Here’s the passage:
Deut 4:1-2 (KJV)
1 Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do [them], that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you.
2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish [aught] from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
Torah is not mentioned in this passage. So, technically the passage does not refer to the Torah.
But let’s run with your argument of Moses giving the commandments and Jesus (as well as others) adding to the commandments. I think there’s at least two ways to approach this passage and its application.
One would be a highly literalistic approach and nobody can add any words, interpretations, or expansions to the commandments. However, not even the Jews do this. They can’t even say the name of God. Where did Moses command people not to say the name of God? Instead, it is an expansion of the commandment to not to take the Lord’s name in vain. So to prevent any possibility of not taking his name in vain, no Jew is allowed to even say it. And of course Christians as well do not take the commandments literally. Few Christians practice resting on the Sabbath. And nobody is practicing the sacrificial system.
Another approach is a more dynamic method and there can be interpretations that do not take the commandments absolutely literally. I would argue this is how everyone (Jews and Christians) who accepts the scriptures as authoritative view the commandments.
If one wants to even take a more hyper literal approach, one can even argue Moses was contradicting himself. The commandments are really the 10 commandments on the two tablets of stone.
Deu 4:13 (KJV)
And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.
Then he added many more laws in addition to these 10 commandments.
Jesus himself didn’t literally follow the commandments either. The religious leaders accused him many times of breaking the Sabbath.
And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?
Jesus replied by saying we should follow the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law.
And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
I think we can even interpret this as “the law was made for man, and not man for the law”.
Athetotheist wrote: ↑Fri Oct 13, 2023 9:17 pm It does teach keeping its commandments without adding to them or taking from them (Dt. 4:2) in order to do what’s right in Jehovah’s eyes (Dt. 13:18). So if we’re supposed to believe what Moses wrote (John 5:47), how can Jesus’s teaching be right?
If you’re going to bring this up again, guess we’ll have to address it more.
We see the Jews constantly added to the Torah. We obviously see this with all the additional books that have been added to the Torah with the Prophets and the Writings. So, it’s no longer just the Torah that is scripture, but also the other books of the Tanakh that were added hundreds of years later. Not only that, we have the Mishnah that was added to the written Torah.
The Mishnah or the Mishna (/ˈmɪʃnə/; Hebrew: מִשְׁנָה, “study by repetition”, from the verb shanah שנה, or “to study and review”, also “secondary”) is the first major written collection of the Jewish oral traditions that are known as the Oral Torah. It is also the first major work of rabbinic literature
In addition, we have the Midrash that has been added.
Midrash (/ˈmɪdrɑːʃ/; Hebrew: מִדְרָשׁ; pl. מִדְרָשִׁים midrashim or מִדְרָשׁוֹת midrashot) is expansive Jewish Biblical exegesis using a rabbinic mode of interpretation prominent in the Talmud.
And then we have the wider collection of the Talmud.
The Talmud (/ˈtɑːlmʊd, -məd, ˈtæl-/; Hebrew: תַּלְמוּד, romanized: Talmūḏ) is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law (halakha) and Jewish theology. Until the advent of modernity, in nearly all Jewish communities, the Talmud was the centerpiece of Jewish cultural life and was foundational to “all Jewish thought and aspirations”, serving also as “the guide for the daily life” of Jews.
So, the Jews have had a long tradition of adding to and expanding on the Torah. There is nothing unusual with what Jesus did with expounding on the Torah. If you’re going to find fault with Jesus, then you’ll have to likewise apply it to all Jewish rabbis throughout history.
Depends on what you mean by “law”. But even in the quote you provided, it states they are additions to the law:
“Talmud contains rabbinic commentaries, traditions and laws couched in the Torah’s infinite wisdom. However, the term Torah is often used to describe all of Jewish scholarship, which includes the Talmud.”
Torah is translated as “law” in practically all English Bibles. So, all of Jewish scholarship falls in the law.
The Talmud, Mishnah and Midrash are commentary on the Torah. Jesus’s teaching stands in contrast to the Torah.
No, it’s not in contrast. If anything, he set an even higher standard of righteousness than what the Torah dictated.
Another point is Jesus claims to be higher than the commandments of Moses. He uses the pattern, “Ye have heard that it hath been said…” followed by “But I say unto you…”.[Mat 5:38-39 KJV] 38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
How can anyone claim to be a higher authority than what Moses said? Because Jesus is not simply another prophet, but also God. And what confirms this self-proclamation of being divine? His resurrection.
Jesus is God, so there’s no violation of that passage.
Again, your argument is circular. You use the conclusion you want to reach as a premise from which to argue back to the conclusion you want to reach.
My empirical evidence Jesus is divine is the Turin Shroud.
[Mat 5:20 KJV] 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed [the righteousness] of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. [Mat 5:21-22 KJV] 21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. [Mat 5:27-28 KJV] 27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. [Mat 5:31-32 KJV] 31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. [Mat 5:33-34 KJV] 33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: 34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: [Mat 43-44 KJV] 43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
The law didn’t need any adding to, as Jesus inadvertently admits in Matthew 22:37-40.
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
In a sense, yes. Though the entire heart of the Tanakh is these two commandments, we see in the Tanakh itself many additional commandments that detail how to practically keep these two commands. Further, we see in the Jewish literature many additional texts added on top of that.
(Technically, Jesus doesn’t even get the first commandment right. It’s actually to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength.)
Correct, it’s not technically the same, mind has also been added.
I don’t think the Jewish view of the Torah is such a static view that you’re presenting. There is an entire tradition to add, expand, and even subtract from the Torah. By your own admission the Jews don’t believe the sacrificial system is necessary anymore. So are Jews fully obeying the Torah?
We see additional details, not additional commandments. And the details don’t conflict with initial commandments, as “Do not swear at all” does.
Here’s the passage:
[Mat 5:33 ESV] 33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’
There is no commandment that says if you’re going to perform something to God, you must swear that you’d do it. So, there is no conflict. His point was addressing people trying to give an excuse for not doing something because they did not swear to do it, even though they said they’d do it.
Thus Jesus violates the law’s command in Deut. 4:2 not to add to the law.
I think you’re the only one that has this literal view. Not even the Jews have this view.
The Torah has 79,976 words in it.
The Nevi’im and the Ketuvim were added to the Torah.
Nevi’im has around 141,414 words
Ketuvim has around 83,640 words
The Talmud, which is authoritative for Jews, contains over 1.8 million words.
Wolkenfeld herself was finishing her own study of the entire Talmud, and intrigued, got her computer programmers on it. It took them “eight minutes of work and fifteen lines of code” to come up with the answer: 1,860,131 words.
In English, the Old Testament contains around 622,700 words, whereas the New Testament contains around 184,600 words.
https://wordcounter.net/blog/2016/02/21 … bible.html
So, relatively speaking, the Jews have added a lot more than Christians.
Jesus was explaining why it was allowed.
Again, the Jewish teachers have added commentary, not commandments.
I don’t know about that. Orthodox Jews follow many traditions from the writings outside the Torah as I’ve outlined. They are not just suggestions, but things they must follow.
Again, the Nevi’im and Ketuvim are additional scripture, not additional commandment.
It’s arguable Jesus was giving additional commandments. Rather, he was pointing out existing commandments and addressing the heart of them.
It’s already been pointed out that the Jews added commentary and not commandments, so this word count is a red herring which makes no point at all.
The Jews have a lot of things they must follow that are not in the Torah. So, whether you want to call them commandments or not, they are following them.
In how many ways can “But I say to you, do not swear at all” be interpreted?
As you agreed to, there is no commandment that says “you must swear”.
And even if the rabbis do violate the Torah, it’s still a Tu Quoque argument which doesn’t get Jesus off the hook. He’s supposed to have been the one who kept the law perfectly.
Jesus’s teachings are also based on the Torah.
If adding to the law is a violation of the Torah, then the Jews have intentionally and systemically violated it for hundreds of years with a vast body of text that dwarfs the Torah. It doesn’t make any sense to say the Jews have been willfully sinning all this time by adding to the law.
This is not a tu quoque argument. This is whose interpretation of Deut 4:2 is correct?[Deu 4:2 KJV] 2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish [ought] from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
With your view, both the Jews and Jesus would be violating this verse. With my view, neither are violating his verse.
If you want to argue he “violated” the law, there are actually better examples than his teachings on divorce. A better one would be healing people on the Sabbath. The Jewish leaders even wanted to stone Jesus for such a violation. And there are many other “violations” that Jesus did. So, how can all of these be explained? Fundamentally, Jesus’s interpretation of the Torah is different than the Pharisaical rabbis’ view of the Torah. So, the question is whose view is correct?
Athetotheist wrote: ↑Sun Nov 05, 2023 5:14 pm Since it’s the law of Moses, the answer has to be that Moses’s view is correct. Moses didn’t say not to swear at all. He didn’t say that he suffered the Israelites to divorce their wives for their “hardness of heart”. He did tell them not to add to the law. He did tell them not to turn aside from the law to the right or to the left (Deuteronomy 28:14). So regardless of where the Pharisaical rabbis stood, Jesus’s view violates the law of Moses.
Nobody is debating the authority of the law of Moses. The issue is whose interpretation of the law of Moses is correct? Plus, your view of the law of Moses is even different from the Pharisaical rabbis. Even they added to the Torah. So why is your view correct? Jesus was challenging the rabbis’ strict observance of the Torah. But you even have a stricter view than the rabbis.
Not so sure about that. One example of where laws have been added is the extensive kosher laws.
Kashrut (also kashruth or kashrus, כַּשְׁרוּת) is a set of dietary laws dealing with the foods that Jewish people are permitted to eat and how those foods must be prepared according to Jewish law.
Kashrut is the body of Jewish law dealing with what foods can and cannot be eaten and how those foods must be prepared.
Perhaps the most distinctive aspect of Jewish practice is the special diet. The food Jewish people are permitted to eat is known as Kosher (which means “fitting” or “correct”). The Kashrut Laws cover the type of animals a Jew can eat; how they are prepared; the prohibition of consuming blood and certain forbidden fats and sinews; the prohibition of consuming flies and insects, the mixing of meat and milk and many other aspects of diet and food preparation.
A specific example of a kosher law is a kosher kitchen must have two sets of cookware and utensils, one for meat and one for dairy. This is not commanded in the Torah, but a later addition.
The Torah forbids eating meat and milk in combination, and even forbids the act of cooking them together (as well as deriving benefit from such a mixture). As a safeguard, the Sages disallow the eating of meat and dairy products at the same meal, or preparing them with the same utensils. Therefore, a kosher kitchen must have two separate sets of pots, pans, plates and silverware ― one for meat/poultry and the other for dairy foods.
The requirement to keep meat and dairy products separate necessitates that they be prepared with their own designated utensils. Accordingly, a kosher kitchen can be characterized by duplicates: two sets of pots, two sets of dishes, and sometimes even two ovens or two sinks.
The entire requirement is based on “not seething a kid in his mother’s milk”. The Torah doesn’t say anything about having two sets of cookware and utensils.[Exo 23:19 KJV] 19 The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk. [Deu 14:21 KJV] 21 Ye shall not eat [of] any thing that dieth of itself: thou shalt give it unto the stranger that [is] in thy gates, that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell it unto an alien: for thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.
Athetotheist wrote: ↑Thu Nov 09, 2023 9:49 am And I’m not applying different standards to Jesus and the rabbis. I’m pointing out that since the former is supposed to have been sinless, it matters more if he violated the law than if the rabbis do
So all the Orthodox Jews have sinned by adding the kosher laws to the Torah? And they are sinning by following sinful laws?
This makes no sense and casts an extreme negative light on the Orthodox Jews since they follow the kosher laws every single meal.