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Have you ever felt that Paul's writings were hard to understand? Paul seems to praise the Law in one statement and then condemn it in another. Have you ever wondered how the culture of his time period understood terms and phrases such as 'circumcision', 'uncircumcision', 'works', 'works of the law', 'under the law', and 'grace'? In this teaching we will examine the evidence of the first century in order to understand that there existed a divide between Jew and Gentile, a wall of separation, because of man-made additions to God's perfect Torah and it is this issue that Paul is addressing in his letters.
We will examine evidence from Josephus, the Mishnah, and many other sources to determine what defined a 'Jew' in the first century and the process which the religious orders used to convert a person. We will conclude with looking into Scripture in order to determine who is a Jew, who is Israel, and who is a stranger and what roles they play in the Kingdom of God.(Audio)