Chapter 6, ‘Whole Bible Christianity’

The word ‘Judaizing’ has been wrongly used to describe a person who wants to follow all of God’s Word, including the Law. It implies that following the Law is a Jewish thing, and that Jewish things are bad (which isn’t necessarily true). Judaizing just means ‘to live like a Jew.’

14But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews? (Galatians 2:14 NASB95, underline added)

To live like a Jew is to adopt Jewish customs. These are mostly added on to the Law, and are spelled out in the oral law (Talmud). Judaism doesn’t have much in common with the Bible. It elevates tradition and rabbi’s rulings over the Torah. Jesus (John 7:19) Stephen (Acts 7:53) and Paul (Galatians 6:13) say that Jews do not follow the Law. There are also places like 2 Kings 17 that describe ‘living like a Jew’ as a lot different than following Torah. Through Judaism prophets of God are killed, and the kingdom of heaven suffers violence (Matthew 11:12).

Israel (as a group) has only truly followed Torah a few brief times in their history. All sorts of tradition and interpretation were added at various times that took them far away from His Word. That’s why God got on their case so much. He managed to beat disobedience back on occasion with a prophet or a king like Josiah. For certain people Jesus managed to reduce the influence too. Torah is mixed in with Judaism, but Judaism is not solely a practice of Torah.

13Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote, 14Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous; And the wisdom of their wise men will perish, And the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed.” (Isaiah 29:13-14 NASB95)

A whole Bible Christian strives for a balance between blindly embracing all of Jewish tradition bound up in Judaism, and rejecting anything and everything Jewish. Living the Law is different and better than living like a Jew.