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What Did Jesus Say? (2012) - 7 topics 

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Did Jesus Abrogate the Food Laws?

Ana had just found our website, and had some questions whether Jesus abrogated the food laws, and this would cast doubt on Jesus if we cast doubt on Paul for abrogating the Law. Here are her questions and my answers.

Ana's Question 11/7/2014


Thank you for your replies to my previous questions. I do appreciate your taking the time.

I have been continuing to search out your site in great interest. Today, when reading your book, Jesus' Words Only, I came to the part about Paul teaching contrary to the Law, so in accordance to Deuteronomy 12:32, one can safely discern he was a false prophet. Well, it is my understanding that Jesus taught that we could eat anything, clean or unclean;  it isn't what goes into our mouths that makes us unclean, but out (Matthew 15:11). I've read elsewhere on your site that you do not believe we need to abstain from unclean animals, save health reasons. Now, further on in the passage in v. 20, Jesus tells us that eating with unclean hands will not defile us, and I see no mention of this pertaining to clean/unclean animals? So I have two questions: 1. Did not Jesus himself do away with part of the Law? 2. Or, was he simply explaining that the Pharisee's rules of hand washing is not what makes you unclean (and thereby we are to continue differentiating clean and unclean animals)? And there is also Peter and Cornelius. I understand the vision was in regards to people, but it does state that he did eat with them.

If He did, in fact, do away with the portion of the law re: animals, then what does this mean concerning Deuteronomy 12:32? Most Christians would hold fast that the Tanakh is not for us in that sense, and thus explains why it is unnecessary to apply Deuteronomy 12:32 to any person, Jesus or Paul, in the NT.

I would definitely appreciate your thoughts, any passages you could point me to, etc...  I am earnestly trying to discern truth and there are a few points, such as this, that I get fumbled up with.

Also, I am wholly confused as to the entire mission of Yashua, according to your website. Could you please, in a short synopsis (if possible), or link to a relevant article, explain to me the mission of Yashua the Messiah? He was the son of God, yes? And He did die on the cross for sins, yes? Then why are we to follow the Laws if we are 100% forgiven of any sin we have, or will commit?

And an observation, it appears that the Anabaptists (the originals) were persistently being persecuted and martyred (by Catholics, Luther, Zwingli, etc..)for following Yashua, and not Paul's writings. Do you know if they rejected Paul's writings? Just curious.

Thank you again,


Vicit agnus noster, eum sequamur

Our Lamb has conquered, let us follow Him.

My Answer 11/7/2014

Hi Ana

Good questions.

Jesus taught against the Pharisee oral law teaching that one had to wash their hands before eating or one was defiled (not just unclean). This man-made rule made it more than a health law – it made it a moral law. The Pharisees said you were now unworthy, and had to repent of sin. Jesus taught that laws of cleanliness (clean / unclean) did not, if broken, defile you…but only sin from the heart can defile you / make you a sinner. Jesus did not thereby abrogate the law of clean and unclean foods / animals, but interpreted it differently than as true moral sin. Jesus also disregarded obviously the hand washing oral law because it was man-made, but that was not his point. 

I do not say on my website we can disregard the law as to clean / unclean with regard to animals, as you apparently think our site does. I say it is not a moral sin. It is wrong, and I follow the food laws. But if I eat a piece of ham by accident, I don’t confess sin. I realize my health may be jeapordized, and for that reason I avoid it.

However, in Mark’s Gospel, in one variant, which some like because it lines up with Paul, a comment is added that ‘thereby Jesus declared all food clean.’ Mark 7:19. This translation is disputed, and most Bible scholars believe the comment was an illicit addition. See my note at the end of the article on Mark Is A Pauline Gospel at my website…. It is also excerpted below at the bottom of this email.

Peter in the vision regarding Cornelius says he never ate unclean foods…which impliedly means he never understood Jesus to have done away with those laws. The example that the vision provides is a lesson not to treat humans – non Israelites – as unclean to touch / visit in their home, etc., as had become an oral law teaching. Orthodox Jews where I grew up in NYC still will not enter a Gentile home for fear of being unclean, although they don’t mind talking to us. Peter was simply following such a non-Law oral law. And the vision was to shake that idea off by use of the illustration of food declared clean that was unclean but the vision is explained not to mean that is true about unclean foods but the vision taught a truth about the improper man-made clean / unclean rule re Gentiles.

As to what Jesus did, He is Son of God (Psalm 2 – Son holds all judgment in His hands); He was the atoning sacrifice for our sin (Isaiah 53; Last Supper); and God has appointed Him King (Messiah = Annointed King) – Matt 16:16 over us.  

You ask:

Then why are we to follow the Laws if we are 100% forgiven of any sin we have, or will commit?

Atonement is not the same as forgiveness. This is what Paulinists confuse us about. I wrote a chapter of my book Jesus’ Words on Salvation to untangle this confusion —see chapter 1 at this link: http://www.jesuswordsonly.com/books/jesuswordssalvation/20-freejwoschaptersonline.html  Simply:

  1. Atonement is the payment of sin, which can only be acquired by someone who repents (mentally commits to turn from sin in the future, confessing their mistake in the past). You are not forgiven by atonement alone. Your sins are paid by atonement which God then uses to forgive the repentant. Repentance is thus what you must do to procure forgiveness – always has and always will be. Atonement cannot apply unless and until one has repented. Jesus in the Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican says the Publican that repented – beating his chest in sorrow about sin – goes home “justified,” but not the smug Pharisee who lauded his good deeds. Atonement is what allows God to forgive the repentant according to His standards stated in the law.
  2. Forgiveness continues and is maintained by walking in the light, and the “blood of Christ” keeps us clean. (John’s 1st Epistle explains this.) This is the true law of Justification…It follows atonement based upon repentance, and combined there is forgiveness. Then justification continues until you sin again, and is restored each time you repent again. But Jesus’ atonement is how God accepts the repentance and grants forgiveness to the repentant. 

So if you read your question, it assumes that if Jesus paid for sin, we do not have to obey the Law any more. However, the notion the Law is abrogated is a dangerous one…actually rendering it unnecessary in a non-believer to repent of sin or need a savior; or for any of us when we fall into an unjustified state of sin (but are told we are ‘eternally secure’ by Pauline doctrine). This is the oddity of Pauline doctrine.

The truth is that the law is the measure of sin. Without the law there would be no sin. Thus, to abolish the law, or any part of it, is to remove all sin as a possibility. If Jesus abolished the law, then none of us sinned from birth to now, and we would not need a savior.  Paulinists act like the law applies UNTIL you find Christ. But what they teach once you find Christ is that Jesus abrogated / did away with the law entirely beforehand…for non-Christians and Christians…It is gone. (They don’t say any non-believer is under the Old Testament, do they? They just use its principles to guilt them, but once caught by guilt and shame, they are given a guilt-free way of living). Hence, if what Paul said were true, then what sin did anyone truly commit before they became a believer? A law that does not exist anymore? Just one of the incongruitities of Pauline thinking.

Luther realized the mistake of his earlier teaching the law was abrogated, and explained in his book Antinomoian Theses that to do away with the Law would mean no one sins, and no one needs a savior. This cannot be true, he deduced, and said what he earlier taught (based upon Paul) was wrong. But when Luther realized his error, Luther did not try to defend Paul meant anything different…He just ignored Paul. In fact, Luther implied Paul was a false prophet. See my article: http://www.jesuswordsonly.com/topicindex/399-luther-on-law-and-false-prophet.html

As to Anabaptists, yes, there was a streak among them that rejected Paul… Here is an article on Adam Pastor who did so, and was a major leader of Anabaptism.. http://www.jesuswordsonly.com/topicindex/204-adam-pastor.html   The general Anabaptists’ inspiration – Carlstadt – a co-founder of the Reformation with Luther – was the earliest to say we need to emphasize Jesus over Paul, and treat Paul as on a lower tier of authority. For this, the young Luther split from Carlstadt and persecuted him – see http://www.jesuswordsonly.com/topicindex/193-carlstadt-research.html  -- although ironically Luther later realized, it seems, that Carlstadt had the right approach.

Also, here is my article on the Jesus’ Words Only movement in the Reformation which the Young Luther repressed (but the old Luther changed to be mostly in accord with Carlstadt) – see http://www.jesuswordsonly.com/topicindex/111-luther-killed-jwo.html

I trust this gives you some answers to what you are studying…

Finally, it is important to realize that Luther came around to what I am saying…and what I am saying is what Carlstadt – a co-founder of the Reformation -- first said. So what I am defending is the earliest reformers' final position but Luther failed to clearly redirect everyone to what Carlstadt first realized and taught… So it is useful to read that part of the story too … which is the Preface to Jesus’ Words on Salvation… see the links to either a PDF or html version… http://www.jesuswordsonly.com/books/jesuswordssalvation/20-freejwoschaptersonline.html



Hyam Maccoby On Editorial Addition to Mark That Jesus Abolished Food Laws

In Mark 7:19, there is an editorial addition to the gospel that Jesus by teaching certain foods do not make us sinful by eating them "declared all foods clean." Maccoby in his bookThe Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity(1986) at page 40 briefly discusses this passage:

As for Jesus' reforms of Jewish laws, these were nonexistent. We find in Mark 7:19 an expression which has been translated to mean that Jesus 'declared all foods clean,' butthis translation has been much disputed, and many scholars regardthe phrase is an editorial addition anyway. In another passage, we find Jesus explicitly endorsing the Jewish laws of purity, when he tells the leper he has cured, "Go and show your self to the priest, and make the offering laid down by Moses for your cleansing." (Mark 1:43).

The editorial addition that Jesus made all foods "clean" is not likely original with Mark. This is confirmed byMark 7.19 KJV and the Geneva Bible 1599 not having these words in Mark 7.19.

Ana's Reply

Thank you so much. I appreciate your time once again.

I haven't the time to look into the links quite yet. At first glance, however, what you've written makes so much sense. I am so happy to find a Gospel message that makes sense. I can't count how many times I've had questions regarding the typical Evangelical teachings, or regarding Paul's teachings, and have found none who can answer those questions sensibly. And of course, I've been given the impression that it's not supposed to 'make sense', and we can't understand it fully. The Father has certainly been gracious to me.

Regarding the clean/unclean, those were my thoughts but I doubted I was correct. And I find your research on Luther quite interesting. I've not delved too much into his teachings or history as I always assumed he was a persecutor of the Anabaptists, to whom I've always held in regard. I figured he was certainly no one I'd like to learn from. My mistake.

I will definitely look into those links you included more in depth.

Thank you again, and bless you!