My understanding of Protestant Christianity says that the Gentiles in the first century still needed to observe the moral law given before Moses came on the scene. So my question is, are there any non-moral laws, directly from the Torah, that based on New Testament teaching, are binding on all Gentiles that join themselves to the Yeshua's
Commonwealth of Israel
In Acts 15:20, there are four items mentioned that the new believing Gentiles must follow when they join Yeshua's Ekklesia, the Commonwealth of Israel.
Interesting enough, these are the exact same ones required by the new Gentiles joining the Commonwealth of Israel in the time of Moses.
- 1. Avoid pollutions of idols (Lev. 17:8-9)
- 2. No drinking blood (Lev 17:10,12)
- 3. Don't eat anything in which the blood has not been drained first (which equals strangled) (Lev 17:13)
- 4. Do not commit any of the listed sexual abominations found in Lev 18:6-23; Greek word
[For a more indepth look at this subject, consult History, Literature and Society in the Book of Acts, Edited by Ben Witherington, III, Chapter 7 James and the Gentiles (Acts 15.13-21) Richard Bauckham, starting on page 154, especially pages 172 - 184]
For a thorough look at why these are not the "Noahide Laws", please consult Tim Hegg's
Do the Seven, Go to Heaven
So this question formed in my mind: At the time of Moses, they (the new Gentiles) started with these 4 and eventually were required to embrace all of them. Is it possible that that was the same plan for the Gentiles in the first century and that the problem being addressed by Paul was that the new Gentiles who were becoming believers in Yeshua didn't need to learn the entire Torah first to gain admittance? They would start with these and then learn the rest along the way?
It seemed possible when verse 21 is considered as a connecting verse to 20.
Paraphrase of verses Acts 15:20 and 21:
] Therefore, my judgment is as the new Gentiles enter the Commonwealth of Israel, we won't trouble them with any more than what Moses required of new Gentiles in his time. They learned the Torah on an ongoing basis
) after starting with the first 4 (Leviticus 17:8-13; 18:26) and since Moses is to this day preached in all the synagogues on the Sabbath, our new Gentile believers will hear the Torah there and can learn it too.
So, based on these non-moral laws being required to be obeyed by the new Gentile believers, it is obvious that all the law (except the moral part) was done away with... IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE!
And I also took note of who approved of these four...
- Pleased the apostles (this includes Paul)
- Pleased the Elders
- Pleased the Whole Church
- Pleased the Holy Spirit
However, the Protestants take a different view.
In the Augsburg Confession
Article 28, section #65 it says:
 "The Apostles commanded Acts 15:20 to abstain from blood. Who does now observe it? And yet they that do it not sin not; for not even the Apostles themselves wanted to burden consciences with such bondage; but they forbade it for a time, to avoid offense."
Unfortunately (for the Protestants), there is not a SINGLE verse in Scripture that supports this specific supposition.
So the Apostles didn't want to burden the new believers' consciences with such bondage but the Holy Spirit
was just fine with it? Questionable, at best!
So then, why isn't the church keeping them today? Because the Protestants have declared that the Apostles forbade it for a time, with NO Scripture whatsoever to support it and that therefore, now, it is not sin to violate these requirements, that is, bondages, that the Holy Spirit and the Entire Church were pleased with.
Just because the Protestants say so!
So what might our response be???
This is not the first time that teachers and leaders have passed along traditions that didn't lead down the correct path.
Yahweh, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, "Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit." Jeremiah 16:19
Let's be wary of any traditions until we check them out ourselves!