Just wanted to send out a quick post today. Something that I didn’t realize until the last six months is that the first century Jews didn’t create a systematic theology, meaning they didn’t arrange the teachings of the Old Testament in a systematic way like Christians. This is important to understand, because it is easy to equate Pharisees with modern day Bible scholars and teachers, and become negative about doctrine/theology. In seminary, I wrote a paper on the early Jewish view of the fall of mankind. Basically the fall had little to no place in early Jewish thought. If I remember correctly Genesis 3 isn’t even referenced in the Mishnah. There are some funny anecdotes, like Adam was asleep while the serpent talked to Eve because Adam and Eve had just had sex, but nothing you could call doctrine. What the Pharisees did do was debate how to keep the law in every conceivable circumstance: how far could you walk on the Sabbath, if you could divorce your wife if she burned dinner, etc. Jesus was anti-manmade religion, legalism, and hypocrisy not anti-truth and understanding.

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