Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Limits of Orthodox Theology

Due to some Internet searches, I stumbled upon a book by Marc Shapiro, who holds the Weinberg Chair in Judaic Studies at the University of Scranton.

The thesis of his book is that agreement on Maimonides' Thirteen Principles wasn't present prior to Miamonides or even sometimes after him.

This article primarily quotes the book on the eternality of the Torah (the 9th principle).
Most disturbing to Viterbo is what he views as Maimonides' presumptuousness in instructing God, as it were, on how He can conduct Himself. Emden makes a similar point:

“We absolutely do not admit that which Maimonides laid down, that the entire Torah will not change, for there is no decisive proof for this—neither from reason and logic nor from the Bible. Verily, the Sages tell us that the Holy One will give a new Torah in the future. If our King should wish to change the Torah, or exchange it for another, whatever the King wishes, whether it be to descend on Mount Sinai or another of the mighty mountains, or even a valley, there to appear a second time before the eyes of all the living, we would be the first to do His will, whatever be His bidding.

Anyway, I post this since it should not only be an interesting read, but should give us new insight.

When people say Judaism teaches this or Judaism teaches that, we should ask, as I previously posted, what's the authority. Push to the ultimate authority. What does Scripture say? Test a teaching in light of Scripture and see what is true.

One could equally say "Christianity teaches X" or "Christianity teaches Y". Or more likely "the pope says this" or "tradition says this."

When the masses heard Y'shua teach they were amazed because he spoke as one with authority. We should push back to our ultimate authority, the very words of God.

Because when you look to any tradition of any background, you are not going to find complete consistency. Also, if it is not in line with what God has revealed, it is a foundation made of sand.

We should always be testing our beliefs against Scripture.


Anonymous Moshe ben Avraham said...

There will be no new Torah. This is made clear in Torah so strongly it requires no explanation. The guy you are referring to clearly has no idea what he is talking about.

Your last line was most correct. One should always question his beliefs, so he better understands them.


8/08/2006 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger geoffrobinson said...

You may want to read the article I linked to which pretty much quotes Shapiro's work. Shapiro shows changes even within the Torah.

Jeremiah speaks of a new covenant that is coming. That is not to say the Torah is necessarily done away with. The issue is complex.

8/08/2006 02:01:00 PM  

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