Dr. Brown Answers Your Questions

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Is there spiritual meaning behind John the Baptist and Jesus being cousins?  How do we know which of the Old Testament laws are fulfilled in Christ, and which ones we still need to follow?  And how should Christians respond to Halloween?  Dr. Brown answers these questions and more today on the Line of Fire!

Hour 1:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: Let us fearlessly present the truth, with clarity, wisdom, passion, and faith, knowing as Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “We can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth!”

Hour 2:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: Truth will always triumph in the end!  Never forget it!

Featured Resource:


Other Resources:


A Queer Thing Happened To America AND Can You Be Gay and Christian?  (Brown/Knox Debate)


The Great Debate [DVD]:   Dr. Michael Brown tackles the perennial issue of suffering and the problem of pain with leading New Testament scholar and agnostic Dr. Bart Ehrman at Ohio State University.

60 Questions Christians Ask About Jewish Beliefs and Practices: Dr. Michael Brown answers sixty common questions about Jewish people and Jewish culture. He also addresses questions Christians have about their own relationship to the Old Testament Law.

Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus vol. 4 by Dr. Brown: In this volume of the Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus series, Dr. Brown counters the arguments that the New Testament mistranslates, misuses, and misunderstands the Hebrew Scriptures, also addressing the objections that Jesus or Paul abolished the Law.

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Our Hands Are Stained with Blood by Dr. Brown: This shocking and painful book tells the tragic story of the “Church” and the Jewish people. It is a story every Christian must hear.

476 Comments
  1. Bo,
    You said:
    “James says something similar.
    Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves (υποτασσω), therefore, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
    What is James talking about when he says that we should submit to YHWH? Keeping YHWH’s perfect Law.
    Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

    C. Concerning the aforementioned “false dilemma” (i.e.:
    i. We must “keep the ‘Commands of YHWH'” (not just faith in Jesus); otherwise, we are “only hearers and not doers” – and:
    ii. The “Commands of YHWH” are “the written Torah” – thus:
    iii. Those who do not “guard the written Torah” cannot even begin to qualify as “hearers and doers of the Word” (James 4)
    iv. These people will lose standing; or – to use the Words of Jesus – “something worse” will befall them…

    a. Ironically, Paul [Ro 2] finds the Messianic Jews (despite their boasting in the Law [Ro 2:23]) to be “‘hearers’ only and not ‘doers'”; and that, ultimately, the Gentiles, who:
    i. ‘Do not have the (written) Law’ [Ro 2:14], but:
    ii. Had the Law ‘written on their heart’ [Jer 31:33; Ro 2:15]; thereby:
    iii. They did the Law ‘by instinct’ (not by ‘reading’) [Ro 2:14], ultimately:
    vi. ‘Establishing the Law’ [Ro 3:31], thus proving Ro 3:21 to be true – that the ‘righteousness of God [Php 3:9] is revealed APART FROM THE LAW’ – and:
    v. Were the ‘doers of the Law’ [Ro 2:13-15]!

    b. Well, how are the Gentiles ‘hearers and doers’, if they don’t even have ‘the written Law’ – was Paul mistaken; were they NOT ‘hearers and doers of the Law’? Does he need brother James to come and correct him? No, there are no “difficulties” between James 4 and Ro 2: when James says, “…the INGRAFT WORD”, it is nothing different than when Paul says, ‘the work of the Law WRITTEN on their hearts’ (“Words” “Written”). Again (to address the “false dilemma”), in as much as it was the Gentiles (who ‘do not have the Law’ [Ro 2:14]) who were ‘hearers and doers of the Law’ [Ro 2:13,14], we are forced into the following conclusion:
    i. Since the ‘hearing and doing’ Gentiles [Ro 2:13-15] didn’t know the Law – being deemed “blind”, ‘in darkness’, ‘foolish’ and ‘immature’ by the ‘hearers only, but not doers’ who boasted in the Law – the ‘Word’ James says needs to be ‘heard and done’ (inextricably) cannot be ‘written Torah’, then:
    iii. Is not the ‘Word’ which must be ‘heard and done’ that ‘Ingraft Word’ (as James frames it) or that Word which is ‘WRITTEN on the heart’ (as Paul says it) by the Spirit?
    If so, that fact should not surprise you – seeing it is nothing more or less than the Word of Promise [Jer 31:33] (Ro 3:21 calls it ‘the righteousness of God apart from the Law being witnessed to by the Law and the Prophets’) being fulfilled (i.e.: that the New Covenant would induct the Law into hearts and minds of men via the Spirit’s ‘writing’).

    My Personal Conclusion:
    I believe that “it is not incumbent upon any partaker in the New Covenant to ‘know and observe the written Law’ to be deemed ‘hearers and doers of YHVHs Commandments'” has been sufficiently demonstrated – that neither I nor any other believer needs to be put under ‘mandatory-Torah-observance (or else)’ in order to be considered a ‘hearer and doer of the Law’ (as James calls us to be, and as Revelation says overcomers must be).

  2. Dan1el,

    What do you think now? Did Messiah uphold the law on marriage or teach something “CONTRADICTORY”, as you put it?

    Are we allowed to marry our sister now that we are new creatures in Messiah? If not how do you know from the scripture that you are right?

    Shalom

  3. Bo,
    I believe your arguments have been thoroughly disproven.

    1. Under the Law has been demonstrably proven to NOT be a phrase inclusive of all humanity (via #441, #443), thus when Paul says he is “not under the Law”, he is setting a precedent that believers are “NOT under the jurisdiction of the Law”.

    2. Believers can be called “hearers and doers of the Law” WITHOUT the Law [Ro 3:31] (as per #451).

    These were responses to questions and assertions which you previously attempted to set forth. I would appreciate a response, as I have done the same for you in responding to your assertions.

  4. Bo,
    Your “supports” no longer support your theories; however, as Dr. Brown & all others have said (per Ro 14), you’re free to obey the Law AS UNTO GOD – but, not to cause anyone to feel they “must” do it “or else”.

  5. Dan1el,

    What do you think now? Did Messiah uphold the law on marriage or teach something “CONTRADICTORY”, as you put it?

    Are we allowed to marry our sister now that we are new creatures in Messiah? If not how do you know from the scripture that you are right?

    Will you ever answer?

    Shalom

  6. Bo,
    1. Paul wasn’t under the authority of the Law, and neither is any other believer. Under the Law has been demonstrated to be a phrase which is indicative of a religious Jew. You have not rebutted this fact.

    2. It has been demonstrated that “doers of the Law” can be (and has been) applied to a people who’ve never known the Law (who were ‘without the Law’) – thus, they are those people that Revelation says “keep the faith in Jesus and do the Commandments of YHVH”.
    This proves that your belief that Gentiles must be “under the Law” to qualify to be those people Revelation and James 4 are talking about is false.

    These are crucial points which work against the very the very foundation of your belief/argument.
    You can pretend they haven’t been made, but the Truth is your arguments have no more leverage.

  7. In his book “Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus volume four”, in the paragraph just before he discusses Romans 14, 1 Corinthians 10, and 1Timothy 4, Dr. Michael Brown writes the following on page 280:

    “What then should we make of the key, related passages in the New
    Testament? I will cite each passage and offer varied interpretations.
    While these passages could be interpreted to mean that the dietary
    laws had been forever changed, other, plausible interpretations can
    be offered to the contrary.”

    Just after he discusses the three passages listed above, he summarizes this way on page 282:

    “Having examined the key passages, it can be said with confidence
    that a good case can be made that Yeshua did not abolish the dietary
    laws, although he did change our perspective on those laws in many
    important ways and, to a degree, our relationship to those laws.”

    In his summary of Messiah’s statements in Matthew 14 Mark 7 and Acts 10, Dr. Brown boldly states on page 279:

    “To reiterate: This did not mean that Yeshua was abrogating the
    dietary laws. If he had, surely he would have been accused of this
    at some point, but he was not. And surely, as emphasized above,
    this would have been reflected somewhere in the Acts, but it was not.”

    In reading the quotes from Dr. Brown above, it becomes obvious that there is some scholarly disagreement as to the “plausible” interpretations to the above listed passages. He documents some of these in the text from which these quotes were taken. It is interesting that he does not see anything in the book of Acts that would show that Messiah did away with the dietary laws. I agree with him.

    The Jerusalem council(Acts 15) gave certain minimum requirements to the gentiles that were coming to faith, most of which had to do with food prohibitions. Nothing was said one way or the other about many scriptural things in these instructions to the new believers. Nothing was said of the 10 commandments, the 2 great commandments, or even a detailed list of what fornication was and was not.

    Are we to conclude that the only things that believers, coming from the nations to be grafted into Israel, are required to do is abstain from just these four things listed in Acts 15? Where are these new converts going to get the details about what YHWH considers fornication? Their pagan customs and cultural “morality” would, I am sure, be at odds with what the Jewish believers would have considered prohibited.

    The apostles believed and practiced Torah. Messiah did too. Even Paul did. The gentiles were basically ignorant of the Torah, especially of the details of YHWH’s teaching. But the then extant scriptures were, in Paul’s words, “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17) It looks like this idea is reflected in Acts 15 by what is stated in verse 21.

    Acts 15
    20 but that we write unto them, that they abstain from the pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from what is strangled, and from blood.
    21 For Moses from generations of old hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath.

    The reason to only write the four things is because of “Moses…being read every sabbath.” The new converts could learn the details if they would go to hear the scripture read. They could be instructed in righteousness, learn right doctrine (teaching), and become perfect (mature) believers if they started with the four things and continued to put into practice the remaining things that they heard every Shabbat.

    They would hear about not fornicating with their wives by abstaining during their flow. They would hear about what days of special celebration YHWH appointed, and do them instead of continuing in their pagan festivals and dates. They would hear many, many things over the next three years. They would even hear that there are some animals that were not designed to be eaten by man. The scripture would correct them, reprove them, and instruct them. If they put into practice what they heard they would not deceive themselves, but would grow into mature saints (holy ones/set apart ones).

    Those early converts would have heard this read. Y’Shua didn’t abolish the law. (Mat. 5:17-19)

    Leviticus 11
    43 Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby.
    44 For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
    45 For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.

    Obeying the dietary laws is part of holiness. Let’s hear it and do it. Let’s grow up in every way we can.

    http://www.lineoffireradio.com/2010/06/16/does-it-matter-to-god-if-christians-keep-the-dietary-laws/#comment-24107

    Shalom

  8. Dan1el,

    What do you think now? Did Messiah uphold the law on marriage or teach something “CONTRADICTORY”, as you put it?

    Are we allowed to marry our sister now that we are new creatures in Messiah? If not how do you know from the scripture that you are right?

    I guess you have no answers?

    Shalom

  9. Dan1el,

    What do you think now? Did Messiah uphold the law on marriage or teach something “CONTRADICTORY”, as you put it?

    Are we allowed to marry our sister now that we are new creatures in Messiah? If not how do you know from the scripture that you are right?

    Will we ever get you to answer these simple questions?

    Shalom

  10. Dan1el,

    You wrote:
    “Your statement “hear and do” falls flat, since the Gentiles were “hearers and doers” WITHOUT THE LAW. Don’t you get it?”

    I think I get it.

    The Jerusalem council(Acts 15) gave certain minimum requirements to the gentiles that were coming to faith, most of which had to do with food prohibitions. Nothing was said one way or the other about many scriptural things in these instructions to the new believers. Nothing was said of the 10 commandments, the 2 great commandments, or even a detailed list of what fornication was and was not.

    Are we to conclude that the only things that believers, coming from the nations to be grafted into Israel, are required to do is abstain from just these four things listed in Acts 15? Where are these new converts going to get the details about what YHWH considers fornication? Their pagan customs and cultural “morality” would, I am sure, be at odds with what the Jewish believers would have considered prohibited.

    The apostles believed and practiced Torah. Messiah did too. Even Paul did. The gentiles were basically ignorant of the Torah, especially of the details of YHWH’s teaching. But the then extant scriptures were, in Paul’s words, “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17) It looks like this idea is reflected in Acts 15 by what is stated in verse 21.

    Acts 15
    20 but that we write unto them, that they abstain from the pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from what is strangled, and from blood.
    21 For Moses from generations of old hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath.

    The reason to only write the four things is because of “Moses…being read every sabbath.” The new converts could learn the details if they would go to hear the scripture read. They could be instructed in righteousness, learn right doctrine (teaching), and become perfect (mature) believers if they started with the four things and continued to put into practice the remaining things that they heard every Shabbat.

    Shalom

  11. Folks, I would suggest that the debate about NT believers and the Law, which already has had thousands of posts on other threads, has run its course again here. How about winding it down? If you want to continue the debate, feel free to exchange personal contact information. God’s grace to all of you!

  12. @Dr. Brown. I read your commentary on the two untils. I can’t agree with your interpretation of “until everything is fulfilled”. Because the “everything” being spoken of is “everything” in “the law and the prophets”.

    Messiah judging the nations and ruling, heaven and earth burning up, etc. etc. These things were talked about in the Law and the prophets and it’s these things he came to fulfil. So “until everything” which the Law and the prophets said the Messiah must fulfill, is fulfilled… you get the picture. I don’t see how you can read it any other way with that word “everything” being there.

  13. So many interpretations being laid out for the Scriptures..this is scary :/
    Very discouraging as well..makes me wonder if my current understanding of the Scriptures is the “right one”..apparently now we need to understand either the Hebrew or Greek text, to “obtain” an accurate perspective..also, we can’t(apparently) understand Paul’s epistles without first understanding the background of the people/cities he wrote to, such as “Romans, Hebrews, Corinthians, etc”..ughh
    It’s a scary, difficult, world we live in..May YHWH magnify His truth above doctrines of men and demons..may it shine as a lamp amidst darkness, lightning up our hearts in this cold dark world..love you all in Yeshua.

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