The Third Temple  The Center for
Messianic Learning 

Unapologetically Pro-Torah
Unashamedly Pro-Israel
Irrevocably Zionist
“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)
Jew and Gentile (Synagogue and Church), one in Messiah. (Ephesians 2:14)
“For He is our peace, Who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition, …”

If your life is not in jeopardy for what you believe, you’re probably on the wrong side!
If you don’t believe Genesis 1-11, how can you possibly believe John 3:16?
“Indeed, all who want to live a godly life united with the Messiah Yeshua will be persecuted.” (2Tim 3:12)
It is what you actually believe that determines how you walk out your faith, “but avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, quarrels and fights about the Torah; because they are worthless and futile.” (Titus 3:9)

Please Note: Absolutely nothing on this website should be taken as anti-Church or anti-Rabbinic. I am not anti-anything or anti-anyone. I am only pro-Torah and pro-Truth (see “Philosophy”), but sometimes the Truth upsets our long-held beliefs. I know it certainly upset mine! For example, see “Why Isn’t My Theology Consistent Throughout the Website?”

Developing a
Systematic Messianic Theology

“The purpose of careful theological formulations is not to put barriers in the way of people who are seeking salvation, but to define clearly the truths upon which genuine [Biblical] faith rests, so that people will not be misled by false doctrines.” [Bowman]

“It must be clearly and unequivocally stated that theology cannot save you. Only faith in Messiah Yeshua can save you. Theology can only give you sound doctrine.” [RLS]

Unless otherwise specified, throughout the Theology section of my website I use the term “Torah” in the wider sense of including the entire body of inspired Scripture: both the Tanakh and the Apostolic Writings. I personally do not consder any other so-called “sacred writings” either inspired by God or authoritative for the Believer’s walk of faith. Thus, I do not consider the Mishnah (the “Oral Torah”) as part of Torah. You should make up your own mind.

[Explanations of rabbinic citations are HERE]

The Tradition of the Elders

Takanot (singular takanah, תקנה)-- “Takkanah … An enactment which (1) revises an ordinance that no longer satisfies the requirements of the times or circumstances, or which (2), being deduced from a Biblical passage, may be regarded as new” (

The Oral Tradition, Tradition of the Fathers, or “Oral Torah”-- are Rabbinical regulations, now codified in the Talmud, that either add to or subtract from the requirements of Torah in direct violation of Torah; laws enacted by the Rabbis that change or negate Torah law. Obedience to Takanot is obedience to the Rabbis instead of obedience to God. In fact, some rabbis claim that when they make takanot, even God must obey their decisions. But in my mind the issue is forever resolved by Kefa (Peter): “Kefa and the other emissaries answered, ‘We must obey God, not men’” (Acts 5:29).

Rav Sha'ul (the Apostle Paul) is generally falsely accused of teaching against the Torah in his many letters. Had he done so, it would have been the height of hypocrasy, since he said “… I lived as a Pharisee according to the strictest sect of our religion.” (Acts 26:5) He never taught against Torah; what he taught against was legalism and those takanot which were contrary to Torah!

Do I think all takanot are wrong? Not at all. If you feel that following takanot brings you closer to the walk with the Almighty you desire, or if you feel that takanot are appropriate to your identification with Israel, then by all means, follow whatever takanot you desire. I do not, however, believe that viewing takanot as authoritative or binding upon a Messianic Believer (believer in Yeshua) is appropriate.

In order to obey the mitzvot of יְהוָֹה your God which I am giving you, do not add to what I am saying, and do not subtract from it. (Deut 4:2)

Everything I am commanding you, you are to take care to do. Do not add to it or subtract from it. (Deut 12:32)

Every word of God’s is pure; He shields those taking refuge in Him. Don't add anything to His words; or He will rebuke you, and you be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6)

I warn everyone hearing the words of the prophecy in this book that if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues written in this book. And if anyone takes anything away from the words in the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the Tree of Life and the holy city, as described in this book. (Revelation 22:18-19)

The Sages claim that the Takanot (Mishnah) is that body of teaching that God gave to Moses at Sinai which he did not commit to writing, but passed on orally down through the generations. “Moses received the torah at Sinai and transmitted it to Joshua, Joshua to the elders, and the elders to the prophets, and the prophets to the Men of the Great Assembly. They said three things: Be patient in [the administration of] justice, raise many disciples and make a fence round the Torah.” (Pirkei Avot 1:1) However, the written Torah says: “Moses wrote down all the words of יְהוָֹה.” (Exodus 24:4) Through the oral tradition, the Takanot, the sages assigned to themselves the same authority as Moses had, therefore rendering their own opinions as authoritative, or even more so, than the Torah.

One such rediculous rule is that when putting one’s shoes on, one must first put the right shoe on without tying it, then put the left shoe on, tie it, then tie the right shoe. To put shoes on any other way is a “sin,” a violation of their complex rules.

This is why I personly consider myself a Messianic Karaite Jew (please see “Philosophy”) and do not hold the Talmud or Midrash as authoritative in any way. They are, however-- as commentary on the Torah-- of great value as the treasury of centuries of Jewish case law, and provide extremely valuable insight into the minds of the Sages as they interpreted Torah. And if you personally feel that God is calling you to follow them, then by all means, please listen to Him and not to me! But what would Yeshua do?

5The P’rushim and the Torah-teachers asked Him [Yeshua], “Why don’t Your talmidim live in accordance with the Tradition of the Elders, but instead eat with ritually unclean hands?” 6Yeshua answered them, “Yesha‘yahu was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites-- as it is written,

‘These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from Me. 7Their worship of Me is useless, because they teach man-made rules as if they were doctrines.’ [Isaiah 29:13]

8“You depart from God’s command and hold onto human tradition. 9Indeed,” He said to them, “you have made a fine art of departing from God’s command in order to keep your tradition! (Mark 7:5-9) has an extensive article on Takanot, as does the Jewish Encyclopedia. Refer to Yeshua’s teaching regarding takanot in Matthew 15 and Mark 7.

See also Minhag.

Originally posted on Sunday, 26 December 2021

Page last updated on Tuesday, 26 September 2023 01:32 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return

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