May 5, 2016 SnyderTalk: The New Testament is Commentary, not Scripture

1--Intro Covering Israel and ME since 2009

“Therefore behold, I am going to make them know—this time I will make them know My power and My might; and they shall know that My Name is Yahweh.” (Jeremiah 16: 21)

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2--SnyderTalk Editorial 5 New Temple MT

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The New Testament is Commentary, not Scripture

What I am about to say may sound sacrilegious, but it’s not.  The New Testament is commentary, not Scripture.

When the New Testament refers to the Scriptures, it means the Old Testament or what Jewish people call the Tanach—i.e., the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings.

I’ll give you four examples to prove my point.

Example 1: John 8

In John 8, the Messiah is on the Temple Mount engaging in a discussion with a group of people who believe in Him, but many religious leaders (Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes) are there as well. They don’t believe in Him.

The scribes and Pharisees confront Him by bringing a woman to Him who was “caught in adultery, in the very act”.  They said,

“Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” (John 8: 5)

The Messiah’s response is well-known, but not well-understood:

“He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8: 7)

Obviously, she was guilty.  If she was caught in “the very act” of adultery, so was the man. He was guilty, too, but they didn’t bring him to the Messiah.  Why not?  The Law applies equally to men and women.

The scribes and Pharisees were testing the Messiah to see if He would violate the Law or suggest that violating the Law was of no consequence.  His response stopped them dead in their tracks.

He didn’t deny their claim about what the Law said, but He pointed to their chicanery by telling them that the first person to cast a stone should be sinless.

All of them were guilty, too, and they knew it.  They just walked away.  When they were gone, He turned to the woman and said,

“I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” (John 8: 11)

He forgave her and told her to repent.  That’s what “sin no more” means.

The crowd didn’t disperse. The Messiah addressed these remarks to those who remained:

“I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” (John 8: 12)

That’s one of the Messiah’s “I Am” statements.  The Name Yahweh derives from the Hebrew verb hayah.  It means “to exist”.  By using the definition of the Name, He was claiming to be Yahweh.

Most New Testament translations say “I Am”, but “I Exist” is more accurate.  That’s a minor point for purposes of this discussion.

The Messiah makes the same point again in verse 18:

“I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me.” (John 8: 18)

The miracles He performed were testimony from the Father.  No one could do what He did unless there was Divine intervention.  The fact that He performed miracles is well-documented in the New Testament and in the Talmud.

The crowds flocked to Him for healing.  Most of the people who were with Him that day on the Temple Mount wanted to receive healing or to watch it happen, but the Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes were looking for an opportunity to condemn Him.

The Messiah gave His religious adversaries some ammunition in verse 24:

“Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” (John 8: 24)

Clearly, the Messiah was saying that if they didn’t believe He is Yahweh they would die in their sins.  He did not say the Name Yahweh.  Instead, He used the definition of the Name.

At that time, only religious Jews were allowed to say the Name, and only on special occasions.  If ordinary people said “Yahweh”, it was considered blasphemy and the penalty was death.

The Messiah’s religious adversaries got the message:

So they [the religious leaders] were saying to Him, “Who are You?” The Messiah said to them, “What have I been saying to you from the beginning? (John 8: 25)

When they asked Him “Who are You?”, they were trying to trick Him.  They wanted Him to say “Yahweh” so they could accuse Him of blasphemy and kill Him.  Eventually, they would accomplish their mission, but not that day.  (See Matthew 26: 65.)

He gave them more ammunition in verse 28:

“When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He….” (John 8: 28)

The Messiah was referring to His crucifixion.  He said that they would discover His true identity after they killed Him.

The Messiah’s crucifixion, burial, and resurrection were foretold in the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings.  It had to happen for our forgiveness.  As Isaiah said, the penalty for our sins fell upon Him:

“But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.” (Isaiah 53: 5)

Pay close attention to John 8: 30-31, because the Scriptures are His central point:

As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him. So the Messiah was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8: 30-31)

He addressed that remark to people who “believed Him”.  In other words, they believed what He told them, and He told them that He is Yahweh.  Then, He said that they should “continue in My word” because it’s the truth.

“My word” refers to the Old Testament or the Tanach, not the New Testament because it didn’t exist at that time.  Referring to Yahweh’s word as “My word” is a claim to be Yahweh.

Since the Babylonian captivity almost 600 years earlier, Jewish religious leaders had been substituting other writings for the Scriptures—things like the Talmud and the Mishnah.  They were teaching people to obey doctrines of men (oftentimes referred to as “the traditions of the Jews”) instead of Yahweh’s word.  That is something Yahweh will not condone.

The prohibition against saying the Name Yahweh is the best example of this.  Yahweh’s word commands us to declare His Name openly and to tell the world that Yahweh is our Elohim.  The traditions of the Jews contained in things like the Talmud and the Mishnah forbid its use and condemn those who say it.

Both can’t be true.  The Messiah was saying that the traditions of the Jews are evil.  I’m not exaggerating.  See John 8: 44:

“You [the religious leaders] are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father.”

By referring to the Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes as sons of the devil, the Messiah made clear where their traditions came from.  In Matthew 15: 5, He asked them a question:

“And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? (Matthew 15: 3)

The answer is simple.  They broke Yahweh’s word because they were following the teachings of the devil.  Satan inspired them to believe that their opinions were more important than the Scriptures.  In effect, their teaching rendered Yahweh’s word null and void.  From Yahweh’s perspective, that is a sin of the highest magnitude.

Example 2: Matthew 23

Matthew 23 is the most succinct presentation in the New Testament of the Messiah’s attitude toward Jewish religious leaders at that time.  I won’t present it here, but you should read it because it’s an eye-opener.

He called them hypocrites, sons of hell, blind guides, fools, serpents, and a brood of vipers.  What had they done to cause Him to say such horrible things about them?

They had “seated themselves in the chair of Moses” (Matthew 23: 2), pretended to represent Yahweh, and led the people astray by substituting the doctrines of Satan for Yahweh’s word.

If you want to provoke an argument with a religious Jew today, tell him that the traditions they teach contradict Yahweh’s word and are evil.  That’s what the Messiah said, so you won’t be making up anything.

The fact that their teachings contradict Yahweh’s word is self-evident and plain as day.  Even so, they will be offended if you point it out.

As I said, the prohibition against saying the Name Yahweh is the best example of the problem, but there are many others.

Example 3: Acts 17

On Paul’s third missionary journey, he made a stop in Berea and told the Jews living there about the Messiah.  They had heard about Him already, but they had never been shown the evidence in the Scriptures proving that He is the One He claimed to be:

Now when they had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.” (Acts 17: 1-3)

The fact that the Messiah is Yahweh was not a foreign concept to them, because Jeremiah told us His Name:

“Behold, the days are coming,” declares Yahweh, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land.  In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, ‘Yahweh our righteousness.’” (Jeremiah 23: 5-6)

The “righteous Branch” of David is an unmistakable reference to the Messiah.  That was well-known and well-understood by the Jews with whom Paul was meeting in Berea.

The Messiah will reign as King and do justice and righteousness throughout the land.  That was well-understood, too.  It’s considered common knowledge among Jewish people today.

What is His Name?  Jeremiah told us unequivocally:

“This is His Name by which He will be called, ‘Yahweh our righteousness.’”

In Hebrew, it’s Yahweh Tsidkenu.  It doesn’t get any clearer than that.

The Messiah is Yahweh, and Yahweh is our righteousness.  Apart from Him, we have no righteousness.  He accomplished His mission with His crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. That’s the price He paid for our redemption.

How did the Jews in Berea respond to Paul’s message?

“…they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed….” (Acts 17: 10-12)

The Jews meeting with Paul in Berea did what we should do.  They examined the Scriptures to see if what Paul told them was true, and many of them believed.

They didn’t believe just because Paul told them.  They believed because they checked it out for themselves and realized that Paul told them the truth.

What Scriptures did they examine?

They examined the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings.  The New Testament was written after the fact to explain what happened before, during, and after the Messiah’s birth, crucifixion, and resurrection.  Those events are proof positive that He is Yahweh, and there were many witnesses.  That requirement of the Law was satisfied, too.

Example 4: Romans 1

In the opening sentence of his letter to the Romans, Paul tells them plainly that the Messiah is the One foretold in the Scriptures:

“Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 1: 1-7)

Paul did not write Scripture.  He told people what the Scriptures say.

I think Paul would be very upset because so many people today ignore the Scriptures completely and rely exclusively on his writings.  We shouldn’t do that.

Conclusion

When writers of the New Testament referred to the Scriptures, they were talking about the Old Testament.

The Messiah came to fulfill promises that were made by Yahweh in the Old Testament.  Writers of the New Testament were conveying the message that the things Yahweh foretold in the Old Testament had been completed by the Messiah.

You can make an argument that Revelation contains new information, but for the most part it, too, is a presentation of things that were foretold by Yahweh in the Old Testament.

I’m not discounting the importance of the New Testament.  I’m simply explaining what it is.

The evidence is clear.  The New Testament is commentary.  That’s not a slight.  As I said, it’s just a fact.

If you haven’t read His Name is Yahweh, you should.

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0 SnyderTalk Thought for the Day

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Billionaire investor Carl Ichan says the United States needs fiscal stimulus.

He’s right.  That’s exactly what we need.

Fiscal stimulus includes things like those “shovel-ready” programs that Obama talked about in 2009.  Under his leadership those job-creating programs turned out to be boondoggles for Democrats and their financial backers.  In other words, it was wealth transfer on a massive scale and nothing more.

Fiscal stimulus will remove the burden on the Federal Reserve to arbitrarily raise interest rates simply because they are too low.  When the economy starts working again, interest rates will rise to normal levels in a normal way.

If we had had real fiscal stimulus in 2009 instead of the Great Obama Giveaway, his supporters wouldn’t still be talking about the economy as though the Great Recession never ended.

Officially, the Great Recession started in December 2007 and ended in June 2009 just a few months after Obama took office.

Who would you rather see in charge of fiscal stimulus, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?

If you said Hillary Clinton, you need to rethink your logic, or lack of it.

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3--HNIY the Website

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His Name is Yahweh, the website, is a companion of the book His Name is Yahweh.

To see videos that explain the importance of God’s Name, click here.

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SnyderTalk Comment:

This video shows a priestly dwelling near the Temple Mount.  It was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.

It was occupied by a priest while the Messiah was with us.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the home of one of the Pharisees who questioned the Messiah about the woman who was caught in the act of adultery.  That’s not a stretch.

They lived like kings.  The Messiah threatened their socioeconomic standing.  They were ruthless and greedy men who chose to murder Him rather than acknowledge Him for who He is.

A few of them were saved, Nicodemus for example. Today, most of them are in a place that the traditions of the Jews tell us doesn’t exist.

It exists.  They know it now all too well.

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15--Concentric Circles 5

“The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17: 22-24)

See “His Name is Yahweh”.

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