Chris: So, I have the feeling that although you keep these rules like “don’t eat pepperoni,” you don’t expect me to keep them.
Chris: Is that because you think I’m wrong but you don’t push you’re religious opinions on me?
Jude: No, I don’t think it is wrong for you to eat pepperoni.
Chris: That’s crazy. How could it be wrong for you and not wrong for me? God doesn’t distinguish between persons. Sin is the same for everyone.
Jude: Is it a sin for anyone to marry a widow?
Chris: No, why would it be?
Jude: Leviticus 21 says that a high priest cannot marry a widow.
Chris: Is it in the law that no Israelite can marry a widow?
Jude: No, in fact an ordinary priest can marry a widow, but not a divorcee, according to Leviticus 21.
Chris: Could an Israelite who is not a priest marry a divorcee?
Chris: So there are different rules for people based on their role or function.
Jude: Sure. And Nazirites cannot drink wine or even eat grapes or raisins.
Chris: I guess Jesus wasn’t a Nazirite!
Jude: So, it’s about each one following the commandments which apply to them.
Chris: And how does that allow me to eat pepperoni but not you?
Jude: I’m Jewish. All of the Torah laws apply to me.
Chris: But you believe in Messiah and in Christ you’re not under the law.
Jude: We can come back to that one again later, But first, we’ve got to talk about this idea that the law is not necessarily the same for everyone.
Chris: How do you know which laws are for Jews and which are for everyone?
Jude: The clues are right in the Torah itself. The Jewish interpretation has always been that some laws were just for Israel.
Chris: Why would God expect some things of Jews and not of the other nations?
Jude: The Bible teaches that Israel is a special people, a Chosen People, a priestly people. Israel is called to be different.
Chris: Like a Nazirite is different?
Jude: Exactly. And it’s not a matter or better, but of calling.
Chris: I’m not conceding that you have to keep the law. I still think Christ did away with the law.
Jude: But for now, let me ask, what if some parts of the law were never required of the righteous from the nations who might follow God? How would that affect your understanding of the New Testament?
Chris: I don’t get what you’re driving at.
Jude: This is my big point: people have confused the issue. It’s not that the law is abolished. It’s that the sign commandments of Israel never applied to gentiles. And the apostles are saying that gentiles don’t have to start living like Jews to be kosher to God.
Chris: Where do you see that?
Jude: It’s what Acts 15 is all about.
Chris: But isn’t Acts 15 for all Christians? How can you say that non-Jewish Christians don’t need to keep all of the law but that Jewish Christians should keep it?
Jude: The apostles were only talking about gentiles in Acts 15. They assumed that Jews would keep the law.
Chris: It’s true they don’t discuss Jews and the law there. I never thought about it.
Jude: And in Acts 21, we see that Paul was not confused. He kept all of the law and even the traditions.
Chris: I’m not convinced. I’ll have to read it and think about it.
Jude: That’s a good thing. But meanwhile, that’s why I believe it is wrong for me to eat pepperoni but it’s not wrong for you.
Chris: Do you eat raisins, you unrighteous heathen?
Jude: Hey, watch it!