There are millions who see eretz Israel (the political State known as
"Israel") as a veritable sacred cow that must be supported at any cost
-- even at the cost of human life, peace, and the security of their own
country. People who claim to be Christian are even collaborating with
plans to rebuild the "Third Temple" (there've already been three,
actually, if one counts Herod's rebuilding of the second Temple) in
Jerusalem and restore animal sacrifices, all with no qualms
about the mosque that is there and the human carnage that would ensue
after tearing it down, and not realizing, apparently, that what they
are doing is a direct insult to Christ's sacrifice.
springs from a theology called "dispensationalism," the idea that God
has one plan for "ethnic Jews" and another plan for the Church. The
view of history held by adherents of this theology is some variation of
Jewish people an earthly kingdom to be ruled by Messiah
comes to offer Jews their earthly kingdom that would establish Jewish
law throughout the land, but Jews reject Him, so the promise is
But the Church
develops, an unforseen consequence of the Messiah's Coming, and the
Church Age, or the "Parenthesis Period" as far as God's plan for
"Israel" goes, begins (i.e., the "parenthesis" is the "pause" in God's
"real" plan, which is for ethnic Jews)
At some point,
out of the clear blue, with no warnings, the Christ will come to
rapture up the Church
The Rapture will
be followed by the Tribulation and appearance of the Antichrist
- Then 144,000 Jews preach the Gospel
- After things heat up, the Battle of Armageddon will occur
Christ will come
a third time, which will bring on an instant conversion of "all Israel"
God will set up
His Millenial Kingdom and bind Satan. For ethnic Jews, this Kindgom
will be on earth, in the natural order and with a restoration of Temple
sacrifices; for the Church, its members and the resurrected Saints go
to the Heavenly Jerusalem, suspended over the earthly city
- Satan is loosed for a season and a revolt by some will follow
again (a fourth time!) for the final judgement, more resurrections, and
a new Heaven and a new earth
There are so
many problems -- out and out heresies -- involved with this mode of
thought that it's hard to know where to begin. The theological and
political implications of believing that a certain ethnic group (a
literal matter of either DNA or socialization such that one grows up
calling one's self "a Jew") has been chosen by God, to the exclusion
of other human beings, are simply morally revolting and dangerous
to the goal of peace. Obviously God entered into History and did so
through the Hebrews, but this Covenant was not only an honor, but a
moral obligation, and one which, I will show, was open to all
human beings. It had to begin somewhere, but it was not
restricted to its familial origins. Families were, and are now, an
integral part of the Covenants as children are included in the
Covenental promises (see Genesis 17:7-13 and Acts 2:38-39, which help
explain why the Hebrews circumcized and Catholics-Orthodox baptize
their children), but a child who is part of these Covenants can grow up
to leave it.
Let's start, though, with the idea that the Messiah came, offered to
the Jews an earthly kingdom, but was killed by them instead. Jesus said
in John 18:36
"My kingdom is
not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my
servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is
my kingdom not from hence."
and in the second parable of Matthew 25:34:
"Then shall the
King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father,
inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world"
His Kingdom is
not an earthly one, it is spiritual -- and it has been thus from the
foundations of the world! To say that Christ came to offer the genetic
Jews an earthly kingdom which they refused is not only racist, but it
is to call our Lord a failure and a liar. He did not come to set up an
earthly Kingdom; He came to redeem us with His Passion and Blood. Just
before His crucifixion, He said:
He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in
this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let
him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any
man serve me, him will my Father honour. Now is my soul troubled; and
what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this
cause came I unto this hour. [NLT: "But that is the very reason
why I came"!]
That some Jews
misunderstood the nature of the Kingdom as revealed by the ancient
Prophets is made clear by Paul in Acts 13:27:
"For they that
dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor
yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they
have fulfilled them in condemning him."
Some of the Jews
like Paul, Peter, Matthew, Stephen, etc., -- the remnant -- understood,
said yes to Christ, and remained as Israel. Others rejected Him:
Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a
vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and
built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far
country: And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants
to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the
husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and
Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto
But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence
my son.But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves,
This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his
inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and
slew him. When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he
do unto those husbandmen?
They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will
let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the
fruits in their seasons.
Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone
which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner:
this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore
say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given
to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall
fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it
will grind him to powder. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had
heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. But
when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude,
because they took him for a prophet.
however, many Christians today can't read plain Scripture.
The Church is Israel
How much more
clear does Paul have to be to show that the Church is
Israel, the very seed of Abraham? Galatians 3:7-29:
therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children
of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify
the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham,
saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of
faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it
is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which
are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is
justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, the just
shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that
doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse
of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, cursed is
every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham
might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might
receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's
covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth
thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He
saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed,
which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was
confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and
thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of
none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of
promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. Wherefore then serveth
the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed
should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels
in the hand of a mediator.
Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Is
the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had
been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness
should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under
sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them
that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut
up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the
law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be
justified by faith.
But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as
many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There
is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is
neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if
ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the
(See more here: The Church is Israel
and here: God's Promises
never were and are not now based on race to the exclusion of those who
are not biologically descended from Abraham. From the very first Book
of Sacred Scripture, when God made a Covenant with Abraham, there were
included people who were not the literal, physical descendants of
Abraham. Exodus 12:48 reads:
"And when a
stranger [ie, a non-Hebrew] shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the
passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let
him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in
the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof."
proselytizing the Nations was not the goal of Old Testament Israel, all
were welcome to the Covenant, as all are welcome to Christ today (in
fact, at the time of Christ, corrupted Judaism was a proselytizing
religion as a matter of historical fact, though not as a part of the
intrinsic nature of the Old Covenant 1).
The literal bloodline of Abraham was important for the hereditary
Aaronic priesthood and for prophetic reasons -- the prophecies
of the Messiah (this is why all those boring Old Testament list of
"begats" are so important!).
After Christ came, He spoke, over and over, of those who claim to be
Jews but are not:
"I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich)
and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not,
but are the synagogue of Satan."
Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are
Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and
worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
the New Covenant, John the Baptist, too, said that "the children of
Abraham" are not necessarily genetic descendants:
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his
baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you
to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for
repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham
to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to
raise up children unto Abraham.
What does St.
Paul say about the fleshly sons of Abraham versus those sons of the
promise of Abraham?
Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid,
the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born
after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things
are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the
mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar
is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and
is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free,
which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren
that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for
the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now
we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he
that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the
Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture?
Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall
not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are
not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
self-proclaimed "sons of Abraham" were the same ones whose Temple was
destroyed by His judgement in A.D. 70. (see Apocalypse:
The Whore of Babylon, The Beast, & the Rapture).
The Truth then is the same as it is now: Jesus Christ, prefigured in
the Old Testament and predicted by the Prophets, is Lord. He is the
Way, the Truth, and the Life.
...if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the
branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted
in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the
olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou
bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The
branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of
unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not
highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take
heed lest he also spare not thee.
grafted in, branches were broken off, but the tree remains the same
tree, and the "root" is Christ!
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch
will bear fruit... In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner
for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest
will be glorious. In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second
time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria,
from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from
Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the sea. He will raise a
banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will
assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the
how do those broken-off branches get grafted on again?
And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be
grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.
The same way as
anyone else. Nonetheless, a good number of Protestant groups have come
to believe that God has one plan for genetic Jews and another for
Christians, thus denying some of the basic tenets of the Christian faith
-- the inefficacy of the Old Testament sacrifices (though
they point forward to the New Covenant) and the necessity of Christ's
sacrifice for salvation!
If Jeremiah 31:31-34 isn't clear enough, I don't know what is:
Behold, the days
come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the
house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according
to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took
them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my
covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the
LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of
Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their
inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and
they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his
neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they
shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them,
saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember
their sin no more.
one more time: who is this New Covenant with? ISRAEL.
Jews may be grafted in again in
the same way Gentiles are grafted in to the tree of spiritual Israel:
repentance, faith, and baptism.
The Politics of this Heretical Theology
I have just now,
as I am writing this, finished listening to a Real Audio file of
Gershon Salomon, founder of the group "Temple Mount Faithful" whose
mission it is to rebuild the "Third Temple" in Jerusalem (i.e., to
rebuild the Mother of all Harlots -- see Apocalypse:
The Whore of Babylon, The Beast, & the Rapture). In the
recording, he is pleading, in a mournful voice, for us Christians to
assist in the re-building of the "Third Temple." Here's a direct quote:
"Please, be with
Israel in this exciting time. This is a test, not only for Israel, but
for all the world. When you will be today with Israel, when you will be
today with the Temple Mount Faithful movement, in our struggle, in our
campaign to rebuild the house of God, you will be with God, you will be
redeemed, together with Israel."
"We have been
told that 5,000 Arabs have left Beersheba, an Israeli city, and that
perhaps eventually more from all over Israel will leave. Room must be
made for the ten or fifteen thousand Jewish immigrants arriving every
month. We not only hope, but judging from the attitude of the Jews in
the land, feel certain that the exit of more Arabs will not cause too
great a hardship and loss to them." The Unholy Holy Land, by Coulson
Shepherd, Moody Monthly, July, 1951
spiritual Israel so can't be redeemed "together with" Israel -- and
Christians are redeemed -- by the Blood of Christ! Any animal
sacrifices that are re-instituted there will do us no good and will
amount to slapping the Lord Jesus Christ in His Face! God Himself,
through the Roman armies, tore that Temple down in A.D. 70. Why, in the
name of all that is holy, would a Christian want to help rebuild it?
What would Jesus say to His Apostles if they were together in the flesh
now on earth? Would He say, "Yes, go forth and kill the Muslims that
are there, starting a world war in the process. Rebuild the Temple that
I warned would be destroyed and that I, in fact, did destroy.
Re-institute animal sacrifices, for they have always had redemptive
power. I lied when I was here the first time; my Kingdom really is of
this world"? And even if all that were true, do you believe God expects Christians to co-operate with
evil in order to facilitate His return? Since when do the ends justify
the means? Since when do Christians do evil so that good might come of
it? This is sheer and utter madness! And while the Protestant Zionists,
so courted by Gershon Salomon, bow down to the idol of eretz Israel,
the security of my country, the United States of America, and of the
entire world is being threatened by their "Eretz Israel can do no
wrong" approach to international politics. I will not sit silently
while they mock God and His Scriptures and threaten my country. No! The
insanity of dispensationalism must end.
What does the Torah say?
I will let
orthodox Rabbis speak for themselves. From Neturei Karta:
unfortunately there are many Jews who, through no fault of their own,
are ignorant of, and fail to, practice the basics of their faith. This
is a great tragedy for many reasons. Perhaps paramount among them is
the falsification of Judaism that results when those unaware of its
basic assumptions speak to the general public.
It behooves all Jews loyal to their faith to proclaim to the world the
truths of Judaism in as lucid a manner as possible...
...we are opposed to the ideology of Zionism, a recent innovation,
which seeks to force the end of exile. Our banishment from the Holy
Land will end miraculously at a time when all mankind will unite in the
brotherly service of the Creator.
In addition to condemning the central heresy of Zionism, we also reject
its policy of aggression against all peoples. Today this cruelty
manifests itself primarily in the brutal treatment of the Palestinian
people. We proclaim that this inhuman policy is in violation of the
these websites: Jews Against Zionism, Jews Not
Karta, and Not In
My Name: Taking Action for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine
(all will open in new browser windows).
But God PROMISED Land to the Israelites!
He delivered on those promises:
And the Lord gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to
give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. And the
Lord gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware
unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies
before them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their
hand. There failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had
spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.
1 Kings 8:56
Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people
Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed
one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of
Moses his servant.
Thou art the Lord the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him
forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham;
And foundest his heart faithful before Thee, and madest a covenant with
him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and
the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I
say, to his seed, and hast performed Thy words; for Thou art
gave the land to the Israelites; but their keeping it was a matter of
If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this
law that are written in this book... the Lord shall scatter thee
among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other;
and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy
fathers have known, even wood and stone.
They failed. They, not God, broke the Covenant. Once again, see Jeremiah 31:31-34:
The Covenant which brought blessings through obedience,
brings curses through disobedience, and they broke it, as clearly revealed in those verses from Jeremiah. An analogy is marriage, which to
the Church is a permanent covenant bond, completely irrevocable. A wife
who commits adultery doesn't bring about the end of that marriage; she
merely puts herself in the position of breaking its terms and suffering
the curses that go along with violating the terms of a covenant in such
a way. The marriage still exists though she won't experience its
blessings. It is the same situation with modern Judaism: Jews were and
are called to be faithful to their Covenant which is fulfilled
in Christ Jesus. Infidelity to Christ is infidelity to their
"Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."
God's Kingdom, as shown before, is a Heavenly one. The Old Testament
physical land -- promised and delivered by God, lost by the disobedient
Israelites -- was but a shadow of much greater things: the Heavenly
Jerusalem, the Kingdom of God that we are to reflect here on earth in
our social order by recognizing Christ as King.
But -- the return of the Jews to Palestine is so miraculous! The very
existence of the Jews is miraculous!
I've heard some
say that the very existence of the Jews, with their language and
culture, preserved even during the Diaspora, is proof that they are
God's "Chosen People." But by this test, the Rom (the "Gypsies") are
just as miraculous. From Russia to the United States to Spain to Canada
to Mexico to India to Australia, and throughout the centuries marked by
expulsions, persecutions, and Nazi concentration camps, the Rom have
spoken the same language, kept their own court systems, and preserved
their ancient, complex customs (which are, by the way, quite similar to
that of the Jews in many ways, even down to their purity laws and
concept of "marimé.") Even now, in the America of 2005, many Rom
parents arrange their daughters' marriages, complete with bride prices
- right in big places like New York City or Los Angeles.
The return of Jews to Palestine? No miracle of God, but the fruits of
Lionel Rothschild's arrangements with England's Lord Balfour -- an
arrangement ultimately paid for by the blood of German-Jewish innocents
sold out by their Zionist leaders (see "Jews Not Zionists" and "Neturei
Kartei" links above).
Might the return of Palestine to Jewish hands be a sign nonetheless? Of
course. But the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people is an evil
that no Christian can wish for or assist in bringing about. God,
though, can use evil for good, and what He might do in the future, if a
remnant of physical Israel is saved as many Church Fathers predict and
as St. Paul seems to intimate, is up to Him and Him alone. Meanwhile,
we must carry on as Christians, resist evil (even if good may
come from it!), and preach the Gospel to all men.
But isn't this -- anti-semitic?
"No, no I
say to you, it is impossible for a Christian to take part in
anti-Semitism. It is inadmissible! Through Christ and in Christ we are
spiritual progeny of Abraham. Spiritually, we are all Semites." Pius XI
speaking to a group of German pilgrims, September 20, 1938, quoted in
Robert Martin "Spiritual Semites: Catholics and Jews during World War
II", p. 18.
"anti-semitic" to say that God Almighty, the Creator of Heaven and
Earth and of all that is visible and invisible, isn't concerned with
ethnic groups qua ethnic groups and doesn't condone genocide, the
stealing of lands from the innocent, and re-instituting animal
sacrifices after His Son gave us the ultimate Sacrifice, then so be it.
All are welcome to the Father through the Son -- "red and yellow, black
and white" as the song goes, Hebrews or Italians, Arabs3 or Koreans, Africans or Native Americans. God
loves us all. Amen.
And to be extra-clear that the easy charge of "anti-semitism" has
nothing to do with this page: Catholics worship a Semite. 4
Please watch this video, made by a non-Catholic Christian:
See also: Notes on the terms
"Jew" and "Judaism"
See also: So, you think God
wants the Temple rebuilt?
See also the series: On Jewish-Catholic
1 For evidence that Judaism was a proselytizing
religion, see the writings of Cicero, Horace, Juvenal, Seneca, Tacitus,
Josephus, Epictetus, Dio Cassius, and the New Testament (ex., Matthew
23:15). More evidence of Jewish proselytism are the existence of the
Ethiopian Jews, the conversion of the Khazar kingdom, the forced conversions of the
Idumeans conquered by the Jewish Maccabean Kings and of slaves owned by
Jews, and rabbinical writings that indicate Marcus Aurelius and Nero
were converts to Judaism. Other prominent converts include: Poppaea,
the second wife of Nero; Aquila of Pontus; Consul Flavius Clemens,
nephew of Roman Emperor Vespasian and his wife, Domitilla, the cousin
of Titus; King Monobaz of Abiabene, his wife, Helena; and King Dhu
Nuwas of Yemen. In the Roman Empire, proselytism was such a huge
phenomenon, that Septimius Severus issued an edict forbidding
conversion of Gentiles to Judaism.
2 While these orthodox rabbis rightfully reject
Zionism based on their interpretation of Sacred Scripture, they still
accept the anti-Christ Talmud as "sacred" so are not truly
3 Arabs are also "Semites"
4 Jesus also has
Gentile roots, too, as a quick glance at His genealogy will show. His
forebears include, for example: Tamar, a Gentile Canaanite prostitute;
Rahab, another Gentile prostitute; Ruth, a Moabite; Bathsheba, who may
have been Gentile, etc.
Reason Behind American Fundamentalism's Support for the State of Israel
Zionists Made Deal With
the Devil fascinating article written by a self-described
"assimilated Jew" (check out his entire website!)
Link: Blood Brothers, by Elias Chacour. Presents an
eyewitness account of a Christian who lived in Palestine during the
Arab-Israeli War of 1948
Link: Forcing God's Hand: Why Millions Pray for a Quick
Rapture--And Destruction of Planet Earth, by Grace Halsell.
Exposes the roots and implications of dispensationalist theology
Link: Judaism's Strange Gods by Michael A. Hoffman.
Judaism is not the religion of the Old Testament, but the formalized
belief system of the Pharisees, which arose in Babylon with the
commitment of the formerly oral “tradition of the elders."