It's Supernatural

With your host Sid Roth

Our Guest Dr. John Garr

without comments

Dr. John Garr

Sid: My guest by way of telephone is Dr. John Garr we’ll be talking to him this week about his book about restoring our lost legacy. And let me read from the back of the book:

We’ve Been Robbed!” These words of a Methodist Bishop in Brazil and Anglican Leader in India, and a Pentecostal Overseer in Africa express the sentiments of thousands of Christians around the world when they first discovered through the challenging teaching of Dr. John Garr the extent to which they have been deprived of the Hebrew heritage of their Christian faith. For the past 19 centuries millions of believers have been denied their Biblical legacy, the riches of the Hebrew foundations of their faith. Christian Judaeophobia, anti-Judaism, and anti-Semitism have conspired to rob them of the treasures of their inheritance.

I have to tell you John a lot of information in your book I was aware of, but you’ve put it together in such a wonderful fashion. And you have information in here that I was not aware of it’s been so helpful. I have to start out with a question that I posed to myself so many times. “How did something that started in a Jewish land Israel by Jewish people based on the Jewish scriptures, and the Jewish Messiah, and the Jewish blood of atonement, and the Jewish Festivals become the opposite of Judaism as we know it today how did that happen?

John: Well I think that we’ve not only have the $64 thousand question we’ve probably brought the $64 billion dollar question, how could it have been possible.

Sid: I mean is it what I just read from the back of your book “We’ve Been Robbed?”

John: We have been robbed and it’s basically all you can say is a conspiracy of the powers of evil that has been worked out very deceptively in the history of the Christian Church. I don’t think we have to go back and question the motives of many of the Hellenic and the Latin Fathers of the Church the Greek and Latin Fathers of the Church in their efforts to contextualize the gospel into the societies in which they live, but the problem is in the effort to contextualize they crossed the line into syncretism and started to try to blend Greek philosophy and in some cases the Greek Paultheistic system with the Hebraic faith of Jesus and the apostles.

Sid: Weren’t they afraid to do this I mean God is there?

John: You know a lot of question about that and I think they should have certainly been afraid of it; they should have been very careful that they would maintain the purity of the faith of Jesus and the apostles. But again I think that they were making an effort to try to contextualize. But we do know that certain of the Greek Fathers and in particular origin and the Tertullian started out with an effort to syncretize, or blend together, Neo-Platonist philosophy. Of course they were both Neo-Platonist philosophers and to take that philosophy of the Greek world and blend it with the earliest Christian faith. And of course when you know that something about the history of both of them they’re like oil and water they just don’t mix.

Sid: Yes but some of the apostles and the disciples of the apostles must have fought this ferociously. I would have had I been there.

John: Yes and the history of the records that we have they were continuing battles over many of these issues up to the first 4th centuries of the Church in particular. Once we got up to the fourth and fifth centuries the process had been pretty much completed the Church had become Hellenized and then subsequently Latinized so the pure faith of Jesus and the apostles was pretty much lost. And this is one reason for the reformation in the 16th century and the counter reformation that was also taking place in the Roman Catholic Church at the same time was an effort at least to begin a step toward restoration and renewal in that reformative process. But the reality is we were in a terrible state that was far removed from the faith of Jesus and the apostles because as you so well said it was a Jewish faith. Christianity in its beginning as the early Jesus movement was not even thought of as being Christianity at all it was just another group within Judaism that was attempting to make their view normality. As a matter of fact…

Sid: But wait a second in the New Testament it refers to believers in Jesus as Christians.

John: Well the statement was made they were first called Christians at Antioch and this was about 10 years after the ascension of Jesus and was first used as a term of derision from the people outside the movement. The earliest term that we can arrive at that we can understand is that they were probably called the notsrim after the Hebrew word Netser, which means the root and Jesus was or the stem and the shaft of Jesse. And so they were patterning after that way so that they were actually trying to manifest the life of Jesus and they were being identify with that. By the time you come to Antioch and the Greek language they were called Christians because they seemed to be followers of Christ and this new strange new religion (Laughing) was being promoted from the outside and so they were called Christians.

Sid: But as you point out in your book it was actually in a derogatory sense the name Christian.

John: The origination of the term was derogatory but as we know terms that are used as terms of derogation over a period of time can be adopted by the people to who the name applies for instance the Friends Movement came be called the Quakers because of the experience that they manifest and the people outside started calling them Quakers and eventually they assumed that title to themselves. Another one that’s a good example is the term Jew. Originally the term Jew was used by the people outside of the society of Judah as a term of derision and it became adopted as the term for describing the people from the tribe of Judah and subsequently from all of the tribes of Israel that came to be associated and aligned within the tribe of Judah so that they all became described as Jews.   And so this is not an uncommon phenomenon but the point is originally they were not called Christians. Jesus was not called Christian Jesus was only called a Jew the people that identified Him who were outside the scope of the community of Israel all identified Him as being a Jew. The woman at the well at Samaria said “You are a Jew.” And when Pilot came to a point of crucifying Him he had a legal inscription on the top of the cross “This is Jesus the King of the Jews.”

Sid: Yeah, it reminds me of a book by Francis Schaeffer’s wife, Edith Schaeffer, many years ago called “Christianity is Jewish.”

John: Absolutely, absolutely and when you get back to it you have to acknowledge historically and theologically that Christianity is a Jewish faith.

Sid: So do you believe that God never intended to say have Old Covenant Judaism and Christianity but just had Judaism?

John: I think that was God’s intention all along and in effect what Jesus came to do was to restore Judaism to its original inherent ideal. As a matter of fact Martin Buber made a statement that I think is very important. Martin Buber is one of the great Jewish philosophers of our times. He said “That the earliest Jewish movement was a radical call to doing Torah,” or in other words doing what the word of God says. So in effect it was not an effort to break away from the Biblical or 2nd Temple Judaism into which Jesus and the apostles were born and lived their lives. But it was an attempt to show that Jesus was the fulfillment and in Him came the forth the fullest flower of understanding of Jewish understanding of the Hebrew scriptures. And also to cause the world and particularly at that time the rest of their fellow Jewish community to recognize their understanding belief in Jesus was the fullness of all the scriptures had to say about the Messiah.

Sid: Maybe that what Paul meant when he said that “The believers are to provoke the Jewish people to jealousy.” You just don’t provoke the Jewish people to believer to jealousy by saying you too can have Easter bunnies and Easter eggs.

John: (Laughing) That’s absolutely true the jealousy element if we’re looking at that one is not jealous of something that one does not possess. And what you’re jealous of is that someone else is using what you think is exclusively yours then your jealous. So obviously the Christians Community as one Jewish person made the statement to me you know talk about our being jealous of Christians “Well frankly, Christians don’t have anything we want.” And the reason for that is because they don’t recognize anything in the traditional Christian model or the Christian Church that they can identify as being Jewish. And again that’s one of the great the problems I think in relational things between the traditional Jewish Community and the Christian Church is because the Christian Church has drifted so far from its original inherent ideal as being a Jewish faith established by a Jewish Lord on the basis of a Jewish book; teaching about the God of the Jews and being established in the land of Jews that the Jews can’t even see anything that identifies Christianity that it’s even related to them.

Sid: You know it’s one thing that we see how the Greco-Roman culture infiltrated the early Church, but it’s a totally another thing that is mind-blowing is how the Christian Church today is so not even intentionally but by its very nature anti-anything that’s Jewish. If Jewish people worship on Saturday we worship on Sunday, it Jewish people have put their hats on in the synagogue we take our hats off in the church. How did that kind of tension occur?

John: Well it’s basically as Christianity began to go into the Gentile world, and there was a lot of persecution in that time frame. One of the things that the leaders in the Third and Fourth Centuries began to distant themselves from Jews and Judaism.

Sid: Why?

John: For the sake of trying to keep themselves from being persecuted. They wanted to be recognized between their communities and be accepted among them and so they started distancing themselves. And so from that dynamic Christianity began defining itself from being not Jewish. By the same token Judaism in turn began define itself as not being not Christian. So our definition our self definition both in both communities has been based more on negatives than it has been on positives and especially in the Christian Community.

Sid: You know the definition, this is mind blowing to me, the definition of being Jewish is something you’re not something you are. The definition of being Jewish is you don’t believe in Jesus.

John: Hm hm.

Sid: I mean come on now give me a break you’re throwing out so many questions if it wasn’t for the fact that God has called Gentiles to provoke Jewish people to jealousy if salvation… Roman’s 11:11 “Salvation has come to the Gentile to provoke the Jew to jealousy. Even forgetting that all the richness that the church has lost in the understanding of the New Covenant by not understanding our Biblical Judaic roots…

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December 30th, 2015 at 7:06 am

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