“This proves from Scripture that the men who penned the Brit Chadasha participated in the Hebraic thought pattern of the sages and rabbis of their time period in interpreting the Hebrew Scriptures. We cannot justify ignoring the culture, historical, religious, social, and intellectual ambiance of this time (Second Temple Period), and try to isolate Yahshua and His talmidim from this environment. The Middot were part of everyone’s background in how to approach the Torah and Scripture.It is gratuitous to assume our Rebbe Yahshua and all the writers of the Renewed Covenant constituted the exception from the traditional rabbinical viewpoints. If these Rules were used by Rav Shaul and our Rebbe, then we as Messianic Yisrael must also use these same rules to teach, study, and interpret the Scriptures.It will allow us to follow the command given to Timothy to “rightly divide the Word of Truth (D’var Emet). May Yahweh bless your study of His holy Torah”— Rabbi Edward L. Nydle B’nai Avraham
The “Seven Middot” are the seven rules of rabbi Hillel, and we see that Hillel came along about the same time, a little before, Jesus himself. We also see from the statement above by Rabbi Edward L. Nydle that all of that time were familiar with the “hermeneutics” of bible exegesis according to Hillel’s seven rules.
We can see from the link above that the apostle Paul referred specially to the “Qal Va-Homer” a fomr of a fortiori argument which states that “if such and such is true, how much greater is a related true?” If X is true in relation to Y, how much greater is X true in relation to Z, if Z is of greater weight?
Assuming, as Rabbi Nydle pointed out, we are to use the same rules to “rightly divide the word of truth(2 Timothy 2;15)”, then we must also include Paul’s statement in Romans 8:7 that “the carnal mind is enmity against God and cannot be subject to the laws of God”.
This suggests that there exists a system of rules by which we can rightly “know God”, but at the same time, the natural mind cannot be subject to those laws that represent God. This further suggests that, even if the rules are fully complete and consistent, which is not admitted, the human mind cannot correctly apply those laws. Therefore, we have a form of Godel’s incompleteness theorem, which states that in any consistent axiomatic formalization suitable for number theory, there exists undecidable propositions. Even assuming the correctness of the rules, we cannot apply them to perfect ourselves.
This understanding leads us directly to the reason why Jesus challenged the authority of the Pharisees of his day. While admitting they sat in “Moses’ seat(Matthew 23:1-2)”, he called them hypocrites. The main argument being that they were “self righteous”, justified in their own eyes.
As you can also see from the link above, these rules pre-existed Hillel. Israel was already aware of them, so there was no need for the rabbis or self proclaimed “masters” to interpret the rules according to their special “genius”.
It was precisely Jesus’ point when he said “call no man master” or “father”, since all are equal before God. As Hyam Maccoby, the Talmudist scholar, points out, Jews recognized the “kingdom of God” in two forms: that kingdom which would some day be given by God through his messiah, and the government of God, which was represented by the people of Israel, here and now. When Jesus accused the Pharisees of “shutting up the kingdom of God to men”(Matthew 23:13, Luke 11:52), he was referring to both the coming kingdom, and the kingdom which existed in the form of Israelite government at that time. The “Lord’s Prayer”, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven” referred to God’s will on earth AND heaven, here and now, to be judged according to God’s law. If it was an ideal of prayer for all Israel, it was an ideal to be practiced by law.
The Old Testament, or Torah, was meant to be used by all the people, for the purposes of making decisions in regard to God’s law or kingdom, here and now. The “spirit of God” to be “poured out on all flesh” was the spirit by which all could equally judge others in love and forgiveness, as we can see from Romans 12:19.
This is the difference between a system of “deep logic’, as we saw earlier, and a system of “shallow logic” which is the idea that there can be one authority that imposes rules and laws over the people. The concept of “freedom” according to this “Pharisaical” process of law by “masters” or rabbis, was developing into a process of paradox and contradiction, as Jesus himself pointed out in Matthew 23. By assuming the responsibility for “right laws”, the Pharisees were also assuming the responsibility of the people to learn how to judge, defend, and forgive the actions of others.
The principle “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, the Golden Rule, is not permitted if the people themselves must be subject to a system of rules that excludes such opportunities. By offering the “Lord’s Prayer”, that “thy kingdom come, thy will be done” as a prayer for all, Jesus was declaring that it was a “prayer for judgement” applying to authorities today as well as in the kingdom to come.
“But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your father forgive your trespasses(Matthew 6:15)”.
The law, then, was not based on the principle of vengeance, but of forgiveness. It was a law that was to be applied “out of court”, as we see in Matthew 18:15-18, with “adversaries” settling the matter between themselves, using only two witnesses , according to Deuteronomy 19:15. As you can see in Matthew 18:15-18, there was to be no “external” authorities in such settlements except as a last resort. Even then, the state was not selected as an authority in the matter, but the community and the church. In the eyes of Jesus, a person’s growth, in a full and personal sense, could only occur if each person had the right of “judging” according to the Golden Rule, to see others as s/he sees her/him self.
In contradiction to this, today’s religious and legal systems proclaim that we are “free”, but that our “freedom” must be limited to what they say we are free to do. In order to remain “free”, we are told that we must obey those in authority so they can “protect’ us by the laws which they approve. That is what the Pharisees of Jesus’ time sought, and what Jesus condemned, and that is why he was finally crucified, as a threat to all forms of centralist governments.