C H U R C H R E F O R M S E R I E S
By Biblicism Institute
“For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.” Luke 8:17
The faith that is known as Judaism today was never called thus.
Rabbi Adolph Moses in collaboration with Rabbi H.G. Enlow explained clearly in “Yahvism and Other Discourses,” that: “Among the innumerable misfortunes which have befallen… the most fatal in its consequences is the name Judaism… neither in biblical nor post-biblical, neither in Talmudic nor in much later times, is the term Judaism ever heard…”
And what was it called before?
Rabbi Louis Finkelstein stated in his book “The Pharisees, The Sociological Background of Their Faith” that: “Pharisaism became Talmudism, Talmudism became Medieval Rabbinism, and Medieval Rabbinism became Modern Rabbinism. But throughout these changes in name . . . the spirit of the ancient Pharisees survives, unaltered . . . From Palestine to Babylonia; from Babylonia to North Africa, Italy, Spain, France and Germany; from these to Poland, Russia, and eastern Europe generally, ancient Pharisaism has wandered . . . demonstrates the enduring importance which attaches to Pharisaism as a religious movement . . .”
Judaism is actually Pharisaism, and therefore it is a misnomer since it is neither the doctrine of Judah nor the doctrine that Christ the Judahite practiced.
“Pharisaism shaped the character of Judaism and the life and thought of the Jew for all the future,” explains the Jewish Encyclopedia.
In fact, Pharisaism is the doctrine of the Pharisees of old, an evil doctrine they brought back from their Babylonian captivity. It does not follow the truth of the Bible, neither of the Old Testament nor of the New. Its central tenets are found in a book called the Talmud, a book full of worldly traditions, lies, and superstitions.
“The Babylonian Talmud is based on the mystical religious practices of the Babylonians which were assimilated by the Judahite Rabbis during their Babylonian captivity around 600 B.C. The Rabbis then used these occult traditions in place of the word of God,” wrote Edward Hendrie in Solving the Mystery of Babylon the Great.
And that is why Jesus was constantly rebuking the Pharisees:
“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44
“You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.” Mark 7:8
“For you have taken away the key to knowledge.” Luke 11:52
“You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?” Matthew 23:33
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.” Matthew 23:15
The term Judaism was first coined by historian Flavius Josephus as he described the history, the civilization, the language, the poetry, the religion, the art, the science, the manners, the customs, the institutions, and the demise of the Ancient Judahites. It was not coined with the intention of starting a religion and nor is Judaism even mentioned in the Bible.
The people who first seized the term Judaism and its historical content were first-century Christians. They were using it as an educational tool to acquaint themselves with the true Judahite Hebrews who practiced the doctrine of Christ. Such a mechanism allowed them to better comprehend the Epistles of the Apostles.
As a result, they were able to grasp two important facts that have eluded today’s Christians:
a) that the Judahite Hebrews who became Christians were the true Israel of God whom God spared the Great Tribulation during the Apocalypse of AD 70 – an event a lot of Christians today think is in the future;
b) that those who followed the Pharisees were not the true Israel of God and therefore were not spared during said catastrophe that saw the genocide and the end of the Hebrew race.
“For they are not all Israel which are of Israel…” Romans 9:6
“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
“Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!” Matthew 23:38
In effect, those Judahite Hebrews who followed the Pharisees were the seed of the Devil, a truth the Apostle John was trying to convey in Revelation by calling them “Babylon”.
“The name written on her forehead was a mystery: Babylon the great, the mother of prostitutes, and of the abominations of the earth.” Revelation 17:5
As for the word “Jew”, Jewish-born historian Benjamin H. Freedman explained it thus:
“When the word ‘Jew’ was first introduced into the English language in the 18th century (1775) its one and only implication, inference and innuendo was ‘Judean’. During the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries a well-organized and well-financed international ‘pressure group’ created a so-called “secondary meaning” for the word ‘Jew’ among the English-speaking peoples of the world. This so-called ‘secondary meaning’ for the word ‘Jew’ bears no relation whatsoever to the 18th century original connotation of the word ‘Jew’. It is a misrepresentation.”
As it stands, the adherents of Pharisaism or Rabbinists not only hijacked the word Judaism, but they also misappropriated the word Jew. However – over time and as it pertains to Christianity – the word Jew was completely hollowed out of its “Judean” or “Judahite” meaning because those who hijacked it were not of the tribe of Judah. In fact, in many Christian circles today, that word causes quite the confusion.
Again, here’s historian Benjamin Freedman:
“The present generally accepted ‘secondary meaning’ of the word ‘Jew’ is fundamentally responsible for the confusion in the minds of Christians regarding elementary tenets of the Christian faith. It is likewise responsible today to a very great extent for the dilution of the devotion of countless Christians for their Christian faith. The implications, inferences and innuendoes of the word ‘Jew’ today, to the preponderant majority of intelligent and informed Christians, is contradictory and in complete conflict with incontestable historic fact. Christians who cannot be fooled any longer are suspect of the Christian clergy who continue to repeat, and repeat, and repeat ad nauseam their pet theme song ‘Jesus was a Jew’. It actually now approaches a psychosis.
“Countless Christians know today that they were ‘brain washed’ by the Christian clergy on the subject ‘Jesus was a Jew‘… (They) are also becoming more and more alerted day by day why the so-called or self-styled ‘Jews’ throughout the world for three centuries have spent uncounted sums of money to manufacture the fiction that the ‘Judeans’ in the time of Jesus were ‘Jews’ rather than ‘Judeans’, and that ‘Jesus was a Jew’.”
The forced evolution of the word “Jew” is similar to the evolution that befell the word “gay”. Gay=Merry became Gay=Homosexual. Try telling someone who’s happy (and who’s not a homosexual) that you’re glad he’s so “gay” and see what happens.
Another example is when many Christians today interact with a Jew they just met, their immediate reaction is to say, “Oh, Jesus was a Jew too.” What they’re unwittingly saying is, “Oh, Jesus was a Pharisee too.”
Oh, the blasphemy!
A word is what it is according to the meaning of its time. The word “Jew” today is so entrenched in describing one who follows Pharisaism (or Judaism) that it’s been completely emptied of its original meaning. Hence it no longer describes a Judahite or Judean, the actual word in the non-translated bible. That is why it needs to be struck from the translated bible because all it does is create confusion in the Christian mind; and that very confusion is exactly what the demonic forces want in order to unseat Christians as the new Chosen People – chosen to love and to do good – and to calumniate Christ as a Pharisee.
“God is not the author of confusion…” 1 Corinthians 14:33
Once the words “Judaism” and “Jew” were commandeered, they became the immediate revisionist words that historians endeavored to apply to everything “Jewish”, especially as such impetus was spurred on by that well-financed group historian Benjamin Freedman mentioned. See How the Ashkenazi Jews conquered the West.
As a result, the words that were previously used to describe the adherents of Pharisaism and their religion were sanitized. This in turn caused compromised writers of all stripes to follow suit as they searched for any excuse to exploit the word “Jew” in reference to proselytes of Pharisaism.
For example, pre-18th century playwrights who employed the word IEWE (Iewe is old English and means Judean or Jehudite/Judahite) in their work never meant to describe a JEW in the sense of the religious person we know today, but that didn’t matter to those who had revisionism in mind.
As a case in point, in The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare’s Shylock the Iewe was a fictional creative construct that borrowed its obvious tautology from the biblical Judahite money changers whom Jesus whipped and chased out of the Temple. Its creation was not intended to mimic Rabbinists of Shakespeare’s time. Nonetheless, it’s been widely and erroneously interpreted to mean a “JEW” in the modern sense.
In “Was Shylock Jewish?” Professor Emma Smith explained it thus:
“That ‘Jew’ (Iewe) might be an adjective rather than a noun – an attribute of a person which does not always or only denote religion or race – is common in its deployment in early modern English… In the early modern period, the signifier ‘Jew’ (Iewe) had become at least partially detached from the racial or religious signified with which it is now firmly associated… R.H. Tawney – along with Shakespeare’s own biography – demonstrated long ago that Elizabethan money lending was ‘not a profession but a bye-employment’. Thus the early modern association between Jews and money lending was almost always a knowing fiction…”
Yet, compromised historians and critics convoluted the whole Shylock-money-lender thing and re-engineered it to be construed as anti-“Jew” – just the way they twisted Christopher Marlowe’s The Rich Iewe of Malta into The Rich Jew of Malta. As Professor Smith pointed out: “…the representation of anti-semitism is more interesting and significant to us…”
However, Shakespeare was not anti-Jew as some allege, and nor was Shylock created to malign those who today are known as Jews, especially when he was penned at a time when “Jews” were called Rabbinists (followers of the Babylonian Talmud) and everyone knew they were not of the tribe of Judah.
And that’s why one should always be suspicious of the cry-wolf accusation of anti-semitism, as “Jews” are not even Semites.
“…it is impossible to change the genetic make-up from Caucasian to Semitic. Which automatically nullifies their claim to be returning to Israel, the land of their forebears, because their forebears were never in Biblical Israel,” explained Benjamin Disraeli, a former Jew himself and a Victorian Prime Minister of Great Britain, referring to the Jews who were migrating from Russia and Eastern Europe.
(As submitted to us by Mr. Larry Silverstein)
You must ALWAYS say Talmudic Jew and Talmudic Judaism, when speaking about Rabbinism (Pharisaism):
Unwitting Disciples of Zoroaster: The Influence of Zoroastrianism on Rabbanism in the Talmud and Midrash.
From 226 to 379, the Persian kings gathered and systematized the works of Zoroaster. The result was twenty-one great volumes – against the twenty-one words of the most holy Persian prayer, the Ahuravarrya. Known as Nusk, it is the Talmud of the Zoroastrians (speaking anachronistically).
Due to the hostilities between the Persians and the Arabs in the latter half of the eighth century, the books of the Nusk were singled out for destruction. What now remains to the remnants of Zoroastrianism are five volumes:
(1) Yasna – the book of sacrifices, which contains seventy-two chapters among them the Gatha passages (the oldest and most hallowed writings of the Zend-Avesta)
(2) Vendidad – twenty-two chapters on the laws regulating evil spirits.
(3) Yasht -an elaborate, detailed account of the Persian deities.
(4) The Vispered – twenty-four chapters (a supplement to Yasna).
(5) Khorda – an abridged edition of the laws in the Zend-Avesta.
The Talmud was greatly influenced by Persian culture. It derives, in fact, much of its content directly from the Zend-Avesta, as will be detailed in brief below. One finds in the Talmud not only Persian superstition and legend, but many legal decisions handed down in accordance with Persian code. Not to mention the customs and usages of Persian life. Even the forms and expressions of the literary Pahlavi entered into the Talmud in no small way. The Persian influence on the Talmud is so great that, at times, it is difficult to separate what is Jewish from what is Persian in it.
Let’s start with a look at Ahriman. Ahriman’s myriads of helpers are referred to as divs, what we now call devils. Vendidad I, 21 notes that these divs are more numerous than the dust of the earth (as does Talmud Masekhet Berakhot 6, Midrash Tehillim 17, Tanhuma, etc.,). The following passages from the Talmud and Midrash regarding demons (divs) were derived or directly copied from Vendidad II:
Masekhet Sanhedrin 25 notes that devs are particularly active in graveyards. Masekhet Gitin 68 and Midrash Qohelet state that divs are male and female. Masekhet Berakhot 61 and Masekhet Hulin 105 state that demons can assume the shape of human beings, or flys. Masekhet Hagigah 16 contends that demons, like human beings, can reproduce. Masekhet Gitin 68 calls Ashemdai (Aesmadiv in Persian) the greatest of the divs. One of the fundamental teachings of Persian religious conduct is the avoidance of unclean hands (Masekhet Shabbat 109). It was believed that Sabetkh, a div, rests upon such hands: The Qissur Shulhan Arukh 2.1 quoting Yosef Caro’s Beit Yosef states, “when a man is asleep, the holy soul departs from his body, and an unclean spirit descends upon him. When rising from sleep, the unclean spirit departs from his body except for his fingers, and does not depart until one spills water upon them three times alternately. One is not allowed to walk four cubits (six feet) without having one’s hands washed, except in cases of extreme necessity.”
Masekhet Megillah 3 states that during the period of night, no one must offer or receive the hand of another (for fear of an evil spirit). Masekhet Shevu‘ot 15 and Masekhet Berakhot 4 contain the Persian prayer to repel the unseen forces of evil.
The driving off of evil spirits by adjuration was an integral part of the Persian religion. Whole systems of conjuration were devised by them; and many were the invocations with which some of them commanded the devils. All of these spells and “prayers” can be found in the Talmud. A few examples will serve to illustrate:
Vendidad II, 223 and Masekhet Qiddushin 81 state that the chief thing to utter when exorcising a demon was, “I expel you from me.”
If one has been bitten by a mad dog, a spell must be intoned in order to eject the hurtful spirit. [This very incantation, from Vendidad I.30, as well as the spell to ward against forgetfulness and the spell to insure that the sheep of the slaughterhouse may be fat have been written in the Talmud]
The Persian beliefs in cameos, amulets, and talismans were also absorbed into the Talmud, along with the reading of sacred writings to restore health. In general, Zoroastrian influence is directly responsible for the presence of demons and devils in the Midrash and Talmud.
To attempt to detail every point where the Talmud draws upon the Zend-Avesta would take a book. The following section will detail some of the more prominent concepts:
The matter of benedictions, or the saying of grace over something that is eaten is of Persian origin (Vendidad II.112)
The entire marriage ritual, with its special blessings, ceremony and rites is fully delimitated in the Zend-Avesta (II.157, 158, III.228)
Vendidad II.130 and Midrash Tehillim both contend that the righteous who dwell in Paradise are as luminous as the stars.
Vendidad 18, 166 and Masekhet Sanhedrin 17 state that the art of magic does not come from the Evil Power, and all wise men (in the case of the Talmud the men of the Sanhedrin can practice it).
Both the Zend-Avesta (according to the Persians) and Torah (according to the Talmud) are able to repel demonic influences, merely by their recitation (c.f., Seder Eliyhau, Zuta 82, Masekhet Megillah 31, and Masekhet Ta‘anit 27).
The passage in the Zend-Avesta where Ahura Mazda speaks to Zoroaster of the life of virtue that follows death has been copied directly into the Talmud (Masekhet Avot 86).
The disciples of Zoroaster are assured of a heavenly existence, so the Talmud says of the nation of Israel (Masekhet ‘Eruvin 10).
God is with him who studies and mediates in the night (Vendidad 18, Masekhet ‘Avodah Zarah 3, Masekhet Berakhot 30).
The Persians believed that life is but a passing, unimportant state of existence, only after death does one truly begin to live, so Midrash Qohelet Rabba. Zoroastrians were loath to convert others to their faith, so too is found in the Talmud a discouragement to prosetylization (Masekhet Qiddushin 70).
Though the Zend-Avesta was unknown before the coming of Zoroaster, the righteous who had lived before him were aware of it, and followed the precepts it contained. The Talmud, in this vein, contends that the Patriarchs perfectly observed the Torah even though it had not yet been given (Masekhet Yoma 28).
Truly, all of the enjoinments concerning demons and spirits detailed in the Vendidad may be found in the Talmud. It is as if the authors of the Talmud sat down and copied the Vendidad into the Talmud. Many of the laws of Yasna: sacrificial arrangement, rendering of divine service, and regulations of cleanliness form the major portion of Talmudic law in these matters. The list goes on and on, to the extent that one begins to wonder if Rabbanites are unwitting disciples of Zoroaster.
THE TALMUD IN JUDAISM
Both classical and modern-day Judaism gives precedence to the Talmud more than the Torah and other books of the Old Testament. The article establishes the central role and authority of Talmud from standard Jewish and secular sources.
There is a misconception about Judaism common among Christians and Muslims. This is the misleading idea that Judaism is a ‘biblical religion’; that the Old Testament has in Judaism the same central place and legal authority which the Bible has for Protestant or even Catholic Christianity. The legal interpretation of sacred texts is rigidly fixed in Judaism – but by the Talmud, rather than by the Bible itself (Shahak 1994).
The supremacy of the Talmud over the Bible may be seen in the case of the black Ethiopian Jews. Ethiopians are very knowledgeable of the Old Testament. However, their religion is so ancient that it pre-dates the Talmud, of which the Ethiopians have no knowledge. The New York Times wrote,
“The problem is that Ethiopian Jewish tradition goes no further than the Bible or Torah; the later Talmud and other commentaries that form the basis of modern traditions never came their way.”
Because they are not versed in Talmudic tradition, the black Ethiopian Jews are discriminated against and have been forbidden to perform marriages, funerals and other services in the Israeli state. It is the natural consequence of Jewish belief of considering the Talmud superior to the Torah. The Talmud states,
Erubin 21b (Soncino edition):
“My son, be more careful in the observance of the words of the Scribes than in the words of the Torah.”
Rabbi Adin Even Israel Steinsaltz is the founder of the Israel Institute for Talmudic Publications, and has enjoyed the backing of Israeli presidents and prime ministers; he is a recipient of Israel’s highest civilian honor, the Israel Prize. He is currently translating the Talmud into English, French, and Russian. He writes,
“If the Bible is the cornerstone of Judaism, then the Talmud is the central pillar, soaring up from the foundations and supporting the entire spiritual and intellectual edifice. In many ways the Talmud is the most important book in Jewish culture, the backbone of creativity and of national life. No other work has had a comparable influence on the theory and practice of Jewish life, shaping spiritual content and serving as a guide to conduct.”
“Historically speaking, the Talmud is the central pillar of Jewish culture. This culture is many faceted, but each of its numerous aspects is connected in some way with the Talmud. This is true not only of the literature that deals directly with the interpretation or continuation of the Talmud, but also of all other types of Jewish creativity.”
The importance of the Talmud and its authority can be understood by what the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia states,
“The Talmud is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable literary productions of all times. It is an encyclopedia covering the whole scene of human life. It is almost impossible to convey to one who has not spent years in the study of this complex work an idea of its true nature, as even the most exact translations cannot catch the inner spirit of the Talmud … As a repository of the Oral Law, the Talmud’s authority is regarded as divine by Orthodox Jews, and hence it is held to be binding and immutable. Conservative and Reform Jews, however, do not recognize the absolute binding power of the Talmud, although they acknowledge the great part it has played in determining Jewish religious ideas and observances.”
Herman Wouk is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author of eleven novels, three plays, and two works of nonfiction. In his book, This is My God; the Jewish Way of Life, serialized in the New York Herald-Tribune in 1959, he wrote:
“The Talmud is to this day the circulating heart’s blood of the Jewish religion. Whatever laws, customs or ceremonies we observe — whether we are Orthodox, Conservative, Reform or merely spasmodic sentimentalists — we follow the Talmud. It is our common law.”
THE ROLE OF THE BABYLONIAN TALMUD IN JUDAISM
The Talmud is not an ancient document with no relevance to modern Judaism. On the contrary, the Encyclopedia Britannica tells us that with the rebirth of a Jewish national state since 1948 and the revival of Jewish culture, the Talmud has achieved renewed importance. Orthodox Judaism has always focused upon its study and has believed it to be the absolute religious authority. It has become one of the aims of religious (Orthodox) Jews there to establish the law of Talmud as the general law of the state. Aside from Israel, the legal system described above has continued to function down to the present day in Jewish communities all over the world. The jurisdiction of rabbinic courts is voluntarily accepted by Orthodox Jews. These courts continue to exert authority, especially in the areas of family and dietary law, the synagogue, and the organization of charity and social activity. Furthermore, Conservative Judaism, too, has always been committed to the Talmud. Thus, a network of day schools and higher institutions of learning in which the Talmud occupies a major role in the curriculum has been established. Scores of young Conservative Jews now search in the Talmud for answers to their crucial problems.
 N.Y. Times: Sept. 29, 1992, p.4
 Rabbi Adin Even Israel Steinsaltz, The Essential Talmud, page 3
 Adin Steinsaltz, The Essential Talmud, trans. Chaya Galai (New York: Basic Books, 1976) 266
 Herschel Revel, Librarian of the Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, New York, The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, s.v. “Talmud,” Volume 10, page 165.
 Herman Wouk, This is My God; the Jewish Way of Life quoted by Elizabeth Dilling in The Jewish Religion: Its Influence Today, page 2.
 “Talmud and Midrash.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2006.