Did Jesus Break the Sabbath

Hedge around the Sabbath

If Jesus broke the Sabbath then He sinned and there is no Savior. Yet some scriptures are quoted to back up the assumption that He broke the Sabbath.

One of them is a story from the Bible that most people who have been to church, or Sunday School, would have heard…

John 5:5-18 “And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. … 8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up your bed, and walk. 9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the Sabbath. … 15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. 16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the Sabbath day. 17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. 18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.”

Verse 18 says that Jesus ‘broke the Sabbath’ – is this true?  The Greek is different.

Does it say Jesus broke the Sabbath?

No. According to an online Greek/English Interlinear translation ‘broke’ is translated as ‘loosed.’

Jesus loosed the Sabbath, Greek

Another Greek Interlinear says that Jesus ‘untied’ the Sabbath.

Jesus untied the Sabbath, Greek

Loosed? Untied? From what. Perhaps the answer is in another place.

Mark 7:9
“And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” KJV

There are 613 Sabbath commandments. Whether all of these were in effect in Jesus’ day is not clear but He confronted them on the subject of washing pots, and handwashing before eating.

Mark 7:3
Now in holding to the tradition of the elders, the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat until they wash their hands ceremonially.
Berean Study Bible

You have disregarded the commandment of God to keep the tradition of men.”
Mark 7:8

Some examples of the Sabbath commandments can be found here…

https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/95907/jewish/The-Shabbat-Laws.htm

There are more in the Code of Jewish Law.

Could it be that Jesus ‘loosed the Sabbath’ from the traditions of Judaism?

What is Judaism?

The history of the Jews and Judaism can be divided into five periods: (1) ancient Israel before Judaism, from the beginnings to 586 BCE; (2) the beginning of Judaism in the 6th and 5th centuries BCE.

Later periods are not relevant to the time of Christ.

A common belief is that Judaism is the Law of Moses. (The written law was the Law of God, not Moses.)

Back to Judaism.

American rabbinical scholar Stephen S Wise has said, “The Jews’ return form Babylon marked the end of Hebrew-ism and the beginning of Judaism.”

In their defence I need to add that the beginning of Pharisaism was to prevent the breaking of the law which had led Judah into captivity. However, the rules designed to prevent people breaking the law became a hedge around the law.

In Jesus’ time these traditions are more  than likely what he meant about rejecting the commands of God for the traditions of men.

Some of the rabbis admit that Judaism is not based on Scriptures but on the so-called Oral Law.

It is a huge subject, and one which I had to research thoroughly to accurately portray the background of the Apostle John Series, and the companion novellas.

As far as I can see, Jesus loosed or untied the Sabbath from the traditions of men.

Just thinking,

Susan

Hate Your Enemies – Really?

What did Jesus mean when he said, “You have heard it said ‘love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  I have always thought of this as Jesus correcting an Old Testament ‘law.’ Not so!

I was astounded when I heard a preacher say that Jesus was correcting a ‘tradition’ not a law.

Hate your enemies - or love them

So, I checked it out.

I ‘ran a search’ of the whole Bible seeking another instance when ‘hate your enemy’ was mentioned. There was none. The closest ‘match’ was a scripture in Leviticus 19: 18 – the command to love your neighbor as yourself.

‘Hate your enemy’ … a tradition?

One site mentioned that Jesus might have been correcting a saying among the zealots that had become a tradition.

Checking out Zealots, I found the following in Wikipedia –

“The Zealots objected to Roman rule and violently sought to eradicate it by generally targeting Romans and Greeks. Another group, likely related, were the Sicarii, who raided Jewish habitations and killed Jews they considered apostate and collaborators, while also urging Jews to fight Romans and other Jews for the cause.”

Hate your enemy could fit their practices, but let’s look at traditions.

How come traditions become so entrenched we see them as laws?

I guess it is the ‘old saying’ that if something is repeated often enough we end up believing it.

Keys to understanding the Bible

In 2017 for the subscribers to my Reader’s Circle (now VIP Readers’ group) I produced a PDF series called Keys to Understanding the Bible in which I had included a great many Pharisaic traditions.

From Part 4 this might further clarify ‘traditions’ and their acceptance…

“It has been said that in an effort to prevent this [captivity] happening again, the sect of the Pharisees ‘arose’. Their original purpose was to prevent people from breaking God’s laws, including the Sabbath.

It developed into Judaism. Judaism is not the ‘religion of Moses’ as is generally assumed.

From ‘A history of the Jews’ by Paul Johnson – Judaism dates from the time just after the Babylonian exile.

American Rabbinical scholar Stephen S Wise stated, ‘The return from Babylon… marked the end of Hebrew-ism and the beginning of Judaism.”

Over the centuries for the most part, the traditions became accepted and incorporated into the Code of Jewish Law.

Jesus said...

“They worship Me in vain; they teach as doctrine the precepts of men.’ You have disregarded the commandment of God to keep the tradition of men.” He went on to say, “You neatly set aside the commandment of God to maintain your own tradition.…”
Mark 7: 7 – 9

traditions of men

He would know!

Traditions were very important to the rulers of the Temple in Jesus’ time.

One small section in the gospel of Matthew…

Then some Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem came to Jesus and said “Why do Your disciples violate the tradition (religious laws) handed down by the [Jewish] elders? For Your disciples do not [ceremonially] wash their hands before they eat.” He replied to them, “Why also do you violate the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition [handed down by the elders]?
Matthew 15: 1-3 (Amp)

These traditions and attitudes were very much alive and practiced in the late 1st Century and contributed to the hatred of the Jews for the Christians.