Fences: When Jewish and Christian Interpretations Strayed from Yehovah’s Will
Throughout history, both Jewish and Christian traditions have developed additional regulations and interpretations around the commandments in the Torah. While intended to foster adherence and understanding, these additions have at times deviated from the original intentions of Yehovah’s commandments. This post examines how both Jews and Christians constructed “fences” around the commandments, going beyond what was explicitly prescribed, and explores the critique of these practices.
Scripture 1: Adding and Taking Away
Deuteronomy 4:2 (Torah)
“Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you.”
Scripture 2: Yeshua’s Emphasis on Keeping the Commandments
Matthew 5:17-19 (New Testament)
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
Scripture 3: Yeshua on Keeping the Commandments
Matthew 19:16-17 (New Testament)
“Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, ‘Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?’ ‘Why do you ask me about what is good?’ Jesus replied. ‘There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.'”
Scripture 4: The Importance of Keeping the Commandments for All Generations
Deuteronomy 29:29 (Torah)
“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.”
While both Jewish and Christian traditions have at times strayed from Yehovah’s original intentions, it is crucial to acknowledge that Yeshua, in his teachings, emphasized the importance of keeping the commandments. Christians, too, should not neglect the timeless significance of the Torah’s commandments, understanding that Yeshua came to fulfill them, not to abolish them. Yeshua’s words highlight the eternal relevance of the commandments and the importance of practicing and teaching them. By aligning our actions with Yehovah’s will and avoiding man-made traditions that detract from the essence of the commandments, we can strive for a faithful and authentic relationship with our Creator.