriptures without any method was wrong. Paul has a definitive exegetical strategy.

    Ultimately, Gene, as I have mentioned to you before, if I am to believe in the God of Abraham, I can only believe in Him through Christianity. Daniel spoke of the kingdom of God being established while Rome stood. Moses spoke of one exile, one return, and that return being associated with the circumcision of the heart. Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel all built on this timeline. If the kingdom didn’t come with Jesus, it’s never coming. The timeline is up. This summer I’ll be working on a comprehensive case for the messianic identity of Jesus from the Hebrew Bible within the framework of return from exile. Most Messianic Jews don’t do this, because they don’t believe Israel’s restoration happened with Jesus’ resurrection. Because of that, I think they cut the legs out from under their own case. Peace.

  12. February 16, 2014 2:24 pm

    Seraphim, your supersessionist Israel doesn’t have room for the actual Israel. Your reading of the Jewish prophets is flawed because it’s read backwards from the NT. This forced you to spiritualize or simply ignore the events surrounding Israel’s physical restoration and bringing back of her exiles, all nations attacking Israel and being defeated and then forced to come and observe “obsolete” Sukkot, the restoration of the physical Third Temple as described in detail in Ezekiel. Your “restored” Israel or your prophetic timeline has no room for any of that, except in a completely spiritualized-away unrecognizable form. It has no room for Jews as Jews. But worst of all, you are asking that we betray our covenant by worshiping a human being, a creature, as god. It’s not a faith that Abraham or Moses would recognize – it’s idolatry. And you wonder why we as a people rejected your religion and will always reject it?

  13. Seraphim permalink
    February 16, 2014 2:59 pm

    Gene-

    1. Spiritualization is far too simplistic a term for what has happened. When the Temple in Ezekiel is painted as a restored Eden, is it spiritualization to say that the restoration of Eden in the arrival of the glorified body has happened in the resurrection of Jesus? Does it leave out the “actual Israel” when it is pointed out that the Northern Kingdom entirely assimilated into the nations? To say that it leaves out the “actual Israel” simply begs the question. The canonical bookends of Isaiah make clear that the remnant is sent to declare the glory of God to the nations, and some from the nations are brought back to the Temple as priests and Levites.

    2. You, of course, will never agree that worship of Jesus is not idolatry. Yet, have you read “Two Powers in Heaven” by Jewish scholar Alan Segal? This was the traditional Jewish understanding of God before the rise of Christianity, where it was rejected because Christians had identified Jesus with the second power. God said that He alone was king of Israel, to ask for a human king is rejection of Him- but then promised everlasting kingship to David’s line. Israel, like the other nations, speaks of a divine council with a high god and a viceregent- but in Israel’s council, the Lord is high god and another Lord is viceregent. Heiser’s doctoral dissertation was on the rise of this belief at Qumran.

    3. There is only one prophetic timeline in the Hebrew Bible, and it has either been fulfilled or falsified. If the kingdom has not arrived, it is never coming. Daniel never said that the fourth kingdom would fall without the divine kingdom arriving. Moses never said there would be a partial return from exile before being exiled again. This is why messianic fervor was so high in the first century and why Josephus was forced to say (absurdly) that Daniel’s vision of the kingdom of God was fulfilled in Vespasian’s enthronement on Jewish soil. They knew that the prophets spoke of God’s kingdom arriving during the days of Rome.

    4. Rodney Stark and a number of new scholars suggest that the archaeological evidence indicates a largely successful Jewish mission.

  14. February 16, 2014 3:43 pm

    Seraphim, let me ask you this – let’s assume that your Eastern Orthodox Christianity is the true faith of Jesus, the apostles and the new “Spiritual Israel”, the Church. What role is there for the Jewish people in your Christianity (if there is one), practically speaking?

  15. Seraphim permalink
    February 16, 2014 3:52 pm

    Gene-

    1. There is no “new spiritual” Israel. There is simply Israel, as it has been transformed and renewed under the new covenant and the outpouring of the Spirit. The promises are not spiritualized but expanded. After Israel’s restoration and the renewal of the covenant through the work of the Suffering Servant, the land promise is not done away with but expanded: “The God of the whole Earth is He called.” (Is. 54.5) The nations have attached themselves to the remnant of Jacob and are thereby integrated into the covenantal relationship that God established with Abraham. It may seem like I am nit-picking, but this is a very important point. Throughout the prophets, God promised a remnant plus the ingathering of the nations. This is what covenant faithfulness looks like.

    2. Every nation has a unique role to play in God’s kingdom. Jews are not distinct covenantally, though because of their historical relationship with God they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.

  16. February 16, 2014 4:09 pm

    I am sorry, Seraphim, but what you are saying simply doesn’t not jive with everything the prophets which G-d sent to Israel said and all promises made to her. It’s replacement theology 101.

    This is what the G-d of Israel promises to do to the enemies of the Jewish people:

    “I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land.” (Joel 3:2)

    Has this happened yet? Is G-d speaking about Christians here, about their land divided and about them being scattered by the nations? Against whom are the nations being gathered in the valley located in the Land of Israel? I think this is something for you to be concerned about, rather than be settled in comfortably with your church’s theology that declares your church to be Israel.

    “Jews are not distinct covenantally”

    The sum of the Jewish prophets, everything that is the Hebrew Bible cry out in indignation at your words, Seraphim.

  17. Seraphim permalink
    February 16, 2014 4:24 pm

    Gene-

    I think we’ve moved far beyond the original topic of discussion, which was whether Paul was arbitrary and dishonest with his use of Moses and the Prophets. I’ll respond briefly to your questions and then bow out on this post for now.

    1. I’m a partial preterist. I think the Olivet Discourse and Revelation 1-19 were fulfilled with the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. So the prophecies of a great battle are fulfilled in the Jewish-Roman war. Zechariah gives us an interesting clue to the whole scheme: “even Judah shall war against Jerusalem.” (Zech. 14:14) Jerusalem is the renewed and restored people of God, the Jew+Gentile family of Abraham partaking of the promises in Israel’s Messiah. In the midst of this war, the remnant people of God are vindicated (this is what Daniel 7 is about.) I’ve discussed before how Daniel 7 correlates precisely with the events of the year 69, followed by the destruction of the stone Temple in the year 70, exactly forty years after the Olivet Discourse, hence “this generation shall not pass until all these things take place.”

    2. In the Hebrew Bible, there are Gentiles taken from the nations who are integrated into the family of Abraham (think Ruth and the mixed multitude of the exodus.) There are also presumably Israelites who integrated into the pagan nations. When Amos said that the day of the Lord would be “darkness, not light” for most of the people and when Isaiah said that “a remnant, a remnant will return to the mighty God” (mighty God being only used one other time in the HB, to refer to the messianic king in Is. 9.6) this means that God’s restoration of Israel will bring in a remnant plus the ingathering of the nations. “The Lord will thresh out the grain, and you will be gleaned one by one, O people of Israel.” (Isa. 27:12)

    3. I am concerned about truly studying the prophets and am not just comfortable with my Church’s theology. The Hebrew Bible became my main area of study a couple years ago precisely because I am tired of the prooftexting apologetic I see among most of my brethren. Ultimately, I’ve become very satisfied with the overarching narrative I see played out in the Hebrew Bible and into the New Testament, though I’m still reading and refining my view. But my fundamental point is still the messianic timeline. One exile, one return. Four kingdoms, then God’s kingdom.

    Peace! Thanks for the chat.

  18. February 16, 2014 5:32 pm

    “Four kingdoms, then God’s kingdom.”

    Actually, Seraphim, this is where your timeline is completely wrong. May be this will prompt you to rethink your eschatology (it should, but I doubt it). The fourth Kingdom, the Roman Empire officially lasted until at least the fall of of Constantinople in May 29, 1453. Even after that, it still wasn’t dead – it continued all the way until 1806 in Central Europe. Only starting in 300 C.E., well over two hundred years after Jesus and the beginning of your supposed “G-d’s Kingdom”, did the official religion of the Roman Empire became Christianity by personal decree of “Judeophillic” Constantine I, who himself remained a pagan/non-Christian until right before his deathbed baptism. So, the empire itself, the fourth beast, carried on – adding only the word ‘Holy’ to its Roman Empire name. It carried on its brutality and its wars, and its hatred of Jews remained unabated. The Roman Empire simply traded her old demigods for a new one, but the fourth beast lived on for well over two thousand years. One can even say – as some do – that it still lives on in the shape of the European Union.

    To sum it all up: since the fourth beast/kingdom (Rome) didn’t go anywhere when your imperceptible “Kingdom of G-d” got started, the true and very much “detectable” Kingdom of G-d on earth as prophesied in detail by the Hebrew Bible is still to come.

    Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the L-RD, to the Temple of the G-d of Ya’akov. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The Torah will go out from Zion, the word of the L-RD from Jerusalem. He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the L-RD Almighty has spoken. All the nations may walk in the name of their gods, but we will walk in the name of the L-RD our G-d for ever and ever.” (Micah 4:2-5)

    I especially like the last sentence of the above verse. It doesn’t matter to me what “gods” all the nations are worshiping, be they Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, or whoever – I will only walk in the name of the L-rd the G-d of Israel.

    Peace.

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