Apologetics Hebrew Roots Theology
R. L. Solberg  

Salvation and Justification in Hebrew Roots

A standard line of argumentation by some “Torah-observant” followers of Jesus hinges on the distinction between justification and salvation. The theology of Torahism (aka Hebrew Roots, Torah-observant Christianity) holds that all the Mosaic rituals—circumcision, maintaining a kosher diet, observing the Torah feasts, etc.—are required of followers of Jesus and, therefore, it is sinful and disobedient not to keep them. Because of this faulty belief, they are forced to wrestle quite a bit with the book of Galatians, which we cover in our apologetic Bible study series.

Indeed, the discussion in the comments section of our videos has been robust. And because arguments based on the distinction between justification and salvation rely on specialized theological terms, they can cause confusion. Sadly, it is in this ambiguity that Torahism often thrives. Arguments grounded in the grey area of distinction between technical theological concepts—which are often not fully understood (and sometimes even unknown) by the average Christian—make fertile ground for heresy. So I want to address the issue here.

Let’s first hear how the argument was framed by one of our viewers, Tony Pino. He wrote the following in response to the episode on Galatians 5:

Rob continues to argue an argument Paul didn’t argue. Paul doesn’t argue the circumcision party believes one must do the Law of Moshe to earn salvation. No Jews believed this in the first century. Keeping the law of Moshe was and is for already redeemed people. Paul is dealing with the national covenant pride of the Pharisees. One is righteous by way of the mark of physical circumcision through their oral traditions. One becomes bound to their man-made means of salvation. For they nullified the word of YaH through their traditions. YaH always demands salvation by faith. He never demanded salvation by circumcision for Avraham is the example.

Tony Pino

(It may be obvious from the context, but for those unfamiliar with Hebrish, “Moshe” is Moses, “YaH” is Yahweh or God, and “Avraham” is Abraham.)

I hear what Mr. Pino is saying and understand the distinction he (and others) are making. And I certainly agree that Yahweh has always brought salvation through faith, not by the law. But let’s lean in on the idea that when Paul says things like “a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ” (Gal. 2:16), he is not speaking of salvation, but rather “the national covenant pride of the Pharisees.”

In theological terms, to be justified is to be declared righteous. It’s a legal or forensic term that means we are absolved from the penalty of sin (Rom. 3:23; 8:1; 1 Pet. 2:24) and restored to God’s favor, which was lost due to our sin (John 3:36). Justification is an essential part of salvation. Can we be declared righteous in God’s eyes (justified) but not be saved? Or conversely, can we be saved but not declared righteous? Salvation and justification are separate theological concepts, to be sure. But they are conjoined in the same act: It is by faith in Christ that we are both saved and justified. Indeed, when we place our faith in Jesus, we are saved and justified all at the same time!

This means those who lived prior to Jesus were ultimately saved by a faith that looked forward to Him and were not fully absolved of their sins until He arrived. Jesus was “put forward as a propitiation (atoning sacrifice) by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins” (Rom 3:25, comment added). And the author of Hebrews teaches that the death of Jesus “redeemed them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant” (Heb. 9:15).

The false teachers in Galatia were trying to convince believers that they were made right before God through circumcision and other Mosaic rituals. (We know this because it is precisely what Paul was arguing against.) And to a first-century Jew who did not yet understand what Christ’s (very recent) death and resurrection had accomplished, being “made right before God” was indistinguishable from being “saved.” Indeed, because justification and salvation happen at the same time through the same act of faith, being “made right with God” (justified) and being “saved” are indistinguishable in practical terms for all Christians. So, in a very real sense, Paul is teaching that we aren’t made right with God or saved through circumcision or any of the other Mosaic rituals. This is a major theme in the book of Galatians:

  • Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. (Gal. 2:16)
  • For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse… (Gal. 3:10)
  • Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law… (Gal 3:11)
  • You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace (Gal. 5:4)

And that theme extends to Paul’s other epistles:

  • For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight… (Rom. 3:20)
  • For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. (Rom. 3:28)
  • For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Eph. 2:8-9)
  • Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace… (2 Tim. 1:9)
  • He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy… (Tit. 3:5) 

When Paul writes, “We know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ,” what his first-century readers would understand him to be saying—and by extension, what we can understand him to be teaching today—is that we are “declared righteous” in God’s eyes through saving faith in Jesus, not through the works of the Mosaic rituals. So even if it was out of a sense of “national covenant pride” that the circumcision party was teaching that believers needed to become Jewish proselytes to follow Jesus, this was still an issue of justification and, thus, salvation. And it is those who place their saving trust in Christ are declared righteous by God and are saved. Observing the Mosaic rituals plays no role in that. “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love” (Gal. 5:6).

As Mr. Pino pointed out, the law of Moses was given to a people that God had already saved out of Egypt. And in the same way, we obey the commands of Christ today not to earn our salvation or righteousness, but because of the salvation and righteousness we receive as a gift through faith in Jesus. And because of the work of Christ on the cross, our obedience under the New Covenant does not include the Mosaic rituals that were fulfilled by Jesus. (i.e., Repeated blood sacrifices for sin are no longer required.) “But now we are released from the law, having died with Christ to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code” (Rom. 7:6).

22 thoughts on “Salvation and Justification in Hebrew Roots

  1. Eric L

    Great post – couldn’t agree more. There is no hope to be reconciled to God / declared righteous / saved / brought into God’s kingdom . . .by obeying the holy Torah or any other good works. There is only one name under heaven by which men and women may be saved.

    I find Tony’s reference to the national pride of the Pharisees somewhat confusing. It does seem – as you say – someone in Galatia and maybe Rome was trying to capture Paul’s converts with the false teaching that circumcision was essential for salvation/justification.

    Paul would not have taken his precious ink and parchment to say “a person is not justified by works of the law” or “circumcision is of no value” unless the occasion demanded it.

    I would only add clarification for one of your citations: When Paul says “For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse… (Gal 3:10)” he means something very specific in the Galatians context. We should be careful not to construe from his statement that the works of the law are not beneficial in other ways, if they are not relied up on for justification/salvation.

    In other words, there is a world of distance between practicing the works of the Torah with joy from a thankful heart . . .and following Torah commands from a desire to earn salvation or even brownie points.

    Did not know about your YT Bible study series, look forward to it. Be well.

    1. Mitch Chapman

      Eric L you wrote: Paul would not have taken his precious ink and parchment to say “a person is not justified by works of the law” or “circumcision is of no value” unless the occasion demanded it. Properly translated “a man is not righteous by the legalistic perversion of Torah”. It is precisely “the legalistic perversion of the Torah” that “Paul” is amazed, astonished, shocked, wonders, marvels about that the Galatian believers were turning away from the pure Torah of “Jesus” whose burden is easy and yoke is light (Mt 11:30) and will give you rest from your legalistic perversion of Torah [works] as well as salvation! When one misses this point at the very beginning of Galatians, the entire view of “Paul’s” words become skewed. WHY? Because they are viewed from the Western Church Greek mindset NOT in the culture, context and mindset of the 1st Century.

      In short doing so demonstrates poor hermeneutics leading to eisegesis [reading into the text] and not exegesis, pulling out from the text.

      1. Eric L

        Hi Mitch,

        You say “a man is not righteous by works of the Torah” is better translated “a man is not righteous by the legalistic perversion of Torah”.

        I’m pretty sure Paul would never consider “works of the Torah” to be a “legalistic perversion”!

        “Works” simply means taking the actions described in the Torah.

        Who is reading into the text?

        1. Mitch Chapman

          Eric L, the straight forward absolute truth to the question you asked which was “Who is reading into the text?” Is you

          When the predominantly Gentile Body of Messiah of the second and third centuries began to drift away from her Jewish roots, misconceptions developed concerning the aspects of the Torah which remains G-D’s Teachings/Instructions, Precepts/Principles, Wisdom and Doctrine for righteous living. This was due to the influences of Greek philosophy and pagan ideas.
          The first misconception that entered into their doctrines was concerning the inherent goodness of the Torah. To the Hebraic mind, the primary purpose of the Torah was to teach humanity how to hit the mark in life (defining sin and rebellion) as opposed to committing sin (missing the mark).
          In the Greek Language, there is only one word for Law (nomos) and so when speaking of the “law of G-D” or the “law of sin” or the “law of the Spirit of life” or the “law of Messiah,” etc it is often difficult to discern what is being spoken of in the Brit Chadashah. Romans 7 and 8 shows the goodness of G-D’s law as the law of the Spirit, as opposed to the law of sin and death and the body.)
          To the Greek thinker, the “law” (nomos) had a negative connotation, whereas for the Hebrew mind, the Torah had a positive image. This then led to the misconception that the Law and Grace are polar opposites and the Torah was replaced by the age of grace.
          Due to this misconception, which permeates today, not a few many perpetuate the false dichotomy of “law vs grace.” When the Torah is properly understood, as it should be, from its Jewish perspective, as the instruction of G-D as a way of life for His people, the error is exposed.
          This idea of the opposing concepts of Law vs. Grace was developed from the false pagan view that the Jews were saved by works, while the Church was saved by faith. Many early Gentile believers mixed Gnostic ideas with their Christian theology and they concluded with the Maricon view that the G-D of the Jews was a harsh, legalistic G-D as opposed to the G-D of love described in the Brit Chadasha. Not a few many today do the very same.

          1. Eric L


            I *completely* agree with every single word you are saying about the changes and misperceptions around Torah by the Gentile mindset.

            In my previous post I did not dispute any of that.

            Instead, I am saying that
            “a man is not righteous by the legalistic perversion of Torah”
            is NOT a better translation than
            “a man is not righteous by works of the Torah”

            Speaking of misperceptions about Torah, Paul is trying to correct the false idea that the works of the Torah can make a man righteous before God. There is no other reason for him to pen that sentence.

            I think maybe I’m just not understanding your POV, Mitch.

            If you think no first century Jew EVER thought of the Torah’s works as a way to become righteous before HaShem . . .then what specific problem in the Galatians church is Paul trying to correct when he says
            “no man can be made right with God by performing the Torah’s good works”?

        2. Mitch Chapman

          Eric L for clarification WHAT CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY TEACHES [and Rob and perpetuates]

          Does the term “works of the law” as translated in most English Bibles mean that the “law of Moses” (which should be correctly translated as the “Torah [instructions or precepts] of Yahweh”) was abrogated, nullified or done away with in part or in whole and therefore is partially or totally irrelevant (depending on one’s theology) to a “New Covenant” believer in Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah?
          Many Christians have the notion that Messianics (those returning to their Jewish roots of BIBLICAL faith in Yeshua) are returning to or going back under the “works of the law” in order to procure and keep salvation.
          They believe that the “Old Covenant,” “Mosaic system” was based on a works-based salvation model (properly referred to as legalism aka the legalistic perversion of Torah) from which Yeshua and the Apostle Paul came to free “New Covenant” believers, so why would anyone want to return to that?
          Most Christians who raise the objection to Messianics that they are “returning to the works of the law” would be hard-pressed to correctly define the term “works of the law ‘ itself which they are throwing out as a sort of verbal arrow or pejorative epithet. Furthermore, most would not be able to cite where in Scripture this term is found and who used it and the Scriptural context in which it was used. In fact, it is probably safe to say that most who use this term as a verbal assault don’t even care to know where in Scripture it is found, who said it, how and
          why it was used and what it means. They just feel that the Messianic is wrong, that the “Old Covenant” and it “laws” are negative, against us, and are passé, and therefore their rejection is a knee-jerk one. Often they are simply using a buzz-word or cliché that they have picked up during their tenure as a Christian being exposed to antinomian (anti-Torah) theological rhetoric. Therefore, as a feeling-based reaction their objection is not based in logic or a rational, which is a function of the cognitive or reasoning faculties of the mind, Therefore, they are not
          able to give a reasoned explanation or defense for why they believe as they do. I have personally witnessed this scenario play itself out (sadly) numerous times

          WHERE THE TERM “WORKS OF ‘THE’ LAW” (ergon nomos) IS FOUND?
          • Rom. 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
          • Rom. 9:32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the
          law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
          • Gal. 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus
          Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ,
          and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
          • Gal. 3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
          • Gal. 3:5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
          • Gal. 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. [This is not Torah as Deut 31:26 should clearly indicate]! WHY? Where is this ‘book of the law”? It’s next to, beside, along side of WHAT? The Ark of the covenant! What’s inside the Ark? The Covenant! What’s the covenant? The covenant they broke referred to by Jeremiah, in the book bearing his name at 31:32, due to the molten/golden calf incident. This is the marriage covenant [ketubah] entered into at Sinai (Ex 19, which prefigures the “one new man” of Eph 2:14-15) by the mixed multitude (Ex 12:28) and the ethnic children of Jacob (Israel) led up out of Egypt in the historical Exodus led by Moses. The 10 Commands, (Ex 20) they are not suggestions, are the summary of the Marriage Covenant (Ketubah). Ex 21-23 are the detailed terms of the ketubah. Ex 24:1-11 present the 4 elements of a blood covenant: offer, acceptance, shedding of blood, covenant meal.

          In all of these cases the Apostle Paul is the author. Before we proceed, let’s establish Paul’s predisposition with regard to “the law,” hereafter correctly referred to by the Hebrew term Torah. Was he a proponent or opponent of it? Several Scriptural quotations from his own pen should suffice:
          • Rom. 7:12 Wherefore the law [Torah] is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
          • Rom. 7:14 For we know that the law [Torah] is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
          • Rom. 7:22 For I delight in the law [Torah] of God after the inward man…
          • Rom. 6:1-2 1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin [i.e., violation of the laws/Torah of Yahweh, see 1 Jn. 3:4], that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
          • Rom. 3: 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. (Romans was written in about A.D. 56)
          • 1 Tim. 1:8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully…(First Timothy was written just before Paul’s martyrdom in about A.D. 66)
          • Gal. 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners [i.e., violators of the law/Torah], is therefore Christ the minister of sin [lawlessness aka Torahlessness]? God forbid. (Galatians was written as early as A.D. 48 to 56
          ALL OF SCRIPTURE MUST be viewed NOT IN the western church Greek mindset BUT IN it’s Jewish context and culture in which it was written. This is part of good and basic hermeneutics!

          1. Eric L


            (I replied to the comment previous to this one, before reading this one, so there is some overlap)

            I agree with you, the phrase “works of the law” does not mean Believers should avoid doing the works of the law. I myself do them to the fullest of my ability.

            I agree with you, “law” is a terrible English word to translate the meaning of the Hebrew word Torah

            I love how you explain the marriage contract (ketubah) between Adonai and Israel + mixed multitude

            You point out most Christians who believe the Law is bad and ended cannot even define “works of the law”. You also point out the great Scriptures where Paul uses the term

            Leaving me with one question (same as above): How do you define “works of the Torah”?

            Does it mean the righteous acts that Torah and HaShem expect us to perform, as His bride?

            If so, what is wrong with Paul pointing out to the Galatians that these righteous acts — apart from a heart of faith in Messiah — can NEVER make a person righteous?

            Do you disagree with that specific idea yourself?

  2. Anonymous

    Well stated .

    One is irrevocably justified by simple childlike faith in the Christ (Jesus) , for what He actually certifies (Everlasting Life) , apart from all behavioral performance (works) .

    John 1:12-13,3:1-18,4:10-14,5:24,6:28-47,11:23-27,20:31 ; Acts 16:31 ; 1 Timothy 1:16.


    Ephesians 2:8-9 ; Romans 3:20-5:11,11:6 ; Titus 3:5 ; Phillipians 3:9 ; book of Galatians .

    Plus nothing .

    It’s a gift . Not a Performance Contract .

    1. Mitch Chapman

      Anonymous, Only the Western Church believes that adhering to, keeping, and or observing Torah earns salvation! But what is Torah? Very simply Torah is the teachings, instructions, precepts, principles, wisdom and doctrine of G-D. But, then we must ask for what purpose? FOR just, upright righteous living. What is the Hebrew word? It’s stated above in the very simplistic word study using basic sound hermeneutics!

      1. Timothy Grady

        Thanks for your thoughts.

        Frankly I don’t have comprehensive data of every conceivable Eastern Theological Repository at my fingertips to either confirm your assertion , or not .

        I read the Bible to exegete its objective content , apart from whatever a perceived contingent of any given Theological persuasion (Eastern/Western …etc.)

        What IS clear , however , is that justification before God is a status that one is invested with as a result of simple childlike faith in the Christ (Jesus) for His doubtless Guarantee of Everlasting Life , apart from perseverance till death in an unknowable level (%) of behavioral performance (works) .

        John 3:16, 4:10-14,5:24,6:28-47,11:23-27,20:31 – and every equivalent Everlasting Life/Evangelistic/Justification before God passage – uniformly clarify this Center-Of-The-Dartboard truth .

        Faith alone in the Christ/Messiah alone for the endless Promise sets the anchor in the water forever , apart from any “stuff” we ever DO (works) . Ephesians 2:8-9 ; Romans 3:20-5:11,11:6 ; Titus 3:5 ; Phillipians 3:9 ; book of Galatians .

        1. Mitch Chapman

          Timothy, For clarification, how does James 2:14-18 fit into your exegesis of “faith alone”? On the same topic,
          what about Phil 2:12?

          I’m also curious as to what your exegesis indicates is “the Holy Scriptures” and “all Scripture” from
          2 Tim 3:15, 16, respectively?

          One last question, no you are not being vetted for any position ☺️,
          What is “the covenant they broke” referred to by Jeremiah in the book bearing his name in 31:32?

          Thank you in advance for bearing with me.

          1. Timothy Grady

            Thanks again Mitch .

            1. James 2:14-18 :

            Written to the already born again .

            “Saved/salvation” (Sozo) has nuanced applications , and simply means “delivered” . “Delivered from what ?” ought to be the contextual consideration . In James , it is resident within the fact that the eternally “saved” are its intended audience.

            Discipleship Sanctification context . Exhortation .

            Concerns the “profitability” – i.e. – usefulness of addressing real needs among the brethren . Good ‘ol “Sowing & Reaping” Wisdom Literature here .

            Like an Electric Fan that is unplugged , so is a believer who’s not meeting genuine needs in one’s community .

            “Dead” doesn’t denote non-existence , nor is the object of Everlasting saving faith in view here .

            Clearly , this doesn’t posit that one’s behavioral performance (works) are an infallible barometer of one’s Everlasting destination . Otherwise , James and Paul are contradictory (Ephesians 2:8-9 ; Romans 3:20-5:11,11:6 ; Titus 3:5 ; Phillipians 3:9 ; book of Galatians) .

            James isn’t an Evangelistic setting , unlike the book of John that is explicitly framed as such (20:31) .

            One ought not expect to buy a Chainsaw , while shopping in a Flower Shop .

            2. Phil. 2:12 :

            Same idea here .

            Exhortation to be a “doer” – useful , profitable (etc.) – in order to glorify God by being a blessing and thereby open a window of opportunity for further ministry to harvest more dear souls.

            One’s eternal rewards are in view . Not in order to merit Kingdom entrance .

            “Working out” suggests the possession of that which is objectively present . Not a “Work FOR” that clearly does hermeneutic violence to all texts devolving upon Everlasting Life/Justification before God (John 1:12-13,3:1-18,4:10-14,5:24,6:28-47,11:23-27 & Ephesians 2:8-9 ; Romans 3:20-5:11,11:6 ; Titus 3:5 ; Phillipians 3:9 ; book of Galatians) .

            3. “Holy Scriptures” (2 Timothy 3:15-16) ?

            A separate issue . Lots of details underscore one’s position on that matter .

            One could conceivably hold to Inerrancy and yet still hold to a Works Salvation soteriology . So , it’s clearly not the Necessary condition of entering His Kingdom .

            Not the Center of the Dartboard consideration unlike the matchless object/content of saving faith (Everlasting Life/Justification before God) , though certainly related and quite consequential in terms of hermeneutics .

            I take a view parallel to Dr. Norman Geisler on that one .

            Here’s his appraisal of that matter FYI :


            4. “The Covenant they broke” (Jeremiah 31:32) ?

            I’m really not sure what you’re asking here , quite honestly .

            So , perhaps you can elaborate ?

            Thanks much .

  3. Mitchell Chapman

    I will try again as my phone is not as agreeable as my PC is…….To continue from the beginning:

    Sadly Rob you missed it by using modern western church definitions.

    The Scriptures you offered contain just, justified and justification.

    So let’s use one of the basic rules of Western church hermeneutics (ALL of which are “borrowed” from the longer and well established “Jewish” hermeneutic rules all of which predate the western church rules by at least some 1200-1400 years.

    Would you disagree or agree one of these rules is if a Greek word appears in the “New Testament” you look to see if it’s used anywhere in LXX?

    Would you disagree or agree if this Greek word is used in LXX it would appear somewhere in the “Old Testament”?

    Would you disagree or agree if this word does appear in the “Old Testament” there would be an original Hebrew word, with very few exceptions?

    Would you disagree or agree if there were any exceptions the original word would be Aramaic, a sister or cousin language to Hebrew?

    If you disagree with any of the questions asked, I strongly suggest you would not be “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15, the source Scripture of the western church’s hermeneutics. The Jewish source comes from the exact middle words of Torah from Lev “derash drash” meaning seek, seek!

    My simple point is this: the English words rendered as just, justified, justification, can ALL be traced to the original Hebrew tsadik which primarily means “righteous”.

    Interestingly the very 1st usage comes from Torah referring to Noah (Gen 6:9)

    Here are all the applicable Strong numbers “to see if this is so”!
    H6662 from H6663 becomes
    G1344 from G1342

    G1347 from G1344 which came from H6663.

    Should you desire you can contact me through my website and we can schedule a friendly brotherly chat in and with “Jesus” love

    1. R. L. Solberg

      Hi Mitch! The discipline of hermeneutics has actually changed quite a bit over the centuries within both Judaism and Christianity. Some of the early Jewish hermeneutical approaches were amazing and were well-used by the NT authors. Other times, they led the rabbis to questionable conclusions. Midrash and Kabballah contain many examples of this. For example, Rashi explained (based on the Talmud in Chullin 60b) that the sun and the moon were created of equal size, but the light of the moon was diminished because she complained and said, “It is impossible for two kings to make use of one crown.”

      As for your questions: If a Greek word appears in the NT should we look to see if it’s used in LXX? Sure! (And looking at other contemporaneous Greek literature can be helpful, as well.) If that Greek word is used in LXX, would it appear somewhere in the OT? I’m not following your question: the LXX is the OT in Greek. If this word appears in the OT would there be an original Hebrew or Aramaic word? Yes, of course. The LLX is a Greek translation of the Hebrew (and partly Aramaic) OT text.

      And I’m sure you’re aware that we can’t assume the same word means the exact same thing every single time it’s used. The same is true in English. If I said, “I’m going to run,” what do I mean by run? Run for political office? Run in a foot race? Get going? The only way to know which meaning of the word run I intended is by understanding the statement in its proper context. Likewise, according to BDAG, the Greek word δικαιόω can mean:

      1. to take up a legal cause, show justice, do justice, take up a cause
      2. to render a favorable verdict, vindicate.
        1. as activity of humans justify, vindicate, treat as just
        2. of experience or activity of transcendent figures, esp. in relation to humans
          1. of wisdom
          2. of God be found in the right, be free of charges
      3. to cause someone to be released from personal or institutional claims that are no longer to be considered pertinent or valid, make free/pure
      4. to demonstrate to be morally right, prove to be right, pass. of God is proved to be right

      And there are additional meanings for its cognates δίκαιος, (αία, ον), and δικαιοσύνη (ης, ἡ)! So, respectfully, your statement that “the English words rendered as just, justified, justification can all be traced to the original Hebrew tsadik” is a gross oversimplification and will be right as often as it is wrong. In fact, according to HALOT, even the Hebrew word צְדָקָה can mean many things in addition to righteousness: honesty; justice; justness; community loyalty; entitlement, just cause; just deeds.
      So how do we know which of the meanings in these broad semantic ranges are appropriate to use for just, justified, justification in the NT? That can only be determined by the context in which the word is used.
      Blessings, Rob

      1. Mitch Chapman

        Eric L to your
        May 23, 2023 7:56AM response which overlapped….

        I’m glad we straightened out the apparent confusion that Rob seemingly still doesn’t understand.

        Additionally, what not a few many believers do not understand is the combined 613 commands, judgements, statutes, laws and testimonies in the Torah are NOT for everyone [KEEP READING EVERYONE AND DO NOT MAKE A SOUND BYTE BY MISQUOTING ME]

        What I am saying is this……
        When the Temple is standing
        When the Sanhedrin is sitting
        When in the Land
        The High Priest
        The Levites

        Therefore, we are able to adhere to, observe, keep those which we are able to regardless of what we have been taught, caught thought and or bought

        Is it a salvation issue to observe the 8 “feasts of the L-RD” which start with the 7th Day Shabbat and or keep kosher? No! It’s one of obedience as our Heavenly Father has a love language, just as all spouses do,;His remains obedience!

        Ephesians 2:8-10 have three very important eternal principles:
        2:8 What we are saved by: grace through faith)
        2:9 What we are not saved by: our own works; our attempt of doing anything to entrance into The Kingdom aka The Covenant
        2:10 What we are saved for: good works [of the Torah indicated in Ex 20-23, whose principles are still eternal] which G-D prepared beforehand that we SHOULD walk in

        G-D gave us free will to do as we please. What we tend to forget is ALL choices have consequences.

        Another view of Torah is that it is the Constitution of the Kingdom aka the Israel of G-D, the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Israel into which Gentiles are grafted into and Jews are grafted in again.

        One last thought …There was no such thing as a church, Christians, or Christianity in the 1st Century! It ALL came out of BIBLICAL JUDAISM and should be properly considered as “Defending the Biblical Roots of 1st Century Judaism”

        Prayerfully, this additional explanation is helpful to all my brothers and sisters who were not born Jewish but do have faith in the Biblical “Jesus” having been taught with, by and through an overwhelmingly anti-Torah bias by those who are well meaning but equally misinformed.

        Error will always produce more error

        If anyone chooses to correspond with me directly (privately) you can do so through my inbox on Facebook’s Messenger

  4. Mitch Chapman

    Please notice the importance of Lev 10:16, the middle point in Torah. Counting all the words in Torah, the mid-point falls between the two words דרש דרש, which literally means ‘study, study’, and is translated diligently study. So the commandment ‘to study’ is the focal point of Torah!

  5. Eric L

    Thanks for your reply. I believe as you do in the breakdown of Ephesians 2:8-10, quote:

    Three very important eternal principles:
    2:8 What we are saved by: grace through faith)
    2:9 What we are not saved by: our own works; our attempt of doing anything to entrance into The Kingdom aka The Covenant
    2:10 What we are saved for: good works [of the Torah indicated in Ex 20-23, whose principles are still eternal] which G-D prepared beforehand that we SHOULD walk in

    Be well

  6. Tony Pino

    Thank you Rob for your article on my comment. I appreciate your efforts to explain your thoughts and position.

    This is my response to your article.


  7. Trent

    He sounds like he is beholden to the New Perspective on Paul. Its interesting thst many of its promoters like Dunn and Wright have backtracked on previous comments on salvation.

  8. Mitchell Chapman

    What is to back track from what has already written in Eph 2:8-10.

    That is of course unless one’s brand of hermeneutics does not include the CULTURAL context of the 1st Century in which it was written.

    Would you disagree or agree there were no churches in the 1st Century?

    Would you disagree or agree the perverted gospel was not Torah observance?

    Would you disagree or agree the opposite of Grace is legalism?

    1. R. L. Solberg

      Hi Mitch. There were absolutely churches in the first century. In fact, “for a whole year [Paul and Barnabas] met with the church and taught a great many people” (Acts 11:26), and James talks about the elders of the church (Jam. 5:14), and there was a church in Jerusalem (Acts 8:1, 11:22), and Paul “went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches” (Acts 15:41), and he told believers in Rome that “All the churches of Christ greet you” (Rom. 16:16), and he wrote a letter “to the churches of Galatia” (Gal 1:2), and John wrote “to the seven churches that are in Asia” (Rev 1:14). In fact, the English word “church” (from ἐκκλησία) is used 100 times in the NT.

      In modern English, we often think of churches as buildings where Christians meet. But the biblical church is the body of believers, not the building. And first-century believers assembled anywhere they could; people’s houses, synagogues (before Christians were kicked out), and even the temple (before it was destroyed). So it seems to me that any discussion of first-century churches ought to account for the Scriptural definition of that word/idea.

      Shalom, Rob

  9. Mitchell Chapman

    Rob, I strongly disagree with you as ALL of the congregations in the 1st Century were either Messianic Congregations, Synagogues and the Temple. There was no building called a church nor was the Body of Messiah then called it either!

    Additionally, there were no “Christians” kicked out of any “church” in the 1st Century. However, those that were ‘kicked out’ were my ethnic Jewish cousins, who like me, came to faith in the Jewish Messiah, the Biblical Yeshua. To hold otherwise is simply preposterous.

    I do not understand why you continue to to be anachronistic. The fact that the Greek word ἐκκλησία was rendered into English as ‘church’ 100 times in Brit Chadashah doesn’t make it true.

    Where did ἐκκλησία come from?
    LXX! Whas there a Hebrew word translated as ἐκκλησία? You bet there was!

    However, since you seemingly hold that every time ἐκκλησία is rendered as ‘church’, then also according to your philosophic logic, there would then also have been a “‘church’ in the wilderness”(Acts 7:38)

    Do you really believe this to be true?

    As a side note the ἐκκλησία didn’t start in Acts 2 on that Shavuot which had fully come, but in a previous Shavuot at Sinai in Exodus 19. Additionally, it’s not about a birthday, but always about a marriage, the sign of which is the 7th Day Shabbat (Exodus 31:16-17).

    Although the “Israelites” are first mentioned before the Exodus when those from Egypt (Gentiles) went up also with them (Ex 12:38) look at how many from different people groups were already part of Jacob (Israel) through the genealogies in Genesis.

    Additionally, there were no “christians” in the 1st Century either! Jewish people who come to faith in the Jewish Messiah do not become a Christian and more than Gentiles who come to faith in the Jewish Messiah become Jewish. ALL of the early believers DID NOT ‘convert’ to a new religion. They ALL had circumcised hearts and remained Torah observant Jews.

    You continue using modern day meaning of words and ascribe them back into a time period where it was non existent.

    Sadly, you are either knowingly or unknowingly perpetuating the false dichotomy of law vs grace and continue with post Reformation Western church dogma that never existed.

    Chag Shavuot Sameach

    My invitation previously extended to you remains open. I’m not your enemy and you are my grafted in Gentile brother in the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua.

    For if He’s not the Messiah for All He’s not the Messiah at all

What do you think?

Wordpress Social Share Plugin powered by Ultimatelysocial