Daily Archives: February 27, 2015

John Was Told To: Write What You See

Revelation 1:11. “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven Churches.” (RSV)

Written or “Oral Law”?

The fact that the Book of Revelation was written was very important in the New Testament era. The written Word of God was distinguished from the so-called “Oral Law” of the Pharisees. Indeed all of the authoritative Scriptures were written, as opposed to the traditions of the Pharisees who claimed that the Law given to Moses at Sinai was in two parts, one of which he wrote and the other which he handed down orally. They taught that this so-called “oral law” was of equal, or greater, authority than the written law.

However, Jesus refuted the authority of their “oral law,” also often referred to as their “traditions,” Matthew 15: 2, 3, and 6. These “traditions” were what Jesus referred to when He said “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time …,” Matthew 5:21-48. But Jesus repeatedly used the written scriptures to refute the scribes and Pharisees and even against the devil, Matthew 4:4, 7, 10.

The other New Testament writers also quoted the written Scriptures as authoritative by saying: “It is written,” Romans 11:8; I Corinthians 1:31; II Corinthians 4:13; Colossians 2:8; Galatians 1:14, etc.. They used these written Old Testament Scriptures to prove their doctrinal points. For example in Romans 11:8 Paul begins to cite the written Scriptures to prove that God had not forsaken His people Israel, but a faithful remnant had obtained the election of God: “According as it is written….

God Himself Wrote

Indeed, it is recorded that God Himself also wrote, Exodus 31:18; Deuteronomy 9:10. Although many of the prophecies given to Old Testament prophets were first given to be proclaimed orally to the people, they were afterwards written down, Jeremiah 1:17; 7:27; 13:12; Ezekiel 2:7; etc.

Pharisees Were Making Converts To Their False Religion

It is of utmost importance to the understanding of the New Testament to realize that the Pharisees were making converts throughout the Roman world by teaching their so-called “oral law.” Jesus said of their teachings:”Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves,” Matthew 23:15.

“Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men,” Matthew 15: 6-9.

Their “Oral Law” Is Available Today In Written Form

It is of vital importance to us to realize that the doctrines of this “oral law” are extant today in the Babylonian Talmud and are still considered to be the authoritative scriptures of the religion called “Judaism” today. One of their leading Rabbis has said: “The Talmud is, then, the written form of that which in the time of Jesus, was called the Traditions of the Elders.”— Rabbi Michael L. Rodkinson
“The Jewish religion as it is today traces its descent, without a break, through all the centuries, from the Pharisees.” — Universal Jewish Encyclopedia.

So, you see, the “oral law” is still a burning issue in our modern world.

For the full text of the Talmud in English translation see www.come-and-hear.com.
May you be informed and blessed by this lesson, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.