Jesus And “Due Process” of Law

Educated people today are laughing at the “Jesus myth” and pointing out its pagan origins, and well they should, because Christianity as we have come to k now it is as pagan as Zoroastrianism and Mithraism, or the mythology of Greece. What even the professing Christians don;t get is that Jesus was Jew. He studied Jewish laws, he taught in Jewish synagogues, and for the Jews, “Laws ‘R Us”.

Jews didn’t like him, especially the Pharisees, who were the leading legal experts of the day, because he called the hypocrites and children of the devil. He threw moneychangers out of the temple, and even made a cord from drapes to beat them out of the temple. Certainly not your “Jesus child, meek and mild”.

But what we call the “beatitudes”( beautiful attitudes) shows us some important things about Jesus and law:

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
“For verily i say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled”.

Pretty simple. It wasn’t done away, but “fulfilled”, every jot and tittle. Does that mean that we are bound forever under law with no recourse for our own defense?

Absolutely not. That was the whole point of jesus’ teaching. If he, by his life, could “fulfill” the law, so can we. But how? Didn’t Jesus and Paul combine to say that we are under grace, and not under law? of course they did, and the reason is amazingly simple.

If a king, or a governor, or a president or a congress happens to pass a law, and then seek to pass judgement on you, they were bound by the very same law to examine every “jot and tittle” of that law in order to convict!

How do I know that? Two chapter over, Matthew 7:1:

“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”

As you can plainly see from the chapter, anyone who judges you for any reason had best be sure his own house is in order. If you walk into court, and the judge says “I’m not on trial here”, he’s a damn liar, because he is under oath before God. he stands under the watchful eye of God, and he’d best know his stuff.

Romans 2:1:”Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doeth the same things.”

The big argument over “law and gracre’ is that paul taught grace alone, while James, the brother of Jesus, taught works. Notice, right from the start, James didn’t mention “law”, but “works”.

James 2:10: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

Notice, the argument is not the “disagreement” between Paul and James, because James just agreed with Romans 2:1. You cannot judge another by law, ANY law, without also being subject to that same law yourself.

Yet notice the verse in James 2:14:
“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? …Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone”.

Again, notice, not “law’ but “works”. What works? How about James 127:

“Pure religion and undefiled before God is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their afflictin, and to keep himself unspotted from the world”.

That’s it! The essence of “pure religion”! No big disagreement, no argument. James 2:8:

“If ye fulfill the royal law according to scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well”.

You can take those same scriptures and apply them to the teachings of Paul, who in Romans 7:4 and other scriptures writes that we are ‘dead to the law” by the body of Christ. Dead to the law, yet Jesus said every jot and tittle shall be fulfilled. How? By knowing and using the law against those who would accuse you! If any judges you, then you have the right to look at that accuser and question him/her.

This is known as your right to face your accuser, no matter who that accuser may be. Where does it come from? As Jesus said in Matthew 5, it comes from “the prophets”, especially Isaiah 50:8:

“Behold, the Lord God will help me; who is he that shall condemn me?”

The judge, in courtroom cases, is under oath before God. The principle that “The Lord God shall help me” means that the accused, the defendant, is under protection of God, which is why the accused cannot be compelled to take the oath.

Also Isaiah 54:17:

“..every tongue that shall arise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the lord”.

This should be simply connected to the concept of being “dead to the law” as Paul writes. All those who profess to serve God are under the protection of God. “Their righteousness is of me”, and NO judge under oath to God can demand that ANY person admit to guilt , or be in any way held guilty without first facing two legitimate accusers(Deuteronomy 19:15) and having those accusers prove harm or damage. All crime, wrote Blackstone, shall include harm or damage. The judge and prosecuting attorney are both under oath to God, and they are bound to recognize the ‘righteousness” of each person that comes from God! No person can be compelled to be a witness against him/her self!

This right against self incrimination, admitted by the Supreme Court, has found its foundations in the Bible(Miranda v Arizona, footnote 27) coming from Maimonides, who calls it a “divine” principle of law.

When Jesus “fulfilled’ the law, therefore, it was there as our protection to k now and claim with full knowledge of its power! It is a law which is a “vision of all”(Isaiah 29:11), and is NOT to be “shut up” to the people(Matthew 23;13, Luke 11:52).

“..Shall the thing framed(law, constitution) say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?”(Isaiah 29:16).

The works of Jesus, the teachings of Jesus, the freedom Jesus offered, was about LAW .
Whatever judgement you pass on others, you shall be judged according to the law you use. This applies to all levels of society.

If you have doubts about this, look at Luke 22:67. In that scripture, Jesus is interrogated by the priests.

“Art thou the Christ?” They ask. “If I tell you, ye will not believe, and if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go”.

There was Jesus demanding his right to face and question his accuser. The priests continued:

“Art thou then the son of God?”

Jesus answered, “Ye say that I am”. In other words, Jesus was merely pointing out that he was being accused of that, and they had nothing but their own accusation for prosecution. Jesus exercised his right to remain silent.

So they sent Jesus to Pilate, telling Pilate that Jesus was “perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar”. In other words, they accused Jesus of telling them not to pay taxes to Caesar.

“And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews?”
Again, Jesus said, “Thou sayest it”. Jesus merely repeated Pilate’s accusation. By law, Deuteronomy 19:15, for any offense, there had to be two witnesses , NOT the priesthood, and NO the state, and Jesus merely reminded both the priests and Pilate of that fact. In modrern terms, Jesus was saying ‘That’s what you say, now prove it”

We see the same thing in John 18:19-23. The high priest asked Jesus about his doctrines and his disciples, and Jesus answered,

“I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue. and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.
“Why askest thou me? Ask them which heard me(two witnesses rule)..behold, the know what I said.”

Jesus, according to “the prophets”, was demanding to face an accuser.

The n one of the officers hit him, and Jesus said, “If I have spoken evil(challenge to free speech), bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?”

In other words, “If you judge my words, show me what was unlawful. Prove it by direct accusation, specific accusation, of facts”.

Jesus therefore paid the price of law, without accusers, without witnesses, without proof. A s a consequence, we have made a man the symbol of faith in God, while completely ignoring the very premises for which he was killed!

In our society today, we routinely make laws to judge, to accuse, to condemn, and those accused are told that their rights come second to the compelling interest of the state.

The man who died so we could be ‘dead’ to such laws is worshipped, while we serve men who obey laws written “by rote” (Isaiah 29:13, RSV) or by the “precept of men”, has died in vain. The very meaning, and power and depth of freedom by law which he gave us is ignored, while we worship Easter rabbits and men with White beards , and yule logs, and garbage. The sacrifice and offering of worldly freedom, here and now, is put to shame.

Why Paul NEVER Founded Christianity

In my series of essays, I have shown that organizations can be based on “shallow logic”, which are little more than “copy me” commands, and “deep logic”, based on redundancy and depth of work that makes the organization more valuable to all.

Christianity follows the pattern of cults and mass movements by “renunciation of self”. That is, we place more faith in the collective ability of the group than we do ourselves, which means that the rule we obey increasingly become statistical in nature, reflecting general trends and assumptions recognized as “greatest good for greatest number”.

In most cases, the statement ‘I am Christian” means that we have become part of some organization, a church as opposed to synagogue, as Jews aren’t Christians, and we tend to justify our position as being part of that group to be guided by the “wisdom” of its leaders. We assume the organization has “deep logic”, because the number of people involved in the decision-making adds depth not available to individuals. This may in fact be true in regard to finite objectives, but not in matters in which there are an infinity of concerns to consider.

If, for example you asked your organization to define “God”, they would have to give a finite definition of an infinite entity, and in such cases, the number of “definitions” may increase to match the number of individuals to offer the definitions given.

This also has a correspondence to Godel’s incompleteness theorem: in any consistent axiomatic formalization suitable for number theory, there exists undecidable propositions.

In other words, we can never be sure that “our” organization is any closer to the idea of “God” than any other organization, no matter how formally we try to link our decisions of “God’ with “truth”. ¬†Consequently, there are an estimated 38,000 versions or more of the Christian God.

The result, then, is that no matter how deeply we ‘cross refererence’ our choices, no matter how many “authorities” from which we can select, there will never be a “final authority” to which we can turn, within our own human decision-making power.

As I have also shown in earlier essays, this has greater evolutionary significance for our survival. Diversity is the best “hedge” against total extinction. The more possibilities exist in our human social systems, the less ability of one threat to annihilate all systems. This is also shown in the example of my earlier essay, “The Tower of Babble And The ‘Gray Goo’ “. The less diversity we have in our choices, the more we are subject not only to destruction from external threats, the more we add to the process known as entropy, in which greater organization in one are leads to greater “chaos” in related areas.

Based on these fairly recent discoveries, therefore, logic dictates that we base a search for “God” NOT on a unifying truth, but on the diversity produced by our efforts. That is, all attempts to define God result in increasing diversity because that is precisely what is intended.

Bart Ehrman, the noted scholar and professor of ancient Greek, writes this about Paul in his book, Peter, Paul, And Mary Magdalene:

“(The book of) Romans has long been seen as the most important of Paul’s letters for anyone interested in establishing the content of his understanding of the gospel”.

Further, as we saw last essay, Paul’s ideas actually are important in regard to the “split’ between Judaism and Christianity, because Paul was allegedly a Pharisee, knowledgeable of the laws, rules, and hermeneutics used by rabbis for understanding of the Torah. The chief guideline being the Seven Middot of Hillel, used as the basis for understanding “God’s laws”.

Jesus had already declared the Pharisee rabbis as hypocrites(Matthew 23) and as “children of the devil(John 8)”, so Paul’s standing both as a Pharisee, and from his background as being knowledgeable in Roman law, Greek science and Philosophy, and Jewish monotheism, made him a solid choice as a “definer” of emergent Christianity.

Paul immediately challenged Hillel’s conclusions with Romans 8:7, telling us that the natural mind is enmity against God, and cannot be subject to God’s laws.

“Natural logic”, therefore, will produce exactly the diversity we see in Christianity today, with over 38,000 versions. Any logical reasoning we use to ‘define God” will result in evolutionary advantages to our survival, and will NOT lead to unity. “God’s will” if there is such, would therefore have to be consistent with the evolutionary advantages of survival.

Christianity, if true, would therefore NOT be based on the logic of human organizations.

Paul offers support for this conclusion in Ephesians 2;8-10, and in 1 Corinthians 1:27-29:

“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound(put to shame) the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
“And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are”.

I’m reminded at this point of the remarkable speech which Ayn Rand put in the mouth of Howard Roarke in the novel The Fountainhead:

“Thousands of years ago, the first man discovered how to make fire. He was probably burned at the stake he had taught his brothers to light. He was considered an evildoer who had dealt with a demon mankind dreaded.”

Ayn Rand the atheist was also born a Jew, and she was deeply affected by her childhood in Russia where wealth gained by honest effort was confiscated by the power of the state. her rejection of “God” as a collectivist authority, was in many ways a reflection of the Jewish mind that had been forced to live as “outsider”, because the Jew did not accept the doctrine of Christianity offered by the Catholic and later the Protestant churches. Rand logically rejected all forms of collectivist authority, because her experience in Russia showed where such things led.

However, her rejection of “God” as collective authority over men and human organizations NEVER took into account the implications of Romans 8:7, that the natural mind cannot be subject to God, assuming there is a God.

While the Jews had followed the destiny of that Torah God, their devotion led them to the adaptive diversity which allowed them to become the intellectual leaders in successive empires. By the time Jesus allegedly walked the earth, Israel had a tremendous diversity of religions, all trying to understand the “true” way of serving God by law. It was, in fact, the adaptive diversity of Jewish minds that allowed them not only to survive, but to rise to the top of each successive empire, and prepare for “God’s kingdom” during the Roman Empire.

The apostle Paul, as the rabbinical intellect of the concept of “Christianity”, rejected not only the rational “laws” developed by Hillel, but declared that ALL minds are ‘enmity” against God, therefore eliminating possibility of ANY human representing God by the process of “natural” logic.

If that was not enough to convince, Paul went further in Romans 8:29-30 to declare that God foreknew, predestined, and called His own children according to His perfect forekowledge. If that was so, then there was no way any human organization could, in fact, declare their authority by our “freewill choice”. If we did not have the capacity to be subject to God’s laws, then we certainly did not have the capacity to decide which human organization truly represented God, and Paul further destroyed such claims with Romans 8:29-30.

For the logical minded, that should be enough, but for those who persisted in the formation of a collectivist, humanly defined God, Paul reiterated the idea of “non-choice” with Romans 9:16-22.

“So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.”

We are faced, inevitably, with the plain consequences of Paul’s statement. No human organization has the ability to represent God by any human process of logic, which not only challenges Hillel’s “Seven Middot”, but it challenges ALL human authority, at any time, to claim that power. Further, in the development of “common law”, it was merc that was emphaisized, not the power to rule.

This leads, inevitably, to Jesus’ statement in Matthew 24:23:

“Then if any man says to you, ‘Lo, here is Christ(or messiah), or there’ believe it not.”

We must conclude that the “true gospel” if there is such, is NOT about collectively ‘renouncing the self” in favor of ANY human organization, but of accepting the responsibility of the self, against all human powers.

I emphasize this point in the development of human history and law, because it is necessary to understand how “common law’ evolved from these precepts.

Hillel’s Rules And The REAL Gospel

“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.