I’ll continue to consider yehôvâh’s (יהוה) instruction to Moses: They are to eat those things by which atonement (kâphar, כפר; Septuagint: ἡγιάσθησαν, a form of ἁγιάζω) was made to consecrate and to set them apart, but no one else may eat them, for they are holy.
The Hebrew word translated to consecrate was למלא (mâlêʼ). In the Septuagint למלא (mâlêʼ) was translated τελειῶσαι τὰς χεῖρας, “validate their hands” in an English translation of the Septuagint (NETS). And τελειῶσαι (a form of τελειόω) was translated to perfect in: For the law possesses a shadow of the good things to come but not the reality itself, and is therefore completely unable, by the same sacrifices offered continually, year after year, to perfect those who come to worship.
There isn’t a lot of wiggle room in the meaning of τελειῶσαι here. If the sacrifices had perfected those who came to worship, the sacrifices would have ceased to be offered long before the temple was destroyed: For otherwise would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers would have been purified once for all and so have no further consciousness of sin? John wrote (1 John 1:5-2:6 NET):
Now this is the gospel message we have heard from him and announce to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him and yet keep on walking in the darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth. But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we do not bear the guilt of sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us. (My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.) But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One, and he himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for the whole world.
Now by this we know that we have come to know God: if we keep (τηρῶμεν, a form of τηρέω) his commandments. The one who says “I have come to know God” and yet does not keep (τηρῶν, another form of τηρέω) his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in such a person. But whoever obeys (τηρῇ, another form of τηρέω) his word, truly in this person the love of God has been perfected (τετελείωται, another form of τελειόω). By this we know that we are in him. The one who says he resides in God ought (ὀφείλει, a form of ὀφείλω) himself to walk just as Jesus walked.
If I fall back on my own strength the obligation to walk just as Jesus walked will fill me first with fear, then defensiveness, anger and eventually a pervasive desire to “chuck this whole religion thing.” So I plan to be very gentle with myself. I want to keep foremost in my mind the two points from the previous essay: 1) By his will we have been made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all; and, 2) he will in fact do this: …make you completely holy and…[keep] your spirit and soul and body…entirely blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
If I’m honest my fear stems from my offended pride when I fail to walk just as Jesus walked in my own strength. So I want to consider that pride. Aaron and his sons were commanded to eat those things by which atonement was made to consecrate and to set them apart. No one else could eat them, for they are holy. For the moment it doesn’t really matter whether they meant the things by which atonement was made or Aaron and his sons or all of the above. In any case Aaron and his sons were distinguished from everyone else in Israel by this holiness. But how proud could they be about that?
|Exodus 29:4-9 (NET)||
Leviticus 8:6-13 (NET)
|You are to present Aaron and his sons at the entrance of the tent of meeting. You are to wash them with water…||So Moses brought Aaron and his sons forward and washed them with water.|
|…and take the garments and clothe Aaron with the tunic, the robe of the ephod, the ephod, and the breastpiece; you are to fasten the ephod on him by using the skillfully woven waistband.||Then he put the tunic on Aaron, wrapped the sash around him, and clothed him with the robe. Next he put the ephod on him and placed on him the decorated band of the ephod, and fastened the ephod closely to him with the band.|
|Exodus 28:30||He then set the breastpiece on him and put the Urim and Thummim into the breastpiece.|
|You are to put the turban on his head and put the holy diadem on the turban.||Finally, he set the turban on his head and attached the gold plate, the holy diadem, to the front of the turban just as the Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה) had commanded Moses.|
|Exodus 30:22-33||Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and everything in it, and so consecrated (qâdash, ויקדש; Septuagint: ἡγίασεν, another form of ἁγιάζω) them.|
|Next he sprinkled some of it on the altar seven times and so anointed the altar, all its vessels, and the wash basin and its stand to consecrate (qâdash, לקדשם; Septuagint: ἡγίασεν, another form of ἁγιάζω) them.|
|You are to take the anointing oil and pour it on his head and anoint him.||He then poured some of the anointing oil on the head of Aaron and anointed him to consecrate (qâdash, לקדשו; Septuagint: ἡγίασεν, another form of ἁγιάζω) him.|
|You are to present his sons and clothe them with tunics…||Moses also brought forward Aaron’s sons, clothed them with tunics, wrapped sashes around them, and wrapped headbands on them just as the Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה) had commanded Moses.|
|…and wrap the sashes around Aaron and his sons and put headbands on them, and so the ministry of priesthood will belong to them by a perpetual ordinance. Thus you are to consecrate (mâlêʼ, ומלאת: Septuagint: τελειώσεις, another form of τελειόω) Aaron and his sons.|
Aaron and his sons were distinguished in holiness because they stood there while Moses performed yehôvâh’s prescribed rituals to them and around them. Now to the one who works, Paul wrote believers in Rome, his pay is not credited due to grace but due to obligation (ὀφείλημα). But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous, his faith is credited as righteousness. The Pharisees on the other hand said, None of the rulers or the Pharisees have believed in [Jesus], have they? But this rabble who do not know the law are accursed!
This is very interesting in this context. The priests were made holy by atonement rituals prescribed by yehôvâh. The only holiness the Pharisees could legitimately claim was atonement made by priests performing rituals prescribed by yehôvâh. Yet they distinguished themselves from the rabble (ὄχλος) here, not by these rituals, but by knowledge of the law. To seek out some other distinction was a tacit acknowledgement that the law was completely unable, by the same sacrifices offered continually, year after year, to perfect those who come to worship. So in a sense they were on the right track as it pertained to recognizing a need.
I don’t intend to minimize the value of knowing the law as a means to knowing the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom [He] sent. As the Psalmist wrote (Psalm 119:33-40 Tanakh):
Teach me, O LORD (yehôvâh,יהוה), the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.
Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.
Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.
Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.
Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.
Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good.
Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.
But to claim knowledge of the law as a means of distinction, rendering one more holy than one who does not know it, is to not know the law: For all who rely on doing the works of the law are under a curse, because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not keep on doing everything written in the book of the law.” Cursed be he that confirmeth not the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say: Amen. For all who have sinned apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law.
Cursed in the phrase Cursed is everyone was ἐπικατάρατος in Greek. The Greek word translated accursed in this rabble who do not know the law are accursed was ἐπάρατοι (a form of ἐπικατάρατος). In other words, those who know the law are as accursed as those who do not because… (Romans 3:10-18 NET):
…just as it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one, there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, together they have become worthless; there is no one who shows kindness, not even one.”
“Their throats are open graves, they deceive with their tongues, the poison of asps is under their lips.”
“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
“Their feet are swift to shed blood, ruin and misery are in their paths, and the way of peace they have not known.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
So how proud should I, a Gentile, be, recognizing that: 1) by [Israel’s] transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make Israel jealous; 2) They were broken off because of their unbelief, but [I] stand by faith; Do not be arrogant, but fear; For if God did not spare the natural branches, perhaps he will not spare [me]; 3) [I] have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One, and he himself is the atoning sacrifice for [my] sins, and not only for [my] sins but also for the whole world; and, 4) Jesus Christ the righteous One promised, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself”?
It is past time that I give up my pride, quit trying to distinguish myself from others by some holiness I have achieved rather than received, and start gathering with Jesus rather than scattering (Matthew 12:30-32). So then, it does not depend on human desire or exertion, but on God who shows mercy. Just as you were formerly disobedient to God, but have now received mercy due to their disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. For God has consigned all people to disobedience so that he may show mercy to them all.
The righteous never expected to keep the law in his or her own strength but in the power and presence of God (Psalm 51 Tanakh):
Have mercy upon me, O God (ʼĕlôhı̂ym, אלהים), according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God (ʼĕlôhı̂ym, אלהים); and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God (ʼĕlôhı̂ym, אלהים), thou God (ʼĕlôhı̂ym, אלהי) of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
O Lord (ʼădônây, אדני), open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God (ʼĕlôhı̂ym, אלהים) are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God (ʼĕlôhı̂ym, אלהים), thou wilt not despise.
Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.
A table comparing the NET and KJV translation of 1 John 1:5-2:6 follows. I broke the table whenever the NET parallel Greek text differed from the Stephanus Textus Receptus or the Byzantine Majority Text.
1 John 1:5-2:6 (NET)
1 John 1:5-2:6 (KJV)
|Now this is the gospel message we have heard from him and announce to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.||This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.|
|Stephanus Textus Receptus|
|Καὶ ἔστιν αὕτη ἡ ἀγγελία ἣν ἀκηκόαμεν ἀπ᾿ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀναγγέλλομεν ὑμῖν, ὅτι ὁ θεὸς φῶς ἐστιν καὶ σκοτία |ἐν αὐτῷ| οὐκ ἔστιν οὐδεμία||και αυτη εστιν η επαγγελια ην ακηκοαμεν απ αυτου και αναγγελλομεν υμιν οτι ο θεος φως εστιν και σκοτια εν αυτω ουκ εστιν ουδεμια||και εστιν αυτη η αγγελια ην ακηκοαμεν απ αυτου και αναγγελλομεν υμιν οτι ο θεος φως εστιν και σκοτια εν αυτω ουκ εστιν ουδεμια|
|If we say we have fellowship with him and yet keep on walking in the darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth.||If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:|
|But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.||But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.|
|Stephanus Textus Receptus|
|ἐὰν δὲ ἐν τῷ φωτὶ περιπατῶμεν ὡς αὐτός ἐστιν ἐν τῷ φωτί, κοινωνίαν ἔχομεν μετ᾿ ἀλλήλων καὶ τὸ αἷμα Ἰησοῦ τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ καθαρίζει ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ πάσης ἁμαρτίας||εαν δε εν τω φωτι περιπατωμεν ως αυτος εστιν εν τω φωτι κοινωνιαν εχομεν μετ αλληλων και το αιμα ιησου χριστου του υιου αυτου καθαριζει ημας απο πασης αμαρτιας||εαν δε εν τω φωτι περιπατωμεν ως αυτος εστιν εν τω φωτι κοινωνιαν εχομεν μετ αλληλων και το αιμα ιησου χριστου του υιου αυτου καθαριζει ημας απο πασης αμαρτιας|
|If we say we do not bear the guilt of sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.||If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.|
|But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.||If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.|
|If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us.||If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.|
|(My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.) But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One,||My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:|
|and he himself is the atoning sacrifice (ἱλασμός) for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for the whole world.||And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.|
|Now by this we know that we have come to know God: if we keep his commandments.||And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.|
|The one who says “I have come to know God” and yet does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in such a person.||He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.|
|But whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has been perfected. By this we know that we are in him.||But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.|
|The one who says he resides in God ought himself to walk just as Jesus walked.||He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.|
 The Greek verbs translated walk and walked were περιπατεῖν and περιεπάτησεν respectively. Both are forms of περιπατέω. By simply tracking select forms of περιπατέω I found that Paul and the Holy Spirit left a fairly detailed description of what it means to walk just as Jesus walked: περιπατῆσαι, Colossians 1:9-14; περιπατήσωμεν, Romans 6:1-4; περιπατήσωμεν, Ephesians 2:4-10; περιπατῆτε, 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12; περιπατεῖτε, Ephesians 5:1-21, Colossians 2:6-23, Colossians 4:2-6; περιπατεῖν (also περιπατεῖτε), 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; περιπατείτω, 1 Corinthians 7:17-24; περιπατοῦμεν, 2 Corinthians 5:1-10; περιπατοῦσιν, Romans 8:1-17. Perhaps most to the point is Galatians 5:16. But I say, live (περιπατεῖτε) by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.
 τελειώσεις τὰς χεῖρας, “validate the hands” (NETS)
 from Pharisees: “Emergence of the Pharisees”
After defeating the Seleucid forces, Judas Maccabaeus’s nephew John Hyrcanus established a new monarchy in the form of the priestly Hasmonean dynasty in 152 BCE, thus establishing priests as political as well as religious authorities. Although the Hasmoneans were considered heroes for resisting the Seleucids, their reign lacked the legitimacy conferred by descent from the Davidic dynasty of the First Temple era.
The Pharisee (“separatist”) party emerged largely out of the group of scribes and sages…
Sadducees rejected the Pharisaic tenet of an Oral Torah. In their personal lives this often meant an excessively stringent lifestyle from a Jewish perspective, as they did away with the oral tradition, and in turn the Pharisaic understanding of the Torah, creating two Jewish understandings of the Torah. An example of this differing approach is the interpretation of, “an eye in place of an eye”. The Pharisaic understanding was that the value of an eye was to be paid by the perpetrator. In the Sadducees’ view the words were given a more literal interpretation, in which the offender’s eye would be removed. From the point of view of the Pharisees, the Sadducees wished to change the Jewish understanding of the Torah, to a Greek understanding of the Torah. The Pharisees preserved the Pharisaical oral law in the form of the Talmud. They would become the foundation of Rabbinic Judaism…
“The Hasmonean period”
After the death of John Hyrcanus his younger son Alexander Jannaeus made himself king and openly sided with the Sadducees by adopting their rites in the Temple. His actions caused a riot in the Temple and led to a brief civil war that ended with a bloody repression of the Pharisees. However, on his deathbed Jannaeus advised his widow, Salome Alexandra, to seek reconciliation with the Pharisees.
“The Roman period”
According to Josephus, the Pharisees appeared before Pompey asking him to interfere and restore the old priesthood while abolishing the royalty of the Hasmoneans altogether (“Ant.” xiv. 3, § 2). Pharisees also opened Jerusalem’s gates to the Romans, and actively supported them against the Sadducean faction. When the Romans finally broke the entrance to the Jerusalem’s Temple, the Pharisees killed the priests who were officiating the Temple services on Saturday. They regarded Pompey’s defilement of the Temple in Jerusalem as a divine punishment of Sadducean misrule.
 In John 7:40 ὄχλου (a form of ὄχλος; translated of the crowd) was used without any pejorative connotation. The translators may have added more emphasis to the distinction than the Pharisees actually intended. The point still stands that they distinguished themselves from the crowd, not by yehôvâh’s prescribed rituals, but by their own knowledge of the law.
 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one (Psalm 14:1-3 Tanakh).
 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue (Psalm 5:9 Tanakh). They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison is under their lips. Selah (Psalm 140:3 Tanakh).
 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace (Isaiah 59:7, 8 Tanakh).